The Best of Classic Gospel Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some classic gospel music to brighten up your day? Then look no further than our collection of the best of classic gospel music! Featuring all your favorite artists and songs, this is sure to be a collection that you’ll return to again and again.


Gospel music is a type of music that is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Gospel musicfirst gained popularity in the African-American community during the 1920s and 1930s. The earliest reference to “gospel songs” with a distinctly four-part harmony sound can be found in James Dykes’s book The Soul Stirrers, which was published in 1927.

Gospel music comprises a number of different strains, including spirituals, work songs, anthems, hymns, shape note songs, and bass-baritone lead pieces. In addition to being composed specifically for use in church services, gospel music has been commercially recorded since the 1920s. It first achieved mass popularity during the 1930s through radio broadcasts and recordings of live gospel performances such as those of Mahalia Jackson and the Dorsey Brothers.

What is Classic Gospel Music?

Classic gospel music is a genre of music that is typically characterized by its ability to communicate the Christian gospel message in a musical way. This type of music often has a spiritual feeling to it and is often intended to be performed by Christians. It can be found in many different styles, including country, blues, rock, and even rap.

The Best Classic Gospel Songs

From the early days of African-American spirituals, classic gospel music has been a powerful force in the lives of its followers. It is a music steeped in the rich traditions of the African-American church, yet it has also been a music that has crossed over into the mainstream. It is a music that has inspired both artists and audiences alike.

“Amazing Grace”

One of the most recognized and well-loved hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace” was written by John Newton and published in 1779. The text is based on Newton’s own experience of God’s grace in his life, which he had come to see as nothing less than amazing.

The hymn has been set to a number of different tunes over the years, but the most commonly used tune is known as “New Britain” or ” Awakening.” The hymn became popular in the United States during the Second Great Awakening, a time of religious revival in the early 19th century.

“Amazing Grace” has been recorded by many artists over the years, from Gillian Welch to Whitney Houston. It has also been used in a number of movies, including “The Grace Card” and “Amazing Grace.”

“Oh Happy Day”

“Oh Happy Day” is a 1967 gospel music arrangement of a 18th-century hymn by clergyman Philip Doddridge. Recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, it became an international hit in 1969, reaching No. 4 on the US Singles Chart and No. 1 in several countries. The song has been recorded by many other artists including Tim Hughes, Aretha Franklin, Jamie Cullum, Amy Grant and more recently Leona Lewis whose 2013 version reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is a Negro spiritual. The earliest known recording was made by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1909. The song is possibly of Cherokee origin. It has been claimed that Wallis Willis, a freedman who became a preacher in the Cherokee Nation in what is now Oklahoma, wrote the lyrics around 1860. However, this cannot be verified. The song enjoyed a resurgence during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The Best Classic Gospel Artists

Gospel music has been around for centuries, and it has always been a favorite among fans of all ages. There are so many great classic gospel artists, but who are the best of the best? Here are a few of our favorites.

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson was a legendary gospel singer whose powerful voice and passionate delivery revolutionized the genre and inspired a generation of artists. Jackson began singing in her local church choir in Chicago as a child, and she quickly rose to prominence in the gospel world, becoming one of the most influential and popular performers of her time. Her albums “Amazing Grace” and “Gospel Train” are considered classics of the genre, and her live performances were legendary for their power and emotion. Jackson’s influence can be heard in the work of later artists like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston, who all credited her as a major inspiration.

Mavis Staples

One of the most celebrated and influential gospel artists of all time, Mavis Staples is a living legend. The seven-time Grammy winner has been a solo artist for more than 50 years, and her impact on music is immeasurable.

The daughter of Roebuck “Pops” Staples, Mavis began her musical career as a member of The Staple Singers, one of the most important and iconic gospel groups in history. The Staple Singers were known for their beautiful harmonies and their commitment to social justice, and they became one of the most successful gospel groups of all time. They were also one of the first gospel groups to crossover into the pop charts, with hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.”

After the dissolution of The Staple Singers, Mavis embarked on a solo career that has spanned five decades. She has released more than 20 albums, including multiple Grammy-winning albums, and her music has been featured in movies and television shows like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire.” Her voice is as powerful as ever, and she is still touring and recording today.

The Blind Boys of Alabama

The Blind Boys of Alabama are an American five-time Grammy Award-winning
septet from Talladega, Alabama, United States, formed in the 1930s. The group’s music spans blues, jazz, soul and traditional gospel music. They have collaborated with numerous artists including Ben Harper, Bon Iver and Tom Waits.


Thank you for taking the time to check out our guide to the best classic gospel music. We hope that you have found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

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