A prelude to NQC
My attempt to put NQC in perspective for the rest of the world is in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal. Enjoy.
Update: FTR my CJ piece incorrectly places RW Apple at the NQC when in fact he was at the Opry when he heard the Steeles’ “We Want America Back.” I suspect he’d have reacted the same way to the song had he heard it at the NQC (certainly it is a cringe-inducingly unsubtle number no matter where it’s performed), but I remembered it wrong and have notified the C-J. Thanks to alert reader CG for keeping me honest.
While I’m at it, let me second two of DBM’s suggestions for an improved (”perfect” may be a bit strong) NQC: namely, a house band for all acts and a “supergroup” performance. DBM has some other genuinely innovative ideas that are worth considering, even if you don’t agree with them all.
For my part, I think less is more in this case: less themed programming of the sort that DBM has in mind, fewer novelty shows, and instead emphasize sg’s best/most popular acts by reducing the number of artists on the evening-concert stage and elongating each group’s alotted time to 30 and in some cases — Greater Vision and the Perrys, for instance — 45 minutes (though only if each group used at least three pieces of live instrumentation). This gives sg’s strongest artists the time to put on a something more closely resembling a proper show or set and eliminates alot of the fragmentation and unevenness in the current format. Lest you think I have in mind only “my” idea of what best and popular mean when it comes to sg, I should say that the focused concert lineup would have to include the McKameys and the Inspirations (undoubtedly popular, even if not the best), for example, but not the Weatherfords and the Segos (neither currently popular or that good); the Doves and the Kingsmen (popular too, and good for a few bars here and there), but not the Steeles or the Pfiefers (pockets of popularity but, respectively, a cultural warrior imitating a musician and an off-Branson novelty act billed as a southern gospel trio). There are plenty of showcase programs that could include the artists and acts excluded from the evening lineups I’m imagining. And though no change will please everyone (and I concede that the changes I advocate aren’t the only ones that will be necessary and could include some of the themed programs and novelty acts DBM envisions), you could do worse, if you’re NQC, than err on the side of proven favorites and industry leaders.Email this Post