Synopsis by Mark Deming
It's all but impossible to discuss African-American culture or America's musical heritage without talking about gospel music. Just as the church was an integral part of the African-American community from the time slaves were first brought to the colonies, music played a crucial role in their spiritual experience from the beginning, and as various forms of African and rural music coalesced into gospel, gospel in turn became the foundation that later spawned jazz, blues, soul, and even rap. Gospel music also became the stepping stone into the spotlight for many of music's most influential artists, who in turn helped bring new ideas into the gospel sound, keeping it fresh and innovative. Filmmaker Don McGlynn, who specializes in documentaries about American music, chronicles the history of African-American gospel music in the film Rejoice & Shout, which reveals the true story of this powerful and influential musical form and the people who helped to make it great. Rejoice & Shout received its world premiere at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival.