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Samson and Delilah: From Pulpits to Pop Stars

Join us for an afternoon discussion on "Samson and Delilah: From Pulpits to Pop Stars" with North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar Billy Stevens beginning at 1:00pm in the Holmes Meeting Room. This program will focus on the impact of Negro spirituals on American popular music with a fascinating journey spanning a century of American history.

Using archival recordings of two songs based on the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, “My Soul is a Witness,” and “If I Had My Way,” Stevens describes how spiritual songs contributed to American popular music while transforming African American culture into the mainstream. In the process, audiences are introduced to some of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century: black preachers and congregations, jubilee singers, itinerant bluesmen, folk musicians of the 1960s, and rock bands of the 1980s. Their shared vocabulary of religious symbolism, along with their message of freedom and equality, creates a common bond spanning genres and generations.

This event is free and open to the public and is made possible with funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council.

 

 

NCHC