African-American singers credit their local church
choir for getting them started. Artists such as Mavis
Staples and Al Green have returned to their roots
full time and placed their considerable talents in
the service of the Almighty. Southern gospel and
Contemporary Christian are more akin to country and
"country rock" in sound while addressing
similar religious themes in a popular music context.
"Religious stations" vary in tone and
presentation. Some are merely brokered stations
selling their time to churches and religious
organizations that want the time to proselytize and
raise funds from their followers. Others offer a more
sophisticated presentation of talk shows and music
that may sound indistinguishable from a commercially
formatted station, except that the talk is focused on
addressing the concerns of the so-called
"Christian Right" and the music played is
usually Contemporary Christian.
Jazz music is
considered by its proponents to be the real American
classical music playing such artists. Public stations
tend to treat it seriously and play many artists that
have relatively small but dedicated followings.