Say Amen, Somebody

(1982)

Genres: Documentary, Musical

The Great Movies: Say Amen, Somebody

Transcript for The Great Movies: Say Amen, Somebody

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Roger takes a look at the gospel music classic, “Say Amen, Somebody” in his great movies segment.  Let’s go back to Roger’s office. 

ROGER EBERT:
I enjoyed watching "Rejoice and Shout," but there's another documentary about gospel music I like even more. This is Bill Kurtis seeking for Roger Ebert. That's "Say Amen, Somebody." It features gospel singers not included in "Rejoice and Shout," including Thomas A. Dorsey, who is known as the Father of Gospel Music.

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Dorsey wrote dozens of famous gospel songs, including "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" and "Peace in the Valley." We also see Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, who was one of the first gospel singers to go on national tours.

 

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The two of them have a disagreement about which one convened the first national convention of gospel singers. Mother Smith says it was her. Also included are such artists as the Barrett Sisters.

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"Say Amen, Somebody" was made by George Nirenberg in 1983, and is one of my favorite movies. I invited him one year to my Ebertfest. You can find it on DVD.

CHRISTY:
Thank you so much Roger.