Wednesday round-up

1. Alas, dear readers, “Songs from My Butt” has been lost to the ages.

2. Everyone once in a while, famous people post comments here. And then sometimes their children do too. Thus Madison Easter, eldest child of Jeff and Sheri, in a recent comment, quoting another commenter’s remark:

“…but I want her being a third of a trio or a fourth of a quartet, not a background singer. If it were not for the fact that she and her husband get to travel together and that Jeff and Sheri have strong ties with Gaither (and thus bigger paychecks), I would venture to say that Charlotte would be elsewhere.”

I read this to her…she thought it was hillarious.

It is honestly entertaining to us (people who actually get on the stage) how all of you think you really do have knowledge in SG just by attending a few shows and watching the videos…Whenever I talk to any artist that reads this site (more than you’d think) they just say “Well..these people must know more about me more than I do”…it’s always followed by a laugh…Ha ha

Oh yeah…just a personal opinion, but I don’t really enjoy playing in suits, it’s not very easy to do with a guitar (unless you take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves…and that, to me, kind of negates the entire purpose of wearing a suit) and I’m only 18…I don’t know if it gets on anyone else’s nerves but like I said, this is just a personal opinion, but it really gets on my nerves to see young people dressing in suits that you can tell they are not dressing that way by there on will. (I’m sure Doug or someone else can find a lot of things wrong with my little “rant” but when grammar is your only weapon…you’ve got to use what you have)

You guys keep doing what you do….I’m sure you do SOMETHING productive elsewhere

Ok. I’ll bite (it’s what I do when I’m not being productive elsewhere): reading this, I was reminded (as I have been in the past by comments of other children of the famous and powerful) of that old comment about George Bush Senior being born on third and thinking he hit a triple.

Now, Madison Easter is a much better musician than any Bush has ever been a president; let’s be clear about that. But what exactly does Easter think Charlotte Ritchie, who is employed by his parents, is going to say when Junior strolls up and essentially presents her with an opportunity to say she wishes she had a bigger role vocally in The Easters line up (for the record, I think she should, as I said here)? Why yes, Madison, even though it’s a steady gig that lets me travel with my family, I really do feel my talents are being frittered away backing up two singers - your parents - to whom I am vocally superior. D’ya think you can help me out with that? … Now that, my friends, is hilarious.

3. Kyle Boering’s post on group’s airbrushing their history reminded me of one bit of collateral damage done by letting artists’ PR be the primary record of southern gospel’s development: incomplete and/or revisionist history. I’ve long wished some tenured professor of some Appalachian university somewhere would convince his (or her) dean or provost to create and endow a cultural history center devoted to the study and preservation of white gospel music as an art form and expression of American culture … work in collaboration with the existing museums and foundations, the hall of fame, of course … collaborate with living legends and families and estates to properly build (or at least work toward) a comprehensive archive of primary source material from the past and present of southern gospel music (for example, in almost any other form of American folk or vernacular music, the death of someone as prominent as, say, George Younce, would have been preceded by negotiations with an institutional library or other formal archive somewhere for custodianship of what is commonly called “personal papers” but basically means every artifactual scrap or scintilla related to Younce as an artist that might help someone somewhere sometime in some place better understand how he shaped and was shaped this music). So, how ‘bout it … anybody got a nice round six or seven-figure sum burning a whole in a pocket somewhere?

4. Obviously, the devil’s in the details, but the line-up of writers here suggests I may get to eat some crow whenever the Perrys new album is released. May. Which, of course, I’ll be all too happy to do, should the final product warrant it. And wow … Joseph Habedank really has lost some weight. Good for him.

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Comments

  1. Madison wrote:

    LOL !

    Dude…Awesome burn…I felt that one came from your heart. You truly are a man of many words and that was an amazing sting. I felt my pulse beating in my throat the entire time I read this…Well done!

