“I think my best song is still in front of me.”
Marvin L. Winans, Pastor of Detroit’s Perfecting Church and founding member of the legendary gospel quartet The Winans, is the recipient of multiple heavenly gifts. In addition to being one of the best singers in his family (which is saying quite a lot) and of his generation, he’s a prolific songwriter.
During our recent phone chat, Winans told me that he wrote his first song, “God Is A Miracle Worker,” when he was just 13 years old. He went on to write songs for most of his nine musical siblings.
I joked that Winans didn’t have enough siblings to sing all of the songs that he’d written.
“Yes, there were enough of them,” Winans warmly laughed. “They just didn’t want my songs!”
Whether Winans’s famous brothers and sisters rejected songs from the man who penned classics like “Straighten My Life Out” and “Millions” or not, the singer / songwriter went on to collaborate with a dizzying list of artists from a variety of different genres. One of them, Anita Baker, is from his Detroit hometown.
“I met Anita in the airport,” Winans remembered. “A week earlier, I’d seen her on the cover of Ebony Magazine. I had never seen her before, but I’d heard her song on the radio. In fact, my cousin, Gary Glenn, had written ‘Caught Up In The Rapture’ for her.”
Winans told me that his introduction to Baker was fairly nondescript, and I assumed that the pair had trotted off to the recording studio to cut the classic “Ain’t No Need To Worry,” for The Winans’ 1987 Decisions album.
As it turns out, another 80s diva had her sights on the song before Baker ever got ahold of it: “The Voice” herself, Whitney Houston!
Read MPC’s full feature and hear Winans’s recollections of working with Baker, Houston, Stevie Wonder and other legends during his groundbreaking tenure with The Winans. Also, learn about the upcoming cover of “The Question Is” and other upcoming projects, and why Winans believes his best song is still ahead of him!