Saturday, April 21, 2012
Before he became a star, "King of Soul" Sam Cooke was a part of the influential black gospel group The Soul Stirrers. This quartet was started in the 1920s and had already attained a huge following by the time Cooke joined them in the 1950s. The Soul Stirrers and groups like them were the predecessors of soul and rhythm and blues music. Many of the black artists that exploded into the pop music scene of the 1960s got their starts in gospel quartets or singing in the church.
The song showcased in this post, "Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb", was part of the curious 1950s fixation on the devastating force of atomic weapons. This power had already been demonstrated with the bombs that had been dropped on Japan near the end of World War 2. Apprehension grew as the world entered a race to amass the most and biggest weapons.
This song suggests that this worry was misplaced. People were worrying about what they might do to one another, but there is something much bigger that we all should be considering. When Jesus returns the effect is going to be on a much bigger scale than an atomic bomb. The works of man are trivial compared to the power of God.