100 years ago this week, an American legend was born

This week — Wednesday to be specific — would have been the 100th birthday of the great Mahalia Jackson, whom I would rate as one of the top five American performers of the 20th century. Her voice, presence and passion are startling, putting in the shade even such remarkable artists as Aretha Franklin, to whom she is often compared.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium.” Personally, I can’t listen to performances this one without the hairs on my arms rising. It’s been a hundred years since Mahalia showed up on this planet, and I don’t imagine we’ll see her equal in a hundred more.

Enjoy.

– Jay Bookman

290 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

October 28th, 2011
3:44 pm

” I don’t imagine we’ll see her equal in a hundred more.”

Maria Carey, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Lisa Fishcer in ‘Gimme Shelter’ just to name a few :) .

Go Dawgs! Beat those gator choppin’, hean short wearin’, mullet wearin’ scumbags from Gainseville!!!

Peadawg

October 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

Stonethrower

October 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

You put Maria Carey in the same sentence with Aretha Franklin? Please!

Peadawg

October 28th, 2011
3:47 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1JI7aMtazY

Rolling Stones – ‘Gimme Shelter’ – live

That girl can sing

Jimmy62

October 28th, 2011
3:47 pm

Never heard of her, will check it out when I get home.

Peadawg

October 28th, 2011
3:48 pm

jean*

Damn, can’t type….

Peadawg

October 28th, 2011
3:49 pm

Fast forward to about 4:05 in the video to hear Lisa’s solo.

Granny Godzilla

October 28th, 2011
3:50 pm

Gosh I hope I look as good as Miss Lberty does at her age.

You rock sister.

That girl is mine!

kayaker 71

October 28th, 2011
3:50 pm

Bookman,

I was privileged to see Mahalia Jackson perform in a black Baptist church in Fulton, MO in 1958. She had come down from St. Louis for the funeral of a good friend….. Standing room only, the front yard of the church and the parking lot were full of admirers, both black and white. When she left the service, you would have thought that Queen Elizabeth was walking out. I will never forget it.

Stonethrower

October 28th, 2011
3:50 pm

It’s sad to say that in today’s silicone botox hair weave musical world even with a voice like hers, Mahalia Jackson probably wouldn’t even be given a second look. Heck, even Jeffifer Hudson had to lose weight.

kayaker 71

October 28th, 2011
3:52 pm

Peadawg,

The version from the Stones Amsterdam concert was the best “Gimmie Shelter”. Lisa Fischer at her best…… and those damn legs.

HG3

October 28th, 2011
4:00 pm

Now it’s Lisa Fisher, but on the original album cut, it was no other than the great Merry Clayton.

AmVet

October 28th, 2011
4:09 pm

Cool story, 71.

A far musical cry from Ms. Jackson, but that same thread runs through all of us.

I had a dream,
When I was young,
A dream of sweet illusion,
A glimpse of hope and unity,
And visions of one sweet union

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4UNoECibYk&ob=av2n

kayaker 71

October 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

AmVet,

good cut.

One thing that Mahalia says in the song that all of us might take to heart…… ” I’d like to thank God for bein’ so good to me”.

Aquagirl

October 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Fast forward to about 4:05 in the video

Thank you for sparing me 4:04 of Keith Richard’s corpse.

josef

October 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Why try to compare her with anyone…she’s a category all her own…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as1rsZenwNc&feature=related

AmVet

October 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

Yessir, 71. It’s real easy to forget just how much we all have to be thankful for. (Even if the man is trying to keep me down! LOL!)

This Bob Dylan song fits in well with the spiritual nature of the theme.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdWYKFByzv8

Matti Against the Machine

October 28th, 2011
4:55 pm

Sean** sang about “going home” shortly before he, um… .did. Damn, I hated to see this one go!

(Click Play): http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/517119

**One of Bruno’s local faves!

AmVet

October 28th, 2011
5:07 pm

Matti, he was one of those bright comets.

A brilliant flash….and gone.

I’m glad I got to see him before he went.

His first national acclaim came from playing with this blueswoman…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvvlLs8ScIQ

out of the blue

October 28th, 2011
5:08 pm

Who the heck is Lisa Fischer? Wikipedia, says the female voice was one Merry Clayton!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimme_Shelter

Jack

October 28th, 2011
5:18 pm

Maybe we should all stand while all this sanctifying goin’ on.

Matti Against the Machine

October 28th, 2011
5:19 pm

AmVet,

Oh yeah, she can DELIVER! My baby’ daddy is totally in love with her. (Me, not so much.)

