The Mother Of Gospel Music: Mahalia Jackson

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The Chicago Move and a Burgeoning Career

In 1927 at the age of 16, Mahalia Jackson moved to Chicago, Illinois. She worked as a domestic in homes in Chicago, but still satiated her passion for music by joining the Greater Salem Baptist Church Choir. Her powerful contralto voice was distinctive from early on, and found her work as a soloist in the city. She began touring with the Prince Johnson singers throughout the city.

(Photo: Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)

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