By Robert M. Marovich
Marovich follows gospel track from early hymns and camp conferences throughout the nice Migration that introduced it to Chicago. In time, the tune 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 relations and acquaintances of prior gospel pioneers--to get well many forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and leaders. He additionally examines how an absence of monetary chance bred an entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's upward push to reputation and opened a gate to social mobility for a couple of its practitioners. As Marovich exhibits, gospel song expressed a craving for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. finally, it proved to be a valid too strong and too joyous for even church partitions to hold.
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Extra info for A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
While disagreements about church policies prompted the organization of the Pilgrim and Ebenezer prayer bands, the substance of the worship experience itself was often the factor leading migrant prayer bands to form. Some prayer bands received a tongue-lashing from bourgeois, middle-class individuals. As early as September 1921, the Defender chided that the exuberant sound of prayer 1. Got On My Traveling Shoes 23 bands in residential areas was inappropriate: “These religious enthusiasts do not seem to realize that residential neighborhoods are liable to have people living there who do not share with them in their demonstrative manifestations of religious devotion.
27 Services included song, testimonies, a sermon, and healing. 28 To COGIC members, or “saints,” music was improvisational by definition. In step with the Azusa Street Revival, COGIC singing was inspired by the presence of the Holy Spirit and, like the Holy Spirit, could materialize at any time. 29 Singing and music making was participatory and central to the service. The musical component could extend for long periods, depending on the height of the spirit during the service. Everyone, regardless of musical talent, was encouraged to join in.
One pastor of a church that embraced the religious practices of the South told Daniel: “There are persons whose churches have some very polished ministers, yet some steal away and come here. . In getting spiritual food, the people get to the state of ecstasy. ”70 Belonging to a church that felt like home and sounded like home, migrants not only could move “up to a spiritual plane” but also were able to establish a distinct identity and sense of belonging in the unfamiliar urban frontier where both identity and belonging were elusive.
A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music by Robert M. Marovich