“Rejoice and Shout” is probably the first documentary to look comprehensively at the 200-year musical history of African-American Christianity — which is to say gospel music — and may well be the last.
It certainly doesn’t seem as if director Don McGlynn or his producer, Joe Lauro, who owns a vast collection of old records and music film footage, missed anything significant. The documentary is exhaustive in its compilation of the major acts and personalities in gospel music — to the point the narrative thread almost gets buried under the weight of names, dates, musical styles and vintage performances.
For anyone with a keen interest in this unique American musical form, “Rejoice and Shout” is a must-see and see-again. It’s also a must-have for the home libraries of gospel-music enthusiast.