In celebration of Black History Month, iTunes is highlighting selections across the site’s offerings that share “the essence of the African-American experience.” From comedy to the civil rights struggle, Motown to Miles Davis, iTunes has pulled together audiobooks, podcasts, music, TV shows and films from its media offerings — including selections from Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, offered through iTunes for the first time and currently featured on the iTunes U front page!
The project aims to identify, acquire, preserve, record and catalogue at-risk music from the black gospel music tradition. Baylor professor Robert Darden has spearheaded the project, working hand in hand with Baylor Libraries to digitize recordings in order to preserve and share the music with future generations. Baylor’s iTunes U site offers free of charge 16 full tracks as well as 30-second samples from nearly 200 more songs, plus interviews with Darden about the project. (The entire collection of more than 850 items can be viewed here.)
None of this would have been possible without the assistance of individuals interested in seeing this project succeed, some of whom have no other connection to Baylor other than this shared interest in black gospel music. Charles M. Royce learned of the project through a New York Times editorial and stepped forward with a gift to get the project started; other faithful supporters include Harold (BBA ’51) and Dottie Riley and the Prichard Family Foundation.
Sic ’em, everyone who made this project happen!