NQC 07: Saturday night

An anticlimactic conclusion to three long days, with a long weak lineup at the center, tonight was both interminable and largely tiresome, to the extent that I simply could not make it all the way to Legacy 5’s final set (which would have meant wading through the Dove Brothers). So tonight’s report will be brief(er). I’ll have more later this weekend about the songwriters showcase and the Brooklyn Tab concert on Friday and Saturday. For now, let’s get to the mainstage.

THE B IG STUFF

Booth Brothers: As a piece of showmanship and a musical stand, a near perfect set. “Thank him for the Miracle” is the kind of mellow mid-tempo tune that sets a fine tone for things, and the Booths built some wonderful harmonic ornamentations – subtle but sophisticated – onto the end of their phrases in a way that really made the song pop out in a live setting and distinguished it as something other than just a competent live rendition of a familiar recorded cut. Added value and all that. Jim Brady’s version of “Crucified with Christ” was wonderfully sung – he has improved markedly in the last few years, developing a rich, round, warm tone that’s full of the confidence and maturity to put unadorned whole notes out there, right into the mic, and let them ride, glide, and build into expansive phrases that carry the dramatic weight of the song without frivolous augmentation or frills. Roy Webb joined the BBs again tonight (too bad they don’t just hire the guy and let him do his solo thing with them), making an acoustical “Look for Me” possible. It’s a very effective and evocative song in the BBs hands, but additionally, the set up to it showcased how and why Michael Booth is probably the best emcee working on the stage in gospel music today. He has a way of flirting with and jostling and enticing the audience that’s genuinely funny but also manages to feel very personal, even to those of us up in the rafters. … it’s an enlightened, intelligence, gifted, and rare thing to watch. My only complaint is that you couldn’t hear ¾ of the words they sang or said, and this was only exacerbated by Ronnie Booth mumbling and talking way too fast to be understood.

The Talleys: Or should I say, the Lauren Talley Extravaganza, Continued. Their cut of “That’s Enough” should be a No. 1 song and Lauren Talley’s set-up and performance of “Orphans of God” – a song whose artistic and lyrical magnificence no one in gospel music seems to get (it really is the kind of tune that defines a generation conceptually) – really left the impression that Talley is one of the few sg artists whose talent could be exported seamlessly to almost any other related genre, Christian or secular. “I don’t Understand It” or a tune of somesuch title really dragged down the center of the set. It’s a musically gimpy, lyrically flaccid tune that wasn’t helped any by Debra Talley talking too much to set it up. But “Too Much To Gain” got them back on track.

The Perrys: My general impression of the Perrys after this weekend is that they have reentered the ordinary atmosphere and are once again breathing the same air as most of the rest of gospel music, after several years of stratospheric success. Tonight’s set was well paced – save for two back-to-back quartet-style numbers (“Every Question” and “Come and Get Me”) at the center of things that tended to run together stylistically and lyrically. A lot of what they sung tonight seemed to remind me of another song in their recent songbook that was just a bit better (“Hide Me Again,” for instance, makes you long for “Calvary Answers for Me”). But that’s largely a matter of taste and nostalgia. Emotionally, the Perrys’ sets feel dialed back, or maybe held back, by something, which is not so much a criticism as an observation. I can’t be absolutely sure, of course, without doing more work than I’m accustomed to, but I’d wager that the Ps new music is keyed lower than it was with Loren Harris, and this has a dampening effect on things for a coupla reasons: the lows tend roar more and get muddier, more quickly, and second, spending so much time in lower registers made the P’s already wide intonation of their lyrics even more difficult to understand, esp on “Every Question.” Which is to say, by keying their stuff downward, the Ps have taken the edge off things, slackened the intensity just a bit, and taken a bit of the oomph out of their sets.

If “Potter knows the Clay” could ever rise out of the mid-range and catch the trade winds of a higher register, it might very well be a big hit for the Ps. It’s certainly a fine song, full of wonderful little grace notes in Habedank’s harmony and built around Libbi Stuffle’s trademark delivery. I’m not as sure about “Look no Further.” The song seems to lack a center to me. It’s lyrically longwinded and the melodic line meanders a lot. The effect is that it takes a long time to make its point – it’s all middle with very little end, so that when the dramatic and lyrical conclusion finally does arrive, it gets rushed. The final chorus is expansive and satisfying, but needs more time to establish itself.

Finally, I sure hope Joseph Habedank was in the arena to hear Jim Brady sing “Crucified with Christ” so he could see and hear how the less gifted (though still very talented) Brady could outsing a talented vocalist like Habedank by simply singing the melody clearly and well. It’s what separates showmen from stars, and it will be an undiluted pleasure to hear Habedank when/if he and the Perrys (‘cause honestly, his bosses are more than a little responsible for his professional development) figure this out.

BONUS STANDOUTS AND OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING

Florida Boys Tribute: A big let-down, I’m afraid. First off, the production quality and the style of the tribute video was deplorably amateurish, like something somebody’s cousin put together with 10-year-old editing tools in his basement. As for the music, Terry Davis was disappointingly out of shape and flat through most of … the FB’s most famous song that shamefully escapes my memory and that I stupidly didn’t note but that isn’t “Consider the Lilies.” I also didn’t get why Darrel Stewart stood on stage sort of awkwardly through the set when his place for 50 years has been at the piano. Why end things in a way you never ever did them before? The entire going away party was careful to note that Les Beasley, Glen Allred and Stewart were retiring (as opposed to the FB’s going away) and at the end of the set Beasley brought Charlie Waller and two of the Fake Florida Boys on to introduce them to the world. Waller tried his earnest best to convince us his acquisition of the FB name is more than opportunism, but it wasn’t very persuasive. There was a clever moment or two when Stewart passed Josh Pope, Waller’s pianist, a pair of red socks and the kid sat down and put them right there. But that only reinforced that the Fake Florida Boys’ teenage pianist is the only known entity in the group, and I’m afraid it will take more than red socks on a kid to make the Florida Boys 2.0 anything more than a joke.

Kim Collingsworth: She’s got a huge following and I can see why now. I’m still not a big fan of the over-reliance on stagey tracks, but Collingsworth is like a tasteful, able, prettier, classier Dino.

Dixie Echoes: Their piano-and-two-mics maybe a little schticky but at the end of a week full of overamped, overproduced tracks, what a delight to hear four guys sing with a keyboard and a bass. And Shelnut knows how to bring it on. They’ve got some issues vocally at times (the tenor can get out of hand with his endings at times and when Dale Randy Shelnut (hat tip RP) tries too hard he can overextend his voice pretty quickly), but the bass is a fine vocalist who, much like Aaron McCune, works hard to sing pleasant notes and worries less about you remembering how low he sang and Stewart Varnado lays down a classic piano style that holds it all together. It was so much fun to watch them all get positively giddy as the crowd got behind their set with them.

THE GRAB BAG

Pfeifers: New rule … no one ever gets to sing “O Holy Night” ever again. The Pfiefers’ tormented us with a version of this song that nearly ruptured my inner ear. The woman singing it seems to think the high head tone she’s using comes off as a sort of operatic soprano, but it doesn’t. It just sounds harsh and forced. The Pfiefers “O Holy Night” puts the false in falsetto. And their music is just stunningly unmoving. What is the appeal of this group?

Whisnants: Second new rule … no on ever gets to justify repeating a song they’ve flogged to death all week by saying “we weren’t gonna do this but we’ve had so many requests for this song …” If you’ve had that many requests, just sing the song already. No need to rationalize your choice. Otherwise, sing something else. The Whisnants work hard and have a good ear for songs that fit them well. But they haven’t yet found something to distinguish them from Jeff and Sheri and other more established mixed groups.

The Exhibit Hall should really just close after Saturday afternoon. It was a ghost town after 7. NQC has got to find a way to keep its exhibitors on site. Perhaps getting back closer to Freedom Hall next year and out of the annex will help. I dunno. But artists seemed like they couldn’t pack up and tear down fast enough. Not only is this a disservice to weekend fans. But it’s kinda diminishing to see your favorite artists in their civvies hustling road cases and product boxes out to the bus like rats from a singing ship.

