So You Think You Hate Country Music?
Then listen to this. The roots of American country music may surprise you. In this series of NPR programs, trace the gradual development of real country music through the first half of the 20th century. Learn how a woman's instrument of the late 1800s, the parlor guitar, became the the central symbol of country and rock; see how African-American musical forms like gospel and blues meshed with the development of country and early rock and influenced the traditional forms in turn; listen to German-Mexican hybrids of accordian style; find out why women had so many honky-tonk torch songs to sing in the late 40s. The series contains hours of content (narrative, interviews, music tracks), and a multitude of excellent links for deeper digging.
posted by Miko
on Feb 2, 2006 -
Vera Hall was a black woman born near Livingston, Alabama at the turn of the century. She grew up in a supportive family and community, but in difficult, poor rural living conditions. At a young age, Hall became a respected and devout member of the church, and remained so for the rest of her years. But after leaving home, she also fell in with more worldly crowd, for whom blues, craps, and alcohol were the entertainments of choice. The tension between these two spheres-- that of spirituals and the church, on one hand, and that of blues and the juke-joint, on the other-- is a theme that recurred throughout her life and infused her music. She drew upon both perspectives to cope with and overcome her life's perennial difficulties; sadly, it was dotted with tragedy: she lost both parents, a sister, a husband, a daughter, and two grandchildren-- all before she herself passed away in 1964 at the age of 58.
The Vera Hall Project
posted by y2karl
on Sep 17, 2005 -
Ry Cooder once said Dark Was The Night--Cold Was The Ground
was the most soulful, transcendent piece of American music
recorded in the 20th Century. Unearthly
and music of the spheres
were common descriptions long before both became fact when it was included on a golden record was affixed to the star bound Voyager
space probe. My first encounter with Dark Was The Night
was while watching, and then listening to the soundtrack album of, Piero Paulo Pasolini’s The Gospel According To St. Matthew
--or as it is known in Sicily kickin' Bootsville, Il Vangelo de Matteo
--which is, in my humble opinion, the Greatest. Jesus. Movie. Evar. Ironically, coincidentally and serendipitously, it was an apt choice by Pasolini, as the hymn
from which Blind Willie Johnson
's wordless moan derives is a song about Christ’s passion—his suffering and crucifixion. (Continued with much more within)
posted by y2karl
on Sep 15, 2005 -
sung by Mahalia Jackson (mp3)
No artist brought more acclaim to gospel music than Mahalia Jackson
(October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972). Beginning in 1950, her divine
(.wav) talents were featured weekly on Studs Turkel
's radio program, and through her music
and gentle personality she became so beloved worldwide that her funeral
rivaled that of royalty. Mahalia sang "Precious Lord" at Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral -- at Mahalia's funeral, Aretha Franklin did the honors. Mahalia
was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 1997
. Word has it she also made a mean okra gumbo
posted by miss lynnster
on Jan 27, 2005 -
The Mormons Got Game! "Mortality!" Finally, a truly fun, uplifting gospel game!Mortality is built around gospel principles as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, no LDS background is necessary in order to play, enjoy, or win the game, which makes it a wonderful missionary activity. It's great for parties and mixers. Get a game going with your friends, and you'll find yourselves laughing over the troubles each player meets: Your children come home from school with lice; a hailstorm wipes out your tomato plants; you break your arm on the kids' jungle gym; mice invade your teenage son's stash of Twinkies. If you have enough inner strength, you'll grow from each of these challenges. Otherwise, they may do you in!
posted by miss lynnster
on Jan 4, 2005 -
In the spirit of Sunday morning (and the Martin Luther King holiday weekend), I bring to you the news of a musical release of historical proportions. Dust to Digital
has compiled Goodbye, Babylon
an exhaustively annotated, beautifully packaged
collection of American gospel music from the turn of the century up until 1960. Some performers are recognizable names in sacred and secular music
. Others practice lesser known styles like Sacred Harp singing
. Non-religionists, don't feel left out, this music is enjoyable strictly on it's musical and historical import, since along with blues, traditional country and Tin Pan Alley, gospel music both white and black is one of the main foundations of modern American music. Judging by the raves it's
been recieving, this (admittedly expensive, but worth every penny) box set is destined for a place next to the Anthology Of American Folk Music
in the collection of any serious student of American music.
posted by jonmc
on Jan 18, 2004 -
"Now What a Time": Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943
Approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia. The documentation was created by John Wesley Work III in 1941 and by Lewis Jones and Willis Laurence James in March, June, and July 1943. Also included are recordings made in Tennessee and Alabama by John Work between September 1938 and 1941. Audio Title IndexThe John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
Folk singers and folksongs documented during a three-month trip through the southern United States. Audio Title IndexCalifornia Gold: Northern California Folk Music From the Thirties
Materials from the WPA California Folk Music Project Collection, including sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and written documents from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California. The collection comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians. Audio Title Index
(As Always, More Inside)
posted by y2karl
on Apr 14, 2003 -
The best CD I've purchased so far this year is the latest
from the Blind Boys of Alabama
. this record features superb vocalizing, great bluesy guitar, and a Sones(!) and Tom Waits(!!) cover. In an age where "gospel music" has sunk into the quagmire of "Contemporary Christian"
, its easy to forget that old-school gospel
influences on rock and roll. Little Richard, for one, took his trademark "Whoo!" from Marion Williams and countless rockers from Aretha to Elvis learned to sing in church.
Now, can I get an Amen?!
posted by jonmc
on Apr 2, 2002 -
Slim Shady sees the light!
"Eminem has given up alcohol and purple pills...He is 'trading in his hardcore hip-hop MO and going the gospel rap route.'" Furthermore, he's opening a church. Is this all a marketing scam? Something seems shady.
posted by Werd7
on Mar 4, 2002 -
The Beginner's Guide to Effective Email
is such a great resource that it should be required reading for everyone
before they ever send a single email message. I first read this in 1996, and thought the author sounded like an old crank. That was back when 10 emails a day was a lot for me. Now in 1999, I'm getting 150-200 a day and every word in this Guide is gospel. I especially hate it when people don't reformat their quoted messages when replying. Why do email clients allow for typing above the original message? Why not default a reply message to new entries below the original?
posted by mathowie
on Nov 6, 1999 -