A Look: Gospel by the Decades

This week we are diving into the topic of Gospel. I personally was in the church on and off growing up, but I never really resonated with it. It always felt like I was forced to go to something I was not interested in. Therefore I have a little knowledge regarding Gospel music, but I could not easily name artists or songs right away. After a little research though, I am prepared to list my top Gospel song for each decade, beginning 1920 and ending 2020. 


The first selection, 00:00 is titled, “Let Jesus Lead You”, by The Jubilee Gospel Team. This song displays the influence of Jubilee Quartet.



Mahalia Jackson, known as the “Queen of Gospel”, made her famous song “Move on Up A Little Higher”. She was the first Gospel artist to take her music to a secular audience. She was heard by Thomas Dorsey, also known as the “Father of Gospel”.



A popular song of the 1940s is Have a Little Talk With Jesus by the Heavenly Gospel Singers. This song is best representative of Traditional Gospel. 



The Five Blind Boys of Mississipi are performing “Our Father” in the video above. Their single reached number 10 on the Billboard charts in early 1951. This group is best described as a post-war Gospel Quartet.


The Consolers are a powerful Gospel duo/band. The two incorporate the Gibson firebird guitar, soulful vocals, and slower tempo, which gives a soulful/blues feeling to the piece. 


This performance was breathtaking! I really enjoyed the Davis sisters. Each voice is powerful and resonate. The energy of the group and the pianist is wonderful and I stayed very engaged. These women are a gospel group. 


Gospel music from the 1980s is very upbeat, lots of clapping and intricate harmonies. I noticed call and response present within this piece as well!


One artist that is very popular and makes great Gospel music to me is Kirk Franklin. He makes wonderful arrangements, especially now. This piece in particular is one of my favorites from him.


Mary Mary was a defining group of the 2000s. Very powerful women, incorporating a new style to Gospel, giving it an R&B feeling. Combining soulful vocals, drums, and beats. 


This song hits home for me. This is my home church. Fellowship Baptist Church. I do love a few of the songs that the church has released. It may not have been my favorite place growing up, but everyone there is extremely talented and the music they make is soulful and uplifting. 


I am not sure if Tobe Nwigwe’s song “Try Jesus” would be considered “Gospel” or “Neo Gospel”. However, his music includes a lot of information regarding his faith. His name also translates to “Praise God”. Regardless, it is a great song and somewhat humorous. 

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