Let’s sing gospel

Charley Akin

Gospel music has taken on many forms and styles over many years and has been sung and performed by countless individuals, bands, quartets, choirs and other groups. My favorite of all those is the traditional or “old Southern” variety done in four-part harmony with a single acoustical instrument backup. Tune in to the Chuck Wagon Gang on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.

Listening to and singing gospel music in four-part harmony was a part of everyday life in the Oklahoma Bible Belt of my early days. Back in those days I was an above average singer and participated many times in quartets and other groups performing largely in church activities.

Over the years, I’ve heard many locally and nationally known groups perform this music, but none like the Chuck Wagon Gang. You may know that the “Gang” started in 1935 on a local radio station and is still going strong today with the same sound now as then. They’ve inspired multitudes to “just listen” and many more to “just sing” during the 80 years since.

Ideally, this style of music is done with female soprano and alto voices and male tenor and bass voices. I’ve found a couple of people who are interested; there may be others who would like to try to do it like the Gang does it; four-part harmony with a single acoustical instrument backup.

I’ve lived in Oakwood for 15 years and have been amazed at the number and variety of activities that abound. But I’ve never heard of an activity like this; maybe it’s time. If you share my tastes, you’re invited to join in. Or, if you know someone who does, they’re welcome; it’s open to anyone who likes to sing gospel.

The group will meet weekly on Monday afternoons from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Ceramics room at the Oakwood Arts and Crafts center. The first session was September 26. Come on down and bring your favorite old time gospel song.

Call Charley at 602-370-8550 or email at [email protected] for more information.