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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  • Regina James

    What inspired me about this video is the truth!! And the fact that one can take little of nothing, like 5 notes, 5 scales on the black notes and come up with music so absolutely beautiful. And the reason is it is true humlity and praise to the Most High God, The Son and The Holy Spirit. It brought tears to my eyes and encouragement to my soul. Thank you!

  • gail anderson

    He touched my soul. I could see the men in the bottom of the ship and hear their pain. God is so good to give us Mr. Phipps amazing talent Am trying to purchase a cd with this song on it but not too successful

  • Kristy M

    This is wonderful - may God bless this video and this man, may they both be heard again and again! Thank you for sharing, Mr. Phipps et,al,!

  • Mike Wood

    I should me that it is not the colour of my sink but what is in my heart that counts in the eyes of the Lord.

  • chandran sukumaran

    Only the great Paul Robson could have sung it better.

  • Kristy M

    LOVE this song, it never - ever - grows old. Such an inspiration to all of us who were, in fact, a MESS before our hearts were changed and our lives were adopted. VERY moving, powerful rendition, thank you!!

  • Ria Barker

    I have read the comments and have noted those from Josh and Warren. Not everything written in History is the full truth. There is always more than one story behind a story. One thing we do know, God works in mysterious ways and everything that is of God, or about God, is inspired by God. When one is filled with the spirit of God one recognises what is of God and that which is not. Amazing Grace is God inspired and this was an amazing rendition, thank you. May God bless you Wintley.

  • J Sheets

    I felt the sorrow of the slaves. It brought me to tears. Thank you Mr. Phipps for this stirring rendition.

  • Neville

    This is really something

  • Mike Relon Makiling


  • Charlie Bulanti

    I once played this wonderful spiritual on my alto sax, with a fine pianist, Ron Borelli.It was a big hit! What a great song!

  • Carroll Palmer

    Growing up in Nacogdoches Deep East Texas back in the 40's & 50's, usually both parents worked so we were taken care of by Black women. It was a wonderful time and I will always cherish the memories of Naomi, Mary, Emma & Doris !!! Thank God I have pictures of all of them !! I think of them everyday !!!!

  • Maria B Rodrigues

    When he comment that he research on the library of congress, and the lyrics was written by John Newton but the melody unknown, and he said he would like to meet that slave named unknown, I would like to do the something,because this one of my favorite song, and this is the interpretation that I like it the most.

  • steve sveda

    The message of inspiration of belief in God.

  • Elijah King, Jr.

    Josh please listen to Mr. Phipps commentary that is delivered before the song. He says Newton's work on the slave ship inspired his lyrics. The composer of the music is unknown but uses the melodic tones of the Negro spiritual. Newton could not take credit for a melody he had previously heard on his slave ship.

  • Bunny Payette

    This song always brings tears of joy ..His rendition is the best I have ever heard

  • Josh

    The above information is not factually accurate. Amazing Grace is not a "negro spiritual". It IS a poem written by John Newton, but the tune has no connection to his work on a slave ship. He didn't write it until 10 years after he worked on a slave ship and he didn't write the music anyway. The music is called "New Britain" and is a British folk tune whose author is unknown. Not only this, but the minor scale (or black piano keys) has been in use in classical European composition for hundreds of years. At any rate, the information above is little more than fabricated revisionist history and should be given no credence.

  • Vinette Brown

    God Amazing Love......all things work together for good....we are connected because of Gods Amazing Grace..

  • Clarice Ray

    Eager to hear Wintley sing this in heaven~! He feels each note! awesome!

  • peggy

    Wintley is the best ,, sings it like he was on that ship

  • Alice P. Rascio

    I LOVE this song "Amazing Grace", and Wintley Phipps sang this song on a scale from one to 10, he was a 10. Awesome and beautiful, causes you to feel your closer to Christ.

  • Jacksmich

    His voice was on point!

  • LaTandra Porter

    The video let viewers know there is a meaning behind all music. I never knew who wrote that song. This video makes you want to study the history of all music.