    Keep up the good work
    God bless
    -ME

  2. Madison wrote:

    (seriously..no sarcasm there I actually do enjoy reading your page…you have a talent my friend)

    -ME

  3. Grigs wrote:

    I disagree about playing guitar in a suit. I play just as poorly in a suit as I do in casual clothes…..

  4. chuck stevens wrote:

    On a side note. I saw Masidon and the rest of the Easter’s in Broken Arrow on July 22nd. The church was like a Branson Theater. Great show. I have a honky tonk band here in Tulsa called Merle Jam, but Southern Gospel has always been a favorite, Enjoyed the Lighthouse, I am a Hinson fan from way back. Hope they have you back there again soon.

  5. Madison wrote:

    Chuck-

    Man that was a fun show. I remember wanting to stay a little longer to jam with the guys from the church’s band, but we had to get home….

    -ME

  6. SgDoc wrote:

    Wow, Can anyone say, Paris Hilton?

  7. Madison wrote:

    lol …k?

    -ME

  8. Madison wrote:

    You know, after reading my comments over and over a few times I realized
    how arrogant I came off.
    I don’t expect everyone to suddenly believe that I am not some pompous
    jerk, but I do present a topic for disucssion:

    If we discussed YOUR (no one specifically…just anyone that reads this)
    family in generally negatvie ways…How would you respond?

    Ignore it?

    I will be happy to continue an intelligent discussion with other
    intelligent people but as far as referring to me, someone who has worked
    very hard at having a professional career in music by devoting countless
    hours to teaching myself how to play and read music for different
    instruments, as an heiress who’s most accomplished piece of work was
    pornography…..well if my connection to her is at all true (which it is not), I may as well
    give up music and join my fellow peers in dropping out of school and not
    working at all…just collecting government checks for a “disability”…

    Keep the posts going

    -ME

  9. Practical Fellow wrote:

    Madison,

    You’re doing fine. You’re not coming off like Paris Hilton; SgDoc was swinging below the belt (Give him a break SgDoc - he’s 18 and your what? 62?). ME, Don’t feel you’ve got to defend yourself on this chat board. It gets snarky and when someone identifies himself/herself from the actual SG industry, I think some people smell blood in the water and like to perpetuate controversy.

    And back to the original topic: I think performing in suits is for my granddad’s generation. I’m not 62 and I don’t want to go to a concert that expects teenagers to conform to senior citizen standards of dress.

    PF

  10. quartet-man wrote:

    I have said before that I hate to see Charlotte not being used more. I also think calling the group Jeff and Sheri Easter would almost be like Gaither calling the Gaither and Homecoming Friends as Bill and Gloria Gaither or Ernie Haase and Signature Sound as Ernie Haase. :) It sounds like a duet instead of trio.

    ME, I have never really followed the Easters much. I did like Been There Done That and when they did Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings On Me on one of the Gaither videos. With that being said, I am shocked you are 18. Wow, people grow up fast. I never knew you played in their band either. Man, I feel old and I haven’t even reached 40 yet. :)

  11. Madison wrote:

    All I can say about the title of the group is that they were established as Jeff and Sheri Easter…When they started Charlotte was still in grade school…Even when they started My uncle Rabbit (Steve) was the third part….group was still Jeff and Sheri Easter…nothing against anyone else…just how it was started and after 23 years (11 of them with Char) what would honestly be the benefeit of changing it? lol

    But yeah I’ll be 19 in Nov. and I just graduated back in May. Greg tells me I make him feel old all the time…he’s been with us for 13 years!

    I love posting on the site…as long as it doesn’t always lead to arguments…don’t get me wrong, I love to have the occasional debate but when it comes to family its not all that fun lol

    But the “Charlotte not being used more” has actually become a joke on stage now…I love to hear Char sing but I love making her laugh during her songs more so right before she starts every night I whisper to her…”Make it good…som AVFL readers may be in the house tonight” lol

    Love talkin to you guys…

    Keep posting,

    God Bless
    ME

  12. SgDoc wrote:

    You know Madison, After reading my post and giving it some thought, I can honestly tell you that was uncalled for and I am sorry. And I ask you sincerly to forgive my unthoughtful reply.

