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The Mississippi Mass Choir Isn’t Tired Yet

When it really gets going, there is nothing as great good old fashion gospel music. It’s not a musical thing, really. Of course, the folks involved are highly talented.

The bottom line, though, is that it is put over the top by pure spirit. It gets hold of folks and it is just great. Whether its the Ramones, The Pogues, Dave Brubeck or The Mississippi Mass Choir, isn’t the spirit the only thing that really matters, at the end of the day?

Many of the big stars of music, from Aretha to Johnny Cash, were steeped in church music. In its purest form, largely (but not fully) insulated from commercial concerns, it is even better.

At first glance, gospel is a bit different than any other genres. It may be, however, that it simply more obviously deals with deeply felt personal beliefs and attitudes in a more obviously direct way than folk, rock or the blues. That’s a clumsy way of saying that any music that resonates comes from the same place as gospel. Rock, blues and others genres may be gospel for non-believers. That idea is reinforced by the fact that so much secular music flowed from gospel. Click here (iTunes) for the Mississippi Mass Choir’s Greatest Hits (though I imagine the utterly amazing Mosie Burks is on the album, she is not in the cover art) and on the image for a more general gospel album at Amazon.
I happened upon the Mississippi Mass Choir in a general search of gospel on YouTube. It turns out that it is an important gospel choir. Unfortunately, Google warned against visiting the choir’s website (the devil must have downloaded some malware into it).

The Choir, which has the motto “Serving God Through Song,” was started by Frank Williams, who was a member of The Jackson Southernaires and an executive in the gospel division of Malaco Records. The choir’s first record was recorded live in October, 1988 and was the top spiritual album in the country, according to Billboard, five weeks after it was released the following spring.

The monumental soloist in the videos above and below is Mosie Burks. SFGate said that she retired from a career with the South Central Bell Telephone Company and has been with the choir for about as long.

I was going to headline this post “Kick out the jams, sayeth the Lord,” but thought it a bit disrespectful. But I can’t resist having it in here somewhere.

Above is “When I Rose This Morning” and below is “I’m Not Tired Yet.”

Wikipedia and SFGate were used to write this post.