  • Pastor Joseph Simiyu

    good and great work please keep it up!!!

  • Darlene

    What No one person or group has the right to steal a person/people from their home and customs/traditions,no matter where it is and change their lives completely by transporting to a new and unfamiliar places where they separated families and friends, with unfamiliar customs and force them to live a different way with no choices or freedom.

  • Priscilla

    never judge

  • Grace

    Beautiful!!so easy to listen to you speak and then sing wow.

  • j

    good history good guts good fight

  • Rudolph V. Boone, Sr.

    That video demonstrated significant history, what soul music is all about, and how God can speak so profoundly through individuals and music!!!!!!!

  • betty o'neil

    his voice is remaarkable. also interesting that black spirituals played on black notes of piano. where cani buy a cd of him singing.

  • Mollie

    This is one of the VERY most inspirational stories and renditions of any music I have every heard! And I loved the (soooo obvious) connection Rev. Phipps made between the white and black keys. I hade never heard of the "slave scale before, so this was an awakening for me on many levels. Praise God and his missions! HE is sooo Good! In fact, I just subscribed to Karmatube, and to learn more of so much I don't know! Amen!

  • Chuck

    The best rendition of "Amazing Grace" I have ever heard

  • Joan SWETNAM-Nicholis

    This is just beautiful. I hope you will be blessed!

  • Arthur J. Trotter sr.

    I always love the song .

  • Marjorie Fronckel

    I have always loved this song, now even more love .....

  • Judy

    It touched my soul profoundly, bringing tears to my eyes and joy in my heart. We as American's must forgive ourselves for the bondage we so ignorantly created, not only with African American's but people that are suffering in poverty today. Otherwise, we recreate the atrocities of our past. As Mr Phipps so articulately stated, "we are all connected".

  • Sherry

    What inspired you about this video? "The truth"

  • Sarah Patterson

    I would like to know what you can do to even hear it. Amazing Grace is one of my favorites, but can't seem to hear it.

  • RosalieGrace Thompson

    I have always loved and have sung this wonderful spiritual, but never have I heard it sung better than Wintley Phipps -- wonderful!

  • Irene

    The story about the black notes and singing of Amazing Grace. Sent chills through me and brought tears to my eyes. I could almost feel the Spirit if the slaves hearts through his singing. Sooo powerful.

  • jim rutherford


  • ginger


  • C. Johnston

    "Heaven came down!" Made my tears of joy come pouring out! This song is on my list to be sung at my funeral. Thank you for your glorious story about the writing of this song.

  • Katie Gorbea Araguz

    I was Dedicated to God by this wonderful man when i was only 18 months old at a camp meeting my parents were at. I have grown up listening to him all my life..Wish i knew how to get ahold of him so he could baptize my daughter..

  • muncie

    Have always loved that song and want it played at my funeral. Too bad Wintley Phipps will not perform it!

  • Andy

    It may change how you think about the human experience.

  • Christy

    Was transported into the world my grandmother would sometimes transform into and embody of growing up in the Mississippi delta among recently freed slaves who, like her, lived on her uncle's land. I guess they were all a little orphaned. I know nothing about his personality or looks and even less about her parents or aunt (never mentioned), but I know many things the old women experienced and advised.

  • Mike Straw

    Beautiful story and beautiful rendition. Touching!

  • Janene

    The story is beautiful. His rendition is amazing and probably the most moving I have ever heard. So beautiful.

  • Joann

    Awesome. I believe he is inspired by God.. You who.

  • Carol

    This song has been sang at my mother's funeral, my children's funeral and hopefully mine. It means a lot to me, not just the words, but the tune itself. Thank you Wintley Phipps. I did not know the origin of this song but now I seem to understand the true sense of this melody.

  • Carol Taylor

    Everything about this wonderful song so inspires me !!! Wintley Phipps has a great ministry with children of prisoners at the Dream Academy, and other areas. He is a faithful child of our Heavenly Father !!!

