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

56349401The 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 (http://www.gospelmusicheritage.com) 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((R)), 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, 9pm), 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.

Online, www.gospelmusicheritage.com 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 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.

Pictured: Singers Dorothy Glass, Kirk Franklin, and Shirley Caesar pose backstage during the 9th annual BET Celebration of Gospel held at the Orpheum Theatre on December 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)