Posts Tagged ‘Mighty Clouds of Joy’

A Son of the South Shines in Syracuse

Monday, July 6th, 2009
  A Brief Conversation with Charles Cannon: Lead singer/Founder (Bells of Harmony), Radio Host (Charles Cannon Gospel Hour, 1540 WSIV-AM)

Charles Cannon, gospel singer, radio host

 When did you come to Syracuse: August 1966 from Cuthbert, GA. I left when Georgia had “colored” restrooms and I picked cotton. When I got to Syracuse, I realized there was a better life. There were job opportunities, I could provide for my family without struggling. I worked for GM. The move from Georgia at age 18 was wonderful for me. I have no intentions of moving back. I go to visit or perform.

On Singing: I’m 62 years old, I’ll be 63 in June. Singing used to be so much fun, but now it has turned out to be a job. I don’t like the travel, but I go because I love singing. That’s what I do. I never get tired of singing.

How many concerts have you done: In 43 years…thousands.

When did you start in radio: I started in 1978; I started the C&O Gospel Hour [with my cousin who is now deceased]. Now [the show is called] Charles Cannon Gospel Hour. This is a great experience. I do it every Friday.

At studio of 1540 WSIV-AM

At studio of 1540 WSIV-AM

Who is your favorite artist: The Mighty Clouds of Joy. I’ve done concerts with them. They are my favorite because they do traditional gospel. I’m a traditional gospel singer. [Traditional gospel] speaks about your daily living, where you’ve come from, what you’ve been through and how the Lord has blessed you to persevere. I’m the kind of person when I listen to a song, it has to have a message, otherwise there’s no need to listen.

What is your favorite song (to sing): The Lord Will Make a Way. I always believe whatever the circumstance, whatever the situation, He’ll make a way for you. I wrote that song and it’s on our latest CD.

What are you listening to now: In my car I’m listening to a CD by the Texas Boyz. They sing a song that says Only the Strong Survive. I always have gospel on in my car.

If you could have everyone in the region listen to one song what would it be: If Jesus Can’t Fix it, Nobody Can, by the Mighty Clouds of Joy. If [people] would listen to the worlds, they would be spiritually uplifted.

I’m a Christian, I don’t deny that. I tell it everywhere I go.

Who has been your biggest influence: My mom. There was a song my mom loved to sing: Wont It be Grand.  When I was growing up we used to go into the garden, we grew all our vegetables in Georgia, and she would sing Won’t It be Grand. I re-did it and I had a chance to play it for her before she passed in 2002. Where ever I am, where ever I go, I always talk about my mom.


Bells of Harmony fans at Juneteenth

Closing thoughts: There’s no need for me to be here [at the studio] playing only what I want to hear. I do that when I get in my car or when I’m home. When I get to the studio, what ever [the listeners request], that’s what I play.

My listening audience and fans have [supported us] all these years and whenever I  perform on stage they are there. [The audience] has never let me down and I’m thankful. I don’t take it for granted.