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Shirley Caesar: The First Lady of Gospel

David Nathan, Blues & Soul, 17 January 1978

IT'S LONG been acknowledged that some of the very finest black performers around today have their roots squarely and firmly in the gospel field. Everyone from Aretha Franklin, Johnnie Taylor, Lou Rawls, The Staples to Billy Preston, The Emotions, Dionne Warwick, Ronnie Dyson and Al Green — and that's just a small percentage — had their beginnings as either soloists or members of choirs up and down the U.S.A. Of course, it's usually a situation where performers decide to make that choice between continuing the gospel route or opting for the frequently more lucrative pop/rock/r&b field.

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