Responding to Danny

Danny Jones wondered the other day, “are we over-analyzing Southern Gospel? By that I mean, are we trying too much time trying fix something that might not be broken?” Good question. So I asked a few people I know “on the inside” to respond to Jones’s question. Is something broken in gospel music or not? One of the people I asked replied:

Well…it sure is interesting food for thought. I do know that sales are at an all time low through distribution and concert ticket sales are slipping as well. I don’t think the problem is a dying industry as much as it is over saturation of “talent” in the market. Anyone can record a CD. Anyone can get an ad in the Singing News and anyone can hire a radio promoter. The days of a local buzz are dead. But on the other hand, I have witnessed this …

In a time of diminishing sales I have watched as the Gaither Vocal Band, The Martins and the Crabb Family STILL sell in the 6 figure range. Signature Sound, Greater Vision and the Perrys have also proven to be money-making artists for labels. I think it goes back to the old saying, “quality, not quantity.” As long as SG stays in the church, it will have a market. To me the real question is can the SG industry attract youth who have a passion to carry on the tradition of excellence in songwriting, production, marketing and promotion? Who will be the next J.G. Whitfield, Marvin Norcross or Bob Benson? Who will be the next Lari Goss or Jerry Crutchfield? Who will be the next Dottie Rambo, Ira Stanphill or Bill Gaither? These are they who thought outside of the box. Will we continue in that tradition, or just get by like I am seeing labels, artists, producers and promoters do now?

That’s the real question, it seems to me.

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