cover of book

A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
by Robert M. Marovich
University of Illinois Press, 2015
eISBN: 978-0-252-09708-9 | Cloth: 978-0-252-03910-2 | Paper: 978-0-252-08069-2
Library of Congress Classification ML3187.M35 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 782.2540977311

In A City Called Heaven, Robert M. Marovich follows gospel music from early hymns and camp meetings through its growth into the sanctified soundtrack of the city's mainline black Protestant churches. Marovich mines print media, ephemera, and hours of interviews with artists, ministers, and historians--as well as relatives and friends of gospel pioneers--to recover forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and industry leaders. He also examines the entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's rise to popularity and granted social mobility to a number of its practitioners. As Marovich shows, the music expressed a yearning for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. Yet it also helped give voice to a people--and lift a nation.

A City Called Heaven celebrates a sound too mighty and too joyous for even church walls to hold.

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