I had the great privilege of meeting and interviewing Andrae Crouch. It was the earl 1990s in Nashville, TN during a Gospel Music Association week which always concluded with the Dove Awards. During those years I was working at a radio station on Long Island, NY and would attend the GMA every year and do my show from the hotel. One of those years Andrea was one of my many guests.
I was introduced to Andrea and his music in 1972 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. At that time I was living in New Jersey and our church youth group chartered a bus to attend the Jesus Joy concert. This was at the height of the Jesus Movement and the very beginning of what has come to be known as contemporary Christian music.
There were quite a few artists on the bill that night and the show was sold out. Overflow audience was seated across the street at the Calvary Baptist Church. When an act finished their set at Carnegie, they’d run across the street and do it again for the hundreds of people crowded into the church.
We got home late that night because, Andrae. At that time he was touring and recording as Andreae Crouch & The Disciples and they closed the show. Good thing. No one could have followed Andrae. No one would have wanted to.
Andrae was instrumental in bridging the gap between black and white Christian music and contemporary forms of music with more traditional church music. His artistry and excellence afforded him rare opportunities to share the Gospel to a wide mainstream audience. He appeared on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson and many others. He worked with people like Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr, Diana Ross, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and others. He did the music for movies and TV shows like “Amen” with Sherman Hemsley, “The Color Purple” and “The Lion King.”
Andrae passed away on January 8, 2015 after suffering a heart and battling diabetes. He was 72. During his life he won 7 Grammy Awards, 6 Dove Awards, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“My Tribute (To God Be The Glory)” was released in 1972 on the album “Keep On Singin’.” Andrae recorded this video version during a Gospel Music Association week in 1996 with an all-star choir of urban Gospel, contemporary Christian and southern Gospel artists.
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