The Clark Sisters
Detroit has birthed some of the greatest singers in the world: Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Vanessa Bell- Armstrong, The Winans family and many others but there is something about The Clark Sisters - Jacky, Twinkie, Dorinda and Karen (sister Denise left the group in the mid 80's). The Clark Sisters have spent the last three decades singing, preaching, evangelizing, and teaching the word of God across the country and abroad. Carrying on the legacy of their mother the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, a gospel legend in her own right who received three gold records during her musical career, they have influenced a countless number of musical artists in the fields of gospel, pop, rhythm and blues, jazz and hip hop. Their inimitable style has been much imitated in nearly every R & B wail, pop moan, and gospel lick but their singular uniqueness remains untouched.
The group has recorded over 12 albums and have contributed collectively and individually to countless other projects including the Grammy Award winning "Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration". Each sister has a distinct style that contributes to the esscence of what is now known as "the Clark sound". Twnkie Clark, the creative force behind the group has written most of the songs that we know and love today such as the crossover hit "You Brought The Sunshine", "Is My Living In Vain", "Expect Your Miracle (Looking For A Miracle)", "My Mind Is Made Up" and many others. Her organ playing has influenced the way that many of today's greatest musicians play and her powerful vocal range effortlessly soars from bass to soprano. Dorinda, the "jazzy" sister, scats, riffs and runs with a fervancy that places her in a class of her own. She has an inate ability to make each song her very own and she is a preacher to be reckoned with. Karen, the youngest, is an inimitable vocal acrobat whose runs and high soprano range are often imitated but never duplicated. Jacky, the eldest, brings a balance to the high energy vocals of her younger sisters by contributing her sweet yet versatile vocal styling.
After several years of working in their individual ministries, the sisters came back together to record the highly anticipated "Live" One Last Time". This cd topped the gospel charts, propelled the sisters to legions of new fans and garnered them multiple Grammy and Stellar Awards. They released a Christmas cd in 2009 on Karew Records, the label headed by youngest sister Karen and her husband, Bishop J Drew Sheard. The ministry of The Clark Sisters shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to the much each sister's continued successful solo careers, the sisters will be coming together to record another CD.
The Clark Sisters are renowned for their unique vocal stylings, dubbed as "The Clark Sound." They incorporate high and fast melismas, acrobatic trills and riffs, and deep, soulful growls, or "squalls". The sisters are also well known for each distinctive sound that they contribute. Jacky (alto/tenor) is known for her soft, deeper vocals. Dorinda (alto), the "jazzy" sister, inputs scats and riffs. Karen (soprano) is known for her riffs, runs, growls and very high vocal range, and has also been known to implement an "echo" in her live performances. Twinkie with her soulful squalls and growls (alto/tenor/soprano/bass) is credited with being the "heart of the Clark Sisters." Early in the group's development, Twinkie was the chief songwriter, music and vocal arranger, producer and also possessing a wide vocal range from soprano to contralto. There is no single lead vocalist in the group. Jacky leads songs such as "Wonderful Counselor," "I've Got An Angel," and "So Much Joy", and "God Understands All". Dorinda leads "Overdose of the Holy Ghost," "Time Out" and "My Redeemer Liveth", "I Won't Let Go 'til You Bless My Soul", "Determination", "Looking To Get There (Heaven)",and "Sanctify Me Lord". Karen sings lead on "Hallelujah," "Endow Me," the Grammy-winning "Blessed and Highly Favored." Twinkie leads on "Pray for the USA," "I've Got The Victory", and their biggest hit "You Brought The Sunshine." Denise Clark sings lead on Something Worth Living For, Count It All Joy And Christ Is Born Today." The Clark Sisters are the largest selling female gospel group of all time having sold millions upon millions of albums and have paved the way for the contemporary genre of gospel music. They are true gospel legends and their legacy is shared with only a few true great artists.