Gospel songs have a natural berth at Christmas time as we celebrate the birth of our Lord. So is it any wonder that so many gospel artists have added their mighty tones to the season? The top gospel Christmas songs are not confined to those faraway decades but on this occasion we have concentrated on the older generation. And it is to Mahalia Jackson that we turn to first and her 1968 version of ‘O Holy Night’ from her classic festive LP ‘Christmas With Mahalia’. With the simplest of musical accompaniment Jackson revealed her unmistakeable contralto voice which helped make her one of gospel’s greatest artists. Slightly less serious is the Golden Gate Quartet’s radical 1960 reworking of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’. Again the music is at a premium (as in not present at all) owing to the American group’s immersive vocal style. Perhaps the newest of all the tracks featured here comes from a band that broke up in the late 1960’s only to reform a full 3 decades later. One of their records together during their second run included this dramatically assembled piece ‘Last Month of The Year’. This is gospel with a genuine contemporary edge. The Pilgrims ‘Silent Night’ is unmistakably from a different time and place (1953 to be precise) and for that moment before the clock strikes 12 on Christmas Eve it would seem to be the most perfect piece of music imaginable.
Published by SpiritOfXmas | g+ profile