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Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop

wilco 22 Nov 02 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 22 Nov 02 - 11:58 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Nov 02 - 07:04 PM
Socorro 23 Nov 02 - 10:19 PM
Bobert 23 Nov 02 - 10:21 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Nov 02 - 11:18 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Nov 02 - 11:23 PM
Bobert 23 Nov 02 - 11:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 02 - 07:58 AM
Dani 24 Nov 02 - 05:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 02 - 06:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 02 - 06:24 PM
khandu 24 Nov 02 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,Walking Eagle 24 Nov 02 - 08:46 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 02 - 09:16 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Nov 02 - 06:22 AM
Richie 25 Nov 02 - 07:44 AM
Socorro 25 Nov 02 - 01:06 PM
wilco 25 Nov 02 - 01:50 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Nov 02 - 02:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Nov 02 - 06:00 PM
Nancy King 25 Nov 02 - 07:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Nov 02 - 09:24 PM
Richie 25 Nov 02 - 10:31 PM
khandu 25 Nov 02 - 10:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Nov 02 - 11:19 PM
wysiwyg 26 Nov 02 - 12:59 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 02 - 01:33 PM
wysiwyg 27 Nov 02 - 01:47 PM
wilco 27 Nov 02 - 01:59 PM
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Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 02 - 02:33 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Nov 02 - 02:55 PM
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wysiwyg 27 Nov 02 - 04:10 PM
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Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 02 - 05:55 PM
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Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 02 - 10:34 PM
Richie 28 Nov 02 - 12:49 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Nov 02 - 08:39 AM
bbc 28 Nov 02 - 01:00 PM
wilco 28 Nov 02 - 01:23 PM
wysiwyg 28 Nov 02 - 03:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Nov 02 - 07:41 PM
wysiwyg 28 Nov 02 - 08:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Dec 02 - 10:28 PM
wilco 10 Dec 02 - 09:53 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 03 - 04:31 PM
Bobert 01 Mar 03 - 04:47 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 03 - 05:22 PM
Socorro 02 Mar 03 - 10:27 PM
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Art Thieme 02 Mar 03 - 11:32 PM
katlaughing 03 Mar 03 - 01:06 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Mar 03 - 02:04 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Mar 03 - 02:15 AM
GUEST,Mary V...in wisconsin..... 03 Mar 03 - 07:22 AM
wilco 03 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Mar 03 - 07:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Sep 03 - 02:07 PM
dwditty 22 Sep 03 - 02:54 PM
Barbara Shaw 22 Sep 03 - 03:52 PM
bbc 22 Sep 03 - 09:56 PM
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Burke 23 Sep 03 - 06:07 PM
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Barbara Shaw 23 Sep 03 - 07:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Sep 03 - 10:03 PM
wysiwyg 24 Sep 03 - 04:02 PM
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Azizi 26 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM
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GUEST,Azizi 27 Feb 05 - 03:59 PM
Margret RoadKnight 27 Feb 05 - 08:06 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Feb 05 - 09:02 PM
Azizi 27 Feb 05 - 09:03 PM
Azizi 27 Feb 05 - 09:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Feb 05 - 09:38 PM
Margret RoadKnight 28 Feb 05 - 07:53 PM
Azizi 28 Feb 05 - 08:28 PM
Margret RoadKnight 28 Feb 05 - 09:07 PM
Azizi 28 Feb 05 - 09:16 PM
Azizi 01 Mar 05 - 08:15 AM
Azizi 01 Mar 05 - 08:22 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 05 - 09:30 AM
jimmyt 01 Mar 05 - 09:42 PM
Mary in Kentucky 01 Mar 05 - 10:04 PM
jimmyt 01 Mar 05 - 10:39 PM
Azizi 01 Mar 05 - 10:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Mar 05 - 11:17 PM
Barbara Shaw 02 Mar 05 - 08:09 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 05 - 08:37 AM
wysiwyg 02 Mar 05 - 08:50 AM
Barbara Shaw 02 Mar 05 - 09:08 AM
Dani 02 Mar 05 - 09:18 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM
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Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM
Mary in Kentucky 02 Mar 05 - 06:55 PM
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Subject: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wilco
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 10:16 AM

For years, I've been looking for a workshop about the shared heritage of US Black and White gospel music, their common origins, singing styles, etc. Jerry Ramussen (sp?) does this workshop with his gospel quartet! What is the proper etiquette to beg for an online workshop?
(Other than groveling, whining, and begging)


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 11:58 AM

How about sending a Mudcat personal message to Jerry? We've been, 2 years in a row, to the in-person one he does at NOMAD w/ Gospel Messengers & The Beans & it's great!

bbc


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 07:04 PM

Hi, Wilco... almost missed this... been gone all day.

As I PMed you, I started pulling out CDs to make a Gospel In Black and White CD. That's how the workshop started a dozen years ago. I made a cassette for my own listening pleasure with some of my favorite white gospel on one side, and favorite black gospel cuts on the other. To hear the Staples Singers and the Carter Family both singing Uncloudy Day is an amazing experience... Mavis and Mother Maybelle. I've had the pleasure of running this workshop at the Adirondack Folk Gospel Festival with the black gospel done by people like The Moving Star Hall Singers from the Georgia Sea Islands, a blind, black street singer, and a black gospel quartet from a storefront church in Brooklyn, along with Janette Carter and some fine traditional singers. Black folks are as rare as republicans, at a folk festival (sorry, jimmyt.) I ran a folk festival and concert series for 27 years and only managed to book one black gospel quartet (and they got lost on the way and never made it..)

Being basically a folk singer, I've done mostly white gospel in my life... just as part of the fabric of folk music. But, I've always itched to hear more black gospel, because the rhythm moves me. Even though folk music is one of my first loves, most folk music is performed by people(me included) who look like they've been Crazy-glued to their chair. Having grown up on rhythm and blues, boogie woogie and then soul music, I really responded to black gospel when I first heard it.

The workshop we just did at NOMAD, with bbc and DuaneD in attendance, I talked mostly about rhythm. Black gospel is almost impossible to do, sitting down. Like trying to do bluegrass sitting down. Over the years, I've gotten my friends, The Beans, who share the workshop with us, to get up on their feet when they sing... at least on some of the songs, and I get them to help us on some of ours. Now, jimmyt likes black gospel, being a bass player. In a gospel quartet, the bass singer is a key part of the rhythm. He sets the rhythm and the pace, if the song is a capella. I play electric guitar with my group, and I like to ride the bass strings a little hard on the faster songs.

When singing black gospel, even on the slow songs, there's a tendency to chop the words at the end of the lines, rather than holding them. When I first joined the all male (black) chorus I sing in, it seemed unnatural to my ears, chopping up the lines. But I realized that it gives an internal rhythm and energy that drives even the slow songs.
When we're singing, the lead singer will often tell us harmony guys to "snap" the phrases. I notice that when we sing for a folk audience, they immediately pick up the harmonies, and hold the words, long after we've snapped them off, savoring the harmonies. It really is the best example that I can give of the difference between black and white gospel. White gospel more commonly has a flowing rhythm, holding out and sustaining notes.

Well that's a first comment. If I see anyone besides the two of you have an interest in this, I'll add some more. I'd just say that when we did our last song of the workshop at NOMAD, Trouble In My Way, nobody was standing still (and everyone was standing.) I ran into someone the following week who'd been there who said that she was never into all that hand clapping and moving stuff, but she found herself on her feet, clapping her hands and really getting in to the rhythm of the music.

Thanks for asking, Wilco.. and good to hear from you. bbc


Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Socorro
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:19 PM

I'm interested in everything you have to say on the subject, so I'll be following this thread - let me add my thanks to you, Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:21 PM

Wilco:

At the risk of soundin' simplistic, I'd recommend giving a little time listenin' to Son House, Robert Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins and the songs of Willie Brown. Now merge these guys with early Cuck Berry and Elvis and you have the abics of "Black/White Gospel Worshop" Throw in a little Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe and you have the foundation.

Now take it one step further and remember that the entire motivation was to give *praise* to the Lord and.... YOU ARE THERE. The rest are details and lots of folks, lesser known, just *doing it*.

Yeah, it ain't complicated, if broken down into it's simpliest denomonators. Might of fact, it's more just paying attention to some of the folks I've mentioned. The rest will fall into place...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 11:18 PM

Hi, Bobert: There are some more ingredients to go in the stew. When I simplify things to black and white gospel, it is just that... a simplification. Lines blur, just as they do between Jimmy Rogers and the country blues guitarists, Little Richard/Boogie Woogie/gospel
shouts/rock and roll. When I do the workshop, it's perhaps artificially limited to black gospel and white, non-bluegrass gospel. Bluegrass gospel has a whole feel of its own, that maybe Wilco could talk about.

Let me compare(on paper... you have to provide the ears... the difference in approach to Farther Along by the Carter Family and The Fairfield Four. The Carter Family take the song very straightforward, with their chugga chugga rhythm propelled by Maybelle's guitar..

Farther along, we'll know all about it
Farther along, we'll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by

You can hear the alternating bass line pumping along underneath the melody.

Take the same song, let the bass sing the lead, and you get more of a "call and response" version of the song..

Lead: Farther along                   We'll know
Harmony             Farther along we'll          know all about it

Lead: Farther along                   Understand why
Harmony             Farther along we'll             Understand why

Lead: Cheer up my brothers                  live on
Harmony                   Cheer up my brothers    line in the sunshine

Lead: We'll understand                   We'll understand
Harmony                We'll understand it                We'll ...

On the last line of the verse, the bass singer may repeat "We'll understand" and the harmonies will keep answering "We'll understand it" until the lead finally closes out with "By and By." At the end of the song, the lead will probably start improvising lines, and the harmonies will just keep repeating "We'll understand it," until the lead sings "By and By," and they'll respond with "By and By."

I can hear all of this in my head as I'm typing it, but if you haven't heard a bass lead on this song, the best I can suggest is to listen to the bass lines in your head, slow and lazy. The rhythm of the song is slowed down to give space for the lead to improvise.

Having the bass sing the lead in this style is very commonplace in black gospel. Good old A.P. Carter only sang lead on a handful of songs, and they still had that chuga chuga rhythm to them.

One thing that you can be sure of, Bobert, is that the Carter Family heard a lot of blues and black gospel, and the black gospel quartets heard plenty of white gospel and country music. Joe and Frankie, in my group, grew up listening to the Grand Ole' Opry as much as they did to black gospel and blues. Get them anywhere near a bluegrass band at a festival and you'll never pry them away. But, when we do a white gospel song like Angel Band, they just naturally slip in a bass line, and some other lead-in lines. They can do Carter Family real well, too, and get a big kick out of it. I've often done Farther Along, Carter Family style, before joe sings bass on the version like the Fairfield Four. We do a pretty good Carter Family. But, nobody would confuse the two versions.

As long as there's some interest in this, I'll keep offering my observations, and look forward to hearing yours. I'd like to hear Wilco talk about bluegrass gospel. It's very different than the Carter Family (even when Monroe did songs associated with the Carter Family.) There's also a very recognizable, almost formalized harmony in bluegrass, and it's far more instrument driven than black gospel... much of which was done a capella, or with just a single guitar until the contemporary gospel folks added drums, keyboards, a bass guitar and a couple of lead guitars.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 11:23 PM

While you're trying to hear Farther Along, black gospel style, hear the harmony lines "snapped" Far-ther-a-lonnnng-we'll. Break up the lines with a snap, and run it against a lazy almost "Why Is everybody always pickin' on me" rhythm and blues bass lead, and you'll start to get the feel. Actually, we learned it from The Harmonizing Four..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 11:28 PM

Yeah, Jerry, go, go and go with it, brother. You be the man. Go....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 07:58 AM

OOHS, OOOH-WAHS, MMMM'S, DOO-WOPS AND DUMM-DUMMS

One of the most characteristic sounds in black gospel is the backing sounds of the harmony singers that frame the lead singer. This is a very old style of singing, and probably comes from a capella singing where the harmony sounds imitated instruments. Even as recently as the Mills Brothers, imitating instruments by vocalizing has been an important part of the black tradition. It was the foundation for the rhythm and blues groups and street corner singers of the 50's.

If you listen to what is now called "Southern Gospel... groups like the Cathedrals, the style of singing owes much more to "Barber Shop" harmonies. The harmony singers are much more likely to either sing the same verses as the lead, or the lead will sing against the instrumental accompaniment, with no vocal harmony. In it's contemporary useage, "Southern Gospel" means white gospel quartet or quintets, and their style is very different than southen black gospel quartets.

Even though the bass singer in Southern Gospel Groups often sings fill in lines, much the same as bass singers in black gospel groups,
the wordless dumm, dumm, dumms of the black bass singer are not a common style in white groups. Our bass singer, Joe Evans does a wonderful "walking bass" rhythm made up of dumm, dumm sounds imitating the slapped bass lines of a stand-up bass. In more contemporary black gospel, that "walking bass" line is now taken by an electric bass, and you rarely, if ever hear the bass singer carrying the line. It would just be a duplication of what the electric bass is doing. Sometimes the dumm, dumm finished of a song, doing the last verse lead without words. Sometimes, the bass keeps
the walking bass going throughout the song.

Trying to verbalize is a pale imitation of hearing the music. If you haven't heard much black gospel, and want some suggestions about good CDs, you can PM me. I am listening to a wonderful four CD set that I just won on eBay... 100 classic recordings of black gospel from the early 1900's through the 1950's.. I hear all of these things happening in the songs as I'm typing. I'll check Camsco to see if they carry it... and if so, post it here..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Dani
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 05:41 PM

Count me in! One of my favorite subjects, and I'd love to hear what Jerry and the rest of you all have to say about it.

