I’m feeling a little dazed and confused. A while back, David Bruce Murray reported that newly reconstituted Canaan Records had struck a deal with the Hoppers to distribute their album The Ride. Ok. Fine, great.
Now in an unhelpfully vague “story” (really no more than a glorified photo caption), GospelMusicUpdate.com suggests that the Hoppers are full-fledged Canaan artists (hat tip, NM). Referring to Canaan’s relaunch, the GospelMusicUpdate piece has this to say:
Dave Clark, a well known industry leader and successful songwriter takes the helm of leadership with the blessings of Jim Van Hook, president of Word. Dave introduced a video presentation highlighting the past musical legacy of Canaan Records and then welcomed the Hoppers, the newest member of the Canaan family.
That last phrase would certainly seem to allude to more than a distribution deal for The Ride, and yet the way it’s treated almost as an afterthought makes you wonder. You’d think if Canaan had/has signed the Hoppers (who would be the label’s first, right?), the label would have put out a press release or something, no? Or not. I can’t even find a Canaan Records website ( Chuck Peters’ southerngospelreporter.com story on the Canaan relaunch refers readers to the website of Canaan’s parent company, Word Records, but I’ve trolled around there for a while and if there’s a link to a Canaan website or even a mention of Canaan’s return at wordrecords.com, I sure can’t find it).
Indeed, unless I’ve missed something, there has yet to be any kind of official statement, release, press conference, or other formal announcement from Canaan at all (the GospelMusicUpdate piece says there was an official Canaan launch ho-down in Nashville yesterday, but that’s the first and all I’ve heard of it, which seems strange, if in fact it WAS an official lauch party … where are the press releases and photos of a grinning Dave Clark and Jim VanHook promising great things from their new venture?). And the Hoppers? Their website links to that dodgy GospelMusicUpdate “story.” And around and around we go. Serenity Now!
Are the Hoppers Canaan artists or not? Did Canaan Records forget to hire any PR people? Assuming Canaan Records’ return isn’t some figment of a collective hallucination, why is the Next Big Thing in Gospel Music not taking more control over its image in these crucial early days? Do they really want their identity to be determined by one shakily sourced news report and badly written photo blurbs?
Update: I emailed Dave Clark at Canaan about the confusion and he had this to say:
It’s been a whirlwind month of laying the groundwork for the relaunch of the Canaan label. Some of the pieces are still being put in place as we speak. I have read with interest several different unofficial things on the internet and in the press quoting various different sources. Rather than respond to the many rumors that I can’t control, we have been waiting until everything was firmly in place. Yesterday, as part of the WORD sales conference, we made the official announcement to the sales force that WORD is back in the southern gospel business with the relaunch of the Canaan label.
Clark wasn’t ready to talk about a Hoppers deal, one way or another (evidently no one told the Hoppers or Judy Nelon this). Guess we’ll have to rely on second- and third-hand stuff for a while longer, alas.
Later Update: Now that Judy Nelon press release from GospelMusicUpdate is on the SN news site trumpeting the Hoppers as Canaan’s “flagship artist.” There’s no indication who this purports to speak for. Canaan? The Hoppers? Both? Neither? Sigh. At this rate and by the time Canaan decides to say anything, they may have a roster full of artists and several album distribution deals to handle. This brings new meaning to a “hush hush” deal, nes cafe?
Even later update: I’m travelling work for so I haven’t had a chance before now to mention it, but yesterday a press release showed up in my inbox from … you guessed it, Canaan Records. The release officially announced Canaan’s comeback and the Hoppers as the first Canaan artist to be signed (still no Canaan website but I guess this is a gradual comeback). So it’s official, I guess.Email this Post