The Rance Allen Group (RAG) is celebrating its 40th anniversary in a big way. The legendary band’s first project in three years, “The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music & Ministry” (Tyscot Records), has tied with the act’s 2007 “Closest Friend” CD as the highest debut in its history, debuting at #10 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. The companion DVD is also a big hit and the only black gospel project on this week’s Billboard Top Music Videos chart. At #9 on the survey, it’s sandwiched between Bon Jovi’s “Live At Madison Square Garden” and Michael Jackson’s “Live in Bucharest” DVDs. “On behalf of The Rance Allen Group we are totally ecstatic about where our new project has charted in its first week of release,” says Steve Allen. “ We’re overwhelmed that our fans continue to support and enjoy our music after all these years. We feel strongly that 2011 is going to be the best year yet for The Rance Allen Group and that this is just the beginning of greater blessings to follow!”
“We are so excited about the success of “The Live Experience II” project during only its first week of release,” says Melanie Scott, Vice President and General Counsel for Tyscot Records. “This is a great way for the group to celebrate 40 years in the industry by coming out the door with a top 10 CD and DVD. We’ve been getting an overwhelming response about this project, its musicality and the group itself, which has defined the sound of gospel music and gospel singers for the past four decades. This is only the beginning of what we believe will be an award-winning project.”
The fifteen-track set was recorded live at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. It’s comprised of a medley of prior hits and future classics such as “He Delivered Me” and “Angel.” Making cameo appearances on this musical merry-go-round are Gospel’s First Lady, Shirley Caesar; veteran gospel star Vanessa Bell Armstrong; and Paul Porter.
Forthcoming reviews in magazines ranging from Mississippi’s Living Blues to Soul Bag in Paris, France, indicate the level of excitement the new album and DVD have generated. RAG has also made high-profile TV appearances to promote the project. They perform on The Stellar Awards on Saturday, March 5, 2011 @ 8 p.m. EST on the Gospel Music Channel. They also sing on the syndicated Allstate Gospel Music Superfest and their recent performance on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel” was seen by almost 3 million viewers. The heightened media exposure has even helped lift sells for RAG’s prior CDs such as 2004’s Live Experience that is #15 on this week’s unpublished gospel catalog Soundscan chart
The Rance Allen Group was born in their grandfather’s Monroe, MI church and they began recording professionally in 1971 for Stax Records where they cut gospel songs that crossed over to the R&B charts. In the 40 years since, they have cut classics such as “I Belong To You,” “Miracle Worker,” “Something About The Name Jesus,” and their current Top 30 smash, “You That I Trust.” Visit www.tyscot.com for more information.