Then let's get together and SING!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 06:13 PM

Hi, Dani:

That's what it all comes down to... singing. Reducing music to these little black marks takes much of the Spirit out of it. But, I could hardly ignore Wilco's request (despite his not posting further to this thread...) I'm counting on Wilco to offer his observations on bluegrass gospel, and maybe someone more knowledgeable than me (pick anyone at random) can talk about shape note singing. I don't sing shape note music, but I have an interest contrast to make, with a CD of black shape note singing(black folkses singing it... not black-colored notes..) along with the more common southern white shape note singers..

I've been pulling CDs out and matching songs in black and white versions, and much to my amazement, don't have Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Uncloudy Day or Farther Along on CD by the Carter Family. I have them on albums, but can't patch them in for burning a CD. I'm checking eBay and Amazon.com, and even with all the re-issues they've done (unless you buy the Bear Family $179 boxed set) I don't see Farther Along or Uncloudy Day reissued on CD. I can play them in my head, any time I want, but I was looking for a CD...

Join the discussion, Dani..

I'll do another post now on falsetto

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 06:24 PM

FALSETTO

Another major difference between black and white gospel. As far as I'm concerned, Claude Jeter of the Swan Silvertones was blessed with the greatest falsetto of the last fifty years. Listening to him go up into falsetto makes me shake my head in amazement. If you want to get a small suggestion of his falsetto, listen to Paul Simon on Loves Me Like A Rock, when he goes into naah, naaah, naahs at the end of the song. He really gets the feeling of Claude Jeter on the faster falsetto singing. Interestingly, the Dixie Hummingbirds, who back Paul on that track also recorded the song, but Ira Tucker, the lead singer, doesn't go up into falsetto. My gospel quartet had the great honor of opening for the Dixie Hummingbirds last summer. This is their 73rd year of singing, and Ira Tucker has been in the group most of those years. He's hunched over now, and frail, but when he starts singing, he stands straight as a rod and can still bring a church to it's feet.

Falsetto isn't a gift that everyone has. Maybe Ira doesn't have a strong falsetto. I wish that I did, but it's only certain songs where I can sing falsetto with any strength. My gospel quartet only has one tenor, so there are songs where we need two harmonies above the lead, with the bass below. Frankie (a baritone like me) has a great falsetto, so he takes the falsetto harmony most of the time. But, there is one song that Frankie leads, and I get to do the falsetto... what a kick..

Why isn't falsetto common in white gospel? I have on idea. Maybe falsetto singing goes all the way back to Africa, but I don't know that. I have some African gospel, but by now the singers are probably influenced as much by American gospel as they are their own tradition. Maybe falsetto in black gospel came about the way it has naturally in our quartet... wanting two harmonies above the lead, and only having one tenor in the group. Whatever works.

Like much of black gospel singing, falsetto worked its way into early rhythm and blues groups, just as the bass singer took the humorous one liners in songs like Charlie Brown. When falsetto is done beautifully, like Claude Jeter does it, it can be spine-chilling.
If you haven't heard the Swan Silvertones, you have a great treat in store for you... and most of their material has been re-issued.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: khandu
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 08:26 PM

Most of the Gospel quartets that I am familiar with are the white Southern Gospel groups, which I dislike immensely. They always seemed so "sanitized" and their gospel seemed (to me) to be an affectation.

Sometime back, I saw a video with Charlie Daniels being back by a black quartet. I loved it! I discovered later that the quartet was the Fairfield Four.

Jerry sent me a Fairfield Four CD as well as The Gospel Messengers CD. Upon first listening, I thought, "This is how Gospel quartets are supposed to sound!"

After reading the postings on this thread, they help to formulate in my own mind what I enjoyed about the Black Gospel. Very informative and well stated, Jerry! Thank you!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: GUEST,Walking Eagle
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 08:46 PM

Anyone interested in hearing and seeing something about what is being discussed here, should check out the video "Amazing Grace" from the library. This is a marvelous video hosted by Bill Moyers for PBS. My feeble attempt at explaining what is done would be unremarkable. Check out the video and see for yourself.

I'm going to keep an eye on this thread as well.

W.E.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 09:16 PM

My own pleasure in white southern gospel is not the TV Greatest Hits versions, but the old Doc Watson/Clarence Ashley, E.C. Ball, Wade Mainer and His Mountaineers, Uncle Dave Macon, Jean Ritchie folk roots gospel. It sounds like the kind of music that would have been sung in a small wooden church, not in $400 matching suits.

This morning, I taught the congregation in our church to sing The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago, which I learned from a live broadcast of Doc Watson, Clarence Ashley and Fred Price that I taped off WBAI in New York City in the early sixties. At coffee hour after the service, a woman came up to me and told me that she had been singing that song all morning befor she came to church. She's the first person I've ever met who had even heard the song, let alone knew it.

I had the great pleasure of hearing the Fairfield Four about ten years ago. I thought they were from Fairfield, Connecticut... shows how dumb I can be. I had never heard of them before. The group has been around more than 60 years. Since then, their lead singer died, and they seem a little lost to me. They're backing everyone else, and making a much better living now, which pleases me. But, hearing Elvis Costello, LeRoy Parnell(who I really like)Charlie Daniels and all the others singing the lead makes them a back-up band. Everyone seems to want them to give some credibility by backing them. I'm waiting for Elton John to record with them. I'm very happy that they are finally receiving recognition for their music, but I wish they'd stick with what they've been doing for over 60 years. If you like the Fairfield Four, by the way, check out the Harmonizing Four who overlap on material and have much more re-issued and inexpensively available.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:22 AM

Wow, Jerry, this is great! I'm tracing this thread and following it with interest!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Richie
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:44 AM

Great Thread Jerry,

I have a bluegrass group, "Bluegrass Messengers" and we do black gospel versions and white gospel versons of bluegrass songs. I learned black gospel from teaching black gospel to students who would bring in tpaes and CD's for me to teach them. The bass player in our group is black and plays in a black church.

We do "Lonesome Valley" and "Woke Up this Morning" in the black Southern gospel style, plus in other songs like "Bluegrass Boogie" we use the call and response style then at the end we do a vamp (I call that the repeated end section) with the back-up singers singing "Bluegrass Boogie" and the lead improvising over it.

I have also sung in shape-note groups where there are fuging tunes but the black gospel style singing is the main style I'm trying to incorporate in our "bluegrass" group.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Socorro
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 01:06 PM

Jerry, you said, "...much of which was done a capella, or with just a single guitar until the contemporary gospel folks added drums, keyboards, a bass guitar and a couple of lead guitars."

I am personally even more interested in the music as sung in church, very much including the female singers - & i find it very difficult to find satisfactory recordings (in contrast to the male quartets, where you can find a number of excellent recordings).
I understand the reason (reluctance to mixing sacred with worldly). From the very few really black-church (with women) recordings, i find piano (not keyboard, of course) going back to the very earliest days.
Drums,also, but almost always a piano.
You know why i mention this - as i have a hard time finding those very old piano accompanists on record, & i utilize any forum i can find, to try to find more recordings i can listen to. Any comments?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wilco
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 01:50 PM

This is a great thread!!!!! Keep em' coming. In the Southeast USA, on these border Appalchia areas like Chattannoga, where there was a huge class of equally poor, uneducated blacks and whites, much of the music was shared. Even today, on a Sunday morning, you'll hear the same songs in black and white churches. I can go to my in-laws' little Church of God and hear them do some old gospel numbers, with steel guitars and drums. Then, I can go a mile away, and hear the same song, done a little differently, in a black congregation.
    In about 1966, my in-laws moved from a little mining community, about thyirty miles North from here, called Gruetli. They didn't have indoor plumbing, and the entertainment was music. Non-church music was considered dangerous, since it was associated with drinking and carousing. Greutli was/is a little coal mining community.
    About thirty miles south from here is Sand Mountain, Alabama, where sacred heart singing has thrived for decades, which might be the only area in the US where it survived.
    You can listen to these raw, unadulterated traditional singing, and you can hear these amazing rythyms and inflections.
    White Southern Gospel singing is largely a commercial venture.

keep it coming Jerry and Thanks!!!!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 02:55 PM

Glad to see the postings! Nice to come home and find so much to respond to.

First of All... Richie, I see we need to get to know each other. I can see it now: The Bluegrass Messengers and the Gospel Messengers. A couple of years ago, we split a concert with an early country music group from California called the Reedy Buzzards... they do earl Delmore Brothers, Blue Sky Boys style country, and we did an afternoon of old gospel and country music. What a kick that was. I'm VERY interested in what you're doing... we come from the other direction, singing black gospel and putting a touch of black in the white gospel songs we do, like Angel Band. It's a fascinating idea merging the energy of bluegrass and the energy of black gospel. We do Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Standing On Jesus too, driven by my electric guitar.

I'll PM you and talk more about what you're doing..

Socorro: Yes, I'm afraid I haven't sent you very much female lead, piano accompanied black gospel. And you're right... there are twenty albums of male quartets for every one of black women gospel singers. Once you get beyond Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe(who played guitar) and a few others, there's not a lot available. I'll go back and listen to my Dorothy Love Coates and Sallie Martine CDs and see if there are any tracks accompanied by piano. There are some old jazz/gospel recordings of black women singing with trumpet, drums, piano and bass scattered around in my collection. I'll have to se if I have enough to send you some stuff..

Wilco: Good to see you here. I'll have a little more to talk about, with Sacred Harp (and I mean a little, because I don't sing Sacred Harp and can't talk particularly intelligently about it.) I have a CD sitting in front of me :The Colored Sacred Harp by the Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers. I want to listen to it again and read the enclosed booklet. I ran across the CD in a used CD store and was a little surprised because I'd never heard black sacred harp singers.
But, more about that later.

Finally, the 4CD set of 100 Gospel Greats that I won on eBay is available on Amazon.com. (I submitted a request to Camsco to see if they can get it, too, but haven't heard from Dick yet.) It's a great set, and Amazon.com sells it for $23.95. It's a four CD set and has unusually generous representation by most of the key groups and singer, up until the 50's.

The First Volume is almost exclusively very early black gospel quartets (including one track by Josh White and His Carolinians. The groups include The Famous Blue Jay Singers, Mitchell's Christian Singers (one of my favorite primitive, early groups), and the Heavenly Gospel Singers. The second CD has seven tracks by the Golden Gate Quartet, six tracks by the Charioteers, three tracks by the Trumpeteers and six by the Dixie Hummingbirds. The Third CD has six tracks by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, eight by Mahalia Jackson, five by Sister Ernestine Washington and five by the Original Gospel Harmonettes, featuring Dorothy Love Coates. (The third CD sounds promising for you Socorro... I haven't gotten to it, but will listen to it next. The 4th CD has six tracks by the Soul Stirrers, five by the Pilgrim Travellers(an influential group) six tracks by the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and six tracks by The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. A wonderful collection...

More, later

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:00 PM

IMPROVISATION:

When I think of Improvisation, I think of instrumental music. Jazz is built on improvisation as sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and piano take the skeleton of a melody and chord progression and let their imagination flow freely. I love jazz, for that reason. And then, I think of someone like Jimmi Hendrix, who could build astonishing cascades of melody, all somehow related to the basic melody of the song.

Bluegrass band members take turns stepping up to the mike and strutting their stuff, improvising on the melody and stepping in and out with the precision of olympic gymnasts.

But, what about vocal improvisation? Ella Fitzgerald and a handful of others could scat sing with all the freedom and imagination of the finest jazz musicians. Blues singers, when they aren't confined to the time restraints of making a record, can stretch a song out for a long time, and within the comfortable framework of the blues, can sing lines as they come to them.

When it comes to gospel, the division between black and white gospel is plain to see. When I first joined an all black male chorus, I felt very intimidated about the prospect of singing a lead and having to improvise. Me being white, and all. I really didn't think that I could ever do it. But the Chorus Director has an uncanny ability to know what each member of the chorus is capable of doing. He'll try to get people to stretch, but he never pushes them beyond what they can do. The first two or three leads he gave me were very straightforward.. step out in front of the chorus, sing three or four verses, and lead the chorus into the choruses. When the Director knew I was capable of singing a lead where I'd have to improvise, he gave me a song that required it. I had talked to him when I joined the Chorus about improvising, expressing my reservations, and he said that only a few of the men in the chorus could do it. (and here I thought it was genetic.) When he gave me a song where I had to improvise... and lead the chorus with my electric guitar (which no one had ever done before) I was very doubtful. But, darned if I wasn't able to do it! In the process, I learned about improvising. I've kidded around that improvising takes a lot of practice. That sounds like a contradiction in terms. Singers who improvise (like jazz musicians) carry around a whole bag of phrases... words, melodies, chord progressions. When they improvise, they pull the lines out of their bag and slide them in to the song effortlessly. The work is mostly in filling your bag.

In black gospel, you fill your bag with lines like:

   The Jordan river is chilly and cold
   It chills the body but not the soul

   He's a doctor in the sick room
   He's a lawyer in a courtroom

   He's the bright and morning star
   He's a wheel in a wheel

There are a thousand lines like that, that you can slip into a song when you're improvising.

Then, there are all the "relative" lines.. the "Oh, Father," or "Oh, Mother" lines.''

There are lines like:

   You got trouble in your home?
   You say your children won't do right?
   You say your Husband won't do right?

And on and on, each line interspersed with the harmonies repeating a short phrase, like "Jesus He will fix it" to the trouble in your home lines.

When you're singing a lead, and the Spirit is with you, and the church is on it's feet swaying and clapping in rhythm, there's nothing can stop you. You can build to a fever pitch and get people up dancing in the aisles. And then sometimes, new lines just naturally flow... little snippets from songs lodged deep in your brain, or lines that keep building on the same idea. It is a powerful experience.

Now, Richie, if you're starting to build that into bluegrass gospel, you'll feel the power flowing through you, as the lines keep building. And that will be one of the rare times when white gospel builds on improvisation.

One last comment. A jazz guitar hero of mine once told me, when I commented that a long phrase in an improvisation was the same one I'd heard the guitarist do twenty years ago... note for note,

" A musician's style is the summation of his limitations."

