January 12, 2015

PLAY IT AGAIN, ANDRAE:

ANDRAÉ CROUCH, "THE GREATEST HYMN WRITER OF OUR AGE," DIES AT 72 (Anthea Butler, 1/12/15, Religion Dispatches)

Andraé Crouch, the incomparable songwriter, gospel singer and preacher, died in Los Angeles on January 9, 2015 of a heart attack. Billy Graham once said of Crouch that he was "The greatest hymn writer of our age, the modern day John Wesley." More than any other contemporary gospel singer and songwriter, Andraé Crouch helped to integrate contemporary gospel music, and to bridge the sacred and secular worlds with a clear, simple, yet brilliant presentation of his Christian faith.

In a world full of sappy Christian music--with its dubious theology and soft pabulum--Crouch's music is exceptional for its power.

Like many gospel singers/musicians, Crouch got his start at his father's church with no formal training. To top it off, he was dyslexic and stuttered, which meant that he always felt lonely as a child, and at a disadvantage when making music. His first big hit, "The Blood Will Never Lose its Power" was written when he was only 14.

That's right, 14.

At a backyard BBQ hosted by James Cleveland, and attended by Billy Preston, Crouch heard hearing Preston playing. Feeling a bit inadequate to all of the luminaries at the BBQ, Crouch asked God to give him a song, and while watching BBQ sauce being poured over ribs, heard blood splashing and had a vision of Jesus and people standing behind him. Playing some chords, he asked Billy Preston to come over and play while he sang. Later, thinking the song wasn't good enough, he threw it in the trash, only to have his twin sister Sandra retrieve it from the trash and say, "play it again."

The rest, as they say is history.
,br.,br.
Posted by at January 12, 2015 4:08 PM
  

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