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Mahalia Jackson Sings The Great Television Performances CD

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  • Mahalia Jackson Is the Queen of Gospel Song, an Icon Who Transcended Her Genre to Become a Household Name Worldwide 

  • In 1961, After Appearing at President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Ball, She Videotaped a Series of 58 Performances Aired on TV as Mahalia Jackson Sings 

  • Producing the Performances Was Irving Townsend, Producer of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue Among Many Other Landmark Recordings 

  • Townsend Rounded Up the Crème de la Crème of Jazz Musicians to Back Jackson, Including Drummer Shelly Manne, Bassist Red Mitchell, and Guitarist Barney Kessel 

  • Jackson’s Long-Time Accompanist Mildred Falls Served as Musical Director 

  • Mahalia Jackson Sings—The Great Television Performances Collects 16 of These Long-Lost Performances, Which Have Never Appeared in Any Audio Format 

  • Songs Range from Old Favorites Like “I Asked the Lord” and “Didn’t It Rain” to Lesser-Known Gospel Gems Like “God Will Take Care of You” and “Highway Up to Heaven” 

  • Also Includes Songs That Fall Outside of the Gospel Canon, Like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “I Believe” 

  • Liner Notes by Davin Seay 

  • Engineered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision 

  • Some of Mahalia Jackson’s Rarest and Greatest Recordings 

Mahalia Jackson was the greatest gospel singer that ever lived, a transformative figure who transcended the genre to become a household name both here and abroad. But, ironically, out of her voluminous catalog of recordings for labels like Decca, Apollo, and, of course, Columbia, the performances that perhaps exposed the most people to her majestic artistry have remained unavailable for over half a century, never issued in any physical audio format…until now! A little background…in 1961, Mahalia, fresh from her triumphant performance at John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ball, hooked up with Irving Townsend (producer of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue among many other landmark albums) to film 58 performances of no more than five minutes’ duration to be aired as program “filler” on Sunday mornings. These renditions, aired under the banner of Mahalia Jackson Sings, not only introduced untold numbers of viewers to the Queen of Gospel Song, but also captured her at her absolute best. Drawing upon his jazz connections, producer Townsend assembled a crack backing band highlighted by drummer Shelly Manne, bassist Red Mitchell, and guitarist Barney Kessel, with Jackson’s long-time accompanist Mildred Falls as musical director. As a result, the 16 tracks collected here—which range from old favorites like “I Asked the Lord,” “Didn’t It Rain,” and “The Lord’s Prayer” to lesser-known gospel gems like “God Will Take Care of You” and “Highway Up to Heaven” to songs, like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “I Believe,” that fall outside the gospel canon altogether—rank as some of Mahalia Jackson’s greatest—and rarest—recordings, a monumental and essential addition to her discography. Audio engineer Mike Milchner polishes up the sound, while Davin Seay contributes liner notes accompanied by photos. A hugely important discovery from one of 20th century music’s towering figures.

1. The Lord's Prayer
2. My Lord and I
3. God Will Take Care of You
4. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
5. Didn't It Rain
6. I Asked the Lord
7. You'll Never Walk Alone
8. Just as I Am
9. Highway Up to Heaven
10. Lord Don't Move the Mountain
11. Tell It, Sing It, Shout It
12. My Faith Looks Up to Thee
13. Come On Children Let's Sing
14. The Rosary
15. Somebody Bigger Than You and I
16. I Believe

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