Preface; Chapter 1: Why Gospel Music?; Chapter 2: Gospel's African Roots; Chapter 3: The Rise of Spirituals in North America; Chapter 4: What Spirituals Are, What Spirituals Mean; Chapter 5: The American Civil War; Chapter 6: Reconstruction, The Jubilee Singers, and Minstrelsy; Chapter 7: The Foundations of Gospel: The Black Exodus, Barbershop Quartets, the Pentecostals, and Jack-Leg Preachers; Chapter 8: The Fathers of Gospel: William H. Sherwood, Charles A. Tindley, and Thomas A. Dorsey; Chapter 9: Chicago and the Rise of Gospel Music; Chapter 10: Three Divas: Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward, and Mahalia Jackson; Chapter 11: The Great Gospel Groups: Five Unforgettable Voices; Chapter 12: Gospel on the Freedom Highway; Chapter 13: Gospel's Evolution: From Alex Bradford to James Cleveland to Andrae Crouch; Chapter 14: The Last Great Male Quartets; Chapter 15: Contemporary Gospel: Six Defining Voices; Discography; Index.
Robert Darden is Assistant Professor of English at Baylor University, and Senior Editor of The Door magazine. He was gospel music editor for Billboard magazine for 10 years and he has written about religious music for most of his adult life. He lives in Waco.
"'An impassioned and mostly comprehensive overview' The Observer '...a scholarly yet extremely readable book...' Morning Star "Darden's passion keeps the words flowing through sections on styles and social movements, as well as personal narratives and musical analyses...With a through discography, notes and references, this is an essential read for those faithful to American religion, rhythm, or both." Charleston Post and Courier"