David is Gospel Through and Through!

No debate about that.

I just want him to OWN it one fine day! 🙂

In the time I’ve been following David, he’s introduced me to this song, which I’ve been playing as part of my Sunday sacred playlist:

Are there any gospel songs you’d love to hear The Voice on? My vote is for Smokie Norful’s “I Need You Now”:


Posted on November 20, 2011, in David's influences, music. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Shanny in Australia

    Haha, interesting you just posted this Hg….i just asked on the previous thread…’What constitutes ‘gospel’ music? I’ve tended to think of it as big choirs and hand clapping like Sister Act.kind of thing but I know that must be an uneducated, stereotypical view of it. Katheryn answered my question and seemed to be saying its anything Christian. Am I right about that Katheryn? I just wonder what others define it as too and are there any big names in the gospel world whom I should check out to get a better feel for it?

    And in response to your post HG…we’ve always known right from the start that David enjoyed ‘gospel’ music and yet he doesn’t sing it. I’ve always deducted from that, that it was because he was trying not to get too religious for people. Who knows what he might do if he stopped worrying about that….he might get into gospel/christian stuff big time, since I think that is a big part of why he likes to sing Christmas music. I’d be perfectly happy if he did but already people say he should get away from the message songs, so I don’t think it would go over too well. Would love to discover I was mistaken about that. lol

    • Hi Shanny,
      In my mind David’s message songs are songs about being positive despite obstacles and some people objected to virtually an entire album of positivity messages with only a mild hint of relationship songs – TOSOD. I don’t count when he performs christmas songs as they are within context of a spiritual season for many faiths.

      I think David singing gospel would be an overt acknowledgement of his personal faith and belief in God. The only time he came close to expressing this sentiment was when he sang BSMS at a concert where the audience was receptive to such. He never tried it at other venues or cities with different demographics of people, so no one can say for certain. If he does I’m not so sure it would be rejected by listeners as many of the runs in his much admired singing style comes from gospel. Also many already know he has, and lives by, strong christian principles. Like you, I would love David to explore the possibility of openly singing even a gospel song or two at his concerts. 🙂

      • Shanny in Australia

        Ha, that sure would be a fun edition to his concerts! 😆
        Thanks for your thoughts Joymus. 🙂

  2. Hadn’t heard “Imagine Me” before. Beautiful.

    I’ve always liked “Song of Bernadette” by Jennifer Warnes/Leonard Cohen:

  3. Gospel is its own genre, Shanny. It has a certain style, vocally and musically, that distinguishes it from other contemporary Christian music.

    So for example, here’s a gospel song, from a South African gospel singer, “All Around”:

    And here’s a contemporary Christian song, Jeremy Camp’s “Mighty to Save”:

    Do you hear the difference?

  4. Feed Your Heaaaaad 🙂 (tm Grace Slick, ”White Rabbit”, performed by Jefferson Airplane)

    What is traditional gospel music?

    Traditional gospel music has been around since the 19th century. A descendant of music from the South and innovated by people like Thomas Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson, traditional gospel music is Christian music that went on to influence other musical styles.

    Traditional gospel music developed out of spirituals sung by slaves in the American South during the 19th century. According to PBS’s “This Far by Faith” series, Thomas Dorsey, a former blues musician, invented gospel music during the early 1930s. The “father of gospel music” wrote more than 400 compositions and teamed up with another gospel legend, Mahalia Jackson.

    The lyrics of traditional gospel music dealt with the hard conditions of being a slave or a newly freed black American and often made references to being “saved” and reaching the “Promised Land.”

    Traditional gospel music is characterized by everything from a call-and-response shouting vocal format and hand-clapping to music that follows a more European classical format. Traditional gospel songs consist of both “slow, sustained, long-phrase melody” and “syncopated, segmented melody,” according to Negro Spirituals.

    Traditional gospel music had a significant impact on other musical genres. Soul musicians such as Ray Charles fused the sounds of traditional gospel with the secular lyrics of the blues.
    Source: PBS: This Far By Faith-Thomas Dorsey

    Negro Spirituals: History

    NPR: A History of Gospel Music


    • Shanny in Australia

      Thanks HG and GG.
      I definitely hear the difference in those two vids you posted HG. The difference becomes less obvious when I compare those vids with the two you shared in your opening post. But I guess these days there seems to be so much overlap in all genres anyway, so there are always going to be ‘grey areas’…?
      GG that article seems to explain what I tend to think of when I hear the term ‘Gospel’, I just assumed it must be more diverse than that these days…?
      Have either of you heard of Hillsong. I always thought of them as ‘Christian’ or more specifically ‘Praise and Worship’ I guess. But maybe they would fit in the ‘Gospel’ genre too…?

