Among the artists who appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957 were Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and Stan Getz. There were gospel artists there, too, including Mahalia Jackson and the Newark-based Drinkard Singers, who expanded their audience significantly with a stellar performance.
Listen, below, to their “That’s Enough” from the festival, released on the album, Gospel Singing at Newport With the Back Home Choir and the Drinkard Singers.
The family group, which had roots in Georgia as well as New Jersey, included Emily Drinkard (later known as Cissy Houston) and Lee Warwick (mother to Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick), along with Judy Clay (who sings the stirring lead on “That’s Enough”) and others. Their 1957 RCA release A Joyful Noise was the first gospel album to be distributed by a major label, and Judy Clay and Cissy Houston went on to have much success as recording artists in the ’60s and beyond — as did Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, of course.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.
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