When I was a child, my four younger sisters and I enjoyed a home filled with the heavenly strains of southern gospel music. By the time I was in grade school, the Goodmans and the Florida Boys were nearly as familiar to me as my own aunts and uncles. Our parents listened to the local, Christian radio stations which featured these and other southern gospel groups and took us to concerts when our favorites were in town. It was no surprise that my sisters and I ended up forming our own quartet, singing at church and camp meetings in the southern, gospel style. As we grew up and left home, our own group fell apart, but our love for southern gospel never left us.
Unfortunately, as my husband and I were raising our own family, we lived in an area where there was no radio station featuring southern, gospel music. We had to content ourselves with listening to the weekly Gospel Greats radio program on the contemporary Christian station and occasionally watching Gaither videos at Grandma's house. Now, from the Gospel Music Channel, America's only dedicated Gospel/Christian music television network, comes another great opportunity to not only see exclusive performances of my favorite artists, but meet rising stars coming up on the southern gospel music horizon with the launch of their new series, Four: Southern Gospel's Best.
This program first premiered on February 25, 2009, and now airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (EST) following The Gaither Gospel Hour. Brian Free of the sensational group, Brian Free & Assurance, hosts this weekly program showcasing the greatest names in southern gospel music today. Not only do you get to view exclusive new performances of each group, you'll also see interviews highlighting their histories, their families, their accomplishments, and a glimpse of their own hearts.
When I received the review copy for this program, I was thrilled to find the edition included — along with Jeff and Sheri Easter and the Whisnants — my all-time favorite southern, gospel group, the Hoppers. The music, of course, was fabulous, but meeting the people behind the music really added a new dimension to my love for these groups. You get to share in both the blessings and trials these very real people face on the road and in their personal lives. It was especially nice to see that the artists are just down-to-earth people like you and I. You just don't get to see that side of them while they are performing. With its exclusive music performances and never before seen personal interviews, Four lends a personal touch to the great southern gospel music I love and enjoy.
If you are curious about this “distinctively American-bred genre of music,” or are already a lover of southern gospel, then head on over to the Gospel Music Channel on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. (EST) and catch this great new program, Four: Southern Gospel's Best. Check your local cable network for channel listings (DIRECTV, channel 338) or go to their website to search for a cable channel in your area. You may also learn more about Four at its website.