As we prepare every week to take a walk down Memory Lane, stop by the Library for our map and the stories behind your favorite gospel songs from back in the day. To get on Memory Lane, follow the flagstones, pass under the tall shade trees, and you're on Memory Lane. No Memory Lane this week..
The History of Gospel Harmonies
Gospel Harmonies began as a 10 minute feature in 1973 on a two-station network in Michigan. It soon expanded into a half hour nightly program on the expanding Family Life Radio network. In 1979, it became a 90 minute weekly program, before becoming a 54 minute show in order to syndicate to additional stations. The program became independent of Family Life Radio in January 2009, as the host, Alan Cook took his retirement after 40 years with the organization. Alan continues to produce the program from his home studio.
From the start, GH has utilized a particular radio technique called "theater-of-the-mind." At the start of each show, your host Alan invites you into the mansion through the front door. From there you travel to the Front Room for the first three selections. Your trip through the mansion normally includes the Concert Hall, Mailbox, Picnic Grounds (where the welcome wagon normally appears), the Memory Lane Library, and the Back Porch. Listeners have shared how they can picture each room in detail, thanks to God's gift of imagination.
Meet Your Host
Alan Cook, Gospel Harmonies
Alan Cook is a veteran Christian Broadcaster with close to 50 years in the industry that includes such varied duties as TV sports anchor, News Director, Program Director, morning show host, General Manger, and of course the producer and host of Gospel Harmonies radio show for over forty years. Along the way, Alan as received such honors as the Golden Mike Award (from the Singing News), a Key Award (from the Michigan Gospel Music Association), a nomination for Favorite Gospel DJ (Singing News), an Odyssey Foundation Award for a series of documentaries on domestic abuse), and a Nehemiah Award from the Center for Arizona Policy. Alan has also found numerous opportunities outside of the studio as an MC, Speaker, actor, narrator, and singer. He currently sings bass with the Gospel group His Messengers. In January of 2009, Alan retired from the full-time ministry with Family Life Radio Broadcasting Network, but continues to write, record and produce the syndicated Gospel Harmonies program. On the personal side, Alan and his wife Joan have been married for 50 years. Joan works in the ministry as a marriage and family counselor . They have 3 children: Cyndi (and husband Kevin), Autumn (and husband Marc), and Scott (and wife Megan). They have 2 grandsons, Quinten and big brother Kai. Alan is also an actor and singer, currently singing bass with the Gospel group His Messengers and solos for a dance ensemble - The Sun City Poms.