Anniverersary: I think someone mentioned this in the comments, but why didn’t anybody tell Clarke Beasley and Co. to take down that ridiculous spotlight decal projected onto the side of Freedom Hall that misspelled the word anniversary?

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  1. NQC 2007: Wrap-up | www.southerngospelblog.com on 17 Sep 2007 at 11:36 am

    […] Line of the night: Doug Harrison of Averyfineline described Kim Collingsworth as “a tasteful, able, prettier, classier Dino.” […]

Comments

  1. Revpaul wrote:

    Dixie Echoes.
    Of course you meant to say Randy Shelnut, not his father Dale. Stayin’ up real late, huh?

  2. Janice wrote:

    “…like rats from a singing ship.” hahaha You amaze me!

  3. Wayne wrote:

    I have attended many NQC events since the late 80’s. “Back in the day”, you were barely able to walk through the place on Saturday. ALL of the biggest groups were on stage, and one could genuinely feel the “electricity” in the air.

    In recent years it is just disgusting to see the way that the exhibit hall is evacuated on Saturday nights. One solution to keep the groups there may be to move the awards show from Thursday to Saturday.

    I also have to wonder if the NQC board gets a percentage of product sales of each group for the week. If this is the case, they are losing money from lack of sales because people can’t buy what isn’t there. Maybe if they lose enough money they will find a better way to anchor the groups for the entire week.

  4. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Maybe a dismantling limitation clause with a time in the exhibitor contract.
    Most “trade shows” are held during the week during business hours.
    The territory has changed since the eraly days of NQC.
    There are so many ways to buy products these days then wait for the crowded exhibit hall of NQC.
    Make it a trade show that is open to the public with longer hours during the week.
    Close it down on Friday with no dismantling of booths until a midnight closing time.
    Load up the Friday and Saturday night with a better then average presentation.
    Do more quality Saturday productiions during the day.
    Even having Gaither & Company at 8 AM
    in the morning would bring a crowd.
    It is common knowledge to the long time attenders of NQC to visit NQC during the early part of the week to avoid the retail crowd.
    I wonder if I would hang around for two hours of retail sales on Saturday as the hall opens at 4 and the concert starts at 6?

  5. NG wrote:

    Glad to see folks enjoy the Dixie Echoes. I saw them a month ago for the first time in about three years. I really enjoyed them and am still enjoying their three most recent CDs.

    It is sad about Saturday night. When I attended NQC years ago almost all the biggest acts performed on Saturday and the groups stayed in the Exhibit area until it ended.

  6. Jade wrote:

    The truth is by Friday most of the performers are tuckered out and have exhausted every last conversational bone in their cabin fever-afflicted bodies. Sometimes it’s all we can do to squeeze out one more ounce of good will, having had no time to recharge our batteries. Doesn’t mean we don’t love you, we’re just waring against our thinly-veiled delirium! Most group owners book gigs on the consecutive weekend to help make payroll since many go into the red for the week. I’m sure if the fans realized how very tired we are, even somewhat disconnected at times, they would understand why it’s more advantageous for everyone if we don’t all spend that sixth day together.

  7. Diva0427 wrote:

    All the artists start tearing down early and heading out b/c they have to get to their Sunday gigs that pay for their NQC week. Has anyone ever broken down how much it costs for an artist (or artists) to be at NQC for the entire week? CRAZY. AND Geo Fern charges an arm and a leg for anything and everything.

    For me, the best nights at NQC were Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday…with some highlights throughout the rest of the week.

  8. smith wrote:

    I’m so glad that someone can appreciate the way the Dixie Echoes are doing things. They’re proof that it doesn’t take all the hooplah stacks and tracks and all the other junk to sound good!

  9. Joseph wrote:

    NQC is appreciated by those who are established fans or industry personel. I don’t see any solution to any problem as long it stays in it’s “Same ol’, same ol’” box. Everyone sounds alike. And judging from the general ‘feel’ of everyone’s take (on this site) and my humble take on NQC this year, I feel safe to say that the music needs a facelift. Not new tracks, revamped hymns, perfect harmonies and perfect performers. I believe it’s safe to say that this arena nursing home is dying more every year. “Singing ship” is right! Even without the play on words.

  10. Marj wrote:

    I realize that you are not compelled to give out the “health reports” of artists; however, I was wandering about Eli Fortner. He is the McKamey’s grandson, who is in need of a kidney transplant. I understood they were going to be at the NQC. Their last posting was Aug 21st. I am not a fan of their music, but do feel badly for anyone who goes through such serious health concerns, especially at such an early age. Did they sing and/or make any reference to their grandson’s situation?
    Marj

  11. Ben Harris wrote:

    I think you guys are being way too hard on Charlie Waller, since in fact, no one knows his intent nor the direction he may take the group. I cannot understand why people comment and draw conclusions with no facts to back them up. Charlie Waller may very well not be the most reverant person in SG Music, but I guarantee you, there is not a man alive who wants to see it succeed anymore than does Mr. Waller. We have worked his GOGR for about 6 years now, and I can tell you without question, he loves SG and the groups that promote SG Music. All of us would do weel to be as loyal to the genre as is Charlie Waller.

  12. Rhonda Watson wrote:

    I am very offended by the things that you said concerning the Perry’s on Saturday night set. You know, if you were a little more concerned with the spiritual aspect of the singing and NOT so much the technical part, then just maybe you might receive a blessing from their music like my family does. These folks are personal friends of ours and it hurts to hear and see people out there bashing their “stand” just because you think you know something about music. Well, we have promoted Southern Gospel Music in Texas for nearly 20 years! Its about MINISTRY!! Do you know that Joseph Habedank is ONLY 22!?? There are NOT that many guys out there that are 22 that can sing like that and that will live for their Lord like Joeseph! Personally I think he is AWESOME and we have only seen the beginning of him! Let the Perrys deal with what they need to sound wise, I believe the KNOW what they are doing.

    This explains why I just walked into my teenage daughters room and she was crying! Because her dad had sent her this link too! The Perry’s are like family to her! My daughter is 16 going on 20~ But in a good way! She LOVES SG music with her whole heart! Joespeh happens to be one of her closest friends.!

    PLEASE think before you speak! This “buisness” is NOT about technolgoy or HOW GOOD you can be…..It is about helping bring people to the throne of our Lord every night they sing.

    Concerned,
    Rhonda Watson
    Texas

  13. Paul Doster wrote:

    Amen, Rhonda!

    I’ll also add that if you do not like the NQC, DON’T GO TO IT!!! If all you’re going to do is criticize (and I know that this is what THIS site is all about), then do it in your private diary to be published upon your death.
    I suppose that this is really what we all should expect from this writer, though. HE is paid with State funds, so he can not write glowing reviews of anything Christian.
    I’d suggest that you, Doug Harrison, find another genre to pick on. By saying negative things about Christian music, you open the door for all nay sayers to come in and bash this industry. Does that build up the Kingdom? I’m afraid you are only worried about building your kingdom. It’s time for you to grow up.

    Paul Doster

  14. DamonfromKY wrote:

    Rhonda, I think this site’s not for you if this is how you react to Avery’s review of the Perrys, a group he clearly appreciates overall. I can only hope The Inspirations are not your friends too.

    I am so glad that your daughter is growing up with a love for this music. As she continues to mature, I believe that she will find the depths of love and appreciation that come with a full and complete examination of arts, entertainment, and (yes) ministry.

  15. Chuck Peters wrote:

    Rhonda..

    I admire your stand.. and appreciate your thoughts.. but I am afraid you won’t find many in agreement here.. Yes.. the music business.. is and should also be about “ministry”.. love and caring.. but this website has never proclaimed to be anything like that. I am not sure it’s even a Christian site.. never really heard anyone say.. but that’s alright. I just take what I want from here.. and leave the rest.

