The bottom line, though, is that it is put over the top by pure spirit. It gets hold of these 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.
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 a force of nature known as 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.”