Decades of Gospel Evolution

Gospel is a genre of music used to spread the teachings of Christ. As years have gone on, gospel has become more creative and mixed with other genres such as rap, country and even go-go. Although, the style of music has changed, the message stays the same.


Arizona Dranes among many other artists popularized the use of jazz and blues melodies into gospel music mixed with the sounds of traditional gospel music.


The 1930s introduced a new style of gospel music known as congregational singing.


The 1940s, also known as the golden age was a great time for Jubilee Quartets such as the Golden Gate Quartet. The jubilee style added a different sound to gospel with adlibs and short phrases as means to make a rhythm.


Reverend C.L. Franklin is the father of famous singer, Aretha Franklin. The 1950s popularized singing groups and choirs although they existed before.


Elder Beck incorporated folk music into “Let the Church Say Amen”


Many first heard this song in Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg but gospel singing star Edwin Hawkins is the original creator. Hawkins was one of the first of many to use secular music styles while still preaching the gospel. This style became known as modern contemporary gospel.


While choirs were not a new phenomenon in the 80s, mass choirs became popularized especially in recording sessions. This track is an easily recognizable gospel song.


Once the late 20th century arrived, traditional gospel only remained in hymns. Adams brought more than one sound to gospel whether it be jazz, soul, or even pop.


Kirk Franklin’s “Revolution” created an uproar in the gospel community. Franklin added a new meaning to the word “modern.” Hip hop became the new norm in gospel.


Although recently separated, Mary Mary was a force to be reckoned with. They continued what Franklin started by giving their songs a hip hop sound.


Anthony Brown brought back the sounds of praise and worship in his music with harmonious melodies and musical capabilities only a music buff could understand enjoy.

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