    It’s just opinions.. that’s all.. Rhonda.. keep on loving the artists and the music they way you do.. I am sure they appreciate it.

  16. jp wrote:

    Rhonda,
    This battle has already been fought. Go back through the archives to early May of this year and you’ll find a lot of people who agree with you on what a great person Joseph is. As a matter of fact, if you read what Doug had to say about him then and compare it to his comments now, Doug was being downright complimentary of Joseph’s maturation in a short time - or at least that is the way I interpret it based on at least 3 years worth of NQC reportage by Avery.
    The simple fact that the Perry’s have such a fantastic ministry puts even more importance on their professionalism and attention to “technical details”. I finally got my copy of their new album Friday and am looking forward to enjoying all the songs.

  17. RF wrote:

    Rhonda and Paul (#’s 12 & 13):

    Wow. Just wow.

    I don’t think the ministry of any sg artist is in question here or most anywhere. From the beginning this site was about the quality of the music. If that’s something that doesn’t interest you, I suggest you not read. And taking the low road by saying Doug takes a government salary is just that. A low blow. I have no idea who pays his salary, but I know for a fact that he probably spends more money on this site that you’d imagine and makes nothing.

    Southern gospel music has had a pass on quality and cirticism because of the ministry element. That doesn’t make the music any better and if you enjoy it as it is, fine. But those who criticize the quality of the music are needed if the genre is to survive outside of the local church. I hope you also want it to survive.

  18. SPD wrote:

    It’s very common for groups to spend upwards of 3 to 4 thousand dollars for the week of NQC if they bring their own stuff! With Geo Fern it’s much more expensive! They get up to a thousand dollars to rent one couch! And the convention ties up a part of two weekends! We do have to get out as early as possible to try and make payroll for the week! However, I do understand the weekend fans dissapointment, half of the people they came to see are gone. That’s not fair to them! To #3 We pay for our booth and Kentucky sales tax, which is 7% I think! None to NQC (except booth) unless the state gives them a kick back that we’re unaware of! NQC does reimburse Main Stage artists’ some but not enough for the whole weeks expenses! To #4 there is a clause in the exhibitor contract about early tear down! But with 1000 exhibitors there’s no way to police the early tear down plus saturdays crowd is much smaller than it was even 5 years ago! Moving the awards show to saturday would help some what, or if you could cut Monday and Tuesday out and have convention from Wed. thru Sat. Anyhow I’m done!

  19. David wrote:

    To Ben: I agree, Charlie Waller should be given a chance to do something with the FB name if Les/Glen/Derrel are agreeable. I hope they would have the good sense to allow you to help in recording and sound.
    To Rhonda: Sorry your daughter is upset, but if you really want to make her run through a box of Puffs, let her read Doug’s comments from earlier in the year about Joseph!
    To Paul: move along, sir-don’t you have faith partners to fleece?
    To Chuck: Surprisingly harsh comments-did you by chance have the temerity to tell that to Doug’s face this week?

  20. FormerDJ wrote:

    When I was in college, our president said over and over, if it’s Christian it ought to be better. I believe Doug agrees with that thought. Why should we settle for mediocre in the name of ministry? Why not try to make your group the very best group on the road? Why can’t we expect the best from the groups who are also in this industry to minister? These groups are being paid to sing to you. If I were paying for any other type of entertainment, I would most certainly expect a certain level of quality.

  21. thom wrote:

    Conspicuously absent from NQC this year:
    Any mention of the name “Anthony Burger”, not even during the constant promotion of “Pianorama” on Friday night, (or its new name Parade of Pianos), No mention of Anthony on Saturday during the actual Piano Show - not even a video clip or 2.

    Add to the list Jim Hamill, The Isaacs, and no video clips of The Kingsmen, Eldridge Fox, Vestal or any of the other Goodmans, in the 50th anniversary video on Friday night.

    Wasn’t there some sort of dispute between Anthony Burger’s widow and the NQC regarding the Pianorama name? Maybe that’s why no one even MENTIONED him or the fact that he started the Pianorama.

    Please share what you know about this.

  22. dd wrote:

    former dj- well said! Rhonda, i think Doug can be a little brash and tasteless at times but just like every responding post, there are differing points of view. (i know we’ve all said this time and time again) but take what he’s saying as a technical and not personal. i honestly dont think he wants anything from this other than better and not bitter. some of the best medicine doesnt really go down well but the effects are long lasting and beneficial. a true friend would love you enough to tell you the truth. He ain’t the most spiritual i’ll give ya that, as much i wish he was. But he’s never said he was and guess what, we cant make him.

  23. Edie wrote:

    It strikes me as very un-Christian when some people try to discredit Avery by proclaiming him to be un-Christian. Just food for thought.

  24. cdguy wrote:

    Thom, I’m not sure Anthony was the one who started the concept of Pianorama. He may have brought the idea to NQC, but Dino was doing Pianorama events around the country at least 24 years ago. I attended one in Nashville in 1983, at the Grand Ole Opry House. Don’t recall who all the other players were, except Joe Moscheo of the Imperials. Anthony may have been a part, also, but I’m not sure. Maybe Roger, too.

    As for many important names not being mentioned, it may have been purely oversight. Or time constraints. There have been SO many great folks and groups involved in this business (and NQC in particular) over the past 50 years, when you try to list them all, SOMEBODY is going to be missed.

    It’s a shame, but it’s a fact. And as long as someone didn’t say “these are the only people who ever contributed to NQC,” then it’s probably best to assume nobody felt that way.

  25. wackythinker wrote:

    I was there Saturday night, too. It was the only day we were able to go, so I’m not able to compare the evening with the rest of the week.

    I agree with a lot of what Doug said. We did stay to hear Legacy 5 and the finale.

    As for L5: great sound, great crowd response. But from the moment the track began for the finale, there was tremendous feedback in the PA. I think it was the bass in the track. It made it difficult for me to enjoy the songs, as the bass was overpowering. Not saying I didn’t enjoy, just had to work harder at it. :-)

    As for tearing down the exhibit hall, my daughter worked at one of the non-group booths, and they were there past 1am, as were some of the groups. Imagine how late it would be if the fans were in there trying to buy product after the concert ended. I vote for mercy on those working the booths.

    I do think traffic in the exhibit hall will be better next year, with the newly renovated space next to the arena. And there will probably be more traffic during the concerts. Tear down may last longer on Saturday night/Sunday morning, but you may get to see more interaction between the artists and the fans during concert hours. Maybe the exhibit hall should open earlier on Saturday, to give folks more time to shop/visit before the evening concert?

    Just a thought.

  26. thom wrote:

    as for moderators comments about the Perrys:

    Many of the comments made by moderator in recent weeks have actually been complimentary of The Perrys. When compared to the comments made last winter and spring they are VERY complimentary.

    I don’t perceive the current comments as being particularly harsh or in any way personal. I was not there Saturday night, but I was there on Thursday night and Friday night and heard The Perrys do some fantastic sets. Even though I could not detect it while they were on stage - 2 of them did mention to me personally that they were physically not felling well - about exhausted, losing their voices, etc. - SO by Saturday night they may not have been performing at 100%.

    As mr moderator knows, the Perrys are my favorites. And Again, if you but mr moderators recent comments in context you may decide that the Perry’s are winning him over as well.

  27. Montana man wrote:

    In the “spirit” of Paul Doster (#13): If you can’t get it right, Paul, don’t write.

    There is a difference between critiqueing and criticizing. Doug critiques — that’s what reviewers do — and says this is good because, or this is not good because.

    You evidently you missed the Mark Lowry/Lordsong review, comments on the Booth Bros, just for two items.

    I’m tired of cheerleaders (the joyful noisers) rather than realists who’ll tell you that a group can’t find the pitch with a pitchfork, or tuning fork.

    What are you but mean-spirited in suggesting that something not be published until the writer’s death? Perhaps we should be spared your stuff, until YOUR death. But everybody’s got an opinion.

