Mama White finally got her wish in 1933, when her son Josh recorded a pair of religious numbers, “Motherless Children” and “Jesus Going to Make Up My Dying Bed”:

She must have known something — the record did very well, though Josh’s crisp, youthful voice isn’t especially appropriate to the subject matter (that dying bed is going to be sitting empty for a long time). After that the record company had him cut a bunch more gospel numbers, and many of them would remain in his regular repertoire for the rest of his life.

Ironically, the success of these records seems to have provided him with the means to leave Greenville and settle in one of the most sinful places on Earth: New York City.