Back when jazz was my second heartbeat, gospel was likely my first. My Nana, my dad’s mom, was my caregiver before I started school. She often sent me upstairs to put a stack of records on for her. She liked it when I made a mix (I guess I was destined to be in radio at some point). Rev. James Cleveland was a favorite of hers; she had several of his albums.
However, my favorite was Ms. Mahalia Jackson.
She was a prolific singer; so many come to mind, but Didn’t it Rain was one we listened to a lot when I was small.
It wasn’t until I was much older that I saw her in film. I knew it was her before I saw her in ‘Imitation of Life’.
I recently watched the movie Amazing Grace, about the recording of Aretha Franklin’s album of the same name. She recording it with Rev. Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. The voice of the choir, and that of Rev. Cleveland and Ms. Franklin, are certainly timeless. As is that of Ms. Jackson.