Artist entries, ranging from one or two paragraphs to more than a page in length, are arranged alphabetically and contain biographical information, birth and death dates, a select discography, see also references, and bibliographies (including print and online sources). Entries are well written, contain little jargon, and feature information about each artist's regional style and career, or each gospel group's personnel history. Contributors have attempted to include the most current information available by communicating directly with the artists or surviving family members, especially with regard to birth and death dates. In addition to the individual and group performers listed, there are also entries for prominent gospel radio stations, record companies, commonly used instruments such as the Banjo, and gospel subgenres like Bluegrass and Soul gospel.
Most importantly, this volume combines the histories and artist profiles of both black and white gospel music. It is one of few comprehensive, scholarly reference works to combine the two styles and is certainly the most up-to-date. The Gospel Music Encyclopedia (Sterling, 1979), for example, focuses almost entirely on white gospel music. The Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music is intended for scholars as well as general readers and is recommended for academic and public library collections. Steven York
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