From the Hollywood Reporter:
Don McGlynn's 'Rejoice and Shout' is probably the first documentary ever to look comprehensively at the 200-year musical history of African-American Christianity - which is to say gospel music - and may well be the last. It certainly doesn't seem like McGlynn or his producer, Joe Lauro, who owns a vast collection of old records and music film footage, missed anything significant.
The doc is exhaustive in its compilation of the major acts and personalities in gospel music - to the point the narrative thread almost gets buried under the weight of names, dates, musical styles and vintage performances.
For anyone with a keen interest in this unique American musical form, 'Rejoice and Shout' is a must-see and see-again. It's also a must-have for the home libraries of gospel-music enthusiast. For those whose interest is more casual, the film is almost as exhausting as exhaustive.
You've heard of documentaries that preach to the choir? Well, in this one, the choir preaches back!
McGlynn situates this history in the deep-rooted, hardcore religious beliefs of black American Christians and in the highly participatory Pentecostal church services. The historians and artists who accompany the viewer on this tour of musical history speak first of their abiding faith in the Almighty and the spiritual and communal joy of church-going. Then they talk about the music they grew up with.
Read more here.