The Bledsoe family name has been associated with music and talent in Chattanooga for a generation. That is why we’re so thrilled to have Glass Farm resident, Deborah Bledsoe, named as the Gospel On Glass musical director and curator for the upcoming show on November 3 at Glass Street LIVE! We’re also proud and grateful to Tennessee Arts Commission who made it possible for Deborah to receive a stipend for her curatorial role.
Today, Deborah and her husband, David, perform together as 2 Deepwithin, a gospel jazz ensemble. Deborah is the songwriter for the group and husband David writes the music. This sought-after gospel band performs their traditional and contemporary gospel music all around the tri-state region with audiences begging for “just one more.” You may recall their memorable performance from the very first Gospel On Glass being no exception. We look forward to 2 Deepwithin’s return to Gospel On Glass, as well as all of the multi-talented groups Bledsoe has invited to make music at Glass Street LIVE! this year.
The Bledsoe musical legacy began long ago when David and his 6 brothers performed as The Bledsoe Brothers all across the city while growing up in Alton Park. Meanwhile, Deborah was making music too as a young lady growing up in Northwest Georgia as part of the all-female musical group, Spiritual Love. She admits it began in the mirror during the Motown era singing her young heart out as she imagined herself a member of the Supremes or Temptations. But it was as a member of Spiritual Love, her first group formed nearly 40 years ago, when she started writing gospel music. And she’s been singing gospel ever since including today as a member of the World Church of the Living God Mass Choir.
Deborah and David will be bringing their musical gifts and traditions to the stage at Glass Street LIVE! acting as emcees, curators and performers on the Gospel On Glass Stage from 11am-2pm.
Deborah says she knows so many people from all around the community look forward to Gospel On Glass each year. Now as a headlining event for Glass Street LIVE!, Bledsoe believes good days are ahead.
“You will be smiling about this for years to come. It will be even better now as part of Glass Street LIVE! because there will be more people and more events surrounding us. Everyone already looks forward to the annual block party. And we’re honored to be programming the main stage,” Bledsoe said.
Organizers agree the impact and expansion of Gospel On Glass is a reflection of the momentum taking place in East Chattanooga. “Gospel on Glass has become a very meaningful event for the community, an outward expression of the rebirth and revitalization of the neighborhood. This event is a proud message of Glass Street’s faith in a strong future,” Glass House Collective’s executive director, Teal Thibaud, recently wrote.
Performances will be professionally videotaped this year with the aim of not only creating a lasting archive, but also to widen access to the program itself. “Gospel on Glass provides an opportunity not only to showcase local talent to a broader audience but also to document and archive the cultural significance of the event itself for greater cultural consumption and impact,” Thibaud stated.
Bledsoe said she believes that coming together to celebrate and support each other is exactly what Gospel On Glass was designed to do. While the venue has changed, the impact and purpose will not.
“God is so versatile! So we’re bringing a line up of versatile music to a crowd of all different types of people who are coming together to praise God in unity and in fun. It is beautiful,” she said.
Today we can announce the first 5 confirmed Gospel On Glass groups:
2 Deepwithin -Enjoy gospel jazz and contemporary gospel music from this full band of talented voices and musicians.
The Robinsons 3D - A family of three teenagers performing powerful a capella harmonies and more.
World Church of the Living God Mass Choir - Don’t miss the dynamic harmonies of this amazing Mass Choir of more than 30 members performing original and traditional gospel music for the last 50 years.
Machelle Booker – Often compared to CiCi Winans, but a little “extra,” it will be a special treat to experience Booker’s gorgeous voice and crowd pleasing performance since she rarely tours or records.
- Mt. Paran Baptist Church Choir - Don’t miss this traditional men’s choir coming together for a Gospel On Glass performance. Expect to hear some really great traditional Gospel songs.
Louis Bledsoe of the Bledsoe Brothers – Another treat! Come see Louis Bledsoe while he visits his hometown for this Gospel On Glass show. Speaking of extra: Louis, whose voice is in the style of Sam Cooke, will be joined by his Bledsoe Brother, David, and 2 Deepwithin for a portion of his set.
Thank you again to Tennessee Arts Commission for funding this years Gospel On Glass!