These Radiant Gospel Songs Will Lift Your Spirits

The exuberant vocals and surging rhythms of “Jesus Rocked the Jukebox.”

Various Artists

Jesus Rocked the Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965)

Craft Recordings

Reckoning PR

If you want to know how James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and a host of other great singers first became inspired, check out Jesus Rocked the Jukebox, a two-disc, 40-track set collecting floor-shaking, window-rattling expressions of joy and praise. The exuberant vocals and surging rhythms of such vital performers as the Pilgrim Travelers, Happyland Singers, and Detroiters will elevate the spirits of the weariest listeners, regardless of one’s belief (or lack thereof). Among the radiant highlights: the Soul Stirrers’ “Jesus Gave Me Water,” starring the astoundingly charismatic Sam Cooke before he became a pop star, and the Staple Singers’ eerie “Uncloudy Day,” featuring Mavis Staples, who’s still going strong today. This isn’t a definitive gospel collection, since the Mighty Clouds of Joy and solo faves like Sister Rosetta Tharpe are absent, but it’s a guaranteed good time.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate