It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Elder Charles D. Beck

The conventional wisdom is that modern African-American gospel springs from Thomas A. Dorsey and begins during the depression. However, there are figures from the formative years of contemporary gospel that appear equally important in terms of its development that have gained little, if any recognition. One such artist was the Elder Charles D. Beck, responsible for more than 60 recordings over his lifetime for every little label under the sun. As a singing evangelist, Elder Beck appeared in tent revivals and in black churches all over the United States during his long career, and in a live context, Beck was a famous performer. He viewed recording as an essential part of his work, both as a means to spread the gospel and to establish his name. He literally recorded whenever he could get into a studio, and also appeared extensively on radio, although little is known of his activities there.

Elder Beck was born in Mobile, Alabama around 1900. He first turns up on record in December 1930, recording at the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi for Okeh along with Elder Curry and his Congregation (including the great track "Memphis Flu," sometimes cited as a pioneer rock & roll record.) He turns up again in New York in the summer of 1937, recording solo for Decca with his own piano as "The Singing Evangelist." His piano playing is swinging and pumping in a barrelhouse idiom, but makes use of a lighter touch than had Arizona Dranes on her recordings of the 1920s. Elder Beck closed out his prewar recording career with a Bluebird session featuring a full compliment of congregation in July 1939.

After the Second World War, with the rise of independent record labels, Elder Beck really hit his stride. Between 1946 and 1956, he recorded for Eagle, Gotham, King, Chart and possibly other small labels which have fallen under the radar of gospel and blues researchers. These records are all classics: "Jesus, I Love You," which he recorded twice, bears such a strong resemblance to Elvis Presley's ballad style that it supports the idea that Beck may have been one of the preachers that Presley himself heard sing while attending black tent revival services as a child. "There's a Dead Cat on the Line," which had been recorded by the Rev F.W. McGee back in 1930, shows that Elder Beck was aware of the gospel records made by his predecessors and attempted to reinvent them in his own style -- a crucial method of operation that would become central to later gospel recording artists. Some of his recordings, such as "Wine Head Willie Put That Bottle Down" are theatrical set pieces where Beck interacts with members of his congregation in a sort of morality play. This reaches a feverish pitch in his final 78-era release, "Rock and Roll Sermon," where Elder Beck lectures on the evils of rock & roll music to the accompaniment of a blistering rock-guitar solo and a congregation on the brink of ecstasy. There's literally nothing else like it on this earth.

Elder Beck's final recording was a full-length LP, Urban Holiness Service, made in December 1957 for Folkways. This was an entire service recorded at the Church of God in Christ in Buffalo, NY. The folk collectors who recorded it may not have been aware of how well-entrenched already the Elder was in terms of recording, but during this service Elder Beck literally pulls out all the stops, playing piano, trumpet, vibes, organ and drums at various times. As in his 78 records like "Shouting with Elder Beck" and "What Do You Think About Jesus," Elder Beck maintains a tremendously exciting pace and keeps the congregation at a level of high energy and involvement. He must've been an extremely compelling performer in person.

After 1960, Americans saw increasingly less of Elder Beck, as he was involved in overseas missionary work, primarily in Ghana. He is believed to have died there sometime around 1972. Two of his documented recordings, issued on Eagle 101 and 104, have still not been located. While Elder Beck is still all but unknown to experts on blues and gospel, within his own milieu he remains a celebrity artist, and sales of his reissued recordings remain strong to this day. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis, Rovi
full bio

Comments

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[113, 112, 78, 106, 71, 70, 97, 72, 114, 74, 82, 74, 101, 101, 108, 127, 95, 101, 83, 67, 117, 106, 85, 109, 111, 88, 78, 112, 73, 71, 95, 95, 127, 75, 124, 112, 94, 119, 79, 110, 127, 108, 83, 115, 66, 110, 115, 117, 126, 122, 85, 82, 83, 68, 107, 121, 104, 112, 80, 102, 87, 85, 87, 82, 69, 68, 82, 106, 108, 110, 76, 108, 124, 83, 69, 110, 92, 90, 93, 113, 87, 115, 98, 75, 89, 100, 76, 78, 68, 64, 85, 86, 113, 83, 96, 101, 76, 125, 70, 85, 82, 102, 77, 88, 69, 82, 119, 79, 118, 68, 76, 100, 95, 76, 124, 116, 109, 89, 96, 100, 122, 96, 109, 66, 112, 118, 125, 118, 90, 116, 90, 121, 89, 112, 77, 116, 122, 70, 102, 123, 123, 92, 71, 94, 115, 90, 86, 117, 109, 110, 91, 123, 121, 114, 70, 119, 103, 115, 72, 76, 79, 114, 111, 82, 101, 77, 97, 69, 81, 121, 96, 107, 119, 90, 108, 105, 81, 81, 92, 90, 80, 76, 125, 70, 81, 82, 118, 64, 71, 113, 102, 88, 72, 74, 79, 95, 70, 119, 89, 127, 97, 87, 114, 115, 110, 93, 108, 94, 90, 112, 80, 72, 106, 85, 95, 120, 104, 98, 79, 109, 121, 104, 83, 65, 70, 93, 98, 94, 65, 118, 71, 82, 76, 113, 120, 112, 126, 111, 119, 79, 124, 119, 84, 119, 127, 91, 110, 75, 102, 68, 122, 72, 70, 127, 114, 88, 90, 107, 86, 114, 113, 101, 65, 89, 104, 83, 124, 117, 92, 105, 111, 102, 91, 68, 70, 93, 66, 87, 74, 104, 97, 97, 98, 102, 117, 84, 114, 80, 98, 102, 119, 119, 104, 65, 82, 103, 71, 109, 125, 91, 83, 65, 75, 100, 103, 64, 76, 95, 88, 123, 70, 85, 72, 103, 85, 96, 118, 71, 113, 95, 120, 91, 120, 120, 100, 103, 102, 110, 124, 73, 119, 89, 104, 124, 70, 77, 120, 109, 110, 114, 76, 67, 81, 114, 74, 88, 69, 109, 70, 104, 127, 104, 126, 81, 103, 99, 67, 94, 97, 81, 126, 88, 89, 121, 67, 72, 120, 114, 74, 68, 102, 66, 74, 97, 126, 76, 127, 68, 125, 97, 96, 112, 90, 70, 92, 74, 89, 79, 78, 81, 118, 72, 76, 71, 71, 86, 115, 112, 125, 110, 68, 116, 120, 76, 66, 105, 113, 120, 76, 93, 108, 73, 98, 91, 68, 104, 85, 117, 64, 73, 64, 81, 100, 112, 107, 118, 121, 121, 124, 73, 71, 64, 106, 120, 65, 122, 90, 91, 121, 126, 68, 116, 109, 121, 69, 72, 92, 77, 87, 124, 120, 114, 106, 75, 120, 106, 100, 104, 112, 124, 125, 111, 65, 85, 74, 70, 85, 110, 73, 98, 127, 92, 78, 79, 98, 103, 71, 125, 77, 71, 87, 77, 122, 90, 72, 72, 115, 112, 99, 93, 67, 77, 104, 122, 84, 110, 88, 83, 73, 94, 119, 127, 103, 75, 64, 105, 81, 66, 101, 119, 123, 106]