At Carnegie Hall, gospel singer Wintley Phipps delivers perhaps the most powerful rendition of Amazing Grace ever recorded. He says, "A lot of people don't realize that just about all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano. Probably the most famous on this slave scale was written by John Newton, who used to be the captain of a slave ship, and many believe he heard this melody that sounds very much like a West African sorrow chant. And it has a haunting, haunting plaintive quality to it that reaches past your arrogance, past your pride, and it speaks to that part of you that's in bondage. And we feel it. We feel it. It's just one of the most amazing melodies in all of human history." After sharing the noteworthy history of the song, Mr. Phipps delivers a stirring performance that brings the audience to its feet!


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  • Lilly

    I am a good (white) person. I don't see skin color - I am fair to all. What can I do to fix us??? With the black lives matter movement it's hard not to feel guilty because just by it's very nature it's so condemning of white people - but I don't know why. Do all black people feel so hurt and oppressed and unfairly picked on? It makes me sad to think that we haven't gotten past that. I had so hoped that we had. Either I'm ignorant and don't see or it's a movement that's meant to cause trouble because of anger. Am I just ignorant or can't anyone in this country go to school and keep going to school until they are the most highly educated people in the country? Doesn't everyone have that opportunity. I know I did, but I didn't use that opportunity. I should have. I have black friends who did, and have done very well - they don't like the movement - they say it's dragging all of us back to separatism again. I wish they would not chant anger, I wish they would chant what they want to see happen to make them happier. The Bible says to ask and ye shall receive - I wish they would just ask - I'm willing to be a part of them receiving. You can't fix what you don't know is broken. I listen to the song and the singer's beautiful meaningful voice empowered by God, and I cry because I don't know how to fix what is wrong. Somebody please tell me. Just being one person hoping to do my part and hopefully more will follow and we can all get past this racial stuff and get on with the loving of each other as human beings and as God's children.

  • Teresa

    Brought tears to my eyes, feel the goose bumps as he sings!

  • Julia Miller

    A brand new knowledge: Spirituals are/were writteon on black keys of the piano. Maybe a West African sorrow chant; written by a captain of a slave ship. What an eye-opener! Thank you and God bless you.

  • David M. Webster

    I feel ashamed that my ancestors allowed slavery in the USA. Mr. Phipps reminded me how wrong this was by his humble attitude and his wonderful voice. He did more in 9 minutes than all the black civil rights leaders did in their life times for the cause of racial equality in my country.

  • Tina

    That this wonderful man spoke our of history. OUR history, with no blame or condemnation involved, then led us through a very dark place to emerge on the other side with this beautiful music composed by "UNKNOWN". This song has always reached very deep into my soul and now I know why. Thank you Mr. Phipps

  • Fran

    Everything about this video is inspiring.....what a blessing! Nothing can change our history...but remembering...learning from it...feeling the pain of it..vowing to NEVER allow it to happen again...I hope that's the message. I've taught in today's prison system...felt the pain on both sides...those who were affected by crime & those who committed them, but through it all is God's Amazing Grace! Beautiful!

  • John Rausch

    Wonderful message, and emotional outpouring

  • George Goosmann

    This is an amazing video. I wanted to forward it to a friend who has never heard it and it would inspire her if I could get it to her. Can you help?

  • June

    The history behind the song. The spirit that came through that 'most beautiful' voice. It has lifted up in a special, spiritual way. Pure beauty.

  • Stephen Adler

    We are all connected and pray to the same god. SEyA

  • Kathy

    This is the most heartfelt rendition of "Amazing Grace" that I have ever heard. There is NO doubt Mr. Phipps is fulfilling God's purpose for his life. Amen!

  • Marilyn


  • Garilee Cave

    This man is gifted tremendously! His gift is his story telling, his voice, his soul and his belief. What a blessing he has. I was so touched to hear the story of the black gospel songs and then to listen to his wonderful rendition. May God continue to bless him!

  • Terry

    WOW! I had to play it twice. I just raised my hands to the Lord and the joy & comfort flooded over me.

  • Donald Huber

    What a wonderful treatment for us. He does a great piano friendship

  • Derick A LLOYD

    Being an "oldster" it reminds me of the greatest negro voice ever, Paul Robeson. He had and inspiring life and those who have not heard him sing, have missed a remarkable experience and treasure.

  • Barbara

    His persona of heartfelt joy, the depth of his faith and his very own deliverance of such a beautiful song brought tears to my eyes.

