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The Gaithers and Southern GospelHomecoming in the Twenty-First Century$
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Ryan P. Harper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496810908

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496810908.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
The Gaithers and Southern Gospel

Ryan P. Harper

University Press of Mississippi

“I’m glad you were able to get down to this one. I thought you would be interested in seeing how we do one of these,” Bill Gaither told me backstage. Straight out of the Gaithers’ mobile makeup/hair salon, the freshly coiffed gospel music mogul talked to me as we walked through a flashing gauntlet of video equipment and be-headphoned, fast-talking stage technicians, wires flailing behind them like jellyfish tentacles. Cameras and photo-studio umbrellas diverted the seventy-one-year-old Bill—a musician-businessman already prone to the distractions of artistry and enterprise. Despite Bill’s toothy smile and avuncular shoulder pats, which always helped ease my suspicions that I was a backstage nuisance, I left Bill backstage and found my seat....

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