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.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

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