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In The Gaithers and Southern Gospel, Ryan P. Harper examines songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither's Homecoming video and concert series--a gospel music franchise that, since its beginning in 1991, has outperformed all Christian and much secular popular music on the American music market.
The Homecomings represent "southern gospel." Typically that means a musical style popular among white evangelical Christians in the American South and Midwest, and it sometimes overlaps in style, theme, and audience with country music. The Homecomings' nostalgic orientation--their celebration of "traditional" kinds of American Christian life--harmonize well with southern gospel music, past and present. But amidst the backward gazes, the Homecomings also portend and manifest change. The Gaithers' deliberate racial integration of their stages, their careful articulation of a relatively inclusive evangelical theology, and their experiments with an array of musical forms demonstrate that the Homecoming is neither simplistically nostalgic, nor solely "southern."
Harper reveals how the Gaithers negotiate a tension between traditional and changing community norms as they seek simultaneously to maintain and expand their audience as well as to initiate and respond to shifts within their fan base. Pulling from his field work at Homecoming concerts, behind the scenes with the Gaithers, and with numerous Homecoming fans, Harper reveals the Homecoming world to be a dynamic, complicated constellation in the formation of American religious identity.
"Fandom, southern masculinity, nostalgia, and a text known as Gloria 3:16 (I won't explain; you'll have to open the book to discover what that means): these are just a few of the many perches on which Ryan Harper lands, and which he illumines, in The Gaithers and Southern Gospel. Harper is a wonderful writer and a winsome narrator."
--Lauren F. Winner, Duke Divinity School
"In this well-written, well-researched study, Ryan Harper explores the work of singer-songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither in developing a powerful musical and Protestant subculture in American popular entertainment. Harper's insightful analysis tells the 'Gaither story' within the context of evangelical piety, gospel hymnody, old-time religion, and entrepreneurial media know-how."
--Bill J. Leonard, Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies and Church History, Wake Forest University
"From small concerts to large praise gatherings, from the first Christian 'Gold' album in Alleluia! A Praise Gathering for Believers, to leadership roles in the Gospel Music Association and the Christian community, to their Homecoming concerts, Bill and Gloria Gaither have written songs that are Christian classics, and their partnership in the Homecomings is the story of a true marriage team. This book is the story of the Gaithers' 'Homecomings, ' from backstage to out front, a remarkable story about a remarkable duo."
--Don Cusic, Curb Professor of Music Industry History at Belmont University and author of Saved by Song: A History of Gospel and Christian Music
Title: The Gaithers and Southern Gospel: Homecoming...
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication Date: 2017
Book Condition: Good
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 2017. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 1496810902-2-4
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 2017. Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # 1496810902_abe_vg
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 2017. Hardcover. Condition: LIKE NEW. Publisher overstock copy. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Seller Inventory # 1496810902_abe_ln
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 2017. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Has little wear to the cover and pages. Contains some markings such as highlighting and writing. Seller Inventory # 1496810902_abe_gd
Book Description University Press of Mississippi 2017-04-26, 2017. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Books is in good condition. Some moderate creases and wear. This item may not come with CDs or additional parts including access codes for textbooks. Might be an ex-library copy. Seller Inventory # DS-1496810902-3
Book Description University Press of Mississippi. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 1496810902 Crisp, clean, unread book with some shelfwear - NICE. Seller Inventory # Z1496810902Z2
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Book Description University Press of Mississipp, 2019. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # VIB1496810902
Book Description University Press of Mississipp, 2019. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # P111496810902
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 2017. HRD. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9781496810908