Gaither: The X-Files

The X-files? Gaither? Gaither has X-files? Yes he does! He’s got this video that was never released to unknown reasons…or reasons never confirmed by anyone high-ranking in the gospel music conglomerate. ‘Ok?! some of you say, so what?! He’s put so many videos out there already, who needs this one tape? One tape? No actually two tapes…full of black gospel legends. People like Albertina Walker, Danibelle Hall, Dorothy Norwood,James Lennox, and Doris Akers!

My first encounter with Doris her music was through hearing Elvis sing ‘Lead Me, Guide Me’. And later seeing Elvis inviting The Stamps Quartet to sing ‘Sweet Sweet Spirit’ live in concert somewhere in Virginia I believe.
That that footage didn’t end on the editors cutting floor is remarkable at itself.  I mean it was a film about the King not about ‘the help‘. But I like to believe that the director of the film felt that Sweet,Sweet Spirit, and choose to keep it. The entire  concert-tour was filmed and released in edited form. The movie was titled as ‘On Tour’ and it won a Golden Globe award in 1972 for best documentary! The only award Elvis ever won for his movie work.  Back from the King of Rock and Roll to the King of Gospel music. Bill Gaither….or more appropriate King William! Gaither had his complete studio filled with the brothers and sisters who know how to sing, and play!
And basically kept it to himself! Listen to the great Herbert ‘Pee Wee’ Pickard longtime piano player for the Gospel Harmonettes tickle the ivory of ‘Jesus Will Fix It’.  Pickard played with Lionel Hampton at the age of eleven! Anyway these folks on those tapes are not only thankful for walking in The Light, but enjoying every freaking minute of it.
They are not just being all spiritual and all, they are spiritual! They sing the song, and they are the song! They lived it!  Whether a song of praise, or a song about what it means to be weak and so damn human all the time! They own every word it, and suffer just like the rest of us!
Yet they raise their hands, weeping and moaning and groaning! Still pressing the upward way! As the reverend Jaspar Williams said while he was introducing the song ‘Higher Ground’ on a Aretha Franklin record. ‘These are dark day we’re living in’. And they are, back like they were in the 80’s , when it was recorded. It was released under the title ‘One Lord One Faith One Baptism’ on Arista records. If you don’t have it, buy it! It’s amazing, it’s a power station. You’ll get energyzed…food for the soul. Just like these Gaither X-files could charge your batteries so you may be able to continue to share that Light to the world!!!

Gaither had his studio filled to capacity with guys like Billy Preston, Donald Vails, Ralph Goodpasteur, and the amazing Richard Smallwood a.k.a. Quincy Jones of black gospel music.

The videos were not released because of what? Management issues? Financial stuff…c’mon what?? Yeah what?! You heard it! What in the world could be so important that this treasure was kept from the public? Money issues…????  What? Or was the ‘host‘ of this event putting the competition to bed early? Real early! I mean I love, love white gospel too….believest thou me. Can’t believe I’m still explaining myself. Nothing gets me fired up as black gospel…there I said it!

Only take one look at them sing!

I love to watch Afro-Americans sing…it’s fysical meets’s dynamic. George Younce stated on the legendary ‘Live in Atlanta’ album when he introduced the song ‘Rivers of Joy’  ‘they just got something white folks ain’t got, when it comes to singing’.  He said they heard a black group sing this song, and that they (the Cathedral Quartet) would not be able to sing it like them. Here’s the version George most likely referred to 
  These X-file videos are filled with the most wonderful singing ever captured on tape and need to be released. It will do great things for Bill’s retirement fund, and for the world’s spiritual life…it would be a true Homecoming.
If that last addition to that previous line wasn’t so compelling, I’d be real worried if they ever will be published/released. But Bill, or master William will come to his senses soon and very soon,and will choose to pull the necessary strings to share these videos with the world, in High Definition! Because this is the high definiton of Gospel! It’s Good news, Good News!Good news may never be deemed as  ‘classified’. After you’ve seen these clips, you will find you go visit them frequently…they become a comfort and joy!


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