Black gospel musicians tackled civil rights issues on "B" sides - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Black gospel musicians tackled civil rights issues on "B" sides of vintage records

Updated:
Because of the nation's division over civil rights, artists might have recorded under different names to escape harassment or harm (© iStockphoto.com/Baris Simsek) Because of the nation's division over civil rights, artists might have recorded under different names to escape harassment or harm (© iStockphoto.com/Baris Simsek)
  • Lifestyle HighlightsLifestyle HighlightsMore>>

  • From Western waters

    From Western waters

    A drive along Oregon's coast reveals soaring sand dunes, enchanting fishing towns, and some of the most memorable seafood dishes you'll likely find anywhere.More >>
    A drive along Oregon's coast reveals soaring sand dunes, enchanting fishing towns, and some of the most memorable seafood dishes you'll likely find anywhere.More >>
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.More >>
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.More >>

Source: Baylor University via Newswise

A surprisingly large number of "B" sides on old 45s of gospel songs deal with civil rights, despite the fact that the musicians' involvement might have been risky for them, says a Baylor University researcher.

The recent discovery "tells us that the gospel community was much more involved in the civil rights movement than we previously thought," said Robert Darden, an associate professor of journalism at Baylor and a former gospel editor for Billboard magazine, who is leading a Baylor project to collect and preserve little-known gospel records from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Lyrics from some years speak of civil rights marches and demonstrations in Atlanta, Tennessee, Birmingham and Chicago, of snapping police dogs, of integration. Some pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

"The reason we haven't realized this before is that when we've known about a song, it is almost always the hit or ‘A' side," Darden said.

Because of the nation's division over civil rights, artists might have recorded under different names to escape harassment or harm.

In 2005, Darden began a search-and-rescue mission for gospel music on old 78s, 45s and LPs and in various taped formats to be preserved digitally for posterity and cataloged at Baylor. He began the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project because he was concerned that while contemporary gospel was thriving, early gospel by lesser known artists might be lost forever.

The songs related to civil rights may have escaped notice because few scholars are studying gospel music's impact on that issue, as well as the fact many of the artists are lesser known, he said.

Baylor has obtained for preservation more than 2,000 loaned or donated LPs, 78s, 45s and tapes. For more information, visit www.baylor.edu/lib/gospel

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.