Gospel

Gospel

The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.

Cultural Origin

Early 20th-century in the American South

Prominent Artists

Julius Cheeks, Dixie Hummingbirds, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, The Soul Stirrers, Albertina Walker, James Cleveland

Influenced By
J. Wesley Jones, choral director, leads choir through a rehearsal at the Metropolitan Community Church in Chicago in August 1935.
J. Wesley Jones, choral director, leads choir through a rehearsal at the Metropolitan Community Church in Chicago in August 1935.

About The Genre

"African American Gospel music is a form of euphoric, rhythmic, spiritual music rooted in the solo and responsive church singing of the African American South. Its development coincided with -- and is germane to -- the development of rhythm and blues. The precursor to black Gospel music is the African American spiritual, which had already been around for well over a century before Gospel music began its rise to popularity starting in the 1930s"
From the Library of Congress

Trivia/Famous Lyrics

DId you know...

"Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I'm weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my ha-and, precious Lord
Lead me home

Take My Hand, Precious Lord by Thomas Dorsey

Artists from this genre

Thomas A. Dorsey

Thomas A. Dorsey

The father of gospel music.

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson

Considered the greatest gospel vocalist of all time.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Blended spiritual lyrics, bluesy style, and electric guitar.

MORE Genres from this era

Blues

Blues

Born in the Mississippi Delta.

Jazz

Jazz

Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.

Swing

Swing

The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.

Country & Folk

Country & Folk

Black musical tradition is a part of its core.