March 8, 2016
When you think of gospel music…what do you think of?….who do you think of?
Ask 10 different people what gospel music is and you will get 10 different opinions.
The history of gospel music is incredible. It is a direct descendant from the spirituals sung by the American slaves. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. It is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, or as entertainment for the marketplace. However, a common theme is praise and thanks to God.
The gospel music experience cannot be told in a short story, or even in a melody of songs, for it is far too rich, far too harmonious and deliberately stimulating. It is a living experience, always changing, always giving, and always becoming the foundation that gave moral, physical and spiritual support to a great and powerful people. The sound of gospel music is still enthralling and captivating because it stands against the social background as a shadow of today’s community problems and dilemmas.
Gospel music continues to stretch into non-traditional territories reaching the world with the good news. It is heard daily on radio, seen on videos and television, sung in plays and even included in mainstream music award shows constantly. Gospel music has certainly gained energy through media exposure, promotion and marketing throughout the years. Gospel music has always had the ability to literally move the listener and touch the soul. Whether swaying with the choirs, tapping your feet along with the quartets or simply raising your hands to the rhythms of soul stirring songs, the music moves you.
The gospel music of today has evolved from where it first began but as we see in this documentary, the feelings and emotions remain the same. We celebrate the history of gospel music in America as told through some of its most famous and influential icons sharing their viewpoints through poignant interviews and testimonials.