By Robert M. Marovich
Marovich follows gospel track from early hymns and camp conferences during 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 family members and buddies 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 push to acceptance and opened a gate to social mobility for a couple of its practitioners. As Marovich exhibits, gospel track expressed a craving for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. finally, it proved to be a legitimate too powerful and too joyous for even church partitions to hold.
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Additional info for A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
Favors supported the early development of gospel music in Chicago. After being saved under Bishop Mason, Favors served as a deacon at the Church of God in Christ in Lexington, Mississippi, from 1916 to 1918, when he and his wife, Mother Pinkie Favors, and granddaughter Grace became part of the early wave of migrants to Chicago. By 1920, Favors was holding street-corner services in the Maxwell Street area on Chicago’s near West Side. For decades, Maxwell Street was an open marketplace as well as a popular performance space for street-corner evangelists, blues singers, and blues musicians.
35 Columbia’s success with Bessie Smith notwithstanding, OKeh remained relatively unopposed in the race record market in the early 1920s, overcoming competition by Black Swan, a record company owned by an African American named Harry Pace. 36 Black Swan pressed its records at Paramount Records’ plant in Grafton, Wisconsin, which was also the location of the company’s headquarters. This arrangement gave Paramount sales manager M. A. 37 Supper had plenty of reason to be interested 2. “When the Fire Fell” 35 in a better product line because prior to summer 1922, Paramount’s catalog was comprised of middleweight artists and milquetoast output.
Two other selections, “Crucifixion” and “Sweet Heaven Is My Home,” were piano solos. 2. 69 Given the time limitations of the 78 rpm disc, engineer Jones may have signaled Dranes to stop playing in mid-performance. The next two sides established Arizona Dranes as the first gospel recording artist and ushered in an era of sanctified music on record. On “John Said He Saw a Number,” Dranes banged the piano keys with wild abandon and sang in a loud, strident voice, while Jones and Martin responded antiphonally.