Holiness, Pentecostalism and music
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The “writhing on the floor, the moaning, the trembling, and the jerks” left a deep impression, and the fire and brimstone sermons and surrounding frenzy terrorized [a young Johnny] Cash. “My knuckles would be white as I held onto the seat in front of me,” he remembered. Still, Cash loved the uninhibited music, the improvisation, and the variety of instruments played. It was a powerful experience.
So it was, too, for Tammy Wynette, a future country music celebrity, who as a youth frequented the Oak Grove Church of God in northeastern Mississippi. She attended a Baptist church as well, but it could not compete with exciting Pentecostal services. She would bang away on the piano, playing hymns and spirituals. Unlike the stodgy Baptist ministers, Wynette wrote in her autobiography, the Church of God preacher “would let you bring in guitars and play rockin’ gospel more like black gospel music,” as worshipers shouted in the Spirit and hollered in unknown tongues.