At the onset of his career people considered Rance Allen’s music edgy. He was the Kirk Franklin of the 70’s, Introducing a new contemporary style of Gospel music that people are still imitating today.
At the pinnacle of Rance Allen’s career he inspired many of today’s top Gospel artists like John P. Kee, Kirk Franklin, and Yolanda Adams.
Now celebrating 40 years in music, Rance Allen has created a new documentary chronicling his impressive journey as a singer and ordained Bishop.
PATH caught up with Bishop Rance Allen at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, where he was screening the documentary “Music Majors” to a packed theatre. Young and old came out to hear what the legend had to say about his career that impacted the lives of fans and artists alike.
The documentary was gripping and compelling, leaving no doubt as to the impact Rance has had on Gospel music.
The documentary featured interviews with Kirk Franklin, James Fortune, Isaac Caree, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Paul Porter and many more. Several other artists came to show support including Kurt Carr, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Brian Courtney Wilson, and Pastor Remis Wright.
[PATH publisher Kris Patrick & Rance Allen]
Immediately after the showing, Rance Allen participated in a panel that asked the legend questions about his career. The impressive panel included Yolanda Adams, Sidney Scott (Tyscot Records), V. Michael McKay (Songwriter), and Carl Davis (Director of the Gospel Music Heritage Foundation).
One question took the cover off Rance Allen’s signature style. Many credit Allen for creating the rifts (the rolling of the voice) that artists imitate in all genres of music. Allen said he started using his unique rifts because he used to try to mimic the sound of musical instruments with his voice. Demonstrating how the “Oh Ahh” sound would help him match the tone of the instruments.
When asked what made him sing Gospel, Allen said, “I was raised in a household that went to church 7 days a week, if you do anything 7 days a week you’re going to pick it up.”
Allen still has the heart for music, recently releasing a two-disc set that features the documentary and a CD that includes a few cover tunes and an unforgettable rendition of the world-renowned hymn, Amazing Grace.
One audience member asked Allen what’s next? Allen responded with another project will be out soon that was recently recorded LIVE in California.
Allen left the hundreds in attendance with this moment of career reflection. “Every time I go on stage my objective is to impact somebodies heart, and change somebodies mind.”
At the end of the momentous screening the city of Houston presented Allen with a memorandum from U.S. congress-woman Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as a rodeo cowboy hat from Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
The two-disk album “Amazing Grace” that includes the documentary is in stores and online now.
Watch the trailer below.
More About Rance Allen:
Bishop Rance Allen was born in 1948 in Monroe, Michigan, one of 12 children. At the age of five he began his preaching ministry and by age nine was preaching throughout Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He was licensed to preach at age 12 and has since carried the Word of the Lord throughout the United States and abroad. In 1978 he was ordained an Elder by the late Bishop John Seth Bailey and subsequently served 6-1/2 years as Associate Pastor of Holiness Temple Church of God In Christ (COGIC) in Monroe, MI.
In 1985 the late Bishop Gilbert Patterson founded New Bethel Church in Toledo, OH and installed Bishop Allen there as Pastor where he currently serves today. He served many years on the board of the Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc., a community organization whose mission was dedicated to improving inner-city environments. In recognition of his dedicated years in ministry the Urban Bible Institute of Detroit bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 1995. In September, 2011 by God’s amazing grace Bishop Allen was elevated to the office of Jurisdictional Prelate of Michigan Northwestern Harvest in Detroit, succeeding the late Bishop Alfred Knight, Jr. and was consecrated on November 7, 2011 during the 104th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri. He has also been blessed with the awesome and humbling opportunity to preach the main message to thousands during the 90th, 96th and 105th International COGIC Holy Convocations.