The historic Great Hall of the MLK Library will feature an afternoon of jazz and education, with Reverend Sandra Butler Truesdale, historian, and founder of DC Legendary Musicians, on how gospel music influenced the Jazz genre. This program will include a 30-minute panel discussion and an hour-long performance by Lady Mary and Memphis Gold. Learn more about our guests below.
Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler Truesdale, DC Legendary Musicians
Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler-Truesdale, a native Washingtonian, is an ordained, licensed minister serving as Assistant Minister and Local Deacon at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC. She is the Founder and Chair of the DC Legendary Musicians, Inc., a 501c3 service organization, and a former member of the Howard Theatre Board. Currently, she serves as chairperson of the Howard Theatre Community Committee. She is the programmer, writer, & producer of “Don’t Forget the Blues” on Wednesdays on WPFW Radio, 89.3 FM.
Dr. Butler-Truesdale is a DC historian and Rhythm and Blues historian. She has worked for several musicians, including the late Ray Charles and James Brown. She continues to work to document the history of this great music and the musicians of the DMV.
Dr. Butler-Truesdale is a co-author of the book Washington DC Jazz.
Introducing Lady Mary, she’s a powerful R&B, Southern Soul, Motown, and Oldies Singer. Her stage presence and infectious personality surely grab everyone’s attention. Singing comes naturally to this music veteran, who began her career at seven. Her first singing experience starts in the church choir at Southern Baptist Church in Washington, DC. The gospel experience has a significant influence on her vocal style.
At the age of 18, Lady Mary decided that singing was her calling. Her raw talent and unique stage presence made her natural to her audiences. She has recorded CDs with artists such as Jim Bennett, Jacques “Saxman” Johnson, Lil Margie (with the Jewels), Chick Willis, Lou Pride, Roy C, and many more. Lady Mary also has 3 CDs to her credit: Golden Chocolate, Something Special No. 2, and Lady Mary Cover It All. She is often a featured artist on WPFW (89.3FM).
She has countless performances with artists such as the Temptations, The Intruders, Betty Wright, Gwen McRae, Clarence Carter, Tyrone Davis, Gene Chandler, Chick Willis, Roy C, The Jewels, Jacques “Saxman” Johnson, Halo, and many others. She performed for Congresswoman Eleanor Homes Norton for the Annual Senior Day Event at the US Capitol Visitor Center in May 2009. Lady Mary has performed at countless other venues, including Charles Town Casino, Blues Alley, Lincoln Theatre, Carter Baron, The Show Place Arena PG Equestrian Center, Bowie Baysox Stadium, and many others.
Her influences include many R&B vocalists, such as Betty Wright, Gladys Knight, and Denise LaSalle. Lady Mary’s repertoire covers Oldies, R&B, Gospel, and Southern Soul, new an old. Every song has a heartfelt emotion that gives the audience that old-school feeling.
After 25 years of singing with Jim Bennett and Unique Creation Band, she has formed her 6-piece band (Lady Mary and InDaHouse Band). On Sunday, April 26, 2015, Lady Mary's Day, view her band at Lamont’s Entertainment Complex in Pomonkey, Maryland, with standing room only. Her band style of music consists of Southern Soul, R&B, Oldies, and Gospel music. From then on, Lady Mary and her InDaHouse Band are up and running and open for business.
God is her guiding force, and she respects the gift of entertainment He gave her.
Nine international tours and several festivals worldwide have brought Memphis Gold’s high-energy blues to audiences in Thailand, Sweden, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Croatia, Macedonia, Egypt, Japan, Korea, The Marshall Islands, Guam, Guantanamo Bay and so many more. His international appeal landed him on the cover of the world’s oldest blues magazine, Sweden’s Jefferson Blues Magazine, the Living Blues Magazine (USA), the Block Magazine (Netherlands), and the cover of Blues and Rhythm Magazine in the United Kingdom.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1955, Memphis Gold, Chester Chandler was the thirteenth child of fourteen. His musician father introduced his son to the guitar at age 4. By age 8, he was a regular on historic Beale Street in Memphis, playing the guitar and dancing for pocket change from the crowd. At 12, his guitar skills were honed, learning licks at the knee of legendary Delta picker and gospel player Reverend Robert “Tim” Wilkins. His brothers and relatives pastor churches within the Church Of God In Christ. His father's father was one of the founders of the COGIC denomination in the 1800s. Chester is proud to say he is a cousin of Pop/Gospel singer Denise Williams who co-recorded with singer Johnny Mathis and also the cousin of activist Dick Gregory.
After decades of juke joints, blues festivals, and Navy military duty, Memphis Gold landed in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Friendships, regular performances with famed blues harp player Charlie Sayles (W.C. Handy Award nominee, JSP Records), and noted D.C.-based bluesman Bobby Parker made Memphis Gold an everyday staple of the DC music scene.
The blues world continues to discover and love the music of Memphis Gold. Living Blues Magazine, the oldest authoritative Blues Magazine in America, placed him on the cover of their February/March 2009 edition. Gibson Guitars recognized Memphis Gold by awarding him a custom guitar and endorsement. He was thrilled to perform at the Red, White, and Blue Ball, the Official Military Inaugural Ball in January 2009, and 2017 the Heroes Inaugural Ball opening for Brett Micheals. His music can be found on BB King’s Bluesville on XM Radio, Comcast Music on Demand, and radio stations worldwide.