The McCrary Sisters – Living “The Journey”

by Chuck Dauphin

The musical path of the McCrary Sisters has taken them to the heights of the Gospel Music world over their career, and their latest disc, Our Journey, is a reminder of that.

In an interview for MNN, Regina McCrary said their father was very much a part of the sessions.

“It was definitely a dream he had for us,” she said. “All of us girls looked at each other and said ‘Let’s go for it.’ We started out writing songs and picking out others, and doing what came naturally. It’s something that we love to do, and it’s a blessing that God has given us the opportunity while we are all healthy.”

The music on Our Journey is some of the most diverse that you will hear in Gospel Music today. Some of that stems from the fact that they utilized the talents of several of Music City’s finest producers for the project. Tommy Sims, Kevin McKendree, Gary Nicholson, Chad Brown, and Alt-Country maverick Buddy Miller all spent time behind the glass on the album.
Of working with the latter, Regina says it was a match that went together like a hand in a glove. “I love him so much. He and Julie wrote ‘Broken Pieces.’

Keeping things eclectic was part of the plan behind Our Journey, Regina said. “We wanted to give something toe everyone that would make them happy. It’s about singing and bringing joy and happiness into someone’s people life – to bring a confirmation into their life, and to help them. At any given time, we all struggle with something. We all need hope.”

For the McCrarys, being the daughters of the late Rev. Samuel McCrary meant that they were around music from an early age. On any given day or night, the house would be full of the legends, singing their praises to the Man Upstairs.

“It was almost like famous people were a part of your family. The Staple Singers, Shirley Caesar, and Rev. James Cleveland were all there,” she remembers with a great deal of fondness.

“They would sit around and sing. It would impact all of our lives. My father would tell us that they were just regular people like you and me. They have a gift and a talent from God – doing what brings happiness to other people.”
Three of the four sisters pursued music professionally. Ann performed with the Winans, Donnie McClurkan, and Bobby Jones. Alfreda dedicated her time singing and preaching with husband Narcisco Lee. Regina has performed with many of music’s biggest legends, as well.

One of her most memorable stints was with Bob Dylan. “To be out on the road and see people fainting, throwing stuff on stage, and crying, I realized then who he was. All the time when I first went on the road with him, I was just working for somebody. Then I realized just who exactly he was. It didn’t change how I looked at him. I just had more appreciation for the fact that he chose me to sing with him.”

Like her sister Ann, Regina has also spent time performing with one of Nashville’s more endearing musical figures, the legendary Bobby Jones. “He has always been a 100% love for me, as well as my sister Ann,” she says emphatically.

“Dr. Jones, when he was doing his show at WSMV, he had the New Life Ensembles. I was singing with him then. We were taping Channel 4, and I went out with Stevie Wonder, and then Bob Dylan. When I came off the road with him, I got with Dr. Jones again with the New Life Singers. That man is such an awesome blessing. The coverage and the exposure I got with him were amazing. People all over the world could see you. We went to Japan with him to share the stage and feel the anointment of the Holy Spirit. He is such a good hearted person, and always wants you to advance more than what you are.”

She says that all those experiences with artists such as those, as well as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, has prepared them for Our Journey. “Anybody that we’ve ever shared a stage with, we’re so grateful for that. But, more than anything, we are thankful to God for sustaining us, and letting is know that we are in our season. I thank God for that!”

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