I have to confess that I am musically illiterate compared to most. I don’t know much about Gospel music. I have a family friend who specializes in singing old Negro Spirituals which might be similar to contemporary Gospel singing. Regardless, I need more education on this music genre. To that end there is a new documentary on Gospel music in America that looks good.
Here is a brief description from Magnolia Pictures:
Perhaps the most intense and emotional music one can ever hear is the best of African-American Gospel music.
Packed with evocative photos, rare audio recordings, stirring film appearances and TV performances, REJOICE AND SHOUT covers the 200 year musical history of African-American Christianity. Culled from hundreds of hours of music, REJOICE AND SHOUT features the crème de la crème of Gospel music.
REJOICE AND SHOUT traces the evolution of Gospel through its many musical styles – spirituals and early hymns, four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing into Gospel, the emergence of Soul, and the blending of Rap and Hip Hop elements.
Gospel music also walked in step with the story of African-American culture – from slavery, hardscrabble rural existence and plantation work, the exodus to major cities, the Depression, World War II, to the civil rights movement and empowerment. REJOICE AND SHOUT connects the history of African-American culture with Gospel as it first impacted popular culture at large – and continues to do.
Years in the making, REJOICE AND SHOUT captures so much of what is special about this music and African-American Christianity – the sermonizing, the heartfelt testimonials, getting “slain in the spirit,” the hard hollerin’, and of course the inspiring music.