Various Artists

Living the Gospel: Gospel Legends

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Living the Gospel: Gospel Legends may not do gospel fans too many favors, but for those who want to hear the best of the golden age, there simply aren't any better compilations available. The performers are among the best (Mahalia Jackson, the Staple Singers, the Caravans, Alex Bradford) and the roster of genre classics -- "Christian's Automobile," "Move on up a Little Higher," "Uncloudy Day," "Milky White Way," "How I Got Over," "Our Father" -- is unassailable for a single-disc compilation. Time-Life collections may be difficult to find, but anyone who wants to learn exactly what made gospel music so powerful wouldn't be better-served with anything else.

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