SOUTHERN ATL

October 28th, 2011
5:20 pm

Jay this is an excellent pick and very historical!! “True Legend”

March on Washington – 1963
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (or “The Great March on Washington,” as styled in a sound recording released after the event)[1][2] was a large political rally in support of civil and economic rights for African Americans that took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating racial harmony at the Lincoln Memorial during the march.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_on_Washington_for_Jobs_and_Freedom

pogo

October 28th, 2011
5:25 pm

Claire Torry has my vote (taking nothing away from Mahalia as she was an American icon). Claire didn’t even speak a word but that range, my god that range. One of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard, even to this day.

josef

October 28th, 2011
5:26 pm

here’s real rolling stones…sound picks up into it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGV9iClB004&feature=related

md

October 28th, 2011
5:29 pm

Adam….from downstairs…….just because you say it does not make it so…….the tactic does exist, and it is used in both directions.

As for the bumper sticker fella also from downstairs……..just know you are more than welcome to make a new bumper sticker that shows foreign companies are in control of the profits of the entire company……….even if they are sold in this country………..

Class act

October 28th, 2011
5:29 pm

Jay – you’re a class act; I really wish Wingfield could take a page out of your playbook, even if only for half a day.

md

October 28th, 2011
5:30 pm

Ooops……didn’t mean to spoil the music…….carry on.

Class act

October 28th, 2011
5:30 pm

…sorry to make this ‘partisan’ but he (Wingfield) has been particularly pathetic of late.

SOUTHERN ATL

October 28th, 2011
5:39 pm

AmVet

October 28th, 2011
5:43 pm

A really fun version of that one, josef.

For my money, the sweetest Dylan tune ever written…

Bird on the horizon,
sittin’ on a fence
He’s singin’ his song for me
At his own expense
And I’m just like that bird
Oh, singin’ just for you
I hope that you can hear
Hear me singin’ through these tears

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_JhT3Q_1v0

Peadawg

October 28th, 2011
5:50 pm

Let’s not forget about Adele, who’s sold something like 4 million copies of her debut album this year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0 – ‘Someone like you’

She’s having throat surgery in the next week or so. Let’s hope she makes a full recovery.

Lecresia

October 28th, 2011
5:54 pm

Class act
October 28th, 2011
5:29 pm
“Jay – you’re a class act; I really wish Wingfield could take a page out of your playbook, even if only for half a day.”

Jay you are ghostwriting your own accolades, aren’t you? Must be salary review time @ the AJC.

josef

October 28th, 2011
6:02 pm

josef

October 28th, 2011
6:03 pm

Lecresia

Jay IS a class act…at least of a Friday…

[...] 100 years ago this week, an American legend was born | Jay Bookman. american performers, Birthday, century, dr martin luther, dr martin luther king, dr martin [...]

Rich

October 28th, 2011
6:10 pm

Jay. Let’s don’t forget about the great Billie Holliday whose tragic life was made into the motion picture starring Diana Ross in “The Lady Sings the Blues.” Here she is with Coleman Hawkins Lester and Company before her voice became all hoarse and gravelly from too many drugs and too much alcohol. But in her prime, she was a hit sensation who put the “Blue” in “Blues.” Everyone enjoy this and go Cardinals!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au6hOCooDQ4

wet wiccan

October 28th, 2011
6:12 pm

AmVet

October 28th, 2011
6:18 pm

josef, you’ve linked that one before, I think.

And it always blows me away. My gawd, what a talent she was.

Not nearly in her league, but she has a list of song writing credits for a veritable whos who of country music, including Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Suzy Bogguss and the Dixie Chicks.

Here’s her hauntingly sweet song with that killer Nashville sound, that I’ve linked before…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X8Ryn82QLo

philosopher

October 28th, 2011
6:19 pm

Yes, she had a very rare gift, indeed… and I feel as though I have been given a very special, brand new gift every time I hear her.

Boris Badnoff

October 28th, 2011
6:20 pm

Then there’s Fats Waller describing Michelle’s feet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in1eK3×1PBI

Occupy Jay's Blog

October 28th, 2011
6:21 pm

Jay nice tun age

philosopher

October 28th, 2011
6:28 pm

Billie Holiday is/was absolutely amazing, too-.

Tommy Maddox

October 28th, 2011
6:31 pm

Every time my boys turn on their computer, up pops Mahalia belting out “Go Tell It on the Mountain”.

They can’t figure out how to remove it and I’m not gonna tell them. Wailin’!

Normal

October 28th, 2011
6:35 pm

I don’t know much about Mahalia Jackson, but my Mom had a good collection of the Black Female blues singers from the ’20’s and ’30’s. When I was looking for some, I came across this…great ones, one and all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieEN44N0PZ0&feature=related

I also came across this awesome woman…

Time Poll: Hillary Defeats GOP Contenders

Hillary Rodham Clinton is emerging as the most formidable non-candidate candidate heading into the 2012 presidential election.

