Reverend J.M. Gates: Hitler and Hell (1941)

 |   |  <1 min read

Reverend J.M. Gates: Hitler and Hell (1941)

The Rev Gates (b 1884) was preacher-cum-gospel singer whose style was often call-and-response in the manner of Baptist churches. He worked out of Atlanta and aside from sermonising he was a prolific recording artist, some estimates say he recorded around 200 songs and sermons from around 1926 when he scored big with Death's Black Train is Coming (see clip below).

He was pretty big on hell and damnation and punishment for sinners, so by the time Hitler rolled around the good reverend had him in his sightlines.

This piece from '41 finds him calling down the spirit and consigning Hitler to hell -- and in its rhythmic repetition sounds like a close cousin to Steve Reich's loop It's Gonna Rain here.

Gates died in either 1942, '45 or '46 depending on what source you read -- but whenever it was, there was a huge funeral for him in Atlanta, the city in which he had preached for three decades.

For more one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Frank Sinatra: Strangers in the Night (1965)

Frank Sinatra: Strangers in the Night (1965)

Frank Sinatra hated Strangers in the Night which he took to the top of the charts, shoving out the Beatles' Paperback Writer in the US. "He thought it was about two fags in a bar,"... > Read more

Skip James: I'm So Glad (1931)

Skip James: I'm So Glad (1931)

Previously we posted Otis Rush's original of All Your Love which became one of Eric Clapton's defining versions in '65 (the kind of piece that got the "Clapton is God" graffiti writers... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Byungki Hwang: The Best of Korean Gayageum Music (Arc/Elite)

Byungki Hwang: The Best of Korean Gayageum Music (Arc/Elite)

At the Auckland Arts Festival AK '07 one of the most fascinating (if least attended) events was an afternoon concert of tea music by a Korean ensemble -- essentially traditional music about the... > Read more

IN AND OUT OF FASHION: The Style Council Deliberates

IN AND OUT OF FASHION: The Style Council Deliberates

When Auckland model Renata and actress Alicia-Anne Crawford stepped out last week at Une Enveloppe to announce the opening of "Fashion Month'' -- Blair Trader's new eatery on Auckland's... > Read more