Talk:Mahalia Jackson

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Former good article nominee Mahalia Jackson was a Music good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
October 31, 2011 Good article nominee Not listed

Reese[edit]

I cut references to Mahalia Jackson's aquaintance with Della Reese and the fact that she inspired character names in Victory Gundam. Both may be true, but I don't think they merit inclusion in an encyclopedia article. Jackson was one of the most important singers of the 20th century; she knew many of the important musicians of her time quite well (Duke Ellington, for example) and has inspired countless others. Singling these two examples out at random in an article of this length looks bizarre, and suggests that they are somehow more important than Jackson herself. NoahB 18:47, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Lord's Prayer[edit]

I took out the words "The Lord's Prayer" from "Popular Culture" because they had no place or meaning there. I suspect that they were meant as a song, but since I cannot verify that this was a well-known songs of Jackson I did not move it into "Well-Known Songs". 129.79.144.144 17:55, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Too short[edit]

I am surprised at the briefness of this article! As one of the most important singers of our time, I expected this article would be much more detailed. I'll start trying to find more information to include in Ms. Jackson's article James 18:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Your right Godessofmagic223 (talk) 19:08, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Year of birth[edit]

Has anyone else noticed that all sources cite her birth year as 1911, yet her headstone cites it as 1912?James 20:06, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I did and although the headstone reads 1912, the websites and encyclopedia I checked both confirm 1911 as her birth year.

Diabetes[edit]

Our article states that she died of diabetes and heart failure. The New York Times obituary, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Findagrave all state that it was heart failure alone. What is the source for the diabetes claim? Capitalistroadster 09:02, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Mahalia jackson 1998.jpg[edit]

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Image:Mahalia jackson 1998.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot 04:35, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

IPA request[edit]

Add IPA of "Mahalia". Jidanni (talk) 01:46, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Done. Rilkas (talk) 18:03, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Birth name[edit]

Her birth name was Mahala, not Mahalia. That's the name she later adopted, as the article states; therefore, it should be moved to Other names alongside Halie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Liz Niña (talkcontribs) 17:18, 15 January 2009 (UTC)


Her mother's last name[edit]

What was Mahalia's mother Charity last name? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.240.214.231 (talk) 02:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Secular music[edit]

The article says that she "refused to sing secular music, a pledge she would keep throughout her professional life." I honestly don't know much about Mahalia Jackson, but I do have a recording of her singing "Summertime" and "You'll Never Walk Alone," both of which are pretty much secular. Maybe someone who knows more about her work could revise this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Godoex (talkcontribs) 07:15, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Mahalia Jackson/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Belovedfreak (talk · contribs) 00:36, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

It would be great to have a really good, well-developed article on Mahalia Jackson. Although this is a good start, unfortunately, it's not up to GA standard yet. This is not an exhaustive review, but hopefully there is plenty here to work on. It would be counterproductive to put this on hold for a week, because quite a lot of work needs to be done, and sources added. After addressing the points raised here, I would recommend taking this to peer review before a further GA nomination.

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    see below
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    see below
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    see below
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    On the whole neutral and well-balanced, just a few parts need tweaking (see below)
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    The article gets a fair amount of traffic, minor vandalism and incremental editing, but I see no edit warring or content disputes
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    I can't see any problem with the two free images used
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
Prose/style
  • For the most part, the article is reasonably well-written (I have made some minor changes eg. "So Halie's mother would rub her legs down with greasy dishwater." has been masquerading as a full sentence for years. It's still not clear why her mother would rub her legs with greasy dishwater, or what that has to do with her not getting an operation for bowed legs.) It could however do with a full copyedit from one person. Inevitably, a well-trafficked article like this, with many small changes from multiple editors over a long period of time, ends up not flowing too well. Some parts could be made clearer. For example, "Aunt Mahala was given the nickname "Duke" after proving herself the undisputed “boss” of the family." — I'm not really sure what this means.
  • Good article criterion no. 1b concerns the lead section. Per WP:LEAD, this section should adequately summarise the main points of the rest of the article. At the moment, it's a bit on the short side. I would expect to see some details of her early life, as well as more detail on her career in the lead. It is often easier to tackle the lead once the rest of the article is sorted, especially if more material is to be added to the article as a whole.
  • Following on from that, the lead shouldn't include details that are not in the rest of the article (usually expanded on). Here, for example, it says that Jackson was referred to as the "Queen of Gospel". Although this title is repeated later, it's not explained who referred to her as this, whether it was during her career or posthumously etc.
  • Manual of Style/Words to watch is also covered by the GA criteria, so be careful of things like "criticized by some gospel purists" (who in particular?), "Jackson's estate was reported at..." (reported by whom?), "Some reporters estimated..."
Accuracy/verifiability
  • The article is someone lacking in inline citations. Although every fact does not need an inline citation, for GA, there should be citations for "direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons". Many of the facts presented in this article would be difficult for the average reader to verify as it's not clear where they come from.
  • "Mahalia refused to sing secular music..." this claim has been questioned on the article talkpage (no answer provided). The editor there makes a good point that there are recordings of Jackson, that appear to be secular. WP:V requires that we go with what the sources say, but this is clearly a controversial point that needs looking into.
  • All sources used need to be reliable. Some of the ones used here are questionable. For example, I'm not aware that NNDB meets our guideline, and editors in this archive discussion from earlier this year seem to agree. There is a citation to a geocities site (labelled as webcitation.org, which is misleading because webcitations.org is not the publisher) - there is no evidence that this site is reliable.
  • There are three dead links in references
Broad in coverage?
  • I'm by no means an expert on Jackson, but I'm not convinced that the article as it stands is broad enough. IT doesn't need to be "comprehensive" at GA, but there have been several biographies written about her, none of which appear to have been used. For someone so influential, there must also be plenty of commentary/analysis by musical historians, some of which should be included here. Using some good sources would also help with the WP:V issues.
Neutrality
  • For the most part the article is well-balanced and neutral, but it strays into hyperbole in a few places. (eg. "...selling an astonishing eight million copies", "In addition to sharing her singing talent with the world...")
Also consider
  • "In popular culture" sections are usually problematic, and this one's no exception. It's completely unsourced, but many of the items are actually not really needed in this article. We don't need to know every time a Mahalia Jacksom song has been played in a film. Some of the factoids refer to parts Jackson had in films; these should be incorporated into a (sources) prose section on her acting career.
  • A separate article of her discography would be great. In the meantime, I'm not convinced by a list of her "well-known songs". Who has decided that those particular songs are "well known" and deserve a mention?

Please let me know if you have any questions. --BelovedFreak 13:52, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Thanks very much for the thorough review. I only have this article on my watchlist to catch vandalism, and I don't know anything about her beyond what is in this article, nor do I have much interest in her music. I was frankly astonished that this article was nominated to be a GA, and didn't catch it until a few days later, thanks to some sloppy watchlisting. Hopefully someone with more time and interest can improve this article further. Graham87 05:21, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the review/comments. I think the article has good potential for getting to GA status. I don't know a whole lot about her at the moment, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find some relevant, decent sources to fix up citations and expand it a bit. Great tips, thank you again. OttawaAC (talk) 01:47, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

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