Spring Hill meltdown

I’ve gotten a couple of emails about this and now I see a commenter brought it up, but Spring Hill has evidently fired all or most of its staff in a fit of corporate (yes, I’m going to pun now) spring cleaning. Reader quartet-man says one of the Oaks is writing about it at their website, but I’m too pinched for time at the moment (travelling for work) to futz around with the Oak Ridge Boys navigationally challenged website. So good luck.

Update: David Bruce Murray has been following the Springhill debacle closely over at musicscribe. Anyone interested in the blow by blow should check it out.

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  1. David Bruce Murray wrote:


    The writing is actually taking place on the Oaks’ message boards. They haven’t posted anything to the actual website yet, as far as I can tell.

    You can access the statements from Duane Allen at the link above, but you have to be a registered member of the Oaks message board before you can view it.

  2. David Bruce Murray wrote:


    If you don’t want to register for the Oaks message board, I’ve posted the gist of the information on my blog at the link above.

  3. quartet-man wrote:

    I was going to put a link here and state you had to sign up. Then I was going to put his basic comments up, but David beat me to all of it. Duane is posting things as he knows about them.

  4. tim wrote:

    I thought that Springhill had packed up the meat and headed out of Southern Gospel land two years ago.

    SpringHill is basically Slanted Records. Follow the money. For all practical purposes SpringHill has been a nonfactor for two years. The writing was on the wall when DecembeRadio won a Grammy and made more money for SpringHill than they could ever hope to realize from their SG roster combined.

    It really says something when you can drop Karen Peck, Jeff and Sheri Easter, the Booth Brothers (and others) to pursue an unknown AC/CHR group and not even flinch. Derek knows how to pick’em.

  5. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Yes, the only reason this is interesting to Southern Gospel types is because Spring Hill started out as a SG label. They do still have the Oak Ridge Boys, though, so that element of the issue should be of interest to some SG fans.

  6. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    By the way, Derek Bruner evidently left Spring Hill/Slanted in May.

  7. KB wrote:

    Another interesting factor is that Spring Hill, as of late, is pushing the Oaks’ latest offering strictly to the country market (although two songs, “Didn’t It Rain,” and “Jonah, Job, and Moses” are both being featured on an upcoming Gaither video, and the latter just won a Dove award).

  8. tim wrote:

    Hey DBM, any idea where Derek ended up?

  9. quartet-man wrote:

    KB, the Oaks latest project was pretty much a country project. However, like almost all of their projects, there is some gospel stuff on there. They also choose to record positive material and not get into the drinking cheating songs that used to define country.

  10. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Oddly enough, this morning, the following link worked. Now it doesn’t.


    Fortunately, Google still has it cached. Unfortunately, the details are scarce:

    “Derek Bruner has announced he will be exiting Spring Hill Music and Slanted Records to form his own independent radio promo and artist management company.”

    That’s it. This statement is dated 5/15 and I can only assume the year is 2007.

  11. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    “Didn’t It Rain” is a fun variation on the traditional version of the song. It used the familiar chorus, but added brand new verses. I don’t necessarily think it would be a hit, but it’s an enjoyable song.

    “Jonah, Job, and Moses,” however, is one of the best Country Gospel songs I’ve heard in a long time. Here’s one case where the GMA voters showed more common sense than the record label. It deserved the Dove Award for Country Song, and won it, despite no push from the label for air play.

    I can see why Bruner went with “Hard To Be Cool In a Minivan” for Country radio first due to the novelty factor and trying to get another “Elvira,” but Bruner’s decision not to push “Jonah, Job and Moses” to Gospel radio after weeks and months rolled by made no sense at all.

    Sometimes, IMO, he doesn’t know how to pick ‘em. ;o)

  12. tim wrote:

    “Didn’t It Rain” went over well for us but I agree “Jonah, Job and Moses” is a much stronger song.

    Derek’s strength was in AC/CHR not Country or SG. He did bring DecembeRadio to the forefront and they are one of the few,the very few, groups to show any originality in CCM in quite some time.

  13. Eric Melton wrote:

    As a former employee for Spring Hill ( I was Radio Promoter from Aug of 99 to Oct of 2001) I hate to see something like this happened. I won’t go into the details but I my departure was due to some bad situations. I am sorry for those that had spent their time and effort and will pray for those that God would bless them with better opportunities. I would encourage you to not speculate about anything that goes on inside the company. For those of you that have never walked in the shoes of such as those employees you have no idea about the stress and strain that is involved of working with a company like Spring Hill. May God continue to bless the lives and families those employees involved.

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