Motown asserted the idea that Black [church-rooted] music was “the music of young America”. Because they were right, they were very successful.
You won’t read about Motown and the churches and the labor movement in titles like Black Detroit and the Rise of the United Auto Workers. But you will in this series.
Who would have thought one of the top Gospel ensembles from the Baptist pantheon would be singing about astrology?
Mobility is a key concept.
While doing some research into James Cleveland protegés and GMWA alums, I ran across this clip of a Keith Pringle song that made me wonder a certain thing.
Things can get contentious when you cross the secular/sacred divide. And the result can often be so beautiful.
Here’s another Reading Room entry listing texts used for the Technologies of Gospel project.
I could listen to Delores/Delois/Dolores Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters sing lines from the Yellow Pages.
If you’re dubious about the Gospel-disco-funk-glam trajectory of Labelle, consider that the album Moon Shadow would come next.
Broadway has gone to church a few notable times in its history, like with 1970’s Purlie. Linda Hopkins was the soloist whose soaring Black Baptist vocals carried that whole play.
The repurposing of a sample from “Love Sensation” into songs by Moby, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and Black Box introduced Loleatta Holloway and Caravans vocals to a new world of secular listeners and fans.
The Black Church sound, which Rev. Cleveland helped to pioneer, made its way across the planet, and in 1978 returned by way of Olivia Newton John.
Gospel Disco Obscurities Friday is a series derived from some Facebook posts to friend, colleague, and public theologian Marvin K. White. It’s all about the networks, and the circuits.