To celebrate Variety’s 115th anniversary, we went to the archives to see how some of Hollywood’s biggest stars first landed in the pages of our magazine. Read more from the archives here.

On Aug. 31, 1960, Variety reported on an all-day Gospel Music Festival at Madison Square Garden. The 10-hour show, which Variety dubbed a “religioso marathon,” entailed a lot of individual and group performances, and the story offered a long list of them. The first person mentioned: Aretha Franklin, who had been “plucked from the gospel world” at age 18 by record producer John Hammond. “Miss Franklin moved the audience on Sunday with a choir behind her,” said the story.

The MSG event, held Aug. 28, 1960, was the second annual gathering of Black church groups organized by Joe Bostic of station WLIB; it drew 10,000 audience members.



Posted by Ashley Wiltshire Thursday, December 17, 2020 11:03:00 AM


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