Gaither taping creates heavenly rain, Nashville Friends to sell umbrellas
Breaking news tonight: Hundreds of Homecoming friends record audienceless in front of selves, report best Gaither video ever. Up next: birds of a feather flock together, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock, and flock. After that: methinks thou protesth too much. And don’t miss our bonus feature tomorrow night: people have said this is the best ever Gaither video taping, and we got to be on it … there’s a limited supply on sale out there at our booth, and when that limited supply is gone, we’ll go to the bus and count our money and get some more of them tapes.
In the meantime, expect a name change for southerngospelreporter.com to nashvilletaping.shill.
Update: First, let me direct you to the ever-wise comments of regular reader CVH. When Avery retires to Del Boca Vista (“how long till that happens,” I hear many of you ask), I want CVH to take over.
Anyway, conceding that the first rule of deadpan is never to flinch after you deliver your lines, I confess I’m bemused and mildly baffled by longtime readers’ surprise that I would take issue with “news” stories – even news (or “news”) from Chuck Peters, whom I’ve regularly singled out for praise (though I won’t hold my breath for valentine’s bouquets from Chuck’s sweetheart club, or are they bodyguards?) – when that news amounts to little more than some perfectly predictable quotes from above-averagely biased sources commenting on how wonderful the Nashville taping was (and no, I’m not suggesting the comments I posted from Negative Nelly are any more or less representative … notice I called it “an” unvarnished take in that original post, not THE unvarnished truth).
Let’s review: …
- The news source: Chuck Peters, of southerngospelreporter.com, made it quite publicly clear that he was personally interested in seeing more comments about the Nashville Homecoming from people who (say it with me now) build up instead of tear down. So, this wasn’t just another day on the job for Chuck. He didn’t just go out and get a few appropriately effusive quotes from notable performers at the taping. He didn’t just rewrite some press releases (to his credit, Chuck rarely ever does this). But neither did he write an original, enterprising human interest story that consisted of more than a bunch of gushing from sg luminaries over the “best Gaither video ever” (and no, a Mark Lowry quote about Rory under the bleachers and Bill Lost in Space doesn’t count as an enterprising feature story). Instead, Peters took it upon himself to make much of the “good” news he felt was missing from this story. And his whole project was based, if I understand rightly, on one crabby comment from an artist at the taping.
- The “news”: We heard primarily from two types of newsmakers: A)artists who have mostly been denied a spot on the Gaither gravy train up to now and who will quite naturally take every opportunity to have their name (finally!) associated with Himself; and B)artists who have a substantial amount of their career and credibility already inextricably connected to Gaither and are saying nothing different from what they would say anyway about any taping that Gaither Inc. had built up as much as the Nashville Homecoming (hundreds of groups! People who’ve never been on a Homecoming before!). What’s more, artists in this latter category have everything to gain by (pre)positioning themselves on the Great Gaither Nashville Homecoming as the new Old Friends singing with the really new friends who were finally let in out of the cold. That they obliged with ready-made quotes is definitely something, but it’s not (just) another day at the office for southerngospelreporter.com.
- Some surmises: Does that mean all those artists were lying about the taping? No. Is there anything wrong with soliciting and printing a few quotes from artists about how great the event was? Of course not. That’s showbiz news 101. Doest that mean it’s great work? Again, no. Do I actually think the taping was a flop given all the allegedly dispositive evidence of Peters’ reporting? I have no idea (if you’re still interested in what I think of Gaither’s work, better to go read what I’ve already written about it and judge for yourself).
I do think the tapes will be a success, and probably above averagely so. But at this point in the Gaither life cycle, it’s difficult to say what will be driving that success: the product itself or the mythic status of the Homecoming brand in gospel music. Another way to say this: Will the Nashville taping be great because something magical happened or because Gaither is Gaither and decided to resuscitate a fading phenomenon by, as CVH suggests, doubling down on what amounted to “Homecoming Comes Home for the First Time”? Gaither reliably produces quality stuff, but empirically the Homecoming phenomenon peaked a while ago. So when the only debate is about just how much better this Homecoming tape will be than what’s come before, that’s a pretty good sign that a reality check’s in order.
Now, didn’t you like me better the first, terse time around?Email this Post