- Thomas A. Dorsey, best known as the author of the song “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”, is called the father of gospel music. Dorsey had spent the 1920s writing and performing secular blues music under the name “Georgia Tom” before turning to gospel music and establishing a publishing house.
Gospel music is deeply rooted in the rich traditions of the African-American church. During the late 1800s, African-American churches in the southern United States started fusing various styles of music into their worship services, including African-American spirituals, hymns, and sacred songs.
2. Gospel music keeps you focused. From the early 1600s right through to the American Civil War in 1865, groups of African American slaves in the Southern states sought solace in work songs and field hollers to ease the drudgery of hard labor in the fields, on the railroads, in the turpentine camps, wherever slaves were put to work as forced labor. The “call and response” religion-based songs gave them hope for a brighter future. Porter Wagoner and The Blackwood Brothers Quartet won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance in 1968.
3. Porter Wagoner & The Blackwood Brothers Quartet won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance in 1968
4. Fundamentally, gospel music refers to popularly performed music that professes or celebrates Gospel-based Christian values. The earliest gospel music consisted of hymns sung by the earliest post-Resurrection disciples that transitioned from traditional Judaic sacred songs to songs focused on Jesus and Gospel values.
5. Christian artists have been performing notably since the 1960s, but the Billboard Charts did not recognize the genre until after 1995. Today, there are four notable Christian genres, including gospel music, southern gospel, contemporary Christian music, and alternative Christian music.
6. British black gospel refers to Gospel music of the African diaspora, which has been produced in the UK. It is also often referred to as urban contemporary gospel or UK Gospel. The distinctive sound is heavily influenced by UK street culture, with many artists from the African and Caribbean majority black churches in the UK.
7. Yolanda Adams is the number one leading female gospel artist in America. She is also a record producer, actress, and former radio host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show.
8. Gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century during slavery through what was called hymns or rather Negro Spirituals and sacred songs, which were repeated in a call and response acapella fashion.
9. Most secular music artists have been touched by the power of gospel music. It is important to know that it is rare to find an artist who has not been inspired by the power of gospel band music. Most of the secular music artists we see today started their careers in the church choir, including Whitney Houston, R Kelly, Katy Perry, John Legend, among others.
10. God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation was number one on the R&B Albums chart for five weeks, number three on the Pop charts, and would go on to be certified 3x platinum. It also brought Franklin a Grammy for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album, as well as three Grammy nominations.
Written By: Akeel Lovell