AAAMC Speaks

The “AAAMC Speaks” documentary series centers the legacy of the Black music community and highlights a wealth of materials available within Indiana University's AAAMC. In each roughly 20-minute episode, AAAMC director Tyron Cooper interviews one pioneer, current industry professional or scholar whose work is connected to holdings at the archives. As “AAAMC Speaks” through this series, the collections come alive, and African American legacies are preserved.

Season 2, Episode 1

Teresa Hairston: The Unstoppable Game-Changer


Teresa Hairston Portrait

Dr. Teresa Hairston, founder of Gospel Today, a songwriter, choir director and keyboardist, began her industry career in marketing at Savoy Records and later became Director of Marketing and A&R for the Black gospel division at Benson Records. In these roles, she supported the careers of numerous chart-topping artists such as James Cleveland, Commissioned, Albertina Walker and Hezekiah Walker, to name a few.

One of her crowning achievements was founding Score magazine in 1989, later becoming Gospel Today, a nationally distributed publication providing broad insight on seminal gospel artists, pastors, and mainstream entertainers such as Kirk Franklin, Bobby Jones, Mary Mary, Richard Smallwood, CeCe Winans, Fred Hammond, and Steve Harvey.

Hairston is also founder of the Gospel Heritage Foundation, an organization dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and transmitting the legacy and contemporary practice of gospel music and ministry within church and industry contexts. The body of her work clearly positions her as an unstoppable game-changer in the industry and community.

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