Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments

Sundays 8:35 am; Mondays 6:32 pm.
  • Hosted by Robert Darden

Author and Baylor University professor Robert Darden tells stories -- and plays recordings -- from the Baylor University Libraries' Black Gospel Music Restoration Project in an on-going weekly series of two-minute segments. Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments explores the distinctly African-American sound of the "Golden Age of Gospel" (1945-1975). The series celebrates this fertile musical period in American history, presenting cultural snapshots that reveal the depth of a people, their community, and the influence they have had on the rest of American music.

Some of gospel music's most passionate music was recorded by custom recording studios, where groups didn't have to worry about recording what's popular or what would sell. Take for example, "The Old Rugged Cross" by the Tabernacle Singers of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis Missouri. 


Over the years, several groups have performed and recorded under the name "The Gospelaires." But Shout! host Bob Darden's favorite group is The Gospelaires of Dayton, Ohio. But not much is known about the group that performed roughly from 1954 - 1980. 


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: The Blind Boys of Alabama

Feb 19, 2017

The Blind Boys of Alabama have been around since 1939, when a group of 9 year olds started singing spirituals at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. The group was originally called the Happy Land Jubilee Singers. And today, they're a Grammy-award winning group. 


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: Bessie Griffin

Feb 12, 2017

In this week's episode of Shout! host Bob Darden looks at the career of Bessie Griffin, a marvelous singer who could never bring herself to sing the blues, which - in some gospel circles - was called the "devil's music." 


From 1937 to 1989, the Rev. William Holmes Borders Sr. was the pastor for the Wheat Street Baptist Church, which has served Atlanta for nearly 150 years. Rev. Borders had a reputation for knowing and loving good gospel music, which became clear with the songs the choir recorded.


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: Friendly Four

Jan 29, 2017

The Black Gospel Restoration Project works to preserve America's fast-vanishing vinyl legacy of gospel music's golden age. Some of the records they receive and preserve are by well-known (and well-documented) artists. Others, however, are obscure artists with little known about them. One such group: The Friendly Four.


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: Billy Preston

Jan 22, 2017

Billy Preston's "Gospel in My Soul" -- a song filled with a sanctified beat and a screaming Hammond organ -- has all the makings of a gospel classic. (And close listeners would recognize it as the theme song for Shout!). In this episode, Robert Darden looks at the life and times of Billy Preston.


The title of gospel's first super-group belongs to the Roberta Martin Singers. In this episode of Shout! host Robert Darden tells us at one point in the late 1940s and 50s, every major gospel artist came through the group.


Not all gospel songs are strictly religious, some addressed civil rights and current affairs. One event that saw gospel tributes was the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In this episode we listen to the Dixie Hummingbirds' tribute "My Prayer for Peace".


In this episode of Shout! host Robert Darden looks at the life and times of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a masterful guitarist and gospel's first true star in the 1930s and 40s. 


"Sweet Little Jesus Boy" is often considered a spiritual, but this Christmastime song isn't actually a spiritual at all. In this episode of Shout! host Robert Darden tells us about the song, and we hear The Harmonizing Four's rendition of it. 


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: Black Nativity

Dec 19, 2016

Some of the most well-known spirituals revolve around Christmas. These songs - like "Mary, Whatcha Gonna Call That Pretty Little Baby" -- were featured in the 1961 off-broadway premiere of Black Nativity. 


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: Gospel Quartets

Dec 11, 2016

In this episode of Shout! host Robert Darden takes us to Birmingham, Alabama, where we hear the sounds of one of the area's greatest gospel quartets, Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes. 


Most everybody admires Aretha Franklin, but who does the music icon look to for inspiration? In this episode of Shout! host Robert Darden talks about The Davis Sisters, a group who specialized in "hard gospel".


Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: Jubilee

Nov 28, 2016

Remember Doo-Wop? In this episode of Shout! host Robert Darden takes a look at jubilee, a gospel music styling that could be the root of Doo-Wop, the popular 1950s genre. 


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