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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - "Christmas Joy" by The Soul Stirrers

The legendary Soul Stirrers recorded a handful of Christmas songs in the late 1960s, including the pop-oriented “Christmas Joy.”

The Soul Stirrers gained their greatest fame in the late ’40s and ‘50s and founder R.B. Harris’ sweet falsetto is one of the most influential voices in the history of gospel music. When Harris left, he was replaced in 1950 by the legendary Sam Cooke and the Stirrers ruled gospel music with hits like “Jesus Gave Me Water” and “Hem of His Garment.”

Cooke’s departure in 1956 for pop music superstardom paved the way for a succession of excellent lead singers, including Johnnie Taylor – who would also enjoy pop success – and Arthur Crume. Crume was a fine songwriter and in the mid and late ‘60s wrote or sang several Christmas songs for the group: “Christmas Love,” “Christmas Bells are Ringing” and from 1965, “Christmas Joy.”

MUSIC: The Soul Stirrers, “Christmas Joy,” 45

The Soul Stirrers - Christmas Joy.mp3

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU and the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries.

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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).