Beginning with Mahalia Jackson's early childhood ""in a shack with a leaky roof on Water Street"" in New Orleans and...

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MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE UNTO THE LORD: The Life of Mahalia, Jackson, Queen of Gospel Singers

Beginning with Mahalia Jackson's early childhood ""in a shack with a leaky roof on Water Street"" in New Orleans and continuing through her Civil Rights work in the '60's, Jesse Jackson tells the gospel singer's personal story in the context of American black experience and history. We could in fact do with a little more of the personal record -- the singer's first marriage breaks up offstage, essentially unreported, a second marriage of a few years' duration is mentioned only in a parenthetical phrase, and the nature of her ""very serious"" illness and operation is never disclosed. There is however much color and feeling, conversation and anecdote -- about her first and only voice lesson, from a cultured black concert singer who berated her for singing ""in a way that makes the Negro race ashamed of you,"" about her famous vow never to sing in a place that served liquor, which she made in 1934 when her grandfather seemed near death and kept, as he recovered, for the rest of her life -- all of which goes a long way toward projecting the subject's own strength and vitality.

Pub Date: May 24, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 160

Publisher: T. Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974