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Encyclopedia > Bessie Griffin

Bessie Griffin (July 6, 1922April 10, 1989) was a gospel singer who performed briefly with Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker & The Caravans in 1953 but spent most of her career as a solo artist. While often compared to Mahalia Jackson, she had a lighter contralto that allowed her to achieve more vocal pyrotechnics — holding a note for long periods of time, continuing a song for as long as twenty minutes and ranging through three octaves. July 6 is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 178 days remaining. ... 1922 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 1989 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Gospel music may refer either to the religious music that first came out of African-American churches in the 1930s or, more loosely, to both black gospel music and to the religious music composed and sung by white southern Christian artists. ... Albertina Walker Hailed as the Queen of Gospel, Albertina Walker was born in 1929 in Chicago, IL. At the age of four, Albertina began singing in the Childrens Choir of the West Point Baptist Church under the direction of Professor Pete Williams. ... The Caravans was a female gospel group popular during the 1950s and 1960s that launched the careers of a number of artists, including: Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker, Bessie Griffin, Cassietta George, The Great Narrator Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews and First Lady of Gospel Shirley Caesar. ... 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... This article is about the musical term solo; for other uses, see solo. ... Mahalia Jackson in 1962, photographed by Carl Van Vechten Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911–January 27, 1972) was a United States gospel singer, widely regarded as one of the best in the history of the genre. ... In music, an alto is a singer with a vocal range somewhere between a tenor and a mezzo-soprano. ... In music, an octave (sometimes abbreviated 8ve or 8va) is the interval between one musical note and another with half or double the frequency. ...


Born Arlette B. Broil in New Orleans, she was steeped in church music as a child. She sang for a while with the Southern Harps, had her own radio show in New Orleans, and later appeared in night clubs and on Broadway. New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... This article is about the street in New York City. ...


Further Reading

  • Boyer, Horace Clarence; How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel; Elliott and Clark; 1995; ISBN 0252068777.
  • Heilbut, Tony; The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times; Limelight Editions; 1997; ISBN 0879100346.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gospel_music (1873 words)
At the same time that quartet groups were reaching their zenith in the 1940s and 1950s, a number of women singers were achieving stardom.
Some, such as Mahalia Jackson and Bessie Griffin, were primarily soloists, while others, such as Clara Ward, The Caravans, The Davis Sisters and Dorothy Love Coates, sang in small groups.
While some groups, such as The Ward Singers, employed the sort of theatrics and daring group dynamics that male quartet groups used, for the most part women gospel singers relied instead on overpowering technique and dramatic personal witness to establish themselves.
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