6 B. Rhythm And Blues GospelPresentation Transcript
MUS103: Survey of Music History II Dr. Kathleen Bondurant, Ph.D. Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Minstrelsy and Spirituals
Rhythm and Blues
Gospel Music—with roots in the Negro spiritual was born in the depths of the Depression in Chicago.
The first gospel music is attributed to piano player and blues musician, Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993) who began composing songs based on hymns and spirituals fused with jazz rhythms. He called them “Gospel Songs” and began hawking them around the churches of America, bringing a much-needed message of hope in hard times.
This style has influenced other forms of American music such as rock and roll, popular, jazz and country through artists like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Al Green and Elvis Presley
Gospel, Rhythm and Blues http://www.palletmastersworkshop.com/images/dorsey.jpg Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey "Father of Gospel Music" Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist whose many up-tempo blues arrangements of gospel music hymns earned him the title of "Father of Gospel Music." Dorsey was the son of a revivalist preacher. He was influenced in childhood by blues pianists in the Atlanta, Georgia area and worked in secular "hokum" music as a composer, arranger, pianist, and vocalist from 1910 through 1928. In 1916 he moved to Chicago, where he attended the College of Composition and Arranging. In the 1920s he toured with Ma Rainey and his own bands, often featuring the slide guitarist Tampa Red. Dozens of his optimistic and sentimental songs became gospel standards, notably "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" (1932). He recorded extensively in the early 1930s, publishing his own sheet music and lyrics. He founded the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses in Chicago in 1933, serving as its president for 40 years.
“ American Minstrelsy” was a type of 19 th -century popular entertainment that featured impersonations of the Negro by white performers in song, dance and speech. In 1768 Charles Dibdin first used Negro elements in his musical extravaganzas which included Southern plantation and frontier songs. Performers joined together in groups using the banjo, accordion, bone castanets, violin and often a dancer.
The banjo tunes and jigs of minstrel shows greatly influenced American popular music up through the 1890’s. Most important, the syncopation of the banjo tunes had a great affect upon rhythms used in ragtime, blues, early jazz and folk music.
Minstrel Banjo: Brigg's Banjo Instructor A book of tabulations of music for the Civil War-era (or Minstrel) Banjo.
Two centuries before Thomas Dorsey was knocking on church doors with his briefcase full of tunes, America was deep in a religious revival. Fiery preachers drew huge crowds to open-air gatherings in the woods, termed “camp meetings”, where new hymns and camp songs were sung into the wee hours of the night.
At the fringes of these meetings, African slaves listened to the music and were enthralled; music being an integral part of the tribal religious banned by the slave masters of the New World.
Slaves who converted to Christianity gave new life to the English hymns and religious songs with a transfusion of West African rhythms and vocal styles.
This entirely new style became known by white America as the Negro spiritual.
Famous gospel singers include James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and Mahalia Jackson, a member of the original Thomas Dorsey Roadshow in the 1930’s, and who was the first gospel artist to crossover to an international audience when in 1946 she recorded “Move On Up a Little Higher” for Apollo Records.
Spirituals http://www.geocities.com/bourbonstreet/2675/pics/with_elvis.jpg Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson with Elvis Presley and Barbara McNair
Spirituals http://www.sc.edu/csam/images/afro-american_spirituals_work.jpg Spirituals brought by African slaves were songs often sung to pass the time during long hard work hours.
The Music of North America: The USA Text Sources: Broughton, Simon and Mark Ellingham, ed., “USA”, World Music, The Rough Guide. Vol. 2 . Penguin Group. London, England. 2000. P. 531- 621