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Way of Life Literature
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Southern Gospel Music. This video presentation deals with the history, influence, and danger of Southern Gospel. It traces four significant changes to Gospel music between the 1920s and 1950s promoted by groups like the Stamps quartets, the Blackwood Brothers, and the Statesmen: (1) they commercialized it, (2) they took it out of the churches and put it into hands of publishers and promoters, (3) they jazzed it up with worldly musical styles, (4) they turned it into entertainment. The presentation documents the worldliness that poured into Southern Gospel. It shows the influence of the ragtime/honky tonk piano style that was popularized by Hovie Lister and others. It describes other worldly styles of music such as the rock back beat and the pop/sliding style of singing. It documents the more recent influence of Bill Gaither, his “judge not” ecumenism, and his “music is neutral” philosophy that has broken down the walls of separation between Christian music and the world’s music.