Staple singers gospel gold - - List of Gospel Groups

By the time the Staple Singers' string of R&B hits kicked off in the early Seventies, Mavis Staples' liquid contralto had already been tearing the roof off with her family's gospel group for two decades and had become the signature voice of the civil rights movement. She'd had some trepidation about playing to secular audiences, but as her father, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, told her, "The people in the clubs won't come to church. So we take the church to them." It worked: She's got the most undiluted gospel technique of any pop star ever. (Check out the Staples' transcendent take on "The Weight" in The Last Waltz.) In 2001, Bob Dylan described the first time he heard her sing: "That just made my hair stand up, listening to that. I mean, that just seemed like, 'That's the way the world is.'"

In the years directly following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865, many newly free blacks discarded the spirituals as reminders of a time they wanted to forget. They were called “sorrow songs,” these folk tunes that spoke of a weary people held captive and beat down because of their race. But there was no getting over the songs, which resonated so deeply with listeners. Post-slavery singing groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers trained their voices to sing the cultured songs of European composers, but it was always “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Ezekial Saw the Wheel” and the rest of the slave songs segment of the program that brought audiences to their feet.
So many old spirituals, such as “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep,” “Didn’t It Rain,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” endure today, because they provide the same lift, the same kinship through melody, as they did 150 years ago.
Blues music also sprung from the spirituals, with such bleak numbers as “Nobody Knows the Trouble I See” and “Steal Away To Jesus” laying the foundation for the lyrical realism that would be the domain of Delta bluesmen. But there’s also great release in the growling rhythms. Just as the slaves sang “The Lord Delivered Daniel (Why Not Me)” to hoist their spirits, blues singers shout about no-good liars and cheats as a way to get over them.
Music is the language of the soul, that invisible entitity that preachers are always trying to save. Music expands the people who create it. It diverts, elates and comforts.

A Change Is Gonna Come - Aaron Neville; A Message For The Saints - Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers ; A Song For Mama - Boyz II Men; Addictive Love - BeBe and ...

Besides appearing at numerous festivals across the nation, such as the National Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts, the Sunlights have toured five countries in Africa and performed extensively in the Caribbean and Australia under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Information. Their recent dynamic performance on Garrison Keillor's American Radio Theater on National Public Radio won them many more fans across the nation. They recently performed in France as ambassadors of Alabama traditional culture.

After Bellmark Records, Bell returned to Little Rock to begin work on a new web-based venture, Al Bell Presents, [5] for which he hosts a successful online radio program, Al Bell Presents: American Soul Music. [1] In 2009, Bell was profiled in the New York Times and on the BBC as he returned to Memphis to help develop the city's independent music scene. [1] [4]

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