The conventional wisdom is that modern African-American gospel springs from Thomas A. Dorsey and begins during the depression. However, there are figures from the formative years of contemporary gospel that appear equally important in terms of its development that have gained little, if any recognition. One such artist was the Elder Charles D. Beck, responsible for more than 60 recordings over his lifetime for every little label under the sun. As a singing evangelist, Elder Beck appeared in tent revivals and in black churches all over the United States during his long career, and in a live context, Beck was a famous performer. He viewed recording as an essential part of his work, both as a means to spread the gospel and to establish his name. He literally recorded whenever he could get into a studio, and also appeared extensively on radio, although little is known of his activities there.