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Mighty Clouds Of Joy

Source: Leon Morris / Getty

The man known to the world as the The Greatest Male Gospel Singer — Joe Ligon, lead singer of the World Renowned Mighty Clouds of Joy has died at the age of 80.

Joe Ligon – born in Alabama but moved to Los Angeles as a young teen got together with some talented singers and created The Mighty Clouds of Joy back in 1960.  Included in the original lineup were Ligon, Johnny Martin, Ermant Franklin Jr., Artis Turnbough, Elmo Franklin, Richard Wallace, Leon Polk and David Walker.

 

Early in their careers they hit the charts with not only gospel, but on the Pop, Soul and Disco charts. They were one of, if not the first group to do what we call today a “crossover” song.  Songs like “Time,” “Mighty Cloud of Joy,” and “Ride That Mighty High” changed the face of music with the crossover appeal.

Many of Gospels all-time great groups, from the Winan’s to Commissioned, were aided by the barriers broken down by Joe Ligon and the Mighty Clouds in the 1970s, and both Soul and Gospel music have been incredibly influenced and blessed by Joe Ligon’s pioneering work. He will be missed and he will be celebrated for years to come.

He was a personal friend for many years.  R.I.P. Joe Ligon — “We’ve Been In The Storm Much Too Long”