But before it did, Jackson’s mother died when she was just four and she had to leave school in the fourth grade to help out at home. She had music though — the jazz bands that entertained the city and the gospel that healed souls, with some Bessie Smith in between. On Every Wednesday, Friday and four times on Sunday, when Jackson sang at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, the sound wafted out into the street so that, one imagines, sinners also could enjoy her energetic contralto voice. Continue reading “Born On This Day in 1911: Gospel Powerhouse Mahalia Jackson”
“You going to be famous in this world and walk with kings and queens,” an aunt told twelve year-old Mahalia Jackson. Born on October 26, 1911, in New Orleans, where she shared a shotgun house with thirteen people, the future could only get better.