Solid Gospel, minus the gospel
So Solid Gospel 105.1 in Nashville dumps southern gospel in favor of 24 hours of “Sunday morning worship music” and the hopelessly focus-grouped name, Life 105.1. Wow. And ugh. “Sunday morning worship music”? Whose Sunday morning worship, exactly? If the answer is, everyone’s, I guess this means Nashville is in for a bunch of the white bread and diet soda insipidity that is the staple of so many praise and worship teams on Sunday morning these days.
I don’t know enough about the radio bidness in general or the Nashvile radio market in particular to comment intelligently on the bidness strategery of the format change. But as a bystander, this strikes me as momentously disappointing. Whether or not it’s a surprising business decision will have to remain for others more informed than I to say.
My guess, though, is that the answer is no - straightahead southern gospel simply doesn’t sell. This isn’t Salem’s fault, but that doesn’t make dumping Solid Gospel any easier to take. And sad as all this is for southern gospelites by itself, the unkindest cut is what IS - evidently - selling in its place. According to the 105.1 website, songs like
Here I Am to Worship, (the #1 most sung song in churches today)
How Great Is Our God
Lord I Lift Your Name On High
Shout to the Lord
I Could Sing of Your Love Forever
Might I propose a slogan for the new station? 105.1: spiritually vague, religiously obtuse, and purposively undemanding music for today’s lifestyle Christianity.
Update: Commenter Chris writes:
As a former Solid Gospel employee, I may can lend a little perspective. It appears the main reason for the switch was to give Salem a Nashville flagship for their Praise-themed satellite network (I think it’s called “The Word in Praise” or something like that). They have “The Fish” for their “Today’s Christian Music” network and had two separate stations airing Solid Gospel. The 105.1 frequency is actually licensed to Burns/Dickson, TN,about 40 miles west of Nashville, while the 104.9 frequency is licensed to a small community near Murfreesboro. I really don’t think this has anything to do with removing Southern Gospel per se, just giving Salem an outlet to be able to hear their Praise network in the Nashville area. Bidness…..it’s all about the bidness.
As RK says in another comment, I hope Chris is right. But even if he is, it’s telling that sg was the go-to genre when it was time to make room for more themed programming in the lifestyle network. I think it’s entirely possible that this wasn’t, as Chris suggests, a comment at all on southern gospel, at least not in a direct way, and still the loss of what was arguably one of sg’s flagship stations - and in music city, no less - makes the cut sting more than it might if this was some Solid Gospel affiliate in Cornpone, Kentucky, or Mammyville, Missouri.Email this Post