© Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. According to Willa Ward's biography of Clara Ward, with the exception of Gertrude and Clara, Willa and other members of the group were grossly underpaid. Although Clara eloped as a teenager (at age 17 in 1941), her mother forced her to tour and the strain caused the always frail Clara to have a miscarriage. When asked during a TV interview what was her favorite concert, Clara responded that these tours in Vietnam during the war were her favorite. in 1969 for several more months. Ward said she was saddened that the health issues slowed her down and limited what she could do with the children. A powerful singer with a preternaturally broad range, she was able to reach the highest registers of the soprano range without losing either purity or volume, and could also swoop down to growling low notes in the style of a country preacher. This testimony was released on an LP issued on the WARD label along with Clara singing "The Lord's Prayer" and a few other Ward musical selections. Nearby restaurants include Tacos Don Pepe's, Mr B's Rib Crib and Waffle House. Her mother, Gertrude Ward, also had a popular religious radio program in the local Los Angeles market. Her beautiful alto (with a somewhat nasal tone) in gospel songs and the Methodist hymns of the eighteenth century continues to delight music lovers. ", Clara Ward's nephew, Edison Nicholson, described her as "an extraordinary person who would give you the shirt off her back. Ten years later, Ward's family said Clara Ward still drew attention when she went out in Erie. Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. REDFIN and all REDFIN variants, TITLE FORWARD, WALK SCORE, and the R logos, are trademarks of Redfin Corporation, registered or pending in the USPTO. Gertrude’s entrepreneurial instincts developed in tandem: she started additional groups under the Ward banner, such as the Clara Ward Specials, and with Ward she started their own music publishing company, the Clara Ward House of Music. When Savoy began contracting with the Ward Singers for new recordings in the 1950s, they were primarily recorded and engineered in Bergen County, New Jersey, by Rudy Van Gelder. Clara Ward is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. When Savoy began contracting with the Ward Singers for new recordings in the 1950s, they were mostly recorded and engineered in Bergen County, New Jersey by Rudy Van Gelder. They had a one-day TV special in London, England. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNpalattella. Alas, money was also at the root of the conflicts that would set in motion the Ward Singersâ decline. Review property details and add renovations. According to Willa Ward's biography of Clara Ward, with the exception of Gertrude and Clara, Willa and other members of the group were grossly underpaid. Franklin of Detroit in the early 1950s. Though Clara Ward's birthday has been erroneously reported on the Internet as "August 21, 1924", according to her sister, Willa Ward, Clara's birthday was April 21, 1924. Ward recorded her first solo song in 1940, and continued accompanying the Ward Gospel Trio, thereafter. In 1969, Ward recorded an album for Capitol Records, Soul and Inspiration, consisting of pop songs from Broadway plays, Hollywood movies and the Jimmy Radcliffe song of hope "If You Wanna Change The World". Her only real happiness seems to have come from her longtime romance with Rev. Williams left the group in 1958 when her demand for a raise and reimbursement for hotel expenses was rejected; she was followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the group–Henrietta Waddy, Frances Steadman and Kitty Parham–who formed a new group, "The Stars of Faith". Willa soon ceased performing and left the group to start a family of her own. 1694 Clara Ward Ave is a house in Apopka, FL 32703. "And she was a dynamic Christian, all the way.". In 1963, Clara Ward was the second gospel singer to sing gospel songs on Broadway in Langston Hughes' play Tambourines To Glory(The first being her former group members, which were known as the Stars of Faith, which starred Langston Hughes in the first Gospel stage play and first play that featured an all black cast to be produced on Broadway, The Black Nativity.). In 1943, the Ward Singers (also known as the Famous Ward Singers, the Consecrated Gospel Singers, and the Ward Trio) sang at the National Baptist Convention in Philadelphia. A gifted singer and arranger, Ward took the lead-switching style used by male gospel quartets to new heights, leaving room for spontaneous improvisation and vamping by each member of the group while giving virtuouso singers such as Marion Williams the opportunity to step forward in songs such as "Surely, God Is Able" (the first million-selling gospel hit), "How I Got Over" (which Clara wrote, one of the most famous songs in the Black gospel repertoire), and "Packin' Up".