Four years really have flown by! Seems like yesterday that I was eagerly awaiting the 2009 Inauguration Day activities. My genuine prayer is for this country to heal and to begin a new era in which righteousness and justice prevail. We’ve got to pray!
Speaking of prayer, today’s Monday Melody is an oldie but goodie that focuses on the need for intercession.
“Pray” by Andrae Crouch on the album Pray.
Gospel music pioneer Andrae Crouch can be depended upon to bring an urban, contemporary sound to the perennial spiritual theme of prayer. The song’s syncopation is reminiscent of the New Jack Swing era and relies heavily on the mega-talented Jonathan DuBose’s guitar work.
But the star of the song is the lead soloist, a teenaged Daniel Johnson of New Breed fame, backed by the equally young and talented Johnson sisters, Kimberly, Kandy, and Krystal. It’s fun to see Daniel in this video of “Pray” and to see his evolution into a respected solo artist, vocalist, writer, producer, arranger, and music director. His music career started at age 16 when he began singing with Andrae.
I see this song as a call to intercessory arms. Its timeless message is that we fight an fierce enemy, but as we pray and take authority in the spirit, we change the atmosphere in the heavenlies and God responds with power and gives us victory. We’ve got to pray!
The name of Andrae Crouch –singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and pastor– is synonymous with gospel music excellence and innovation. The now 70-year-old Crouch wrote his one of his first –and now legendary– hits, “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” while still a teenager, but threw it away because he had no confidence in the quality of the song. It would have been the world’s loss, had not his twin sister Sandra retrieved the song.
Dubbed the “father of the modern gospel,” Andrae is credited with the expansion of gospel music to embrace traditional gospel, hymns, R&B, pop, jazz, hip-hop, rock, and world music. Crouch was a key figure in the Jesus Music movement in the 1960s and 1970s and in merging black and white Christian music. His many groups included the Church of God in Christ Singers (COGICS), the Disciples, and the Andrae Crouch Singers, which featured well-respected vocalists such as Tata Vega, Kristle Murden, and Alfie Silas.
Andrae greatly influenced the careers of gospel luminaries such as BeBe and CeCe Winans, the Clark Sisters, Anointed, and Israel Houghton. He also has produced and/or arranged music for Michael Jackson, Madonna, Quincy Jones, and Diana Ross, among others.
A multiple Grammy and Dove Award winner, in 2004, Andrae became the only living contemporary gospel artist—and just the third in history—to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Andrae is the Senior Pastor of the New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in San Fernando, California, the church founded by his parents.