The Reverend Della Reese

What do Puccini’s opera “La Boheme,” the 1960s television series “The Mod Squad,” and gospel music have in common? Della Reese. The iconic performer, who is a singer, an actress and a Reverend in her own church, will perform at The Rrazz Room – -in San Francisco this week.

After starting out as a gospel singer, she had a hit in 1959 with “Don’t You Know,” a powerful ballad created from Puccini’s “Musetta’s Waltz.”

In 1968, Ms. Reese made her acting debut in an episode in the first season of “The Mod Squad.”  The police drama was created to appeal to young “hip” viewers and the stories dealt with drugs, race and counterculture themes. Here is the opening sequence:

Della Reese went on to act in movies and television. Many folks may know her now as the “Angel Tess” in “Touched by an Angel,” the tv series that ran from 1994 to 2003. But she has never stopped singing, both on stage and at her church, Understanding Principles for Better Living, in Inglewood near Los Angeles.  She sings hymns solo, and with the choir, every Sunday.

Best wishes,