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Gospel Music Heritage Month Returns This September; GMC Unveils Celebration Plans

by Staff
September 2, 2009
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WASHINGTON D.C. & ATLANTA, ( -- The greatest names in gospel music will be featured on-air, online and on-demand as Gospel Music Channel (GMC) celebrates National Gospel Music Heritage Month across multiple platforms this September.

For the second consecutive year, GMC joined with the United States Senate and the House of Representatives to create the "National Gospel Music Heritage Month" initiative. The dual legislation passed by the House and the Senate designates September 2009 as "Gospel Music Heritage Month," honoring gospel music for its valuable and long-standing contributions to American culture. The initiative was created by the Gospel Music Channel; joining GMC as sponsors of "Gospel Music Heritage Month" are The Recording Academy®, the Gospel Music Association (GMA), the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) and The Stellar Awards.

On-air, Gospel Music Channel will celebrate the heritage of gospel music each weekend in September with world television and network premieres, documentaries, concerts, original specials and series, interstitial pieces, music videos and more. Highlights include concerts and documentaries featuring Al Green (Sept. 27, 8pm), Dr. Bobby Jones (Sept. 27, 9 pm), the world television premiere of Smokie Norful Live (Sept. 20, 9pm), the GMC premieres of How Sweet the Sound (Sept 13, 8pm), the Verizon-sponsored search for the best church choir in America, hosted by Donald Lawrence and the dazzling concert film Gospel (Sept. 13, 9pm) featuring James Cleveland, Walter Hawkins and Shirley Caesar; special Saturday night-long tributes to the biggest names in contemporary Gospel/Christian music including Third Day (Sept. 5), Michael W. Smith (Sept. 12), tobyMac (Sept. 19) and Kirk Franklin (Sept. 26); a special encore of the 2009 Stellar Awards (Sept. 6, 8 pm) and much more. Entertaining and historical short-form and interstitial pieces will be seen throughout the month. COMPLETE SCHEDULE ATTACHED.

Online, will feature historic and classic performances and other footage, expanded interviews, historical trivia, and a calendar of gospel-related events. GMC affiliates will be able to access a toolkit including web banners, logos, and other materials to help promote the month.

On-demand, programming and content will be available in GMC's Video-on-Demand offerings as well. In addition, GMC is teaming with a wide spectrum of partners to promote the month, including: Cable operators Cox Communications, Comcast and Charter; The House of Blues; EBONY/JET Magazine Group; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Parable Christian Stores and others. Also, GMC gospel singers will be singing the National Anthem and a PSA will run on the jumbotron at professional sporting events around the country, including Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Chargers, NY Red Bulls/Giants Stadium and WNBA games.

Gospel Music Heritage Month honors a true American art form for its vast contributions to our culture, bringing a message of hope and inspiration to people of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. People are encouraged to celebrate Gospel Music Heritage Month by attending concerts, events, watching and listening to gospel music, learning and reading about gospel music and more.

Gospel Music Channel is the fastest-growing network in television and can be seen in 45 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224.

GMC's Gospel Music Heritage Month 2009 On-Air Schedule

Saturday, Sept 5 - Third Day Night

8pm -- Faith & Fame: Third Day takes viewers off stage and up close and personal with one of Christian music's most enduring rock bands.

9pm -- Third Day: Revealed - In this GMC original series in which 'Unplugged meets Storytellers + Faith,' Third Day performs and shares the stories behind their latest, greatest hits, including "Call My Name," "Cry Out to Jesus," "I've Always Loved You" and more.

10pm -- Faith & Fame: Third Day

11pm -- Third Day: Revealed

Sunday, Sept 6

8pm -- 2009 Stellar Awards- Performers include Tye Tribbett and Greater Anointing, Dionne Warwick, Heather Headley, Donnie McClurkin with Karen Clark Sheard, Da T.R.U.T.H., Jonathan Nelson and Purpose, Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC's, 21:03 and more.