    And here’s where your ignorance really shows — the comment about being “paid with State funds, so he can not write glowing reviews of anything Christian.”

    The source of a person’s income — the state, for example — has NO BEARING on the right to freedom of expression. I’m an adjunct professor in a tax-supported institution, so I do not have complete freedom to say and do anything I want IN THE CLASSROOM (altho if you are creative you can still make your points). But the fact that my compensation comes from tax money (local, state and federal) does NOT limit my expression OUT of the classrom, and so I help promote southern gospel music, for one.

    So, Mr. Doster, I’d suggest that you do all of us a favor and get your facts straight before unloading. Didn’t you write that you helped the Vestal or Rick Goodman web site? Perhaps your poison pen aimed at Mr. Harrison has something to do with jealousy.

    And if you have a problem with reading what’s on this site, perhaps you should do what you suggested Mr. Harrison do re: NQC: Just stay away, and don’t come here.

  28. CG wrote:

    Regarding post #27,

    Amen(!) to the Montana Man! Well Said! Preach on!

  29. TexasBoundandFlyin' wrote:

    Just a few questions on your comments about Waller’s tribute to the Florida Boys and his new leadership of the group. First of all…do you work with any type of video or digital equipment? Do you work with graphics? Do you own a fraction of the pictures or old footage displayed on the tribute video? What evidence are you basing the fact that the future Florida Boys will “flop” on? Are you familiar with Waller’s work? Do you have a desire to see the name live on as several others have?

    Also….do you sing? Do you play instruments? Do you manage any commodity relating anywhere near relevant to that of a quartet? Have you ever ridden a bus? Have you ever operated a sound system? Have you ever sat in the studio during the production of an album? If you sing, have you ever performed during extreme sickness?

    What overall qualities do you possess to make such rude “expert” comments on Waller, The Florida Boys, NQC, or even gospel music in general?

    I’m just dying to know. Maybe I will come to a greater understanding of your way of thinking once I can hear some legitimate answers.

  30. Irv wrote:

    #29, please see #27.

  31. Alan wrote:

    From Doug’s long post, I just want to address one paragraph, although it would apply to other past discussions. This deals with The Pfeifers. Not their performance at the NQC, though; something far more personal. After my wife died two years ago, just 24 days after my Dad had died, I was an emotional wreck. Sometime later, my brother bought an mp3 and loaded onto it many of his favorite Heaven songs. It was beyond thoughtful, and he knew that I had two roundtrips across to the UK coming up in a few weeks. I sat on the first flight to Dublin and plugged my Bose headphones into the mp3. All of the songs were wonderful, but then one began, that had a neat and soft calypso cadence. Then this trio began to sing. “I’m going higher, much higher some day. I’m going higher, much higher to stay. Out past the clouds and beyond the blue sky; going where none ever sicken or die. Loved ones I’ll meet in the sweet bye and bye. I’m going higher some day”.
    I sat on that flight playing that song over and over again, and it was used to give me hope even amidst a lot of tears. The song was by The Pfeifers. And to me, it illustrates something that shouldn’t be forgotten as these discussions continue. If, in their years of ministry, and through their entire body of work, The Pfeifers touch 10,000 people through only one song each, as they touched me, then theirs will be lives well lived, and a ministry used by God. Even if this artist or that group may not be your personal favorite, when God uses them, it transcends labels and preferences. So, I’ll always have a soft spot for them in my heart. Just a thought….

  32. not a grammarian wrote:

    Texas Bound (#29) most of your questions are answered in the archives of this blog. I know Daniel Mount replies to readers in the comments section of his blog to questions or comments, but I’ve never seen it on this website. You’ll probably need to go thru and show some “due diligence” to find your answers.
    With that being said, I can tell you that all I own are a couple of DVD players and some DVD VCR combos, and have never done any video production, but that doesn’t stop me from being able to distinguish between Professional and sloppy and amateurish editing. I don’t see Doug saying anywhere - ” and I could do it better” it’s just a critique of what is seen and heard or otherwise experienced.
    Here’s an analogy that might make some sense. If I’m watching an NFL game and see someone drop a “catchable” pass and make a comment about it - is there any REASONABLE expectation that I’d be able to do it better than someone who makes their living at it? Now I love football and spend a lot of time watching it, have my favorite players, etc. but you don’t hear anyone bashing me because I can’t run the 40 in less than 5 seconds.
    Food for thought - I’m glad you’re passionate about this music, read the archives with an open mind and see what you come up with.

  33. JM wrote:

    Hey #29, TB&F!

    Remember the old chestnut that goes kinda like “you don’t hafta sleep with the hogs to know you don’t wanna roll in the mud”? Well, reviews and critiques are NOT reserved only for performers or producers. Do you really believe that only performers and producers have an enlightened and educated enough vantage point from which to comment? As I understand this blog, it is based on candid and objective criticism. You may not agree; that is your perogative. What is NOT your perogative is to require some level of SG pedigree before the blogmaster or a poster offers an insight, opinion or some observation. I would suggest that, often, the most objective criticism comes from those who are outside the SG circus tent. Those who stand to benefit from their viewpoint will always be considered suspect. You may not agree and you might consider the commentary you encounter here as rough, mean-spirited or un-Christian. Too bad! For too many years, we have asked people to swallow whatever type of bad music and ministry we offered in the name of Christ. And we always shamed people into accepting it because…are you ready?…IT WAS FROM THEIR HEARTS! Well…now that we pay cold, hard cash by the handsfull for all manner of concert tickets, CD’s, tee-shirts and other questionable products, it’s high time we began to speak out. If the performers and producers want to explore the world of free enterprise, then let them deal with the consumer. If you think you’ve got it tough, how about Katie Couric or Don Imus? Please grow up or go to some other site, where they bask in the warmth and delight of of a SG world full of perfect notes, funny MC’s and kisses all around! You wanna make an omelette? You gotta break some eggs! LOL.

  34. Faith wrote:

    NQC has changed SO much. But then, so has SG in general…too many phoneys, no-talents and has-beens. Sad.

    I’ve already said it, but Dino HAS to go. Puh-leeze! The bling-bling reminded me of Liberace. YUCK!

    On another note, Lauren Talley is the most talented woman in gospel music today. Period. End of story. Watch her poise and stage presence, then listen to her interpretation…she is unbelievable. If she is smart (and I am sure she is), she will jump off of the SG sinking ship and move on to bigger and better things. And before anyone criticizes me for saying that, consider that by changing genres, she can reach a whole different audience - perhaps an audience that has not heard the gospel message before [that doesn’t seem to apply to the average NQC-goer]. Besides, who in their right mind thinks that she sings SG anyways? She has totally moved beyond the genre.

    One last point…the Kingsmen instrumental on Monday night was the most innovative piece of music I have heard for a long time. Kudos to Nick, Brandon and Grant! Y’all rock!

  35. Chuck Peters wrote:

    Just to clarify.. I never said Doug isn’t a Christian.. just that I don’t think this site has proclaimed its-self to be a “Christian” place on the web. I also said the site doesn’t appear to be about “ministry”.. love and caring.. That doesn’t reflect on Doug’s Christian status. I design some secular sites that have nothing to do with things “Christian”.. but it doesn’t affect my walk with God.

    to David (#19) - This subject didn’t come up when I talked with Doug last week.. but I wouldn’t have a problem saying what I say here to anyone.. That’s why I put my name on every post. I am accountable for my words.

  36. krista wrote:

    David- this is Rhonda’s daughter.
    and if someone that you love and you were very close friends with that you looked up to and thought that they were an amazing person in all they do. and someone was bashing them…you would be pretty upset too…so be a little more considerate.
    thanks.bye.

  37. Aaron Swain wrote:

    To answer the inquiry Doug made as to the Florida Boys’ most famous song (i.e, the one they performed as their farewell) was “When He Was On The Cross, I Was On His Mind”

  38. quartet-man wrote:

    I have to wonder if those who are so quick to complain when anyone critiques Christian performances would give a Christian plumber, contractor etc. the same courtesy they are asking if these people didn’t do work up to par.

