Last week, Andraè Crouch, the ‘Father Of Modern Gospel,’ died. An old memory surfaced. He was my first real live celebrity interview. It was one of those events that nudged me on to a career and an education in journalism.
I heard about his passing on NPR: Andraè Crouch, ‘Father Of Modern Gospel,’ Dies At 72
The week before the big interview, I won a competition sponsored by University of Tulsa for Best Editorial. Being on the Tulsa East Central High School newspaper and yearbook staff were my credentials.
Andraè Crouch was performing outdoors in a Tulsa park. Armed with a pencil and spiral bound notebook, I nervously approached the back stage area. Lucky for me the first person I approached was Andraè Crouch’s twin sister, Sandra.
This many years ago, it’s hard to know what impressed her most. Maybe it was the confident approach of an award-winning reporter or, maybe my quivering voice and white knuckle grip on that number two pencil.
Gospel music pioneer Andraè Crouch went on to win 7 Grammy awards. You’ve heard his work as the choir director on Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.” I will always remember the day when I went from star struck teen to an honest to gosh reporter.