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Classic African American Gospel from Smithsonian Folkways
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  • There should be more compilations like CLASSIC AFRICAN AMERICAN GOSPEL by Smithsonian Folkways. Instead of focusing soley on an individual period, this collection compiles classic gospel performances from many different decades to give the listener a holistic picture of the African American gospel experience. From the rustic folk and blues of Elizabeth Cotten and the Reverend Gary Davis to contemporary renderings in modern churches, CLASSIC AFRICAN AMERICAN GOSPEL spans 50 years in 75 minutes and is a great single-disc introduction to one of America's most vibrant musical genres. Includes a 32-page booklet with detailed descriptions of each track and a historic overview of gospel from the Great Awakening forward.
Professional Reviews
Dirty Linen (p.84) - "[T]he collection does a good job of representing the genre's history....[With] the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Sonny Terry, Lead Belly, and many more less well-known but still explosive and expressive performers."
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