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Robert Darden, M.A. - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Robert Darden, M.A. Robert Darden, M.A.

Professor, Journalism, Public Relations and New Media | Baylor University

Waco, TX, UNITED STATES

Darden is a professor in the department of journalism, PR & new media. He directs Baylor's Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.

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Robert Darden, M.A. Publication Robert Darden, M.A. Publication Robert Darden, M.A. Publication

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Robert Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media, director of Baylor's Black Gospel Music Restoration Project loading image Robert Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media, director of Baylor's Black Gospel Music Restoration Project loading image

Videos:

Looking for Rare Gospel Vinyl Nothing but Love in God's Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement

Audio:

Biography

Darden is the author of two dozen books, most recently: Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-In to Resurrection City (Penn State University Press, 2016); Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume I: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement (Penn State University Press, 2014); Jesus Laughed: The Redemptive Power of Humor (Abingdon Press, 2008); Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Understanding the Bible by Telling Its Stories (Abingdon Press, 2006); and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2004).

He founded the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, the world’s largest initiative to identify, acquire, digitize, categorize and make accessible gospel music from gospel’s Golden Age (1945-1970). The BGMRP provides the gospel music for the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History & Culture.

At Baylor, he has won numerous teaching and research awards, including The Cornelia Marschall Smith Award as Outstanding Professor; the Baylor University Diversity Award; Outstanding Research Professor, College of Arts & Sciences Award; and Baylor Centennial Award.

He is a popular speaker for seminars, conferences and events. His writings have appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times to the Oxford American. He has been featured in hundreds of radio and television programs, including Fresh Air with Terri Gross (NPR), 1A with Joshua Johnson, All Things Considered (NPR), CSPAN, BBC World Service, BBC Outlook, Austrian Public Broadcasting, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He has also been published in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, the World Book Encyclopedia, the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress and is a frequent contributor to Huffington Post and Christianity Today Online.

Darden spent 20 years as the Senior Editor for The Wittenburg Door and another 15 years as Gospel Music Editor for Billboard Magazine. In 2016, he created the radio insert “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” for KWBU-FM Waco. Darden researches, writes, and records the weekly show, which now appears on eight NPR stations, including KERA-FM Dallas.

Industry Expertise (1)

Education/Learning

Areas of Expertise (8)

African-American Gospel Music

Civil Rights Movement Music on B Sides of Gospel Recordings

African American Museum in D.C.

Black Gospel Music Restoration Project

Journalism

Music

Public Relations

New Media

Education (2)

University of North Texas: M.A., Journalism 1978

Baylor University: B.A., Bachelor of Science in Education (Journalism/Art) 1976

Media Appearances (37)

Mitch with Robert Darden, Baylor University

KRLD-AM "Minute with Mitch"  online

2020-06-24

AUDIO: Baylor journalism professor Robert F. Darden, founder and director of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, is interviewed about the project and how music can define a movement.

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The George Floyd demonstrations turned into a movement when the protesters began to sing

The Dallas Morning News  online

2020-06-14

Baylor journalism professor Robert F. Darden, founder and director of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, penned this column about the use of music in protests around the world over the killing of George Floyd and how each culture's musical traditions suddenly focused the grief and rage about the police brutality into transformational singing and desire to bring about real change.

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The Songs and Scriptures of George Floyd’s Houston Funeral

Christianity Today  online

2020-06-09

Baylor gospel music scholar Bob Darden, professor of journalism and founder of Baylor's Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, is quoted about the liturgy of Tuesday’s homegoing service for George Floyd, which reflected the Christian landscape of his hometown and the rich legacy of gospel music in the Black church.

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Now is the time to sing songs of hope, in defiance of our fear and frustration

DallasNews.com  online

2020-04-05

Baylor journalism professor Robert F. Darden, founder and director of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, writes about the great spirituals that gave hope to slaves and freedom riders, and how this time of isolation is the best time for all to sing these spirituals loudly.

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Three Baylor Professors Designated Master Teachers

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online

2020-03-31

Professor Robert Darden, Dr. Anne-Marie Schultz and Dr. Charles Weaver granted Baylor University’s highest honor for teaching excellence with the designation as Master Teachers.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “God Is Love” and “Walkin’ and Talkin’ With Jesus”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-03-29

AUDIO: On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features Gospel Unlimited’s “God Is Love” and “Walkin’ and Talkin’ With Jesus,” an under-appreciated gem from the Say Amen, Somebody soundtrack.

