The Music Tree

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The Gospel According to
Brother Michael Tanner

Article and historical graphic of the History of African American, Spiritual and Gospel Music.

Video Biographies
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The Rance Allen Group
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The Canton Spirituals
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Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey
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The Dixie Hummingbirds
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Mahalia Jackson
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Rev. James Moore
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John & Vermya Phillips
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Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg
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Sister Rosetta Tharpe
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Albertina Walker
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Singing and keeping rhythm by clicking dry animal bones, playing homemade instruments, and clapping; Southern Plantations
Work, spirituals & jubilee songs

The Fisk Jubilee Singers, toured abroad to raise money for Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee
Spirituals, hymns & jubilee songs


The Johnson brothers, Baptists, wrote the Negro National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," Jacksonville, Florida


Charles Albert Tindley, Methodist, copyrighted nine hymns, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hymns & spirituals


Charles Price Jones, Sr., Holiness, published His Fullness Songs, Jackson, Mississippi
Hymns & spirituals


Acappella, singing without music
Hymns & spirituals


Lucy E. Campbell, Baptist, wrote her first hymn "Something Within Me," for the National Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee
Gospel hymns


Arnold J. Ford, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, compiled songs for the Universal Ethiopian Hymnal, Harlem, NY
Anthems, hymns, & marching band songs


Publication of Gospel Pearls song book, National Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee
Anthems, hymns, & gospel songs


First recorded Black female gospel singer was Hurd Fairfax, Baptist
Paramount Records


First recorded Black sermon was by Calvin P. Dixon, Baptist
Race Records


First recorded Black female gospel pianist & singer, Arizona Dranes
Okeh Records


First recorded Black women preachers: Leora Ross, Church of the Living God, and R.H. Harris, the Pentecostal Mission; both recorded in Chicago on different dates.
Sermons, and singing on Race Records


First Black gospel chorus established by Theodore Frye and Thomas Dorsey. Dorsey, Baptist, became the "Father of Gospel Music"
Jubilee & gospel songs


Rosetta Tharpe, Pentecostal, sold the first one million gospel records on the Decca lgospel singers became professional with managers and promoters
Gospel, jubilee, hymns & quartet singing


Robert H. Harris, Mabel. She started the "The Golden Era of Gospel". Quartets and ethodist, formed the National Quartet Convention
Gospel quartet songs

"Sweet Honey in the Rock," a female group, singing Civil Rights songs, accompanied by hand-held instruments, Washington, D.C.
Freedom & gospel songs 
James Cleveland, Baptist, and others founded the Gospel Music Workshop of America in Detroit, Michigan
Training singers, musicians & choirs
Edwin Hawkins and choir, Pentecostal, recorded "Oh Happy Day"; it was the start of "Contemporary Gospel," Oakland, California
Gospel songs with a modern music tempo