    Of course, one shouldn’t be mean about it, and should choose words carefully when possible, but being Christian doesn’t make us exempt from criticism even if our hearts are in the right place.

  39. TexasBoundandFlyin wrote:

    #30…please see #29 again

  40. anonymous too wrote:

    TexasBound, you seem to not understand that someone can tell what is good or not whether or not they can do better. I assume that you know good food when you taste it whether or not you are a professional chef. I assume you know when your car is running really bad whether you can build or repair one.

  41. DamonfromKY wrote:

    TexasBound, why does Avery or anyone else owe you any explanation? This is his site. If you disagree, this Comment section is where you are free to express that. You did not tell us anything that you think. Your loaded questions not accompanied by any substance make you well qualified for politics, but are pretty much just useless on a discussion blog.

  42. Glenn wrote:

    Wow, I can’t believe it took twelve comments before the Perry clan got on your case. Also looks like you need to be careful next time your in Texas.

  43. Jim2 wrote:

    Doug,
    Loved your description of the Booth Brothers set - it makes me wish I could have been there to hear for myself. Does anyone know if the Carry On CD is going to be available at retail? It seems like a waste to have to buy the Gaither South Africa Homecoming CD just to get the Booth Brothers rendition of “Look For Me”.
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you fro letting me vicariously experience NQC once again. Maybe one of these years I’ll only be working 1 job and be able to get vacation time to go and enjoy it for myself. Keep up the good work!
    Jim

  44. Dean Adkins wrote:

    Re #13
    “HE is paid with State funds, so he can not write glowing reviews of anything Christian.”

    Classic example of a non sequitur.

  45. JPL Design wrote:

    Jim2
    The song, “Look For Me” can be purchased on the Booth Brothers’ web site at http://www.boothbrothers.com/store_cd.asp

    The CD that it is on is entitled, “Pure Southern Gospel.”

  46. Sarah wrote:

    I started attending the NQC when I was 10. I am now 23 so this was my 13th NQC. The evolution has been amazing and this year was one of the better years but there were still a few things that seemed off to me.

    WHen they did the highlights video, I was struck by the fact that I had been there for all of the highlights! The NQC has been around for 50 years (which was heard about repeatedly) but the only highlights are in the past 13 years? I wanted to see some footage I had never seen before!

    I enjoyed the fact that there was a mix of performers on stage. A soloist even made it (2 if you count most of Mark’s set). There were also more trios than I ever remember. However, I did not enjoy the fact that there was only a group of the year category in the award show and not trio and quartet categories. I understand the need to streamline the process but I believe that each type of group should have their own billing and their own chance to win.

    I must admit that I tired of hearing “We have had so many requests for this song” or “We weren’t going to do this one but”. I do believe that God can speak to us and have us change our plans, but there were honestly a few times that I felt like those phrases were said because it is what you should say and not because it was true.

    Finally I must agree about Saturday’s lineup. I was bored for the middle two hours. I understand that groups like the Primitive Quartet and the Chuck Wagon Gang have their fans but I believe that they continue to keep their spot on the mainstage on Saturday night because of nostalgic reasons and not popularity or demand. To me, Friday was the finale this year. That night’s talent was arranged more clearly and I believe that the level of talent and performance was higher. How can you have a closing finale night without Gold City or the Hoppers or Greater Vision? When looking at the attendance issues (especially on Sat.) I believe that all you have to do is look at who is on the main stage to see why.

  47. gc wrote:

    The Booth Bothers are at the top of their game. There is a traffic jam of trio’s at number #2…

  48. Tubby wrote:

    I know that there is a “dress code” for the main stage for the guys. Suits & ties. I also thought that there was one for the girls. I noticed that one of the Pfeifers women had slacks on. Didn’t bother me but it was the first time to see that on stage.

  49. Videoguy wrote:

    I think it’s just crass when critics who criticize criticism cross their own line. It’s just like when the cranky critics thought it was a crime to criticize the Crabbs.

    Incredible.

  50. Jim2 wrote:

    JPL
    Thanks for the information - I had heard it was on the new one (table project) and hadn’t even thought to look at the old stuff.

  51. LTR wrote:

    #44
    Unfortunately, you just went over most of their heads there, Mr. Adkins. LOL!

  52. Montana Man wrote:

    Well, maybe some think a non sequitur is a nun with sequins.

  53. Dean Adkins wrote:

    Non sequitur (rhetoric), a comment which has no relation to the comment it follows.

  54. aaron wrote:

    This was my second year going to convention. Last year I went for 2 days, this year for 4 days. Because of averyfineline, there were 3 people that I wanted to meet this year and feel them out so to speak.

    1) Dean Hopper - He actually was one of the nicest people that I talked to. He was really excited as I referred to one of his songs making a difference in my life. When Kim walked up to apparently rescue him from me, he casually asked if I would like to purchase one of the CDs with his song on it. I did purchase it, but only to be nice.

    2) Jonathan Bond - The first time I went by Young Harmony’s booth I didn’t know that it was theirs. I asked around and found out later that it was. As I stopped by just to chat and find out what kind of cat he was, he was way to busy talking to people that had stopped by also. I wanted to laugh as I seen him give a few CDs away, again because of what I read on here. Finally when I was able to talk one on one the Jonathan he seemed really nice and concerned about me. I asked about certain CDs just to open the conversation. I found out that all of their CDs were $10 each. I asked why do you not sell them for $15 and was surprised by the answer. He said I would rather more people have them than not. I am really not sure what that meant. He then of course gave me a Testimony CD. When the conversation was ending, he reached and hugged me and told me that Jesus didn’t have to die for me, but that chose to. I haven’t been able to get that out of my mind. The booth looked very religious.

    3) Donna Bova’ - I walked around Hope’s Call’s booth for about 30 seconds and immediately was asked if I was interested in purchasing a CD. I wasn’t for sure who I was talking to, so I introduced myself as Andrew Phishie from Mississippi. This lady said that she was Donna. She looks much smaller than in her photos. We talked, she was very cordially nice, but I was just a consumer at this point. I mentioned that I was a concert promoter in the MS area, she suddenly became my best friend. She asked if I would like a promo kit. I was told that they would love to come and work some for me. I honestly couldn’t wait to get away from there. She was my biggest disappointment of the week. The spiritual act was more evident than any that I have ever seen. I didn’t purchase a CD nor did I accept the promo packet.

    Just my $.02 worth

  55. Michael wrote:

    I seriously think that ALL of the cheap, flea market type stuff should be left somewhere down the road instead of the NQC exhibit hall. If you’re not selling music or maybe a t-shirt with your group logo. Get rid of it. Beasley used to try to keep that stuff out.
    I’ve never seen so many booths with Native American style clothing and costume jewelry. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!

  56. thom wrote:

    AMEN BROTHER MICHAEL!

  57. aaron wrote:

    You are right #55 & #56. I only seen one booth with a ‘theme’ per say and that was as bad as I hate to say it, Young Harmony’s. It was a little too spiritual, but it did have some class.

    There were booths that sold ladies dresses and men suits. they were all crammed in like junk. weird looking things too. You are right about the yard sale stuff.

  58. Practical Fellow wrote:

    Amen to post #55. I saw one booth that was selling what appeared to be women’s formal wear. Huh? I know the groups have to fund the ministry somehow, but it was a little weird. I guess it’s a nice change from Precious Moments afghans though.

    Also, to steal a term used on the Fox News web site… what’s up with the ‘oblivions’ at NQC and every SG event going on in the continental U.S.? These poor people who corner the artist, the bus driver or the bass singer’s cousin’s former college roommate and talk them into the ground? If I saw it once last week, I saw it a hundred times. Artists trying really hard to look interested in the story of Aint Polly’s kidney stone removal as ‘oblivions’ drone on obviously clueless they are draining the will to live from said artist. I know it’s part of the job for these artists, but get a therapist if you’ve got to talk to someone for an hour. Or pay the artist the $150 you’d have to pay some PhD in your home town.