  • Martha Green

    I never heard the story about the black notes. It was amazing to hear the song Amazing Grace, just knowing what our forefathers went through, but God was there all the time with His Amazing Grace seeing them through the storm. Thank God for Jesus and His Grace and Mercy. And thank you Wintley Phipps.

  • Maryanne

    Everything! I loved to hear the history of the song, the words sung by Wintley Phipps, his strong ,emotional rendition, and the huge reaction from the audience. It is all so inspiring!

  • Yin

    I have always been moved by Amazing Grace but after hearing Phipps I tremble & can't help shedding more tears for inhumanity!!!

  • Angel

    Gorgeous man, gorgeous voice, marvelous personality, lovely soul!!! Goosebumps listening to this video!!!! Moving!!!!

  • Natalie

    Made me cry for the sorrow all those people suffered at the hands of the white people and that includes me>

  • Jo Diamond

    I enjoyed the history of the song. I wish I could have heard Mr. Wintley Phipps sing it but something happened that stopped the recording. What I was able to hear and see is God sent!!!!

  • chris

    1. He is from my country. 2. The lecture puts the song in context and strengthens it. 3. he has a wonderful voice 4. this is a fabulous lament

  • Wretched Man

    Its not about atrocities man has rationalized because of greed. Its not about the cruel and inhumane treatment all endure past and present. Its not about ethnic or national origins. Its not about color, race or religious beliefs. Its about being FREE. Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. God's Grace is truly Amazing. We should be as brother's and sister's in one body. The Body of Christ. Wretched Man

  • Riley

    If you are not blessed by this song and Mr. Phipps message, you have a problem. Love, mercy and Grace, and it is awesome and AMAZING. And that's the truth.

  • Brenda

    When Phipps made the statement "we are all connected" everyone agreeded. It would be so amazing if could all really live as we are connected. I'm sure when everyone left that hall they all went about their lives as if we are not connected. I keep this in my in box to go back and listen to and even remind myself.

  • Margie

    This hymn reminds me of my dad. My dad had a wonderful baritone voice. Dad died while this song was being sung in the next room. Dad was blind; so, the line " I was blind and now I see " means everything to me. Now, Dad is singing in the heavenly choir. He now longer is blind for NOW HE SEES!

  • Nancy

    This is my mothers favorite song. I always lovingly think of her when I hear it! Wonderful message - wonderful singer.

  • Cason McClain

    The whole truth of God's love is embodied in Amazing Grace.

  • Richard

    The soundings at the beginning of his vocal. I was there in the bowels of the ship.

  • Warren

    This spiritual came from the same place many pentatonic tunes in our hymnals originated, in Appalachia. NEW BRITAIN, the tune we use for Amazing Grace, was first published in a book called Virginia Harmony in 1831, obviously a good while after the text was written. It became "married" to Amazing Grace somewhat after its publication. Per Micki Gonzalez / Sandy Springs, GA, Christian Church

  • tom nicholson

    All gods children love music and by its power each other

  • Kenrick

    This is my most favorite hymn And to hear it being sang by Mr Wintly Phipp is a blessing from GOD the father himself, is is truly a blessing as to what God can do when we allow him to use to do his work, to all of those folks that think and believe that the songs that they are singing now in the churches, that sounds like club and party music, this is what Gods words sounds like when it is done right, it is time that Christians bring back that old time religion, and don't try and get people into the church with the noise and loud music that they are calling worship music, and to all of those people that desecrate, presecute good heartfelt, spiritual, soul searching songs you better wake up and pay attention, Amazing Grace have brought me a long way and with Gods grace will carry me even further, Amen.

  • Jackson

    It is know secret what God can do! My spirit felt like I was there on that slave ship! Beautiful and well said. Thank you for the education on Black history. God Bless you and PBS.

  • a

    i had goosebumps when he sang :O

  • cathy

    You can feel all the spirits coming forth when he sings this beautiful song God has truly given him a beautiful gift. When he sing this song I get cold chills all over. beautiful just beautiful everyone should hear it.

