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Iowa Public Television


Great Performances

The Story of Gospel Music (#2209)

The story of gospel is the story of inspiration, struggle and hope evolving from the traditions and experiences of African Americans in slavery times to the present. This documentary unveils the history of gospel music from its origins in the formation of the black church to the call-and-response models, Negro spirituals as presented by groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, blues influences from songwriters like Thomas Dorsey, and today's "traditionists," i.e. the Rev. James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar and Edwin Hawkins. Included are performances by gospel artists Cissy Houston, Mahalia Jackson, Tremaine Hawkins, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, The Fairfield Four, and The Clark Sisters among others. [86 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Information For Teachers

Grade Levels
Curricular Areas
The Arts
Series Length
263 episodes
Average Episode Length
97 minutes
Record Rights
Sch/until 3/24/16; ncc; simul. ;7-day cached rights
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Series Description: GREAT PERFORMANCES, the longest-running performing arts anthology on television, continues to feature the best in the performing arts.

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