If you ever find yourself in a position where you can improvise against a backing group, be sure to fill you bag first.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Nancy King
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:29 PM

Fantastic thread, folks! Thanks to Jerry and all!

I have attended several workshops in gospel singing led by Ethel Caffie-Austin of West Virginia. In addition to her teaching at the Augusta Workshops, she has often done an afternoon workshop in which she teaches several songs to the -- virtually all-white -- group, which they sing at her evening concert. Obviously a one-day workshop isn't enough to make these white folks into a real black gospel choir, but it comes amazingly close. It has given me a much greater understanding of the harmonies and rhythms of black gospel music. And Ethel's wonderful personality adds immeasurably to the experience.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 09:24 PM

Hi, Nancy:

Join the chorus... Sunday, my group was scheduled to do a half hour of gospel at the small church my wife and I go to. We've performed there several times... raised over $1,500 toward installing an elevator for the elderly (being able to see "elderly" lurking around the corner.) Our tenor was in Florida for Thanksgiving, so I knew we'd only be a trio. Then last week, the two other Messengers had to back out... one was in the hospital, and the other had to go out of town suddenly. That left me.

What I did was a little like what you described in the workshop. I taught the whole congregation to sing their parts... both for white gospel (The Old Account Was Settled) and black gospel(several songs where I taught them all the responses.) We had such a great time, that it was hard to settle down for the service. I didn't help by doing two more songs during the service which had everybody moving.
I finished the workshop we did at NOMAD this year by getting everyone up and having them sing the responses of the other Messengers as I sang lead on Trouble In My Way. I can see doing a whole workshop, really getting people into the phrasing, and trying to loosen everyone up. I think that may be the hardest thing to learn to do... just loosen up, feel the rhythm and let 'er rip. You've given me some good ideas for next year's workshop..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Richie
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 10:31 PM

Jerry-

Bluegrass and southern gospel uses the call and response or echo but there is very little vocal improvisation. Even on songs where we don't use back-up singers and multiple voice parts, I still try to improvise the melody in a blues/jazz style and occasionally yodel and make abrupt high pitch yells.

The Appalachian ballad style solo singing (usually for slower songs) is ornamental and improvisational to a point, but there aren't extra improvised lyrics or sections designated for improv.

I'm working on the black gospel song, "Put Your Hand in Mine" for our next CD. I'm not sure if there will be enough room for it though. I learned from a tape of a small black church service in the area (NC). Do you know that song?

Keep it up,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: khandu
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 10:55 PM

In 1980, I went into a studio to record a "soulful" version of "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". When I arrived, my recording friend had a surprise waiting for me. He had called in a black quartet, "The Archie Singers", to do background vocals for me.

We recorded it "live", howbeit, I was in a booth, could see no one, but I heard them over the headphones. As I began the verse, I was concerned as to how it would turn out; we had not rehearsed at all!

When I got to the first chorus, I thought the Heavens had opened up! It sounded like flesh and blood angels joining in. Chills went throughout my body, and stayed there.

Then, they began to improvise, with moanings and groanings, sliding little comments in here and there. As I "Oh I'm leeeeaaaaning", I heard one of the quartet sing "I wonder are you leaning?" It was truly a magical moment for me.

We did the one song. I walked out with my heart soaring and my head spinning! Over the years, the tapes have disappeared. One of my friends has the one known remaining tape, but, I cannot find him!

I have listened to Dylan's "Gospel" recordings and on the "Saved" album, there is the woman with the most wonderful moaning, groaning voice! She reminds me so much of "Rosie" who sang on my recording.

That Black Spiritual singing at my session made the old hymn ALIVE!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:19 PM

Hi, Richie: I don't know the song, Put Your Hand In Mine. Undoubtedly, Masato has the complete discography of the song. It's not in my African American Heritage Hymnal... I'll check Songs Of Zion, but the title isn't familiar. I've just run through my CDs looking for white and black versions of the same song, and don't remember seeing the title there. I'll ask the guys if they've heard it...


Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Nov 02 - 12:59 PM

We do these songs every week, and others from the wider reaches of the gospel genre. Like Jerry we have learned from many styles as we have soaked up the work of those who have gone before us. I think right now I have about 3,000 gospel tune files (MIDI, MP3, CD cuts, and so forth), on my hard drive. When I cam casting about for a new song or two for the week, I love to bring up the same song done as many different ways as I can, before I even start to learn the text. But it will not come out, when I do the piece, "like them." And I would not want it to. That was THEIR work... now I must begin my own.

Jerry's group, The Gospel Messengers, must know this, too, for you hear the truth in their singing, not an imitation of some earlier recorded truth. And as knowlegable as Jerry is about many of the details, ultimately these details do not define the event of singing or hearing gospel music. If you look for them to do that, you will miss the boat.

In our case, what seems to happen, no matter how we first heard a song and learned it, is that the spirit of truth brings it into a rendition that is true for us, that day, with that group of people. It's different every time we do it... what we do is just soak up ALL the ways these songs have been done, often listening to multiple versions from multiple styles and eras. And then we let them happen however they happen in worship, with just a brief rehearsal.

The source being what it is, and the object being what it is, make the interpreter less important then the event of sharing them with one another. I think the stylistic details are good to look at, because we can then apply them to songs we may know in one style, and put them in another style. (For example, I have a slow, wailing, spirituals-sounding version of "I went down to the river to pray" that I have never heard done that way, and that would not bring Alison Krauss to mind at all, tho it is her version that made me fall in love with the piece first.) And the words to describe the details come in handy when you rehearse a group to do them.

But before that can happen authentically, you have to have soaked up enough of others' good work, and run it through your own internal stylerizer, for it to come out sounding less than pretentious.... you have to relax and let the song be the song, and let the techniques go compeletly, or you are not letting them be part of the spirit they are meant to touch.

Many of you know and experience what I am talking about. I guess I am saying, if you do not experience it that way, I would say you aren't ready to perform these yet... that you WILL be able to do them that way, if you let the songs do thjeir work, and that it is worth the wait for the experience you will have and share with others.


Wish I had time to say more.... we have learned a lot from leading weekly worship with this material. But this week I am making a mixed-styles Advent songbook, and I gotta have it ready by Saturday night! *G* I just finished the people's wordbook, but I have not even started the players' arrangements!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 01:33 PM

It is as true in gospel as it is in folk music, Susan.. as you point out, you have to make the song your own. I most enjoy the songs that we do with the Messengers that we don't have a recording to follow. The songs that I've written fall into that realm, as do songs that we have heard, and have the words to, but don't have a particular recording. We want to honor the syle of black gospel, but not by imitation. For Joe, Frankie and Derrick, they don't have to imitate being black. And I never have tried to "sound" southern Appalachian, black, Australian, or like any other musician. I didn't learn to play instruments by trying to copy what I heard on records, either. It's a matter of assimilating the music and making it your own. But, that's not really what this thread is about. Wilco requested that I share the observations I've made in a particular workshop, where we talk (and then sing) about the difference in style between the two types of gospel. I'm fortunate that I have my friends The Beans to share the workshop with us, as they have a real good feel for southern white gospel and also do Sacred Harp singing. And then at some point, we all sing together, blending our styles and background, and just singing gospel music. Great fun.

Most importantly for us, we sing to carry the message forth. A message and a faith that we've committed our lives to. There is nothing faintly scholarly about our approach. Our name says it all.
We are messengers. And, we never sing what we don't believe.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 01:47 PM

Right, Jerry; my point as it relates to the topic is that the stylistic details between and across the styles do not make the song... the act of singing it does... and that although there are certain differences, in the end it is not these differences that define the experience.

Something I have enjoyed very much is listening to as much black gospel as possible, and then running a mainstream hymn or southern gospel or bluegrass gospel piece through my head, through whatever my mind has absorbed... and hearing the song come out influenced very strongly by the black gospel styles, fresh and new. It's a way of being playful that frees up all sort of possibilities.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wilco
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 01:59 PM

Jerry: What a great thread.
    I can't read any music, so I have to "hear" everything, and play it by ear. So, I have to hear a song actually sung to appreciate it.
    On slow gospel songs (Angel Band, I Am a Pilgrim, or A Beautiful Life) I have always repeated the lead. Growing up in a Cathloic Church, I don't know how I learned to do this.
      I especially enjoy doing is "A beautiful Life," which has aa alternating base lead.
    Where will you do your workshop again?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 02:07 PM

In Jerry's post above about improvisation, where he talks about stock phrases dropped into various songs, these come from the "floating" verses found in negro spirituals. As an antiphon, a verse, or a response, these were the items used to flesh out a song for singing in the fields at work, to keep a rhythm going and pass the time in an uplifting way... they were frequently made up of Bible images, whether they had anything to do with the theme of the song as first tossed out by the song leader or not. (This need for rhythm, by which to do repetitive, exhausting work as painlessly and efficiently as possible, is not unlike the way sea chanteys came to be. You can still hear this in later black gospel where even a long, improvised testifyin' carries a strong relationship to the beat.)

Other spirituals were done not at work, but as a "shout" where the singers would march together in the grip of the spirit, chant/singing in time to the movement, often very repetitively and often with floating verses contributed as leadership of the shout moved around among participants.

Sometimes the floaters would present a contrasting theme to the main theme which would occur in a refrain that would open as well as punctuate the piece, and sometimes they would be a couplet sung back to the leader as the leader took the song through a story or a topic, in the call/response pattern. You hear these in black gospel, too, throughout all its many styles over the decades, as well as in current black gospel sung in church worship.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 02:33 PM

Excellent observations, Susan! Maybe we can explore the differences between spiritual, gospel songs and hymns...


Wilco: I probably won't be doing this workshop again until next year at NOMAD, if they ask me back. But then, you never know. I did it in Boonville, Mo when I had my group out there for a festival. This thread has been wonderful for me, because I've had to verbalize what I hear in my head. And, others are adding their observations, which is what I hoped for. This thread, despite your title, isn't really about "my" workshop... that's just a starting point to share ideas and experiences in doing white and black gospel.

As for hearing the songs, that will be rectified shortly. I have a package in front of me with two CDs of black gospel... We got 6" of snow today, so I've been out shoveling and haven't made it to the post office... hope to get there later this afternoon.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 02:55 PM

Just to let you folks know that there are some normally 'long-winded' mudcatters enjoyin' this while keepin' quiet.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 03:13 PM

Hi, Rick: A long-winded Catter is in the title of this thread...

C'mon in..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 04:10 PM

You can hear (download) quite a lot of the music Jerry is writing about, online, and in some cases compare versions, at DOVESONG's MP3 library. There are a few articles, too.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 04:21 PM

Maybe we can explore the differences between spiritual, gospel songs and hymns...

A never-ending discussion with a number of old threads, already, which is where it would make the most sense to add more information, I think. Let's let this discussion run a bit and then turn to those questions. OK?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 05:55 PM

Yeah... there are good threads on those topics, already

CLAPPING

Any gospel song with a strong beat is likely to get people clapping in rhythm, whether it's white or black gospel. The real difference is that often in black gospel, people clap between beats, too. I hear tell that's called polyrhythmic clapping, and is an old African form of keeping rhythm. It can be very complex. When I sing in the Men's Chorus, my friend Frankie usually claps between beats... I'll have to ask him about that... it's a very old form of keeping rhythm and I notice he's usually the only one in the whole chorus who does it. I'm especially aware of it, because we always stand next to each other when we're singing. On songs that are in three quartet time, people clap on the second and third beats, which I haven't heard in white gospel. Toss in moving back and forth in rhythm and it's a wonder I can even sing..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 06:38 PM

SINGING SOLO

One thing that was very unfamiliar to me when I first started to go to black churches is when someone gets up to sing a solo. They don't step over to the organist or pianist and tell them the key they want to sing in... they just start singing. Then, it's up to the accompanist to figure out what key they're in, and start backing them.
Most organists are really good at doing this... they know hundreds and hundreds of songs, and the chord progressions are usually fairly simple, if it's one they haven't heard.

But, that's just part of the challenge. Solo singers in black churches keep their own internal rhythm, slowing lines down and holding a particular note as long as they feel it. That means that the accompanist (including singers who are backing up the soloist sometimes) really has to follow the leader, slowing down or skipping a beat at the soloist's desire. That's why that black gospel quartet could step in behind you, Khandu, and immediately slip into feeling with you. They do it every Sunday..

I've also noticed that people who are used to singing solo, and having the accompanist find their key, often will sing in a different key than the accompanist, if the accompanist gives them a lead in.
Very strange. The soloist normally doesn't seem to be bothered that they are singing in a different key. Either the accompanist changes keys, or the soloist will sing the whole song in a different key and not blink an eye. Much of this happens because so much singing in black churches is done without sheet music.

In the workshop I do, I'll often ask Frankie to sing He Looked Beyond My Faults And Saw My Needs. He is very inconsistent on coming in on the beat from one verse to the next, or from the verse to the chorus, and we just have to wait to see where he's going. I just vamp on guitar until I see him getting ready to go into the next verse. And, he never does it the same way twice. On top of that, Frankie is always deeply moved by the song, so he may just have to stop and compose himself, often with tears streaming down his face. Sometimes, Joe, Derrick or I start to break down and have to look away, or even walk away. Once, when Frankie finished the song, and everyone was overwhelmed with emotion, the Pastor came up and threw his arms around him, and asked us to do it again... right then. And we did. In gospel music, it's the feeling and the message that overrule any musical structures.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 10:34 PM

Well Friends, I think this brings this thread to an end. I've really focused on those differences that can be illustrated in a one hour workshop, specifically with my group and my friends The Beans. If I was in a workshop with a different group, like our friends on the West Coast, The Reedy Buzzards, the workshop would change to include early country gospel by the Brother groups (like the Stanley Brothers and Louvin Brothers) and the Blue Sky Boys. If we ever have the pleasure of doing a workshop with Wilco 48, or Richie and the Bluegrass Messengers, we'd explore other aspects of white gospel. There is much left to talk about... gospel and the blues, including people like the Staples Singers and Pops Staples, Blind Willie Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis, Thomas A. Dorsey and all the rest. There is a very strong link between black gospel and the blues. I'm not sure that I'm the one to explore it, though.

