Gospel, in the form of the genre that we are familiar with in present times saw its emergence in America beginning in the 1930’s. Its origins come from African American spirituals and its call and response structure. The incorporation of other styles of rhythm and blues, jazz, and soul were not initially accepted in this sacred music form, but give the genre the sound that we have come to know. During the Golden Age of Gospel – the 1950’s – the influence of Jubilee Quartets inspired a style of “hard gospel” in which the soloist stood out.
Contemporary Gospel, intended to bring peace to its listeners, is the form of Gospel that is my favorite, with notable artists such as Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, and CeCe Winans. The message of the music has long provided encouragement and positivity for the black community during times of social turmoil such as with the Civil Rights Movement and more recently with racial and political unrest.
My favorite memories of Gospel music involve memories of singing and dancing along with my Grandmother, who was very religious. Listening to these songs and attending church services with her helped to shape the core of my beliefs, further proving the role of gospel and the importance of it in the black family.
Here are a few of my favorite Gospel songs.