  • Bob

    The history and the amazing sound that Wintley Phipps gave to this old tune.

  • Fred Carr

    return to playing gospel music on the piano, including negro spirituals, and hopefully becoming proficient enough to play for others.

  • catherine

    he is truly an amazing singer and speaker . Most of all a great true story teller.

  • barbara barney

    He is an amazing speaker as well as a singer. Loved his voice.

  • Eileen

    The Broadway Play "Amazing Grace" was super inspiring to see, as this performance. I Highly recommend this play for all to see.

  • RHT

    Great!!!! Awesome and powerful.... Just like THIS version......

  • Martin Hinds

    Unbelievable powerful presentation

  • Linda Mulvehill

    I agree with Patrick H. Same age and the best I've ever heard.

  • John Moore

    The spirit, passion, and power of Mr. Phipps to deliver this message in song is overwhelming. There are no words in the English language to adequately describe it. What must Heaven be like?

  • Shirley R

    It reminded me that we are all God's children. In Genesis, Chapter 1, Verses 26 and 27 it tells us He created all the races on the sixth day and He looked and it was good and in verse 31 God looked at all that He had mad and said if was very good. He loves all His children equally.

  • Patrick H

    I was held spellbound.!!! Heard it all my life(74) years of age. Never experienced such an emotional event in song. Mr. Phipps is truly blessed by God,what an incredible voice and talent. I keep this in my computer and my Iphone,anytime I am having a sort of down time I play it 2-3 times, WOW, how it changes my day.!!! May God bless him and his work. I want to thank my special friend John R for sending it to me,otherwise I may never had the blessed opportunity of hearing him. I would like info regarding purchase of his music. God bless America.

  • Ruth Anne Murphy

    Thank you, Father, for Whitley Phipps gift of music - and thank you for his heart that can be felt where every word he sings is truth! I praise You for him - but most of all I praise You, Holy Jesus, for giving Your life for us that we can spend heaven with You. I'll be there, and I'm going to look up Whitney Phipps by his "New Name That's Written Down in Glory!" It is "Amazing Grace" that will take us straight HOME.

  • ronlsb

    This was clearly a stunningly beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace". Wintley's vision of slaves coming from Africa and singing the hymn aboard the ship are not likely, however. African slaves were converted to Christianity after they arrived in America, not before coming. This was another amazing example of God bringing good from evil. Countless numbers of blacks who were slaves to sin were brought to freedom from sin and eternal life through the gospel of Jesus Christ after they arrived on the shores of America. All praise be to God!!

  • Myrtle Barrette

    The history of this hymn which we sing in church often, but don't really think about it's soul stirring origin.

  • Lynne Raseman

    The phanominal story,which I did not know,and the passion and voice of delivery of the song by wintry Phipps!!

  • John Matson

    WE! By the GRACE OF GOD, must keep our thoughts, words and deeds simple and straightforward. I AM has blessed US greatly with Wintney Phipps, AMEN!

  • Angie

    It was so moving to hear him sing this song. I was truly surprised to hear who was the original author of this beautiful hymn. Thank you for taping this and showing it.

  • Diane Phipps

    I have heard the story before but never heard the song sung so amazingly. I want a CD of his.

  • annie


  • Rita Neff

    That is awesome, very inspiring.

  • VSH

    I've always loved Amazing Grace but was of the opinion that it originated in Scotland.

  • Carol A.

    I was humbled and inspired and deeply moved by the whole video. Although I minored in music, substitute sometimes at my church as organist, and have loved this precious, moving song all my life, I never knew the story that slaves could only use the black keys, nor that John Newton was captain of a slave ship and most likely heard that melody from slaves below. This beautiful video, and Wintley Phipps unforgettable rendition, should help all of us to unite, and to pray that the racism, hatred, judgement, criticisms being voiced today can be healed by this kind of manifestation of true Christianity: humility and love.

  • Heather

    Everything !!

  • Jim H

    I am a 70 year old Christian believer and this wonderful song say's it all! By Amazing Grace I am Saved, thru Faith alone in Christ alone! When I hear Amazing Grace I tear up every time. God gave me the indigence to make choices that's why the color of another's skin will never be considered when choose a friend or attempt a friendship. In my opinion my only choice should be another persons values, the GREATEST of these is love! I look for biblical love, that is someone who wants the best biblical good for me, no matter what the consequence's would be for themselves". I once was lost but now I'm found at last my eyes can see!!!!!