  5. Below IMO is a great modern day example of gospel music at it’s best… Gospel, like the blues, are at the core of all modern American music styles and genres – It’s an inescapable fact that gospel and the blues – the songs emanating from the joys, sorrows, struggles and hopes of poor blacks and slaves down in the Mississippi Delta – would become the root and father of all the modern day American music – music that frames and is part of the fabric of our lives, and our identity even as a nation. Here’s one of gospel and pop music’s greatest voices… when you listen to her great pop songs, how can you NOT hear the influence of gospel all up in her vocals? Gospel down in my neck of the woods is as close to us as our breath… a part of life not going anywhere, as long as people continue to sing…

    I Go To The Rock – Whitney Houston

  6. Gotta throw the Winans in the mix of Modern day Gospel greats, then I’m done, lolol… Can’t help it, Gospel music is near and dear to my heart, and I just can’t keep still when listening to , or discussing it, lol… this song still gives me chills… touches those deep darks in my spirit… like good Gospel is supposed to 🙂

    Question Is

    • Shanny in Australia

      Haha, your description sounds like me with David’s music….and I assume most fans who follow him online. Thanks for posting those vids GG. Intersting and enjoyable.

      HG and GG, I’ve got to get to bed now but I would still love to get your feedback on Hillsong if you get a moment please…? Do you think they would fit the broad definition of Gospel or not…? Thanking you. 🙂

      • Shanny- Hi. Most of what I own is Christian contemporary. Hillsong definitely fits into that category, along with Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant (in her older days), Crystal Lewis, Avalon. don’t know the technical differences between Christian contemp. and gospel, but Hillsong’s concerts are designed to lead people into worshipping God, so I’d say they’re in the Praise & Worship category.

        The Bill Gaither Vocal Band holds several concerts a year with a large group of Christian artists, and the concerts pretty much serve the same purpose as Hillsong, but the style of the music is called southern gospel. It’s just more…country-sounding. lol. Less of a rock or pop feel.

        I dunno. I don’t really consider Hillsong a gospel group, but maybe the next person would…I’m a big help, huh? lol.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Yeah, I never thought of them as being ‘Gospel’ either but I do hear some similarities. Who knows. But it seems GG and HG have voted for no. And you and I are unsure. lol *shrugs*

  7. ”GG that article seems to explain what I tend to think of when I hear the term ‘Gospel’, I just assumed it must be more diverse than that these days…?”

    Unfortunately not as diverse in the genre as one would like to think…. Shanny. Christian music (CCM) and it’s charts, stations, etc has become so… segmented, or truth be said, and I’m not afraid to speak truth – segregated, it seems. Whether it is an intentional ‘segregation’ is conversation for another time, but so called ‘Christian’ music more often than not has become the codeword for the type of contemporary religious Christian based music sung by singers other than AA, or black, while ‘Gospel’ music, ”praise and Worship’ music tends to be code or the catchall term used for the religious Christian music sung by AA’s. There may be small overlaps in vocal ‘style’, production and arrangements by some singers, but the lines are drawn.

    Music is so subjective, cultural differences, styles and tastes play a large role in the kind of Christian music one prefers or listens to. Singers like David, they possess that rare gift to be able to interpret and sing in so many different styles, and be convincing in them all. IMO, Gospel music is a style very much in his vocal and spiritual (I hope I’m not overreaching) wheelhouse. It seems to come to him effortlessly and naturally, and for me, Good Gospel singing and its singers must be able to use their voices in a way that elicits an emotional and spiritual response and connection in their listeners.

    I get shaky just thinking about it *wink*

    • Shanny in Australia

      Hmmmm……so what you are saying is it seems, if you are black and you sing charismatic style Christian music, it is classified as ‘Gospel’ but if you are white and you sing charismatic styled Christian music it is classified as ‘Christian music’?

      As for it being in David’s wheelhouse…..as soon as I began watching the vid HG posted, “Israel and New Breed, All Around” I was reminded of David’s latino heritage and Lupe’s musical influence. I even saw some people dancing a few salsa moves halfway through, so there must be a similar feel to that song.

  8. My guess Shanny… Hillsong would be classified as Contemporary Christian, not Gospel.

  9. HG, as much as I love Smokie’s recorded version, he really gives it to us live. Part 1.

    Then he finishes with this.

    If David were to really let go on a gospel song…oh, my.

  10. A birthday card for David, for anyone who wants to sign. Needs to be signed by Nov 25.


  11. One of the most popular songs currently playing on Seattle’s main Christian station is Mandisa’s “Stronger.” Mandisa, of course, is the very talented singer from Season 5 of American Idol.

  12. Here’s what a find to be a successful melding of pop and gospel from the Australian band Newsboys.

  13. “Here’s what I find…”

  14. Shanny in Australia

    Hey guys, just wanted to say thanks for answering my questions and for sharing vids and things. I appreciate the time and care it takes. 🙂

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