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Mr. Keillor, My wife and

April 10, 2006 |

Mr. Keillor, My wife and I have been long time listeners to APHC and recently moved out to the country. It is a much nicer place to enjoy the show. We have noticed with growing concern how much more religious the show has gotten. We enjoy the occasional gospel music but, since neither of us is religious, we are slightly affronted by the overtly Christian tone the show has taken on of late. Are we hearing things, or has the show had many more gospel musicians than before?

Brian and Cynthia L.
Brighton, CO

With radio, you're always hearing things, I guess, but I honestly don't know the answer to your question. Last week there were three sacred songs, one by Ricky Skaggs, and one by Ricky and Jearlyn Steele and me ("I Love To Tell The Story") and also "This Little Light of Mine." The week before, I don't believe there were any. Next Saturday, the Ensemble Singers will be on and I suppose they'll do a Mozart sacred piece and maybe another. We have the Hopeful Gospel Quartet on often, but much of their material is secular. I don't think we have any gospel singers as such on the show—the gospel songs you hear are mostly done by bluegrass bands. I'm not aware of how much gospel music we have on the show or what would be a reasonable quota—it's some of my favorite music, that's all, and that's why it's there. Our Shoe band is mostly Jewish and I don't want to make them uncomfortable. On the other hand, Rich Dworsky is the best gospel piano player around. It's soulful music. You get into "Tramp on the Street" or "Nearer My God to Thee" or "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior" and you feel uplifted by it, in ways that you wouldn't be by, say, "The Shoop Shoop Song" or "Do The Hokey-Pokey."

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