My chat with Bill Gaither.
I looked hard, its not a wig!
I jest , but I guess the point is that Southern Gospel comes all sorts of labels, and old men with dodgy wigs is one that many of us could relate to. Perhaps you think its all quartet singing with the bass singer out to prove his is the deepest voice on the stage. It’s probably fair to say that the stereotypes have not helped the genre and that’s a shame. I say that because this style of singing is not only fun but also music that stirs the soul and moves the heart.
Maybe I owe my love of Southern Gospel to mum. She sang in a country band when a girl, however I remember her singing with Ann Sim at Oamaru Baptist Church. The Youth For Christ choir also sang Southern Gospel but I did not know it was called that. For me the defining moment was staying with Phil Dunk from Aussie’s Vision Radio in Brisbane. He had a ‘wall’ of Southern Gospel DVD’s and as soon as I hear one I had to hear the lot. In today’s language it was instant addiction.
And like all sports and fields of endeavor there’s a climber at the top, someone who epitomes the brand. In this case it is the person who performed open heart surgery on the brand and brought it back to life. I had to meet him. I was mad keen to interview him and when the opportunity presented itself in Belfast, Northern Ireland I made it happen. Well actually, All I did was begged and cried and music people made it happen.
If you have no idea who Bill Gaither is, if you can’t sing the first few lines of ‘He Touched Me’ and you can’t name his wife then do not click the link below. If however you love the ‘official music of heaven’ you might enjoy my wee chat with Bill.
I think he’s a legend and it was a pleasure to meet and chat. Oh, he doesn’t wear a wig. That hair is all his!