An exhibition at the California African American Museum from February 8 – August 26, 2018.
How did Los Angeles become a hub of 20th-century gospel music? With vintage artifacts and photographs, memorabilia, and other fascinating ephemera, How Sweet the Sound explores this facet of Los Angeles’ religious history and highlights beloved gospel musicians including James Cleveland, Andraé Crouch, Sallie Martin, and others. The exhibition charts the story of gospel in LA, including the Azusa Street Revival in 1906, the Great Migration to Los Angeles in the 1940’s, musical innovators within black church congregations, its key role during the Civil Rights era, and the thriving commercial success it enjoyed afterward. Each period contributed to producing a global musical phenomenon that shifted American popular culture and politics—and uplifted the country for generations.
How Sweet the Sound is a collaboration with the University of Southern California (USC) Gospel Music Archive. The exhibition is curated by Tyree Boyd-Pates, history curator and program manager, CAAM, in conjunction with Dr. Daniel E. Walker, founder and curator of the Gospel Music History Archive at the USC Digital Library.