The Mother Of Gospel Music: Mahalia Jackson

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Going Home to Glory

Mahalia recorded her last album, What the World Needs Now, in 1969. She performed for the last time in Germany in 1971, and made her final TV appearance on The Flip Wilson Show. After retiring from a full-time singing career, Mahalia opened a beauty shop, a florist shop and invested in real estate. Her life’s mission was to minister to people, and in true saint style, she established the Mahalia Jackson Scholarship Foundation for college bound youth. She passed away in Chicago on January 27, 1972. Her funeral in Chicago at the Greater Salem Baptist Church saw 50,000 people view her glass and mahogany coffin in tribute; 6,000 people attended her funeral. Coretta Scott King eulogized Ms. Jackson along with Reverend Leon Jenkins and then Mayor Richard Daley. Sammy Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald attended her funeral. The soon-to-be Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin closed the funeral with her rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” 

(Photo: Commercial Appeal /Landov)

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