Reverend James Cleveland

A Chronology of the Life of our Founder, Rev. James Cleveland

  •  James Cleveland, born December 5, 1931 in Chicago, IL.
  • A renowned pianist.
  • Known as the “King” of gospel.
  • First sung gospel music under who is known as “The Father of Gospel”, Thomas A Dorsey.
  • Inspired by Robert Martin, Gospelaires, Caravancs, Aretha Franklin and Jessie Dixon.
  • Pastor & Founder of Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Credited as being the first Gospel artist to get a “star” inscribed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Wrote more than 400 songs.
  • Received four Grammy Awards.
  • Recorded over 100 albums, sixteen of which were certified “Gold” and “Platinum” albums.
  • Labeled the “Crown Prince of Gospel Music” according to research completed.
  • Received numerous other awards and accolades.
  • Life ended on February 9, 1991 in Los Angeles, CA.
JC Trivia
  • James Cleveland was the first gospel artist ever to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Rev. Cleveland was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Trinity Bible College.
  • David and Delores Winans, matriarch and patriarch of the famous Winans family, met while in the Lucille Lemon Choir, conducted by James Cleveland.
  • Aretha Franklin was among the many people who learned from James Cleveland.
  • Cleveland’s voice was sampled and reworked for the gospel song “One Sunday Morning” by Tonéx.
  • He and his choir appear on the song “Where’s the Shoorah?” from Elton John’s 1976 album Blue Moves.
  • His choir, the Southern California Community Choir, appears in the movie The Blues Brothers, as the choir backing James Brown (a.k.a. Rev. Cleophus James, the Triple Rock Baptist Church preacher), in a gospel called “The Old Landmark” (1980).
Awards
  • Grammy Award won for Best Gospel Album By A Choir Or Chorus 1990:
    The Southern California Community Choir: Having Church
  • Grammy Award won for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional 1980:
    James Cleveland & The Charles Fold Singers: Lord, Let Me Be An Instrument
  • Grammy Award won for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional 1977:
    James Cleveland: James Cleveland Live At Carnegie Hall
  • Grammy Award won for Best Soul Gospel Performance 1974:
    James Cleveland & The Southern California Community Choir: In The Ghetto