Friday, October 26, 2007

Birthday Shout Outs!

Mahalia Jackson

October 26, 1911- January 27, 1972
New Orleans, Louisiana

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Mahalia Jackson is viewed by many as the pinnacle of gospel music. Her singing began at the age of four in her church, the Plymouth Rock Baptist Church in New Orleans. Her early style blended the freedom and power of gospel with the stricter style of the Baptist Church. As a teenager, through her cousin's aid, she was influenced by such famous singers as Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Enrico Caruso and Ma Rainey, and her own style began to emerge into a more soulful expression...

From the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott until her death, Mahalia was very prominent in the Civil Rights Movement. Very close with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she often performed at his rallies--even singing an old slave spiritual before his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington in 1963. She also sang at his funeral five years later.

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