MAHALIA JACKSON by Charles K. Wolfe


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The first African-American gospel singer to achieve mainstream celebrity is accorded an informative (if dry) biography in the ""American Women of Achievement"" series. An introductory chapter featuring Jackson's first nationwide radio program is followed by a chronological recap of her earlier life (birth in Louisiana, 1912; teen-age years in Chicago; 20-year struggle for recognition). Final chapters cover her years of worldwide fame and activities in the Civil Rights movement. Capably, Wolfe demonstrates the effects of Jackson's early surroundings on her musical development and describes the midcentury music industry, especially as applied to black gospel singers. He is less skillful at bringing Jackson to life; information on her private life is sketchy at best. Useful as information rather than inspiration. Bibliography; discography; chronology; index.

Pub Date: July 20th, 1990
Page count: 103pp
Publisher: Chelsea House