LARRY CALLAHAN & SELECTED OF GOD
& SELECTED OF GOD
Larry Callahan & Selected of God is the Stellar Award nominated choir from Detroit, Michigan best known for their groundbreaking rendition of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in the Emmy-winning Chrysler 200 "Born of Fire" Superbowl Commercial. Their previous CD,Evolution II, made it to the #3 Best Selling Gospel Album of 2013 and garnered them consideration for Grammy nomination! You also know them from their ovation performances on season 10 of the NBC series "America's Got Talent". These 3-time regional winners of Verizon's "How Sweet the Sound" Gospel Competition have been sharing their talents for 16 years and have traveled throughout the United States, Canada and as far as Paris, France for the Nike France All-Star Basketball Game. They have opened for, and shared the stage, with Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Kem, Cee-Lo Green, Andy Grammer, Trace Adkins, Canaan Smith, Wyclef Jean, B.Slade, gospel legends - the Clark Sisters, Kurt Carr and many more! Doing great things in their city and community has deemed them the title of "Ambassadors of Detroit". Selected of God has recently completed their fourth CD, DANCE featuring selections with Myron Butler, Darius Twyman, E. LaQuint Weaver, Kevin Stewart, Bishop J.A. Williams and Rita Slack.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Pastor Callahan and the SOG choir....They are
certainly one of the best groups I've ever worked with....I'm excited that they are being
afforded mainstream opportunities to share their powerful ministry...I'm positive their
future is bright , and know they will bring joy and motivation to many”
..... Kurt Carr.
Taking the WORD which never changes and fitting it into a world that’s ever-changing, Larry Callahan & Selected of God, a group of resilient singers has taken their “one shot” to make a major impact on the world. From the gritty streets of Detroit, Michigan to the worldwide stage, SOG’s path is one of resilience, hope, and a desire to share a perfected love for an imperfect world.
In 2002, Pastor Larry Callahan answered the call to bring hope to a place that has lost the very essence of the rich history and lasting legacy of the Motor City. With unemployment on the rise, and countless residents leaving Detroit for greater opportunities, many were looking for an outlet, a way to keep hope alive in their beloved city. Pastor Callahan overcame the mounting pressures of religion and social expectations and took everyday people to fulfill a mission.
Larry did what many Americans do: work a job to keep the bills paid while moonlighting as a “dream chaser”. He took the choir to ministries all across nation,sharing the love of Christ singing original music from their prior CDs Lift the Savior Up
and The Evolution. As notoriety increased, however, so did the problems. “There were times when I didn’t know how I was going to feed my family,” explains Larry. “I’d hit rock bottom; no money in my pocket, I even ran out of gas driving to work the day we completed taping the video for ‘Lose Yourself’.”
The mounting pressure of family and pursuing passion would have proved too much for most. However, for Larry, it was his faith that kept him moving Selected of God on the path of success. “The same day I was terminated from work was the same day SOG received payment for our first commercial with Chrysler. God answered a prayer that I hadn’t even had the time to pray for.”
Selected of God has since graced some of the biggest audiences and stages in America from the 2011 Super Bowl and the Detroit Tigers v Yankees playoff game, to a Monday Night Football performance with soul legend Jimmy Scott. They also won an Emmy for their role in the “Born of Fire: Imported from Detroit” commercial, and have
embarked on a musical journey that can only be orchestrated by God. True to their roots, they have worked with world renowned Gospel artists like: Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole, Donald Lawrence and Kurt Carr. Recently named the Ambassadors of Detroit by Chrysler Motors, they have blazed a trail for others to follow. Some teachers, accountants, nurses, military personnel, hairdressers, even the unemployed, are represented in this group who resemble the fabric work of our great country; ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Their successes do not overshadow their humble beginnings. “We’ve been branded a lot of things: the ‘How Sweet the Sound’ choir, the ‘Super Bowl’ choir. Although we are honored by these affiliations, we don’t want to be put in a box. We have the freedom to sing songs about Christ that will change lives. The group challenges the standard views of Gospel music, saying that their “church swag” brings a youthful, vibrant feel to Christianity. “We take the Word [of God] which never changes and fit it into a world that’s ever-changing. For those who don’t understand it, that’s called evolution.”
“One Shot” has been the battle cry of these singers; making the most of their God given talent has brought beauty and glory to a place once considered dark and desolate. Their story personifies the resilient nature of not only the human condition, but also the city of Detroit.
Larry Callahan and Selected of God, you know them! They are the Detroit choir from Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound choir competition. You know them; that choir from the Chrysler 200 Superbowl XLV commercial with Eminem about Detroit. You know them; the 20 singers that when they open their mouths you think that there are 100 people on stage. You know them.
Larry Callahan and Selected of God has been together for over 10 years, bridging the gap of hopelessness, unemployment and economic downturn with the love of God and song. With some 22 singers, the choir has traveled throughout the United States and Canada ministering the Gospel, the Good News of Christ. The notoriety from their exposure in the 2011 Chrysler 200 Commercial garnered them countless opportunities in television and film, and now the choir has returned to the studio releasing their third compact disc, The Evolution II, as the premier artists on Sing2Praise Records.
