Music: Moving On Up

Mahalia Jackson never sang the blues. "Blues are the songs of despair," she liked to say. "Gospel songs are the songs of hope. When you sing gospel you have the feeling there is a cure for what's wrong." Mahalia had the gift of making her audiences feel there was a cure too. She began her performance with a Bible reading ("to give me inner strength"), then just seemed to brim over with music. Shaking her head till the combs flew out of her hair, whacking her hands together or stretching her arms ecstatically over her head, she raised her creamy contralto...

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