People who helped make this project successful!
Mr. Kevin Odom, a well sought after sound and recording engineer of New York City. In October, 2001 Mix Magazine, a trade magazine for engineers; Kevin was highlighted in the article entitled, Kevin Odom and L.L. Cool J.. Kevin is an expert in computerized digital recording and although is knowledgeable and trained on and in the traditional recordings, Kevin while at Rock the Bells Studios, (owned and operated by L.L. COOL J.,) supported and encouraged the non-traditional recording through computers and virtual studios. Darrell met Kevin in Sam Ashe in New York, and told Kevin then, "You don't know it yet, but we will be working together, and the rest to that is history too." Kevin brought his expertise, experience, knowledge, and love of music and along with Darrell's experience, love for music, knowledge about sound, they have presented an outstanding project, not only in sound alone but in the message of the music. BADD!
Soprano Janice Chandler has quickly earned a reputation as a world-class artist. She became a favorite soloist of the late Robert Shaw and performed under his baton with the Cleveland, Minnesota, Florida, Boston, and Atlanta orchestras. She has also performed with such conductors as, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Charles Dutoit, Raymond Leppard, Sergio Comissiona, Jahja Ling, and Bobby McFerrin. In January, 2002, Ms. Chandler graced The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Home of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the 2001-02 Season Martin Luther King series, in January 2002. Janice received standing ovations for her musical renditions of Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate, Motet, K. 165 with Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of the guest conductor Mr. Raymond Harvey(Music Director of the El Paso Opera in Texas) She deepened the audience love of her and her voice with Gould's: From Sprituals to Strings Cantata, and with Carter's Cantata. Such a memorable and high evening at the Kimmel Center! Keep Singing Janice. She is married to Dr. Patrick Eteme'. She graces us with the song, "When I Rise, Give Me Jesus" arranged by Darrell Alexander. AWESOME!
Ms. Margaret Thomas: A singer of Zion, puts you in the mind-set of Mahalia Jackson as she belts out "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." Ms. Thomas is a native of Philadelphia and has been singing all of her life. She has traveled with the world renown, Walter Pearson of the Breath of Life TV Ministries. She has literally sung all over this country and abroad. When you hear her, you will want to hear more! UPLIFTING!
Mr. Karl Ford - a native of Pine Forge, Pennsylvania, he is a Baritone-Tenor. Beautiful melodic voice. Darrell, heard him sing and have strongly encouraged him to do more singing. Karl, is the Director of Graphics Design for a private company and enjoys singing. Darrell has told him often that he(Karl) sounds like Johnny Mathis singing. He blesses us singing on the CD, "Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us." Karl sings all over the Delaware Valley and blesses others so often. BEAUTIFUL!
Ms. Linda Scales Mercer - a daughter of a preacher, William Scales, she has been singing since she was a toddler. She has sung overseas in meetings with her father and abroad. Her jazzy voice singing on this CD, "Higher Ground" indeed takes you to a higher ground. She is divorced with one son, and loves to sing and loves the Lord. She will take you from Ground ZERO to HIGHER GROUND! PTL! POWERFUL!
Mr. Justin Hampton - the son of Mr. & Mrs. Leroy Hampton of Pine Forge Pennsylvania. Justin is currently a student at Oakwood College and has always been interested in quartet music, from his father, Leroy. The Hampton's of Philadelphia have always been involved with Acapello music and Justin has been blessed with the ability of putting these sounds together along with his brother - Darryl Hampton, and with Darrell, they put three songs on this CD that are awesome.
Singing with Justin's Quartet is: Joe Fassett, Shawn Tillery and Donnie Bedney and Justin of course. The Quintet, includes - Justin Hampton, Keira Mitchell, Shanae' James, Sean Tillery and Joe Fassett. They all sang under Darrell's directorship when he was director of the Pine Forge Academy Choir. TALENTED YOUNG PEOPLE WOW!
Mrs. Jeri Fondren Jones-Beckham - Darrell met Jeri at Gospel Music Workshop of America and the rest is history. Darrell recalls sitting at the piano one evening and Jeri asked, "Do you mind if I sing?" Darrell said, "No!" Darrell recalls asking her to sing, Jesus Loves Me. He said she wore him out singing that song!. He then told her, if I do another project I will be getting in touch with you. Darrell at the time had no idea that it would be less than 2 months from when they met that he would be calling her to do the lead to the title song," Praise Your Pains Away." She has been singing for years. She is originally from Arkansas and now resides in Dallas with her husband, Terry and their two children and grandson. (they are young grandparents LOL) They both recall that evening while singing around the piano, Sanchez Harding ( a renown Gospel producer) heard them singing and playing and asked them to meet with him that evening a little later and they both did. Sanchez gave them both encouragement and recorded them that night. It was a high light in both of their music careers. When she finishes with you on Praise Your Pains Away, you actually feel the pain of death, sorrow, sickness, tragedy, disappointment, and depression slowly leaving you. AWESOME!
