mahalia-jackson
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Happy Birthday to Mahalia Jackson! The revered “Queen of Gospel” was born on this day in 1911 in New Orleans. Jackson began singing at four years old, developing a rich, powerful voice for which she was admired by many musical greats. While she was raised in a devout Christian family, attending Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Jackson sought inspiration from more secular artists like Bessie Smith along with gospel artists. After moving to Chicago as a teenager, Jackson became a member of the Johnson Gospel Singers and remained a member for several years before later touring and performing with composer Thomas A. Dorsey. Jackson recorded “Move Up A Little Higher” in 1947 which quickly rose to popularity and became the highest selling gospel single in history. Also an active member in The Civil Rights Movement, Jackson walked with Dr. Martin Luther King at the March on Washington in 1963 where she also performed the song “I Been ‘Buked and I Been Scorned”. Cheers to you, Mahalia!