And then, there's the gospel of the Georgia Sea Islands, the black street singers (I have a wonderful CD of two blind street singers, Clay and Scott, recorded in Philadelphia) both black and white Sacred Harp singers, Southern White gospel (which I don't enjoy, so I'd be a poor choice to talk about that branch of gospel)and many more styles that you could add. I am not an expert on anything, and definitely not a scholar. I love to sing the music, and feel it in my soul. I'll leave the scholarly work to others... there are several scholars on Mudcat.

If anyone wants to carry on this discussion, they can always PM me, or e-mail me at gospelmessengers@msn.com. I am always trying to grow, musically and spiritually. Many Catters have written and are writing gospel. I just finished another song tonight, and expect that more will come. Whatever inspiration we can give to each other is worth continuing a discussion. Khandu is a fine writer, and nutty has written a fine gospel song. 53 says he's written several gospel songs if he can only find the tape, and I'm sure there are many others.

This thread has been great fun... thanks for starting it Wilco. You ain't heard the last of me yet.

Brother Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Richie
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 12:49 AM

Jerry-

I dug up the lyrics to PUT YOUR HAND IN MINE that we transcribed from a church performance in a small African-American church in rural NC.
I also strated a separate thread to get ino on it.

Lyr. Add: PUT YOUR HAND IN MINE: Chords: G G Em Em Em Em D G
Solo (Choir only)

G                               Em
Put your hand in mine, put your hand in mine,
                                        D       G
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.


Put your hand in mine, put your hand in mine,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

Goin' down Jordan on a wheel of time.
(I need you Jesus) to put your (hand in mine).

Death is gonna skae this old frame of mine.
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

Put your hand in mine, (put your) hand in mine,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

One of these old morinings and it won't be long,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

You're gonna look for me, and I'll be gone,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

Put your hand in mine, put your hand in mine,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

(Put your hand in mine), put your hand in mine,
Singing, I need you Jesus, (Ineed you to) put your hand in mine.

Two, two white horses running side by side,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

They're gonna take me over, take me over to the other side,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

Put your hand in mine, put your hand in mine,
Singing, I need you Jesus, to put your hand in mine.

Put your hand in mine, put your hand in mine,
Singing, (I need you Jesus),
Singing, (I need you Jesus),
I'm singing, (I need you Jesus),
I can't make it by myself (I need you Jesus),
Every day of my life, I need you Jesus(I need you Jesus),
To put your hand in mine.

Note: Last line sung by all. Called an "old" song, by one of the leaders in the church.

Any info about origin?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 08:39 AM

Still is unfamiliar to me, Ritchie, but I'll ask the guys if they know it. The song, as you've written it out is a real good example of what we've been talking about in black gospel... the "improvisation" against backing vocals, especially. You could stick, "The Jordan river's chilly and cold"/response/"It chills the body, but not the soul," and countless other couplets in the song and keep it going a lonnnnnng time..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: bbc
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 01:00 PM

This has been very informative, Jerry. Thank you!

bbc


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wilco
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 01:23 PM

Thanks Jerry. I've actually been taking notes! Could you address WYSIWYG's post about "floating verses," an give some examples? How do you maintain rhythm with them?

Thanks!!!!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 03:34 PM

wilco, if you will look at the African American Spirituals Permathread, you will find LINKS to a HUGE number of posted spirituials. Browse a few of those and you will start to see a lot of repeated verses.... any and all of them (and any new ones someone might think up now) can be borrowed into gospel pieces whereever the rhythm fits (or can be made to fit)... and it happens in blues tunes, too, with images and phrsases migrating across a number of pieces.

One that is often found in gospel, tho, is this one:

I went down to the valley to pray
And my soul got so happy I stayed there all day.


In a testifying style, it might be all jammed together with spontaneous elaboration, taking the same time to sing/say but subdividing the rhythm to make room for all of this:

Yes I went down, Lord, to the valley, for a little while to pray
And my soul got so happy you know I stayed there all day.


To understand black gospel, IMO you really have to start with the spirituals. That's where it mostly flowed out of, with of course African rhythms, intervals, and manners of presentation. One of the real big differences though, between the spirituals and the kind of black gospel we're talking about here, is that although the spirituals were sung by groups, there was not actually harmony as we understand it... but a collection of individuals, each singing or embroidering upon the tune as they felt it.... Each one sang/called out whatever made sense to them to sing. It was neither unison nor harmony, but a communal effort to bring a song about. And lots of spontaneous exclamations which of course ARE part of what passed along into black gospel.

Have fun in that permathread.... lots of links to other good material there, too.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 07:41 PM

Hi, Wilco:

O.k., some examples in addition to the one that WYSIWYG gave:

"My hand got stuck on the gospel plow
I won't take nothing for my journey now"

"The Jordan River is chilly and cold
It chills the body but not the soul"

And you can make up your own, Wilco. When I sing the lead on I'm Just Waiting on Jesus, while the guys are repeating "I'm going to wait on him," I do:

"You can talk about me
Just as much as you please (another common phrase)
I'm going to wait on the Lord
Down on knees"

Or you can take familiar biblical Scripture:

"Those who wait ..... I'm going to wait
On the Lord............I'm going to wait
Their strength.........I'm going to wait
Will be renewed........I'm going to wait
They shall mount up....I'm going to wait
On wings like eagles...I'm going to wait
They shall run.........I'm going to wait
And never get weary....I'm going to wait

And then I added:

You can move mountains.I'm going to wait
Or part the sea........I'm going to wait
Just wait on the man...I'm going to wait
From Gallilee...........I'm going to wait

There's a CD in the mail of us doing this, so you can sing along and feel the rhtyhm.

When I was first asked to sing a lead and improvise, I was very insecure, so I memorized the "improvisations." After a copuple of years of doing this, when the Spirit moves me, I can make up lines on the spot. Sometimes.

It's really a great deal of fun, as you'll hear..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 08:15 PM

One of these days about 12 o'clock,
This ole world's gonna reel and rock.

Pharoah's army got drownded,
O! Mary! Don't you weep.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 10:28 PM

Oh,one more thing...

In black gospel, I've always appreciated how the singer can personalize an event that took place two thousand years ago and put it in terms that we can understand today. A case in point:

We're working on a Christmas program these days, and we're learning No Room At The Inn, more or less following a recording of the song by Mahalia Jackson. We're taking it from a solo with piano accompaniment to a quartet with electric guitar, and adding some responses, but basically it's still the same song.

When you think of all the elements that go into the nativity story, there are the shepherds and their sheep, the manger, the cattle lowing, the star of Bethlehem, the angels singing on high, even (incorrectly) the three wisemen and gifts of frankincense and Myrrh. I don't know about you, but these are not part of my everyday life. No Room At The Inn doesn't have any of these familiar images. It tells the story from the perspective of Joseph and Mary and the anxiety they felt by being turned away, everywhere they went. Blacks know about that, better than most folks, but we've all experienced being turned away. We know how that feels. So, the first two verses of the story are about Mary and Joseph:

"According to the word, there was a virgin birth
The father of Jesus was wandering around that night
He was trying to find a place for the Savior to be born
But there was no room, no room at the inn

I know that Mother was worried, and she began to moan
She prayed to be delivered of her only son
She was very sad, I know, 'cause she had no place to go
For there was no room, no room at the inn

You can really empathize with Joseph and Mary in those verses.

And who will witness for this grand night? The shepherds? the angels singing on high? the Three Wisemen? (maybe even the little stop-action drummer boy.) No, it was the plain folks, working in the inn, seen through the eyes of a race who often made a living in the most modest jobs:

"The bell boy and the Porter, the waitress and the cook
Will be witness up in Heaven, to all the things that it took
She was turned away, and had no place to stay
For there was no room, no room at the inn"

Now I kinda doubt that they had bell boys and porters back in those days. If they did, they never made it into the King James version.
But, it is the folks in the lowly positions that were not respected, who were called on to witness up in Heaven.

And the chorus is:

"There was no room, no room at the inn
There was no room, no room at the inn
When the time had fully come, for the Savior to be born
There was no room, no room at the inn"

A song that tells the story in a way that we can relate to it. I've been a night watchmen, a waiter and a cook, so I can feel a little pleasure in imagining that it was the folks in the back room that did the testifying...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wilco
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 09:53 AM

Jerry is dead-on about the appeal of this music. It talks to people at the level where they really live. I have often heard it said that "The ground is level at the foot of the Cross." Almost every song that I enjoy speaks to the Beatitudes.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 04:31 PM

Just when you think a thread is dead..

Wednesday, my group did a program for high school students on spirituals and black gospel. Most of the students who came were in a black gospel Chorus at the school and at one point, I called three young men up to double harmonies with Frankie, Joe and Derrick on a song I was singing the lead on. Two of the young men weren't in the Gospel Chorus, so singing old quartet style was akin to speaking in tongues for them.

When the program was over, there was a question and answer period, and the first question asked of me was "Can a white choir sing black gospel." My first response was, "Well, I know someone who is white who can sing black gospel." We all laughed, but she said that wasn't what she was talking about. She wanted to know if a white CHOIR could sing black gospel. It was a really interesting question and in a way, very much the same question that could be posed in other ways... "Can a lundlubber" sing sea chanties? Can someone in England sing American cowboy songs(ask Lonnie Donegan.) Can a white boy sing the blues? I only had a couple of minutes to wing an answer, so I stuck to the difference between Choruses, Choirs and Quartets. Might even be worth a separate thread.

We were a quartet singing to a Chorus. In the black church that my wife and I go to, there are choirs and choruses. To my ears, they are very different. The choirs sing from arrangments written down and published as sheet music. The choruses learn the songs and harmonies by ear. To me, even though the Sanctuary Choir in our chruch is black, they sound more European to me than black American. In part, that's because many of them have trained voices, and enunciate with a precision that doesn't seem like it fits gospel. I imagine most people have had the experience of hearing a white choir attempt to sing black gospel. To my ears, it usually doesn't work... any more than it would work if I tried to sing an aria from Aida. All of the guys in my quartet and I are in a Men's Chorus. Beads of sweet pour down our brows when we have to sing from sheet music. We squint our eyes and cock our heads and do the best we can.

So, I turned it into a somewhat different question... can a choir sing black gospel. Sure, they can sing it... they can sing the words and get the melody right, and probably even approximate the rhythm. But can they really get down to the heart of it all? My guess is that a white chorus or a whie folk group would have a better shot at singing black gospel. Two groups immediately come to mind... Marley's Ghost, and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. They both do black gospel... in the case of Doyle Lawson, sometimes with the almost identical arrangement of a black gospel group... the Soul Stirrers in particular. To me, they "get it."

Any thoughts on this?

Still Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 04:47 PM

Oh, my good friend, you are at the heart of an issue that P-Vine and I have tried unsucessfully to bridge during our entire relationship.

The P-Vine is classicly trained and syng in church choirs all her life. She is so good that she is asked to do many of the solos in a choir made up of a number of trained vocalist mixed with others who are less trained but read.

Now the ol' Bobert, on the other hand, can't even tell you what chord he's playin' 'cause I ain't got a clue.

Now, don't get me wrong. There's no judgements here and we both enjoy and respect what the other is doing but like I told her about doing music with me: "When you come out of the Penthouse and get on the elevator punch 'O' for 'outhouse'!" Yeah, sure, she tries. Lord know she does. But there's something about all that training that sets up that "negative transference" we learned about in Psyc. 201 that makes that bridge one heck of a long one.

I don't know if answered any more questions that I've created here, Jerry, but it's an interesting topic.

Yir ol' hillbilly buddy,

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 05:22 PM

My Man, Bobert:

I'm with you (or is it yez?) Bobert. I have never had the desire to sing in a choir in my life, but I sure love singing in the Men's Chorus. The fact that almost none of us are trained makes it all the more interesting. I sing the the baritone or (barely-tone) section in the Men's Chorus and there are times when I am the only one singing the baritone harmony (if Frankie's there, we're often the only two.) Half the guys sing the melody (although they swear they can't sing tenor) and others just kinda improvise as they go along. The interesting thing is, as long as they aren't singing something discordant, they blend in fine. We have the most complicated harmonies of all because there are so many variations. But, it works, and there is a richness and power that is at least different than it would be if we all sang it "right." On top of that, our Director doesn't write the harmonies down, and sometimes he'll even change them as the practice goes along. So, we pick what we like, half the time. I'm sure we'd drive a trained singer absolutely crazy!

Every once in a while someone will join the Men's Chorus who enunciates with great precision and has a very pronounced vibrato.
No one in the Men's Chorus sings with a vibratto, so they sound kinda silly, hung out to dry. They usually don't stay long. We have guys in the bass section that couldn't approximate a melody at gunpoint, but they're always there, and I'm glad that they are. (And that they don't sing real loud.)

If you or any other Catters make it up here (or over here) to Connecticut and are here on Sunday, I'll give you a taste of shoot from the hip singing, Bobert. You would fit right in... just stand next to Joe..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Socorro
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 10:27 PM

I'm right there with you guys. I used to sing with a group of friends, one of whom is an old-time Texas black gospel singer,Leo. He knows nothing of musical language (keys & that sort of folderol), but what a singer!
The purpose of our group was to (try to)sing in the black gospel style, but our main piano player (classically-trained piano teacher) just could not get it.
She tried to assign us all fixed "parts", to which we would "stick" & sing the same way each time (so that she could learn one accompaniment, & play it the same each time).
She HAD to write everything down - of course then she expected Leo to sing the same way next time, which he never did.
It was sorta funny, how he was always trying to get her to throw away her papers, but she just couldn't.
Her style clashed horribly with Leo's, & her rhythm didn't even approximate his - & she couldn't hear it.

The term Leo always used for singing that sounds too straight was "choir". If we heard that word, we knew we were in trouble.

What an eye-opener for me. I know that all classically-trained musicians don't become crippled in this way, but her ear seemed to have gotten lost somewhere.

Jerry, thanks for your explanation of how black church singing works. I can show it to my cousin, who didn't believe me, that the accompanists had to work under those conditions (he said to me - "that's just not how music works!") - Me, I think it's absolutely inspiring, & it's my own goal to be able to play that way. Like you, i have no interest in singing in a choir, the same way every time. It's so exhilarating to feel the spirit & listen/respond to the subltle cues of those around you at the same time. Praise God.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Night Owl
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 11:13 PM

Thanks for this thread Jerry. I missed reading it in Nov.
Sure wish you would keep talking...


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 11:32 PM

A GRAND THREAD.   THAT'S MY MAN, JERRY !!!!

Art
(Jerry, I've had some trouble with e-mail. Did you get my last one I sent back to you?)


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 01:06 AM

Wow! I missed it, too. PLease do keep posting, Jerry, this is fantastic. Thanks very much,

kat


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 02:04 AM

Nice to see the new postings.... I added some comments because someone said that they'd missed this thread and couldn't find it.

Many years ago, I did a gospel album, which I never released. There were three or four songs where I really wanted a quartet sound, but didn't know anyone in the area who could sing the bass parts. I was going to a Lutheran Church at the time, so I asked someone I knew who sang bass in the choir if he would record the bass parts for me. He asked for the sheet music to the songs, and I told him that there wasn't any. He said he couldn't sing without sheet music. A strange form of laryngitis. I told him that I could give him a tape of the song, with me singing the bass part, and that I could even put it on a separate channel, so he could sing along with me and learn it that way. That was no help to him. He said he couldn't sing it if he didn't have sheet music for it. The bass harmony is by nature, simple. But, there was no way of convincing him to even try. Frustrated, I asked a second bass singer in the choir, and got the same response. I suppose that I shouldn't have been surprised. I've met people who play the piano, who've played piano all of their lives and when I've asked them to play something for me, with a piano standing there next to us they said, "I can t play without sheet music."

Years ago, I used to teach banjo. Once I had taught the basics of picking styles, I'd try to get my students to tackle a song without the tablature. I'd give them a simple song, just using them what I'd already taught them, and give them a tape of myself doing the song slowed down, and then at a regular speed. That day at their lesson, I'd go through the song several times, breaking it down for them, and encouraging them to play along and ask questions. The next week, they'd show up, not having learned the song, complaining that they couldn't play it unless I gave them tablature for it. When I realized that I was creating a monster... someone who "couldn't play" unless they had tablature, I did everything I could to encourage them to break away from their dependency on having everything written out "the right way." Without exception, they just quit taking lessons.

As a folk singer, music to me is a personal expression. Learning from books, or taking lessons, or even learning songs from sheet music is a way to learn. Sheet music or tablature is a tool, not a prison. I went to hear the Glen Miller orchestra once (at the local mall) and found it fascinating. Musicians arrived, one at a time and were handed their sheet music. When everyone was there, they sat down (never having played the arrangements or played together before) and did a passable version of Miller's big hits. They didn't sound bad... they could sight read well enough to play together with no rehearsal. I was very impressed by that, and headed for the nearest exit as fast as my feet could carry me. They got the notes "right" but missed the song.

One of the reasons why I love gospel music so much is the reason why I love folk music so much... it comes out of the heart, not off a sheet of paper.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 02:15 AM

And... Hi, Art: I got your last e-mail. It was the last e-mail I received and will be that, until I receive the next one.

Does that answer your question?

Kinda like giving directions and saying, "Turn right five miles before you get to the bridge." :-)

I'll e-mail you, just to see...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: GUEST,Mary V...in wisconsin.....
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 07:22 AM

THANKS JERRY !!! AND ALL THE OTHERS....

THIS DISCUSSION IS GREAT !!!!
THANKS SO MUCH FOR LETTING ME KNOW.
WHEN WE TRAVEL DOWN SOUTH...
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOU GUYS SING...
MARY IN WISCONSIN .....4 BELOW ZERO .....
GOOD MUSIC IS THAT ONLY THING
KEEPING US WARM AROUND HERE...


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wilco
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM

Jerry: I didn't really know what you were talking about with "sheet music." I assumed that it was some unusual mispronunciation for a musical style that you didn't like. But, I saw some last week. There were literally hundreds of little black dots and flags and stuff on parallel railroad tracks. Not very endearing.
    Seriuosly, I think that its remarkable that someone can re-create
a piece of muisc from paper, when there is no emotional content on the page. I can't read a dot of music.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 07:17 PM

Wilco: It never made sense to me to learn to read sheet music because just about all of the music I want to sing doesn't have accompaying sheet music. Find me the sheet music to Blues In The Bottle or Peddle Your Blues Away and I'll eat it (no fair using google...)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 02:07 PM

I thought I'd refresh this for a couple of days, as I'll be leading this workshop at the NOMAD Festival on Saturday, November 15 at 8 p.m.
The NOMAD Festival is going to be held this year in New Havem, CT. I'll be doing the workshop with my quartet, The Gospel Messengers and fellow mudcatters Jim and Cindy Bean and special guest, Rich Gallagher. Other mudcatters I notice on the workshop schedule are Animaterra, who will be doing Songs And Chants Of The World's Traditions, and the inimitable Kendall H. Morris and our own Sandwell T. Paton on Hobo Songs... all on Saturday night.

SHould be a lot of fun..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: dwditty
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 02:54 PM

Thanks, Jerry, for bringing this thread back.

dw
aka Rich Gallagher


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 03:52 PM

Jerry, I just got lost in this thread and haven't made it all the way through yet... Your workshop is right after us (ShoreGrass) in the chorus room at NOMAD, and I'm looking forward to being there to hear you.

ShoreGrass actually does quite a lot of gospel, bluegrass-style. (That was one of the programs I've offered to do at NOMAD in the past, but they chose the Civil War and bluegrass programs instead). I'm sure we are not experts at anything, but we do love to do gospel songs. The ones we do tend to be Stanley Brothers and Carter Family, although we have "put the grass to" several hymns and even a few contemporary songs. And I've written a couple myself.

Yesterday in church Frank and I and a friend (not in ShoreGrass) did Jordan, Take Me In Your Lifeboat, I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map, Hold Fast to the Right, Peace Like a River and Jesus Loves Me. I don't know which are black, white, southern, bluegrass, praise, whatever. We just do them. There were actually a few feet that became unglued to the floor and many smiles going out the door afterwards, and comments like "I wish we could hear more of THAT kind of music!"

See you in November in New Haven.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: bbc
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 09:56 PM

Hope to see you there for the 3rd time, Jerry!

best always,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 10:10 PM

Maybe I need a two hour workshop, Barbara! We just touch the surface in an hour, and the Gospel Messengers love bluegrass... Can't tear them away from bluegrass when they hear it at a folk festival. Joe and Frankie grew up on the Grand Ole Opry. Looks like we need a two hour gospel jam..

Look forward to hearing y'all in November..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: bbc
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:42 PM

Two hours would be nice, Jerry. Any chance of that?

bbc


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:59 PM

Maybe next year, bbc... the schedule is all set for this year...

If I can get Shore Grass, Rich Gallagher, the Beans and the Messengers together, I'll try to get two workshops consecutively, or a two hour gospel "jam." Sounds like an enormous amount of fun. I'm sorry you didn't know about the now-defunct Adirondack Folk Gospel Festival I was a part of... three days of every kind of gospel you could imagine... Janette Carter, the Moving Star Hall Singers, Walt Michaels, Rev. Dan Smith, and on and on...

Maybe someday we'll find a way to pull everyone together for a day..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Burke
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:07 PM

Adirondack Folk Gospel Festival

I went to that, once. I didn't hear anything about it again & don't know how I heard about it the first time. It was fun.

How long did it last? When did it die?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 07:13 PM

The Adirondack Folk Gospel Festival lasted six years, I think... I was involved the last three as a performer and board member. It was a wonderful festival, but never quite captured an audience. I think that a lot of church folks were sceptical of folkies, and some folkies might have been concerned that it would be too "religious." A lot of Atheists sing gospel and love the songs for their energy and good choruses, and sing them in the same way that they'd sing a sea chanty. It might have sounded a little too much like a tent revival for people who are more private in their worship. I was a little sceptical, myself the first year that I was booked, because I didn't consider myself a gospel singer. But, I thought people mixed very comfortably together, whatever their faith, and I didn't find anyone
pushy.

The festival was started and headed by Field Horne. I think he just got tired of trying to make it work. An unfortunate side effect that's often suffered in the world of folk festivals..

It was a wonderful festival, though.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 07:29 PM

I LOVE the idea of a 2-hour gospel jam! Maybe a round-robin where we could keep going around giving each group/style a song, one after the other. That would (in my opinion) make a wonderful session at NOMAD, and it would also be a great event elsewhere, such as a church fundraiser or a First Night or a festival or whatever...

Whenever we go to a bluegrass festival (9 or 10 this past season) we always end up on Sunday morning with our own gospel set at the campsite. For those joining the jam who don't do gospel, we ask for something inspirational. Some of our best jams have been at that good-bye gospel set at the end of each festival.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 10:03 PM

We're ready..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:02 PM

Well, I have offered my home in the past to do just what's described here. Offer's still open. We "do" a few of these ourselves. :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 09:03 AM

Oh yeah, one more thing:

These days, my quartet is working on two songs we've already "learned" but have had trouble with. The problem in both cases is that on the original recording, the lead singer adds extra beats on a line. This is fairly common in "live" singing that I hear, where the singer just gets into the feel of the line and holds it out extra beats (or throws in an aside.) In both of the songs we're working on, the lead singer sings a line with more words in it than you can easily keep within the beat of the song, unless you sing them like a speed reader. If it's just a lead singer and an accompanist, the accompanist can vamp a few extra beats and let the lead singer take whatever extra time that he or she feels to express the meaning of the song. When you're singing harmony, and the lead decides to sing one line longer than the number of beats the harmony singers are doing, everyone trips all over everyone else. This seems to be a quality of black gospel more than any other type of singing that I'm familiar with.

We're trying to resolve the problem by, in one case, shortning the line with the extra beats so that it fits with the harmonies, and in the other case where it's just my guitar backing the lead, my trying to "vamp" until the lead gets around to finishing the line.

Sometimes, I envy that chunka chunka of Maybelle Carter's guitar..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM

Jerry,
I've read through this thread with great interest and also want to thank you for bringing it back again.

I wanted to share a little bit now and more later..

I was raised in a Black Baptist church in New Jersey. Union Baptist Temple had [and still has] a congregation that for the most part was too 'saditty' to get happy.

When I was growing up [in the 1950s-mid 1960s] there were a number of church choirs that were divided by age and there was also a men's choir..During that time there was a children's choir, a Gospel Choir [made up of older women and men[, a young adult choir, called the 'Spiral Chorus', that was my mother's choir, a men's choir, and a mass choir. The Spiral Chorus sung the more innovative, uptempo gospel songs. In contrast, notwithstanding their name, the Gospel Choir sung anthems and hymns and slower gospel numbers. Besides all this our pastor, Rev. Matthew E. Neil was a singer preacher with a wonderful voice..

The choirs would rotate Sundays..I always preferred the Sundays when the Spiral Chorus sang..

Our chruch organist was a classically trained musician who eventually worked for the school system as a pianist. Our church read music but [and] was a much more down home type musician..In later years I understood that there had been some tug of war between which style of music and accompaniment was best..Yet it seemed to me that they complimented each other well. As one might expect from their musical backgrounds, Mrs. Burke, the classically trained organist was the director of the more conventional Gospel choir, and Mrs Winstead the down home pianist was the director of the Spiral Chorus.

At that time we had no drums or guitars, saxophone or any other musical istruments in our church save the tamborine that was sometimes was used by the Spiral chorus. I also vaguely recall that some individual church members would sometimes bring their own tamborine to church, but this was very rare.

Of course times have changed and that church now has a drummer and a guitar player [but still no saxophone and usually no tamborines]
Clapping off beat is rare in that church now-though I recall that when I was young.

Sorry I have to leave so abruptly. I will share more in another post...


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM

Thanks for your perspective, Azizi:

I got some complaints a couple of Sundays ago for clapping offbeat. I like the polyrythmic clapping, and so does my friend Frankie. But, it's generally frowned upon. That doesn't stop Frankie and me from doing it, of course.

In the last year, the church formed a "band" and now they accompany the Men's Chorus (which up until then did everything with just a piano accompaniment (or a capella.)

Modern Times, Mon!

I still the old stuff..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 03:59 PM

Rather than continue a description of music in my childhood/youth Black Baptist New Jersey church and church music nowadays, I'd like to share this memory:

When I was in high school, my best girlfriend Francine and I, having adventurous natures, got up our nerves and decided to integrate that school's Bible club. It took some nerve for us to do so because although our large school [with 3,000 students] was made up of just about 50% Black students and 50 % White students, the Bible club had never had any Black members.

Outside of classroom interactions, this was our [and probably those students] first attempt at intercultural interactions. Perhaps because we were so young-it didn't go well at all. We were definitely not comfortable there, and I don't believe that the other students were comfortable with us..As I recall, it was almost as if these students doubted that we were Christian, as they constantly grilled us about our religious beliefs. I wonder where was the teacher who was responsible for that group, and why didn't he or she help this process along..but that's another story....

And if the students asking us questions about what kind of Christian we were wasn't bad enough, the music that those students sang made the experience worse for us..Though some of the titles & words of the songs were familiar to us, the WAY they sang the songs were not..I couldn't 'get into' the songs-they seemed somehow 'dryer', slower, less alive in some way I couldn't understand. In essence, it seemed to mehow with less soul..

Well, Francine and I didn't remain in that club, but we went to a couple of White church sessions afterwards. These brief furays into the White religous world confirmed for me that there was something different about Black and White church music. Many years later, I think it's not the text of the music that makes the difference as much as it is the performance of that text.

I think that we {African Americans} prefer percussive music, and that we make the music our own [put our own flava in the mix] rather than stritly adhering to the words. Even in my middle class church, members of the congregation did and still do sing along with the choir if they want to, and/or add interjections like 'Amens' and 'Yes, Lords'. Some people stay seated and clap along [even though few now will do the off beat clapping that is decidedly African]. Other people will stand up and clap along [a sign that the music has 'moved' them so much that they can't stay seated.] Sometimes people seated or standing will raise their right hand or both hands to the sky as as sign that they are moved by the music..

Also, usually the choir doesn't stand still but moves with the music sometimes clapping sometimes not...I didn't see this in the White Baptist churches that I attended in my youth though this worshop style is certainly done in the few White and mixed Black/White Pentacostal church services that I have attended.

To provide some sense of common past and present Black church experiences, I would like to share one excerpt from Samuel A. Floyd Jr's "The Power of Black Music, Interpreting Its History From African To The United States" that describes the ways that Black people respond to both religious and secular music:

"Essentially and most fundamentally, the African-American musical experience is both self-criticising and self-validating. As such experiences unfold, for example, listeners show approval, disapproval, or puzzlement with vocal and physical responses to, and interaction with, events as they occur. African Americans serve critical notice on inferior music making either by withholding their participation or, as in the case of New York's tough Apollo Theatre in the 1940s and 1950s, by addressing their cricism directly to the performers on stage. The culturally attuned are aware when the notes and the rhythms do not fit the context ans when the idiomatic orientation is wrong; they know when an ace is a Signifyin{g} one, when it is effective, and when it is not. Positive responses range from the more or less vigorous comments and declamations of "Oh yeah". "Cook", "Preach", "Uhn-huhn", and other such exhortings, to the approving nods, shakes of the head, finger snapping, shoulder hitchings, and hop switchings of a knwoledgable and sensitive audience, thus calidating the cultural and aestheti value of
Signifyin[g] acts. Their absence generally represents the withholding of approval, revealing 'confusion', 'annoyance', 'boredom', and 'indifference" {Murray, 1973, 87}.
****

Azizi

{in recognition that this post and my preceding one may not directly speak to the subject of this thread, but as a means of sharing with any readers who are interested my thoughts/remembrances of one worship style and certainly not the only valid worship style.}


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 08:06 PM

"Off-beat clapping"?
Any further thoughts/ explanation (other than clapping on the off beat)?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 09:02 PM

I'll let Azizi take this one if she would. On some of the really early recorded black gospel field recordings, you can hear polyrhythms. I don't know anything, really, about the traditions. When my wife and I were in Ghana and went to church there, the music was explosive, and everyone was involved, dancing and clapping and it was a s complex as it was natural.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 09:03 PM

Margret RoadKnight, as I'm not a musician, even to partially answer your question I'm going to have to largely rely on quotes.

"Alan Lomax {1975}.. found that across black Africa there exist
an extraordinary homogenity of African song style ..When most Africans sing they are non-tense, vocally; quite repetitious, texually; rather slurred in enunciation;,lacking in embellishment and free rhythm; low on exclusive leadership; high on antiphony; chorally; especially high in overlappping antiphony; high on one-phrase melodies; on litany form;very cohesive, toanlly and rhythmically in chorus; high on choral integration or part-singin; high on relaxed vocalizing; and highest on polyrthymic [or hot]accompaniments....

Lomax's survey shows that prominent in African culture is
the use of bodily polyrhythm, in which the trunk and the pelvis of teh dancer and teh hands and sticks of the drummer steadily maintain two seperate and conflicting meters. The non-complex structure of text and tune and the mult-leveled structure of Pygmy-Negro performance style afford added incentives for group participation, opening the door for anyone to make a contrastive and complementary personal contribution to the whole sound..
[Alan Lomax, Africanisms in New World music : in The Haitain Potential, New York; Teachers College Press]quoted in Samuel A. Floyd, Jr's "The Power of Black Music", 27

end of quote

It is this 'steadily maintaining of two seperate and conflicting meters' and the'contrastive and complementary' handclapping on the off-beat while some are clapping on beat that Jerry and I are referring to.

Also, Olly Wilson has observed in African music what he calls a 'heterogeneous sound idea' that results from 'the timbral mosaic created by the interaction between lead voice, chorus, rattle, metallic gong, hand clapping, various wind or string instruments, and drums, which exist in greater and lesser degree in almos all ensemble music. He goes on to say that the hetergeneous sound ideal is reflected in vocal music as well."
[quoted in Samuel A. Floyd, Jr's "The Power of Black Music", 28,29]

end of quote..

I've read that there is a preference in African and African descent vocal and isntrumental music for 'dirty' sounds [as opposed to 'pure'/'clean' sounds]..as reflected vocally in gritty, gravelly, hoarse voices and the addition of groans; moans,interjetions, beads added to the iron tong on finger pianos to added a buzz like sound, metal shanka shankas on djembe drums etc.

In addition see this quote from Kebede, 1982 that is cited in Floyd's "The Power of Black Music" [p.31-32}..traditional Afrian music made use, variously, of a musical vocabulary that included melodic monophony, heterophony, and polyphony; parallel thirds, 'tongue clicks, suction stops, explosive endings, throaty gurgles; ovrlaping call-and-response events; and "hand-clapping with off-beat syncopation".

end of quote

Hopefully, some musicians can 'break this down' for you..
'I know that I know' but I'm not sure that I have adequately explained off beat clapping.

Best wishes,
Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 09:37 PM

Why Jerry, you shouldn't have ;O))

Okay, as you can see I tried to explain clapping on the off-beat even before I read your post.

But I would still welcome some musicians comments.

BTW, it's not something I recall being taught, though i don't want to say it comes naturally. Maybe I do it because I was around alot of people who clapped that way [adding to the on bat clapping to make that contrasting sound..] But it's not as common in some Black middle class churches as it used to be..though I'm sure that's its still a going strong in santified, COGIC [Church of God In Christ churches..

As an aside, about 9 years or so ago-when I was reading about the "Shout" tradition in African American Southern slave cultures-I attended a COGIC?? {or holiness, or non-demoninational santified Black church service. The music was SO improvisation, call & response, percussive, dynamic, moving, down-home REAL that I thought myself "this is what it must have been like to attend services in the slave spirit houses". True there were no counterclockwise circle of people moving in a true Shout formation, but it certainly had the FEEL and the SPIRIT of what I imagine a shout or a worship service back then to be {and this is a compliment-and by no means a put-down]..

In that service individual members of the congregation would begin a song, seated or standing; teh drummer [a very talented elementary schoola ge boy, and the adult male electric guitarist would very quickly add accompaniment, and the congregation would join in the singing.. eventually most people would stand, and they would do the off beat and on beat handclaps, and would raise on or both arms to ask for God's blessing, or to express their submission to God..
The song might seem like it was over, but the pianist could continue it or the singers...and sometimes the song flowed into a prayer or some people 'speaking in tongues' or people getting up to 'testify' [give personal testimonies about what good things God had done for them or their family members]..

And while all this was going on, I know that I was approaching this worship service as a visitor from another culture-for that's who I was.. Though they were African American and I am too, I had had little experience with that kind of public emoting..

While I loved [love]the singing and music, I knew that-maybe because of my upbringing- my much more restrained, private personality would probably never be fully comfortable worshipping this way..

I want the still small voice meditation, the intellectual kind of sermon, and the sanctified music and singing..And that's hard to find in one church...


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 09:38 PM

Thaks, Azizi: I just know how it feels. And sounds. Too bad it seems to be less and less encouraged in black church music...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 07:53 PM

(Re: "off-beat clapping":)
Many thanks, Azizi, and Jerry.
Sounds like "The Power of Black Music" should be on my next book shopping list!

I do know what you're expounding/expanding on (I just wasn't sure of the terminology/ definition).

Despite being an agnostic white Australian I'm drawn, like many around the world, to Aframerican (a great term coined by Roland Hayes, the first Black to play Carnegie Hall) religious music..... I was even "adopted' by the touring BLACK NATIVITY company in the mid-'60s, and have recorded with the GMWA Mass Choirs in N'Awlins in '99 & 2000.

Anyway, I now run "Make a Joyful Noise" workshops on Black Gospel Singing which include a segment on off-beat clapping (or tambourine) 'against' on-beat rocking/stepping with a call & response song ..... certainly not natural for us Anglo-Celts.

Appreciate all your feedback
Very best wishes
Margret


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 08:28 PM

Margret,

Thank you for asking the question. And this has caused me to wonder if off beat clapping is a naturarally found in Aborigine and other non-African descent cultures?

And Margret,since you mentioned books, yes Samuel Floyd'Jr's "The Power of Black Music:Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States {Oxford, New York; Oxford University Press} is a very interesting book on that subject.

Here are some other ones in no particular order:

Samuel Charters; "The Roots of the Blues-An African Search";
                Boston; London,Marion Boyars, 1981

John Storm Roberts: "Black Music of Two Worlds:African, Caribbean,
                   Latin, and African-American Traditions"
                   New York, Simon & Shuster Macmillan, 1998him   

Francis Bebey [translated by Josephine Bennett}:
             "African Music: A Peoples' Art";
             Chicago, Lawrence Hill Books, 1975                     

****
Aso Magret, what is "GMWA Mass Choirs"?

Also, I'm friends with a several members of a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania dance group that annually puts on Lanston Hughes' VBlack Nativity. Great that you were adopted by them!!

Of course, you and I are already related since we're both 'Catters !![not to mention women, not to mention human beings, not to mention children of God!!]

Peace,
Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:07 PM

Hi Azizi - Greetings from Down Under!
By no means do I know a lot about traditional Australian Aboriginal music but ....
it's made solely by voice and didjeridu (latter only in a few regions), and percussion (hand claps, tapping boomerangs, pod shakers) ...... however, syncopation & off-beat emphasis don't seem to be a factor.

Shall add the John Storm Roberts book to the wish list (I already have the other two - thanks)
And let me recommend my very favourite music writer (who happens to have written what I consider the Gospel Music 'Bible") - Anthony Heilbut, author of "The Gospel Sound" (Limelight, NY, 1997, 25th anniversary edition)

GMWA = Gospel Music Workshop of America.
It's the huge (largest?) long running (founded by Rev James Cleveland late '60s) annual Black music convention, different cities most years.
Btw, if you visit my website - just Google my name - you'll find pics of myself there with my favourite Gospel singer, Albertina Walker, and Billy Preston (brother of the massed choirs director, Rodena Williams).

That Langston Hughes script for BLACK NATIVITY remains the same, but I gather the annual updates mean the show's songs and presentation have changed mightily over the decades .... I'm still hoping to track down the (European, I think) B&W TV show of the original cast, which included Alex Bradford & Marion Williams .....

Cheers
Margret


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:16 PM

Margret, you were the inspiration for a thread I just started on books about music history & culture.

Would you please add the book you cited to that thread?

Also, I'm PMing you!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:15 AM

[I should also say that another 'Catter was also the inspiration for that thread on books as he PMed me to say that he wanted to send me a book on British Mummer traditions-which I will read with great interest.]

With regard to the difference between Black/White Gospel, since I haven't heard very much White Gospel, I can't say if this observation is true, but it occurred to me this morning that maybe one difference between the two is how percussive the song is performed. Even if a song isn't particularly percussive, it can be made more percussive by emphasizing certain words, by adding interjections such as un-hun and yeah at the end of certain lines, and by accompanying the song with on beat and off beat handclaps and with foot stomps. Also, the song can be made faster [what I call 'jazzing up' a song]. And maybe repetition itself is a way to make a song more percussive- I'm sure musicians can better speak to this than me...

But consider this..
I woke up this morning with this church song going through my mind:"Brighten the corner where you are".

But the way I was singing it in my head was "Brighten the corner WHERE YOU ARE." and that one sentence was repeated again and again with the "are" having a sharp boom click to it..

And I thought, okay- the 'brightening' starts at home and then it moves outward..

Brighten the corner
WHERE YOU ARE.
Brighten the corner
WHERE YOU ARE.
Cultivate YOUR garden
and then
help your neighbor
cultivate his OWN..
Brighten the corner
WHERE YOU ARE.
Brighten the corner
WHERE YOU ARE.

[this is not quite the song that I associate with a church hymn
but this is the way the song went for me this morning.]

My point is that these thoughts were expressed with a percussive rhythm and that made me think of this thread..

And it may have something to do with the subject at hand..if not, still its a thought

You gotta brighten the corner
WHERE YOU ARE. un hun. un hun un hun.


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:22 AM

not that it really matters,
but I wrote one sentence that I heard in my dream down wrong,,
that sentence should have been written like this:

Cultivate YOUR garden
and [then]
help your neighbor
cultivate HIS own..

****
Okay, please excuse this slight interruption.

On with the thread!


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:30 AM

Percussive rhythm is a very strong part of black gospel, even on some of the slower songs, where beats are emphasized, even in a slow line.
Repetition is also typical, and familiar hymns like In The Garden are often chopped into more rhythmic blocks... Last sunday, we heard that song sung by the Men's Chorus of a church in New Haven that my wife and I go to. The lead singer took his time (often amidst shouts of encouragement from the congregation "take your time" while the chorus sang "hw walks with me, he walks with me, he talks with me, he talks with me" in a very syncopated rhythm.

And then, the repetition of the gospel music is mirrored in the sermon, where the minister builds to a climax, with everyone on their feet by pounding home a simple phrase like "HE'S THERE when you are mourning, HE'S THERE when you've lost a loved one, HE'S THERE.." When the minister has raised everyone to a point of high excitement, he'll dramatically stop with a flourish and go sit down, leaving everyone on their feet clapping, and testifying.

