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Youthsound –  S/T [Portland live 1982]  – New LP
Youthsound –  S/T [Portland live 1982]  – New LP
Albina Music Trust

Youthsound – S/T [Portland live 1982] – New LP

Regular price $ 20.00 $ 0.00
On May 2, 1982 the Youthsound Choir and Stage Band performed at Portland’s Jefferson High School. With youth ranging from elementary through high school, this 100-voice mass choir under the direction of Ken Berry was poised to sing an array of uptempo spirituals. Their backing big band contained a who’s who of Albina’s adult musicians interspersed with youth. The feeling in the air was electric. An audience of 1,500 had awaited this moment - along with the city’s fire marshall, insisting that maximum capacity had been reached.

The story of Youthsound is the story of resilience, mentorship, and mutual aid. With an approaching local bond measure that would increase Portland Public Schools’ investment in the arts, the Youthsound concert was made possible through efforts of recruitment, rehearsal, fundraising, and lobbying to demonstrate what this community was capable of with increased resources. According to band mentor Ronnye Harrison, “We didn’t wait around for the city or anyone else because we knew no one was coming. We just needed a place to rehearse that was safe for the kids and where their families felt safe.”

This is also the story of The World Arts Foundation. Youthsound is one of many programs that comprise WAF’s legacy. Later evolving into the Cultural Recreation Band and then the American Music Program, Youthsound marks the beginning of a legacy that has produced musicians such as Esperanza Spaulding, Charlie Brown III, and Domo Branch.

True to AMT’s release format, this vinyl package contains a 12-page booklet featuring archival photography and a detailed oral history of the group - executive produced by Ken Berry, and with design and art direction by Brian Mumford and Bobby Smith respectively. Originally broadcast on community radio and cable access, the recording by Thomas Robinson and Evan Shales (The Wipers, The Rats) has been masterfully preserved by Gus Elg from a variety of source tapes. The backing band here is heavy, featuring members of nearly every band released in AMT’s catalog - not to mention members of Pleasure, the pianist Janice Scroggins, and the Ghanaian master drummer Obo Addy.

In the words of World Arts Foundation’s co-founder Michael ‘Chappie’ Grice, “We’re here to speak to you in a language that is universally understood throughout the world. It is called… music.”

released December 15, 2023

Choral direction by Ken Berry.
Stage band direction and arrangements by Greg McKelvey and Thara Memory.
Program production by Ken Berry and Michael Grice.
Recording engineered by Thomas Robinson and Evan Shales.
Recorded at Jefferson High School on May 2, 1982.

Youthsound Choir
Crona Adair, Tellisa Amos, Sheila Anderson, Angelique Bates, Winnie Battles, Jonathan Berry, Vickki Braswell, Angela Braxton, Jeanette Brown, Eileen Clark, Traci Clay, Grover Clegg, Cheryl Cobbs, Kyla Coppage, Detra Daniels, Monique Dials, Teri Duboise, Stan Edwards, Cheanice Easter, Chantell Fitz, Shirley Fitz, Cassandra Floyd, Doris Frazier, John Frazier, Earl Frederick Jr., Chris Fridge, Kelly Folks, Tracy Folks, Abdul Hall, Anise Hall, Ira Hammon, Donna Harris, Serita Harris, Anthonette Hardaway, Iris Holliday, Gypsy Hopkins, Goldie Irby, Martell Irons, Ada Jackson, Florence Jenkins, Mary Jenkins, Vicki Johnson, Angela Jones, Harold Jones, Rachel Jones, Felicia Kennedy, Kimberly Kimmons, Marilyn Keller, Sharon Lawrence, Doris Lewis, Yavonne Lincoln, Kimberly Loving, Patricia Marks, Shelly Matthews, Angela Minnieweather, Maggin Minnieweather, Lisa Minnieweather, Matt Minnieweather, Terri Ott, Jeanette Parker, Carin Parrish, Darla Probasco, Sheila Pryor, Joel Reese, Sonya Reynolds, Raushana Sadruddin, Tina Scarborough, Melisa Skidmore, Debra Smith, Jackie Smith Jr., Kathy Smith, Walter Smith Jr., Cheryl Stone, Linda Tellis, Wanda Thompson, John Useldinger, Frederick Warren, Stacey Washington, Katina Webster, Cliffton Welch, Paula Williams, and Rolanda Williams.

Youthsound Stage Band
Bass Guitarists: Mel Able, Cedric Hinton, Darnell Love, David Minnieweather, and Wade Weekly.
Brass Section: Peter Bellerby, Earl Frederick Jr., Ronnye Harrison, Thara Memory, Greg McKelvey, Kevin Moore, Rick Ollison, Carole Olsen, and Dennis Springer.
Percussionists: Obo Ady, Jeff Minnieweather, Tommy Profit, Bruce Smith, Dee Wiggins, and Michael Williams.
Keyboardists: Jill Baracco, Terry Davis, George McCrae, Gene McGee, Larry Patterson, John Sanders, Janice Scroggins, Ray Tellis, and Wanda Thompson.

Executive production by Ken Berry and Bobby Smith.
Cassette master courtesy of Ken Berry.
Cassette preservation, mixing, and mastering by Gus Elg.
Record Pressing by Cascade Record Pressing.

Design by Brian Mumford.
Art direction by Bobby Smith.
Photos and printed materials courtesy of Ken Berry.
Photographers include Richard Brown, Nick Christmas, Jack Hasbrouck, and Brent Wojahn.

Oral history facilitated and edited by Ken Berry and Bobby Smith.
Oral histories recorded by Bobby Smith from September 24, 2023 to October 10, 2023.
Project support by Jared White.

This project made possible with support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition.

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