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Event highlights history of black gospel music

Killeen Daily Herald  print

2020-02-24

Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden, founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor, was the guest speaker at “Rejoice! The Evolution of Black Gospel Music,” an event at the Bell County Museum.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Let God Abide”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-23

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features the smooth-voiced baritone Robert Anderson, a gospel singer who could croon with the best.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “What He's Done for Me”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-23

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features the otherwise unknown Capitol City Star Singers, who channel the O’Jays on the up-tempo gospel song, “What He’s Done for Me.”

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Joy, Joy, Joy”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-23

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features Little Richard, who pours as much gleeful energy into the children’s spiritual “Joy, Joy, Joy” as he does into any of his better-known pop hits.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “I’ve Been Born Again”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-16

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features “I’ve Been Born Again,” a hard gospel song from the golden age of the Blind Boys of Alabama, featuring Clarence Fountain.

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Baylor Connections: Robert Darden, Professor and Founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-14

On Baylor Connections, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden, founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, joins host Derek Smith for a conversation about the project that houses more than 14,000 digital copies of classic black gospel music songs and albums, as well as black gospel music’s underappreciated role in the Civil Rights movement.

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Celebrating Black History: Saving Sacred Music

KXXV-TV (Waco, Temple, Killeen/ABC)  tv

2020-02-03

Baylor professors Horace Maxile, Ph.D., and Robert Darden are interviewed for this story about Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project to preserve sacred music – and its message – from gospel’s Golden Age (1945-1970).

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Freedom’s Highway”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-02

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features The Staple Singers, who wrote and recorded “Freedom Highway” during the legendary Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Oh Freedom”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-02-02

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features Harry Belafonte’s “Oh Freedom,” an early recording of what would become one of the most popular Freedom Songs.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “We Are On Our Way”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2020-01-26

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features The Gospel Emeralds, who are best known today for the martial beat and cadences of “We’re On Our Way,” one of Rev. James Cleveland’s favorite songs.

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Slaves felt kinship with the shepherds, the first to hear the news of Christ’s birth

The Dallas Morning News  print

2019-12-24

Baylor journalism professor and black gospel music expert Robert F. Darden is among the community and faith leaders asked by The Dallas Morning News to answer the question: When life feels dark, what gives you hope? Darden writes about the Christmas spirituals of the enslaved people of the American South, who recognized their own plight in the journey of the Holy Family and felt a deep kinship with the shepherds.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “I Found God”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-12-08

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features a 45 by The Howard University Gospel Choir titled “I Found God,” which features an early - but still scintillating - performance by the legendary Richard Smallwood.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-12-01

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features the 32nd Annual International Youth Congress of the Church of God in Christ, who produced a marvelous mass choir LP by the same name in 1967, featuring the immortal gospel singer Kitty Parham.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Wonderful”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-11-24

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers, who released dozens of superb, irreplaceable gospel songs, including the sweet and sentimental “Wonderful.”

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Keep on Going”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-11-03

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features Irene Jones and the Original Joy Harmonizers, one of many wonderful gospel groups that should be better known today. Their song “Keep on Going” is a good example why.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “When I’m Gone”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-10-27

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features the Sunrise Gospel Singers of Chicago Heights, who deliver an affecting, emotional rendition of the gospel song, “When I’m Gone.”

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “God Is Still on the Throne”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-10-20

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features the piano stylings and arrangements of Roberta Martin, which influenced everybody from the Rev. James Cleveland to Little Lucy Smith and are on full display in her hit, “God Is Still on the Throne.”

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Honest, soulful expression: New black-gospel album is ‘as raw as it gets’

World Magazine  print

2019-10-10

Journalism Professor Robert Darden, founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, contributed to the liner notes for “The Time for Peace Is Now: Gospel Music About Us,” a new compilation on the Luaka Bop label showcasing obscure ’70s singles by various and equally obscure artists.

