Elder Charles D. Beck

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Elder Beck | All Music | tc445

“No use letting the Devil have all the good tunes” was the saying of Elder Charles Beck, pastor of the Way of the Cross Church of God in Christ, in Buffalo, New York. Playing trumpet, vibes, and drums, Elder Beck was famous for his lively hymns, gospel songs, shouts, sermonizing, and prayers.

His 1950s recordings are preserved in the Smithsonian Museum of Washington DC.

Charles Beck was born around 1900 in Alabama and made his first recording in 1930. He made more than sixty recordings in all, and was also a frequent radio broadcaster. He had an extensive knowledge of gospel music and often revived earlier popular gospel songs and gave them his own treatment. He was noted for his barrel house style of playing piano on his recordings.

After 1960 Beck was involved in overseas missionary work, primarily in Ghana. He is believed to have died there sometime around 1972.

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