“Without gospel music there never would have been an Elvis Presley. There never would have been a Ray Charles, or a James Brown. From the mid-twentieth century on, gospel music not only thrived within a separate sphere as vital as the jazz, rock and rhythm and blues worlds; it also constantly intersected with the secular music industry, providing models that countless artists outside the church emulated. The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul explores these connections as a way of reinstituting gospel’s central place within the history of American popular music.”
-Ann Powers, Author and Music Journalist
The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul radio documentary, hosted by Cece Winans, to launch February 1January 11, 2019
Stephanie Renee on the significance of historically Black colleges and universities on gospel and contemporary musicJanuary 2, 2019
Inside the Linwood Heath “Gospel Highway” interview archivesDecember 17, 2018
Sample this: Gospel samples in hip-hop musicDecember 11, 2018
An introduction to the GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL
In 1947, a white Southern musical entrepreneur named Lee Roy Abernathy made a move that shook up churchgoing America – and the sound of popular music. That winter, the Georgia-born pianist and songwriter went into Atlanta studio with his group the Homeland Harmony Quartet to record his latest composition, “Gospel Boogie.” Abernathy was a musical entrepreneur, selling sheet music for his compositions at fifty cents a pop, and he kept his ears open to the hottest trends among the both the pious and the profane.