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Gospel Saxophonist Vernard Johnson.

Alto Saxophonist Vernard Johnson. He's best known for his Gospel playing, performing with preachers like, E.V. Hill, Billy Graham, and Bishop L. H. Ford. His saxophone was considered too raucous for the Gospel circuit when he began playing there in the mid-60's, but eventually he became a favorite on the evangelical circuit. Robert Palmer, in "The New York Times," writes, "The force and passion of the man's alto saxophone sounds are matched only by its creamy richness...listeners may think it sounds more like rhythm and blues, rock, or jazz than conventional Gospel music." He's got a new release of his performances, "I'm Alive," on the Elektra Nonesuch label.

22:55

Other segments from the episode on August 27, 1991

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, August 27, 1991: Interview with Vernard Johsnon; Interview with Richard Pipes; Review of Doris Grumbach's memoir "Coming Into the End Zone."

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