    So all that to say… I’m giving Donna B. from Hope’s Call the benefit of the doubt. When you’ve been cornered ten times too many and it’s not even six o’clock yet… it’s easy to be tentative with a fan. And I would be eager to promote your livelihood to a promoter too. Give her a chance, Aaron (#54). She’s trying to earn money to eat. After all she’s smaller than she looks on the press photos.

  59. Practical Fellow wrote:

    Sorry - one more thing. The Booth Bros are terrific. So glad they were recognized and honored at this year’s awards ceremony. May they continue to set the gold standard for excellence in this industry.

    And may they record a couple of my songs for their next project.

  60. BL wrote:

    #54, In defense of Donna Beauvais, what do you expect really? You said she was nice and honestly, isn’t that all she’s required to be? Was she supposed to treat you like an old family friend? She didn’t know you. Of course she became more friendly when you mentioned you were a promoter….you gave her something to connect with you on. You can’t really expect anything more than a cordial talk about the price of CDs. I’m sure if you actually had something meaningful to talk about with her you’d have found her to be quite nice. Not meaning to sound rude, just blunt. Don’t expect an artist to start up a conversation with you. If you want to talk to them, have something to say.

  61. mark forester wrote:

    I have got to say something here……

    Donna B. of Hopes Call is NOT how you described her! That aw gee…golly shucks ….thing she does is not an act! That is how she is at noon or 3 am!

    I should know! I have been with them at all hours of the night. I have worked countless concerts with them. While I am not on their Christmas card list (unless you count email) I have known them since the group started as One Heart and then morphed into Hopes Call

    She is a real. loving, caring , down home person. She doesn’t have a fake bone in her “smaller than her photo” body! (nice weight loss donna!)

    She is one of the few artists in this industry that truly cheers when someone else hits a home run.

    Sure…she tried to sell you a cd and give you a promo pack…..why do you think she has a booth at NQC? TO SELL CD”S AND GIVE OUT PROMO PACKS.

    Geeze people.

  62. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Be careful where you go with the words like
    Native American.
    You might not know who are of the Native American heritage in southern gospel music.

  63. Revpaul wrote:

    GMF #62. Right on! I love southern gospel music and consider myself a Native American ’cause my daddy, my granddaddy, and right on back for over two hundred years were all born in the hills of eastern Kentucky. I might get offended if somebody tried to sell part of my heritage, like an ole washtub bass or somethin’. [grin]

  64. TexasBoundandFlyin' wrote:

    RE #40
    If the food doesn’t taste right do you always tell the chef how to do his work if you don’t know how to do it yourself? If the car doesn’t run properly do you not entrust its care to the mechanic without consistently questioning his work?

    It’s interesting that in gospel music, many fans or observers seem to know about everything in the business when they haven’t learned any of it firsthand, and express their “knowledge” at every given opportunity.

  65. Brett wrote:

    I don’t understand the appeal of Lauren Talley. The Talleys are better with Kirk, Roger & Debra. I think Laure is way overated. Her voice grates my nerves. Amber Thompson is much more smoother soprano then Lauren.

  66. Bryce wrote:

    There are some questionable characters in the industry, Aaron, no surprise. I don’t think anybody in Hope’s Call is part of that, however. I hope you and they will be given an opportunity to meet again and, in so doing, put to rest any concerns you gained from that unfortunate first impression.

    From the artist’s perspective, we have to remember it is a business week, with little opportunities for personable interaction dispersed throughout. Sometimes over the course of the week we aren’t exactly on top of our game, and for that I apologize on behalf of all artists. We do look for ways to connect with everyone who approaches our table, and sometimes the first thing we see is more business than personal. It always depends on the direction the conversation carries itself.

    I hope you will understand our frailty and will give Donna and the kids a second chance. Aside from being technically superior to many artists who’ve received greater notoriety, they are a pretty nice family, from my experiences.

  67. Dave wrote:

    One thing that bothered my while walking around at NQC in the product area, is some groups use their little kids to stand in front of their booths, and when you walk by, they scream, here’s our new cd for 15 dollars, do you want to buy one???? And most of these groups are one you never heard of anyhow, then you feel bad telling the little kids no.

  68. gc wrote:

    #65…everyone has an opinion but you should not use drugs and a computer at the same time….

    Lauren Talley is without a doubt incredible in voice, presentation and heart. They are also great people, Debra Talley is one of my favorite artist to sit down and have conversation..Roger is on the cutting edge of SG and understands every aspect of ministry.
    They also raised a good kid in a tough situation (road life)!

  69. FormerDJ wrote:

    Am I the only one who misses Saturday nights in Nashville where it was Teddy Huffam and the Gems closing things out, with all the Kingsmen and whoever else was around running up on stage? Now those were Saturday night finales at NQC.

    I’m going back to my rocker now.

  70. cdguy wrote:

    Thanks, Mark, for the affirmation of Donna & the “kids”. You’re exactly right. EVERYONE who has a booth at ANY trade show (and, let’s face it, that’s exactly what the exhibit hall @ NQC is) is only there to sell product and advance their company/group/artistry, etc. Different people do it in different ways. Jonathan Bond offered the Testimony cd as a promotional piece. It wasn’t just out of the goodness of his heart. It’s marketing. Just as his cd price structure is marketing.

    It’s ALL marketing. Get over it.

    Now, I know some will say I sound like a cynic. I’d rather think I’m a realist. The artists have different roles at different times during the week. When they’re on stage, their role is entertainer/encourager. And sometimes a minister. But when they’re at their booths, their role is sales/marketing/public relations. Yes, they want to get to know their audience, and for the audience to know them. But that’s P.R.

    I’m not really sure what else you would have expected ANY artist to do when you announced you were a promoter.

    And as a promoter, have you ever met a person, learned they were a gospel music fan, and told them about the next concert you were promoting? Hmmmmm.

  71. dkd wrote:

    Brett # 65..I guess that you and I are all alone in our thinking that Lauren Talley is highly over rated. She is a beautiful young woman and she does have a strong voice, but it also grates on my nerves..
    From the first time I heard her sing I have felt this way. This takes nothing away from the Talley Trio or their character’s, it’s just a personal taste (or lack there of)

  72. wackythinker wrote:

    Bryce — I also have had opportunity to meet Hope’s Call (the entire family) on numerous occaisions away from concert/church settings, and I agree — ‘Nothing but fine!’

    In my opinions, musical excellence is only half their story. I firmly believe they are the real deal.

    To Donna, Jessica & Eddie: Keep up the great work, and don’t let a few isolated naysayers bother you.

    And for the person asking about women wearing slacks on stage, this wasn’t the first year. I remember at least one of the Martins ladies wearing slacks. And you know what, it did not take away from their presentation AT ALL!!!

  73. AD wrote:

    Vestal wore slacks on the NQC stage years ago!!!

  74. RR wrote:

    . . . and why shouldn’t the ladies wear slacks if they wish to?

  75. Jim E. Davis wrote:

    …and the Crabb family wore them last year for their farewell performance.

  76. Revpaul wrote:

    Yes, and I saw our friend AD (#73) in concert last month in stylish slacks, looking all young and energetic. Real classy look, if you ask me!

  77. DM wrote:

    Did anyone notice that New Age music showed up at NQC this year? We need to watch out.

  78. m r things wrote:

    Now Lauren Talley KNOWS how to wear slacks!!! like no one else

  79. TLN wrote:

    OK, Brett! (#65):
    You actually brought out a gut-busting chuckle in me when you said (and I quote), “Amber Thompson is much more smoother soprano than Lauren”! Actually, I’m still chucklin’! “Why are you chucklin’”, you might be askin’. Well, it’s simply because of the fact that Lauren T., well…is not a SOPRANO (in the true sense of the word), but an ALTO singer! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Amber can sing one-and-one-half or even two octaves higher than Lauren. So….your comment just struck me funny! Not picking on you, Brett, but I’m sure others will understand why it struck me funny!

