Darden Discovers Civil Rights on the B-Side

Feb. 11, 2011

Baylor associate professor of journalism and library board member Robert Darden is being widely featured for his recent discovery of civil rights music on the flip side of gospel records.

Darden, a former gospel editor for Billboard magazine, oversees Baylor's Black Gospel Music Restoration Project and has been searching for vintage gospel music on old 78s, 45s and LPs since 2005.

His conservation efforts have revealed new information about the gospel community in the 1940s to the 1970s, also considered the "Golden Age of Gospel Music," revealing that more Christians were proponents for equality in the Civil Rights era than researchers previously believed.

The lyrics portray violent civil rights protests and tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., demonstrating that Christians other than Mahalia Jackson and Dorothy Love Coates were very involved in the civil rights movement.

For more information, see the initial feature story by Terry Goodrich and an additional story in the Associated Baptist Press.

Also, explore music from the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project's collection online!