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20 Best of Mahalia Jackson

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Album Review

Columbia Records compiled a greatest-hits album for Mahalia Jackson in 1976, having no idea how many more lay ahead for this vocal powerhouse. Best Of was a fair enough collection of hymns, spirituals, and gospel. “Every Time I Feel the Spirit I Pray” and “How Great Thou Art” sit alongside rousing version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." A mash-up for sure, but a good one nonetheless.


Born: 16 October 1911 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

General critical consensus holds Mahalia Jackson as the greatest gospel singer ever to live; a major crossover success whose popularity extended across racial divides, she was gospel's first superstar, and even decades after her death remains, for many listeners, a defining symbol of the music's transcendent power. With her singularly expressive contralto, Jackson continues to inspire the generations of vocalists who follow in her wake; among the first spiritual performers to introduce elements of...
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