It’s contest time again, my friends. Simply click here and listen to the mystery song. The first person to put this singer’s name in the comments section will win a prize.
That prize is a copy of a new book, “Black Women and Music: More Than the Blues,” published by the University of Illinois Press. It’s a scholarly anthology, coming out of a feminist-black studies-ethnomusicology bag, and its articles deal with gospel, concert music, avant-garde jazz, hip-hop and electric blues.
“Black Women and Music” is edited by Eileen M. Hayes and Linda F. Williams. I look forward to sending a copy to somebody.
UPDATE (07-07-07): No winner yet. And I guess I should’ve specified... please post your answers on the comments thread here, not on Vox. Anyway, Leon Perry and Ria, it’s not Sister Rosetta. (I assume you guys were responding to the contest, not just to the question marks on the Vox post.)
UPDATE (07-08-07): We have a winner. Queenjustine identified this singer (after a hint) as Dorothy Love Coates. Don’t feel bad; I never heard of her till a few weeks ago myself, despite the fact that she was a big gospel star in the ’50s and ’60s. It is said that her vocal style influenced Little Richard.
Rock critic Dave Marsh calls Mrs. Coates “perhaps the most underrated gospel vocalist and songwriter of black gospel’s golden age.”
This track – “The Railroad” – is available on the CD “Get On Board,” a hits collection by Coates and the Original Gospel Harmonettes.