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Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia (Book) [Paperback]

By Bil Carpenter (Author), Mavis Staples (Author) & Edwin Hawkins (Author)
Our Price $ 21.24  
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Item Number 130054  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   508
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.22" Width: 7.56" Height: 1.15"
Weight:   2.07 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Backbeat Books
ISBN  0879308419  
EAN  9780879308414  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This comprehensive guide is a must-have for the multitude of fans of this best-selling genre of popular music. Uncloudy Days is a treasure chest of substantial profiles on the influential names in gospel music history such as Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, the Hawkins family, Clara Ward, James Cleveland, and the Winans. It also uncovers the history of one hit wonders and others who are not as familiar to gospel music fans. Everyone has a story to share and this book tells more than 500 of them, many based on personal interviews, including the trials and tribulations endured by so many gospel artists. The author offers entertaining and informative reviews that lead readers to the best recordings by their favorite artists and help them find new music to explore. A glossary of terms and numerous charts showing the best-selling gospel recordings and videos of all time round out this entertaining and indispensable resource for current fans and new converts alike.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
This is one of those books that keep you going back to check and/or to read the story again. Several interesting facts that even I didn't know (And I'm a Collector!). Want to make a Gospel Music lover happy or even someone that's not quite deep into Gospel will even find this very entertaining...This is the perfect Christmas, Birthday or 'I was just thinking about you' gift for ANYONE!!!
Oh! there is a Compact Disc to go along with this book also!!!
Who could ask for more???
Its good, but could have been better......  Nov 10, 2007
When I first found out about this book, I was pretty excited about it. I just got into gospel music and wanted some new ideas for Itunes download and to create a great gospel playlist.

What I like about the book is the diversity of the artists. He includes gospel rappers and obscure artists that nobody has heard of. I found the controversial inclusions of such artists as Prince, R Kelly, Sheila E. etc. very interesting. I know that people will have a problem with their inclusion, but it is interesting to find out R Kelly's spiritual background, and Sheila E's newfound faith, which is the reason we haven't heard from her ever since the "Love Bizarre" song. The author is choosing to see the "gospel tendencies" in artists perceived as bad. I also liked snippets about black history and the black church-he even includes an entry about the character Aunt Jemima; not a gospel artist or even a real person, the author frames that entry in the context of sterotypes regarding female gospel artists, making it relevant.

What I didnt like about the book though, was the personal nature of the book in relation to the author. If I wrote a encyclopedia about rock or hip hop artists, and I included only artists or personalities I related to or liked, how good would it be? An encyclopedia should be all-inclusive. Some reviewers have referred to some of the artists not included in this book, but I wonder why the author didnt include an entry for the Sounds of Blackness, for example? To include an entry on somebody like Prince but not the Sounds of Blackness left me scratching my head. They are credited in one of the book's appendices as being one of the best selling artists, but not given an entry.

As far as gospel rap, the author is really "choosy" here. Artists that were irrelevant were given good entries because of their own unique life stories, but others were left out. I guess that speaks to the fact that gospel rap needs its own encyclopedia! But, one case of entry inclusion that was weird, was the rapper D-Boy wasn't given an entry, but D-Boy's sister was given an entry? D-Boy is one of the pioneers of Christian rap, having given his life to trying to put an end to gang violence, putting himself in the midst of the gangs and dying in a drive by. But, his sister only put out one album that wasn't widely recieved, and she gets a long, extensive entry. Plus, no entry for gospel rap groups like S.F.C., Freedom of Soul, I.D.O.L King or The Dynamic Twins? But an entry was given to Hammer? Like, I said, gospel rap needs its own encyclopedia!

Though I didnt know what to expect but expected alot more, this was a good book. I hope it wont be the last "encyclopedia" of black gospel music, but it is a good attempt at one.
Good effort. Not a home run, but maybe second base.  Jul 9, 2006
I believe the book can best be summed up as 'hit and miss'. I'm a tradional gospel music fan who favors quartet singing. I felt that most of the writeups on this style of music fell in the 'miss' category. A lot of the traditional singer's history was very basic and didn't seem to give justice to the struggles, trials, and tribulations many of these groups have endured to deliver God's music. However, I think that as far as contempory gospel music, the author did well. The writeups seemed to be longer and more concise. For example, the Canton Spirituals began signing 44 years before Lil iRocc was born and I'm sure most gospel fans have heard of them and their music. However, it seems that there was more than twice as much to say about Lil iRoc than the Canton Spirituals. I'm not hating on Lil Iroc; I just think that the Canton Spirituals may have a more rich and extensive gospel music history. Also, a group I was interested in learning something about is the Dixie Hummingbirds. However, the 70+ year old group did not make it into the book.
On another note, throughout the book the author gave what seemed to be his opinion on what many of the groups best albums were. I don't know if these opinions came from his own personal taste in music or from actual record sales. Either way, I felt that it was unneccesary and often only represented the casual or commercial listeners taste. Fans of any artist music know that many times they feel that the artist's best work or show of talent isn't what is played most or becomes most popular. My personal opinion is that the book would be better off if the author just dealt with the facts and left the rest out.
All in all, I fell this is a good basic reference book that has room for improvement. However, this is coming from someone whose interest is in traditional gospel and not contemporary. Fan's of contemporary music may have a quite different opinion.
He Can't Put the Book Down  Jan 15, 2006
I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my husband who has been a faithful Gospel music fan for years and he knows ALL of the old singers and groups. He has not been able to put the book down. Everyday since Christmas he has been reading and sharing the stories with me. I have to admit that I had to pick up the book a few times and read for myself because he had peaked my interest. It was definitely one of the best gifts that I bought him this year. The only one disappointment for me was that I expected more pictures. Otherwise, I am very pleased.
Stop nit-picking and give this book its due  Jan 14, 2006
Some reviewers have noted (correctly so) significant Gospel artists missing from this encyclopedia. Others have also noted (again correctly) factual inaccuracies (though they are FAR outweighed by dead-on, correct facts and information). This book is the first credible attempt to bring to Gospel that which most every other genre has boasted for decades: a serious compendium of a MASSIVE amount of information. Carpenter, the author, has publicly and repeatedly affirmed that he is assiduously taking careful notes regarding EVERY discrepancy brought to his attention, and that all will be addressed, corrected, and included in this amazing book's second edition. Give the man (and his book) its due. This is a laudable, and HIGHLY readable attempt at bringing a vast genre of music, and the people who made and make it, into one volume. It reads like a great book, not a series of disjointed blurbs. I suggest Gospel fans stop complaining, sit back and enjoy the read, and simply contact the author, c/o his publisher I'm sure, with any corrections. This is a great start, and it only promises to get better.

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