Songwriter/choral director/arranger Gabriel Hardeman co-wrote Stephanie Mills' 1987 number one R&B hit "I Feel Good All Over" with his wife Annette Hardeman and headed Birthright Records gospel act the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation who's best known for "Feels Like Fire." Philadelphia, PA, figures prominently in Hardeman's success -- he is from Atlanta, GA. Annette Hardeman was a member of '70s disco vocal group First Choice ("Armed and Extremely Dangerous"). She and Hardeman met in Philadelphia.
Originally "I Feel Good All Over" was sent to MCA Records in the hope that label artist Patti Labelle would record the song. But it would up in the hands of another singer on the label's roster, Stephanie Mills. When they failed to get a response from Labelle, the couple sent a song demo to producer Nick Martinelli who was recording tracks with Stephanie Mills. "I Feel Good All Over" held the number one R&B spot for three weeks on Billboard's charts in spring 1987. The track was included on Mills' LP If I Were Your Woman, issued June 1987 and reissued as a 1990 CD, which was certified gold and peaked at number 30 pop in summer 1987.
The Gabriel Hardeman Delegation's self-titled 1979 LP languished until the LP track "Feels Like Fire" began receiving airplay in 1982 on Chicago radio station WGCI-FM's Sunday morning gospel/inspirational music program, which mixed traditional and contemporary gospel music as well as message songs like the Jacksons' "Man of War," "Jump for Joy," "Strength of One Man," and "Do What You Wanna." Other gospel music radio programs followed suit and the year-old LP became a hit.
The Hardemans also wrote "Love Under New Management," a hit for Chicagoan Miki Howard, which parked at number two R&B for two weeks in early 1990. It was included on the 1989 Atlantic LP Miki Howard, reissued on CD. Howard redid the song for her 1996 Warlock CD Live Plus and it was covered by Miss Jones on her 1998 Motown CD Miss Jones...The Other Woman. Gabriel Hardeman and members of the Delegation can be found doing background vocals on numerous recordings including Chantay Savage's 1999 RCA CD This Time, Patti Labelle's "Be Yourself," Phil Perry's "The Heart of the Man," and Teddy Pendergrass' "Joy" and "This Christmas I'd Rather Have Love." The new millennium saw the release of To the Chief Musician, issued in spring 2001. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi