Mahalia Jackson, Queen Of Gospel

Michael Corcoran

By Michael Corcoran

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Queen Of Gospel

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia. The Voice. Could any name better fit the physical and spiritual embodiment of Mother Church? Ma-HAIL-Yeah: there's a song in those syllables, a song that celebrates its blackness. Hers was a face of comfort, but when she sang, Sister Mahalia chomped on lyrics as if a legacy of suffering flowed through her. Although raised a Baptist, Jackson credited seepage from the storefront Pentecostal churches of her New Orleans youth with lighting her vocal fire. The most powerful black woman in America during the '50s and '60s is well-represented on this collection that will both satiate and create a longing for more