Growing up both my parents were into music and my Mother had a really impressive LP collection – I remember dancing around a lot to ‘Rock the Boat’ by the Hues Corporation and the likes of The Commodores, Percy Sledge, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Miriam Makeba, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin etc.
When they became Christians my Mum couldn’t get into any of the church songs at the church she went to – she was even given a record by a well meaning christian lady at her church but she wasn’t feelin it. When she listened to it she was like OMG! Is THIS the music you have to listen to if you’re a christian? lol! Somehow she came across Andrae Crouch on the TV one night (I think he had performed on Solid Gold maybe or it might have been when he won the best Gospel Soul performance at the 1980 Grammys) & it probably saved her from ditching christianity. She went out the next morning & bought all the Andrae Crouch music she could get her hands on and from the ages of maybe 6-10 yrs old that’s all I remember being played in our house. I’m pretty sure she had every LP of his that was out at the time.
I remember thinking that Andrae Crouch was either Samoan or my Dad was black because they kind of looked the same and rocked the same Afro ha! When you’re young you don’t really distinguish between ethnicities or cultures.
One of my Dads cousins went to the Samoan AOG in Napier when we were younger and I did my 1st White Sunday there and we all thought it was so cool that they sang a lot of Andrae’s songs and in Samoan too – Bless the Lord, Soon & very Soon, The Blood & Take me back were all Samoan AOG classics and they’re still sung today.
I was photographing a Samoan AOG wedding last month and 2 of the songs they sang were Andrae Crouch songs – The Blood & Bless the Lord. I always love hearing them being sung in Samoan too!
I was pretty gutted finding out that Andrae Crouch had died. We’d just been to the tennis semi-final when Venus Williams was here in Auckland & I happened to scroll through my twitter TL and it was flooded with lots of RIP messages to Andrae. I’d still say that Andrae Crouch is my favourite gospel singer of all time. His music and songs have really stood the test of time and I know that if you played me any of his songs I’d be able to sing along knowing all the words and every adlib lol!
There are so many of his songs that I consider faves – my Dad used to perform “My Tribute – To God be the Glory” quite a lot. I’ve always loved when Alfie Silas comes in on the 2nd verse and sings “Just let me live, my life and let it be pleasing Lord to thee …. And should I gain any praise let it go to Calvary ….” And then she does that scream which kinda gives me goosebumps every time lol!
But if I HAD to pick one song thats always spoken to me or has stayed relevant throughout the years it’d be “Through it all” …..
I’ve had many tears & sorrow, I’ve had questions for tomorrow, there were times I didn’t know right from wrong
But in every situation God gave me blessed consolation, let my trials come to only make me strong,
I’ve been a lot of places & I’ve seen millions of faces, but there were times I felt so all alone,
But in my lonely hour, yes those precious lonely hours, Jesus let me know that I was his own …
Thats the reason I say that through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God
Oh let me tell you that through it all, oh through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon his word
So I thank God for the mountains and I thank him for the valleys & I thank him for the storms he’s brought me through
for if I’d never had a problem, I’d never know that God could solve them, I’d never know what faith in his word could do
Thats the reason I say that through it all (some times through the fire!), through it all (my, my, my Lord), I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God
Oh let me tell you that through it all, oh through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon his word, (oh through my sickness & pain), I’ve learned to depend upon his word (oh through sorrow & shame) I’ve learned to depend upon his word
Key phrase is “I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God, I’ve learned to depend upon his word”
I’ve had to learn from going through some sh!t you know – it’d be wonderful if I’d just learned things by reading it quietly in a corner & understanding to just trust God & depend upon his word but most times I’ve had to learn the hard way & there have been times I’ve had to deal with pain, loss, shame, heartache etc so THAT I could learn …… ‘and so I thank God for the mountains and I thank him for the valleys & I thank him for the storms he’s brought me through’
And we thank Andrae Crouch for the legacy & blessing his music has been to millions of people around the world including a little family in New Zealand. We also thank Andrae Crouch for saving Mum from backsliding because she couldn’t get into the music they played at church hahaha