Mahalia Jackson, The Queen of Gospel, became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world. She became an internationally acclaimed singer and civil rights activist. Entertainer Harry Belafonte described Jackson as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums.
In 1929, Jackson met the composer Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the Father of Gospel Music. He gave her musical advice, and in the mid-1930s they began a 14-year association of touring, with Jackson singing Dorsey’s songs in church programs and at conventions. His Take My Hand, Precious Lord became her signature song.
Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Jackson was known to have played an important role during the civil rights movement. In August 1956, she met Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. at the National Baptist Convention. A few months later, both King and Abernathy contacted her about coming to Montgomery, Alabama, to sing at a rally to raise money for the bus boycott. They also hoped she would inspire the people who were getting discouraged with the boycott. Despite death threats, Mahalia Jackson agreed to sing in Montgomery. Her concert was on December 6, 1956.
We Shall Overcome
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
Steal Away with Nat King Cole