Finding Harvey : the impact and iconography of album cover art on Black Gospel Music during the golden age.
At a critical time for gospel, and at a critical time for the history of recorded gospel music, one of the most influential gospel record company’s decision to break away from conventional album packaging and unleash brilliant, vibrant strokes of “Sunday School surrealism” helped Savoy continue to further its position of influence and dominance in the world of recorded gospel music, and inadvertently created the mystique and mystery of an artist named Harvey. This article will explore Harvey’s bold and vibrant use of colors and symbols that caught the eye of potential record buyers and, years later, continues to capture the attention of gospel fans and artists alike. In the process, this thesis will attempt to evaluate the impact of the painted covers by the artist Harvey on the gospel music industry. It will also reveal the long-thought lost identity of Harvey, based on art school records, art sales, interviews with family members, gospel historians, and art experts.