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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir

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The ground-breaking Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir under the direction of Prof. Alex Bradford is one first – and best – live recordings ever made of a gospel mass choir.

In 1960, Columbia Records released an LP titled The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir Under the Direction of Professor Alex Bradford, one of the very first live recordings of a large gospel choir. It was a smash hit ... and is still in print.

Bradford was then at the top of his game – already a legendary gospel singer, songwriter and performer and was just beginning a long run writing and arranging for hit Broadway musicals, including Your Arm’s Too Short to Box with God and Black Nativity.

But the Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir of Newark, New Jersey, is no slouch either, filled as it is with powerful, passionate singers. One of my favorite tracks is the duet between Margaret Simpson and Calvin White on “Said I Wasn’t Going to Tell Nobody” – both singers clearly get caught up in the spirit in a way that’s probably impossible to capture in the sterile confines of a recording studio!

2216 Abyssinian Bapt Gospel Choir - Said I Wasn't Going to Tell Nobody.mp3

MUSIC: “Said I Wasn’t Going to Tell Nobody,” Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir under the direction of Professor Alex Bradford LP, Side 1, Track 5

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.