A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music by Robert M. Marovich

By Robert M. Marovich

In A urban known as Heaven, gospel announcer and track historian Robert Marovich shines a gentle at the humble origins of an imposing style and its fundamental bond to the town the place it came across its voice: Chicago.
Marovich follows gospel tune from early hymns and camp conferences throughout the nice Migration that introduced it to Chicago. In time, the song 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 kin and neighbors of earlier gospel pioneers--to recuperate many forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and leaders. He additionally examines how a scarcity of financial chance bred an entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's upward thrust to reputation and opened a gate to social mobility for a couple of its practitioners. As Marovich indicates, gospel track expressed a longing for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. after all, it proved to be a legitimate too potent and too joyous for even church partitions to hold.

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Extra resources for A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music

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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. Record companies with better resources, such as Victor, Columbia, and Edison, had signed the top talents of the day and released better discs manufactured with superior sound fidelity. 39 Paramount established a special 12000 numbering series for recordings aimed at the African American consumer. In June 1923, the company experienced its first commercial success in selling black sacred music.

Dranes’s exuberant lead singing style eschewed techniques associated with formal vocal training. Second, exclamations of “Amen” and “Hallelujah” punctuated the performance. Third, it incorporated a secular music style (barrelhouse piano). Fourth, it was a simple song and melody that any congregation could learn. The language came from, and spoke to, migrants whose vocabulary was limited.  . ”70 Three decades later, Dranes’s muscular command of the keyboard and her physical transformation while playing in the spirit could be heard in the rock-and-roll riffs and performance techniques of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.

66 Dranes arrived in Chicago from Fort Worth on Wednesday, June 16, 1926. The following day, accompanied by Jones and OKeh recording artist Sara Martin as her seeing companion for the visit, she sang and played in a south Loop studio. Jones engineered the session. 68 Dranes sang and played piano with urgency, but the tracks were unexceptional. 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.

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