Walking into the doors of the BET Studio for the very first taping of Joyful Noise hosted by Tye Tribbett was quite invigorating. The fresh vibrant look of the stage complimented the aura of the host, which is simply energy. Tye is a natural in front of the camera. I underestimated him, as I expected a lot of miscues & missteps but is was minimal at most. When it finally did occur, we were already into early Saturday morning doing final takes of the night. Fatigue at that point was honorable. He’s on a clear mission to excel in this new venture being simultaneously professional while remaining down-to-earth. The host on the stage, is the same guy chilling with the audience during performances and between takes every chance he could. Tye communicated with everyone, and was inept with what was happening in front and behind the camera.
My observation didn’t end with Tye. Actually, I should have begun with whomever was in charge. Realizing it’s been a very long night of recording, at about 10:38pm (after Ricky Dillard & New G slayed the stage), the production team decided to feed the audience, as a token of their appreciation (3 points for the churchy insert!) Now maybe I’m just a novice, because this was my very first time being a member of a studio audience for a TV production, but I was dumbfounded. You mean to tell me, I get to sit here, up front, listen to a legendary artists I admire, and eat dinner, FOR FREE? I was blown away. I wasn’t going to do this… but yes, there were a few weary old timers in the crowd that didn’t share my sentiments, and actually felt entitled to this act of grace by the production team. Please understand the pettiness of The Ancient Shade Side Baptist Crew could not cut into the energy of Tye Tribbett’s BET arrival. Even after scoring their ultimate petty points of getting a plate and leaving (lol), the love and joy in the room remained stellar. It was a heavenly atmosphere which I’m sure rested on the prayers of Tye’s team.
Now, I made mention of the fact that the first night of recordings were very long, but that in no shape, form or fashion is a knock on the show. I get it. I understand TV Magic, and I understand this is the humble beginnings of what can be a pivotal turning point for gospel music, and it’s portrayal on network TV. So with that said, I was thoroughly uplifted, entertained, and grateful to sit for a good six hours and enjoy (for free) the legendary Shirley Caesar, the remarkable Fred Hammond (his air guitar is amazing live), the outstandingly captivating Ricky Dillard & New G, and the incomparable Israel Houghton! I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the smooth sounds of Briana Babineaux (powerful testimony) and the ever-constant Bryan Andrew Wilson whom each blessed the stage with a track. I had to take heed to the voice of Joshua Rodgers, who’s such a phenomenal artist. And for such a time as this, don’t you dare sleep on “the” Bryan Popin.
I was even compelled to let out a 1 am praise break with the gifted YouTube sensation, Kelontae Gavin. It was the last performance of the night and the young 17 year old lion belted out “I Won’t Complain”. I’m sure TV magic won’t allow this entire rendition to be viewed on the final cut, since it’s a mere artist spotlight, but talk about icing on the cake. The first recording was clearly too long for the producers taste, so he had to sing it again. Though shorter in length, the spirit in the song was immense! You can ask whoever was there, at 1AM, Mr. Gavin had to quench the spirit. It was a wrap! Show was over! He had to quench it, or else we would still be going, because ain’t no party like a holy gh— nevermind. Just know this: Kelontae is a young man of valor with his heart on his sleeve.
Live music, soul-gripping quick sermons, comical video shorts, and touching testimonies all to be rolled strategically into a one-hour program. I won’t soon forget my experience at the inaugural recordings. I’ll reiterate that the crew is something special. It appears to be the beginning of a great work family that’ll be together for years to come. I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a Bobby Jones Gospel taping in its illustrious 35 years. I’m glad I can say I was there for the first tapings of “Joyful Noise” hosted by Tye Tribbett. Prepare to witness a syndicated happening that is genuine, graceful, and real.