A new Time magazine poll shows Clinton easily defeating the major Republican candidates, were she somehow to become the 2012 Democratic nominee for president, according to USA Today.

Clinton leads Mitt Romney, 55 percent to 38 percent; Rick Perry, 58 percent to 32 percent; and Herman Cain, 56 percent to 34 percent, among likely voters in a general election.

“The same poll found that President Obama would edge Romney by just 46 percent to 43 percent, Perry by 50 percent to 38 percent and Cain by 49 percent to 37 percent among likely voters,” Time magazine wrote.

Clinton — who lost the 2008 nomination fight to Obama — says she has no interest in another White House run.

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

josef

October 28th, 2011
6:37 pm

ZamVet

“josef, you’ve linked that one before, I think.”

Probably…I do repeat myself a lot! :-)

Nice link back…

JamVet

October 28th, 2011
6:38 pm

josef

October 28th, 2011
6:42 pm

BORIS

Sounds like big feet envy to me… :-)

Matti Against the Machine

October 28th, 2011
6:47 pm

Normal,

Wow. You da man! Seriously.

josef

October 28th, 2011
6:47 pm

Normal

October 28th, 2011
6:50 pm

JamVet

October 28th, 2011
6:53 pm

Boys and girls, we got us a Game 7 tonight.

And that is a very special time for us national pastime fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcahLxfaAIk

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:01 pm

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:08 pm

Adam

October 28th, 2011
7:12 pm

No md, Class Warfare only goes in one direction, and it’s NOT the poor attacking the defenseless rich.

Everyone really knows that. Class warfare is pretty clearly going on – in the opposite direction from which the Republicans suggest. Really this is just another attempt by Republicans to take terms that used to mean something and turn them into slurs such as socialism, marxist, communism, compromise, stimulus, etc. Emboldened by the success of redefining other terms to their satisfaction, Republican propaganda artists are trying it with “class warfare.”

I’m sorry you fell for it. I hope you get better soon.

jconservative

October 28th, 2011
7:13 pm

Mahalia – yes.

Willie Mae Ford Smith – yes.

Aretha – yes.

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:18 pm

NORMAL

Yow-zuh! D*mn, now THAT’s dancin’

wet wiccan

October 28th, 2011
7:26 pm

JamVet

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the Braves first went to the World Series. It was so exciting! It seemed like every game went into extra innings and most were decided by 1 run. My stomach stayed tied in a knot. It broke my heart when we lost. This series reminds me a lot of that time, and even though I really don’t have a favorite in this series, the Rangers have never won the World Series and I’m sure their fans are just as excited as we were. So I kind of hope they win!

josef -

Rocky Horror … yeah!

Matti Against the Machine

October 28th, 2011
7:28 pm

Game Six was the most exciting (non-football) thing I’ve seen in years! Now…. TIME FOR GAME SEVEN!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-hB1TzoG7M

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:29 pm

md, Adam

Hey, it’s FNM at Jay’s Place…

now sing together…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKTToVgAQlU&feature=related

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:40 pm

if it’s baseball you wanna talk about…

“…we all love baseball…I’m crazy about baseball…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sShMA85pv8M

Kamchak

October 28th, 2011
7:40 pm

Game Six was the most exciting (non-football) thing I’ve seen in years!

Technically futbol, the Women’s World Cup this year was better.

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:51 pm

well, okay, less talk ’bout futbol, then…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPQ_N4imYVE

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
7:53 pm

If Mahalia was in the top 5 then who are the other four Jay?

Roy Orbison had the second greatest voice in the last hundred years…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PLq0_7k1jk

Who has the best, strongest and versatile voice since folks started recording music? You might be surprised…….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GNhdQRbXhc

Mitchell

October 28th, 2011
7:56 pm

You know why there will never be another Mahalia Jackson?

Because she wasn’t trying to be the next whoever. There was nobody before her.

Just like there was nobody before Janis Joplin, Jimi Henrix, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Joni Lennon, etc.

There are the originals and then there’s everybody else.

Kamchak

October 28th, 2011
7:57 pm

Speaking of women;s futbol, any Dancing With The Stars fans out there?

U.S. goal keeper Hope Solo is competing this time ’round.

How is she doin’?

Mitchell

October 28th, 2011
7:59 pm

“Everybody else” meaning everybody who comes after.

Normal

October 28th, 2011
8:02 pm

josef

October 28th, 2011
7:18 pm

Josef,
I think that’s where the term “break a leg” came from….

Adam

October 28th, 2011
8:02 pm

josef: For some reason I did not realize this was the music thread. I try not to comment on those. Maybe some more next week :)

Normal

October 28th, 2011
8:08 pm

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:08 pm

I’m not trying to starts a fracas with Mitchell but Janis, Jimi, Jim and John??

