The black gospel show heard on BBC Radio WM, BBC CWR and BBC Radio Stoke.

Frank Stewart
Frank Stewart

Wherever you are in the Midlands, Frank Stewart is the name every gospel enthusiast looks to hear BeBe and CeCe, John Kee, Milton Brunson and hundreds more. His show is on three stations, BBC Radio WM, BBC CWR and BBC Radio Stoke.

When anybody ever gets around to writing a history of black gospel in Britain, the Singing Stewarts will be worth a fare few paragraphs. Their happy, calypso-style music paved the way for funkier forms of gospel back in the days when the British church had seemingly ossified on hymns ancient and ancient. The Singing Stewarts are still going but now there's another important string to the bow of their veteran leader Frank Stewart.

Following a hit guest interview on BBC Radio he quickly found himself presenting 'The Frank Stewart Gospel Hour'. Britain's longest-running Gospel show now broadcasts to a wide audience, black and white.

"In the programme there's plenty of variety; speech, brain-teasers and very special guests," says Frank. But Frank wants more. "I do wish I had a load more time to explain the Gospel. I know that in God all things are possible so I'm just praying for more time."

Frank's popularity is unquestionable. With letters and phone calls from as far away as Liverpool, Manchester, Wales and Oxford, he's a long way from the five minute spot "Sound Systems" that put him on air. The 'Frank Stewart Gospel Hour' is not the only Christian programme broadcast from Pebble Mill, the home of BBC Radio WM. On a Sunday morning, Michael Blood broadcasts the religious affairs magazine programme 'A Word In Advance'. Frank doesn't agree that this doubling up highlights a black/white divide in the church. "It's good that Michael has a morning programme and I have an evening programme because this ensures people get two of the very best Christian programmes right here, in the Midlands." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.