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'Gospel was transforming the world of the music:' Well-known Baylor professor preserves largest gospel collection in the world

KCEN-TV (Waco, Temple, Killeen/NBC)  tv

2019-10-07

Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden is considered the go-to-guy for restoring and saving black gospel music from the golden era. His project now is preserving sermons of African American preachers. Also interviewed was Baylor Digital Collections digitization specialist Travis Taylor.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Steal Away”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-10-06

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features the Banks Brothers and the Greater Harvest Back Home Choir of Newark, N.J., two great choirs singing old time gospel before a massive and appreciative audience.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Steal Away”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-10-06

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, journalism professor Robert Darden features the Banks Brothers and the Greater Harvest Back Home Choir of Newark, N.J., two great choirs singing old time gospel before a massive and appreciative audience.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Search Me Lord”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-09-29

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features “The Thunderbolt of the Midwest,” Brother Joe May, who was an incredibly versatile vocalist who never recorded secular music, despite tremendous pressure from his record label. Darden is founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, which provides the sounds and stories for this weekly program.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Stay on the Battlefield”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-09-22

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden highlights the Mighty Sons of Glory, who are still going strong after 30 years and continue the proud “hard gospel” tradition of their heroes, the Mighty Clouds of Joy. Darden is founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, which provides the sounds and stories for this weekly program.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Home Going”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-09-15

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden highlights “Home Going,” just one of a number of superb, high-energy gospel songs by Detroit native Victoria Hawkins on Houston’s funky Peacock label. Darden is founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, which provides the sounds and stories for this weekly program.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Lord, I'm Done Done”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-09-01

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden highlights the beloved Gotham Records label, which – since 1946 – released a host of quality 45s through 1958, including a happy, up-tempo gospel romp, “Lord, I’m Done Done” by Rudolph Lewis. Darden is founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, which provides the sounds and stories for this weekly program.

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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments – “Through It All”

KWBU-FM (Waco/NPR)  radio

2019-09-01

On this episode of Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments, Baylor journalism professor Robert Darden features the masterful “Soulfully” album by the legendary Andrae Crouch and the Disciples, one of their best, in part because of the memorable anthem, “Through It All.” Darden is founder of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, which provides the sounds and stories for this weekly program.

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Aretha Franklin’s One Faith

Christianity Today  online

2018-08-16

In this column, Robert Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, wrote about the life, music and faith of Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday. Darden, who founded Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, wrote that the Queen of Soul’s 2015 performance during the 38th Kennedy Center Honors represented not only her gospel talents, but her emotional transparency and faith. “Standing before the frenzied Kennedy Center audience, singing from somewhere deep inside the pain, Franklin tapped into the gospel music of Jackson and Ward, into the sanctified sermons of her father, into a lifelong belief in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and came out triumphant and redeemed on the other side,” Darden wrote.

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Aretha Franklin's music, legacy lives on

KSAT-TV (San Antonio)  tv

2018-08-16

Robert Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, and founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, offered his thoughts on Aretha Franklin’s impact saying the appeal of Franklin's music crossed racial boundaries in a divided era.

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Baylor University works to preserve Black Gospel Music

ABC News Channel 25  online

2017-02-08

Gospel Music is often thought to be the soundtrack of the African American experience from slavery to sit-ins the music punctuated the movements. Despite the powerful history some scholars feared future generations may never hear those songs. Baylor Professor Robert Darden, has loved gospel since he was a child. He remembers his father purchasing Mahalia Jackson Christmas album. “My parents say I kept playing that disk over and over And my wife said I have spent the last 55 years trying to replicate the thrill I got from that voice at that time,” Darden laughed.

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Music from Baylor gospel project to be featured in Smithsonian’s new African-American museum

Waco Tribune Herald  online

2016-09-14

Many of the black gospel recordings that Baylor University professor Bob Darden has championed in his career tell their listeners that patience, faith and endurance on the journey will lead to a reward. For Darden, Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project and their staffers and supporters, one of those rewards comes this month when the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History in Washington, D.C., opens to the public Sept. 24.

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Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project to be a Highlight in the Sept. 24 Opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History in D.C.

Baylor Media Communications  online

2016-09-06

An interactive display featuring “The Old Ship of Zion,” one of the key recordings of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP), will be among the highlights of the permanent exhibit, called Musical Crossroads. “Having this music that the team has worked so hard to preserve featured in the museum is beyond wonderful,” said BGMRP founder Robert F. Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

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