In A City Called Heaven, Robert M. Marovich follows gospel music from early hymns and camp meetings through its growth into the sanctified soundtrack of the city's mainline black Protestant churches. Marovich mines print media, ephemera, and hours of interviews with artists, ministers, and historians--as well as relatives and friends of gospel pioneers--to recover forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and industry leaders. He also examines the entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's rise to popularity and granted social mobility to a number of its practitioners. As Marovich shows, the music expressed a yearning for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. Yet it also helped give voice to a people--and lift a nation.
A City Called Heaven celebrates a sound too mighty and too joyous for even church walls to hold.
This first volume of Music in Black American Life collects research and analysis that originally appeared in the journals American Music and the Black Music Research Journal, and in the University of Illinois Press's acclaimed book series Music in American Life. In these selections, experts from a cross-section of disciplines engage with fundamental issues in ways that changed our perceptions of Black music. The topics includes the culturally and musically complex Black music-making of colonial America; string bands and other lesser-known genres practiced by Black artists; the jubilee industry and its audiences; and innovators in jazz, blues, and Black gospel.
Eclectic and essential, Music in Black American Life, 1600–1945 offers specialists and students alike a gateway to the history and impact of Black music in the United States.
Contributors: R. Reid Badger, Rae Linda Brown, Samuel A. Floyd Jr., Sandra Jean Graham, Jeffrey Magee, Robert M. Marovich, Harriet Ottenheimer, Eileen Southern, Katrina Dyonne Thompson, Stephen Wade, and Charles Wolfe