PBS’ ‘Gospel’ Celebrates the Impact of Gospel Music
Mom Shirley Miller accompanied by the Edwin Hawkins Singers carry out at Metropolis of Refuge UCC

For generations upon generations, Gospel music has been a cornerstone within the Black neighborhood. Getting us via slavery, segregation and the trendy day trials and tribulations of being Black in America, Gospel has and continues to be the present we didn’t know we wanted to attach us as a neighborhood. PBS’ new sequence ‘Gospel’ takes a deep dive into the origin story of Black gospel music and preaching and the influence it nonetheless has immediately.

PBS’ ‘Gospel’ Celebrates the Impact of Gospel Music
Host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., poses for a photograph with Dionne Warwick for GOSPEL

All through this sequence hosted by acclaimed scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr,. viewers are capable of get a firsthand account of that influence and its many transformations all through the years. Relationship again to its mix of blues to its modern-day interpretation, from Rev. Shirley Caesar to Kirk Franklin, artists have used Gospel music as a type of non secular expression to heal, unify and uplift. 

This sequence serves as a device to offer a larger understanding and appreciation for the Black Church and its unwavering position in society. 

We acquired an opportunity to attach with Tamish Bates-Cumberbatch, Worship and Digital Engagement Director of First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) in Harlem and Los Angeles, the place she shared just a little about her personal religion stroll and why sequence like ‘Gospel’ are essential for the tradition. 

PBS’ ‘Gospel’ Celebrates the Impact of Gospel Music
Tamish Bates-Cumberbatch

1.) As a Worship Director and devoted Christian how did you are feeling watching ‘Gospel?’
Watching ‘Gospel’ made me extraordinarily happy with the perseverance, creativity, ardour, and total wealthy historical past of our folks. It gave me an excellent larger appreciation for our ancestors and the exceptional, gospel greats who paved the best way and actually inspired me to proceed to do the work that I’m known as to do in ministry.

The thorough analysis that went into this sequence reveals, and never solely did I be taught a ton, I do know it is going to be eye opening for a lot of.

PBS’ ‘Gospel’ took me via a variety of feelings, from immense pleasure and delight within the position that Gospel music and the Black Church has performed within the Black and total American expertise, all the best way to disappointment in watching among the struggles. All in all, Gospel music stored us inspired and uplifted via all of it. Gospel music is highly effective and actually common.  

I might completely encourage all of my fellow worship leaders, choir members, gospel songwriters, choir administrators, worship staff members, gospel artists and even preachers and pastors to examine this sequence out. 

Could it remind us all that the work that we do issues and has mattered for generations. 

By no means take Gospel music and our present of track flippantly.  It’s wanted for such a time as this.

PBS’ ‘Gospel’ Celebrates the Impact of Gospel Music
Collection Administrators/Producers, Stacey Holman and Shayla Harris pose for a photograph on the Double Love Expertise Brooklyn Outside Service

2.) Gospel, sermon and track has introduced us via generations as a folks, how do you are feeling concerning the present state of it immediately?
Because the sequence so fantastically confirmed, the Black church has at all times been a protected house for the Black neighborhood, particularly post-slavery. It was and is an atmosphere to commune with fellow believers, get encouragement via the phrase and track, share your items in ministry, develop a stronger relationship with God, and serve your neighborhood.

As a lot as Gospel music has developed all through the years, I’m grateful that it continues to be a robust device to share a message of encouragement with all who hear it, educate some and remind others about who God is, and exalt and reward our God by way of track.  No matter an individual’s language and even faith, you may FEEL what’s being sung as a result of lyrics, musical and vocal association, but additionally the conviction that it’s ministered with.  

I see this weekly at FCBC as we regularly have vacationers who attend our providers, in addition to after I toured in Europe. The numerous quantity of people that come to talk with us after a service, that won’t converse the identical language as us, however have tears of their eyes or just contact their coronary heart to specific how the service moved them, is past phrases.

I’m grateful for use by God to minister to God’s folks. It’s larger than us.

PBS’ ‘Gospel’ Celebrates the Impact of Gospel Music
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. sits down with Rev. Shirley Caesar for GOSPEL.

3.) How do you are feeling about the way forward for Gospel music?
I’m a 80’s child/90’s child, so I’ve had an opportunity to observe Gospel evolve all through just a few many years. Whereas choir music was enormous within the 80’s and 90’s, you began to listen to a little bit of a Hip-hop (and R&B) infusion within the 90’s with Kirk Franklin and even Fred Hammond. Throughout the 2010’s, Gospel music started shifting to extra of a reward and worship sound and is now absolutely there within the 2020’s. There’s nonetheless a sprinkle of earlier sounds, which I like, so there’s something for everybody.

I feel Gospel music will proceed to evolve era to era, however I pray that it by no means loses its core and its energy. It doesn’t matter what genres we might infuse with it, so long as every era retains God and God’s message on the forefront, it would proceed to influence, uplift, and minister to the lots, and draw them nearer to God.

4.) Given the historical past, how do you are feeling Gospel music has impacted different genres of music?
A lot of the largest stars in music come from the church, so Gospel music and the Black church has at all times had an influence on the sound of Blues, Jazz, Doo wop, Motown, Soul, Disco, R&B, Funk, Nation, Rock’n’roll, Pop and even some Hip-hop music till this very day. These genres have additionally been infused in Gospel music. It’s a cyclical relationship that per the sequence and my private expertise hasn’t at all times been welcomed with open arms within the church. Whereas my present church, FCBC, is certainly extra open to infusing all genres inside a worship expertise, I’ve attended and served in lots of areas the place my progressive mindset wasn’t celebrated by all, much like what Thomas A. Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson and lots of others skilled. Many instances a brand new expression of Gospel could be demonized and mentioned that it’s “not of God”. Whereas typically that may be the case (there’s positively a high quality line), many instances it isn’t. It isn’t demonic. It’s simply totally different and positively “of God”.

And on the ‘secular aspect’, the texture, coronary heart, soul, conviction and ‘efficiency model’ of Gospel music is so highly effective and distinct, which you could actually really feel when a “secular” artist has what we name “the oil” lol. You possibly can inform when a track is a bit more than simply singing phrases or taking part in a melody, and truly hits your soul when an artist is performing. Undoubtedly, while you do your analysis, you will notice that the particular person, band, or producer has come from the church and has a background in Gospel music. You possibly can really feel it. It will probably’t be faked. The music and present from God actually have a sound or frequency which you could inform shouldn’t be of this world.

The 4 hour sequence ‘Gospel’ is obtainable to observe throughout the PBS app, PBS.org and your native PBS station.


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