AAAMC releases Indianapolis Gospel Music Conference Videos

In celebration of Gospel Music Heritage Month, and as a tribute to Al “The Bishop” Hobbs, the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture is offering online access to interviews and panel discussions videotaped as part of the conference “Why We Sing: Indianapolis Gospel Music in Church, Community, and Industry,” which took place on the IU Bloomington campus in November 2011.  To access the collection via the IU Avalon Media System, go to:  More information about the conference, one-on-one interviews, and participant bios can be found after the jump.

The three conference panels include the following topics and speakers:

Panel I. Gospel Music in Church and Community (1:35:14). Panelists: Sherri Garrison, Rev. A. Thomas Hill, Rodnie Bryant; Convener/Moderator: Dr. Mellonee Burnim (Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology); Respondent: Dr. Valerie Grim (Chair, Department of African and African American Diaspora Studies).

Panel II. The Indianapolis Gospel Music Industry (1:38:13). Panelists: Dr. Leonard Scott, Al “The Bishop” Hobbs; Moderator: Tyron Cooper (Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology); Respondent: Dr. Portia Maultsby (Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology).

Panel III. New Directions in Gospel Music (1:31:23). Panelists: Lamar Campbell, Liz “Faith” Dixson, Tracy Williamson; Moderator: Raynetta Wiggins (Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology); Respondent:  Dr. Sylvester Johnson (Department of Religious Studies).

“One on one” interviews are also available and feature conference participants and other members of the Indianapolis gospel music community:

  • Al “The Bishop” Hobbs, former Executive Vice Chair of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, General Manager of radio station WTLC, and president of Aleho Records
  • Dr. Leonard Scott, co-founder of Tyscot Records, pastor of Rock Community Church
  • Tracy Williamson, gospel radio personality and founder of TRE7, Inc. (artist development, marketing and production company)
  • Lamar Campbell, gospel recording artist, worship leader at Emmaus Christian Church
  • Rodnie Bryant, gospel recording artist, director of Christian Community Mass Choir
  • Thomas Hill, gospel recording artist, former member of Pentecostal Ambassadors, and pastor of Healing Streams Word & Worship Center
  • Liz “Faith” Dixson, gospel radio personality on WTLC AM 1310
  • Sherri Garrison, choir director/director of worship at Eastern Star Church and former director of the Gospel Music Workshop of America Women of Worship
  • Carla Poindexter, daughter of Delores ‘Sugar’ Poindexter—the legendary host of Gospel Showcase on WTLC-FM and Spirit at Sunrise (audio only)
  • Rev. Melvin B. Girton, pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church
  • Kenneth Woods, Jr., gospel pianist and arranger for the Caravans; director of the choir at Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago (audio only)

Additional information about the conference, including photographs and interview excerpts, can be found in the 2011-2012 issue of Liner Notes, the newsletter of the Archives of African American Music and Culture ( The original conference website ( includes participant biographies.

For more information contact the Archives of African American Music and Culture,