Dorothy Love Coates, Get On Board
Other female gospel singers, but not many, could out-belt this Alabama mama. Others could out-finesse the woman who walked side by side with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, and was similarly jailed. But no singer was more committed to her lyrics than Coates. When she sang "If you dig one ditch you better dig two/ The trap you set just might be for you" to deep South racists, you just knew she'd fight to the death. The first time I was every struck, I mean really moved, by the words of a gospel song, it was when Coates sang "99 and a half won't do." It was a call for full commitment to Jesus, but what I heard was that if you want to change your life for the better, you have to give it 100%. Get on Board hooked me with the fervor of the music, but after awhile, the words started to take hold.