Town Square

Exploring The Evolution Of Gospel Music And Celebrating Houston’s Gospel Heritage

What is Houston’s role in the history of gospel music? A local scholar and a music expert discuss. Plus, we continue to keep you informed about COVID in Greater Houston with updates on variants.

Courtesy of
Gospel singer, recording artist and Houston native Kathy Taylor


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

Houston is at the center of gospel music, with singers like five-time Grammy Award winner Yolanda Adams calling it home.

In honor of Black History Month, Houston Public Media aired Lift Up Your Hearts: Houston’s Gospel Heritage this past Sunday on News 88.7. The program featured top Houston gospel singers, including Kathy Taylor and Brian Courtney Wilson, and was produced in partnership with KTSU.

Today, we let the music inspire us, as we continue the conversation about music and worship in the Black Church.

Reverend Charles Hudson, Gospel Program Director of KTSU, and Music Professor Jason Oby of Texas Southern University join us to discuss the history of the genre and Houston's role in its evolution. Listeners join the conversation with their questions and comments about gospel music.

On the second half of the show, we also bring you the latest on COVID with Dr. Jill Weatherhead of Baylor College of Medicine.

Guests on the first half are:

Rev. Charles Hudson:

  • Host and Co-producer of "Lift Up Your Hearts: Houston’s Gospel Heritage"
  • Operations Manager and Gospel Program Director, KTSU

Dr. Jason Oby:

Listen to an encore of “Lift Up Your Hearts: Houston's Gospel Heritage” on Sun., Feb. 21 at 6am on News 88.7 or online. Find a complete schedule of Houston Public Media's Black History Month programs here.

Guest on the second half is:

Dr. Jill Weatherhead:

  • Assistant Professor in Tropical Medicine and in Infectious Disease, Baylor College of Medicine

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie with headlines from Houston and beyond, including:

  • The week, CVS Health will begin offering vaccinations in Houston and other areas of Texas.
  • According to new statement from CVS, because of a delay with shipping, the launch date has been moved since our last report.
  • The CVS appointment scheduling system for Texas will go live on Thurs., Feb. 11. Vaccinations will begin on Fri, Feb. 12.
  • Good news about COVID in Houston: The city is now reporting a positivity rate of 15.1% at city testing sites. That's down from 16% on January 27, down from 17% on January 20 and down from 18.3% on January 13. So the positivity rate at testing sites is going down about a full percentage point weekly.
  • Now the bad news: The Houston Health Department is now reporting two cases of the UK variant. It's projected that there are more cases out there, according to Dr. David Persse, Chief Medical Officer for the City of Houston.
  • Persse says that the Houston Health Department has partnered with Houston Methodist Hospital, which has amped up technology that they hope will allow them to detect the variants more quickly.
  • Fort Bend County's Health Department is reporting the first case of someone with the South African Variant.

*This program originally aired on Mon., Feb. 8, 2021.

Sign up for the Harris County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist

Sign up for the Galveston County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist

Sign up for the Montgomery County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist

Sign up for the Fort Bend County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day’s most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today's show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required


This article is part of the Town Square with Ernie Manouse podcast

  • Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
  • Subscribe on Google Podcasts
  • Subscribe on Spotify
  • Subscribe on Stitcher
  • Subscribe on TuneIn
  • Subscribe on iHeart
  • Subscribe on Pandora
  • Subscribe on RadioPublic
  • Subscribe on Pocket Casts
  • Subscribe on Overcast
  • Subscribe on Amazon Music
  • Subscribe via RSS
Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

More Information