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Church, Theatre, and Gospel Songs

Church, Theatre, and Gospel Songs Church, Theatre, and Gospel Songs Langston Hughes Walking down 135th Street in New York I saw two large placards, both in the same shop window, announcing church-theatrical enter­ tainments. One placard read that one of Harlem's largest churches was presenting on Sunday evening Maxine Sullivan, Marie Bryant, and other stars of the theatre at the church . The other placard an­ nounced Sister Tharpe supported by various gospel quartettes at the Golden Gate Ballroom. These placards set me to thinking how nowa­ days the theatre has invaded the church and the church has taken over various aspects of show business. Sister Tharpe has for a number of years alternated between the church and the theatre, sometimes presenting both swing songs and gospel songs on the same program. Although I admire Sister Tharpe's gusto and rhythms as a singing guitarist, I do not always respect her taste. I remember once hearing her in a Broadway night club swing a religious song while members of the band clowned behind her. This seemed to me to be in very bad taste indeed. Spirituals in Night Club I have never appreciated the use of spirituals in night clubs very much, and not at http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Church, Theatre, and Gospel Songs

Black Sacred Music , Volume 7 (1) – Mar 1, 1993

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Copyright
Copyright © 1993 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-7.1.30
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Church, Theatre, and Gospel Songs Langston Hughes Walking down 135th Street in New York I saw two large placards, both in the same shop window, announcing church-theatrical enter­ tainments. One placard read that one of Harlem's largest churches was presenting on Sunday evening Maxine Sullivan, Marie Bryant, and other stars of the theatre at the church . The other placard an­ nounced Sister Tharpe supported by various gospel quartettes at the Golden Gate Ballroom. These placards set me to thinking how nowa­ days the theatre has invaded the church and the church has taken over various aspects of show business. Sister Tharpe has for a number of years alternated between the church and the theatre, sometimes presenting both swing songs and gospel songs on the same program. Although I admire Sister Tharpe's gusto and rhythms as a singing guitarist, I do not always respect her taste. I remember once hearing her in a Broadway night club swing a religious song while members of the band clowned behind her. This seemed to me to be in very bad taste indeed. Spirituals in Night Club I have never appreciated the use of spirituals in night clubs very much, and not at

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1993

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