WYEP celebrates Black History Month throughout February.
To celebrate Black History Month, listen to WYEP every Thursday evening from 7 to 8 PM in February to hear Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul. Hosted by Grammy award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans, the four-hour documentary features in-depth interviews with artists and dozens of songs that illuminate the profound impact that gospel music has made on popular music.
Host CeCe Winans said, “Gospel music’s influence on early R&B, soul, and rock and roll is significant, and the stories we tell and share in the documentary wonderfully illustrate that. It was a pleasure working on the documentary - there is so much richness, detail and respect for the history that went into the making of it. As a gospel musician myself, it’s important for music fans and listeners to learn how much gospel music serves as the foundation for so many other music genres.”
The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul documentary consists of four one-hour weekly segments, and starts with the history and foundation of black gospel from spirituals, and how those songs informed the music of the great gospel quartets. In examining how rock, soul and R&B grew from the roots of gospel, it highlights such highly influential artists as Sam Cooke, who transitioned from gospel to secular music; Sister Rosetta Tharpe and her early rock stylings; and Elvis Presley, who helped expose white audiences to gospel music. Examples of some of the most beloved contemporary pop music of the last 60 years from artists such as Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, and Ray Charles illustrate gospel music’s influence. Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul also features exclusive live performances recorded within the last year from gospel groups The Fairfield Four, The McCrary Sisters, and The Dixie Hummingbirds.
The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul, Thursdays at 7 PM during Black History Month.
In addition, WYEP will be airing during February short segments looking at the history of music and the civil rights movement. Listen to these on-demand on this page.