    Let me try this one more time. It all came across to me as a little arrogant. However, seeing as you’ve not had a lot of experience with us “know it all” types, it is just better to let people say what they will and go on. You, my friend have a lot better things to do than to be on here fueling the fire.

    You are a very talented young person and I wish you all the success you can muster

    And no I am not 62.

    SgDoc

  13. SgDoc wrote:

    And ok “Fellow”

    You don’t need to be a senior to dress respectfully. “Class attracts money” and it seems to me, according to many in SG, we are financially on a downward spiral.

    Lower crowds, fewer ticket sales, something is not working. Class and respect is currently being sneered at by these new and “on the cutting edge” artists. So please, tell me what do these sg fans really desire? What do you feel they want?

  14. Michael wrote:

    Charlotte’s a phenomenal vocalist. That’s primarily what I wanted to convey. And I would like to hear more of her, possibly singing some challenging leads. I may have said - and probably did say - too much just to say that. I really enjoy seeing the group perform. I believe that a lot of the material is quality. A lot of the harmonies are structured - especially in some of the songs with a prominent hook (Goin Away Party, Over and Over Again, etc.) - so that Charlotte’s high harmony part gives the song a ring (one that at times brings a tear to my eye, one that at times makes me smile, one that at times gives me chills and one that at times makes my jaw drop). That may sound way overblown, but it’s true. There are a ton of talented artists spreading the gospel via Southern Gospel music. There may not be double-digit individuals out there with the ear and vocal ability of a Charlotte Richie. She sings the harmony almost flawlessly (or as flawlessly as one possibly could) at times. And I’ve never heard much of it, but I understand that she can come down and sing a great alto part as well. I’ve heard other artists talking about how ridiculously talented she is. I usually only get glimpses of it during the Easters’ four or five-song set at whatever multi-group venue I happen to drop in at.

    Read that post to Charlotte. She may not care to hear it, but she should. Her talent is appreciated, by many more fans/followers than just myself.

    Keep conveying the truth Madison, and my prayer is that God will continue to bless your group.

    Best wishes

  15. cdguy wrote:

    Has anyone thought that perhaps Charlotte is happy at what she’s doing? Maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable being the lead vocalist for a large portion of the concert. Some folks, even some who are greatly talented, don’t feel “called” to be “out front”. Every statement that’s been made about her great voice are correct, in my book. So, I’ll bet if she really wanted to take more of a lead role, either Jeff & Sheri would give her more solos, or she’d be off somewhere else.

    She does have a solo cd, you know. Great stuff. If you haven’t already bought it, you should take a listen. I give it 2 thumbs up.

  16. Alan wrote:

    It’s time to join this little party. Madison, I commend you for writing. A lot, in fact. And I’m proud of you for jumping in when you felt like you needed to defend your family. This kind of a forum can get pretty rough at times, and a lot of the comments are written by hopefully well-meaning folks who don’t have a clue of what it’s like to sing and travel all the time. The honest truth is, I think everyone would love it if some of the people who get negative publicity here (or elsewhere) would respond more. See what happened when you showed up?! The whole thread turned a lot more positive. So keep it up, and maybe you’ll be the start of something positive. As for your guitar work, watching and listening to you now, either at live events or the DVD’s of live events, you’ve come a long way to mastering your craft. Mr. Bill can hire most anyone he wants to, and so to be playing as you are, you’ve earned your chops. Keep at it, friend, and God bless. Finally, I guess I have to say that yeah, I’m one more guy who would love to hear Charlotte more. Her voice is like a ringing bell, pure and with perfect pitch. But hey - she’s obviously happy with where she is! All the best…

  17. Madison wrote:

    Not correcting or anything, just adding to the fact, she has 3 solo cd’s out and a new one in the works. I love Char’s vocals and cdguy has hit the nail on the head. I’ve known Char and Greg almost all my life and I know they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t happy…Especially for as long as they’ve been here….13/14 years is a long time to be with a group in SG to not be blood relatives.

