Gospel Music Channel celebrates gospel music heritage

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Gospel music continues to grow by leaps and bounds as the “good news” music gracefully reaches higher echelons. Well, gospel music lovers and artists certainly have a reason to celebrate the Gospel Music Channel as it launches National Gospel

Gospel music continues to grow by leaps and bounds as the “good news” music gracefully reaches higher echelons. Well, gospel music lovers and artists certainly have a reason to celebrate the Gospel Music Channel as it launches National Gospel Music Heritage this month. Each year, the month of June has been set aside as the world recognizes various genres of music created by African Americans during Black Music Month.

However, according to the Founder and President of the Gospel Music Channel, Charles Humbard, “This is the opportunity for the millions of gospel and Christian music fans to have their own national month to honor and celebrate the rich heritage of their music.”

The network joined with senators, Members of Congress, The Recording Academy and the Gospel Music Association to launch the Gospel Music Heritage Month initiative. The House and the Senate designated September as the month to celebrate the “good news” music, to honor its long-standing contributions to American culture.

The initiative was created by the Gospel Music Channel, the country’s first and only 24/7 television network. The month-long celebration will showcase legendary artists–past and present –such as Bill Gaither, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Mahalia Jackson, Al Green, Elvis Presley and Kirk Franklin on air, online and on demand.

There will be live shows, documentaries and the world television premiere of the 2008 BMI Trailblazer Awards, held in conjunction with and prior to the Stellar Awards. Another legendary artist, Pastor Shirley Caesar, is touring the country in a Communities of Faith Homeownership Revival Saturday.

“One of our objectives is to increase home ownership among people of color and to keep those who do own homes in those homes. Less than one half of African American families own their own homes, compared to nearly 73 percent for white families and nearly 70 percent for all U.S. families combined,” Caesar said. “Now we have a chance to raise our voices to help our brothers and sisters of faith help themselves. With the Lord’s help, we can begin to close the home ownership gap.”

Caesar has sent thousands of letters to pastors inviting them to be a part of this important event to help increase home ownership in the Chicago metropolitan area. Workshops will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Caesar will give the keynote address at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Drive. Registration for the event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, and admission is free. To reserve a seat and pre-register, call (800) 444-5664.

Kudos to Donald Lawrence, Donnie McClurkin, Ricky Dillard, Smokie Norful, Deitrick Haddon, 21:03 and Darius Brooks who were among the gospel recording artists to participate in the Build the Dream Radiothon. Clear Channel Radio is proud to join forces with the Washington, D.C. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation Inc., in a historic fundraising effort.

Coincidently, it was on the 45th anniversary of King’s "I Have A Dream Speech" that Sen. Barack Obama accepted the nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. In the words of a favorite hymn, “Look where He brought me from!”

“Remember you are blessed by the best!”

Effie Rolfe is a radio personality and the religion entertainment columnist for the Chicago Defender. Email her at effie@theinspirationalcafe.com.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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