Elder Charlie Beck

Episode Air Date: May 20, 2016
Artist: Elder Charlie Beck
Recording Title: Drinking Shine

Where did you go in the 1930s when you wanted some of ground-breaking music that would become rock and roll? Sometimes…you just went to church.

You’re on the Sound Beat.

You’re listening to “Drinking Shine”, an Okeh 78 from 1930, performed by Elder Charlie Beck. He was pastor of the Way of the Cross Church of God in Christ, in Buffalo, NY. Beck would make about 60 recordings in his second career, though he viewed it as an integral part of his preaching. Said Beck “No use letting the Devil have all the good music.” The records are full of “fire and brimstone” type warnings and condemnations for all of society’s ills.

Elder may not be regularly named as a progenitor of rock and roll, but he probably should be. His prolific recording resume included songs/sermons that railed against rock and roll, but.., some of them really rocked.

Portrait: “John Martin – Sodom and Gomorrah” by John Martin – Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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