Great God A'Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music

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9780195152722: Great God A'Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music

From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village's Café Society in the '40s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on "Loves Me Like a Rock," the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel's most durable and inspiring groups.
Now, Jerry Zolten tells the Hummingbirds' fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of "wildcatting," traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939 the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942 they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young's band, they regularly brought the house down at the city's first integrated nightclub, Café Society. From there the group rode a wave of popularity that would propel them to nation-wide tours, major record contracts, collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, and a career still vibrant today as they approach their seventy-fifth anniversary.
Drawing generously on interviews with Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, and other artists who worked with the Hummingbirds, as well as with members James Davis, Ira Tucker, Howard Carroll, and many others, The Dixie Hummingbirds brings vividly to life the growth of a gospel group and of gospel music itself.

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About the Author:


Jerry Zolten is an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and American Studies at Penn State University Altoona. The co-author of Speaking to an Audience, he has written profiles of blues artists for Living Blues magazine and penned the liner notes to two of The Dixie Hummingbirds latest compilation CDs. A part-time record producer and promoter, he lives in Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania.

From Publishers Weekly:

The Dixie Hummingbirds, along with the Swan Silvertones and the Soul Stirrers, were the foremost popularizers of the a cappella style of gospel music that brought the spiritual music of traditional African-American communities to a wide-and primarily white-audience in the 1950s. In this excellent history, Zolten, an assistant professor of American Studies at Penn. State, Altoona, carefully and lovingly details the almost 75-year history of the Hummingbirds, from their start in the Depression to their induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000. He deftly explores how the group's history itself embodies numerous American ironies: that an "unintended result" of segregation "was the flowering of a distinctly African American homegrown culture" that included gospel music; that the Depression and the mass migration of African Americans from the South "created a nationwide market for black entertainers of all kinds" that allowed the Hummingbirds their initial financial success. Zolten interestingly points out that the group, known for its hard-driving vocal sound, won its only Grammy award for their own version of "Loves Me Like a Rock" by Paul Simon, whose original version had featured the Hummingbirds and brought them to a new rock-oriented audience. Adding to the book's success are Zolten's numerous interviews with founding members James Davis and Ira Tucker, as well as their many collaborators, which add personal depth to the book's amazing wealth of detail and dates. This is a fine exploration of an important style and era in the history of American popular music and culture.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village s Cafe Society in the 40s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on Loves Me Like a Rock, the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel s most durable and inspiring groups. Now, Jerry Zolten tells the Hummingbirds fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of wildcatting, traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939 the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942 they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young s band, they regularly brought the house down. Nº de ref. de la librería FLT9780195152722

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Descripción OUP USA, 2003. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IP-9780195152722

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village s Cafe Society in the 40s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on Loves Me Like a Rock, the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel s most durable and inspiring groups. Now, Jerry Zolten tells the Hummingbirds fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of wildcatting, traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939 the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942 they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young s band, they regularly brought the house down. Nº de ref. de la librería FLT9780195152722

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