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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - D.C. Christian Harmonizers

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The D.C. Christian Harmonizers released several joyfully funky 45s on a variety of small gospel labels in the late '60's and early '70's.

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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments featured song | The D.C. Christian Harmonizers - Great Gettin' Up Morning | March 14, 2021

Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments.  I’m Robert Darden. 
 
The greater Washington D.C.-area probably has never received its due as a hot-bed a great gospel music. At one end, you have the legendary Richard Smallwood, who is still writing extraordinary gospel songs and who is in demand the world over. At the other extreme, you have the wonderfully obscure D.C. Christian Harmonizers.
 
The Harmonizers recorded first-rate, funky 45s for several small, independent gospel labels in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, including the D.C.-based North American Records. There is little information out there on the group, much less primary songwriter and arranger Lucius McInnis. But it doesn’t really matter – they clearly were masters of their craft. My favorite release by the group is a double-sided 45 with two high-energy renditions of beloved spirituals: “Great Getting’ Up Morning” and “Get Away Jordan.”
 
The D.C. Gospel Harmonizers transform the two into proto-typical late ‘60s, hard shouting gospel, complete with an uncredited smoking band that matches them note for note. If you like the soul music coming from Memphis and Motown from that era – you’re going to love this.
 
MUSIC: “Great Getting’ Up Morning,” D.C. Christian Harmonizers, 45
 
I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation. 
 

Robert F. Darden is the author of two dozen books, most recently: Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-In to Resurrection City (Penn State University Press, 2016); Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume I: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement(Penn State University Press, 2014); Jesus Laughed: The Redemptive Power of Humor(Abingdon Press, 2008), Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Understanding the Bible by Telling Its Stories(Abingdon Press, 2006); and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music(Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2004).