Gospel music has been influential in the lives of so many people. Personally, I don’t believe that there is a genre that is more embraced by African-Americans than Gospel. Emerging after the Great Migration and being heavily influenced by Negro Spirituals, the messages incorporated in Gospel music provide hope, joy, and gratitude for all of the things that God has done and will do. As the years passed, the sound of Gospel began to change. Many songs began to incorporate styles from other genres, including jazz and funk, which has fast tempos.

The 1980s was a great decade for Gospel music. From Andre Crouch to Bebe and CeCe Winans, legendary artists composed some of their greatest hits during this period. Other prominent Gospel artists/groups that ruled the decade include Shirley Caesar, the LA Mass Choir, James Cleveland, Keith Pringle, John P. Kee and The Winans. Two of the most memorable Gospel songs to this day that came from the 80s were Keith Pringle’s “When All God’s Children Get Together” and The Winans’, “J.E.S.U.S”.

Below is one of my favorite Gospel songs of all time and a product of the 1980s, “That’s When You Bless Me” by the LA Mass Choir:

-Ivorie Farley-Cook