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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - Gloria Griffin

Gloria Griffin’s long career produced a host of memorable gospel songs, including the powerhouse praise song, “Bless the Lord.”

One of the most admired vocalists from the Golden Age of Gospel Music was Gloria Griffin. Like so many singers, she started singing in church at a very young age. She spent a year with the famed Caravans and toured with Mahalia Jackson. But in 1957, she joined the legendary Roberta Martin Singers. Gloria quickly became the featured soloist and songwriter, including their hit “God Specializes,” as well as “I’m So Grateful” and “God is Still on the Throne.”

Eventually, Griffin began a solo career, incorporating the more modern sounds she was hearing everywhere. One of her best releases is the solo album Gospel’s Queen for R&B powerhouse, Atlantic Records. The track “Bless the Lord” from that album displays both her incomparable vocals and memorable songwriting skills.

2408 Gloria Griffin - Bless the Lord 44100 1.mp3

MUSIC: Gloria Griffin, “Bless the Lord” 45

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).