What are some gospel songs, or musicians, that influenced the blues?

Question by e: What are some gospel songs, or musicians, that influenced the blues?
I’ve come to learn that some of the blues musicians that I listen to grew up listening to gospel music, back when there wasn’t a blues music I think. What are some of the well known songs or artists that played/sang gospel?

Best answer:

Answer by Pavao
Sam Cooke was one of the largest and most significant influences.

What do you think? Answer below!

4 comments to What are some gospel songs, or musicians, that influenced the blues?

  • Miles Dewar  says:

    The songs that influenced the play were the hymns of southern black churches.

    The guys you talk about had No music media outlets available. Their families likely made them play Christian music and then during a part of their life, they decided to change the subject.

  • ^glen^magnific^ ^mufflerdent^  says:

    Not always necessarily “gospel” but would spiritual fit the meaning?

    Son House ..
    Preachin Blues .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLCbFrfQUCs&feature=related

    Forever on my Mind .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLD9Iej5nRc&feature=related

    John the Revelator .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2u_wFsFYA

    Rev. Gary Davis ..
    You Can Go Home .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YRfBy84FkA&feature=related

    I am the Light .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16mXXv_O0ms&feature=related

    My Heart is Fixed .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvJa6ADDpoE&feature=related

  • Wire and String  says:

    you should check out alan lomax’s field records. especially the “southern journey” series. especially vol 4 “brethren, we meet again” and vol 6 “sheep, sheep don’tcha know the road.”

  • Apollo  says:

    That’s a big question. I can give you an overview of it. Definitely check out Turlough (Terence) O’Carolan (1670-1738). He was a blind, itinerant Irish Harper and composer, who wrote more than 200 famous songs. A lot of the Gospel hymns the first Americans sang, were actually taken from English Folk melodies and drinking songs (eg ‘Amazing Grace’ is a Scottish pipe melody -ala the Jeff Beck version-). There was a period in U.S. history called “The Great Awakening” (about 1850-1900). During this time travelling ‘Circuit Riders’ would minister -and sing Gospel tunes- to towns on the frontier. This later became the ‘Holiness Movement’. Most influential were Pentacostal and Methodist preachers who -like the ancient mystery cults- encouraged ‘ecstatic reactions’ from the crowds. This driving and emotionally intense music grew in the churches; and combined with West African songs, hollers, and drumming. With recordings this became “Race Music” (Gospel originally was on the ‘B’ side), and “Rhythm and Blues”/ “Gospel/Holy-Blues”. Preacher/Musicians from the 1850’s (eg William J. Seymour) up to the 1950’s (eg Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis), were directly influenced by Gospel. A lot of Blues artists are considered ‘Gospel Blues’, also many others have recorded them. Here’s a list of good artists to check (in order of my favorites): Reverand Gary Davis, Josh White(Sr.), Son House, Blind Boy Fuller, Brownie McGhee with Sonny Terry, Bukka White, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Thomas A. Dorsey, Bo Weevil Jackson, Reverand Leon Pinson, Sister Rosetta Thorpe. More modern greats include Glenn Kaiser, and Robert Randolf. I recently heard Tom Jones(!) 2010 Gospel-Blues cd called ‘Praise and Blame’. It has great covers including ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’.

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