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Black Gospel music is one genre of roots music that too often remains on the shelf of white (and black) listeners who otherwise embrace African-American music forms. It is not surprising; for most of its history, black gospel was not interesting to white audiences, who readily returned the favor. Its religious fervor puts some people off. And contemporary black gospel, like contemporary white gospel, often seems more pop than not. But black gospel music historically influenced blues and jazz as well as doo wop and soul music. The wellspring of such sweet inspiration merits a deep dive.
Instructor: Rick Hendra is a radio and Zoom documentarian exploring the history of American roots music on WCUW (community radio in Worcester) and on Jazz Potpourri, a Zoom station hosted by WPI’s Jazz History Data Base. He’s a co-founder of the Worcester Hot Club for lovers of old music on 78’s. And he whistles when he should be working.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609