    To compare Amber with Lauren is simply like the old cliche’ - comparing apples with oranges!

    Alas, I AM in agreement with you on your use of the phrase “grates my nerves”. While she is technically a great singer, and while I DO enjoy the direction she has taken stylistically, no matter how much I would like to enjoy her vocal expertise, it “grates on my nerves” also. I wish it didn’t, because the messages in her songs and the arrangements are both compelling, and she’s extremely talented. I DO wish her the best of success in whatever direction she feels that God leads her.

  80. WhoamI wrote:

    Could somebody give a breakdown as to what the approximate costs for a group during the week of NQC are?

    How much does the booth space cost?

    Do most groups stay in hotel rooms as opposed to on the bus during that week?

    For an upper-tier group with a new project (like a Perry, Legacy Five, etc.), how much product will be sold during an NQC week?

    How much are groups given for each main stage appearance?

    What substantial costs do the fans not see?

    If you are a regional group performing in an NQC-related showcase (aka a ticketed event), are you compensated for that appearance as well? What about the groups singing in the newly-instituted showcases (in the South Wing) held from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. each day?

    I’d love to hear an insider give a breakdown, not to be nosy in regard to a specific group, but simply to get an idea on the monetary benefit and cost that NQC results in.

  81. WhoamI wrote:

    Also, what is everybody’s take on this matter?

    It seems as if even a few years ago that groups still put their best foot forward at NQC. For example, I loved Greater Vision’s Quartets Showcase. What a big-time event.

    Is it looked at as more of a draining week of sacrifice (by the artists) now? I just don’t see groups working (perhaps they could work with each other too) to give fans something that they haven’t seen before. There were a few things, especially early in the week, where groups worked well together. Some of it seemed forced, like when the Dixie Echoes and Dixie Melody Boys joined each other on stage.

    I liked the idea of Mark Trammell singing the first verse of Who Am I and handing off to Joseph Habedank for the second verse.

    I would just love to see more of things like that.

    I love NQC. I enjoyed it. I’m not trying to complain, but I would love to see it be better too though.

    I’d love to see the Kingsmen and Gold City each sacrifice 5 minutes of stage time to do a mini-KingsGold stand (assuming they were performing back to back one night).

    I’ve always thought of NQC as the time to shine, to put on your sparkling dresses and best pin-striped suits and “bring it” as best you can. I just don’t get that sense as much anymore.

    I don’t see the creativity. I don’t see the planning and thought put into it. Maybe it is, and I’m just overlooking it.

    Did it used to be more than way? I’d love to hear from the NQC veterans. I’ve only been attending for a couple of years.

    I love the music. I want to see it flourish. It’s hard to move forward when you’re sitting still though.

  82. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Let the people who want to maintain tradition do so.
    Let the people who want to change with the times do so.
    Who are we to do God’s job.
    God is the judge.
    May we all have the peace and contentment that only God can bring throgh Jesus Christ, the Lord of our lives.

  83. GB wrote:

    I was there for the entire week. I enjoyed it because I was just simply starving to hear southern gospel music, so it was good. But to me, those magical moments are not there like it use to be. Those surprise guests moments. Do you know what I’m trying to say? The WOW is not what it use to be. I understand that’s not what it’s all about, but those are the ones that really make NQC special and to me it can be about that too as well.

  84. anonymous too wrote:

    #64 If I am on a message board that talks about the good and bad about cooking or car repair I just might. Maybe we could get one of those pans to put on the engine block and combine cooking and cars.

    Like it or not, Sg is not only a ministry, but a business. We as the consumer have a right to say what we do and don’t like. In fact, doing so can be to their advantage since we are the consumer. They can better see what we like and don’t and correct things to better serve the customer. Some businesses pay money to find such things out. Now, before you make too much out of the serve comment I made, I am referring to their finding ways to get more customers and keep them happy. NQC is all about advancing their “business”, so this could be a good tool to them.

  85. Tubby wrote:

    I have no problem with slacks, but I know that the men HAVE to wear coats and ties and I thought that the women had a dress code as well. Yes or no? I’m asking if anyone else knows the rule for women.

  86. Sleepy wrote:

    The NQC booth area is open 4pm - midnight. That is 8 hours plus many groups do showcases and are involved in other things during the day. That has got to be exhausting. I think in the real world we can compare that to working a 14 hour day and getting paid 1/2 of our normal salary, or in some cases getting paid nothing at all. I don’t see how they do it. I could not smile and be nice to people I don’t know for more than an hour, even on a good day. Thank you artists!!!!

  87. Shellye wrote:

    I agree with many of your regarding the booths this year at NQC. Many of them looked like flea markets and had relatively little or nothing to do with Southern Gospel Music. However, there were some groups that seemed to put some time & effort into their booths and those groups looked great. Some of my favorite booths this year were The Weatherfords, Vertical Praise, Fresh Anointing, The Anchormen, and Tribute Quartet. These groups took some time to think through what impression they wanted to make and how to market their group. They just didn’t throw up a table with product and one backdrop. They were there to actually grab your attention. Any thoughts on these booths and artists?

  88. GB wrote:

    Every business normally has a time once a year, no matter what line of work it is, when you really promote it and normally those costs are a price you have to pay for doing business. Look at how these groups have done all year. As a promoter of some sort, I know for a fact between the flat and product sales, they’re not doing bad. One week a year is a small price to pay in order to receive fans and give them what they want.

  89. Montana Man wrote:

    RE New Age music (#77)

    Who sang the New Age stuff, and what did they sing?

    If you weren’t there, it’s really hard to try to figure out your comment. Main stage? Showcase?

    How do we “watech out for it” if we don’t know where, what, and by whom, please.

    Thank you.

  90. Brett wrote:

    79 then she should not be nominated for soprano for SN awards. I couldn’t stand Lauren singing on the Torch dvd.

  91. Ben Harris wrote:

    As to traditional vs progressive…

    We had many fans come to our booth complaining about the music, both talent level and style, being presented on the main stage. Now, it is a given that we represent a puriest traditional quartet, and in doing so most of the people coming to us with verbal comments such as those we heard are of the same mind as we are. However, that said, there was almost a continuious flow of people in and out of our booth during the week giving us their take on what is SG and what is not. I personally believe that the lion’s share of the audience would rather hear a more traditional fare than what was presented, for most of the audience is gray…just like me. I think music progression is not bad at all, for it is where the creative genius comes forth and all of us prosper from such creative thinking. However, when we trade values for worldlyness I tend to draw back a bit and question why. I do not believe in becoming more like the world in order to win the world, nor do I believe that staying in a rut is the avenue for growth. But lets face the facts, most of the musical growth in our genre comes from talented individuals becoming bored and trying to stretch out a bit to keep their won personal creative juices flowing. All of which is fine and dandy….so long as in doing so you do not leave your audience behind. There is a fine line where the audience will say, to rock and roll, or something to the order of “I couldn’t understand a thing they were singing.” It is a paradox. How to be creative, inventive and remain true to our SG roots. I think many young artists don’t care to learn about our heritage and some of the older groups be-little them for not knowing what brought them to the table in the first place. There is always room for growth, but it should not be at the expense of quality, nor doing away with the core values that made our music what it is in the first place. We all know where the line is between contemporary and SG. It is the desire to bridge that gulf that gets most in trouble. We want to bring more youth to the concerts, when our audience has been gray since I first begin in this music in the late 60’s. If you become to progressive you will certainly lose your core audience, which I believe is happening at NQC more each year. However, is you become complacent, you become stale. It is a fine line. But even still, all of us know full well where the line is at. Sometimes we choose to cross for creative reasons and sometimes its just some vain attempt to garner a younger audience. Either way, we should remain true to SG Music.

