Who’d thought

Honestly, I would never have expected Billy Hodges’s appointment as the new Kingdom Heirs tenor to have created such a hubbub. It’s difficult to recall the last time a personnel change like this sparked the kind furor raging over at the sogospelnews message board (and I’m only referring to the comments about Hodges and not the typical administrative silliness going on in this thread, preposterously epitomized here by one administrator’s claim that people were criticizing Hodges because two of the Unthanks are ill). I mean, unless there’s a rampant and widespread outbreak of sarcasm running through the message boards, this particular hire has touched off some of the most succinctly withering comments I’ve read recently: “wow, it’s a sad day in southern gospel.” “You’ve got to be kidding me.” “I am shocked.” “I hated billy’s ego.” And on and on. Clearly, this fella has left lasting impressions and strong feelings wherever he’s gone, one way or another. Knowing very little about the guy, I don’t have anything subjective to offer about his voice or professionalism (and how someone in Hodges’ position behaves professionally is a legitimate topic of conversation, publicly and privately). But even if his voice had been conditioned for twice or thrice weekly work as a church music director as I originally thought (which it hasn’t been; he’s been on staff as recreation director at Marcus Pointe BC), he’d still needs to hunker down now and get into serious shape for the grueling demands of multiple daily shows at Dollywood. Given he’s not been singing professionally for a while now (at least the year he’s been on staff at MPBC), he’s got some major prep work to do. Otherwise, he won’t have a voice to speak of or with, and the only way he’ll be able to interact with anyone for better or worse is with the silent treatment.

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