NQC 07: Open Thread

A sad beginning to NQC week with news of Trenton Wood’s death. The SN’s coverage is here. The obituary from the local paper is here. The sogospelnews’s very short item is noteworthy mainly for its jarring reference to suicide. I’ve always thought suicide when used in news reports is a fairly technical term referring to an official cause of death as established by a coroner or other authority … seems awfully soon for that information to be officially public. Maybe it is, I don’t know (hard to tell from the brief report). But am I the only one who thought the reference to suicide, coupled with slightly overheated headline – “tragically dies” – felt rather … I don’t … sensationalistic? No matter, may he rest in peace.

As for NQC, consider this your place to report in on the scene from Louisville.

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  1. Montana Man wrote:

    Professional news organizations rarely use the term “suicide” in coverage of ordinary folks, altho you may see it in the case of high-profile people — of whom Trenton Woods may be one. Usually the cause of death would come in the form of “self-inflicted gunshot,” or by hanging, or a lethal dose of pills, quoting a law enforcement officer or coroner. And then a comment that there was no hint or suggestion of foul play.

    Curbstone observer: Apparently his parents had gone thru a divorce, and folks who’ve experienced all of this know that many times the sons and daughters have hated it, and do not want to their kids to experience what they did. Suicide, tho, is even more cruel than divorce, and nobody gets to say goodbye.

  2. Stephen wrote:

    I’m completely saddened by the news of losing young Trenton. May the Lord keep his wife, son, and the rest of his family comforted in this time of loss.

    As for the press and suicidal issues, would it surprise anyone to learn that since April 2003, 118 U.S. military personnel in Iraq have committed suicide? Of course it would, because the press maintains dignity and integrity when reporting any type of suicide to not glorify it in any way. Most of the deaths are listed as ‘non-combat related death’ (according to Greg Mitchell, reporter for Editor and Publisher).

    Although tragic, any “gospel news organization” who glorifies a death by suicide should take inventory of their own heart and try to change the way their “company” words any press release.

  3. FormerDJ wrote:

    I think any time a person that young dies, it’s somewhat tragic. We don’t know the whole story behind sogospelnews decision to use the term suicide. Perhaps they spoke with a family member. Perhaps the police called it a suicide. It is sensational journalism, but what do we truly expect today?

  4. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    You are not out of line regarding the refernce in question..
    May the peace God be with the families during these difficult times.

  5. Chuck Peters wrote:

    It is a sad situation for family, friends and fans.. when any SG group member dies. I think SoGospelNews handled the info in a proper manner.

    If a 22 year old man dies.. the first question is always going to be.. “what happened?” I don’t see any problem in disclosing this information.. It doesn’t take anything away from.. or add to the grief and suffering the family must be feeling. If anything.. it might save them from having to answer the “what happened” question themseleves.

    On the other hand.. I have chosen to not include (in my report) any speculation as to why the tragic incident occured.. that serves no purpose.

  6. mythbuster wrote:

    I was so saddened to hear of Trenton’s death and wish his family peace. I was so very angry at the fact that SGN published how he died and the why of going through a divorce. Was that really necessary? Do they not think that his wife is having a horrible time struggling with this without the judgmental fans of SGM knowing the why?!

  7. Derek wrote:

    I’m much more accustomed to the “self-inflicted” explanation followed by “foul play is not suspected…”

    Right or wrong…I dunno. It’s kinda like the term “pregnant” versus “expecting,” “in the family way,” or “with child” thing. I guess it depends on who you’re speaking to and what they can handle.

    When in Rome….

    However you say it, it’s a sad and unfortunate ending for a young man with great potential. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  8. Kyle wrote:

    I remember when Steve Sanders died in 1998. I never once saw a mainstream media report saying “suicide.” They all say “self-inflicted gunshot wound.” I DO think, however, that the report about a pending divorce was a little out of line. Think of how his wife must feel at this point, “He committed suicide, he was going through a divorce”….gee, I wonder what they’re hinting at?!

  9. anonymous too wrote:

    If they hadn’t reported it people would have said they were sweeping it under the carpet. Can’t have it both ways. Knowing how careful they are about innuendo, I would say they are mighty sure that is how it happened.

  10. SPD wrote:

    I read the SN report saturday and wondered how he had died, being so young! However, I think the sgnews item was totally uncalled for! And I think it shows a lack of class and tact on the part of Unthanks! I know I haven’t talked to all of you and there is bound to be differing opinions out there but frankly I’ve never met anybody who had any good to say about them, atleast in how they run their business! I’m not talking about personal character! If the two can be seperated!

