Great God A'mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds

Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music

Research output: Book/ReportBook

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village's Café Society in the 1940s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on "Loves Me Like a Rock," the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel's most durable and inspiring groups. This book tells the Hummingbirds' fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of "wildcatting," traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939, the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942, they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young's band, they regularly brought the house down at the city's first integrated nightclub, Café Society. From there the group rode a wave of popularity that would propel them to nation-wide tours, major record contracts, collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, and a career still vibrant today as they approach their seventy-fifth anniversary. Drawing on interviews with Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, and other artists who worked with the Hummingbirds, as well as with members James Davis, Ira Tucker, Howard Carroll, and many others, this book aims to bring vividly to life the growth of a gospel group and of gospel music itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages384
ISBN (Electronic)9780199849536
ISBN (Print)0195152727, 9780195152722
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 3 2011

Fingerprint

Gospel
Deity
Music
Waves
Artist
1940s
Nightclub
Jim Crow
A Cappella
Music Industry
Singers
Roads
1920s
Names
Harmony
Rock
High School
Greenwich Village

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

@book{3a0958b0ce3842958bfc3369fab0c4cb,
title = "Great God A'mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music",
abstract = "From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village's Caf{\'e} Society in the 1940s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on {"}Loves Me Like a Rock,{"} the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel's most durable and inspiring groups. This book tells the Hummingbirds' fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of {"}wildcatting,{"} traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939, the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942, they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young's band, they regularly brought the house down at the city's first integrated nightclub, Caf{\'e} Society. From there the group rode a wave of popularity that would propel them to nation-wide tours, major record contracts, collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, and a career still vibrant today as they approach their seventy-fifth anniversary. Drawing on interviews with Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, and other artists who worked with the Hummingbirds, as well as with members James Davis, Ira Tucker, Howard Carroll, and many others, this book aims to bring vividly to life the growth of a gospel group and of gospel music itself.",
author = "Zolten, {Joseph Jerome}",
year = "2011",
month = "10",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152722.001.0001",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "0195152727",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Great God A'mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds : Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music. / Zolten, Joseph Jerome.

Oxford University Press, 2011. 384 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

TY - BOOK

T1 - Great God A'mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds

T2 - Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music

AU - Zolten, Joseph Jerome

PY - 2011/10/3

Y1 - 2011/10/3

N2 - From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village's Café Society in the 1940s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on "Loves Me Like a Rock," the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel's most durable and inspiring groups. This book tells the Hummingbirds' fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of "wildcatting," traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939, the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942, they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young's band, they regularly brought the house down at the city's first integrated nightclub, Café Society. From there the group rode a wave of popularity that would propel them to nation-wide tours, major record contracts, collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, and a career still vibrant today as they approach their seventy-fifth anniversary. Drawing on interviews with Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, and other artists who worked with the Hummingbirds, as well as with members James Davis, Ira Tucker, Howard Carroll, and many others, this book aims to bring vividly to life the growth of a gospel group and of gospel music itself.

AB - From the Jim Crow world of 1920s Greenville, South Carolina, to Greenwich Village's Café Society in the 1940s, to their 1974 Grammy-winning collaboration on "Loves Me Like a Rock," the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of gospel's most durable and inspiring groups. This book tells the Hummingbirds' fascinating story and with it the story of a changing music industry and a changing nation. When James Davis and his high-school friends starting singing together in a rural South Carolina church they could not have foreseen the road that was about to unfold before them. They began a ten-year jaunt of "wildcatting," traveling from town to town, working local radio stations, schools, and churches, struggling to make a name for themselves. By 1939, the a cappella singers were recording their four-part harmony spirituals on the prestigious Decca label. By 1942, they had moved north to Philadelphia and then New York where, backed by Lester Young's band, they regularly brought the house down at the city's first integrated nightclub, Café Society. From there the group rode a wave of popularity that would propel them to nation-wide tours, major record contracts, collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, and a career still vibrant today as they approach their seventy-fifth anniversary. Drawing on interviews with Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, and other artists who worked with the Hummingbirds, as well as with members James Davis, Ira Tucker, Howard Carroll, and many others, this book aims to bring vividly to life the growth of a gospel group and of gospel music itself.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84921303915&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84921303915&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152722.001.0001

DO - 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152722.001.0001

M3 - Book

SN - 0195152727

SN - 9780195152722

BT - Great God A'mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds

PB - Oxford University Press

ER -