How is it that the daughter of a Jewish Father and a Christian Science mother grew up wanting to be a force in the African-American dominated Gospel Music scene? It was really very easy according to Ami Rushes. “They (her parents) bought me up to believe in God but to choose whatever (religious) path that I desired” says Rushes. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Rushes dad owned a local store on the now infamous corner of Normandie and Florence. Yes that very corner where the riots took place after the Rodney King verdict. "There were several stores that were damaged but my father's store was never touched," a testiment says Rushes to his place in the community.
It was at an old time revival headed up by the late Rev. James Cleveland that the “seeds were planted” for her to start singing gospel music. Her boyfriend introduced her to Rev. Cleveland and for several years she sang gospel with him. Rushes said she learned so much from Rev. Cleveland most importantly how to get up in front of people and just sing with a full spirit. “He was a beautiful man and what a minister of music he was,” she adds.
From that time on the “little Jewish girl” learned more and more about God and how music played a great part in the African-American churches. She began to sing all of the good gospel songs that have inspired Christians for years. Rushes states it was while working with Rev. Cleveland that she accepted the calling to sing the gospel for the Lord.
She has now partnered with top producer Kurt Carr to release her latest CD “Lifting”. Opening with the uplifting Glory to You, Rushes CD offers a spirit filled worship project packed full of old standbys including “I Can Go to God in Prayer”, “Stand by Me” and “Ordinary People.” “We’re going further back this time. We’re going back to stuff you haven’t heard in forever and a day,” said Rushes. Rushes believes that Kurt Carr, whom she has been friends with since his gospel choir sang at her father’s birthday party over 17 years ago, is “the finest gospel producer in America today.”
An active contributor to Save Africa’s Children, a charity founded by her pastor, Bishop Charles E. Black of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, Rushes has decided to contribute 30% of the sales from Lifted to the organization. “Now people can be doubly blessed when they purchase the CD because they know they are giving back at the same time.”