That time of the month

Not much to say about this month’s SN (maybe it’s all the whacks I’ve been takin’ at ‘em lately, huh?). So it’s a quick dispatch this time round.

  • Ok, maybe I’m imagining stuff but there seems to be a general editorial preoccupation with rebutting a charge no one made (at least in the magazine) about gospel music being imperiled, that it is “just for old people,” that the music is dying etc: there’s Danny Jones’s editorial (”Southern Gospel Music is Just For Old People,” one of those “now that I have your attention” headline ploys, which should be banned, by the way); there’s the lead letter to the editor from a sixteen-year-old who … surprise! … loves sg; and there’s Jerry Kirksey’s Perspective about how “God’s Music Will Survive.” Now, obviously I think there some reason to give at least a little credence to the fear silently underwriting these pieces (and I’ve written quite a lot about the challenges for survival facing sg now and in the future). So I’m not complaining. Rather, it’s interesting to note what a least seems like a tacit agreement on the SN’s part to enter the conversation that has been largely confined of late to the internet.
  • The monthly NQC ad …er, I mean “story” prominently features a picture of Triumphity, no doubt a not-so-subtle signal that the group won’t be snubbed on the main stage this year (p40).
  • This sounds kinda stupid, perhaps, but I really wish a diagram of the Greater Vision bus had accompanied the article about their weekend on the road (p42). The story format - a kind of weekend-long diary full of entries from each guy - is/was a really good idea. The GV guys did a nice job of keeping the entries brisk and the editing helped the various voices cohere into a single story. But so much of the weekend takes place on the bus - whose turn it is drive, who’s sleeping and who’s not, where one or another is working on the bus - that it would have been interesting to see a layout of the bus. I’ve always assumed bunks were at the back of the bus but evidently GV’s bus is large enough or configured in such a way that there is an office of some sort (however tiny) at the back, where Rodney Griffin works. Where does Gerald Wolfe work then? Anyway, these guys eat healthy breakfasts, but their post-breakfast meals on the road sound … well, arterially sclerotic: Ryans, Cracker Barrel, Hardees, IHOP, Cracker Barrel. Ugh.
  • “The Fabulous Dove Brothers Quartet: Taking Quartet Singing Into the Future.” Huh? What’s futuristic about a half-century old songbook and even older jokes? … p49
  • Compare the Dollywood Dixie Stampede ad on p89 to ads for same event in month’s past. Notice anything different? This month, Dolly Parton is not front and center in the advertisement. In fact, she’s now nowhere to be seen in the ad. Hmmmm.
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