From the mountain came a simple song
So pure and sweet you had to sing along
Full of faith and hope in a love that’s true and tried.
It spread like fire out across this land
Cool as water to the desert sand
I do believe this song is just an echo from the other side.
And they call it gospel music
Somehow it gets inside and moves me
With its two- and three- and four-part harmony.
Something happens when I’m with my friends
Singing ’bout a love that never ends,
Thankful that the good, good news is
Why we’re singing gospel music!
Now this gospel’s more than form or style
More than meeting ev’ry once in a while
And a whole lot more than feeling fine and talkin’ ’bout the “good old days.”
The songs we love have lived for me and you
Not because they’re old but ’cause they’re true
And I’ve proved it for myself that serving Jesus really pays.
That’s why they call it gospel music…
Lyric: Gloria Gaither and Russ Taff / Music: Russ Taff / Copyright © 2003 Hannah Street Music, Tori Taff Music. All rights reserved.
Sometimes you just gotta ask the right question.
“How thick is the veil between this world and the next?” Russ Taff asked Gloria Gaither one day over a strong cup of coffee.
“I believe it’s so thin you can blow it open with a whisper!” Gloria grinned, dimples deep, brows lifted.
That response stayed with Russ, and he began musing about the times heaven invaded the earth; when God couldn’t contain His love so He broke out in song, dancing and rejoicing over us. Or when suddenly clouds rolled open in the thin place and startled shepherds were serenaded by a midnight sky full of worshipping angels announcing their joyous ovations of glorious praise, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all men on whom His favor rests.”
Good News, planet Earth … The Savior is born!
While Russ was imagining the elation of that supernatural invasion, he began wondering what the moment was like when the sound of our own organic and authentic gospel music was birthed in what was then a young nation. All at once, it was as if he was pulled back in time to the fog-kissed hills of North Carolina or Tennessee where he saw an old settler rocking on the front porch of a primitive log cabin strumming his hand-carved guitar.
As he began writing and singing his simple praise to the listening sky, all at once for the first time, there came an echo from the other side. Something broke through … a whisper of hope and faith. Angels and Creative Beings in two, three and four-part harmonies began joining the old-timer in mellifluous mountain music. Good News with banjos pluckin,’ juice harps twangin’ and tenors crooning their rapturous heart songs.
A God who sings hymns and hillbilly.
Russ grabbed his guitar and began singing what he saw and heard in that precious moment of creative clarity and sweet inspiration. It was a start … a peephole punch through the thin veil. A few days later, in a very smart move, he joined up with “the Lyric Whisperer,” Gloria. (So many of us whom she has mentored have learned if you need a song fixed or tweaked … call Gloria.) Well, together they completely broke through and finished birthing the toe-tapping song, “They Call It Gospel Music,” later featured on Gaither’s Red Rocks Homecoming.
Gospel music is so different from other music because it touches and stirs the supernatural realm. All genres of music can tug at our emotions and even call us higher to the dimension of love. But only the Gospel, the Good News, can consistently kick open the door to the Presence, the Voice and the glorious interactive realm of heaven kissing the earth … where He is in the room and all the Kingdom of Light resounds their “Amen!”
That’s why "They Call It Gospel Music"…
— Reba Rambo-McGuire