1,000 Recordings to Hear Before you Die, A Listener’s Life List, by Tom Moon is a must give Christmas present for any serious music fan. A treasure trove of essential recordings from every genre of music: jazz, classical, rock, pop, R&B, blues and world music, the book provides a short description of each recording and enough anecdotal references to make your head spin.
I have spent hours strolling through the pages of this book and, despite my lifelong pursuit of musical adventure, I have found a whole new world of exciting music. Mr. Moon introduced me to the electronic African rhythms of Konono No. 1 and the soul music of Malmoud Ahmed.
As I write this I am enjoying a playlist of some of the great gospel music included in 1000 Essential Recordings. At one21music, we are very excited about the great modern music being made by Christians today. This book contains gospel music that is as vital as any early R&B, blues or hard country music that was recorded in the 20th Century. It also contains some exciting mainstream music made by Christians.
Amazing Gospel Finds form 1000 Essential Recordings
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a guitar slinging, boogey woogy singing woman who wailed the gospel in the 30′s and the 40′s. Her music is as exciting as Cab Calloway, as urgent as Etta James and as smooth as Lena Horne. Mr. Moon points to her “Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, 1938-1947″ I bought Volumes 2 and 3 which have brought one jaw dropping listening experience after another. Check out the wonder that is Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Did you catch the pre-Townsend windmill action? Sister Tharpe’s recordings are available at iTunes and Amazon.
Rev. Gary Davis is a Harlem street singer who pioneered ragtime guitar. His gospel music is dusty guitar blues in the style of Robert Johnson and Son House. “Harlem Street Singer” is featured here. Every song is the rich musing of gratitude for a life lived hard and an eternity of joy. This recording is available at iTunes and Amazon.
Fern Jones is a fiery, rockabilly, road house country singer who happens to sing gospel. Moon described her beautifully when he said, “Her plain voice twinkled in a way that connected the spirit of the revival tent with sweat of the roadhouse…” The great archive label, Numero, collected her recordings into a cd which is available on Amazon.
These are among the twenty or so gospel artists included in 1000 Essential Recordings. I was already enjoying the featured recordings by Blind Boys of Alabama, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley and cannot wait to listen to my newest acquisition, “The Keys to the Kingdom” by Washington Phillips. I will let you know.
Shortly we will delve into some of the wonderful mainstream recordings by Christian artists that were featured in the 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die by Tom Moon.
Buy this book for yourself and every music fan in your life. If you already have it, let me know what great new discoveries you have found.