Jan. 12 event: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music

Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
 with author Robert Marovich
Gods Posse, a gospel chorus, will perform.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 6 p.m.
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., Chicago.
Free. Open to the public. No advance reservation required.


Gospel music historian and radio host Robert Marovich will discuss his book A City Called Heaven during a Society of Midland Authors program at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., Chicago. Gods Posse, a gospel chorus, will perform. Admission is free, and no advance reservations are required.

Published this year by the University of Illinois Press, the book follows gospel music from early hymns and camp meetings through the Great Migration that brought it to Chicago. In time, the music grew into the sanctified soundtrack of the city’s mainline black Protestant churches. In addition to drawing on print media and ephemera, Marovich mines hours of interviews with nearly 50 artists, ministers, and historians—as well as with relatives and friends of past gospel pioneers—to recover many forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and industry leaders. He also examines how a lack of economic opportunity bred an entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music’s rise to popularity and opened a gate to social mobility for a number of its practitioners.

robert-marovichMarovich is a gospel music historian, author and radio host. “Gospel Memories,” his radio program of classic gospel, spiritual, and jubilee music, airs on Chicago’s WLUW-FM and throughout the week on Internet, low-power FM, and terrestrial radio stations.

Marovich writes about classic and contemporary gospel music as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music. The website, formerly known as The Black Gospel Blog, was nominated for a Rhythm of Gospel Award in 2013.

This event is part of the Chicago Public Library’s popular One Book, One Chicago program. This year’s book is The Third Coast by Thomas Dyja. Marovich’s book and Gods Posse’s CDs will be for sale.

Gods Posse
Gods Posse