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The Gospel According to Bobby Jones

This link sums up my feeling about gospel music.

There isn’t too much available about Bobby Jones, who hosts gospel shows on BET and elsewhere. However, the bigger issue is gospel music. Here is part of a nice commentary at Wikipedia:

Gospel music in general is characterized by dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) referencing lyrics of a Christian nature. Subgenres include contemporary gospel, urban contemporary gospel (sometimes referred to as “black gospel”), Southern gospel, and modern gospel music (now more commonly known as praise and worship music or contemporary Christian music). Several forms of gospel music utilize choirs, use piano or Hammond organ, tambourines,drums, bass guitar and, increasingly, electric guitar. In comparison with hymns, which are generally of a statelier measure, the gospel song is expected to have a refrain and often a more syncopated rhythm.

Many attempts have been made to describe the style of late 19th and early 20th century gospel songs in general. Christ-Janer said “the music was tuneful and easy to grasp . . . rudimentary harmonies . . . use of the chorus . . . varied metric schemes . . . motor rhythms were characteristic. . . . The device of letting the lower parts echo rhythmically a motive announced by the sopranos became a mannerism . . .”[1]

Patrick and Sydnor emphasize the notion that gospel music is “sentimental”, quoting Sankey as saying, “Before I sing I must feel”, and they call attention to the comparison of the original version of Rowley’s “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story” with Sankey’s version.[2] Gold said, “Essentially the gospel songs are songs of testimony, persuasion, religious exhortation, or warning. Usually the chorus or refrain technique is found.”[3] (Continue Reading…)

Above is “I Am a Soldier in the Army of the Lord.” Below, Jones and The New Life Singers appear on an episode of “Nashville Now” hosted by Wayne Newton and performs a medley of “I’ll Fly Away,” “Down by the Riverside” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”  Newton walks on during the last song of the medley.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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