Golden Gate Quartet
16 Most Requested Songs
The Million Dollar Quartet
Mahalia Jackson

Religious » Gospel » Spirituals

Spirituals are traditional folk-gospel songs that originated in African-American slave communities during the 19th century. When African slaves were brought to the United States and Christianized, they began to perceive Biblical parallels to their own situation (and were sometimes even encouraged to do so by zealously evangelical whites). Thus, many spirituals address themes of freedom, earthly suffering, and hope for deliverance. They were sung both at worship services and in the fields, and were passed down orally from generation to generation. Given those origins, spirituals are usually performed very simply and written in repetitive, easily remembered structures (for example, many verses in spirituals include a one-line refrain that's sung by the entire group and repeated after each new line of the verse). In that sense, spirituals often bear a resemblance to secular prewar country blues, a music stemming from a similarly rural lineage.

Spirituals Artists Highlights

Golden Gate Quartet
Golden Gate Quartet
Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash

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Spirituals Album Highlights

16 Most Requested Songs
Mahalia Jackson
16 Most Requested Songs
The Million Dollar Quartet
The Million Dollar Quartet ...
The Million Dollar Quartet
The Essential Mahalia Jackson [Columbia/Legacy]
Mahalia Jackson
The Essential Mahalia ...
Rock My Soul [Living Era]
Golden Gate Quartet
Rock My Soul [Living Era]
Travelin' Shoes
Golden Gate Quartet
Travelin' Shoes
Live at Newport 1958
Mahalia Jackson
Live at Newport 1958

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Spirituals Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
There Is a Balm in Gilead Mahalia Jackson
There's No Place Like Home Elvis Presley
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho Mahalia Jackson
Swing Down, Chariot Golden Gate Quartet
Stormy Weather Golden Gate Quartet
I Still Miss Someone Johnny Cash
Rock Me Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Were You There? Mahalia Jackson
Walk Over God's Heaven Mahalia Jackson
Hush! Golden Gate Quartet

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Other Styles in Gospel