The rhythm of the sermon and music draw on the same power of syncopation, strong rhythm and repetition.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: jimmyt
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:42 PM

Jerry and Azizi, I am fascinated with the whole concept of off-beat clapping. I think white folks seem to have issues with it largely, but in my brief study, the people who are raised Baptist seem to get off beat clapping easily and the "higher" the church, the more difficulty they have with offbeat clapping. Methodists can sorta get it, Presbyterians seem to struggle more and by the time you get to the Episcopalians, well, you can forget it! They will give you all the clapping you want on the beat however! ducks and hides under the pew!   jimmyt


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 10:04 PM

jimmyt, I'm so glad you said that! I've said it for years - and have received some strange looks!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: jimmyt
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 10:39 PM

I hate ot stereotype but it seems to hold up more than it doesn't, Mary! My wife was raised seventh day adventist and although she is a fine musician in her own right, she couldn't clap backbeats to save her life! I have observed this witrh a lot of people and invaribly I see the trend there.   Now some Epicopalian or Presbyterian will comment that they can clap offbeat but I am talking trends here!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 10:40 PM

Earlier this evening, my daughter read my comments about off-beat clapping and wants me to correct what she considers to be a misconception that members or 'middle class' African American Baptist churches aren't doing off-beat clapping anymore..

My daughter wants 'Catters to know that she has attended far more church services lately than I have [true], and off-beat clapping is still being done by young and old at the churches she goes to.

So for the record..while there APPEARS to me to be less off-beat clapping done at Black churches [when I go to church], this practice may be much more common than I inferred in previous post.

****
BTW, I'm trying to get my daughter to join Mudcat, but she hasn't signed up yet and she doesn't lurk very often...

Well, everything happens in the fullness of time..


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:17 PM

Hey, Azizi: For a white Danish guy I probably attend as many different black churches as most folks, because I am out singing with two Men's Choruses and my own quartet. We see the whole spectrum, from the church where all of us in the quartet are members, which is one of the more reserved black Baptist Churches to the Pentecostal churches where people get in the Spirit and run around the room and speak in tongues. Of course, I can only speak from my experience in a fairly limited geographic area... The sew-fisticated East Coast.
I've been to black churches in Illinois and Missouri too, but most of my experience is in Connecticut and New York State. At least around here, clapping off-beat is uncommon. When I hear it, it tends to be the older members of the church, like my friend Frankie who will be 80 in a couple of months. I'm not saying that there aren't teenagers that clap off beat, because I expect that there are. But, it's an older tradition that doesn't necessarily blend well with keyboards, drums and electric bass. 'Smatter of fact, in my biased opinion, the omnipresence of drums in black churches takes some of the rhythm-keeping out of the hands of the congregation, and I see fewer and fewer tambourines now.

Not that there is anything inherently "better" about the congregation driving the rhythm and getting more involved. I just like it better.

When my quartet plays, there are always keyboard players, drummers and bass guitarists wanting to play with us, and no matter how hard we try to graciously say that we like to keep it simple, I'm afraid that we at times must come off as a little uppity. A lot of people feel that music is automatically "improved" with a drummer. We don't.

Is there a Christian phrase that means the same as "old farts?"

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 08:09 AM

I'm trying to understand what exactly you mean by off-beat clapping. In a song that's in 4/4 time and the count is 1, 2, 3, 4, which ones of those would be the off-beat? Or is it somewhere between them?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 08:37 AM

Hi, Barbara:

I'm pretty much of a musical illiterate, so don't take my answer as flip. It's the best one I can give. Someone else can answer in terms that might more sense to you. If you want to know what off-beat clapping is, when people start clapping to a song, clap every beat that they don't. And, it can be more complex than that.. people may make two short claps in the space of a beat for more rhythmic diversity.

I know that there are others who come on here who are far more capable of explaining this to you... when Shore Grass joins the Gospel Messengers for our 8th Anniversary, and we do a song together, stand next to Frankie and clap along with him. He probably couldn't explain it to you either.. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 08:50 AM

It's called the backbeat in rock-n-roll.

Most of us here probably do it without thinking, "Am I on the beat on or the backbeat?" A familiar song with strong backbeat opportunities is "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?". The beat is on CIR in "circle," but the rhythm or shufflebow player (s) can give a good WHUMP on that pause between Cir- and -cle.) That's the backbeat.

In folkie terms, if a band plays with shufflebow, the fiddler can take either the accented beats (ONE two THREE four) or the backbeat (one TWO three FOUR) for the invisibly-dotted notes-- while the rhythm guitar takes the other.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:08 AM

So it sounds like 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, where the off-beat is on the "and"? That's not at all unusual for an old rock 'n roller like myself who converted to bluegrass. I usually have the foot going on the beat and the hands going on the off-beat, sometimes with one clap, sometimes double as Jerry mentioned. Doesn't everyone do that?;) Thanks WYSIWYG and Jerry.

For those who weren't there, The Gospel Messengers and ShoreGrass and dwditty did a "Gospel in Black and Blue" workshop at NOMAD this year and it was so much fun. I'm enjoying this thread and also looking forward to on-the-job experience when ShoreGrass joins the Gospel Messengers as guests at their 8th anniversary concert on April 23 in Shelton, CT, USA!


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Dani
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:18 AM

The concept of on- and off-beat clapping is fascinating, and since realizing the difference, I've been observing everywhere I can. I definitely believe that people 'with rhythm', black or white, instinctively (can't help it) liven up the percussion by clapping, tapping, or nodding on the offbeat, and that people 'without' stick with the beat. 'With' and 'without' aren't completely true anymore than 'black' and 'white' are, but there are definitely two camps. Need 'em both for a good song, right?

But it makes very interesting studying.

My best case study recently was on Martin Luther King's Birthday, at a big church filled with people from many different churches, most black but not all.

I'm white, and have always loved percussion of all kinds. Though I am (as my friend says) a christian with "small c", I very much enjoy worshipping in the black churches in my neighborhood. The spirit and energy and joy and music is what attracts me (and the fact that they're not afraid to mention 'sin'. For years I attended a Unitarian church, which never actually moved me in anyway, so I visit wherever I feel welcome.

Interesting side note: I once hosted an inter-church meeting at the Unitarian church, which we conducted in the 'house' manner, in a circle, and very subdued and intellectual. Afterwards, a friend (80ish) from the loudest, singingest, praisingest black Baptist church said to me, "I LIKE it here: a man can think. I can't THINK with all that noise at my church!". I offered to trade with him. I don't want to think when I worship (or sing, for that matter). I want to FEEL!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM

Just a humorous anecdote about rhythm. Up until the first time I heard the Men's Chorus at the black Baptist church where I am now a member, I never had any interest in joining a choir. Choirs in Wisconsin when I was a kid were mostly buxom ladies with vibrato in overdrive. Even the hymns I liked were served up lukewarm. The first time I heard the Men's Chorus, was a real revelation for me. Here were people who put everything they had into the song.. not just their voice, but their bodies and spirits. This is not to suggest that there aren't other forms of gospel and religion singing that don't do this... bluegrass can also bring that same energy and commitment, and I am sure there is religious singing from other faiths and cultures that do the same thing. But, for me, it was experience unlike any I'd ever had.

When I was asked to join the Men's Chorus, I was very excited about it. At the first practice, we were learning a new song and the Chorus Director, Dan Williams was teaching each harmony by ear. When it came time for the baritones to learn their part, we were all standing (as Dan doesn't let you sit down and sing.) I don't remember the song, but it had a strong beat, and I was really moving to it. When the baritones were done, Dan moved on to the tenors, and we remained standing. By the, I was really moving with the beat, and the man next to me said, "You don't have to keep moving, Jerry, we're not singing anymore.." And I answered, "Hey, I've waited 60 years to be able to move to music in church and nobody's stopping me now."

I told this story to an assembly of girls from 1st through fifth grade in a private school when the Messengers were doing a program about black gospel, and one of the youngest girls raised her hand very excitedly after I made the comment about waiting 60 years to be able to move. She asked.."Why did it take you so long?" and the place went into an uproar of laughter. Me more than anyone. It was a good question. Why is it that moving when you sing is so discouraged in many churches? I suppose because the music doesn't have a strong beat to it, to begin with.

Different strokes for different folks.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Dani
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:49 AM

I LOVE that story, Jerry! How wonderful for you, and that you share that story, so it won't take others so long to know themselves!

The trick here is to find the place where you belong: and hope they'll have you! I'm still working on it.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM

One more comment... and thanks, Dani: (Isn't it fun when you are the subject of a joke and you enjoy it more than anyone else?)

At out church, we've started a new tradition of a very energetic praise song during the collection. I don't know whether the source is African, but now that I am thinking about it, I'll ask. It just sounds very much like the church music we heard in Ghana. The song is simple and repetitive and very energetic, and at one point the lead sings "Clap your hands with me" and then everyone keeps repeating the line, clapping their hands on every beat.

At our next workshop, maybe I'll try to get everyone to clap with a different rhythm. Me, a guy who has trouble chewing gum while he's walking. That sounds REALLLLL intersting to me.. take a simple black gospel song and get one group to clap on the beat, then add another group clappin off beat, and keep adding layers... another group clapping on all four beats and another clapping twice on the first and third beat, and another clapping twice and the second and fourth beat.

Alright, let's try it right now...

Hears the song...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 06:55 PM

Barbara, I think you understand what Susan said...but just again to clarify...in terms of counting:

Clapping on the "off beat" in 4/4 time: clap on 2 and 4
Clapping on the "off beat: in 2/4 time: clap on the "and" of 1 and on the "and" of 2 (actually on 2 and 4 if your 2/4 is counted in 4/4) Watch a tambourine player.

To really get it right (are you listening jimmyt) you need to bring your elbows back close to your body on the beat! :-) not like the "on beat clappers" who throw the hands wide apart when they try to do off-beat clapping.

In my observations, about the only tune that demands "on beat" clapping is "When the Saints Go Marching In." All others can use the "off beat" clapping.

********thread drift*********

The Beatles used a strong 1-2-3-4...all beats strong. (I Want To Hold Your Hand)


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: jimmyt
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:05 PM

Mary! I got the elbows! I am doing a musical that opens tomorrow night called Pump Boys and Dinettes. One of the songs calls for backbeat clapping. It is amazing how easy it is for some and terribly difficult for others. The one who has the most difficult time? Pianist, a minister of music/choir director at the Methodist church.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:33 PM

LOL. I'm Methodist...and we all know, "Methodists are just Baptists who can read."

I'll have to admit, I have to think about it to do the elbows. But I once played the tambourine at a homeless mission. I can do the shake on the beat, and the hit my knee (sitting down...you thought something else didn't you) on the off beat.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 11:09 AM

I wonder if people who can keep things straight in their minds singing complicated rounds would find it easier to do off-beat and polyrhythmic clapping?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 03:02 PM

It would be great if someone could post videos to support their descriptions of each type of the substyles of White Southern Gospel and Black Gospel.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 04:34 PM

Fwiw, it's not that easy finding examples of off-beat clapping in YouTube videos of African American choirs.

Here's one example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSu6UtVImrQ
THE QUEEN OF GOSPEL MUSIC: QUEEN ALBERTINA WALKER SINGS!

One noticable example of off-beat clapping is the woman behind another woman wearing white blouse at 2:50 and throughout.

Btw, that song is "A Building Not Made By Hand". I love that song!

Also, see this example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Fyj27Lpww&feature=related
Hezekiah Walker & LFCC - "The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow"

The woman almost directly behind the soloist is clapping on the off-beat at about 1:43 of this video and at various times throughout it.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 04:36 PM

Sorry. Here's the hyperlink for "A Building Not Made By Hand" {Albertina Walker, soloist}

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSu6UtVImrQ


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:35 PM

Hi Azizi, she's doing "Lord, Keep Me Day By Day" it's great but it's not "A Building Not Made By Hand". You wetted my thirst for "A Building Not Made By Hand" & now I can't find it.

Azizi, check out the Lomax collection, perticulary the Southern Journey collection

Here's the whole Lomax collection 66 volumes


. This is the 16 volume Southern Journey collection. For Gospel differences between White & Black, pay attention to volumes #4, 6, 8, 11, 12 & 13.

Barry











Barry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:45 PM

Here's an example of a tamborine playing a different beat than the handclapping done by the choir.

Alcorn Gospel Choir "Lord Help me to Hold Out"

I'm not sure how I would categorize this singing. I think it's an old school gospel song done in a new school gospel way. About 3:30 the choir does some off-beat clapping.

Here's an example of one kind of "contemporary" {new school} Black gospel song:
kirk franklin melodies from heaven

I don't hear any off-beat clapping in the Kirk Franklin song, though off-beat clapping could be done for that song and for any other song.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:46 PM

Sorry, let's try that again

The whole Lomax collection, 66 volumes, then scroll down on the left side, at the bottom there's a link to all 16 volumes.

Again pay interest to volumes # 4, 6, 8, 11, 12 & 13

I hope I have it right this time

Barry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:49 PM

Nope, the "Southern Journey" collection didn't come thru & I lost my 1st post somewhere, too

Try this
. The 16 volume Lomax "Southern Journey" collection
Then scroll down on the left to get all 16 volumes.

Don't you elves touch this one, please.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:52 PM

Barry, one of the "challenges" with gospel music {or any other music for that matter} is that there can be more than one song that has the same title and the same song can be known by more than one title.

Here's the words to what I call "Building Not Made By Hand" and what may indeed be the correct title "Lord Keep Me Day By Day":

Verse 1:
Lord, keep my day by day,
in a pure and perfect way.
I want to live, I want to live on
in a building not made by hand.

Verse 2:
Lord, keep my body strong
so that I can do no wrong.
Lord, give me grace just to run this Christian race
to a building not made by hand.

