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Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia (Book) Paperback – August 1, 2005
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Bil Carpenter has put together this encyclopedia. He lists about 650 singers. Are they the 650 he should have listed. Of course not. Everyone is going to have ideas for other people he should have listed, and would take out some that he did list. Of course if he had doubled the size of the book to 800 pages and put in 1,300 artists, he'd have covered them all - NOT.
So here you have 650 (or so) of the Gospel singers that Bil Carpenter has selected, and with each one you get a mini-biography of their lives and careers. There are pictures in the book, perhaps a hundred or more. But they are small and most pages are just text. A lot of text. I find it hard to imagine how one person could put together so much information. It's an amazing book.
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On another note, throughout the book the author gave what seemed to be his opinion on what many of the groups best albums were. I don't know if these opinions came from his own personal taste in music or from actual record sales. Either way, I felt that it was unneccesary and often only represented the casual or commercial listeners taste. Fans of any artist music know that many times they feel that the artist's best work or show of talent isn't what is played most or becomes most popular. My personal opinion is that the book would be better off if the author just dealt with the facts and left the rest out.
All in all, I fell this is a good basic reference book that has room for improvement. However, this is coming from someone whose interest is in traditional gospel and not contemporary. Fan's of contemporary music may have a quite different opinion.
Being a Mahalia Jackson fan, I found the entry on her very lopsided. It seems to have been based on interviews with people that resented her rather than appreciated her as a human being and a pioneer. The same Mahalia Jackson who this book paints as being selfish and self-serving was responsible for getting the Clara Ward Singers, the Gay Sisters (and little Bro. Donald Gay), The Drinkard (family) Singers on as opening "acts" for her first Carnegie Hall appearance - she was the featured Gospel singer. She was also instrumental in getting her friends Ira Tucker and the Dixie Hummingbirds and Ruth Jones (later known as Dinah Washington) on Apollo Records. Mahalia Jackson also promoted the music of her good friends gospel composers, Doris Akers and Margaret Aikens (songs such as, "Lord Don't Move the Mountain, The Only Hope We Have is Jesus, Not My Will But Thine Be Done").
Mahalia Jackson was also responsible for encouraging many young gospel talents from the 1930s thru 1960s to launch out and make names for themselves such as Rev.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There will never be anyone who is able to top Ms. Jackson. I am a great admirer of her. I was blessed to see her one time in my life. Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Bettye Sullivan
I have used the book in Elementary schools. This book has been used to encourage 2nd and 4th graders to read. We will order more copies laterPublished on May 1, 2014 by Douglas Shamburger
This is one of the best documentaries on traditional gospel music that I have ever seen. It gives you full performances instead of short little teasers, which I hate. Read morePublished on April 15, 2014 by Phyllis Noble
This is a great addition to my Black History Collection. It is an easy read and full of forgotten people who paved the way for so many others.Published on March 11, 2014 by Phyllis Smith
I am an Artist and like reading about people who encourage me. This book inspires me to learn and recieve.Published on May 13, 2013 by Kenneth Kullbom
Very well put together film on the Gospel Music history. My husband just had to have it, and he loves it.Published on May 4, 2013 by C. Haskins
The book is okay, but it's missing so much information.....and just as others have noted, there are too many secular artist mentioned that should not have been included in this... Read morePublished on November 19, 2012 by SL
The critical reviews of this book are valid. Don't think of it as an "encyclopedia" in the classic sense but rather one man's subjective compilation of black gospel. Read morePublished on November 23, 2008 by man man