  • Florence Horan

    Amazing Grace has always been one of my favorites - such beautiful meaning - and now to know the history as well - makes it more meaninful than ever. Mr. Phipps does great justice to it - beautiful strong voice. Thank you

  • Anita Parmer

    Love the song and he does a wonderful job singing it!

  • Lynnclaire Dennis

    What do I love about this song? Everything! My Dad was the chaplain at the Washington State Penitentiary when I was growing up and Amazing Grace, his favourite song was often 'uniquely' played often by my conservatory trained pianist Mom! I'm in the middle of a 'retranslation' of the words to this song, revealing how the music cuts the shackles on so much of what binds us. While I am not religious and don't believe in 'God' in the same way that Wintley preaches, I am all about the message of his teacher; Love. Doctring aside, Wintley Phipps' voice is rich, every note a gift that calls forth what is within one and all. Thank you!



  • Linda H.

    Wintley Phipps is one in a billion; definitely touched by Spirit.God Bless. And learning about the Black & white keys was so interesting. I listened to Wintley Phipps music years ago & was just reintroduced to him again thru this Awesome video. God Bless the work he does.

  • Paul Swindle

    This is the very thing that will bring Americans together. The same thing that brought John Newton to Jesus Christ will join all ou us together in Christ.

  • Zena Ali

    It's my life story, I was lost and now I am found.

  • Linda Gilson

    The words of Wintley and the fact that my friend's granddaughter, Gracie Lawton from Mohawk, NY, passed from cancer and that song is Gracie's and always will be!

  • GSM

    The sheer beauty of Wintley's voice and, moreover, the sheer power of the greatest two words ever uttered: Amazing Grace, indeed!

  • Mary Sandiford

    Beautiful. I have heard Amazing Grace played and sung many times. This is the performance of all times. Thank you Mr Phipps.

  • Rev. Pat

    I knew the traditional history of Amazing Grace. What I learned was how Negro Spirituals were built on the "black keys." This is the best Black History/Music History lesson I've receive in a very long time. And I'm an African-American retired music teacher. Thank you Mr. Phipps!!!

  • Jane

    EVERYTHING!! His voice, his delivery, the history.



  • Getsa

    The history and the power in the voice! Awesome!

  • Emily Weaver

    A powerful presentation of history, song, and message.

  • Iretha Mckinley

    So true Godi so Good. It remind me of my grand parents every time I visit them and go to church that is the song I always heard. This video was so awesome

  • Ben Groesbeck

    The emotion behind the words by Wintley

  • Darlene Ford

    It reminds us we are all connected by Gods' amazing grace.

  • Beverly

    Awesome! the Holy Spirit is alive and well and you can feel it in this song. Thank You, Wintley Phipps for your message in the keys .

  • Sofia Roberts

    The way he gave his definition of a simple song, words cannot interpret the suffering that a lot of us in general endure, we just have to keep on doing what we are doing as long as it is the right thing in the eyes of the Almighty. AMEN, ALLELULIA!

  • Wesley K Madison

    Wintly's voice----The song itself is inspiring to me and is spirit filled in itself but Wintley's voice really clinched it and the spirit of God really entered me-------Praise the Lord.

  • Lynn Garrett

    Aaaa-men! Wonderful!

  • Rosalie walker

    Just listening I could feel the presents of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Praise God.


    THE HISTORY OF THE music " THE BLACK KEYS " a message of LIFE

  • Wayne Cox

    The truth of the story, a message of forgiveness and sung by the best baritone in the country

  • Amy

    Absolutely soul moving! This was my grandmother's favorite hymn. She lived to be 106 years young and I still remember her telling me to listen, really listen, to the words of this hymn and learn from it. My grandmother would have loved to hear Mr. Phipps sing.

  • Beth Compton

    Mr. Phipps countenance!!! He uses that God-given gift of his great singing voice to the mightest degree! Amen, Amen and I say Amen. Beth Compton.

  • Faye Gregg

    What inspired you about this video? I really enjoyed the powerful voice of Wintley Phipps and the whole video.

  • 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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