Smithsonian Folkways: Classic African American Gospel

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
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: 1/29/2008
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • UPC: 093074019429
  • Catalog Number: 40194
  • Sales rank: 42,035

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Jesus Going to Make Up My Dying Bed (4:23)
  2. 2 Oh Lord, I'm So Glad I Got Good Religion - Starlight Gospel Singers (2:25)
  3. 3 Thank You, Lord - Alvin Dockett (3:48)
  4. 4 When I Was Sinkin' Down (2:35)
  5. 5 Just Got Over at Last - Little Brother Montgomery (2:22)
  6. 6 Moses Smote the Water - The Thrasher Wonders (2:03)
  7. 7 Soon, One Mornin' [Soo - Rev. Willie Gresham (4:59)
  8. 8 Dry Bones: Ezekiel Saw the Wheel - The Missionary Quartet (5:31)
  9. 9 Holy Ghost - Juanita Johnson & The Gospel Tones (3:18)
  10. 10 Where Could I Go - Bunk Johnson (2:53)
  11. 11 Oh, What a Beautiful City - Sonny Terry (2:26)
  12. 12 You've Got to Move (2:48)
  13. 13 Let the Church Say Amen (1:15)
  14. 14 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say - Bishop Bowen & the Combined Gospel Choirs (4:50)
  15. 15 If I Had My Way - Rev. Gary Davis (4:46)
  16. 16 Low Down Death Right Easy (2:18)
  17. 17 He's My Rock - Brother John Sellers (2:24)
  18. 18 Hallelujah, It Is Done (1:33)
  19. 19 We Praise Your Holy Name (5:52)
  20. 20 Don't Let His Name Go Down - First Independent Holy Church of God and Unity (1:27)
  21. 21 Go Tell It on the Mountain (3:05)
  22. 22 Been in the Storm So Long - Mary Pinckney (3:08)
  23. 23 Medley: Every Time I Feel the Spirit/Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/They Hung (3:27)
  24. 24 It's Time to Make a Change - Madison's Lively Stones (3:17)
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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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