In the mid-’60s, some NBC affiliates offered a Sunday morning celebration of music and spirit called TV Gospel Time. Filmed in Chicago, the show featured the kings and queens of black gospel at the time, giving valuable air time to such icons as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ernestine Washington, the Blind Boys of Mississippi and James Cleveland, as well as community church choirs from around the Midwest. Unfortunately for gospel fans and scholars, episodes of this show were fairly hard to come by, usually found only on bootleg videocasettes or what clips were available on YouTube.
While Infinity Entertainment have saddled this program with a completely different name for its first legitimate DVD release, all thanks and praise must be sent their way for finally giving these programs a chance at reaching a wider audience. The unfettered performances found on this two-disc set are positively soul-stirring, simply because they feature no overdubs. So, every flubbed note, off beat clap and rough patch are left out in the open. But the spirit they put behind every note – even the ones that are wrong – puts the sanitized sound of contemporary Christian music to withering shame.