This Is How The Louisville Story Program Is Preserving The City's Gospel Music History

The release of gospel music recordings will be celebrated with a concert.

Jun 18, 2024 at 1:35 pm

The Louisville Story Program (LSP) announces their next release, "I'm Glad About It: The Legacy of Gospel Music in Louisville, 1958–1981." The release of the box set on September 28 will be celebrated with a concert at the Brown Theatre, featuring choirs and quartets from all over Louisville.

"I'm Glad About It" is a box set featuring 83 restored recordings of gospel music performances — as CDs and a double vinyl album — accompanied by a 208-page book that documents Louisville's legacy of Black gospel music.

In the mid-twentieth century, Louisville gospel music was occasionally recorded when members of the local gospel community pressed seven-inch, 45 r.p.m. vinyl and 12-inch LPs and released them through grassroots labels like Sensational Sounds, Grace, Blessed, and D.J.S. Over the decades, a substantial body of work was produced in Louisville. But because of their formats, which degrade over time, the original recordings are at risk of being lost forever.

To preserve the cultural legacy of Black gospel music in Louisville, the LSP has worked the local gospel music community to locate, digitize, and preserve hundreds of recordings and to develop a book that documents the legacies of the people that produced them. With support from The Owsley Brown II Family Foundation and Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation, LSP has partnered with members of the gospel community and a local advisory group comprised of local gospel historians:

  • To locate, clean, and digitize gospel records of local artists released by small local labels
  • To develop a four-CD box set that includes a 208-page hardcover book with first-person documentation
  • To create and maintain a public-facing digital archive of 1,000 songs and 1,000 photographs
  • To generate 50 hours of oral histories

Robert F. Darden, Emeritus Professor of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media at Baylor University and founder of the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program says of the release: "An extraordinary collection – a lavishly and lovingly compiled and annotated collection of songs, photographs and commentary documenting one of America's great hotbeds of gospel music. It is that rare project that elevates while it entertains ... even as it celebrates and reveals the startling depth and impact of Louisville's deep gospel tradition. And oh! those songs …"

Pre-sale purchases of the box set will receive a 20 percent discount and are available now. Pre-sales for concert tickets open at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 and tickets will be available to the general public on Friday, June 21 here.