Monday, December 21, 2009

"Seventy-Five Percent of Black Gospel Recordings...Gone..."

...but not so fast, says Professor Robert Darden of Baylor University.

Under Darden's direction, and thanks to the generosity of many record collectors, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP) at Baylor University in Waco, Texas is digitizing as many black gospel recordings as possible.

The project staff receives the items on loan from collectors at no cost to them, digitizes and returns the recordings to their owners promptly. Already, Baylor has saved thousands of gospel music recordings from the genre's Golden Age (1945 - 1965) from extinction. They are being saved for research and preservation, not for commercial purposes.

Up until now, the BGMRP has survived on a very generous start-up grant. It is now in the possession of its very first gift of endowment. The Lev. H. Prichard III Traditional Black Music Restoration Endowed Fund will help provide permanence to the BGMRP so its work can continue in perpetuity.

During a special concert in October 2009 recognizing the establishment of the endowment, Professor Darden takes a few moments to articulate why preserving black gospel recordings is not only important but imperative.

For more information on the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, visit:

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