Gospel Music | South Carolina Public Radio


"G" is for Gospel Music. Gospel music as a genre consists of two major categories, White Gospel and Black Gospel. Both styles share similar musical routes that stem from the evangelical religious movements of the 1800s, especially camp meetings and singing schools. White Gospel originated in the shape-note hymnody of the early 19th century. In the 1920s with the advent of radio, Southern Gospel was launched with the appearance of the first male Gospel quartets. Well-known South Carolina groups included the High Neighbor Quartet and the Palmetto State Quartet. Early Black Gospel developed along similar lines. Male quartets became popular in the traditional era (1930-1960), which featured a capella singing and acoustic instruments. Perhaps the best-known group from South Carolina was the Dixie Hummingbirds. Contemporary Gospel music is differentiated from traditional forms by the addition of multiple lead singers and expanded instrumentation including electrical instruments.