Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music

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The Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music is a comprehensive reference source covering all aspects of both African American and white gospel from history and performers to recording techniques and styles, as well as the influence of gospel on different musical genres and cultural trends. Now available in paperback, this work is a valuable reference for both scholars and the general reader.

Organized alphabetically to facilitate searching, this encyclopedia also contains many reference tools to aid the user such as bibliographic and references at the end of entries, a thorough and analytical index, and black-and-white illustrations.

Entries include:

  • biographical profiles of numerous performers, such as Andrae Crouch, and influential figures in the development of gospel music, such as Isaac Watts
  • important events in the history of gospel such as the Azusa Street Revival
  • broadcasting outlets, such as radio station WLAC AM, and record companies, such as Canaan Records, that were prominent in gospel’s history
  • publications, such as The Singing News, significant songbooks, such as Gospel Pearls, and noteworthy publishing companies, such as Lillenas, all of which helped popularize some of the best-known gospel songs
  • topics ranging from instruments frequently used by gospel performers to types of performing groups, such as gospel quartets and gospel choirs, to the unique qualities of gospel as it is composed and performed in different regions around the United States, to the globalization of gospel.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The treatment is straightforward ... McNeil's title will likely become the definitive work on the subject and fills a gap in a field that has had only sporadic reference documentation ... Recommended for all libraries.' - Library Journal
Library Journal
McNeil, the former folklife director of the Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas, here goes beyond his core subject-American gospel music-to cover awakenings and revivals from the 18th to the 20th century, contemporary Christian artists, record labels, religious organizations, major song collections like The Sacred Harp, and musical styles (e.g., spirituals). Jacqueline DjeDje (American Black Spiritual and Gospel Songs from Southeast Georgia), Kip Lornell (The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to American Folk Music), and Charles K. Wolfe (Kentucky Country: Folk and Country Music of Kentucky)-all familiar names in American vernacular music studies-count among the contributors, as do others from as far afield as England and Sweden. The 400-plus signed, two-column A-Z articles range from a few paragraphs to several pages in length; the treatment is straightforward, with evaluative comments supported with quotations and citations to other authorities. Brief bibliographies (including historical and current print titles), Internet sites, and selective discographies accompany most entries. Twenty representative photographs, an exhaustive index, and useful See Also references complement the text. Bottom Line Despite a few curious omissions (e.g., Bill and Gloria Gaither, whose impact on gospel music since the 1960s is extensive) and a lack of cross references within the body of the text, McNeil's title will likely become the definitive work on the subject and fills a gap in a field that has had only sporadic reference documentation (e.g., Robert Anderson and Gail North's Gospel Music Encyclopedia, 1979; Sherry and Herbert Du Pree's African-American Good News (Gospel) Music, 1993). McNeil died in April 2005 at age 64; this encyclopedia is a fitting tribute to his devotion to the cause of American traditional music and is recommended for all libraries.-Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415941792
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. William K. McNeil was the folklorist at the Ozark folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. Dr. McNeil worked for the Smithsonian Institution and the Office of State History in Albany, NY. In 1995, he was elected to the Fellows of the American Folklore Society. He was the author of sixteen books and produced thirty-six recordings dealing with folk, popular, country, and gospel music. His Smithsonian Collection of Classic Blues was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1993.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors

List of Entries A-Z


Entries A-Z


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