Dr Deborah Smith Pollard, "When the Church Becomes Your Party"

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Air date: 
Tue, 11/04/2008 - 9:30am to 10:00am
Dr Deborah Smith Pollard discusses her "When the Church Becomes Your Party," an examination of contemporary gospel music.

Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard discusses her work, "When Your Church Becomes Your Party," an examination of  contemporary gospel music.

What distinguishes this book from other gospel music scholarship is its marriage of elements from the church, the academy, and the medium of radio—an unconventional combination paralleling the author's own unique background. Drawing primarily, though not exclusively, from her Detroit upbringing, Pollard, as ethnographer, provides data garnered from Detroit-area church musicians and ministers, from her work in Detroit urban radio, and from her own doctoral-level research. Although Pollard does highlight influential gospel artists from various parts of the country, she focuses on Detroit, an urban center that has served as home to world-renowned gospel artists, preachers, and musicians like the Reverend C. L. Franklin and his daughter Aretha; has nurtured lineages of gospel talents, including the Clarks, the Winans, and the Allens; and has given birth to the Gospel Music Workshop of America, reportedly the largest conference associated with the genre of gospel music.

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