‘Praise Is What We Do’: The Rise of Praise and Worship Music in the Black Church in the US
This chapter examines how, from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, print advertisements for worship music in US Christian music magazines promised to effect a dual transformation. The magazines first transform any profane or secular space into a sacred 'sanctuary', and then transform the listener spiritually by transporting him or her into the presence of God. Worship music advertisements increasingly promise not just good music but personal intimacy and the transformation of everyday spaces and routines, of personal identity and of worship practice. Music played a key role in the marketing and evangelizing strategies of popular evangelists, who often advertised their revivals in the entertainment section of the newspaper. Media technologies have long promised to deliver experiences rather than goods. Radio helped its listeners transcend distance and feel connected to faraway people and places. Personal stereos make it possible to relive a corporate worship experience without being in church. Karaoke-style worship videos seem to bring the church right into our homes.