PBS Gospel Music Specials You Won’t Want to Miss

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


PBS has a long history of airing amazing gospel music specials, and this year is no different! Here are a few of the specials you won’t want to miss.

What is Gospel Music?

Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and society. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace.

Origins of Gospel Music

The origins of gospel music arecomplex and varied. Styles of gospel music range from the spirituals of the early African-American church to contemporary Christian hip hop, R&B, soul and rock. Even within denominations there can be considerable variation in musical style.

Gospel music has been around since the early 17th century when Negro spirituals began to be sung in churches by enslaved Africans in America. These songs were simple hymns that communicated religious messages in a way that was both meaningful and accessible to those who were largely illiterate.

As time went on, various styles of gospel music emerged, including jubilee, ecclesiastical or reverential gospel, quartet singing, solo performance, traditional black gospel, modern black gospel and black contemporary Christian music.

The Gospel Music Sound

Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace.

Gospel music usually has a dominant vocalist or soloists, often accompanied by other instrumentalists playing keyboard instruments (piano, Hammond organ), guitars, drums, bass guitar and sometimes even strings or horns.

Upcoming Gospel Music Specials on PBS

If you’re a fan of Gospel music, you won’t want to miss these upcoming specials on PBS! This February, PBS will be airing two specials featuring some of the genre’s finest performers. On February 11th, catch “The Gospel music of Johnny Cash” and on February 18th, don’t miss “The Gospel Music of Mavis Staples.”

“The Gospel of Freedom”

PBS will be airing a new special called “The Gospel of Freedom” on April 5th at 9pm EST. The documentary, narrated by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Viola Davis, chronicles the history of gospel music and its impact on American culture.

The film features interviews with some of the genre’s biggest stars, including Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, and Mavis Staples. viewers will also get to see exclusive performances by Mahalia Jackson, Bishop Paul Morton, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Andraé Crouch, Shirley Caesar, The Clark Sisters, Marvin Sapp, and many more.

“The Gospel of Freedom” is a must-see for any fan of gospel music or anyone interested in learning more about the history and impact of this important American musical genre.

“Gospel Music Presents: The Clark Sisters”

The Clark Sisters are an American gospel vocal group who sang with their parents, The Clark Family, in the 1960s and 1970s. After the group disbanded in the late 1970s, sisters Denise, Twinkie, Dorinda, and Alfreda pursued solo careers in music and television. In 2003, after a reunion and tour, the sisters began recording and touring together again as The Clark Sisters. The Gospel Music Association named them as Dove Award nominees in 2004 and 2005. They have been featured on shows such as NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, TBN’s Praise The Lord, syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, CNN Headline News Live! From Atlanta and more.

“Shout Sister Shout!”

“Shout Sister Shout!” is a two-hour music special that celebrates the life and career of one of the most influential gospel singers of our time, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The program includes performance footage and interviews with some of the biggest names in music, including Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire, and Gladys Knight.

The special airs on PBS on Sunday, March 10 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

How to Watch the Specials

PBS is airing two gospel music specials this month, and you won’t want to miss them! Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch the specials. The first special, “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” airs on Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The second special, “Unchained Melody: The Gospel of Willie Mae Ford Smith,” airs on Sunday, March 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Check Local Listings

PBS has several different specials throughout the year. The most popular are the Gospel Music specials. These are usually two-hourlong broadcasts that feature some of the top names in Gospel music.

You can check your local listings to see when these specials will be airing in your area. PBS usually airs these specials on Sunday mornings, but they may also be shown at other times throughout the week.

You can also visit the PBS website to find out when these specials will be airing. Click on the “Programs” tab and then scroll down to “Music.” Here you will find a list of all the upcoming Gospel music specials.

Stream Live on PBS.org

The best way to watch the specials is by streaming them live on PBS.org. You can also stream them on the PBS app for iOS and Android devices. If you have a digital antenna, you can also watch the specials on your local PBS station. Check your local listings for air times.

Set a DVR Reminder

When it comes to holiday music specials, PBS always has something special in store. This year is no different, with a lineup of gospel music specials that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Here’s a look at some of the specials that will be aired on PBS this holiday season:

“The Gospel Music Celebration of Lift Every Voice and Sing” – This special features some of the greatest gospel performers of our time, including Yolanda Adams, James Cleveland, The Clark Sisters and Shirley Caesar. The special will air on December 13 at 9pm ET/PT.

“A Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: An Hour of Great Gospel Music” – This special honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with performances by CeCe Winans, BeBe Winans, Richard Smallwood and more. The special will air on January 17 at 9pm ET/PT.

“The Gospel Music Celebration of Black History Month” – This special features performances by Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond and Hezekiah Walker. The special will air on February 28 at 9pm ET/PT.


Whether you’re a longtime fan of gospel music or just getting started, these PBS specials are not to be missed. Featuring some of the genre’s biggest names, they offer an inside look at the artists and their music.

Don’t miss these PBS gospel music specials:

-“The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House”
– “A Celebration of Gospel Music”
– “Rejoice and Shout”
– “Amazing Grace: Songs of Justice, Peace and Freedom”

Similar Posts