Elev8 has always taken time to introduce new music. Today we bring you something not only new but inspirational.
Music World Gospel recording artist and “Sunday Best’s Season 3″ first runner-up will release his debut solo CD project, The Best of Elder Goldwire McLendon releases today. At 81 years old, McLendon is the oldest American contemporary solo artist signed to a record deal.
The spirited and charismatic McLendon has been singing for seven decades. Prior to his journey as a contestant on Season 3 BET’s Sunday Best, where he was first-runner-up to Le’Andria Johnson, he has been ministering to people in song and words in his native Florida and Philadelphia.
McLendon’s testimony is an inspiration to millions. “When I received a call that Mathew Knowles wanted to sign me to Music World Gospel,” says McLendon. “My daughter and I were stomping on the floor, and holding our mouths because we wanted to scream. I carried on and she did too.”
“Elder Goldwire has an ageless appeal—with the heart and soul of a man who has done a lot of living. He has the energy and enthusiasm of a young man,” says Mathew Knowles, founder, President and CEO of Music World Gospel. “As I watched him in Season 3, he competed with vigor and stamina. He proved that he can connect with people in a wide range of demographics as he won the hearts of over a million supporters—especially females.”
E8: What does having a new album coming out now mean to you?
I am blessed. I never imagined that any of this would happen to me. It’s just testimony that you never know where your path is going.
E8: What advice would you give to young people?
Surround yourself with righteous people. Good people will lead you to good and you will do good. Just being ablet to think about all things in that way.
E8: What do you think of contemporary gospel music?
I love it. Andrae Crounch lead people to some great music. Right now I think Marvin Sapp is inspirational and i have been listening to him.
“On The Best of Elder Goldwire McLendon, he puts a contemporary spin on traditional and classic gospel songs, which were all produced by Stanley Brown. McLendon’s first single is an upbeat rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Jesus Be A Fence Around Me.” He also offers a hand-clapping, foot-stomping rendition of “He’s All Over Me.” Written by Alvin Darling, this song gained international exposure when it was performed by Whitney Houston and Shirley Caesar in the movie The Preacher’s Wife. He says the song has a special meaning to him. “It expresses how I really feel because I know that the spirit of the Lord is all over me and it’s keeping me alive—literally.” He performs a soulful rendition of “The Battle Is The Lord’s,” putting his own stamp on a signature song of gospel great Yolanda Adams, which was written by V. Michael McKay. McLendon’s contemplative and worshipful version of the classic, “How Great Thou Art,” written by Carl Boberg and Max Morris, is followed by a lively take on Edwin Hawkins’ gospel treasure, “Oh Happy Day.” His performance of “I Know It Was The Blood,” written by Chester D.T. Baldwin, takes him back to the church songs of his youth, and he takes the listener along for the ride. “The song has been a part of my nature ever since I first heard it as a kid,” he says. “I wanted to bring some of that old-time gospel to my version of the song.” He rounds out the CD with a soulful take on the Staple Singers’ classic (written by Alvertis Isbell), “I’ll Take You There,” which McLendon performed with Le’Andria Johnson on Sunday’s Best. “It was really something,” he says of that duet.