Mahaila Jackson Essay

303 WordsDec 9, 20092 Pages
Mahaila Jackson was born on October 26, 1911 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mahaila’ s was the third child to John A. Jackson, a barber, preacher, and charity clerk. He died at the age of 25 when Mahaila was four. In 1916, Mahaila father sent her to live with her aunt Mahaila Duke Paul. Her aunt didn’t allow secular music in her house, but Mahaila cousin would sneak recordings in. Her voice was booming and she would sing hymns and old- time gospel tunes around the house. Mahaila Jackson is viewed by many as the pinnacle of gospel music. She started singing at the age of four at her church named Plymouth Rock Church in New Orleans. As a teenager, through the help of her cousin, she was influenced by Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Enrico Caruso and Ma Rainey, and her own style began to emerge into a more soulful expression. The larger, more formal congregation didn’t approve the rhythms of her songs and her energetic performances. When they frowned her rocking, swaying, and shouting, she said “I’ve been reading the bible every day most of my life and there was a Pslam that said:” Oh, clap your hands all ye people! Shout unto the Lord with the voice of (triumph)! By the1940s Mahaila Jackson was celebrated worldwide for her voice and encouraged to sing the blues. In the 1950s her voice graced radio, television, and concerts halls around the world. Her audience were huge in Europe, and especially at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival-in a program she requested to be all gospel. When the doctor ordered her to slow down, she refused: “I won’t do anything less than all I can to help heal the divisions between black and white people in the United States and

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