Editor, Emerging Media
Scott Helman has been a staff writer and editor at The Boston Globe since 2000, including stints as a magazine writer, Spotlight Team reporter, political editor, national political reporter, multimedia producer, and assistant Metro editor. Most recently he was editor and director of Globe Live, a live storytelling event at Boston’s Paramount Center in May 2017. He was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting, alongside a team of journalists who investigated the breakdown of the Massachusetts mental health care system. He is also co-author of two books, The Real Romney and Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City’s Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice.
By Scott Helman and photographs by Jessica Rinaldi ,
Together for decades, the group’s timeless music still resonates inside and outside the church.
By Scott Helman and photography Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff ,
They got their start under street lamps, singing doo-wop and soul for family, friends, and neighbors in the Village, a historically black neighborhood of West Newton. That was decades ago. Brothers Walter and Stephen Cooper and a cousin, Richard Evans, have never stopped singing. Even as construction of the Mass. Pike largely decimated their community. Even as their lives were consumed by careers, marriages, children, and personal trials. Even as their musical interests evolved — as youthful dreams of becoming the next Four Tops faded and they gravitated to spirituals and gospel. “We’ve been singing forever, it seems like,” Walter Cooper says. Since 1988, they’ve been performing as the Gospel Love Tones, their timeless music rooted in history but fiercely relevant to the present. “Gospel is the aches and pains and the sorrows and the moanings of a depressed, enslaved people,” Evans says. Stephen Cooper says: “Gospel is, to me, the spreading of the good news.” Today, with a fourth member, Kenny Haywood, the Gospel Love Tones bring warm, four-part harmonies and an uplifting message to schools, assisted-care facilities, holiday celebrations, and to Myrtle Baptist Church, a vibrant centerpiece of the old neighborhood. In this political climate, Evans says, gospel has once again become a source of comfort and hope — especially for African-Americans. “So much is going on today,” Stephen Cooper says, “that we can try to alleviate or bring some sense of peace and tranquillity to this world.”
Perspective | Magazine
By Scott Helman ,
In the federal government and here in Massachusetts, legislators seem to forget they must answer to the public.
By Todd Wallack, Jenna Russell, Scott Helman and Maria Cramer , Globe Staff
The governor has proposed measures to help people with mental illness, but he has declined to speak publicly about the crisis.