Gospel music GETS AUDIENCE ON ITS FEET
By Published: July 18, 2006
American singer LD Frazier turns every song into a story
CAIRO: American gospel singer LD Frazier put forth an astounding one-hour performance at the American University in Cairo. The singer engaged everyone in the audience in the performance and related every song to a personal story of his own.
Frazier opened with the songs “The Lord Comes Down” and “He Never Left Me Alone,” with his deep voice and stirring piano playing providing the audience with a preview of what was yet to come. After his opening numbers, Frazier turned to the audience in the Oriental Hall, saying "It’s a pleasure to be here and feel free to get up and dance, sing and sway along." With every song that followed throughout the rest of the evening, Frazier told the audience a story. Through these stories, the audience got to know him better, learning through the course of the evening about his childhood, his trips and even his students.
The fast rhythm and beat of the song “I'm on My Way to Heaven and I'm So Glad the World Can't Do Me Any Harm,” really got the concert started, as some of the audience could no longer resist getting up, clapping and dancing.
The strong relationship Frazier had with his late grandmother was evident in the concert, as he dedicated the song “Love Keeps Me in a Wonderful Kind of Way” to her and talked about how she made him participate in a prayer service everyday for a few hours "all before breakfast." He also played another song he said that she used to sing all the time, called “We’ll Understand It Better.” This is an old song people used to sing in the American deep south, which he referred to as a "clapping song," a description which was absolutely on target as the audience could not stop themselves from clapping even after he stopped playing, encouraging him to play the song over again, pointing out that "the wonderful thing about music is that you can play it for as long as you want."
Frazier created a comfortable atmosphere for the audience inside the hall - the audience was ecstatic when Frazier began singing “Oh Happy Day,” explaining that this is a song that is featured all over the world. "You can hear it in Tel Aviv, Cairo, even in Las Vegas and Tokyo." People throughout the hall kept clapping, swaying and tapping their feet. Even though everyone had heard this song many times before, Frazier, with his unique, booming voice, made it a memorable experience.
In another song, Frazier explained and showed the movements he made his students do while singing this song, and actually made the audience do them. During the song “This Little Lie of Mine I'm Gonna Let it Shine,” Frazier picked people from the audience, got them on stage to sing along and dance.
Even though he thanked the audience and said he would close with the song “I'm on my Way Down to the Riverside to Study War No More,” he added two more songs as he explained that he just couldn’t close without singing the songs “Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand, Make this World a Better Place” and “Glory, Glory Hallelujah Since I Laid All My Burdens Down.” Following the performance, the audience gave Frazier a standing ovation, the hall ringing with cries of “Hallelujah” and “Bravo.”
Frazier was born in Cleveland and grew up in Buffalo and Los Angeles. He later moved to Detroit and sang with the harmony group Richard Green’s Acapells. In 1974 Frazier decided to devote his life to full-time gospel singing and from New York he has taken his gospel songs all around the world, performing in countries including Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Egypt and Europe as well as making regular visits to the United Kingdom.