Gospel in the last half of the 20 th century to the

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Chapter 9 / Exercise 15
Music for Ear Training
Horvit/Koozin
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Gospel in the Last Half of the 20 th Century to the Present During the 1950s, several different record labels such as Star, Stax, Scepter, and Chess were founded, and distributed recordings of gospel and soul music among other styles. But the first widely distributed label, which also achieved a distinctive sound, was established by Berry Gordy with his Tamla Mo- town (for Motor Town) company in Detroit in 1959. By 1961, it had achieved million-sellers with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "Shop Around" and the Marvelettes, "Please, Mr. Postman." Gordy went on to achieve tremendous success with other soul artists such as the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, and the Temptations. His contributions will be discussed more fully in a subsequent chapter. In terms of “straight” gospel, the Edwin Hawkins Singers achieved a hit “Oh Happy Day” that reached Number 4 on the Bill- board chart in 1969. In 1971, Aretha Franklin was awarded a gold record for her rendition of “Amazing Grace,” a recording that remains on the “Top Ten Gospel Music Albums” of all time. By the 1980s, large gospel choirs had replaced quartets in terms of general popularity. One of the most popular choirs was the Mississippi Mass Choir, founded in 1988 by a form gospel quar- tet singer, Franklin Williams (1947-1993). The choir’s first recording was an immediate success, and named number one spiritual album of the year by both Billboard and Score magazines. There are many large contemporary choir groups that continue to demonstrate standards of ex- cellence. One of the more radical of the contemporary choirs is the Sounds of Blackness from Minnesota. Winning three Grammys and an additional five Grammy nominations since their E l i z a b e t h F. B a r k l e y K e n d a l l H u n t P u b l i s h i n g G re a t R i v e r L e a r n i n g 9 Gospel today is performed in concert halls as well as churches. © 2015 by Shutterstock, Inc.
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Music for Ear Training
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Chapter 9 / Exercise 15
Music for Ear Training
Horvit/Koozin
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1991 debut album, The Evolution of Gospel , they combine multiple African American music gen- res into their repertoire. The traditions of Black spirituals and gospel music have each had a period in American history when they were one of the strongest musical expressions of African American culture. Even after their particular era of dominance had passed, they continued to influence all subsequent music. Spirituals, both as solos and in choir arrangements, are frequent additions to concert repertoire. Gospel music still plays a vital role in worship services for both African American and white churches and is crossing over into the secular arena. Gospel music is now firmly established as a musical tradition throughout the United States and has also become popular internationally. In addition to serving a vital function in the liturgical services of churches of all denominations, gospel choirs are also becoming increasingly popular additions to the performing ensembles on college campuses. In Chicago, around 70,000 gospel

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