Each had their contribution, valabale as they may been, but VOCAL performances ??

Huh??

Next thing somebody’s say is Bob Dylan has a great range….. Uhhhhh

Who can sing hard enough to make the hairs on your arms stand up….

This is the next Aretha…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6Vu2uuaZ5I

Keep an eye on this kid……

josef

October 28th, 2011
8:08 pm

occupy
@ 7:53

Much agreed on both counts…

and for you and wiccan…who but him….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-bkTz31bw0

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:11 pm

Kamchak

October 28th, 2011
8:12 pm

2 runs in the 1st and only 1 out?

Geez….

josef

October 28th, 2011
8:13 pm

Adam

I do wish you’d post some songs…I’d be interested to know what yours would be…

occupy

Christine Jorgeson’s theme song? :-)

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:13 pm

Or you might try this…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzgJ6Mkkd-w

Thx josef – frm smeat

josef

October 28th, 2011
8:21 pm

occupy
@ 8:11

Nice. Thanks for linking…she’s got it…and he ain’t half bad…

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:22 pm

I debated on whether to put this up or not….

She’s a great performer and a 50 year veteran so I voted yes. Oh by the way, one of the greatest and sappiest but classic songs ever released.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW9Cu6GYqxo&ob=av2e

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:26 pm

And because it’s almost Halloween —–

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3_XFszZA5Y

josef

October 28th, 2011
8:26 pm

“Mick Jagger…a scrotum with lips…” –Bloom County

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:29 pm

yuck josef — Fergie makes me want to grow up to be an internet stalker —– Yummy !!!

Adam

October 28th, 2011
8:29 pm

josef: Any old song? No context? heh.

Curtis Rivers

October 28th, 2011
8:30 pm

Thank you for that, Jay.

Matti Against the Machine

October 28th, 2011
8:32 pm

josef,

“Whoa Nelly!” I remember the Bloom County Stones bit. OMG, hahaha!

Kamchak

October 28th, 2011
8:35 pm

Normal

October 28th, 2011
8:37 pm

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:39 pm

More Halloween stuff only for the wicked at heart —

“Ridin’ in da Ferrari 458 with the boss in Miami while drinkin’ sake and watching others wonder who the blank we were…..” —– Better than some poor lost soul who works in a cubicle everyday………

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1ivA73ga20

Better Jay?

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:42 pm

Normal – Ok. Your tune you like just like the rest of us …. but sorry….. Gong !!!!

Normal

October 28th, 2011
8:42 pm

And remeber this one? it’s the theme song for the Republican debates… :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a2QGDFHTv0&feature=related

wet wiccan

October 28th, 2011
8:43 pm

occupy

I suppose who one thinks had the greatest voice is very subjective, but IMO it’s Freddy Mercury!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3xwCkhmies&feature=related

But I also saw Johnny Mathis perform live once and he is no slouch either!

josef

October 28th, 2011
8:43 pm

JamVet

October 28th, 2011
8:43 pm

Wiccan, we just wish it was the Bravos with another shot at redemption. (Damn you Jack Morris!!)

Diggin’ the tunes, all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AZKIOUyM20

Normal

October 28th, 2011
8:45 pm

Halloween music, you say?

Not really, but good anyway…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej1zMxbhOO0

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:46 pm

I love the last commentator’s post on youtube:

“It s so funny how so many religious people FIND their way to this kind of music to make comments…WTF are you doing here??? You have NO business here. yes this stuff is “evil”…So stay the HELL OUT of hell. YES this is the devils music, YES this stuff is bad for your children, YES its demonic….why are you even this far south of heaven??? You arent welcome here…Tell your children not to walk my way, not to hear my words, what they mean, what they say…MOTHER.

theGDbatman8686 4 months ago 61 “

josef

October 28th, 2011
8:48 pm

ADAM

Context? Like the rest of us here at FNM, show your

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbZDjnWtK1A&feature=related

Kamchak

October 28th, 2011
8:50 pm

Alan W.

October 28th, 2011
8:53 pm

Adele is the only artist who comes close Mahalia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYEDA3JcQqw&ob=av2e

Occupy AJC Blogosphere

October 28th, 2011
8:55 pm

Freddie and Tina are strong contenders….

I could do without Andrew L Weber but then again Broadway ain’t my gig thang ….

Have y’all been keeping up with this?

It was one of the most enjoyable projects I ever worked on… I made almost no money but the kids think it’s the coolest thing dad ever did………

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grWV8WZtAQc&feature=feedwll

Kamchak

October 28th, 2011
8:56 pm

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

October 28th, 2011
8:56 pm

This one goes out to the left wing Kool Aid drinkers on Jay’s blog fawning over Barack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyU2pGWA6Jc