In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The WINGS OVER JORDAN CHOIR (WOJC), a prominent African American choir during the late 1930s and early 1940s, made broadcast history with the first independently produced national and international radio programs created by AFRICAN AMERICANS. The group made contributions to choral music and the improvement of race relations. The choir was founded in 1935 by the Rev. GLENN T. SETTLE , pastor of Gethsemane Baptist Church on E. 30th and Scovill Ave. in Cleveland. Rev. Settle believed in using Negro spirituals to spread Christianity. He promoted establishing a radio program to address the Negro community and introduce the non-Negro to the Negro experience. In 1937, the ensemble performed weekly on the "Negro Hour" over RADIO station WGAR, a CBS affiliate. It soon became a hit.
On 9 Jan. 1938 the group adopted the (Image)(Image) name Wings Over Jordan Choir and The Wings Over Jordan national broadcasting began. WOJC Choir, ca. 1940s. WRHS. performed a decade long series of weekly, sometimes daily, programs for CBS and WGAR exclusively. WOJC was the first full-time professional black choir in America. At its height, the choir performed before sold-out, non-segregated audiences in over 40 states, 5 European countries, Canada, and Mexico. During WORLD WAR II, under USO sponsorship, WOJC toured Army camps in Europe. WOJC's fame resulted in the publication of a songbook and record album, a movie contract, performances with major symphony orchestras, and an invitation to sing at the White House. The choir received numerous honors, including radio's prestigious Peabody Award.
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The Old Ark's A-Movering
Review: Reverend Glynn T. Settle was the originator of the Wings over Jordan Choir (WOJC), which on the public scene in the late 1930s, the first full-time professional black choir in America. Proficient and versatile, during the period 1938 to 1949, the choir performed before sold-out, non-segregated audiences in over 40 American states, 5 European countries, Canada and Mexico. In 1937 the choir inaugurated a successful weekly "Negro Hour" on CBS Radio in Cleveland, reaching 40 million listeners. WOJC's segment of spirituals would be followed by the Southernaires Quartet, and then the Golden Gate Quartet. A songbook was published and over 50 recordings came from this program, performances with major symphonic orchestras and an invitation to sing at the White House. Reverend Settle narrates in this rare collection, saying things like "It's not because I'm a coward and afraid to defend myself that I smilingly take the many abuses forced upon me through life. The fact is, I pity and pray for those who despitefully mistreat me. You may wonder about my attitude. Well, the answer is very simple. I am busy trying to get ready to try on my long white robe." Gospel Friend records is releasing this wonderful collection of 25 authentic spirituals, accompanied by fascinating pictures and text in the liner notes (one of our favorites is several members of the group all dressed up in front of their spanking-new tour bus, "Wings Over Jordan" proudly on the front). There are several spirituals we are hearing for the first time, such as "The Old Ark's A-Movering," "My Lord's Gonna Move This Wicked Race," the joyous "I Just Got Over," "Meet You at the Judgement," "Trampin'," "Over My Head" and others. And then there are tunes we've heard many times, such as "Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham," "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel," "Wade in the Water," "Old Ship of Zion" and "Sweet Little Jesus Boy," but it's as if we are hearing them for the first time. "Trying to Get Ready" is a treat on many levels, from beginning to end. Don't miss this one!
Songlist: Walk Together Children, Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham, Don't Stay Away, I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray, Trying to Get Ready, The Old Ark's A-Movering, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Ezekiel Saw the Wheel, Wade In The Water, I Just Got Over, Meet You at the Judgement, Plenty Good Room, Trampin', Old Ship of Zion, I'm A-Rollin, When You Come out of the Wilderness, My Lord's Gonna Move This Wicked Race, Sweet Little Jesus Boy, Until I Found the Lord, I've Been 'Buked, I'm Going to Sit at the Welcome Table, Over My Head, Where Shall I Be When the First Trumpet Sounds, Amen, He's All and All to Me