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Black History Collection: Soul of the Church (2010)

Mahalia Jackson , Rev. James Cleveland , na  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Price: $18.74 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Black History Collection: Soul of the Church + Rejoice and Shout + The Story of Gospel Music
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mahalia Jackson, Rev. James Cleveland, Ernestine Washington, Blind Boys of Mississippi, Barrett Sisters
  • Directors: na
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hollywood Select Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 496 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZD3V0Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,987 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Enliven and enrich your celebration of Black History Month with rarely seen performances by the biggest stars of Gospel s Golden Era in Black History Collection: Soul of the Church. This two-disc collection transferred from the show s original Kinescopes, includes enigmatic performances (rarely, if ever, seen since their original broadcast) by Rev. James Cleveland, Ernestine Washington, Blind Boys of Mississippi, Barrett Sisters, Ruth Brown, Sallie Martin, Alex Bradford, Dixie Hummingbirds, Jessie Mae Renfro, Harmonizing Four, Clouds of Joy, Highway QCs, Marie Knight, Caravans, Three Professors of Gospel and more!

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul of the Church a "Must Have" for Gospel Fans March 29, 2010
Verified Purchase
Every fan and performer of gospel music will want to rush out and buy this new DVD set, which features 8 hours and 16 minutes of unadulterated performances from TV Gospel Time. The half hour Chicago-based syndicated show aired on NBC Sunday mornings from 1962-1965, the forerunner of the more famous Chicago gospel series, Jubilee Showcase. Hosted by various big-name gospel artists, the shows focused entirely on the music and were devoid of any overt religious messages or sermons. Consequently, they introduced black gospel music to a much broader audience during the peak years of the Civil Rights Movement. Of the more than 60 shows broadcast in the early `60s, 16 extant programs have been selected for this set. Transferred from kinescopes, the picture is often poor and the sound quality only fair (as one might expect), but the rousing performances more than compensate for any flaws.

According to the very scant notes on the box, the guests were usually filmed on location to save on travel costs (specific locations are not indicated, though are occasionally mentioned by program hosts). Consequently, guests include a mix of recording artists and regional talent, with back-up choirs drawn from local congregations such as the Golden Leaf Baptist Choir of Memphis and the combined Gospel Light and Glory Gospel Choruses of Charlotte, North Carolina. Song choices are Golden Age classics, such as "Every Time I Feel the Spirit" (sung by Marie Knight), "Nobody Knows" (Highway QCs), "I'm Goin' Home on the Morning Train" (Ruth Brown), and "There's Not a Friend Like Jesus" (Ernestine Washington). This is down home gospel, straight from the church to the screen, without any hint of commercialization (other than the commercials for laxatives and skin lightening creams).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY GOODNESS August 26, 2010
Verified Purchase
This is unbelievable. Got this a couple days ago. A Chicago gospel program from the 60's. Haven't watched both complete discs but I think I can safely say, 'This is awesome.' James Cleveland hosts 3 segments. And he sings on each of them. 'James Cleveland' in his prime. Albertina Walker with the Caravans. Inez Andrews and a teenage Shirley Ceasar in the background. The Harmonizing Four. The Pilgrim Jubilees doing 'Old Ship Of Zion'. The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. Prof. Charles Taylor. Marie Knight. I've been OD'ing on classic gospel for the last couple days. And the thing is nobody seems to be interested in this stuff anymore. I'm telling everybody about this. If you can get your hands on a copy, I suggest you do so as soon as you can. Somebody spoke of the clarity of the black and white. But, that's the way it was done back then. The lighting is atrocious. But, I can deal with that. The camera work is stilted. But I can deal with that. Now I have to search for more of this stuff.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Why is it that the quality is so bad that you get a headache after watching for just 5 minutes? They ought to have done far better justice to this invaluable material. Shame on these guys for lack of proper respect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black History stuff May 6, 2010
By Steven
Verified Purchase
A great collection of interesting clips and materials from black gospel goups. Mahalia Jackson`s film material is nothing special, just a repacking of former issued clips from the early 1960ies!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Footage May 13, 2010
By B. Hill
Verified Purchase
I purchased this DVD for my mom for Mother's Day and the black & white footage was so awful you couldn't even make out who the people were. Don't buy this peace of crap!
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