Bebe and Cece Winans come from a big musical family. They were the seventh and eighth of ten children. Four of their older brothers were already recording as The Winans when Bebe and Cece were still in high school. Four of their nephews, sons of the original The Winans, formed the group Winans Phase 2 in 1998.
Bebe and Cece got their professional start in 1982 as part of The PTL Singers. They left that group in 1987 and were signed as a duo to Sparrow records. That was the same year that Sparrow introduced Steven Curtis Chapman and Margaret Becker.
By 1991 Bebe & Cece had already had a number of hits on Contemporary Christian, Gospel and R&B radio. That year they released their third album for Sparrow, “Different Lifestyles.” That record had two songs that went to #1 on both the R&B and Christian charts, “Addictive Love” and “I’ll Take You There.”
“I’ll Take You There” was originally recorded by another family act who had their roots in Gospel music, the Staple Singers. They released the single in 1972 and it went to #1 on both the pop and R&B charts. Mavis Staples sang lead on the record and also appears on the Bebe & Cece recording and video of the song.
The song was written by Stax Records vp Al Bell, under his real name, Alvertis Isbell, after the funeral of his younger brother, who had been shot to death. The song came in at #276 on the “Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Here’s the Bebe & Cece music video version of “I’ll Take You There.”
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