Mahalia Jackson Centennial

Mahalia Jackson at Los Angeles train station for departure on return trip to Chicago (July 1957).

Mahalia Jackson at Los Angeles train station for departure on return trip to Chicago (July 1957).

This week marks the hundred-year anniversary of the birth of New Orleans-born gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, born in the city’s Black Pearl neighborhood.

The Amistad Research Center offers an array of primary source materials providing insights into Mahalia’s life and music career, most notably in the papers of Elliot Von Joseph Beal.

Note on verso from Lourraine Goreau, Mahalia's biographer:   "Mahalia living it up at Marymount College (on fruit punch).  Occasion: Doctorate of Music (Hon.) June 1971"

Note on verso from Lourraine Goreau, Mahalia’s biographer: “Mahalia living it up at Marymount College (on fruit punch). Occasion: Doctorate of Music (Hon.) June 1971”

Beal, a music educator who worked with the Orleans Parish School System and the New Orleans Recreation Department, also worked around town with various community choruses and churches.  Beal also played and toured with Mahalia Jackson as his schedule allowed, typically in the summer months, and collected ephemera and photographs reflect Beal and Jackson’s careers in music.  Further information on Mahalia Jackson materials at the Amistad Research Center can be found by searching the Center’s finding aid database.

Posted by Andrew Salinas

(Images from the papers of Elliot Von Joseph Beal.  May not be reproduced without permission.)

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