Gospel music legend Bill Gaither and his music group, Gaither Music Group, are partnering with the Game Show Network to bring original family-friendly programming, Bible question games and faith-based contestants to your television screen.
When the Game Show Network approached Gaither about working together earlier this year, Gaither knew it was a great opportunity to share the Gospel with people who may have never heard it.
Although Gaither is known to many as a singer and songwriter, he also values bringing families and people together, qualities that made working with the Game Show Network a perfect fit. One of the things that captured the attention of Fran Shea, the Executive Vice President of the Game Show Network, about Gaither was his warmth and inclination toward family. In an interview with Christian Headlines, Shea – who is new to the Network – confessed, "I'm surprised this hasn't happened before I got here." Shea loves what Gaither brings to the table with his faith and positive attitude.
"We want people of faith to feel comfortable watching our shows," Shea shared. In an exclusive interview with Christian Headlines, Gaither gives a glimpse of why he loves partnering with the Game Show Network and why people of faith should feel comfortable joining him in watching it.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You're a gospel legend, what made you want to partner with a Game Show Network?
One of the things I love about what I do is the time we get to spend with the audience. People have a lot of options when it comes to how they spend their time, and I’m always grateful when they choose to spend time with us. Whether it is a concert, videotaping or a TV special, we love sharing stories, laughter, and sometimes a few tears, as well as songs we hope will inspire and entertain folks. We don’t know what each person out there is going through, but for a moment in time we get to offer them uplifting music and lyrics that we hope gives them hope. While the folks at GSN have not been in the business of making gospel music; we share the value of spreading joy, laughter and be entertained as they try to solve the puzzles. And you have to really think to solve some of those puzzles!
What do you enjoy about watching the Game Show Network?
As a husband, father and grandfather, I like the idea of families gathering at home and having fun together. Whether it’s music or family games, we love anything that brings together people of all ages and walks of life. We live in a fast-paced world where families are pulled in a lot of different directions; but it’s important that we create opportunities for moms, dads, children, grandchildren to unwind together and gather around something in which they can all participate.
What would you say to believers, who may question you venturing into the TV Market side of things?
Great music is timeless, regardless of how or where it is delivered. It’s exciting to see new ways to take this gospel of hope to people wherever they may be.
Gloria and I have been writing, touring and recording songs since the ‘50s. There have been a lot of changes in the world of music over that time. When we began, we created pieces of sheet music for our songs. Everyone was listening to vinyl LPs and creating records. Back then was a very different process than we use now. I remember when the old eight-track tapes were really cutting edge, and later cassettes became the way most people enjoyed music, then CDs were introduced. Now most things are presented in digital formats.
Around the mid-90s, we presented one of our Homecoming videos for the first time as a TV special. We knew immediately that folks who enjoy gospel music loved watching these musical gatherings from their living rooms. The response was tremendous, so we began to create more TV specials featuring a host of gospel music legends and my longtime friends, as well as some newcomers. Today, in addition to TV, we are taking our music to other digital platforms with our YouTube channel and my podcast, More Than the Music, which is another exciting medium for me.
We have been doing that now for more than 20 years with friends like George Beverly Shea, and we have celebrated the gospel music of Johnny Cash, the gospel songs of Elvis, along with many other great recordings we know our audiences love. We’re thrilled to reach families in a place where they’re already gathering around positive programming that we believe will enrich their lives.
Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, how have you been passing the time? Can we expect any new music?
Gloria and I have been at our home in Indiana. We have children and grandchildren nearby, and we love spending time with them while social distancing. We have enjoyed walks outside around the pond, and, as always, we are enjoying Gloria’s delicious cooking. She is a wonderful cook and makes our home feel cozy and comfortable.
I have also been recording some interviews for our company’s website and social media and sharing stories behind some of our songs, including “Because He Lives” and “We Have This Moment Today.” I’ve had a chance to do some interviews remotely with some of the technology tools that allow us to work remotely, including conversations with Lynda Randle, Mark Lowry and Ernie Haase.
The Vocal Band and I have also recorded a couple of songs remotely, which is always fun for me.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Davis/Stringer