Mighty Clouds of Joy Biography

Mighty Clouds of Joy
Mighty Clouds of Joy. PGA Music

Mighty Clouds of Joy Formed:

The Mighty Clouds of Joy was formed in 1955 in Los Angeles, California. The original members were Walter Ligon, Johnny Martin, Richard Wallace and Elmer Franklin. The group has won three Grammy Awards, several Stellar Awards, Hall of Fame Inductions, Lifetime Achievement Awards, with more nominations and top selling hit albums along the way

Mighty Clouds of Joy Current Members:

  • Joe Ligon
  • Richard Wallace
  • Michael McCowin
  • Wilbert Williams
  • Johnny Valentine
  • Ron Staples
  • Ronald Clark
  • Ulysses McKiver IV

Former Members Include:

  • Artis Turnbough
  • Paul Beasley
  • Elmeo Franklin
  • Dwight Gordon
  • Ermant Franklin
  • Leon Polk
  • Hamp Carlton
  • Tony Jeter

Members Who Have Gone Home:

  • Johnny Martin - the founding member died in 1987 at the age of 46.
  • Elmo Franklin died in 2008 at the age of 71
  • Michael Cook died in 2009 at the age of 46 after suffering a massive coronary. He had been a member of the group for 20 years.

Mighty Clouds of Joy - In the Beginning:

Born and raised in rural Alabama, Joe Ligon was a musically gifted but shy young man who had grown up in the church and sang there for as long as anyone can remember. He moved to Los Angeles to live with his uncle when he was in his early teens. It was there that he met Johnny Martin in school. The two started singing together and founded the group, pulling from other popular gospel groups in the area to round out the line-up.

By 1960, they had a major Gospel record deal with a hit single and album flying up the charts.

The Early Days:

The Mighty Clouds of Joy was one of the first groups in urban gospel to incorporate choreographed moves into their act. Their moves earned them "The Temptations of Gospel" moniker. Younger fans loved it while older, more traditional fans did not.

They were also the first group to add bass, drums and keyboards to their music (the "standard" for quartets/groups at the time was a solo guitar). Another first, the Mighty Clouds was the first gospel act ever to appear on television's Soul Train, where they performed their disco smash "Mighty High."

Mighty Clouds of Joy Discography:

  • Family Circle, 1960
  • A Bright Side, 1960
  • The Mighty Clouds Live at the Music Hall, 1966
  • Sing Live Zion Songs, 1968
  • Catching On, 1972
  • Live at the Apollo, 1972
  • Kickin', 1975
  • It's Time, 1976
  • Truth is the Power, 1977
  • Love and Direct, 1978
  • Changing Times, 1979
  • Miracle Man, 1982
  • Mighty Clouds Alive, 1985
  • Cloudburst, 1985
  • Sing & Shout, 1987
  • Night Song, 1987
  • Pray for Me, 1990
  • Power, 1995 
  • Glory Hallelujah, 1995 
  • Together as One, 1996
  • Live in Charleston, 1996 
  • It Was You, 1999
  • I Want to Thank You, 2002
  • In the House of the Lord: Live in Houston, 2005 
  • The Mighty Clouds of Joy, 2006
  • Movin, 2007 
  • If Jesus Can't Fix It, 2007
  • At the Revival, 2010 
  • All That I Am, 2013
  • Down Memory Lane: Chapter 2, 2014
  • My Time's Not Over, 2015 
  • God Is, Yes My Good Is, 2015 

Mighty Clouds of Joy Starter Songs:

  • "Jesus Will Turn It Around" 
  • "Power Of The Holy Ghost" 
  • "I Get A Blessing Everyday" 
  • "Pray For Me" 
  • "I've Been In the Storm Too Long"

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    Jones, Kim. "Mighty Clouds of Joy Biography." ThoughtCo, Nov. 20, 2017, thoughtco.com/mighty-clouds-of-joy-biography-710696. Jones, Kim. (2017, November 20). Mighty Clouds of Joy Biography. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/mighty-clouds-of-joy-biography-710696 Jones, Kim. "Mighty Clouds of Joy Biography." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/mighty-clouds-of-joy-biography-710696 (accessed December 12, 2017).