Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Washington Phillips - The Forefather of Gospel

George 'Washington' Phillips who was born in Texas in 1880 is considered to be one of the founding fathers of making Black Gospel music and is also a highly influential name in early American made music, despite the 'Great Depression' and also being a black skinned man in 1920s era America, Washington Phillips had records released and was quite popular, especially amongst the Negro-buying public in a vastly sectarian society.

From December 1927 through to 1929, Washington Phillips recorded sixteen beautifully crafted Gospel songs, each of which is wonderful in their own individual ways and I would consider these pieces of music to be some of the most emotionally honest and heart touching records to ever grace vinyl.

Washington Phillips is unique in so much that he is possibly the only musician in the world to popularise an unusual zither-like instrument called a Dulceola, the heavenly sound of the Dulceola accompanies Phillips' social commentary and preaching and albeit making the message of his songs felt and understood more powerfully.

I got into Washington Phillips a good four or five years ago, when I went through a period of about 6 months wherby I was listening to nothing but old blues, jazz, ragtime, gospel, prison and field songs (basically nothing past the year 1937). I've always considered Washington Phillips and Reverend Blind Gary Davis to be reign supreme and I feel they are the greatest of the gospel penned singer-songwriters of the day, I have a strong emotional tie to this music and feel that it quite possibly may be the most beautiful music on earth.

All of Washington Phillips' releases have been compiled on various cd's, they are well worth owning, as they are a great insight into the human endeavour.

Below the picture of Washington Phillip's in 1950 are my favourite tracks of his, please honour this great musician and buy his records.

Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There 

Lift Him Up That's All

Denomination Blues Part 1

I Am Born To Preach The Gospel



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