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The Winans: Time to Make a Change

By Editorial Staff
Published September 1, 1990

“Growing up in Detroit, we as brothers were taught the importance of family by our parents (who, by the way, were teenagers when they married). We were also taught the importance of God, good work ethics and education.

“Our parents having been thrust into the duties of adulthood at such an early age meant that sacrifices had to be made. As we look back over our shoulders in retrospect, we realize that we were poor, if you measure wealth by material acquisition, but rich if you measure it by LOVE.

“Staring coldly into the face of the present, we see many of the values that we held dear as children discarded and considered a philosophy whose time has come and gone. God has been snatched out of the conscience of our youth, family ties have been severed, good work habits exchanged for “get rich quick” schemes and our public school systems have been reduced to detention centers.

“As a psalmist once penned, ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to a people.’ The hope in this very bleak and dismal picture is that we can make a difference.

“If we return to what made us secure as individuals, return to what made us whole as families, if we return to what made us strong as a people and return to what made us great as a nation … then we have reason to sing!

“We urge you to return with us. For it is time to make a change.”

- The Winans


Appearing recently on the “Arsenio Hall Show,” one of the highest rated shows in the nation, host Arsenio Hall asked the Winans why their albums didn’t include love songs or pure pop music.

Pastor and group leader Marvin Winans responded, “People say ‘if you would change (to pop music) you would sell millions of albums,’ and maybe we could, but our conviction is that the reason we’re here is that we have a message to deliver … that you can be young and enjoy Jesus and go to church and do the right thing.”

“What you’re saying,” Hall summarized, “is that everything has to be lyrically sound in the Word?’

“Exactly!” replied the Winans.

Return is the Winans’ new recording which focuses on the problems of modern society and our need to return to God. Musically, the recording combines elements of pop, jazz, rap, and classic Motown.

Return is a highly successful attempt at “crossover” music, an effort to appeal to secular radio listeners with a Christian message by using contemporary styles without compromising a clear gospel message.

“It’s Time,” the first single from Return reached No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles Chart, and the album soon became commercially successful selling over 300,000 units in the first two months after its release.

Stevie Wonder, who has told of his recent conversion, is featured in a solo vocal on “Everyday’s the Same.” The phenomenal radio success with both Christian and secular Urban Contemporary stations confirms the broad appeal of this recording.

Yet lyrically, the Winans keep far from compromise singing about the joy of being “free from a life of sin,” and about the need of prayer, walking through the tough times and keeping strong in faith. This is a recording that is having a positive effect on the culture of our nation.


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