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Inez Andrews-Just For Me

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Uploaded on Aug 19, 2011

nez may have been a musical revelation to white Europeans but by 1965 she had already achieved huge popularity among black American church goers. She was the lead singer on some of the biggest hits for the legendary Caravans, including "Mary Don't You Weep", "I'm Not Tired Yet", "Make It In" and "He Won't Deny Me". 40 plus years on, Inez today features in a reformed version of the Caravans (Albertina Walker, Dorothy Norwood, Delores Washington and Inez) performing occasional reunion concerts. So who knows, we may yet hear more from one of the most exciting singers in Christendom who once quipped, "They don't pay me to sing, they like to hear me holler."

Inez McConic was born in 1929 in the Alabama city which produced another gospel legend, Dorothy Love Coates, Birmingham. Inez' father was a Baptist preacher and her mother a gospel singer (though she died when Inez was just two years old). Inez received her education in Birmingham public schools and sang in the junior choir of her father's church. Inez' upbringing was hard. Married and divorced while still in her teens, she had to take on domestic work to support her children. As she told author Anthony Heilbut, "I'd make $18 a week. I thought I was saving something. Then I'd spend seven for baby-sitting and two on the bus." She sang locally as a soloist and joined the Carter Choral Ensemble, which travelled around the Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia region. She also sang for a short period with the Raymond Rasberry Singers and intermittently substituted in Dorothy Love Coates' Original Gospel Harmonettes. In 1956 James Cleveland - who was eventually to become one of the biggest figures in post-war gospel - was serving as pianist and arranger for the Caravans, the group formed in 1951 as Robert Anderson And His Gospel Caravan. By the mid-'50s, fronted by the bluesy-voiced matriarch Albertina Walker, the Caravans were tireless travellers on the Gospel Highway. Cleveland persuaded Andrews to join the Caravans,

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