In September of 1963, Reverend Lawrence Roberts and the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey, teamed with rising gospel star James Cleveland to record Peace Be Still. The LP and its haunting title track became a phenomenon. Robert M. Marovich draws on extensive oral interviews and archival research to chart the history of Peace Be Still and the people who created it. Emerging from an established gospel music milieu, Peace Be Still spent several years as the bestselling gospel album of all time. As such, it forged a template for live recordings of services that transformed the gospel music business and Black worship. Marovich also delves into the music's connection to fans and churchgoers, its enormous popularity then and now, and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on the music's message and reception.
The first in-depth history of a foundational recording, Peace Be Still shines a spotlight on the people and times that created a gospel music touchstone.
1. The Reverend Lawrence C. Roberts and the First Baptist Church of Nutley
2. Gospel Music in Newark
3. The Birth of the Angelic Choir
4. The Arrival of James Cleveland
5. In Search of the Authentic: The Live In-Service Recording
6. This Sunday—In Person
7. Peace Be Still
8. The Performativity of “Peace Be Still”
9. The Release of Peace Be Still
10. I Stood on the Banks of Jordan
Robert M. Marovich hosts Gospel Memories on Chicago's WLUW 88.7 FM and is founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Gospel Music, http://www.journalofgospelmusic.com. In 2019, he was nominated for a Grammy Award, Best Album Notes, for The Gospel According to Malaco. He is the author of A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music.
"A welcome addition to gospel studies." --ARSC
"Highly recommended. " --Choice
"Marovich’s lucid account looks to a time when Black migrants from the South recreated their folkways in Northern cities—and how those urban settings changed the tone and volume of the music and culture soon enough. It’s the history of a song, the evolution of its meaning and of the gospel genre it influenced." --Shepherd Express