    Michael, I 100% agree that Char has a tone about her that just completes (if you will) the J&S sound. As Doug mentioned in a different post, the word “victory” on Over and Over is a perfect example of what I’m referring to. As for her solo songs during our sets, she has to fit the taste to the majority of the crowd (elderly ladies and gentlemen). So she doesn’t do a “gut busting” vocal performance because I’ve seen what happens when she does…they get scared of the building music then it’s… *golf clap*. They give her a more powerful applause for her softer songs like Go Rest High or Draw Me Closer…Why? No clue…but I’ve seen it happen enough times to know that it’s true.

    Keep posting,

    God Bless
    -ME

  18. Madison wrote:

    Alan,

    Thanks man…I really appreciate it.

    God Bless
    -ME

  19. cdguy wrote:

    Madison, I talked with your folks this morning, and they were talking about “We Are Family” project coming up this fall, Charlotte’s new cd, and the fact that you’re helping him restore the old homeplace. Sounds like a lot going on.

    Sure wish I had enough vacation time to go to the “Family” concerts/tapings at Mayberry days in Mt Airy, next month. Looks like a lot of fun, and a lot of great music. It’s bound to be an historic event. Looking forward to hearing that project & seeing the dvd when they come out next year.

    Be blessed.

  20. Amber wrote:

    Madison Easter is like one of my brothers. I grew up with him on the “Homecoming Kids” videos. I agree with everything he is saying. He’s right, it’s not easy just to sit back and watch people talk about your family . And it’s not like we look at this website every day and watch for it. People call and send an email telling us to look at it. This is our family’s you are talking about and even though we are both only 18 years old remember we’ve been raised around adults our whole lives and grew up way quicker than alot of other kids did. We aren’t stupid!! And from experience from traveling with Charlotte.. she’s not a pushover . If indeed Charlotte wanted to do something else, she would . You obviously don’t know her. She’s a wonderful person with a wonderful heart but she will not be walked all over either. That’s what I love about her. I hope you all can maybe just start thinking of stuff before you just say it b/c you never know exactly whose feelings you are dealing with. We’re all tied together. That’s b/c we’re all like family .

    God Bless
    Amber Nelon Thompson

  21. Frank Lee wrote:

    Kudos, Amber! You go, girl!! Speak da ta-rooth, Siss-tah!! Amen and Amen!!!

  22. Allen Edwards wrote:

    Ok first of all let me say that if SG Groups changed their name every time a group member comes and goes, we would NEVER be able to keep up with their names.

    Secondly. Charlotte Ritchie was very happy with being the background vocalist for J&S. I have listen to J&S all of my life. It was sad to see charlotte leave, but yet it made me happy when I found out that Morgan was replacing her. The Easters and Ritchies are like family. They love each other dearly. It was like their children had two sets of parents. Just ask Madison and Morgan, they will agree with me.

    The Easters and the Lewis Family are some of the most talented Families in Southern Gospel Music. It’s good that Jeff & Sheri tell people who their families are. Those are well trusted names in SG. When people hear that they are their relatives, it tends to make them think, oh Wow, then their music must be good if they are related to them.

    Sheri Easter is by far my favorite singer in the entire world. As for Madison, Jeff, and Steve “Rabbit”, they are my favorite muscians.

    ME you all keep up what you are doing. Your family has kept this boy going for years. I even went to school with Misty. Yes, I am from Mount Airy, NC originally. I just found out that I am related to you all. I love you all dearly. “Expecting Good Things” is an awesome album. It is hard for me to pick a faovrite album by J&S, but it would be between 3 of them… Silent Witness, Sittin’ on Cloud Nine, and My, Oh My! God Bless!!! ME is the Twitter KING!! LOL!!

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