Cora Harvey Armstrong’s First CD
By Bill McGee
804 Music Producer/Engineer/Owner
The 804 Music group is so very proud of our first Gospel CD by the anointed Rev. Cora Harvey Armstrong. The CD was initiated by a request from retired school Principal Sally Ribeiro. Sally wanted to know what would it take to record a CD on Cora Harvey Armstrong? Rev. Armstrong, over the period of many years, performed for Ribeiro at many school functions and graduation programs at Richmond’s alternative school ACDC. It was her passion and excellence that inspired Ribeiro to get Cora’s CD recorded.
Greater Is He is a fourteen song CD which includes twelve original compositions and two classic hymns, “Amazing Grace” and “Precious Lord (Take My Hand)”. What most people will discover from this CD is that as well as being an outstanding pianist on the level of Aretha Franklin, with a big deep voice like Mahalia Jackson and a gritty soulfulness similar to Rev. Shirley Caesar, Rev. Cora Harvey Armstrong is an absolutely gifted composer and psalmist.
Born and raised in historic King and Queen County, Cora Harvey was called to music as a child. She had the gift and it became obvious early in her life. Being raised in a singing family as one of “Those Harvey Girls”, Cora has been singing and praising God all over the world. Having majored in music at Virginia State University, where she greatly contributed to the historic legacy of the VSU Gospel Choir as director, Cora, for forty years, has been a favorite Gospel Music Performer at festivals around the country and abroad. She’s toured and lectured on Gospel Music in Japan; she’s performed all over Europe with Earl Bynum and has become a sought-after artist, pianist, and psalmist.
The first single, “Joy In Paradise”, which was released in August of 2015, is picking up radio air play all over the country and abroad; “Joy In Paradise” is a romping spirited song written by Rev. Armstrong; a sing along, hand clapping, Holy Ghost filled song that has the classic Harvey Girl sound. The CD Greater Is He is scheduled for worldwide release, Friday, August 21, 2015. The Harvey girls are sisters Rev. Virginia Harvey Young, Clara Harvey Jackson, Clarissa Jackson (niece) and Rev. Cora Harvey Armstrong. Those Harvey girls have been singing together for over fifty years and have that classic gospel sound only achieved by siblings. Those Harvey Girls is actually the title of a play that featured the singing Harvey family, which had a very successful and well-attended 2015 run at the Swift Creek Mill playhouse in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Sisters Virginia and Clara, soloist, are featured on two selections and Clarissa sings a duet on “I am so Grateful” with her Aunt Cora.
Every song on the CD is edifying and anointed, however, there are several songs that will immediately become favorites. The title song “Greater Is He”, “Not Guilty”, neo soul flavored “For the Lord is Good” written by Cora and her Nephew (Kevin Jackson), which features those Harvey Girls and the acclaimed jazz saxophonist “James Saxsmo Gates”; the beautiful “I Must Go Through”, and “The Just Shall Live by Faith.” To that end, we sincerely believe that this CD is going to be a blessing and a favorite for all those who enjoy classic gospel music.