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“God Has Smiled on Me”

“God Has Smiled on Me”

Traditional Gospel

(p.100) Chapter 5 “God Has Smiled on Me”
Downhome Gospel
Jerrilyn McGregory
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the evolution of shape-note singing conventions in Wiregrass County. It suggests that the introduction of traditional gospel music and a choral response resulted in the major transformation of the singing conventions in the region. The chapter also highlights the role of Thomas Dorsey in the changes in the performance of sacred music, particularly the Thomas-Grady Counties Singing Convention, and contends that musicologists have incorrectly identified the North as the site for the early spread of the gospel blues.

Keywords:   shape-note singing, singing conventions, Wiregrass County, gospel music, choral response, Thomas Dorsey, sacred music, Thomas-Grady Counties, Singing Convention, gospel blues

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