Kenny Bishop in Country Weekly
Countrified reader SJ noticed the full-color treatment Bishop receives in the February 12 issue. According to SJ the article “talks some about his work in politics, the disbanding of the Bishops, his return to SG music, and his Grammy nomination. It is a pretty generic article. The thing that is interesting to me is that the title of the article is ‘Prodigal Son.’ However, there is nothing in the article to indicate a “fall from grace” in the SG industry. The title could be perplexing if you didn’t already know the history there.”
I’ve long been fascinated by the masterful way Bishop has managed his return to gospel music. His political connections and status don’t hurt, of course – they add some novelty to the story and have clearly honed his public relations skills – but I’m not sure that entirely accounts for the way in which Bishop has been able to frame his comeback in the emotionally evocative hues of “the prodigal’s return” while avoiding virtually all of the prodigal’s baggage.
This is usually the point where someone thinks I’m being backhanded, damning Bishop with feint/faint praise (I always screw this one up … if only I taught English!). But honestly, I’m still not sure what to think of his “comeback.” The hopeful part of me is glad that Bishop had the courage to stage a return to gospel music after his unceremonious ouster and that part of me wants to believe Bishop’s return is a sign that the gospel music climate is not as hostile and unforgiving a place as it might have once been. The cynical part of me says hopeful me is a fool … and yet one always wants to hope.Email this Post