10pm -- Clash of the Choirs -- Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland and Blake Shelton return to their hometowns to assemble amateur choirs and prepare for competition.

11pm -- 2009 Stellar Awards

Saturday, Sept 12 - Michael W. Smith Night

8pm -- Faith & Fame: Michael W. Smith takes viewers inside the very full life of one of Christian music's biggest hit-makers.

9pm -- Front Row Live: Michael W. Smith showcases live performances by this 25-year music veteran delivering both classics ("Friends" and "This Is Your Time") alongside later worshipful anthems like "Above All" and "Healing Rain."

10pm -- Faith & Fame: Michael W. Smith

11pm -- Front Row Live: Michael W. Smith

Sunday, Sept 13

8pm -- How Sweet the Sound (Premiere) - Donald Lawrence hosts this Verizon-sponsored search for the best church choir in America. Traditional, contemporary, and everything in between, this unprecedented talent search goes nationwide in search and in celebration of the music that is Gospel.

9pm -- Gospel (Premiere) GMC debuts the rousing 1983 documentary/concert film featuring James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir, Walter Hawkins and the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, Twinkie Clark and The Clark Sisters

11pm -- How Sweet the Sound, Encore

12 am -- Gospel, Encore

Saturday, Sept 19 - tobyMac Night

8pm -- Faith & Fame: tobyMac - Gives fans an intimate look inside the inspirational life of a truly groundbreaking singer, writer, rapper, innovator and activist who broke into the gospel scene in 1999 with dcTalk, which led to their GRAMMY award-winning album Jesus Freak.

9pm -- tobyMac: Alive & Transported - Feature performances from tobyMac's three critically acclaimed solo records and reveals why this man and his stellar band, Diverse City, have wowed audiences all over the world.

10pm -- Faith & Fame: tobyMac

11pm -- tobyMac: Alive & Transported

Sunday, Sept 20

8pm -- Oh Happy Day (Premiere) -- The 1987 follow-up to Gospel also featuring James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir, Walter Hawkins and the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, Twinkie Clark and the Clark Sisters

9pm -- Smokie Norful Live -- (World television premiere) Recorded in Memphis, Smokie Norful Live showcases this Grammy, Dove & Stellar Award winner's riveting artistic persona, as well as his passionate, pastoral heart. It's high energy, call-and- response praise and worship with a big dose of funk and soul thrown in for good measure on songs like "I Will Bless the Lord," "Justified" and "Don't Quit."

10pm -- Clash of the Choirs

Saturday, Sept 26 - Kirk Frankin Night

8pm -- Faith & Fame: Kirk Franklin is packed with high octane performances and revealing stories --an inside look at this groundbreaking, GRAMMY-winning gospel artist like you've never seen him before: transparent about his painful upbringing, the power of addiction in his life and the depth of faith it takes to be the man he is today.

9pm -- Front Row Live: Kirk Franklin leaves no room for doubt that he is one of the most influential, groundbreaking artists in the history of gospel music. Features performances of selections from Franklin's 2005 CD Hero.

10pm -- Faith & Fame: Kirk Franklin

11pm -- Front Row Live: Kirk Franklin

Sunday, Sept 27

8pm -- Al Green: Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Premiere) - No one does Gospel with more soul than the Rev. Al Green. Filmed live at Anaheim's Celebrity Theater, Everything's Gonna Be Alright features the Reverend and the L.A. Mass Choir singing classics "In the Holy Name of Jesus," "Amazing Grace" and "Jesus Will Fix It."

9pm -- Bobby Jones: Faith Unscripted finds this pioneer celebrating his musical journey, on stage 'having Church' with the greatest gospel voices of yesterday and today, including The Clark Sisters, Tye Tribbett, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Micah Stampley, along with Nashville's Fisk University's 'Super Choir.'

10pm -- Clash of the Choirs

11pm -- Al Green Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Encore

12am -- Bobby Jones: Faith Unscripted, Encore

All Times Eastern

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