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When Sunday ComesGospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras$
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Claudrena N. Harold

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043574

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043574.001.0001

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If I Be Lifted

If I Be Lifted

Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers

(p.145) Chapter 7 If I Be Lifted
When Sunday Comes

Claudrena N. Harold

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines one of the most celebrated choirs in gospel music history: Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers (Tommies). Under the leadership of Brunson, the choir built on Chicago’s rich musical legacy to create a sound like no other in gospel. Dramatic ballads, house-wrecking shouts, and mid-tempo grooves—the Thompson Community Singers mastered them all with the perfect combination of style, precision, technique, and grace. In doing so, the choir from Chicago’s West Side provided a model for gospel musicians and choirs across the country. Through an analysis of how the Tommies provided a sonic bridge between gospel’s past and its future, this chapter examines how the choir’s sound provided a view of where the artform had been and where it was going.

Keywords:   Milton Brunson, Thompson Community Singers, Chicago, choirs

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