Gospel-music legends star at two-day event

Published 9:04 pm Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mae Rodgers, general manager of radio station WTOW, says this weekend’s concerts will exciting and uplifting. The event will feature Crystal River, The Mighty Clouds of Joy and Michael Combs with Tammy Edwards and the Edwards Sisters. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Michael Combs and Crystal River will headline a two-day gospel concert tonight and Saturday at the Temple of Jesus Christ Family Center.

Mae Rodgers, general manager of radio station WTOW, is the mastermind behind Together We Can 2012, an event that will feature gospel legends, rising stars and local talent.

She described the concert as a chance for the community to come together for something positive and uplifting.

“It’s an idea that God … gave me,” Rodgers said. “And it’s been coming together like a puzzle. It’s been little miracle after little miracle.”

She said the first miracle was coming up with a name for an event that includes two nights of music and two days of worship.

It was also a miracle to book the legendary gospel group The Mighty Clouds of Joy, she said. The three-time Grammy winners have been harmonizing for 50 years and were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

“It’s really unheard of in a city like Washington,” Rodgers said. “I’ve done gospel programs before, but never this big, never back to back and never with anybody this big.”

She called Crystal River the “Jonas Brothers of gospel music.” The trio likes to put a contemporary spin on gospel music with hits like “It’s a Breeze in The Heat of The Flames” and “I’m Here Because Jesus Went There.”

Rodgers has been trying to get her friend, Michael Combs, to perform in Washington for a long time, but their schedules never lined up. He will take the stage Saturday night with Greenville singers Tammy Edwards and the Edwards Sisters.

“When you hear him, you will fall in love,” Rodgers said.

The event started as a one-day revival. Two months of planning mushroomed into concerts, ministry services, free food and a family fun day.

Before tonight’s 7 p.m. concert, several evangelists and pastors will speak at a welcoming service. That service begins a 3 p.m. and will be at the concert venue at 810 Hackney Ave.

On Saturday, Rodgers will broadcast live at the WTOW studios, where local acts will perform during a free family fun day with free refreshments. The festivities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday night’s concert starts at 6 p.m.

Tickets are available at the radio station, 408 N. Market St., and at the door the nights of the concerts. For more information, call the station at 252-975-1320.