Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel by James R. Goff (review)

Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel by James R. Goff (University of North Carolina Press, 2002)

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Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel by James R. Goff (review)

by James Parris
Southern Cultures, Vol. 10, No. 1: Spring 2004

University of North Carolina Press, 2002

Every now and then my good friend Rodney and I will launch into “Jubilee (jubilee), Jubilee (jubilee). You’re invited to this gospel jubilee” in two-part harmony and wind up in a fit of laughter at the memory. If you grew up in the South, you’re probably like us and can hear the tune and picture in your mind the Florida Boys singing that refrain on Sunday mornings to open the popular Gospel Singing Jubilee, a syndicated television program that ran for more than two decades beginning in 1964. If you didn’t grow up in the South or somehow missed the Jubilee experience, you’ll learn about that and much more in James R. Goff Jr.’s wonderful new book Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel.