The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul radio documentary, hosted by Cece Winans

Hosted by GRAMMY award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans, Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul is produced by Philadelphia public radio station WXPN and distributed by NPR. Through in-depth interviews with historians and musicians, and a backdrop of gospel, rock and soul music, the four-hour documentary will be broadcast on WFPK this Saturday, June 19th, from noon till 4 p.m.

The first hour begins 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 by WXPN from gospel groups The Fairfield Four, The McCrary Sisters, and The Dixie Hummingbirds.


Stacy Owen | Louisville Public Media

Sunday at 2 p.m.
A Call for Freedom with WUOL’s Kiana Del

We’ll dig into the concept of freedom using Black American music as our language. Moving through the base elements of jazz, we’ll explore the history of Juneteenth, the cry for and celebration of liberation, as well as what history’s musicians have had to say about it.

Stacy is the WFPK Program Director.