Personnel includes: Shirley Caesar (vocals); Oleta Adams, Kirk Franklin, Desmond Pringle, Patti Labelle, The Caesar Singers, Faith Evans, Dottie Peoples, Kim Burrell, Gladys Knight (vocals); Johnny Edwards, Dana Reed (guitar); Roger Ryan, Fred Vaughn (keyboards); Virgil Straford (organ); Bryant Russell (bass); Elijah D. Holt (drums); Duawne Starling, Shandra Penix, Chris Willis, Kimberly Mont, Kim Fleming, Da'Dra Crawford-Greathouse, Sherrie Kibble, Tiffany Ransom, Candra Carr, Steve Crawford (background vocals).
Producers: Shirley Caesar, Bubba Smith, Roger Ryan, James R. "Budd" Ellison, Randall Ryan.
Recorded at Quad Studios and After Touch Studios Nashville, Tennessee; Sounstation Studios, Franklin, Tennessee.
SHIRLEY CAESAR AND FRIENDS was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.
Personnel: Dana Reed, Johnny Edwards (guitar); Roger Ryan (strings, keyboards); Mark Douthit (saxophone); Mike Haynes , Steve Patrick (trumpet); Barry Green (trombone); Virgil Straford (organ); Fred Vaughn (keyboards); Bryan Russell (bass guitar); Elijah Holt (drums); Kimberly Mont, Tiffany Ransom, Duawne Starling, Da'Dra Great House, Steve Crawford, Chris Willis, Kim Fleming, Sherrie Kibble, Shandra Penix (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jeff Pitzer.
Recording information: After Touch Studios, Nashville, TN; Quad Studios, Nashville, TN; Reflection Sound Studios, Charlotte, NC; Soundstation Studios, Franklin, TN.
Photographer: Tony Baker .
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dottie Peoples; Faith Evans; Kim Burrell; Kirk Franklin; Oleta Adams; Patti LaBelle; Gladys Knight.
Arrangers: Michael E. Mathis; Shirley Caesar.
Throughout her career, including dozens of inspirational records since the 1960s, Shirley Caesar has earned her reputation as one of the most soulful and passionate of gospel singers. That reputation has fittingly won her many famous and talented fans from various musical worlds. In 2003, many of these prominent followers dropped by the studio and joined her on stage for a rousing gospel celebration collected on the Grammy-nominated SHIRLEY CAESAR & FRIENDS.
Her friends include the much younger inspirational singer Kirk Franklin, who joins Caesar on the funky and danceable "I'm Ready," which utilizes her intense voice, reaching an undeniable climax on a thrilling call and response between the two musical preachers. Caesar also has friends of a more secular variety, such as hip-hop balladeer Faith Evans, who provides a more subdued moment on the devotional "Hurting Woman," a soulful, Biblical take on "Stand By Your Man." The most rapturous moment occurs on a live track when she calls R&B contemporaries Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle up on stage to collaborate on the rousing "I Know It Was the Blood." As with the best gospel records, SHIRLEY CAESAR & FRIENDS accomplishes the feat of offering stirring music for both Christian and secular worlds.