Sacred Steel

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Several recent CDs highlight a little-known tradition in gospel music: instead of organs and standard guitars backing up the singers, choirs in House of God African American Holiness Pentecostal churches use lap-steel guitars, the ancestors to pedal steels. The sliding, crying tones provide a powerful counterpoint to the singing. The tradition seems to go back to the 1930's in Philadelphia. Many of the music's most notable performers now live in Florida. Bill Dudley reports. (ATTENTION STATIONS: Sacred Steel Guitar music can be found on various recordings available domestically. Some include: "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus" by Aubrey Ghent, catalog number 463; "Pass Me Not" by the Campbell Brothers, catalog number CD461; "Sacred Steel," by various artists, catalog number CD450; and "Jesus Will Fix It!" by Sonny Treadway, catalog number CD462. All are issued by Arhoolie Records.)(8:00) ((ST

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