Gospel Through the Span of 100 years


This is “Glory! Glory! Hallelujah” by Mother McCollum. In the 1920’s ragtime was extremely popular and you can hear the influence of ragtime in many gospel songs at this time. You also hear elements of folk and blues music, especially in this song because of the banjo being used. Songs during this time were very repetitive and often sung in call and response. 


Thomas A. Dorsey is known as the Father of Gospel Music, he has composed many of gospel’s biggest and most influential songs such as, “Take my Hand Precious Lord and Peace Valley. He co-founded the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses in 1932. Dorsey really focused on performing at churches which helped spread gospel music all over the country at the time but now the world. 


This is “Have a Little Talk with Jesus” by the Heavenly Gospel Singers. During this time Quartet music was booming! The harmonies, acapella singing, and the style all stemmed from the quartet music. 


This is “How Great Thou Art” by Mahalia Jackson. Mahalia is one of the biggest/ most respected gospel artists ever. In this song you can really hear the emotions in her voice. At this time songs that showcased the singers’ range and depth were popular. 


This is “Seat in the Kingdom” by the Hightower Brothers. Much like the 50’s, music during this time focused on the soloist but now they also included a choir and added some focus to them too. 


This is “Oh Happy Day” by Edwin Hawkins. This is one of the biggest gospel songs ever, almost everyone knows this song. At this time small groups were popular but most times they had a soloist who led most of the songs. 


This is “Tomorrow” by the Winans. As a person who was raised on gospel music I have heard this song many times. 


This is “Why we Sing” by Kirk Franklin. In the 90’s gospel ballads were extremely popular. They were often sung in big choirs with multiple soloist whether they were singing or talking. This introduced a new side to gospel music. 


This is “Heaven” by Mary Mary. During this time upbeat/dance gospel songs were on the rise. People were being more accepting in the gospel community at this time. 


This is “Break Every Chain” by Tasha Cobbs.  This song was played everywhere when it came out. During the 2010’s gospel has become so diverse. This is only one song of the now wide realm of gospel. 


This is “Jesus is Lord” by Kanye West. This just goes to show how far gospel has come. Gospel music had always been influenced by the popular music at the time but this was a long time coming. Hip hop and gospel music are now not uncommon to combine. Gospel music transcends genres and will continue to transform. 

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