General consensus holds Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) as the greatest gospel singer ever to live. Jackson's unique vocal style was fully formed, combining the full-throated tones and propulsive rhythms of the sanctified church and the deep expressiveness of the blues with the note-bending phrasing of her Baptist upbringing. Indeed, her good friend Martin Luther King said "A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium." This wonderful DVD features 17 musical performances culled from the Mahalia Jackson Sings program, broadcast in 1961, the year she sang at President Kennedy's inauguration. Shot on an oddly appropriate, austere German Expressionist set, she's backed by piano, organ, and occasional guitar and drums, taking on gospel evergreens like You'll Never Walk Alone and Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.
Actor: Mahalia Jackson