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

Pete Townshend: Behind Blue Eyes (1983)

Pete Townshend: Behind Blue Eyes (1983)

In '83 Pete Townshend of the Who released the first of three double albums of demos, outtakes, working drawing for songs and unspecified instrumental tracks. Under the generic title Scoop --... > Read more

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Although they hit their peak when the American bands fought back against the British Invasion in the mid Sixties, Jay and the Americans always seemed like a band from an earlier era with their big... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LA MONTE YOUNG AND HIS WELL TUNED PIANO: The master of minimalism, and more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LA MONTE YOUNG AND HIS WELL TUNED PIANO: The master of minimalism, and more

When John Cale went to New York from Wales in the early Sixties it wasn’t with the intention of meeting up with Lou Reed to form the Velvet Underground, but to study under a pianist/composer... > Read more

THE IDIOT BOY WHO FLEW: A story of saints, holy fools and Southern Italy

THE IDIOT BOY WHO FLEW: A story of saints, holy fools and Southern Italy

A strange journey begins with some good advice---the saint and storyteller---from Amalfi to ugly---the romance of Italy considered---a shocking discovery---the sad south---the idiot boy---the... > Read more