  • Charlotte

    I believe the information presented gives the listener the potential to see the good that came from history. We rise above the negative to bring forth understanding. Through understanding, love and kindness can create goodness.

  • Fermin Whittaker

    The beauty of the words

  • George Blumel

    This reminds me of a black conservative disk jockey in Chicago many years ago who often said that, “it takes the black and white keys on the piana To play the Star Strangled Banna” (that’s how he pronounced it)

  • D. Clark

    How can i purchase a copy of this video?

  • Anna Mae Green

    Quite possibly the most beautiful, meaningful song ever written.

  • tom


  • Marlene Ladson

    What a reminder of how good and loving God is and continues to be to all of his Children ! Absolutely Amazing AMAZING HOW MUCH IVE LEARNED AND MY HEART IS OVERWHELMED WITH JOY!!!

  • Peggy DiLeva

    what is there NOT to like! Amazing

  • Gayle Byers

    The story behind the song and it's meaning. I so wish I had been there but seeing and hearing my favorite Hymn, "Amazing Grace!" Thank you Mr. Whitley Phipps. God Bless You. God blessed you with a elegant voice. Gayle Byers W.V.

  • bmjump

    the story, the passion the human spirit of survival, great show!!

  • Deb

    The education and emotion!

  • L Ray

    Thank you Wintley Phipps for singing my favorite song "Amazing Grace" with such inSPIRITation. I felt the LOVELIGHT coming through the video. I feel Outrageously Blessed! Your the Best! I appreciate your Wonderful Enthusiasm in service to God Almighty and uniting all hearts to Be Love.💖

  • Joe McBride

    Please check your information before putting it out. John Phillip Sousa was born in 1854, and was a member of the Marine Corp band at the age of 12. The last known slave ship, the Wanderer, landed in 1858 in Georgia. The ship was seized and was outfitted by the US Navy, serving as a gunboat, a tender, and a hospital ship. So unless you believe that a 4 year old boy could serve on an ocean going ship, you have missed the mark with you comments on Sousa. Joe McBride

  • Jo Helen Hildebrand

    What amazed me most about this video is the history behind the melody and words of the hymn. Every Christian, no matter what race should not only know that the melody was a slave melody and the words were written by John Newton a former white slave owner who became a Christian.

  • LAB

    His message of hope and peace unity

  • Sonya

    What inspired you about this video?i felt inspired!

  • Nancy

    Very interesting! I had never heard this. No wonder this song is so anointed!

  • Regina

    The story, the emotion and the unexpected fact that I got to see Carnegie Hall from the vantage point of the stage once again. I sang on that stage many years ago with the NY Choral Society.

  • Hilda

    A friend sent it to me.Just awesome.

  • greg

    Also GME one day when u get the Holy Spirit to inspire you and your Christian music you can play at the Hall. Paul and Peter taught if you can't lift up your brother in Christ then keep a hand over your mouth, in other words if you dont have anything good to say to your brother don't say anything at all.

  • greg

    I see the negativity from GME is one from a Christian using fowl language about a spiritual song is well what it is, shame on you GME control the tongue. Second, since we dont know where the tune came from then why make the statement when in fact you can't back it up. To say the tune was not used by Africans slaves and adapted is a possibility. What I would do instead of being fowl, email Pastor Phillips and ask the question in a Christ like matter. Just like Satan to take something good and trash it. Thanks a lot G.

  • Willie

    The power of a gracious God

  • Sharon Lewis

    I felt the pain and touched me so much.One day we will be free at last.

  • Sara

    It was moving. It made me think of home!

  • Dan Rich

    In this day and age of prejudice and polarization, what a pleasure it is to hear this wonderfully emotional rendition of Amazing Grace! Music can be a tool to unite us!

  • Maritza

    The grace of his SPIRIT

  • Joe

    Every time I sing this song in the future, I will think of brother Phipps and the slaves.

  • Patricia

    Just beautiful and inspiring. Lots of tears roll down my cheeks every time I hear it. My late Dad's favorite song.

  • Kevin O'K

    I have always said, to really appreciate a song you should be aware of the story behind the words. I'm 82 years old and although I always loved that hymn I never heard the story behind it. Powerfully inspirational

  • Lynne K

    Can anyone listen to this without tears on the cheeks? Amazing Grace was sung at my late husband's funeral. If only he could have heard and seen this..

  • Janie M Jones

    I have always been inspired by this song. My mother loved it and we sang it our church all the time. I am 81 years old an know every word. Please send more like this.

