Gold City surprise

Daniel Mount finds it “surprising” that Gold City took home so many awards at the Ovations shindig recently. Which is, well, surprising. For my part, I’d have been surprised only if Gold City HADN’T won big. They’re the highest profile and most accomplished talent signed with Southern Spin Entertainment, a minor fiefdom in the Unthank Media Kingdom and run by Amy Marie and Chris Unthank, the latter being one of the hosts of the Ovations awards. Thus the Ovations awards press release: “The event was hosted by singer/songwriter/comedienne Sondra Burnett and Chris D. Unthank, Chart & Awards Coordinator for and co-owner of SSE Group.” Move along folks. No conflicts of interest to see here. Gold what?

It doesn’t really matter if the Unthanks put the squeeze on their staff writers to nominate Unthank clients or not. My guess is they don’t. Because they don’t have to. Sometimes the memos that everyone gets and reads and clearly understands are the ones that never have to be written. When the staff doing the picking for nominees are some of the same people who have a financial and professional stake in the success of a group up for nomination (see here for how the nomination and selection process works), it really is impossible for that bias not to shape what you pick - whether you actively avoid picking clients because you work for them or, as it would appear in this case, you put them in a position to win big (from votes by fans who are more likely to already be a part of the Unthank universe and its PR echo chamber) precisely because you - or your editor/boss - want (and are paid) to believe in them so much.

Correction: Looks like I got this one wrong (Gold City no longer retains Southern Spin), and now color me - right along with Daniel Mount - surprised. But I’m happy to be wrong. It’s good news any time sogospelnews upends the conventional wisdom about their longstanding tendency toward self-dealing.

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  1. HHE wrote:

    You speak the truth my Brother! Of course you know what I think of the Unthanks’ game.

  2. Trent wrote:

    “Gold City Surprise” sounds like a dessert to me.

  3. sg mgr wrote:

    As one who actually attended the “awards show” - if you can call it that, not only did Gold City receive several “awards” they also stole the show with their performance of “The Truth is Marching On.” Daniel Riley was never in better voice than he was Tuesday night.

    Most of the other groups that performed all sounded alike to me with their hard driving over produced tracks, uptempo songs, weak lyrics, and rock-and-roll costumes. There were a couple of exceptions, but overall that was my impression.

    One notable excpetion was the Collingsworth piano performance of “How Great Thou Art.” A true worship experience that made the entire evening of almost unbearable corn-pone jokes and amateurish emceeing worth the pain.

    The Unthanks should stick to running websites - producing “awards shows” is certainly not their strength.

  4. Paul Jackson wrote:

    sg mgr is right about Mrs Collingsworth’s
    performance. Some will think this an exageration but…her moment on the stage
    may have been the greatest combination of sensational talent and sincere spirituality that I have ever seen. Of course none of us can really know the heart of someone else, but it seemed to me that she was giving God worship with every fiber of her being as she offered back her talent to the One from whom it came. It was true and glorious worship!
    I will never forget it. Without a doubt the high point of the evening!
    …the most pleasing event of the evening to me personly was to witness Daryl Williams receiving his award (according to him, his first in 25 years of writing). He is one of the “workhorse” writers in SG…and has been for a long time. He’s also one of SG’s most genuine and all round good persons.
    Congratulations Daryl! You are so deserving of some recognition from the fans and your peers! We are proud of you and honored to call you “friend”.

  5. ryan wrote:

    I’m glad to hear that Gold City won awards. They deserve them. I think this is a very good gold city group. They have, in my opinion, one of the elite tenor singers in southern gospel music, and an underrated singer in Daniel Riley. I’ve been a fan of Gold City’s since my mom and dad took me to see them live when they had Ivan, Brian, Mike, and Tim.

  6. fan of EHSSQ wrote:

    I agree with sg mgr…. the over produced tracks were almost unbareable.
    and What ever happened to groups standing out and just being themselves… EVERYBODY SOUNDS THE SAME… It appeared that almost (not all),
    everyone had the look at me attitude.
    and What about The Mike Bowling Group award…ONLY in Southern Gospel Music would people except an award that they had nothing to do with.. Mike was the only person present that was apart of the MIKE BOWLING GROUP Graceland project. And I agree that the Unthanks should stick to running websites…..

  7. Jake Rasnick wrote:

    Check your facts as Gold City is NOT with Southern Spin

  8. Gold City wrote:

    Gold City is no longer with Southern Spin Entertainment.

  9. sg mgr wrote:

    ditto on the congrats to Darryl Williams - great writer, hard to believe he has never recieved an award after 25 years. They got that one right.

    While on a road trip recently I was listening to some old Gold City, circa 1993 - 1996 era. Even with the personnel changes they were going through at that time they still turned out top notch projects. Good solid songs, GREAT harmony (mixed so you could hear the vocal blend as well as the music), and tracks that were solid, professional, and very pleasing to the ear yet never the center of attention. It took me back to the days when I would watch with amazement as GC would make it look so effortless. They are still among the best at this - along with Mark Trammell Trio, Booth Brothers, The Perry’s and BFA.
    Today many singers feel the need to crane their necks, twist their faces up, and scream until every vein in their neck is popping out and people think they are good singers.

    Give me the smooth professionalism anyday.

  10. Trent wrote:

    Back to the comment about people at the show trying to look like rock stars or American Idol wannabees….Daniel Britt recently put an interview on his site with Legacy Five. This interview was done at the ‘06 NQC. During the interview, Roger Bennett said he was concerned about the southern gospel music industry. He said that (I’m paraphrasing) we are at a point where our artists are trying to be too hip and too cool for our fans. I agree with Mr. Bennett.

  11. Trent wrote:

    The Roger Bennett remarks are at about the 25-minute mark of the interview, if anybody wants to listen.

  12. quartet-man wrote:

    I happen to think that Gold City is one of the best out there. They may not have the “flash” of SSQ, but they have lots of talent. I see great things ahead for them. I can’t think of another active SGM quartet that I would want to hear more.

  13. Mary wrote:

    How can Ryan compare the group with Brian, Ivan, Mike , and Tim to the current lineup??
    Maybe I’m speaking out of line, since I haven’t seen today’s GCQ live. All I have to go by with my assesments is the album “Revival”. I referr back to what several people here said about groups with overbearing soundtracks. My oponion is that Gold City has joined that crowd.

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