The Clark Sisters
The Clark Sisters
They are the most successful female group in the history of Gospel music, and they are the pride of Detroit. The Clark Sisters - Jacky, Twinkie, Dorinda and Karen (sister Denise left the group in the mid 80's) began performing together as children, and have been part of our lives now for a half century of greatness.
Driven to success by their accomplished monther, the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark (a Gospel legend who received three gold records during her musical career), they opened doors for multiple generations of artists -- particularly female artists -- by taking control of their music and their careers, and breaking the glass ceilings previously put on women in music.
Twinkie Clark emerged early on as the principal songwriter and creative lead for the group. She created teh boundary breaking hit "You Brought The Sunshine" - one of the most important Gospel crossover songs in history - as well as top hits like "Is My Living In Vain," "Expect Your Miracle (Looking For A Miracle)," and "My Mind Is Made Up." But each sister played a key role in the group's success. Oldest sister Jackie, who balanced her career in the group with a nursing career, was the glue. Karen, the youngest, is a vocal wonder with a multi-octave range that is legendary. And Dorinda is the most adventurous vocalist in the group, able to take songs through and between genres with just a few notes.
The group recorded its first album, Jesus Has a Lot to Give, in 1973, and it began a string of successful studio albums that moved the Sisters to the upper echelon of Gospel singers. But the lid blew off with the live album My Living In Vain, one of the biggest selling Gospel albums of its time. And they followed it with the ambitious 1983 album You Brought the Sunshine, the reggae-tinged title track of which brough them massive crossover success.
Around this time, the sisters were forming their families, and it became more difficult to record and tour. But they nonetheless scored a number of chart-topping albums throughout the 80s and into the early 90s, before splitting to pursue solo careers. Jackie, Dorinda and Karen recorded and toured together from time to time, but each also recorded solo albums, as did Twinkie, with all achieving some level of success. They came together again in 2006 for the album Live…One Last Time, and a successful national tour, and then followed with a Christmas album in 2009.
More than a decade later, the sisters released a new studio album, The Return, which was timed to coincide with the Lifetime channel biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, which became that network’s most popular movie of the year.