Gospel Jubilee proudly features a special tribute to the late Capital District gospel promoter and producer, Artis Kitchen.
Artis A. Kitchen Sr. was born in Georgia and raised in Florida. He moved to Albany in 1942. He married Ada Moore in 1953, and together they raised six children. Artis founded and directed the famous ‘Kitchenairs’ singing group and was also a longtime director of the Gospel Choralaires Choir of Wilborn Temple Church of God in Christ in Albany.
Artis Kitchen filled the Capital District airwaves with songs of praise for more than four decades. Kitchen first brought his gospel ministry to a large regional audience with the airing of his “Spiritual Time” radio show on WABY. He later became famous for his television show “Spiritual Time with Bro. Artis Kitchen” on WTEN. The show, which aired twice a month, invited churches throughout the Capital District to appear on air, giving them a large platform. George Leighton, a longtime announcer for WTEN, said, “Through the years I had many occasions to open and close Artis Kitchen’s show, and I found him to be an absolutely wonderful man.”
Kitchen was a huge promoter of gospel music and brought famous gospel singers to the Capital Region for concerts, including Mahalia Jackson, Shirley Caesar, Albertina Walker & The Caravans and many others. His wife, Ada, summed up what Artis meant for gospel in the region: "Artis was the Capital District’s Gospel Ambassador and he was the conduit for opening up the airwaves to spreading the word of God through song. His passion for song, his love of God and his musical vision transcends time.”
Artis Kitchen passed away in 1986. He was a trailblazer and set the bar high for others to pursue careers in gospel music promotion and programming. Today, we have the opportunity to hear some of the finest gospel recording artists on the airwaves and see television shows such as BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel Hour and the hit singing competition, Sunday Best. Artis Kitchen would be so proud.