The Sunday Magazine

Robert Harris: The Christmas music of black America

Our man about music Robert Harris, brings us gospel, blues and jazz.
Fats Waller, jazz pianist, organist, composer and singer (Wikimedia Commons)
The Queen of the Blues, Bessie Smith (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
All through December, we are awash in a sea of Christmas music -- much of it sentimental, over-wrought and just plain awful. Robert Harris makes the case that black America is one community that has always loved Christmas and respected its music. Artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith, Count Basie, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones and Billie Holiday grew up singing and playing music in church. Robert has chosen some fine examples of gospel, blues and jazz; Christmas music that is original, tasteful and heartfelt.

For more from Robert - including his much-praised series, "Twenty Pieces of Music that Changed the World", click here.

Musicologist and broadcaster Robert Harris (CBC)