LG013 Interviews: Louise Weaver Smothers; Reverend John Thurston (LG013Goreau_Side1)
Side 1 and 2: Interview with Louise Weaver Smothers on 1972-11-15, possibly continued from Tape ID: LG012. Interview with Reverend John "Baby Boy" Thurston on 1972-11-17 in Chicago, Illinois. Abstract for Smothers and Thurston: [00:00–16:13] LG013Goreau_Side1 begins mid interview with Louise Weaver Smothers talking about the May 1957 Freedom Rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She describes a reception that was held in Los Angeles for Mahalia Jackson in 1962 that coincided with a tribute for Nat King Cole – 3:50. Smothers ends by sharing a humorous story of a spontaneous road trip she took with Jackson from Chicago to New York for a concert – 12:59. [16:14-31:36] Reverend John Thurston, interviewed in Chicago, recalls meeting Jackson at his church when he was a young boy – 16:16. He describes how Jackson treated him like a brother and the great admiration that Jackson had for his father – 19:16. Thurston shares a story about Jackson's time with the Johnson Singers and how his father and Jackson "brought them to the church" since he felt that to sing gospel, one must be a Christian – 20:03. Goreau talks about Jackson's caring nature but also her humility and request to "Don't make me no saint!" – 22:10. Thurston goes on to share about his church's communion services and the impassioned spiritual testimony that Jackson gave – 30:10. [00:00-31:34] Thurston and Smothers are interviewed together on LG013Goreau_Side2. Thurston discusses details of Jackson's first concert at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. – 4:46 and how Thurston would serve as her pastor at events like this - 06:28. They remark it was Jackson's first concert in the early 1960s at Constitution Hall that made history because Jackson broke the racial barrier with that performance - 7:28. They talk about the scene backstage before the concert and the atmosphere during the concert. They discuss songs Jackson sang, Holy Bible, Didn't It Rain, Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho, and How I Got Over. She also sang In My Home Over There, which, according to Smothers, was usually Jackson's show-opener – 14:40. Smothers discusses how Jackson broke barriers with her gospel performances, including at Carnegie Hall – 16:35, and her second concert at Constitution Hall went well. Thurston discusses revamping personnel and staff of 44th Street Baptist Church; Jackson always supported him in everything he did in his church – 21:42.