(Editor’s Note: Yes, the title is a bit clickbaitey, but hang with me. I’ll back it up.)
Yesterday, Andraé Crouch slipped into eternity, present in full with the Lord, in perfect peace.
I’ve been half suspecting, half dreading that this day would come for a while now, and yet now that it has, I still feel completely unprepared — probably because it’s hard for me to imagine a musical landscape where Andraé Crouch was not still creating such soul-stirring, inventive, revolutionary music.
Part of the reason why it’s always profoundly bothered me when I hear someone make the blanket declaration that “Christian music sucks” is that it never tracked with my reality.
Because how could it? Sure, my parents played Earth Wind & Fire like any self-respecting Black people did, but my childhood musical diet consisted mostly of Christian music, from luminaries like The Winans, Walter, Edwin & Tramaine Hawkins, The Imperials, and then much later, Commissioned (then eventually as a teen and college student, Fred Hammond). But towering above them all was Andraé Crouch, a man who I would later come to realize was a musician’s musician — that is, the kind of musician that other great musicians consulted, collaborated with, and gathered around.