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Unformatted text preview: n His Hands)." Some of the Gospel singers, such as Mahalia Jackson and James Cleveland, managed to maintain their spiritual focus while others, such as Della Reese, did not apologize nor hesitate to perform for commercial gain. 5 IBID 5 The 1950s also witnessed the fusion of gospel with rhythm and blues and the creation of "soul" music. One of the most important links between gospel and soul was Sam Cooke, who began singing with the gospel group the Soul Stirrers in 1951. The leader of the Soul Stirrers, Rebert H. Harris, developed an improvisatory vocal style of repeating sounds, which he trained Sam Cooke to do. This was a major departure from the barbershop style singing. As Cooke experimented with bridging the musical style and intensity of gospel with the emerging rhythm and blues style, he recorded under the name of "Dale" Cook so as not to alienate his religious audience. In 1957, he became the first major gospel star to crossover with the hit "You Send Me." In 1955- 57, Ray Charles horrified Christian traditionalists by taking gospel tunes and rewriting them into popular hits such as "I've Got A Woman," "This Little Girl of Mine," and "Hallelujah, I Love Her So." In 1959, the Isley Brothers' "Shout" and Ray Charles's "What'd I Say," both using the intensity and call- and- response stylistic characteristics of gospel, became two big "soul" hits. Gospel in the Last Half of the 20th Century to th...
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