Verse 3:
I'm just a stranger here,
traveling through this barren land.
Lord, I know there's a building somewhere,
a building not made by hand.

http://www.lyricstime.com/the-caravans-lord-keep-me-day-by-day-lyrics.html


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 08:16 PM

Azizi and Jerry Rasmussen, the off-beat and polyrhythmic clapping thing yall are talking about is called a backbeat (1 2 3 4 ). That's one of the defining rhythmic qualities of Black Gospel music. This offbeat rhythmic quality in Black Gospel is described perfectly below by the famous White Southern Gospel group, The Jordanaires...

Starting @ 2:05

White Gospel 04


A short docu/history on Southern White Gospel if anyones interested


White Gospel 01

White Gospel 02

White Gospel 03

White Gospel 04 (same clip from above)

White Gospel 05


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 08:32 PM

Black Gospel music collage

^^ A collage of clips on Black Gospel music from the 60's. Clip/music from Aretha FRanklin, Ray Charles, Dixie HummingBirds, and the Staples Singers. Off beat handclapping (In the Staples Singers clip, they're doing a multilayered backbeat) all throughout the video for those wondering what it is. The Rock N Roll/popular music backbeat on the drum got there via Black Gospel music --> Rhythm and Blues


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 08:45 PM

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head

^^backbeat throughout the entire song. Also, check the guitar playing! Rosetta Thorpe like Dorsey, also had a Blues background and it shows in the guitar work in this clip.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 10:04 PM

TinDor,

That youtube video of sister Rosetta Tharpe, led me the video of her performing "Didn't It Rain,", which simply blew me out of the water. (Visually wonderful, also - a very proper looking, stout, late middle-aged woman in a Jackie Kennedyesque fur coat, absolutely rocking on that guitar!)

Ihope this isn't too much thread drift...if it is...slap my hand and tell me start another thread...

I ended up listening to several artists sing "Didn't It Rain", then did a search both hear and on the web. I found something similar in lyrics, burt not so close that I was sure it was the same song (and the midi wasn't very helpful regarding the melody), that said it was a traditional "negro" spiritual. The Mahalia Jackson lyrics website attributes it to Roberta Martin. Roberta Martin may have been the first to record it, but I could not determine is the song she (and subsequently everyone) recorded is based on the traditional O, Didn't It Rain , or is a more modern song.

Obviously, I fell in love with it, and would like to know more.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 10:05 PM

Dadgum, that's a lot of typos and mispellings, even for me! Sorry I didn't proof it at all before I posted.

J


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 10:21 PM

Seek, and ye shall find.

Apparently it was written by Roberta Martin, but she drew from http://ingeb.org/spiritua/odidntit.html.

The notes that follow Roberta Martin's http://books.google.com/books?id=K7Ormt3dzVYC&pg=PA115&lpg=PA115&dq=Oh,+Didn't+it+Rain&source=web&ots=DsxnZ_UwHn&sig=QJkr3AhdwDT_AarjH8XugA2bY-E&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA111,M1 (from the book, "Every Time I Feel The Spirit", by G.S. Warren are somewhat more specifically germaine to this thread, as she refers to the process of spirituals being changed and adapted to become gospel hymns.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:04 AM

Readers of this thread may also be interested in the comments on this Mudcat thread, particularly this post that I wrote:

Lyr Req: God Specializes (Have you any rivers}

In that post, I point out some ways in which the rendition of that song by Pastor E. Dewey Smith Jr. and the choir & congregation {in two YouTube videos whose hyperlinks are provided} could be considered one "textbook" example of African American gospel singing and choir/congregation "behavior".


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:07 AM

Janie, here's the hyperlink for "Every Time I Feel The Spirit", by G.S. Warren which you posted to this thread:


http://books.google.com/books?id=K7Ormt3dzVYC&pg=PA115&lpg=PA115&dq=Oh,+Didn't+it+Rain&source=web&ots=DsxnZ_UwHn&sig=QJkr3AhdwD


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Janie
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM

Thanks Azizi. I hadn't realized the link didn't take.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 10:41 PM

Because I believe it is relevant to this discussion, here is an excerpt of the post that I just added to this thread:Lyr Add: Daniel in the Lions' Den (1927 Recording

..."There's [sic] a number of YouTube videos about the song "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?" Here are links to two of these videos, both of which are performed with concert arrangements.

In the first video, the song is performed by Howard Gospel Choir - "Didn't my Lord Deliver Daniel"

"The Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University sings the Negro Spiritual "Didn't my Lord Deliver Daniel" in Martin, Slovakia [Europe] as a part of our Tour of Slovakia in December 2007".


In the second video, the song us performed by a majority White choir*
Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel - Nashville 2008

"Nashville, USA 2008"


*The racial references [sic]continues the discussion in this thread.

A portion of the Nashville choir's performance of this African American spiritual might also address the question raised by the original poster in this Mudcat thread,Minstrel Show Or Not?

"Is it inappropriate for groups made up of white people to publicly perform music written "in the voice" of African Americans? I'm talking about local choruses and church choirs"
-Ref

-snip-

That's one question which I will not address at this time.

Another question is how effective is the performance by the group who is not singing in "their own voices".

In my opinion, the attempt to sing a portion of this song in what the choir may have thought was a "Black voice" {as well as the choirs attempts to add movements {swaying to the beat and handclapping, and more} to their rendition of this African American spiritual was not at all effective, though there's no question that they sung very well.

**

As an extra bonus, here's a link to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Revelations (part 2 of 5)


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 11:26 PM

For some reason, at the end of hyperlinked video of the Howard university video choir singing "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel", other videos of African American spiritual follow. I don't know how that happened.

One video is a choir made up of White singers:

Auburn University Concert Choir - Didn't My Lord Deliver Dan

Unlike the Nashville video, it didn't seem to me that the Auburn University choir was trying to sing this song in "a Black voice".
I didn't like their arrangement, but that's just me. It's a matter of taste, which to a large extent is developed and reinforced by cultural conditioning.

Another video that somehow followed the Auburn University video through that Howard University link, is Wilmington Chester Mass Choir- Ride On King Jesus

I like this video the best of all those whose links I shared in these posts {though the sound clip used by the Alvin Ailey dancers is a tie}. Imo, the Wilmington Chester Mass Choir is a good example of African American singing spirituals {although I personally didn't like the video after 4:44 minutes.

As to any other videos that follow this one, {how??} I'll just let them speak for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 01:09 AM

Returning to an example of off-beat clapping, see this worship service that includes a gospel song sung by an African American singing preacher*

"I'm On The Battlefield"- Late Rev. Aric Flemming


*"singing preacher"-one who can sing as well as preach

[Note 1:15 and longer. The woman in the pink dress is doing on-beat clapping and the woman in the black dress is doing off-beat clapping]


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 03:01 PM

Some examples of the different types of sounds in both White and Black Gospel music. Feel free to post some more examples! I'll leave out Christian Rock and Christian Rap for now.

WHITE GOSPEL MUSIC EXAMPLES




"Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp" Movie Trailer Sacred Harp


"The Blackwood Brothers "Dear Jesus abide with me" Southern Gospel-Barbershop Harmony style


"Dolly Parton "What a friend we have in Jesus" live" Country-Gospel

"The Cumberland Trio- Bluegrass Gospel Medley" Bluegrass-Gospel

DISTINGUISHING TRAITS OF WHITE GOSPEL MUSIC IN IT"S VARIOUS FORMS



* "clean" vocals or tonal sounds
* high lonesome sound in country & bluegrass gospel
* isn't very rhythmic
* Obvious Country and Bluegrass instrumental traits/influences
* not alot of improvisation


(If anyone has anymore distinguishing traits either vocally or instrumentally to add, feel free to post them)




NEGRO SPIRTUALS & BLACK GOSPEL MUSIC EXAMPLES



"Blind Willie Johnson * Let Your Light Shine On Me * Old style Blues-Gospel

The Golden Gate Quartet: Swing Down Chariot Jubilee-Barbershop style

The Golden Gate Quartet in a Danny Kay's film Jubilee-Barbershop style

"Dig A Little Deeper..." By The Fairfield Four Jubilee-Barbershop style

"Dixie Hummingbirds - I've Got So Much To Shout About Jubilee-Barbershop Hard style

"Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho - Mahalia Jackson Classic Urban Gospel

"Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child-Paul Robeson Negro Spirituals-Classical

EXTRAS

Black Gospel music collage Good examples of Urban Gospel

Black Gospel Music ( Allen Toussaint ) Good example of the Boogie Woogie tinged style of piano playing in Black Gospel music


Black Gospel Music ( Allen Toussaint ) Good example of the Boogie Woogie tinged style of piano playing in Black Gospel music

Gospel Organ: What is the COGIC style? Eddie Howard Explains Good example of a Hammond Organ style of playing in Black Gospel music

James Cleveland/Charles Nicks/Lawrence Roberts/Herbert Picka More Hammond Organ style

DISTINGUISHING TRAITS OF BLACK GOSPEL MUSIC IN IT"S VARIOUS FORMS



* more "dirty" vocal tones, moans and shouts
* stressing of the offbeats
* hand clapping
* Blues-Boogie Woogie-Jazz influences in Urban Gospel
* heavy use of call & response-improvisation
* heavy use of melissma and falsetto


(If anyone has anymore distinguishing traits either vocally or instrumentally to add, feel free to post them)


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 03:17 PM

Good one..

"AThe Golden Gate Quartet - Mockingbird Jubilee style


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 03:48 PM

A Southern Gospel-Country take on two Negro Spirituals

Dolly Parton - Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Jordanaires - Swing Down Sweet Chariot.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 04:05 PM

The Four Lads recorded Mockingbird on the OKeh label very early in their career. Their arrangement was almost identical to the Golden Gate Quartet. I actually prefer the Four Lads version...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: meself
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 02:14 AM

Incidentally - and as you may know - it was the Golden Gate Quartet that gave The Four Lads their 'first big break', by recommending them to their (GGQ's) agent.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:06 PM

Link didn't work above so I reposted it...


Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child-Paul Robeson Negro Spirituals-Classical


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 11:43 AM

I'm bothered. The following is stream of consciousness-- neither in response to any post nor a comment on anyone. I won't be posting in this thread again in the near future-- I'll be away leading Gospel music and then out of town. I'm sorry it will make some folks defensive but... .)

~S~

Here we are about to inaugurate Barack Obama, and our threads continue to proclaim a divide we all want to end.

"The Gospel in B&W." Give me a BREAK. I sing that stuff every week (have done so for over 10 years), week in and week out, with songs and influences drawn from all over the map. Many of our sources crossed that "line" generations ago, from both "sides." And we do too. It can't just be us-- this is not about "aren't we special" or "we're SO unique." Our styles may be rare in church circles, but not because of the B/W thing. We are not rare in music circles.

Marty Stuart said it well in a mainstream-gospel, big-market setting recently, talking to Bill Gaither about the place of Bluegrass in Gospel. He referenced something I've said for years-- that the divides in Gospel styles are artificial-- not reflective of individual artists' experiences. He especially menttioned Mavis Staples saying she listenEd to Country music on the road. And of course many "white" artists, of all genres, including gospel, have talked about listening to the Blues.

Look at current Blues music programming. Half the artists are white. And they don't sound white, as they did not so long ago. These are white men who CAN play basketball, the dozens, and the blues. They are sometimes listed now as primary influences on up and coming BLACK blues players! How wacky is THAT.


IMO our B&W Gospel threads should focus on appreciating the PAST legacies of these formerly-divided genres within the great Gospel tradition. THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL ITSELF INCLUDES SOCIAL JUSTICE. Why do we persist in assuming that the music based on it (and marketed to people who ascribe to that message) could maintain the divisions of the societies in which it flourishes?!?!?


I celebrate the cultural contributions that arose even from divided hearts. Sometimes a great gift comes from the most-broken giver. But I can't divide the contributions anymore, and I'd hope most of Mudcat isn't falling for the illusion that they are divided.

Out here in the real world of gospel music-- the church-- that illusion is the work of The Enemy.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:02 PM

Look at current Blues music programming. Half the artists are white. And they don't sound white, as they did not so long ago
-Susan

If I understand the premise of this discussion, I believe that it was that there were differences in the styles, meaning the sound and the performance, of Black American gospel and the styles of White American gospel.

I happen to believe that there were and still are differences in the sounds [styles] and performance behavior of performers and listeners of White American gospel and Black American gospel. It's possible that this is less true than it previously was, but I have no way of accessing that.

But this doesn'tmean that Black folks and White folks didn't and don't borrow from each other. It also doesn't mean that Black people don't appreciate, listen to, sing, and play the gospel styles that are categorized as "White Gospel" styles. And vice versa.

And it absolutely doesn't mean that one style of gospel is better than another.

I don't think anyone on this thread wrote or implied that. I know that I certainly didn't.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:35 PM

Some instrumental Gospel...

" I Saw The Light-I"ll Fly Away Bluegrass Gospel


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 12:33 PM

I just came across this YouTube video that shows traditional African singers doing double time hand clapping:

Traditional Kinyarwanda Song Ndare and Dance - Sandra K 2002 [Rwanda, East Central Africa]

I thought it might be of interest to this thread's readers.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 01:07 PM

I apologize to you for my mistake. That last video was of singers and dancers in Kampala, Uganda {East Central Africa}.

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda.


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 01:18 PM

Two more to add.

Working on a Building - Swan Silvertones

Patty Loveless - Del McCoury - Working On A Building (Live)


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: TinDor
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 06:49 PM

I don't if anyone on here is into file sharing but does anyone have Gospel at Newport 1959/63-66 [LIVE]?


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Subject: RE: Jerry R's 'Black/White Gospel Workshop
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 10:26 PM

Working On A Bulding by the Swan Silvertones is one of the greatest gospel recordings of all time. I never tire of the fluidity of the singing and how the intensity continues to build. The bass singer is a marvel.

Jerry


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