The Blind Boys Of Alabama: Gospel Pioneers : World Cafe Over the course of 70 years, more than 60 albums and four Grammys, The Blind Boys of Alabama's members become synonymous with gospel soul. The innovation never ends, however, as they infuse their new album, Down in New Orleans, with Dixieland jazz, funk and R&B.

The Blind Boys Of Alabama: Gospel Pioneers

The Blind Boys of Alabama in Studio on World Cafe 2/27/09

  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Set List

"Amazing Grace"

"People Get Ready" with Susan Tedeschi

"Uncloudy Day" with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

"I'll Fly Away" with Susan Tedeschi, Marva Wright, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Blind Boys of Alabama. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
courtesy of the artist

A four-time Grammy-winning gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama first formed at Alabama's Talladega Institute for the Blind in 1939. It was there that the original five members came together under the name The Happyland, which would be changed to the current name in 1948. In its incredible 70-year career, the group has released more than 60 albums and been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The Blind Boys' latest release, the Grammy-nominated Down in New Orleans, reveals a never-ending love for infusing new styles into gospel music.

Maintaining their traditional four-part harmonies, the Blind Boys' members have experimented with many sounds within the gospel tradition. Their blend of traditional and contemporary gospel, soul and R&B once confined them to smaller venues, but after collaborating with artists such as Mavis Staples, Tom Petty, Prince, Peter Gabriel and Ben Harper, the group has become a global sensation.

In Down in New Orleans, the group infuses gospel with elements of Dixieland jazz, soul and funk to create a virtual timeline of classic American music. With additional backup support from New Orleans instrumentalists and legendary musicians such as Allen Toussaint, the album ranks among The Blind Boys of Alabama's finest.