  11. Beth wrote:

    I did a google search on Trenton Wood and came across birth records for his son.
    http://archives.thepilot.com/January2006/01-22-06/012206births.html (January 12, 2006). It lists the parents as Stephanie and Trenton Wood. Is Stephanie the Brooke listed in the obituary.

    I’m just not sure how accurate the claim is that he was ‘going through a divorce’… unless this was wife #2.

    Regardless, this is a horrible tragedy. I read it first on Singing News and just had a horrible feeling because NOTHING was listed as to the cause of death. Did we need to know he was ‘going through a divorce’ - probably not…

    Prayers for his family and son!

  12. JB wrote:

    Leave it to the Unthanks. They say no negativity on their site. What the crap do you call that. But hey what do you expect from someone that woke up one morning and said “Hey I wanna be somebody I will throw up a website and creat my own charts.” I really dont go on their site too much anymore because I get sick of seeing the Unthanks ALL over their site. They are almost as rough to look at as they are to listen to.


  13. JM wrote:

    Prayers for the Woods family and friends. No easy answers for such tragedy. Only prayers for those left behind.

    On a less serious note, I’m always interested in the new items that groups are selling on their NQC tables. You know…t-shirts with questionable slogans, quartet hair care products or tickets for some group’s most recent farwell tour. For those venturing into that Sodom and Gomorah of cheap tricks and trinkets, what’s new?

  14. FormerDJ wrote:

    JM, when I was working in the industry and attending NQC each year, we called those groups who sold the lovely trinkets the “who the hecks,” or perhaps another word more colorful. It’s like who the heck are these people that show up each year though the industry has never heard of them. I’m sure they are there with lots of makeup, the latest hair styles and their life savings in flea market junk on their tables.

  15. Kyle wrote:

    I wonder if the Singing Doctor is gonna be there?????

  16. quartet-man wrote:

    Kyle, I remember too when I heard about Steve’s suicide. It was a shock. At the time the person at work who told me wasn’t sure who it was, only a former Oak. I never suspected Steve at the time. I was thinking someone from many years back.
    I do understand your point about the divorce. Although some would wonder why and might associate it with the suicide (and it might make us understand more why), I can also see how it could hurt his ex.

  17. GF wrote:

    The reason everyone seems to think it was so out of line to report how he died is because in doing so, the judgemental attitude that Christians just love to swoop down with inevitably comes out.

    “Oh, he committed suicide that’s why” and then the ‘religious looking down the nose’ attitude begins.

    While I have not always been in agreement with the Unthanks and the way they report news, I can confidently say that they must have had their facts in order before they posted…(that is their norm) AND, they weren’t afraid to post the truth.

    What happens when we hear the truth? The emphasis should be on the sadness of such a life lost. ..and how can we reach out to those around us (industry and not) to help them. It’s certainly not a sin that is only prevelant to non-Christians after all.

    To the one who went to do a ‘google search’ for more information on him and then kept diggin… Now, that I have a problem with. Do you really need to rape the whole family situation?

    Will doing this make you understand anything? Do you need to know anything else? His life is gone now. And how sad that is. We know why. He thought he couldn’t handle life anymore.
    We all deal with levels of that. Be done with your inquisitions beyond that.

    Let’s try to help the next one who is struggling so that they choose to live.

  18. NG wrote:

    The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says on its website: “Research has shown that graphic, sensationalized or romanticized descriptions of suicide deaths in the news media can contribute to suicide contagion, popularly referred to as “copycat” suicides. Media reports on suicide can also be a source of misinformation; for example, when suicide is attributed to a single event such as the loss of a job or a relationship, with no mention of underlying factors such as the individual’s depression, substance abuse, or lack of access to treatment for these conditions.”

    “More than 30,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. It is the country’s 11th leading cause of death . . . The factors that contribute to any particular suicide are diverse and complex, so our efforts to understand it must incorporate many approaches. The clinical, neurobiological, legal and psychosocial aspects of suicide are some of the major lines of inquiry into suicide.”

