Gospel Music Heritage Month

By Jenny Bennett | managing editor, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Tue, 06/24/2008 - 19:36

album promo image for Gospel Music Heritage Month

Pictured at the event at the Capitol (left to right): Gospel music advocate Carl Davis, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Gospel Music Channel founder and president Charles Humbard, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), president/CEO of The Recording Academy® Neil Portnow, and Gospel Music Channel senior director of music development Alvin Williams.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 23, 2008 – Gospel Music Channel television network has joined with Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-Ark.), Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), and The Recording Academy® to launch the "Gospel Music Heritage Month" initiative. The legislation in the House of Representatives (H.Con. Res. 370) and the Senate (S. Res. 595) designates September 2008 as Gospel Music Heritage Month, honoring gospel music for its valuable long-standing contributions to American culture. The initiative was created by Gospel Music Channel, the country's first and only 24/7 television network devoted to all forms of Gospel/Christian music. The initiative was publicly unveiled at The Recording Academy's GRAMMY®s on the Hill event at the U.S. Capitol on June 18.

"Gospel Music is a cornerstone of the American musical tradition and has grown beyond its established audience to achieve pop-culture and historical relevance across the globe," said Lincoln."My home state of Arkansas has a rich history in gospel music and I am proud to honor this tradition that has touched audiences around the world."

"In addition to its contribution to American music, gospel music has provided the cultural and musical backdrop across all of mainstream media, including art, books, television and motion pictures. It is infused in the DNA of our entire society and a month to recognize its importance and vast contributions to our country is long overdue," commented Hutchison.

"Gospel music is an important American legacy and continues to play a significant role of the lives of millions. It is appropriate to honor the countless contributions Gospel music has made to our society," said Leahy.

"Gospel music is an historical American art form that has spanned hundreds of generations and both inspires and entertains across racial, ethnic, religious, and geographic boundaries. We must officially recognize the great contributions to American culture that have derived from the rich heritage of gospel music and its artists," said Jackson-Lee.

"By surpassing culturally constructed boundaries, gospel music has emerged as the musical thread uniting the fabric of America and is more popular than ever. It is important that we recognize and celebrate the vital role that gospel music and all its many styles have played in shaping music history," commented Bono Mack.

"This is the opportunity for the millions of gospel/Christian music fans to have their own national month to honor and celebrate the rich heritage of their music," said Charles Humbard, founder and president, Gospel Music Channel. "We thank Senators Lincoln, Hutchison and Leahy, and Representatives Jackson-Lee and Bono Mack, for their efforts and The Recording Academy for its partnership. We look forward to celebrating 'Gospel Music Heritage Month' in September."

"A key mission of The Recording Academy is recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture," said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy. "To have gospel music nationally recognized in the month of September pays great homage to this influential and inspirational genre. It's an honor to make this announcement at our GRAMMYs on the Hill event in our nation's capital."

Gospel Music Channel (GMC) is the nation's first and only 24/7 television network devoted to the uplifting, inspiring and diverse music that is Gospel/Christian music. Gospel Music Channel is the fastest-growing network in television today and can be seen in nearly 40 million homes on various cable systems around the country and on DIRECTV.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards – the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music – The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. In its 50th year, The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit grammy.com.

Media Contacts:
Jim Weiss/Gospel Music Channel/ 770.692.4579
Jennifer Keppel/The Recording Academy/ 310.392.3777

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