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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi Lyr Add: If We Ever Needed The Lord Before (7) RE: Lyr Add: If We Ever Needed The Lord Before 07 Jun 11

Susan, on behalf of all of those who greatly respect Rev. Thomas A Dorsey as the Father of Black Gospel Music, I take exception to your statement that it is your view that "Dorsey napped credit for a number of songs that may have (and likely did have) folk roots." I interprete "napping credit" as "taking credit for something you didn't do." This reads to me as a put down of Thomas A Dorsey [I realize that you also mention (Alfred) Brumley. Since I don't know as much about Brumley as I do Dorsey, I'll let those who might want to speak on his behalf).

I'm curious to know the bases for your views about Dorsey's "napping credit for songs that may have or likely did have folk roots". And what do you mean by "folk roots" in the context of a discussion about Thomas A Dorsey's songs?

Which of his religous or secular songs are you referring to?

Also, Susan, with regard to the other portion of your 07 Jun 11 - 04:41 PM comment, I'm taking this opportunity to repeat something that I've shared with you before on this forum- there are distinct differences between songs that are categorized as Spirituals and songs that are categorized as (Black) Gospel. Just because you or others label a Gospel composition as a Spiritual, that does not make it a Spiritual.

Here's an excerpt from that provides an explanation of the differences between Spirituals and Gospels:

"What is the Difference Between the Spirituals and Gospel Music?

Many people ask what the difference is between the spirituals and Black gospel music. Simply put, the spirituals are the Southern sacred "folk" songs created and first sung by African Americans during slavery. Their original composers are unknown, and they have assumed a position of collective ownership by the whole community. They lend themselves easily to communal singing. Many are in a call-and-response structure, with back-and-forth exchanges between the leader and the group. A formal concert tradition has evolved from the original spirituals, with solo and choral arrangements based on original slave melodies, employed for performance by amateur and professional artists.

Black gospel music originated in the churches of the urban North in the 1920's, and has been the predominant music of the twentieth century Black Church. Each gospel song has an identifiable composer. Gospel fuses musical elements of both the spirituals and the blues, and incorporates extensive musical improvisation, with piano, guitar or other instrumental accompaniment. While the gospel tradition descended directly from the spirituals and the blues, the spirituals have also continued to exist as a parallel cultural force."

[Formatting changed for clarity and italics provided for emphasis]

Imo, this portion of the last sentence "the spirituals have ... continued to exist as a parallel cultural force" means that Spirituals are still being sung, and not that new Spirituals are being composed [unless the definition for "composed" means that new verses are created for the songs, sometimes extemporaneously]. Songs that are composed that have the same structure or a similar structure as Spirituals aren't considered by African Americans I know to be Spirituals. We call them old school Gospels.

And example of a old time Gospel song whose structure is somewhat similar to the structure of a pre-emancipation Spiritual is Andre Crouch's

Another category of Black church singing that [I believe] is neither Spirituals or Gospels is the Black style of singing Dr. Watts hymns (including adding extemporaneous verses). Here's a link to an example of that religious music which is still sung in some churches in South Carolina and North Carolina He Set Me Free

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