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Bishop Manning And The Manning Family

Gospel singer and harmonica and guitar player Bishop Manning was born Dready Manning in 1934 in Gaston, North Carolina. After learning how to play guitar from a cousin at the age of six, music set the course for the rest of his life, although it would take him down two widely divergent paths. He began playing in the area’s bars and juke joints as a teenager, channeling the blues and living the hard-drinking, whiskey-soaked life of a blues musician. This path down the road through the earthly pleasures of secular music came to an end in 1962 when he began bleeding out of his nose and experiencing serious health issues. Convinced that his recovery was due to the prayerful intervention of his neighbors, Manning had what he has since called “a converted mind,” and left secular music behind and turned to gospel music, although his previous bluesy style left its traces on this new path. Along with his wife Marie and their five children (Zacchaeus Earl, Dready Paul, Joyce Elaine, Carolyn Lee, and Clara Marie Manning), he recorded several 45s of gospel on his own Manning (Big Sound), B.L.M., Peatock, and Nashbrand labels as well as for Memorial Records and Hoyt Sullivan's Su-Ann imprint in the 1970s. Later he issued an album, Gospel Train, through the Music Maker Relief Foundation and continued to pastor at Saint Mark Holiness Church in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina while also hosting a weekly radio program on WSMY and playing frequent shows and services at churches throughout the region. Fat Possum Records issued a set of Manning's early gospel singles called Converted Mind through its Big Legal Mess subsidiary in 2011.
© Steve Leggett /TiVo
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