"Walk on By," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Alfie," and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?"—just a small sampling of the classic songs by Burt Bachrach and Hal Davis that people best remember Dionne Warwick by from the '60s, not to mention the 1985 Grammy-winning hit "That's What Friends Are For." Yet amidst all of that, her biggest fans will tell you one of Warwick's best albums was 1968's The Magic of Believing—a gospel album. It's been 40 years since then with many ups and downs, but the acclaimed singer has held fast to her faith throughout, and has finally returned to gospel music with the 2008 release of Why We Sing. Warwick shared with Christian Music Today why this album is so special to her and talks about her long history with gospel music, while also setting the record straight about that Psychic Friends Network gig.
What's your reaction listening to the playback of Why We Sing?
Dionne Warwick I love it. I really truly feel that it's some of my best work. I certainly hope that those who will be picking up the CD will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
Warwick I think the fact that I'm singing something that's truly me and having the opportunity to share it with people that I love—my sons Damon [Elliot, who produced] and David [Elliott, songwriter and duet partner on "Seven"], my sister Dee Dee [Warwick, who duets on "Why We Sing"], and my friend BeBe Winans [duet partner on "I'm Going Up"]. Plus it was time for me to do another [gospel album]!
Indeed, it's been four decades since your last gospel release. Why now?
Warwick It started with a conversation I was having with Edgar Bronfman, Jr., who is the CEO of Time Warner. He had heard me sing gospel almost twenty ...1