British Black Gospel: The Foundations of This Vibrant UK Sound Paperback – 18 Sep 2009
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|Paperback, 18 Sep 2009||
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'British Black Gospel' by Steve Smith is quite simply a must read for anyone who has the slightest interest in the development of this musical genre in Britain. How fascinating to learn that so many of our current leaders, preachers, Gospel and R&B artists are also pioneers of British Black Gospel. It is amazing that this is a first book on the subject and I hope that there is more to come from Steve and others, further exploring this musical legacy. --Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, Churches Together in England
Gospel music in Britain today is a rapidly emerging genre and its effect and influence on other areas of the record industry cannot be underestimated. The style of gospel is wide and apart form the traditional hymn based choir arrangements there is a whole range of subgenres incorporating Soul, Jazz, Funk, Reggae, R n B, Calypso, classical music, hip hop and praise and worship which form part of this colourful and inspirational market. Steve Smith traces the roots of modern black gospel from 19th Century Black pioneers such as Thomas Rutling and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who performed for Queen Victoria, to the contemporary sound of the London Community Gospel Choir. He tells his story with a wealth of anecdotes and photos. The book is accompanied by an audio CD of the spectrum of British black gospel.See all Product description
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The snappy layout adds to Steve Smith's easy style as he details UK Gospel's humble beginnings in drafty church halls to the present day auditorium filling events. Between is a potted history of Gospel's origins in the USA, with the second half of the book devoted to a considerable number of important figures in the UK movement.
Smith spent eleven years researching this book and it shows in the detail. Interviews and quotes abound as do pictures of various individuals and groups, many I'm embarrassed to say I've never heard of. This really shows how unrecognised and underground UK Gospel was and still is to a certain extent.
What was most interesting were the reggae and soul artists who had their roots in Gospel - Tony Tribe of Red Red Wine fame to mention just one. It's little snippets like this that makes the book invaluable for every fan of black music irrespective of whether you have a definite interest in the UK Gospel sound.
It's a superb debut book for Steve, oh and did I mention you get a CD thrown in too.
Michael de Koningh
The book is well put together with lots of photos and was obviously well researched as it documents the gospel music industry from its past to present state, even giving a history of gospel music from the era of The Fisk Jubilee singers who have been a significant influence in shaping gospel music. The artists featured in the book are deserving of the mention due to the major contributions that they have made in the gospel music industry in Britain.
I am proud to see a British writer and someone from within the black gospel scene, producing this work. Well done Steve!
Steve Smith, now judge on Gospel talent contest and TV show Time 2 Shine, is knowledgable on the topic. With his good relationship with key figures and pioneers of the UK Gospel sound he comments on it with authority. Smith captures well the history of the genre and its growth into today's diverse and multi-million pound industry.
Having interviewed Steve for a documentary on the subject area, he was the most useful source of information and is passionate about the historical acknowledgement of British Black Gospel. It is surprising that apart from producing Gospel and being a drummer, his background is very much in science; he is a microbiologist. I believe Steve is an explorer whose discoveries are not just limited to the medical. This man, in my opinion, could do anything next.
I have marked the book four stars because of its accurate history of British Gospel and my criticism would be the use of the word "superstars" to describe Gospel musicians. As a Christian and follower of Christ and not men, I stick with such verses: "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Matthew 20:26, NIV) and "unlike so many we do not peddle the word of God for profit" 2 Corinthians 1:17 NIV). However, the term "superstar" is a widely used one in Gospel and glory to God, I personally like to see more of Christ in the Gospel "industry" and less of men.
Thanks for supplying us with this book Steve!
Music and media student and freelance broadcast journalist.
Plus it came with a free CD with some great songs. I got more than i needed when I ordered this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves music and wants to expand their knowledge.