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The Rance Allen Group - Black Music Month

Source: Creative Services / CS

The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) closed 2023 with an armful of new gold and platinum certifications by the likes of Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Bobby Darin, and Justin Bieber. Among those new awards was a first-time certification for the Rance Allen Group’s classic track “Something About the Name Jesus” (Tyscot Records), which was certified gold for 500,000 sales on December 27, 2023. The song hails from the legendary gospel group’s 2004 GRAMMY® Award nominated album, The Live Experience (Tyscot Records).

Rance Allen’s brothers Steve and Tom Allen; longtime producer, Chris Byrd; and Murdella Wallace  sister of the group’s longtime road manager, Cecilia Wallace) recently accepted the gold plaques  during a Sunday morning service at the New Bethel Bountiful Blessings church in Toledo, OH where Allen was the pastor for from 1985 until his sudden death on October 31, 2020.

“Something About the Name Jesus” was written by Kirk Franklin with Rance Allen in mind. It was originally featured on Franklin’s 1998, The Nu Nation Project, that featured the megahits “Revolution” and “Lovely Day.” That studio version featured Allen performing the tune alongside Isaac Carree and Lowell Pye. After a few years passed, the Rance Allen Group invited Franklin to open their own live rendition of the song which became just as big as the original version.

“Kirk was the artist of that time when he called and asked me to sing,” Allen recalled in a 2010 interview. “I had already decided that I wasn’t going to sing on anybody else’s project. When he called, I all of a sudden had a change of mind and said to myself, `Let me see what song he has for me.’ So, he sent me the song, `Something About The Name Jesus.’ When he sent it to me, the song didn’t have any verses. So, I’m listening to the chorus line, and I got back with him and said, `It doesn’t have any verses.’ He said he’d write them when I got there and that’s when he wrote the verses. So just like with “Miracle Worker,” the audience demands that we sing that in every show.”

The Rance Allen Group has earned five GRAMMY® Award nominations and amassed over 250 million digital streams during its six-decade career. They started with Stax Record’s Gospel Truth imprint circa 1972 with soulful message songs such as “Ain’t No Need in Crying’” and “Lyin’ on the Truth.” They also had six R&B chart singles, including the 1979 Top 25 gem, “I Belong to You.”  From the 1980s on, Allen mixed music with ministry as he became a pastor in the Church of God in Christ denomination.  The group reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart in 1992 with the album, Phenomenon, which featured the radio smash, “Miracle Worker.” In 2002, they signed to Tyscot Records where they have enjoyed hits such as “Do Your Will,” “Closest Friend,’ “You That I Trust,” and “Something About the Name Jesus.”