His contributions will be discussed more fully in a

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Unformatted text preview: w and the proliferation of groups and secular performances in the 1940s led to a commercial boom for gospel music in the following decade. The Recording and Popularizing of Gospel in the 1950's The 1950s began with the first all- gospel concert in history: the Negro Gospel and Religious Music Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York. The concert was produced by Joe Bostic and featured Mahalia Jackson (1911- 72) who went on to become one of the most influential and successful gospel singers of all time. Additionally during the 1950s, radio shifted from live entertainment to records, and several recording labels were founded giving performers an opportunity to start earning big money. This era of "hard gospel" brought fame to groups such as the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama and the gospel "divas and dons" Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward, Marion Williams, James Cleveland, Roberta Martin, and Della Reese. Although most of these artists had begun their careers in churches, they were now on heavy tour schedules, performing in auditoriums, stadiums, and concert halls and some even in nightclubs and theatres. In 1958, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), an organization that monitors record sales, began to award "gold" and "platinum" record awards. Gold records are awarded when a recording has sold one million copies of a single or 500,000 of an album. In 1958, the RIAA awarded a gold record to Laurie London for her Gospel rendition of "He's Got the Whole World (i...
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