Tracing the Arc of Gospel Music

April 17, 2007

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The Great Migration after the First World War brought hundreds of thousands of African-Americans to Chicago from the South. They, in turn, brought the hymns and spirituals they had sung in church, and over the years a new genre was born – gospel.

Chicago can rightfully claim to be the birthplace of gospel – but the music has continued to evolve in all kinds of directions.

Tomorrow night, historian L. Stanley Davis will give a talk charting that history at the Sherwood Conservatory Recital Hall. He's an expert in Black sacred music as well as a singer.

Davis recently talked with Eight Forty-Eight's Richard Steele. He says church music in rural towns in the south differed by denomination. Take, for example the repetition common in Pentecostal churches