Last but not least, the other Executive Producers outside of Darrell are Sharon and Cedric Baugh of Philadelphia. Sharon heard the song, Praise Your Pains Away on Sept. 8, 2001 after Darrell decided to let a few people hear it so he could hear people singing it. After all, he wrote the song back in June, 2001. After Sharon heard it, sang it with a few other friends, they really enjoyed the song too, and one lady at the rehearsal stated how better she felt after hearing the words. Three days later was the WTC Tragedy, September 11, 2001. It was after this incident, that Sharon felt the world needed to hear Praise Your Pains Away. However, Darrell was to deep into his own depression and sorrows that he did not want to share the song. It had become his medicine since June, 2001. See his mother died, April, 2001. So from June to September, it was his own medicine. But after 3 attempts, Sharon encouraged Darrell to release the song and Darrell refused each time. When Sharon came back the fourth time, she said, Darrell before you answer this time, Pray about it. After Darrell prayed about it for a few weeks, He said, "The Lord revealed to him that the song wasn't given to you just for you. See there are others who will and who have experienced your pains, hence share it." And so ...... the rest is history.
Sharon and Cedric helped Darrell financially with the rest of the project and hence, Praise Your Pains Away. What really was so deep was that, one of the ladies that heard the song originally, a few weeks later, her father died at age 50. Sharon said that when she went over to her home, she was singing, "Praise Your Pains Away." The song, is a powerful message and Darrell thanks Sharon for her persistence with encouraging this project. Sharon and Cedric have been very supportive to see this project to completion.
His musical credits include but not limited to:
The Bobby Jones Gospel Show (5 years) Nashville, TN
The Nashville Gospel Show (8 years) Nashville, TN.
The Abyssinian Baptist Church - Dr. Calvin O. Butts III pastor - New York, NY.
The Salem Baptist Church - Dr. Robert Smith, II, pastor - Jenkintown, PA.
The Antioch Baptist Church in Brooklyn during which time the pastor was the Rev. D. Darrell Griffin.
Miller Memorial Baptist, Philadelphia, PA.
Nashville TN. Churches: Cleveland Street Baptist, Hillcrest S.D.A. Church, Foster Chapel M.B., The Christ Church, Temple Baptist, Pleasant Green Baptist, Riverside S.D.A. Church, and various artist of Nashville.
He directed the Pine Forge Academy Choir 1996-1997. Powerful high school choir in the Northeast.
Darrell experienced so much pain in passing of his mother, Mrs. Leila Thomas Alexander (4-11-01) exactly 5 months to the day of the WTC event (9-11-01). To take this even deeper, Darrell's birthday(7-11-??). So that is very weird. His birthday falls between the death of his mother's and the death of many on that terrible day.
"It was through God, that my pain of sorrow was transformed into songs of JOY giving birth to this project. So I say to you, try praising God in your pains and find out what He is trying to tell you in the midst of your pains.
Hence I share this project with you, Praise Your Pains Away (tm). I pray that you will find healing, hope, God's promises, and encouragement in dealing with your pains through PRAISE! This is only possible though much prayer, determination, faith, and trust in Jesus that He makes NO MISTAKES!" PRAISE YOUR PAINS AWAY.............
Check out the artist's website:
1. Motherless Child
3. Praise Your Pains Away (TM) Monologue
4. Praise Your Pains Away (TM) (Jeri Beckham)
5. Higher Ground (Linda Scales Mercer)
6. He's There All The Time
7. Free Indeed
8. Savior Like A Shepherd (Karl Ford)
9. What A Friend (Margaret Thomas)
10. Nothing But the Blood -Piano Instrumental
11. I Will Early Seek (Justin's Hampton's Quintet)
12. When I Rise, Give Me Jesus (Janice Chandler)
13. Gratitude (Justin Hampton's Quintet)
14. Watch Ye Saints - Piano Solo
15. Let The Words of My Mouth (Justin Hampton's Quartet)
16. The American Millennium Medley