At a time when this new generation too frequently forgets the African-American pioneers of faith who impacted society in remarkable ways, we remember.
On this day in 1911, Mahalia Jackson, known as the “Queen of Gospel,” was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and became the most famous gospel singer of her time.
Though she is world-renowned, she got her start singing for Jesus at Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
After moving to Chicago from New Orleans in 1928, Mahalia sang with the Johnson Gospel Singers. Thomas A. Dorsey—the “Father of Gospel Music” and writer of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” was her adviser and accompanist from 1937 to 1946.
After years of singing and working several different jobs, her recording of “Move On Up a Little Higher” marked a shift in her career. It was a major hit, catapulting her into the spotlight as an international figure revered by music lovers of nearly every background. The song, released in 1947, sold millions of copies and became the highest selling gospel single in history.
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