  19. Pure Life Trio wrote:

    Once again the author of this site has decided to open a can of worms for all of those who have nothing better to do than type their “honest opinion that I’m entitled to because I’m an American” viewpoint on the said can of worms. Was nothing learned by the awful Goodman sago which played out over the last couple weeks? Those who wish to comment about this tragedy and how it was (mis)handled by the Unthanks should really think about the impact these blogs have on real people.

    A young man has died. Families are grieving.

    Shut your mouths on the subject and talk about the NQC instead.

    Shame on me, and anyone else who further comments on this subject, and shame on Doug Harrison for even bringing it up. I used to have an ounce of respect for the man, but no more.

  20. dkd wrote:

    #19. Doug is only reporting a fact, rumors would have been flying all over NQC in any case. The fact is this, a talented young man decided to take his own life, this is indeed a tragedy. I heard the news friday evening from a inside source and it devasted me. I have known this young man since he sang at the Hoppers talent show when he was about 10 yrs old. He was full of life and you could tell that he loved singing. Unfortunately life does not always treat us fairly and sometimes our Burdens are hard to bear. Whatever made him think that he could not face or get through his problems, we will never know, but I will pray for his family and I really don’t think that we as outsiders need to know each and every detail of this tragedy.

  21. KAB wrote:

    I, too, was distrubed by the SGN posting and believe the details should not have been posted! I wrote to the SGN editor to express my thoughts and promptly received a response from Deon Unthank, that reads, in part…:

    “We appreciate your opinion on the news of Trenton’s unfortunate and
    tragic death. We handled it as delicately and as truthfully as
    possible with as little detail as possible. It is an unfortunate and
    terrible event for the family and for all who knew and loved
    Trenton. We believe that it was more important to be honest about
    the circumstances surrounding his death and to report it truthfully
    in order to avoid the natural tendancy that people have to gossip
    about such situations.”

    “Our prayers and sympathies are with the family and we will continue
    to report news in an honest and truthful manner in the future.”

    “Thank you again for taking the time to write us.”

    God bless,
    Deon Unthank ~ webmaster@sogospelnews.com

  22. gc wrote:

    The “He was going thru a divorce” was totally out of line. Ignorance and judgemental..

  23. JB wrote:

    Its not about gossip or truth, its about information that is not needed. What does someone going through a seperation or divorce have to do with someone dying. The thing is that their website is dying. No one cares anymore. You go and see the same thing over and over. I mean how many times can you go and see Southern Spin artists and the Unthanks. All this is about, is them wanting to drive traffic to their site because the had “the scoop”

  24. Edie wrote:

    I can’t believe ya’ll still read SGN.

  25. WhoamI wrote:

    NQC Monday

    Jim Brady is great. He slipped my mind when I was voting for baritone of the year. He at least deserves a nomination. He is the unheralded gem of the Booth Brothers. It was great to hear the Booth Brothers do He Saw It All accapella and listen to the depth that Brady gave it. Brady was quite impressive.

    Kim Hopper is still unbelievable. And she looks great. She’s lost weight (so has Joseph Habedank). Kudos to those who are disciplined enough to do so. Kim brought it on Grace Is Greater Than Sin (or whatever the title of that great song is). Connie was just splendidly Connie on I’ve Come Too Far To Look Back. I don’t care too much for her voice, but it’s always great to hear her do some of her signature stuff (like I’ve Come Too Far and That’s Him).

    The Perrys did a lot of new stuff. The song Habedank wrote has the potential to be good. Wow on the choice of suit combinations for Stuffle and Habedank though.

    Ben Harris is a whale of a singer. He’s like a more traditional Loren Harris, with not quite as unbelievable a range but a darn good one nonetheless.

    The Dixie Melody Boys do too much smooth sounding mid-tempo stuff. I like that kind of sound. You can’t do two or three songs in an 18 or 20-minute set like that though. They’re very solid though. I wish Keeton would have really brought it (and not played so much with the melody) on Oh What A Savior. He’s the best tenor in the industry. You have to deliver when you’re on the main stage. He wasn’t bad at all. Just not near as good as he’s been at times in the past. Bring it when you’re at NQC. The fans have come from all across the US and Canada to hear you showcase your talents at the industry’s biggest event.

    The Pfeifers’ Mary Jane Carter (hope I have that name correct) received the biggest ovation of the night with the solo ballad she did to end their set. The song escapes me. The Pfeifers don’t do much for me, and neither does operatic singing in falsetto. I’m glad the masses enjoyed it though. It’s different strokes for different folks.

    Steve Hurst is unreal. Get up from the piano and sing is what I want to say.

