The Gospel Roots of Rock Soul radio documentary was produced at WXPN in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania.
Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Executive Producers – Roger Lamay and Bruce Warren
Senior Producer – Alex Lewis (writer on hours one and two)
Editor – Cheryl Devall
Assistant Producer – Whitney Jones (writer on hour three)
Production Assistant – Rachel Ishikawa
Mixing – Jeff Townes (episodes 1-3), and Will Loftus (episode four)
Cece Winans – host, Grammy award winning Gospel singer
Dr. Paul Kwami, – Music Director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers
Dr. Joyce Jackson – Professor, Director, African & African American Studies Program, Louisiana State University
Dr. Donald Dumpson -Music Minister of the Arch Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Jerry Zolten – author of Great God Almighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music
Robert Marovich – historian, founder and editor of the Journal of Gospel Music, and author of several books including A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
Ira Tucker Jr. – The Dixie Hummingbirds
Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard – gospel DJ, historian, and Chair, Department of Literature, Philosophy and the Arts; Professor of English Literature and Humanities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn
Peter Guralnick – Sam Cooke biographer and acclaimed music writer and critic
Pastor Donald Gay – Chicago gospel legend and Sam Cooke’s boyhood friend
Pastor Mitty Collier – former R&B star, currently a Pastor in Chicago.
Gayle Wald – popular music and cultural historian, and author of Shout, Sister Shout! – The Untold Story of Rock and Roll Trailblazer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell – Musician, producer, owner of Royal Studios in Memphis.
Dorothy Combs-Morrison – singer and songwriter, lead vocalist on “Oh Happy Day”
Richard Smallwood – gospel musician and songwriter
Mark Stansbury – gospel DJ, Memphis
Deanie Parker – musician and one of Stax Records’ original three employees. She currently works as the community relations director for The Stax Museum.
Ann Powers – NPR music critic, journalist and author
Matt Ross-Spang – multiple Grammy Award winning producer, engineer and mixer at Sun Studios and currently works at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis
Mavis Staples – singer and member of The Staple Singers
Reverend Joe Williams – Former Dixie Hummingbird and current Pastor at pastor of the Mount Airy United Fellowship Church in Philadelphia.
Dr. Leo Davis – Minister of Worship at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
Dr. Mark Anthony Neal – Professor of Black Popular Culture, the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University
Archival audio courtesy of
Archival audio from:
Horace Boyer – Gospel singer and scholar
Mahalia Jackson – gospel singer
Marion Williams – gospel singer
Ira Tucker Sr. – The Dixie Hummingbirds
Chuck D – leader of Public Enemy
Clarence B. Jones – former personal counsel, advisor, speech writer for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
Al Green – R&B and gospel singer
Edwin Hawkins – gospel musician and leader of The Edwin Hawkins Singers
Thomas A Dorsey – the Father of Gospel music
Additional contributors to the Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul include:
Ry Cooder – musician, singer and songwriter
Stephanie Renee – radio host, educator, writer, and founder of The Soul Sanctuary
Linwood Heath – legendary Philadelphia gospel radio and TV host, performer and historiam, currently a host on Philadelphia’s Gospel Highway 11.
Jacquie Gales Webb – Peabody award-winning producer, performer, and host of the Sunday Afternoon Gospel music program on 96.3 WHUR.
Dr. Cedric Dent – vocalist, music arranger, and co- producer of the 10-time GRAMMY Award-winning vocal group, TAKE 6, who in 2014 became Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductees. He currently teaches a course he developed on the history of black gospel music at Middle Tennessee State University.
King Britt – Philadelphia based DJ, producer, and radio show host
Jack McCarthy – historian and archivist
Paul Brembly – singer in the Golden Gate Quartet
Max Ochester – music producer, crate digger, and owner of the record store Brewerytown Beats
Gwen Carter – singer, co-founder of Philly gospel label TCS Record
Special thanks to Ann Powers, Dr. Donald Dumpson, Robert Marovich, Jerry Zolten, and NPR.