Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Goddess: The Queen

She popped by the Café quite by accident a couple of days ago, but just now it's come to my attention that today marks what would have been Mahalia Jackson's 97th birthday.

"The Queen of Gospel" had a truly uncanny voice, one that could boom like thunder one second and be as intimate as a whisper the next. Here we see her in perhaps her most unlikely moment, serenading funeral-goers in that greatest of all soap operas, Imitation of Life.

It's a testament to her art that she transcends, and effortlessly, the best work of Douglas Sirk and Miss Lana Turner combined to reduce her singing to background music for their very particular brand of High Glossy Suffering.

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