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With and Without God: Gospel Music

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you have to be religious in order to sing – or appreciate – Gospel music? Can one separate the sound from the message? A lot of Gospel music has a broader appeal than lyrics alone – something that’s interested rappers like Kanye West and rockers like Van Morrison who use gospel choirs as just another instrument in their arsenal. Does that bother the Gospel traditionalists? Joining us are Bill Carpenter, a gospel producer, publicist and author of the book "Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia," WNYC’s Terrance McKnight, the host of Evening Music and a longtime gospel fan, and Janet Sutton, music director of the Acme Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago.

Soundcheck blog: John Schaefer on the medium and the message in Gospel music


Bill Carpenter, Terrance McKnight and Janet Sutton

Comments [4]

ety from ny

What about Nicole Mullen, My Redeemer Lives; Casting Crowns, Who am I; Chris Tomlin, God of this City; Switchfoot, Dare You To Move do you consider them as a Gospel music?

Nov. 12 2008 02:36 PM
R Schreiner from brooklyn

I've wondered about a similar issue concerning the painting and appreciation of icons and other sacrad images of many traditions. the masterpieces I'm familiar with were almost without exception produced by "the faithful" yet are undeniably loved by a wider audience.

Nov. 12 2008 02:32 PM
Garry from Brooklyn

As an avid reggae fan I consider myself a gospel listener. Rastafarians, essentially a Christian sect, often sing of their interpretation of the good news. Sadly, most people don't listen to the words in most reggae songs and lump it all into ganja smoking and "beach music." What do the guests think?

Nov. 12 2008 02:29 PM
jay from Knoxville, tn

I grew up in the south but as a child attended a baptist church where singing was a chore, not a joy. It wasnt until a fatefull afternoon that I saw U2s "rattle and hum" in a theater that I was moved to the core by the addition of the New Voices of Freedom soulfull rendention of "I still Havent found what I'm Looking For". Although I am not a religious person, I still seek out powerful and moving gospel music from time to time in the record bins.

Nov. 12 2008 08:59 AM

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