Journalism Professor Wins Award for Book on Gospel Music

Dec. 9, 2005
News Photo 3147Bob Darden

The Association for Recorded Sound Collections has selected Robert Darden, associate professor of journalism at Baylor University, as a winner of an Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research for his book "People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music."

Begun in 1991, the awards are presented to authors and publishers of books, articles, liner notes and monographs, to recognize outstanding published research in the field of recorded sound. A maximum of two awards is presented annually in each category -- one for best history and one for best discography. Darden won the award for best research in recorded rhythm and blues, soul or gospel music.

All winners will be recognized during the ARSC's awards banquet in May.

"I know it sounds corny, but I was thrilled to even be nominated," Darden said. "Some of the nominees in this and other comparable categories are giants in their field -- people I've read and cited myself for years. I think the fact that I received the award is primarily an acknowledgement of the place and power and beauty of this music more than anything else. All American music flows from the spirituals and black gospel music. It has been a life-long dream of mine to help, even in a little way, to get the word out."

"People Get Ready" is a carefully researched chronology of one of America's greatest treasures. From Africa through the spirituals, from minstrel music through jubilee, and from traditional to contemporary gospel, the book shows the links between styles, social patterns and artists with emphasis on the stories behind the songs and musicians.

Darden is the author of nearly 30 books, "Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Introducing the Bible by Telling Its Stories," "The Way of the Eagle" and "On the Eighth Day God Laughed." He is the former Gospel Music Editor of "Billboard Magazine" and has served as Senior Editor of "The Wittenburg Door" since 1988.

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