- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; First Printing edition (March 25, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807853461
- ISBN-13: 978-0807853467
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel Paperback – March 25, 2002
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From Library Journal
Goff (history, Appalachian State Univ.) spreads the word of white gospel music in this well-researched social history. Starting with the music's 19th-century evangelical roots, he charts the emergence of shape-note musical notation, which gained popularity through singing schools and songbooks. He then unearths gospel pioneers and religious entrepreneurs such as James David Vaughan, Virgil Stamps, and Jesse Baxter, who furthered the music through singing schools, monthly publications, songbook companies, radio stations, record labels, and such quartets as the Speer Family and the Lefevres. The author continues with the post-World War II commercialization of Southern gospel with television, gospel songwriters such as Lee Roy Abernathy, concerts, and professional groups such as the Blackwood Brothers, the Chuck Wagon Gang, and the Statesmen. Lastly, he charts the rise in the 1970s of the more secularized, popularized contemporary gospel of the Imperials and the subsequent reemergence of the conservative evangelical quartets. Basing his history on more than 60 interviews and dozens of other sources, Goff delivers a well-written account that engages despite its somewhat specialized focus. Recommended for gospel fans, social historians, and music libraries in the South. Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It's good to finally have a good resource book of the music and people that we all dearly love. (Bill Gaither)
I am so happy that someone has written a book on the history of southern gospel music. I am especially glad that it was James R. Goff Jr. This is a wonderful book, and it really covers everything. (Dolly Parton)
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Coming from a religious background I have been aware of hymns, choruses, camp songs, and some Southern Gospel, but it was not until I lived in North Carolina in the late 1990s that I got a steady dose of Southern Gospel. While preparing for the early church service, I'd flip the radio onto the local station in Burlington and every Sunday for half an hour I'd hear what I'd call "old-time Gospel" singing. The radio commentator constantly suggested the listener was familiar with and eager to hear groups that I'd never heard, or heard of, before. I was intrigued, but had no way to learn more . . . other than to listen again next Sunday. Years later I picked up this book and it threw a huge light on that experience. There is, as they say, a whole 'nuther world, when you get off the Interstate and I am grateful for this book's being a virtual roadmap to the musical landscape of the rural South. As the author suggests, the "history" is still very much alive. I intend to use the book to guide my quest for both authentic American voices and authentic Christian voices that still influence large portions of America today.