Canaan’s future

Was Canaan really relaunched to imprint a bunch of compilations and distribute The Ride? I’m prone to be somewhat circumspect about an unposted interview with a sales rep, but it does make a person wonder. Why isn’t Canaan aggressively courting artists like, say, Jason Crabb or Anthony Facello and his new group (or paying a visit to Josh Feemster and Chris West and their pallet mill in North Alabama or seeing what it would take to get a sustainable Nelons back on the road)?

There’s a place for good compilations, as I noted recently, and Canaan would be foolish not to take advantage of the impressive archive that comes with restarting the Canaan imprint. But there’s also an exciting edge to sharpen out there between and across styles, assuming your entire staff isn’t spending the best part of its days combing through old albums.

Really, though, the take-away truth of all this probably has very little to do with Canaan’s future, about which we know virtually nothing and whose prospects are still fairly wide open in all directions, and actually seems like another chapter in the ongoing saga of Canaan’s shortsighted PR: no sales rep should be talking in such sweeping terms about a company’s vision and scope, and if by chance he DOES “give an interview” and step all over himself, then you get your corrected message out pronto, rather than sitting silently by whilst the chattering classes of the blogosphere tirelessly dissect information that is, one way or another, bad.

Email this Post

Trackbacks & Pings

  1. » Blog Archive » Scattered Thoughts on 18 Jul 2007 at 8:34 pm

    […] First, I notice that Averyfineline has some thoughts up about an interview I posted with a Word/Canaan sales rep a few days back. Why he refers to it as “unposted” when I posted it beats me, but his thoughts are an interesting read. And I wholeheartedly agree that a full-time sales rep would be a great addition to the label. […]


  1. Tony Watson wrote:

    I’m not sure why this would be a surprise. Most record companies in SG are not making any money to speak of and I certainly didn’t think that the re-launch of Canaan would do anything significantly to change that.

    I was watching a TV show the other night and an artist in another genre of music who had been around a long time said that record companies in all genres of music are having a hard time - based upon internet sales, pirating, downloading, etc.

    He said that record companies will be focusing on re-issuing old projects done before digital. Therefore the Canaan re-issue of past projects is right online and I doubt you will see them sign anyone in the future unless they are sure it will be a money maker. That’s just good business sense.

  2. KD wrote:

    It may be good business sense, but not taking the chance on good up and comers also leaves a label playing perpetual catch up to the front runners.

    It doesn’t make much sense to start a label, sign a big name group, like the Hoppers, then try to ride them to the bank along with all your “greatest hits” collections.

    If all you want to do is send out “greatest hits,” then just do that. But, I think you do the artist you sign a major disservice by not adding to the current roster (ex: Gold City/New Haven). Without a current artist line up, labels don’t feel compelled to focus on the development of their lone group. They end up hiring outside promoters to do the work. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with hiring an outside promoter, but I’ve got to think that it doesn’t exactly help foster a good working relationship between artist and label, unless the Canaan execs are having the Hoppers over for Sunday afternoon BBQs all summer long.

    As far as Canaan goes, I think fans will be greatly disappointed if they don’t throw the mighty Word money behind new artists and music. Currently, Daywind rules the SG label market. Just a little effort by Canaan (and some cash) could provide some great competition for Daywind.

    But, if Canaan were interested in developing artists, I think we would have seen them publicly involved in courting the groups Doug mentioned, as well as the Booth Brothers. But, alas, Daywind won those sweepstakes, and that leaves me concerned for the new Booth songs we’ll hear on the radio. Daywind isn’t exactly known for making the best choices in radio singles.

    Here’s to hoping Canaan jumps in with both feet and a wad of cash!

  3. Neal wrote:

    While it is nice to know we’ll be seeing some old material surface from within the vaults, I don’t intend to spend any hard-earned money on compilation discs. This sounds more like an executive decision than one of interest to the passionate listener. My list of Canaan/Riversong albums I want to see in their remastered entirety includes:
    Journeys and We Shall Behold The King by The Nelons
    I’ve Got His Footsteps by Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters
    Chosen by The Goodmans
    Black and White and Live and Alive/ by The Singing AmericansWho do I have to ask nicely to get these re-released?

  4. Tony Watson wrote:

    I may be missing the boat, but I don’t see any “up and comers” that are going to be the “next wave”.

  5. Arnold wrote:

    Well, there was no “Canaan/Riversong” as one was Word, the other Benson. As for the backlist from Canaan, New Haven has already harvested all the listenable titles and put them out.

    Also, the “next wave” has been snuffed out by the NQC. You only have to miss one generation to kill a genre. RIP to “Southern” Gospel. Even they know they are guilty the “kingpins” are even trying to hijack a revival and call it “American”

    Perhaps we should all just make a trip to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, scrap all we have and start all over!

