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Gospel Songwriter Attacks All Hot Bands’ Swinging Spirituals

Gospel Songwriter Attacks All Hot Bands’ Swinging Spirituals Gospel Songwriter Attacks All Hot Bands' Swinging Spirituals Thomas A. Dorsey Since the music war has been on between ASCAP and BMI which went into effect January r, I have heard many of the Negro spirituals played by some of the big dance bands over NBC and CBS. This, I think, is a desecration and the greatest insult to our forefa­ thers and mothers who were the originators of these beautiful spiri­ tuals not for an unholy use but to express and depict to a disinterest­ ing world what was taking place inside of an aching and depressed heart. These songs were intended to tell of the pangs, the pain and op­ pression of that day, and to express to the world a hope for a brighter day, that their children might enjoy the liberty, freedom and bless­ ings that were denied the parents. Spirituals should be used only in the church, but I must confess that some of our churches are so high-tone now that they are above singing spirituals. I think every minister, choir director, church mem­ ber and friend should send in a letter of protest against this degrading thing. It not only cheapens the songs for the bands to jazz them, but desecrates and invalidates a thing that is true to our heritage and authentic of our Race. I have written more than three hundred gospel songs and spiritu­ als. I do not object to them being used on the air, but they must not be desecrated or used for dance purposes. There is plenty of music in the world. If not plenty music, there are plenty writers of dance music just wanting for a chance to sub­ mit their songs. Please let us preserve our spirituals for the use they were intended when they burst spontaneously from the hearts of our forefathers and mothers. From The Chicago Defender, February 8, 1941, p. 2. Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/black-sacred-music/article-pdf/7/1/29/793109/29dorsey.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 13 February 2021 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Gospel Songwriter Attacks All Hot Bands’ Swinging Spirituals

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
10.1215/10439455-7.1.29
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Gospel Songwriter Attacks All Hot Bands' Swinging Spirituals Thomas A. Dorsey Since the music war has been on between ASCAP and BMI which went into effect January r, I have heard many of the Negro spirituals played by some of the big dance bands over NBC and CBS. This, I think, is a desecration and the greatest insult to our forefa­ thers and mothers who were the originators of these beautiful spiri­ tuals not for an unholy use but to express and depict to a disinterest­ ing world what was taking place inside of an aching and depressed heart. These songs were intended to tell of the pangs, the pain and op­ pression of that day, and to express to the world a hope for a brighter day, that their children might enjoy the liberty, freedom and bless­ ings that were denied the parents. Spirituals should be used only in the church, but I must confess that some of our churches are so high-tone now that they are above singing spirituals. I think every minister, choir director, church mem­ ber and friend should send in a letter of protest against this degrading thing. It not only cheapens the songs for the bands to jazz them, but desecrates and invalidates a thing that is true to our heritage and authentic of our Race. I have written more than three hundred gospel songs and spiritu­ als. I do not object to them being used on the air, but they must not be desecrated or used for dance purposes. There is plenty of music in the world. If not plenty music, there are plenty writers of dance music just wanting for a chance to sub­ mit their songs. Please let us preserve our spirituals for the use they were intended when they burst spontaneously from the hearts of our forefathers and mothers. From The Chicago Defender, February 8, 1941, p. 2. Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/black-sacred-music/article-pdf/7/1/29/793109/29dorsey.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 13 February 2021

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1993

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