Cover for BOYER: The Golden Age of Gospel

The Golden Age of Gospel

The definitive history of gospel music in the United States, with emotion-packed photos by Lloyd Yearwood

Professional gospel performer, composer, and scholar Horace Clarence Boyer presents the first definitive history of the vibrant, visceral tradition of black gospel music. Originally published as How Sweet the Sound, this authoritative work is beautifully illustrated with Lloyd Yearwood's arresting photographs of gospel's greatest performers backstage and in the heat of performance.

Skillfully blending music history and social context, Boyer traces the development of gospel from its earliest beginnings through the Golden Age (1945-55) and into the 1960s when gospel entered the concert hall. He introduces dozens of the genre's most gifted artists, from Thomas A. Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson to the Soul Stirrers and Aretha Franklin, evoking their distinctive styles and distinguishing among the characteristic sounds of gospel music in Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, and other locations.

Capturing the essence of a thrilling performance tradition, The Golden Age of Gospel clearly establishes gospel's importance as an authentic American art form and a musical statement of profound belief.


"Boyer is generous but always balanced in his presentation of gospel's great performers, discussing them so intelligently and informatively that anyone who loves early and golden age gospel will love his book, too."--Ray Olson, Booklist

"Boyer is the foremost scholar of gospel music. . . . [His] coverage of individuals and ensembles is very rich, and the result is a handsomely produced book useful to both specialists and laypersons at all levels."--Choice

"Boyer infuses his immense knowledge of musical and vocal forms into an engrossing narrative. . . . Superb."--Stephanie Brasley, Multicultural Review


Horace Clarence Boyer was a professor emeritus of music at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, editor of Lift Every Voice and Sing: An African American Hymnal, and a recording artist. He died in 2009. Lloyd Yearwood is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines, motion pictures, and exhibits.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/62amk2pf9780252068775.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Serving Genius - Cover
Serving Genius

Carlo Maria Giulini

Thomas D. Saler

The Lady Swings - Cover
The Lady Swings

Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer

Dottie Dodgion and Wayne Enstice

Black Music Research Journal - Cover
Black Music Research Journal

Edited by Gayle Murchison

American Music - Cover
American Music

Edited by Gayle Sherwood Magee

The Cashaway Psalmody - Cover
The Cashaway Psalmody

Transatlantic Religion and Music in Colonial Carolina

Stephen A. Marini

Banjo Roots and Branches - Cover
Banjo Roots and Branches

Edited by Robert B. Winans

Dancing Revolution - Cover
Dancing Revolution

Bodies, Space, and Sound in American Cultural History

Christopher J. Smith

Island Gospel - Cover
Island Gospel

Pentecostal Music and Identity in Jamaica and the United States

Melvin L. Butler

Music and the Moving Image - Cover
Music and the Moving Image

Edited by Gillian B. Anderson & Ronald H. Sadoff

The Heart of a Woman - Cover
The Heart of a Woman

The Life and Music of Florence B. Price

Rae Linda Brown Edited and with a Foreword by Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr.

Peggy Seeger - Cover
Peggy Seeger

A Life of Music, Love, and Politics

Jean R. Freedman

The String Quartets of Beethoven - Cover
The String Quartets of Beethoven

Edited by William Kinderman

Soul on Soul - Cover
Soul on Soul

The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams

Tammy L. Kernodle

When Sunday Comes - Cover
When Sunday Comes

Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras

Claudrena N. Harold

Industrial Strength Bluegrass - Cover
Industrial Strength Bluegrass

Southwestern Ohio's Musical Legacy

Edited by Fred Bartenstein and Curtis W. Ellison