  6. quartet-man wrote:

    I could be for seeing all of the Cathedrals Canaan stuff remastered and released on CD. Not sure if there would be enough money in it for them or not. However, unless they release a bunch of stuff on CD and then a new format comes along and becomes entrenched, there is a limit of old stuff for them to reissue before the pickins’ get slim, or they run out of stuff.

  7. Tom wrote:

    I would imagine that, if they could, the top-notch PR folks at Canaan would jump all over this PR blunder, and help “the chattering classes of the blogosphere” clear things up–but, alas, they apparently use the American Family Association / BSafe Filter and are righteously oblivious to the existence of blogs (or cults, or news, for that matter).

  8. KD wrote:

    I think a box set of remastered albums would be very popular among sg fans. Similar to what Garth Brooks did with his Walmart box set, or do something extra special and copy the James Brown box set idea from a few years ago, and include some of the studio chatter in between tracks. Who wouldn’t want to hear the Cats cutting up in the studio. Or, for that matter, any of the greats of Canaan’s past.

  9. me wrote:

    I’m SO sick of hearing about the past.
    Get out of the past, bring on some new blood!

  10. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    Doug–Clarification: What I posted would better be called a conversation than an interview. Apparently some of your readers were expecting something along the lines of my full-blown interviews.

  11. quartet-man wrote:

    ME, I admit there are plenty of people who act like there has been nothing much of value put out since the 50’s or so. I am not one of those. However, your attitude is equally disturbing. There is enough room for past, present and future. Just because something was recorded more than a year ago doesn’t make it bad any more than if it were recorded in the fifties makes it great.

    I want some of the older Cathedrals stuff from a more historical thing anyhow. I have most of the albums (if not all), but would love them on CD. My preference for Cats stuff generally is from the eighties on, but there is good stuff before then and you would do well to not make such a comment because someone could use that as an argument against the style represented in SG, or if nothing else be using it against the music you love on down the line.

  12. cdguy wrote:

    The problem with all Canaan doing much of anything is that the president of Word has never believed in the salablilty of s/g. Years ago, he told me the reason the lable he then headed didn’t persue s/g was lack of sales numbers. I’ve watched over the years, the various configurations of the companies he’s owned/ran, and it does not appear he’s changed his mind. It’s all going to be interesting to watch.

  13. QN wrote:

    to ME:
    Your favorite groups now will someday be in the past. So, when the’re old, will you not listen to them anymore just because they’re from “the past”?
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this in a snotty manner at all! But let me warn you, many people (including myself) still love the old music. One who is not very gracious could easily make you regret what you wrote.
    Trust me, I’ve started intense quarrels on blogs before. I’ve learned the hard way that SG fans are a group with VERY strong opionions.
    Bottom line, learn from my mistake: watch how something is said
    to quartet-man: I agree, especially about the Cathedrals. Hey, I have a studio and would be happy to convert your stuff to CD! I’d do just about anything to hear the Cathedrals from Danny’s and Roy Tromble’s eras.

  14. quartet-man wrote:

    Thanks, QN. I can put the stuff on CD through my computer, I just haven’t done it all yet. :) I would just like them from the masters if possible. :)

  15. thom wrote:

    cdguy: you are right, its all about the numbers. if the genre is not selling nobody is going to sink big money into it unless they are a die hard fan.

    i will get excited about the re-birth of canaan records when i see something more than a press release to get excited about.

    one things for sure - it won;t ever be like it was back “in the day” of Marvin Norcross.

    Hey Canaan - go ahead an prove me wrong! i dare ya! lol

  16. me wrote:

    Great post thom!
    I’m not saying I don’t love the old tunes. I do. I’m just way too tired of record companies and radio not moving ahead!.(And I’m not talking about just progressive music either. Play the McKameys, but play their latest!)
    There is a place for the past, I know the new music of today will be the past tomorrow, but lets face it. WE ARE DYING HERE! Crowds are down, radio is going broke, record companies are going broke, groups are packing it up. Whats it gonna take for us to realize somethings gotta give?? And I’m an Optimist here!

  17. cdguy wrote:

    Anybody else catch the Crabb Explosion over the weekend? Great singing and playing, but way too much syrupy thanks to BSA, spouses, band members, etc, before the concert Saturday night. What should have taken 10-15 minutes (and might have been appreciated by the entire 1,000+ in attendance) turned into more than an hour. BORING! All-in-all, though, a wonderful concert, and a great way to go out.

    Kelly Bowling was ill, and unable to sing, but Amanda Crabb filled in nicely with Mike-Bowling-Whatever-They-Call-Themselves-This-week.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.