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An Illustrated History of Gospel by Steve Turner

(LionHudson, £18)

This is a knockout book. Steve Turner is always hugely readable, but this lavish 200-page hardback is a delight either to dip into or to work your way through.

The author carefully lays out the historical and social background for gospel music's development, and its subsequent impact on the growth of so many other musical forms from blues and R & B to rock 'n' roll.

With stacks of photos and memorabilia, plus fascinating interviews with legendary gospel artists including Ray Charles, Clarence Fountain (Blind Boys of Alabama), 'father of gospel music' Thomas Dorsey, Jessy Dixon and Bill 'Hoss' Allen, it's a great read and a book that charts gospel music's history up to the present day.

Highly recommended.

Russ Bravo

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