Rejoice and Shout should be listed in Museum of American History. As June is Black Music Month, this is a great way to begin. The film tells the story of gospel music in a way that is both emotional, poignant and evocative.
It is packed with evocative photos, rare audio recordings, stirring film appearances and TV performances, Rejoice and Shout, directed by Don McGlynn and produced by Joe Lauro, covers the 200-year musical history of African-American History. Culled from hundreds of hours of music, Rejoice and Shout features the crème de la crème of gospel music.
Rejoice and Shout, which opens June 3 through Magnolia Pictures, traces the evolution of gospel through its many musical styles–spirituals and early hymns, four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing into gospel, the emergence of soul, and the blending of rap and hip-hop elements.
The film delves into the story of African-American culture–from slavery, rural existence and plantation work, the exodus to major cities, the Depression, World War II, to the civil rights movement and empowerment. Rejoice and Shout connects the history of African-American culture with gospel as it first impacted popular culture at large–and continues to do. Recently the director Don McGlynn spoke about the journey onto film of this life changing art form.
E8: What was the filming experience for you like on this movie?
Don McGlynn: It was appealing to do this at first. I really love the music. I didn’t realize though how difficult it was really going to be to cull down 200 years of a rich history.
When I heard everything and was able to watch playback I really absorbed the true meaning of historical body of the music.
E8: Do you think the meaning of gospel music is lost in translation in the younger generation?
Don McGlynn:No, definitely not. I had a chance to delve into footage and stories and it’s much deeper than it just being a type of music. It tells the story of a people and it’s struggles. When you see the footage on the civil rights movement and hear the music, you are just placed in a place to be compelled to the place and time. You are riveted because it carries so much mean
E8 Was there a moment during the film looking back at the history that just struck you as an A-Ha moment?
Don McGlynn:I think when you see the film you are reminded and given so much rich history. Sam Cooke and his evolution and Aretha Franklin and what she means. It’s just so hard to narrow it down.
E8: What was the most difficult part of putting the film itself together?
Don McGlynn:I would have to stay keeping the balance and the timing. I wanted it to have a nice flow.
The film itself is more than a love letter to gospel music, it’s a grand opera. It tells the story of a people who are stringer than ever and whose music binds them in spirit .Don McGlynn’s inspiring documentary on the history of gospel featuring Smokey Robinson, Andrae Crouch, Mavis Staples, Ira Tucker, Marie Knight, Willa Ward and Ira Tucker Jr. REJOICE AND SHOT will open in New York on June 3 followed by Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore and Atlanta on June 10, and Los Angeles and other top ten markets on June 17.
The film features music by Andrae Crouch, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Staple Singers, Mahalia Jackson and many many more!
Take a moment and watch this trailer which will surely inspire you.