May 27, 2011
I’m been singing Gospel music for over 40 years (not counting childhood). When I graduated from high school, I had a voice scholarship to one of the three best conservatories in the world (Eastman). If I had known more about school loans and how education works, I might have figured out how to take advantage of the opportunity. But since I couldn’t figure out the logistics, I stayed in Seattle.
As it turned out, I still make my living with my voice. Sometimes is the written voice in an article or book. But mostly it’s lecturing to students. Lately, I’ve added some podcasts and videos. But none of that is as hard as doing one-night stands on the road. I’ve been blessed.
I’ve recorded two albums. The Christmas album (Katrina’s Christmas Wish) was
recorded in North Carolina. With charts by Emmy-winning Richard Putnam and great
licks from guitar stylist David Johnson, I sing some of my own songs and some
classic carols. It’s a bit of Pavarotti meets the Beverly Hillbillies. Great
The second album (Professor Tangen’s Great Gospel Tour) is a brief history of
American gospel music. Gospel music developed as preachers, peddlers and singing
groups travelled across America and ran into new music styles. At every stop,
they added someone new to the mix. Gospel music in the US began with spirituals
and “field holler” songs but soon encountered blues, jazz, and more modern
styles. I sing some of my own songs and added some twists to old favorites. The
album features jazz pianist Mark Davidson’s arrangements.