Smithsonian Folkways: Classic African American Gospel

Smithsonian Folkways: Classic African American Gospel

     
 

This marvelous set from Smithsonian Folkways includes samples of the various trace sources that eventually crystallized into what became known as gospel in the 19th century, including an assortment of spirituals, choir performances, shout bands, vocal quartets, and guitar preachers, emerging as both a history lesson and as an expressive and even at times explosive… See more details below

Overview

This marvelous set from Smithsonian Folkways includes samples of the various trace sources that eventually crystallized into what became known as gospel in the 19th century, including an assortment of spirituals, choir performances, shout bands, vocal quartets, and guitar preachers, emerging as both a history lesson and as an expressive and even at times explosive listening experience. There's so much to be amazed at here, like Horace Sprott's moving version of "Jesus Going to Make My Dying Bed," the spry, infectious rendition of "You Got to Move" by the Two Gospel Keys (Emma Daniels and Mother Sally Jones), Dock Reed's dark, expressive, and unaccompanied vocal on "Low Down Death Right Easy" and Mary Pickney's perfectly poised voice on the "moaning" spiritual "Been in the Storm So Long." Somehow both varied and unified at once, this collection is essentially a sampler for the vast gospel offerings in the Smithsonian Folkways archives, and each selection leads off to another album the label offers, a clear benefit in this case. Although the term gospel is often applied to all religious music, gospel proper emerged early in the 19th century as a clear attempt to fuse spirituals and church music with the rhythms, arrangements, and approach of pop music in order to reach a larger audience while still retaining the intimacy and power of its musical roots. Gospel, of course, then begat modern soul, and by extension, the whole world of urban dance music, so the roots presented here are in part responsible for a much larger tree than just modern gospel. It's a fascinating world to explore, and this Smithsonian Folkways sampler is the perfect place to start.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2008
Label:
Smithsonian Folkways
UPC:
0093074019429
catalogNumber:
40194
Rank:
51822

Tracks

  1. Jesus Going to Make Up My Dying Bed
  2. Oh Lord, I'm So Glad I Got Good Religion  -  Starlight Gospel Singers
  3. Thank You, Lord  -  Alvin Dockett
  4. When I Was Sinkin' Down
  5. Just Got Over at Last  - Little Brother Montgomery
  6. Moses Smote the Water  -  Thrasher Wonders
  7. Soon, One Mornin' [Soo  -  Rev. Willie Gresham
  8. Dry Bones: Ezekiel Saw the Wheel  -  Missionary Quartet
  9. Holy Ghost  -  Juanita Johnson & The Gospel Tones
  10. Where Could I Go  - Bunk Johnson
  11. Oh, What a Beautiful City  - Sonny Terry
  12. You've Got to Move
  13. Let the Church Say Amen
  14. I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say  -  Bishop Bowen & the Combined Gospel Choirs
  15. If I Had My Way  - Rev. Gary Davis
  16. Low Down Death Right Easy
  17. He's My Rock  - Brother John Sellers
  18. Hallelujah, It Is Done
  19. We Praise Your Holy Name
  20. Don't Let His Name Go Down  -  First Independent Holy Church of God and Unity
  21. Go Tell It on the Mountain
  22. Been in the Storm So Long  -  Mary Pinckney
  23. Medley: Every Time I Feel the Spirit/Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/They Hung
  24. It's Time to Make a Change  -  Madison's Lively Stones

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Little Brother Montgomery   Piano,Vocals
Elizabeth Cotten   Banjo,Vocals
George Lewis   Clarinet
Bunk Johnson   Trumpet
Alton Purnell   Piano
Jim Robinson   Trombone
Dock Reed   Vocals
Baby Dodds   Drums
Panama Francis   Drums
Huddie Ledbetter   Guitar,Vocals
Laurence Marrero   Banjo
Brother John Sellers   Vocals
Sonny Terry   Harmonica,Vocals
Prof. Herman Stevens   Piano
Lloyd Trotman   Bass
Juanita Johnson   Vocals
Mother Sally Jones   Tambourine,Vocals
Andrew Thrasher   Vocals
Gerhart Thrasher   Vocals
Horace Sprott   Vocals
Mary Pickney   Vocals
Nathaniel Benson   Bass (Vocal)
Joseph "Slow Drag" Pauageau   String Bass
Brother Dathan Williams   Vocals
Davina Wright   Drums
Sister Jennie Jackson   Vocals
Annie L. Fitts   Vocals
Emma Daniels   Guitar,Vocals
Elma Sawyer   Vocals

Technical Credits

Brother John Sellers   Composer
Juanita Johnson   Instrumentation
Pete Reiniger   Mastering
Kip Lornell   Liner Notes,Introduction,Annotation
Russell Lee   Cover Photo

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