Glorious Gospel

Glorious Gospel

Welcome to Glorious Gospel.  A website about gospel and gospel artists.

On this website, you can read biographies on many of the most important gospel artists.  We regularly add new biographies.  If you want to suggest an artist that you think we should feature then you can do so here.

Gospel Artist of the month

Muyiwa Olarewaju

Muyiwa Olarewaju

Muyiwa Olarewaju (b. 1970) is a British gospel singer-songwriter and radio host of Nigerian ancestry. He is known for blending traditional gospel music with elements of musical styles hailing from parts of Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, as well as R&B, soul and pop.

He is the leader of the musical collective Riversongz.

Read more about Muyiwa Olarewaju.

Popular Gospel artists

Arizona Dranes

Arizona Dranes

Juanita Dranes (1889/1891-1963), known professionally as Arizona Dranes, was a blind gospel singer and pianist from Texas, USA. She was one of the first professional female gospel singers.

In the 1920s, she started performing at Church of Good in Christ (COGIC) meetings, where the singing and piano playing Danes would incorporate a syncopated, ragtime style into her gospel accompaniment. It was during this era that she established songs such as “I Shall Wear A Crown,” “My Soul’s a Witness for the Lord,” and “Lamb’s Blood Has Washed Me Clean” as COGIC standards.

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Ira David Sankey

Ira David SankeyIra David Sankey (1840-1908) was a gospel singer and composer from Pennsylvania. He introduced a musical style that would influence church services and evangelical music for generations, and some of the hymns that he wrote are still sung today.

Together with the preacher Dwight L. Moody, Sankey carried out a series of religious revival campaigns in the United States and Britain in the late 19th century, and they became principal figures in the northern, urban, white revivalism of this era in the U.S. Moody would preach and Sankey would sing old and new hymns with his strong baritone voice.

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta TharpeSister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973) was an American gospel singer, songwriter, and guitarist who started performing together with her mother as a child. In the 1930s and 1940s, her gospel recordings became very popular and she is considered one of the first recording stars of gospel music.

Tharpe is noted for her unique and groundbreaking blend of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniments that appealed not just to traditional gospel audiences but to fans of rythm-and-bluse and rock-and-roll as well. Her career helped push gospel music into the mainstream and heralded the rise of pop-gospel.

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Common question about gospel music

What is Gospel?

Gospel is a type of Christian music primarily associated with the American South where the music originated in the 17th century.  The music is not played all over the US and in many other parts of the world but remains most prevalent in the American South.  Gospel music is often played in churches but is also played in other settings. The style of music has a lot in common with country music.  Gospel is played both as a part of religious ceremonies and as entertainment.

What are the characteristics of Gospel?

Gospel music focuses on dominant lyrics and usually features Christian lyrics.  The music often talks about god.   The music takes notes from the black oral tradition and from religious hymns.   Gospel music can in many ways be seen as a modern take on the classic hymn.   The music is often sung acapella but can be accompanied with instrumental music and it is very common that the audiences are encouraged to clap or stomp their feet in beat with the song being sung.  The clapping enhances the gospel and allows all in the audience to become part of the music.

How old is Gospel music?

Gospel music started to develop in the 17th century but the first recorded mentioning of a gospel song was made in 1874.

Is Gospel related to rock and roll?

Rock and roll is considered a derivative from gospel music. What this means is that rock and roll have developed from gospel music.  Other types of music that have developed from gospel include soul and country music.   It is a bit ironic that what was once called the devil’s music was a development of Christian gospel music.