Walker, Albertina

Walker, Albertina,

1929–2010, African-American gospel singer and composer, b. Chicago. A protégé of Mahalia JacksonJackson, Mahalia
, 1911–72, American gospel singer, b. New Orleans. She sang in church choirs during her childhood. Moving (1927) to Chicago, she worked at various menial jobs and sang in churches and at revival meetings, attracting attention for her vigorous, joyful
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, she sang with two gospel groups before founding (1951) the Caravans, which, with its hit "Mary Don't You Weep" and many others and its revolving cast of superb singers and musicians (including James ClevelandCleveland, James,
1931–91, African-American gospel singer, composer, and arranger, b. Chicago. Known as the King of Gospel, he was renowned for his rough baritone voice. He revolutionized gospel music by adding elements of jazz, pop, blues, and funk.
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), became the most popular gospel group of the time. Walker released her first solo single, "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" in 1975, and her album Songs of the Church: Live in Memphis (1994) won a Grammy. Acclaimed for her rich contralto voice and her ability as a talent spotter, Walker also wrote more than 50 gospel songs.
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