    Devin McGlammery is impressive too, though he may be a little too comfortable at times. He at times goes for too much instead being sure to sing his part solidly. Karen landed a gem when she hired him though. He has great stage presence and brings great energy.

    Lauren Talley sounded better than usual at NQC. The Talleys did a solid set.

    The fast song that the Anchormen closed their short set with was awfully good. I was pleasantly surprised.

    No big surprises for me with Greater Vision or the Kingsmen, though it was entertaining. Harold Reed is fitting in nicely. Bryan Hutson is great as well.

    I liked the group interaction that I saw on Tuesday evening. That’s neat for the fans to see.

    I think it would be great to see groups invite former members back up on the stage with the current group to do a song. Like with Rodney Griffin sitting watching the Dixie Melody Boys, it would be neat to bring him back up on stage to sing one with them.

    It would be neat to see Mark Trammell get Nick to come on stage to join his dad on an old Cathedrals classic (like Master Builder).

    I know groups don’t want to slight the current configuration of a group, but lots of these groups are on stage two or three times this week.

    Who else was there? What did you think?

    What happened at the opening? I didn’t catch it.

  26. jb wrote:

    First of all I am not the other “jb” that has posted here on #12 and #23. Very harsh and unkind statements….. Sounds like last night was a great night at NQC. Sure hope they get the kinks worked out as we paid to watch it on the website. I wander if they will refund any money for the days you miss. Sure hope it is up and going tonight.

  27. 2miles wrote:

    Avery…any chance we could start a new thread on just NQC and have the reporting from there without having to scroll down through all the bickering concerning the death of Mr. Wood?

  28. Kevin wrote:

    i just got a note from gospelmusicupdate.com that you can view and purchase photos from this years NQC on the site.

  29. Faith wrote:

    To the person who Googled for the son’s birth records…please, oh, please, get a life!!!! That is SO disgusting!

  30. TLN wrote:

    To GF (#11) and Faith (#29), please don’t be so hard on Beth (who Googled for more information). When one of “our own” tragically leaves us, it’s only natural to ask, “Why?”, and search for the answers. I’m sure she wasn’t attempting to do anything “disgusting” (as you put it, Faith), but just needed some answers. It is not, by any means, a “disgusting” gesture to search for the truth about a situation, especially when it will help us know better how to pray for any given situation.

    In Beth’s defense (no, I don’t know her)…when we understand more about a situation, we can pray more definitively for the families involved. It IS a very tragic loss…And we should all be reminded, as we pray for the family and the close friends of our dear brother, to also pray continuously for our own families, lest anything or any situation would ever happen that would cause any of us to give up hope.

  31. CAR wrote:

    Yes, it is natural to want answers . In a case like this It was tragic and really there are no answers. The problem with the googled information was it was wrong. Trenton was only married once and his wife’s name is Brooke. When you google sometimes the info you get is not what you think you are getting. In this case to post something as factwhen you really didn’t know was hurtful . I know the intent was not hurtful , we just need to be more careful. Please continue to pray for this family as they are hurting terribly.

  32. TLN wrote:

    To CAR (#31): Thank you and God bless you for your gracious candor and for clearing up some questions that many people might have had.

  33. TWMom wrote:

    I just wanted to say thank you to those who have offered up prayers on the behalf of our family. I am Trenton’s mother and I want to say a few things if I may. I had been told of various discussions online related to Trenton’s death, but have only had the strength these last few days to read a few of them. Trenton suffered from Bi-Polar Disorder that would take him into the pits of depression from time to time. This disorder effects thousands upon thousands of people, especially those who are super creative. In addition, Trenton had recently been in a terrible accident that had left him with several broken bones, a torn ACL and nerve damage to his leg. He was in chronic pain. Did all this cause him to take his own life? I don’t know. I will never know this side of heaven. But, there are some things I do know. Trenton loved his family…his wife, son, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents. We were all very close and he knew that we ALL loved him too. He loved his friends…co-workers, church family. He loved to write music and sing. Most of all…he loved the Lord. Whatever happened on the evening of September 7th was not something that Trenton would have done had he been in his right mind…so therefore, it just wasn’t my son. My consolation in all of this is that I know Trenton is in heaven and completely at peace, both in mind and body. I don’t go through a day without tears, nor do I expect to ever get to a point that I do not miss him, he was my baby boy, but someday I will see him again. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

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