Graced by the musical and production talents of Grammy Award-Winning Producer, Asaph Ward, and newcomer, Stephen Anderson-Day, the CD boasts 10 amazing songs that leave you with faith, hope and inspiration. “It’s a mix of contemporary and gospel, but we also give you gutbucket songs that will have folks shouting in the aisle” says the choir’s founder, Pastor Larry Callahan. “The Evolution II really speaks to us about how we evolve through our trials and circumstances; getting better and becoming the person God would have us to be. We go from glory to glory, growing in love, grace and wisdom.”
The vocals that SOG have laid are rich, powerful, higher than high, and dig to the depths of your soul – every song, note to note. It feels like Sunday morning on the churchy “Be Still & Know” and you have just got to clap your hands and rock on “He’ll Do”. “These are songs God gave us to remind us that, even in the midnight of our life, the promises of God are still true, how we can trust Him, and are a reminder that He always comes through”. The pleading ballad, penned by Detroiter, Adrian B. King, “Forsaking All Others”, leads you into worship, professing devotion to the relentless pursuit of God’s will. You’ll catch yourself toe-tapping, smiling and dancing in your seat while listening to the driving rhythms and highs of “It Could Have Been Me”. The funky, gritty, high-energy “Dwell in Me” and smooth, mid-tempo “New Creature” are straight from the Word of God, about the love of Christ and the new life we have in Him. “New Creature”, composed by the late Dawna Ward, brings you back to the Detroit Gospel Sound reminiscent of the late Thomas Whitfield.
Another Detroit nod is “Sunshine” the choir’s refreshing of the world renowned 1980’s Clark Sisters hit “You Brought the Sunshine”, featuring the song’s original composer Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell. Sean McLemore contributed the soul-cry “Deliver Me” with its in-the-pocket beat and jazzy high notes of Nikki Ross and Stephen Anderson-Day. There is a universal appeal to the Ward and Bethany Divine tune “Love”, charging all to experience its power as the greatest gift we could give away. The CD wouldn’t be complete without the “Lose Yourself ” track that propelled the choir to international acclaim.
“This is a global project to heal, encourage and empower people, and by far the best work we’ve done.”
“I just love old-school choir music!” That is the one thing you will learn about Larry Callahan. “Good choir music is so hard to find these days, nothing takes me in like a good ol’ choir bump”, says the Pastor of Praise Tabernacle Church in Detroit, Michigan. Larry Callahan is no stranger to your ear; he is the founder of Larry Callahan & Selected of God, the choir best known as the “Chrysler Choir” for their 2011 Chrysler 200 Commercial with Eminem and three-time How Sweet the Sound Choir Competition winners.
Born December 5, 1975, his first church service was December 31 at his mother’s (Déborah Connyer) church, Greater Rock of Ages Church of God in Christ. He often quotes the famous COGIC saying, “I didn’t join it [church], I was born in it!” He got his start at the age of 6 when Superintendent Fred L. Mitchell let him direct the Greater Rock of Ages Adult Choir. Larry later directed the children’s choir, “Les Enfants”, under the guidance of Rosalie Smith, for three years. The family’s membership moved to Elyton Missionary Baptist Church, and it was there he began formal teaching. When Larry was 10 years old, Minister of Music Cecil Hearns, at Elyton, said he saw more in him. At one rehearsal Bro. Hearns got a milk crate from the church’s basement and told Larry “just listen, watch and do what I do.” His gift was further sharpened by the influences of great Detroit directors and musicians like the late Jimmy Dowell, Lucille Lemon, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Michael Fletcher and Thomas Whitfield. He has the unique gift to pull the best out you with his stern, and sometimes hilarious, yet powerful vocal techniques. He can turn the average singer into a flat-out “sanger.” He has held Minister of Music positions since his teens honing many Detroit singers into the best Sunday morning choirs around.
This preacher, director, clinician’s strong Tenor styling has afforded him the opportunity to accompany many renown gospel and contemporary artists: Dorinda Clark-Cole, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Walter Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins, Kurt Carr, Richard Smallwood, Donald Lawrence, Zak Williams & 1Akord, Sherri Jones- Moffett, Vashawn Mitchell, V. Michael McKay, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Ben Tankard, Kem, Wyclef Jean, Trace Adkins, Alexander Zonjic, Keyshia Cole and Patti LaBelle.
Pastor Callahan has received many awards including accolades on the Emmy for the 2011 Chrysler Commercial and the Spirit of Giving Award from the Franklin-Wright Settlement.
Larry has been with his lovely wife, Tresa, for over 25 years. They have two children and reside in the suburban Detroit area. Larry Callahan brings choral music to another dimension. He is a masterful, passionate, creative clinician, melding the new school with an old soul!