Self-appointed props

Via Martin Roth comes a story from the Scott County (Mississippi) Times about Bobby and Hilda Woods and their, uhm, considerable devotion to Ernie Haase and Signature Sound:

The Woods started their “tour” following Signature Sound [around the country] in 2003 and have not missed a concert since. The Woods have attended over 50 concerts in 16 different states.

The Woods get involved with the group during the concerts. They have even become a prop for the group to play off of.

“I always yell ‘Get it right’ to one of the members onstage and they play off of that,” said Bobby. “They always expect it and play along as if they never heard me say it before.”

Alrighty then. I’m sure these people mean well, and I don’t doubt for a second that EHSSQ has been entirely generous, kind, and welcoming of Bobby and Hilda on and off the stage. But I can also only imagine how – after FOUR YEARS of seeing them on the front row every night – this might get a little tiresome, waiting for the appointed time during each concert when these two mildly obsessed fans decide to make themselves a “prop for the group to play off.”

It’s good to have hobbies, but limits are good, too.

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  1. DM wrote:

    The Primitive have some “fans” who follow them in Tennessee. They sit on the front row and crowd around the record table. They get there early, save their seats with their stuff. They make me sick, I will not go see the Primitive any more.

  2. RR wrote:

    Bobby and Hilda need to get a life!

  3. Tony Maranelli wrote:

    They sound annoying….and they haven’t missed a concert since 2003 and they have been to 50….? I’m sure SS has done more than 50 since 2003. Maybe they mean 50 concerts per state?? Who knows, they still seem pushy and needy…

  4. FormerDJ wrote:

    Creepy stuff there. Hey artists, how would you deal with an obsessive fan?

  5. Jugglernaut wrote:

    Heh. Amateurs. While not a superfan myself, I know some women who have seen their favorite (non-sg) group in excess of 125 times (not in a row). Unless Bob & Hilda are faithfully supplying the Siggies with homemade goodies and naked pictures of themselves, they hardly qualify as groupies.

    Question: Do gospel groupies go overboard in the same ways rock groupies do? Or does their devotion take the form of “clever” heckling and excessive prayer?

  6. CG wrote:

    Actually, SG does not have “groupies”; they are called “sniffers” (as in diesel sniffer).

  7. jb wrote:

    I think you are all being very critical and harsh about 2 people you know nothing about. Bob and Hilda are just 2 people who enjoy singings. Maybe they don’t need to “get a life”. Sounds like they enjoy the one they have. Very, very unfair comments.

  8. bgl wrote:

    Amen, jb.

  9. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    “have not missed a concert since” sounds like the writer of the article was taking considerable creative license, and of course, as Tony pointed out, the writer reveals he was stretching the truth when he gives the number of 50 concerts attended in total since 2003.

    EH&SS may not work quite as often as most SG groups, but they certainly do more than 12-13 concerts per year.

    When I’m on stage as an artist, I get a kick out of “front row fans.” (Yes, the Carolina Quartet actually has a few at some of our events when we’re in certain parts of the country.)

    As a fan, I don’t mind as long as they don’t start trying to monopolize the event. Yelling “get it right” on cue at one point in the program isn’t a big deal at all. That sort of thing can be good for a laugh. On the other hand, if they detract from the performance overall for an extended period of time, then I might be inclined to ask them to shut up.

    Not knowing any more than we know about these particular folks, it really wouldn’t be right to assume which way they lean.

  10. Heather wrote:

    The writer of the article was exaggerating (BIG TIME) by saying the Woods “have not missed a concert since” 2003. They do love EHSS very much but they are just Godly people who chose to spend their retirement traveling to concerts. If I make it to 70, I hope and pray Im healthy and fortunate enough to spend time doing something I enjoy! Trust me, they are not “pushy or needy” nor do they need to “get a life”. They seem to be really enjoying their last years of the life they have!

  11. RR wrote:

    And I stand duly corrected. It was not good to say what I did. And moderator, if you would remove comment 2 and this one also, it would make me very happy.

  12. Leebob wrote:

    Is this all we have to discuss? After discussing the problems with SG it seems we are lucky to have any fans at all. Some evenings I wish we had a Bob & Hilda to liven things up.

    We do have a few fans who will always show up when we are in their area. Every once in awhile we may have one that may be a little “over the top” (what this is I am unsure of) but for the most part they are just there to enjoy the music. One thing for sure, it is always nice to see a friendly face and knowing that we continue to be a blessing to someone.

    A group of about 8 of us went to hear and participate by listening to a concert in Terrell, TX one evening. We began to clap along and the elderly gentleman in front of us was quite annoyed with the fact that we were enjoying ourselves. Being nearly a full house we didn’t have the option of moving away. His idea of enjoying was sitting there and watching, ours was a little different. Nontheless, he enjoys his music as much as we do.

    The question is how do we allow for differences within a crowd for enjoyment? The clappers will alwys annoy the non-clappers and the non-clappers will always annoy the clappers with their looks of disgust. Perhaps the ushers should ask the audience upon entry, “would you like clapping or non-clapping?” and point them to the appropriate area of the auditorium.

  13. Rhonda Berry wrote:

    Put the clappers in the middle. Leave the farthest two rows on each for the non-participants. See which one fills up the fastest

  14. Tony Maranelli wrote:

    I don’t know if this is true of these people or not, but I have a friend who travels in a group. He told me that there are some fans that follow them around and he is thankful for that, but sometimes they hang around the table all night. The group would like to get to know other people in that particular town, but these people take up all their time. They also stand their while people are passing through and “heckle” the group. Heckling is aggitating even if it’s, “Hey, how’s your wife!!!” when you’re shaking a girl’s hand…. My buddy said that it is just annoying, but you can’t say anything to these people because they are sensitive. They also take liberties to run the table whenever they feel like it, etc… Anyways, when I read this article, it reminded me of these people. Yeah, thank God for fans in SG, but if they are really coming out to enjoy the music, then do JUST that.

  15. Brett wrote:

    They could use the time to visit people at nursing homes instead of being groupies.

  16. jb wrote:

    Brett: Where would the groups be, without “groupies”. That really is an unkind statement.

  17. jeff crews wrote:

    As a member of Paid In Full for almost 16 years, I can say Bobby and Hilda Joe have seen us sing many more times than they have seen Ernie and Co. The Woods are great people who do not monopolize group members’ time at the record table, bother them needlessly, or infringe on their personal space. They just like singing, singers, and traveling. They are not needy, but are well respected members of their home church, their community, and their close knit family. They do bring home-made goodies, which were always quite tasty. Paid In Full may be different from other groups, but we never called people like the Woods groupies. We called them our road family. Singing to a small crowd when you’d hoped for a big one, having an off vocal night, or having the best concert of your life, it was always nice to look out and see familiar faces. I always considered “road family” to be one of the great benefits of traveling.

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