Black History Month: the Clara Ward Singers

Brittani Langland

The Clara Ward Singers are a famous gospel group that took over Hollywood in the 1950’s. This group opened many doors for the gospel music industry. They were the first to perform in Las Vegas hotels, at Disneyland, and were very popular all over the country.

Clara Ward started the group because she had a vision that God wanted her to form it. Once the group came to be, The Clara Ward Singers sang at the National Baptist Convention and became an instant hit.

The group added a few more members and then took off. Their songs began playing on the radio. Their mixture of soprano, alto, and bass parts, allowed everyone in the group to show off their talent.

The Clara Ward Singers began to get more and more popular. They soon left their gospel music roots, and began to sing more Broadway themed songs for the upper-middle-class audience. They became so popular that they ended up making two Clara Ward Singers groups. One performed in the East, and one performed in the West.

Clara Ward worked for the group so much that she did not have time for a husband. She soon became ill, but her mother told her God

would take care of her ailments and that she didn’t need a doctor. Ward got two aneurysms, and later slipped into a coma. She passed away in 1973.

The Clara Ward Singers will always be known for their elegance to a musical art form that was considered a glamorous vestige of slavery.

All images legally obtained by/from AP images

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