Mahalia Jackson

Submitted by on Oct 26, 2015

Mahalia Jackson

Background:

Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) is considered to be unquestionably the best performer of gospel music in the history of this musical genre. Her voice – powerful and low, and at the same time able to claim the content of songs.

Mahal Jackson was born in New Orleans in the family of a Baptist preacher. Her mother died when she was only 4 years old, and his father sent her to raise her aunt. She was very devout, and the family was dominated by strict religious orders. So severely that her aunt did not allow any “secular” music in the house – but welcomed the gospel Mahal and began to sing in the church choir. Already in childhood he showed her outstanding voice. When she sang hymns at home, on the street going to spellbound the audience, for the voice of M. was an extraordinary beauty. Despite bans aunt’s children, adolescents secretly brought home plate Bessie Smith and Caruso, and these artists had an impact on the formation of the style of M. in the future.

When the Mahal was 16 years old, she went to Chicago to start an independent life. She worked as a cleaner, but the rumors about her extraordinary voice come and to Chicago, and it often was invited to sing in church all events – from weddings to funerals. The first contract with a record company she signed in 1937, and 50 years of the last century Mahal Jackson has become a world celebrity. She has appeared on radio, TV, toured with concerts in different countries, but never, never in my entire professional career has not receded from religious style spirituals (gospel). She has repeatedly offered large sums of money for agreeing to perform jazz numbers, but to no avail. Her faithful gospel was so strong that she even divorced her husband when he began to put pressure on M. urging her to agree to the execution of “secular” music. Nevertheless, thanks to Jackson Mahal gospel songs were able to penetrate into the American mainstream.

At the Newport Jazz Festival, she performed with a program consisting entirely of songs from the gospel (of course!), and listeners were ecstatic. She has performed at the Ed Sullivan show, she sang at the inauguration of President Eisenhower and Kennedy, a friend of Martin Luther King. You can regret that Mahal Jackson agreed to sing jazz, but her loyalty to his principles deserve unconditional respect. In any case, her deep contralto left in the history of music as the best voice spirituals …

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Mahalia JacksonMahalia Jackson
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Mahalia JacksonMahalia Jackson

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