General consensus holds Mahalia Jackson as the greatest gospel singer ever to live. Jackson's unique vocal style was fully formed, combining the full-throated tones and propulsive rhythms of the sanctified church and the deep expressiveness of the blues with the note-bending phrasing of her Baptist upbringing. Indeed, her good friend Martin Luther King said "A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium."
This DVD features 17 musical performances culled from the "Mahalia Jackson Sings" program broadcast in 1961, the year she sang at President Kennedy's inauguration. Shot on an oddly appropriate, austere German Expressionist set, she's backed by piano, organ, and occasional guitar and drums, taking on gospel evergreens like "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho."
In the year of her death, Mahalia was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, she was posthumously inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame and was the first gospel artist to be inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
When the MAHALIA JACKSON SINGS program first aired in 1961, the world was blown away by the voice of a woman who is still widely regarded as the best gospel singer of all time. President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King were among her many famous fans. Featured here are 17 performances handpicked from that unforgettable broadcast.
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