By Robert M. Marovich
Marovich follows gospel track from early hymns and camp conferences in the course of the nice Migration that introduced it to Chicago. In time, the track grew into the sanctified soundtrack of the city's mainline black Protestant church buildings. as well as drawing on print media and ephemera, Marovich mines hours of interviews with approximately fifty artists, ministers, and historians--as good as discussions with kinfolk and pals of prior gospel pioneers--to get well many forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and leaders. He additionally examines how an absence of financial chance bred an entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's upward thrust to acceptance and opened a gate to social mobility for a few its practitioners. As Marovich indicates, gospel song expressed a craving for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. after all, it proved to be a legitimate too robust and too joyous for even church partitions to hold.
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Additional resources for A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
W. D. Cook was the first Chicago pastor to appear on a commercial recording, the first Chicago minister to record a sermon commercially was Rev. William Arthur White. 86 He delivered his message evenly, with a declarative but essentially emotionless voice and no studio congregation for exclamatory encouragement. The learned and staid message of Reverend White was evocative of what congregations heard in Bronzeville’s Old Landmarks on Sunday mornings. The tenor of recorded sermons changed when, in April 1926, Columbia Records recorded a series of impassioned sermonettes by Baptist minister Rev.
Gospel music would ultimately overturn Old World progressivism and become the predominant expression of sacred modernity in Chicago and throughout the nation. A decade before Thomas Dorsey, Theodore Frye, Sallie Martin, and others introduced their version of indigenous, religious folk music into deliberative Protestant churches, first in the Midwest and then out to both coasts, the Pentecostal, Holiness, and Spiritual churches were already stirring souls with a musical soundtrack that set hymns, anthems, and new songs to a distinctly modern, urban beat.
H. Ford, started their ministries by pitching revival tents in the city. 26 Part One: Roots Pastors of established churches might have cast aspersions on the growing number of storefronts, but they could not ignore them. St. 75 The tension between the Old Settlers and the newcomers and their preferred style of worship set the stage for an overall shift in the predominant preaching, singing, and worship style of the deliberative urban church. Gospel music would ultimately overturn Old World progressivism and become the predominant expression of sacred modernity in Chicago and throughout the nation.