Monday, February 25, 2008

The Golden Gate Quartet- Give Me Two Wings

Flew away.

I like to think I'm well-versed in area history.

But a wonderful feature in Sunday's Kansas City Star exposed me to the almost entirely forgotten gospel music legacy of the Jackson Jubilee Singers of Western University. It was all news to me. Sure, accounts of the black abolitionist town of Quindaro, Kansas, are part of most regional Border War histories. Yet I had no idea that "for a time, roughly between 1907 and 1940, (the Jackson Jubilee Singers) were wildly popular with both black and white audiences." It's fascinating stuff.

The Star links to clips of a couple surviving recordings at Emusic. Their sound resembles the Golden Gate Quartet only in passing. But I'm going with what I own. As the Star's story points out, traditional slave songs like "Give Me Two Wings" are part of gospel's subversive tradition. While the lyric is ostensibly about Jesus, the real message concerns a desperate longing for more than just spiritual freedom.

I'll pick up Erykah Badu's new release tomorrow, but the album I can hardly wait to get my hands on is the new Luciano. The two new songs streaming at his MySpace are scorching. (I will not be buying Webbie's new release. The best/worst hit since, "Crank That," "Independent" has already inflicted irreparable brain damage to my poor noggin. "She cook/She clean/Never smell like onion rings!")

Kansas City Click: Luz D'Sol play at Jardine's tonight. They were the subject of a KCUR profile aired yesterday.

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