  • Jean

    The truth of it.....

  • Blue Harris

    If only this could find its way across our country, across the seas, across other nations, into the very Universe, I do believe we would feel a universal transformation taking place. It brings no adequate words, only tears of joy. I was raised on this hymn and will have it sung at my funeral. It is the Song of My South....

  • Marcia

    loved it....we are ONE! Amazing Grace <3

  • Cynthia R

    So glad to have this Truth revealed! I believe John Newton was speaking of himself when he wrote it as he had finally seen the Truth of the atrocity of slave trade. Thank you God!

  • S Yost

    We all need to realize that GODS GRACE is for everyone no matter the color of our skin. He died for ALL

  • Carla Shuster

    everything - it was wonderful

  • Juanita Clark

    The contrast between the united-from past to present, we're all 'children of God' message John Phipps shares with his audience(and us) and the contrasted message sent by our political leader in 2015.

  • Marty Harding

    No matter how often I hear this song or its origin, its powerful message humbles me as I'm reminded of how God's grace is available to all and how many souls it has saved and will continue to save forever when one submits his heart to our Lord and Savior. Hallelujah!

  • LANA

    opens your heart to feel the love music is universal, love is universal, God is universal we must get-it, we are all ONE under ONE God. FOREVER

  • Steve

    The Words and sounds came from the Heart.

  • abb

    My father this song. now I know why.

  • JoAnn Stephens

    The emotion he put into the song

  • walter Galuska

    I sing in our Church Choir and have always been moved by Amazing Grace!

  • Dan

    Jesus sets us free - and he brings us together! This has helped me even in a life much more comfortable than a slave ship - we get enslaved to selfish thoughts, uncaring actions, and wasted life - Jesus has found me and opened my eyes!

  • Teena

    The mixture of races.

  • lloyd

    What inspired you about this video? ALL OF IT ,I SAY ALL OF IT! PLEASE CAN WE HEAR IT AGAIN ,INCLUDING THE LAST VERSE. "When we've been there 10 thousand years Bright shining as the sun........" Only Whitnley Phipps can sing like this ..Praise GOD.

  • Yvette Halll

    Glory to God, how deep, how high, how wide is you love that you gave us Amazing grace!

  • Peggy

    Seeing this video that came to me a few days after the killing of nine members of the church really sent chills. It should be played outside that church including Mr, Phipps comments on black spirituals. It was inspiring.

  • Issaac C. Jones

    Also I need to make a correction in my last comment, the black sharp/flat key I wrote D#/Db it should have been D#/Eb.

  • Issaac C. Jones

    This was an awesome session which my wife told me about it and I had to see and hear it for myself. Truly I was blessed by the entire presentation. Yes I know that the pentatonic scale can also be played on the white keys as well, Ms. Joan L. Roccasalvo. I believe Mr. Phipps point, as a fellow African American as he and I both are, was to creative illustrate in the use of the sharp/flat keys of F#/Gb, G#/Ab, A#/Bb, C#/Db and D#/Db and relating them to the people who sang in those pentatonic scales who themselves were black. He was not trying to get into an intense music theory lesson, Ms. Joan you and I can do that together on another forum, but to demonstrate through song the pathos of our ancestors and what a rich spiritual legacy that was left behind. These "unknown" authors of these songs and melodies that Father God has saw fit to use, from a people whose value was equivalent to horses and cattle, to heal not only my people but literally millions of souls who find comfort and solace in His "Amazing Grace!"

  • wayne

    What an amazing performance it sent chill up my spine.

  • Gloria Leder

    Powerful - this is truly amazing!!!! I didnt know about the black keys.

  • catherine

    God's glory

  • Dean Huseby

    Wow! In Christ, the dividing wall is removed and we are made one! Grateful to know the rest of the story.

  • Ann Richmond

    Always loved this song, but watching this video has opened up a greater understanding of it and the people who inspired it.

  • Marleen Gooding

    The first verse of this sacred piece was sung by my father as he tried to strengthen his walking ability in therapy sessions during the last two weeks before he passed away.

  • Rocco Corbino

    Never can hear this song to often...God Bless All

  • AJ Schell

    This was interesting and AWESOME!!! Didn't know this and am surprised. Tears in my eyes.

  • Page 1

  • In a rare interview with PBS, Wintley Phipps shares more about his journey.
  • Learn about the connection between "Negro Spirituals" and the history of African Americans
  • Do some research into your own past and discover the music of your roots!

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