help me get into gospel

hi guys, i'm really interested in learning more about gospel music.i only know about a few mahalia jackson and staple singers.let me know which are you favorite songs and albums.
Standing in the Safety Zone, by the Fairfield Four. (all of their albums are great, but this one in particular. Esp. track #2)

Mapleshades recording of The ARC Choir will blow your socks off...

Also try Leap of Faith soundtrack and The Fairfield Four "Live From Mountain Stage"
thanks guys. i went into a website and listened to some clips of the fairfield four WOW!!.
Ony of my all time gospel favorites is "Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson" by Mavis Staples and Lucky Peterson. Glorious Hammond B3 on every other track, vocals that send a child down your spine and, icing on the cake, excellent sonics.

Another interesting recent choice is "Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs Bob Dylan", an album of often undeservedly underrated Dylan songs from his Christian period, performed by the likes of Shirley Caesar, Sounds of Blackness and Aaron Neville.

Unfortunately, a lot of what is currently being marketed as gospel sounds much like formula soul except for the lyrics. I guess that's why I still listen to lots of Mahalia.
There are so many. This was what I was listening to when i read you post. Very good. Gospel blues with a really nice back up group: David Lindley, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, Danny Thompson

Spirit of the Century by
Blind Boys of Alabama

I remain,
As Clueless said, there is a vast selection. You might try one of the "Best of Gospel" boxed sets. This will let you hear all types of gospel, back into the 1930s to the present. My current favorite? The Mississippi Mass Choir (try their greatest hits for a good sampling). If you're not standing up at the end then you're not listening! The Mighty Clouds of Joy is/are excellent. Reverend James Cleveland sounds mighty righteous(!), with a very powerful voice, if you like the more "story" type gospel.

More recent? Try Kirk Franklin or Donnie McClurkin. These guys have charisma, fantastic voices and front large choirs with excellent rhythm sections, and can rock the house.

My brother's favorite is either Oleta or Yoland Adams (I don't remember which, but both are good). If you like Mahalia, you should at least give them her a try, although different!

One of the better CDs I have heard (but can't seem to find a copy) is Andre Crouch with the Oslo Gospel Choir (believe it or not, those Norwegians can sing some fine gospel).

Too many more, but out of time.

Hope this helps!!
A great introduction to the gospel choir is "Amazing Grace" by Aretha Franklin. It features some traditional works and other inspirational tunes. This is a great album by a phenomenal singer. Buy it-if you are not moved, sell your stereo, and get a therapist.
The Richard Smallwood Singers - Live at Howard University.
The Canton Spirituals - Live in Memphis.
Aretha Franklin - when she used to sing with Rev James Cleveland.
Walter Hawkins - Love Alive

Gospel music has changed quite a bit in the last 20 years. There's even Gospel rap and hip hop Gospel now (I know... I know).

The more you study Gospel music history the more you will clearly hear the connections between Gospel, Blues and Country music. They all "borrowed" things from each other. PBS did a documentary on Gospel music a few years ago. See if you can find it. Very enlightening.

Mahalia is still probably my favorite. She had something very special.
Lots of great bluegrass style gospel out there. Try the Cox Family w/Allison Kraus. Cant remember the CD title.
The Fairfield Four- "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray"
Not Gospel but a great accapella group is Sweet Honey in the Rock, try their "Live at Carnegie Hall" album, it has several gospel songs on it including a great version of Wade In The Water.
Also, Aaron Neville "Devotion".
Here's one that I came across after reading a review in Sterophile magazine: "Sacred Steel:Traditional Sacred African American Steel Guitar Music in Florida". This is an absolutely great CD, but its a little hard to find. Anyone who is interested in hearing it please e-mail me.
so far i've heard fairfirld four "standing in the safety zone" and mavis staple tribute to mahalia jackson.incredible stuff, thanks guys.
Have you heard Terry MC Almon, Darlene Zschech from Hillsong,Don Moen,this guys they will make you
learn what gospel music is all about. Also Ron Kenoly
Donnie McClurkin.
If you are interested in the history of gospel, check out dust-digital. Their product, "Goodbye, Babylon", is a phenomenal multi-CD collection that resulted from the co-operation of many acknowledged collectors and experts.