  92. TLN wrote:

    Speaking of “marketing the NQC” (and thusly, SG in general), one EXTREMELY IMPORTANT issue (as far as I know) hasn’t even been touched on in the recent posts. That issue is: The lack of young people in attendance at the NQC. This is a very important issue which, frankly, the powers-that-be have not addressed!

    WHY, WHY, WHY has the NQC board NOT addressed this? In my opinion, the prime solution would be to hold the convention during the “summer months”, when children up thru teenagers and college students aren’t in school! Do you see major CCM festivals held during the school year? NO! The reason is obvious! They KNOW when the young people are free to attend!

    I have loved SG all my life (I’m in my 40’s) and have been (and still am involved in the industry for the largest share of my life. But (and we all aware of most of reasons), I’ve seen a great decline in the numbers of the younger fan base. In my experience and observations, there are a lot of kids out there who WOULD enjoy SG, but since they are not at all familiar with it, or have never been exposed to it, they naturally like the kind of music that they HAVE been exposed to. I have personally seen young children absolutely “WOWED” (and become instant fans of the genre) by attending a large SG music event for the first time, be it either a Gaither extravaganza or at NQC (those that are fortunate to be able to get permission to miss a couple of days of school, or are home-schooled). I’ve seen it happen!!! But, we MUST get them interested at a young age, or in 99% of the cases, they’re “out-of-here”! Again, I say, let’s move it to the summer months! I’m sure that this same sentiment has been spoken 1000’s of times, but will someone please listen AND make it happen?!!!

    In addition to moving the dates, I would also strongly suggest, while retaining some of the older traditional groups, also bringing back some of the artists that we haven’t seen in a while, some who were even on stage last year and those who we haven’t seen in a since the “Gaither departure”…also including those absolutey phenomenal quality groups that aren’t “NQC cookie-cutter material”, but have an enormous fan base, and appeal to a more diverse age group than the NQC board would like to admit to.

    And, yes, let’s put the excitement back in it…!

  93. TonyWatson wrote:

    #92 - Rest assured, the concept of moving the NQC to the summer is one that has been discussed among the board members and is a definite desire of some - I’ve heard it from two board members with my own ears. However, nothing can be done until the existing contract with Louisville is up. There is no commitment to remain in Louisville or to keep the same time of year at this point is my understanding.

  94. GB wrote:

    Amen to ya #92. I have a 14 yr old daughter that is broken hearted because we have to leave her behind now that she is in high school. She is missing out on something that she so desperately needs. I have seen her interest decline in sg. I would vote yes if I could to have it in summer. If you were there you probably said the same thing we did. What’s gonna happen when all these old people die?

  95. Ben Harris wrote:

    To #94.
    Those old people will be replaced by more old people as they age. It has been that way since the 50’s and it will continue on for as long as we give the SG audience a reason to show up. If we become a music that is not what most of the audience wants, then it will cease to exist. As people mature they tend to migrate toward more traditional values. SG Music tends to fit that mold very neatly. Many talk about CCM and all the young people they have in attendance….which makes me wonder if they are asking themselves “Why don’t we have older people in attendance?”

  96. Jeremy Hatfield wrote:

    I often find the charges levied against Avery by readers to be confounding, if not unsettling. Are respondents upset because Avery’s criticisms of their favorite group hit so close to home? Perhaps, but more likely they are struck by an argumentative tone that is so utterly foreign to readers of other Southern Gospel literature. There often seems to be a disparity between what respondents say in their posts, and what they mean. When respondents say that Avery’s words are “un-Christian,” what they actually mean is, I wish there were no conflict in the Southern Gospel universe. Alas, such expectations are not only unrealistic, but actually stifling to the growth of the industry. I am reminded of the admonition from the writer of Hebrews that unless one is willing to receive chastening, one cannot be called a son of God. I say that not because any artist deserves chastening in the strictest sense of the word, but because those unwilling to head the voice of constructive criticism are doomed to not grow stale, but eventually to fail completely. To paraphrase the late, great social critic Neil Postman, sometimes it is good to encourage the best by pointing out the worst. And the Perrys are great.

  97. wackythinker wrote:

    #74 — You’re exactly right. Clothes don’t make the (wo)man. But there has been a tradition with NQC that women could not wear slacks on the main stage, and men must wear suits. Seems like there used to be discussion about facial hair on men. (What about facial hair on women?– OOPS!!! Sorry, that was rude.)

    #80 — None of that is any of our business. Just as I would never dream of asking my neighbor about his income (and would be offended if he asked me), it’s nobody’s business how much s/g artists pay/make on any given day or week of the year.

    And as for the discussion of traditional vs contemporary, it looks like we want it both ways. Those of us with gray hair want to hear the traditional, but we want to attract a younger crowd, too.

    This is NOT a new discussion. It’s been going on the entire 50 year NQC has existed. Probably longer. Traditionals in the 50’s didn’t like the Statemen. By the late 60’s it was the Imperials taking the heat. By 2007 they look REALLY old-school.

    Personally, I enjoy it all. Maybe it’s because, at age 55, I still have some brown mixed in with my gray. :-)

  98. AD wrote:

    The NQC in the 50’s and 60’s did have a younger audience….maybe not teenagers, but still younger than the typical NQC audience seems to be now.

  99. Norm wrote:

    Ben #91 makes a lot of good points. I still think it is possible to remain Southern Gospel but go in a lot of different directions. When I discovered SGM and the NQC in the early 70s the Oak Ridge Boys were pushing towards country with a full band including steel guitar; the Imperials were edging to contemporary and the Stamps were doing a lot of power vocals on straight SGM material. Listening to all these groups recordings from that period years later, they are still sound SGM to me but with different creative slants on the music. The other thing that those groups were doing were singing new, well-written songs. Those are the keys for me — traditional sound done in a creative way with new material from SGM writers or writers from other fields(contemporary or black gospel).

  100. Jim2 wrote:

    Doug,
    We’re in triple digit comments on the thread! How about breaking out that analysis on the Songwriter’s Showcase?
    I got an E-mail from a friend that was able to attend and he said it was the most (spiritually) powerful part of the whole convention. Money quote from his e-mail, claimed he “bout got saved, twice”
    Please rescue us from the “traditional/progressive” - “oldsters/youngsters” merry - go - round.

  101. quartet-man wrote:

    Norm touched on music I like. I love the Oaks and Stamps stuff from the late sixties and early seventies. The Imperials put out some good stuff too. In the eighties groups like the Cathedrals, Gold City, Singing Americans and Gaither Vocal Band hit. Gold City still is great today. (But different.)The Sound also did a great debut album in the eighties.

  102. gc wrote:

    I saw alot of young people at convention. I saw alot of young groups and soloist..I was quite surprised at the representation of youth. Remember one major factor..NQC is a week long during the calendar school year. That resonates with buses and retired folks! Young couples with children are out..There is no way to get there. My family could not attend..Three kids in school and involved in many activities.
    There will always be old people and they will always be taking a bus trip somewhere…

  103. DD wrote:

    #97 - I don’t think poster #80 was being to nosey, just inquiring minds want to know. As for cost each 10×10 space is $400, easy to figure. Main stage artist and evening showcase artist are paid a fee, not large. Artist Spotlight on Mon and Tues as well as regional from 4-6, each are not paid. Rumor is showcases next year featuring up and coming and regional artist may be paid. As for product sold, if you are not in the hierarchy, don’t expect much. I’ll agree with some posters in here who spoke of flea market atmosphere. But lesser knowns can only come close to recovering cost if they offer something other than musical merchandise. We have two spaces every year and our decision years ago was to just display our CDs and let the cost fall where it falls. I think if you are a SG or NQC fan, support the powers that be and their decisions or move on to something else. I would hate to think I’m spending my hard earned money attended something I don’t like or would want to change because it’s not done my way!

  104. Ben Harris wrote:

    We heard a few say their sales were down this year (and last too) due to the long walk from the performance area to the trade show area. We of Southern Sound would have to differ with that as our sales were way up from any years previous, and it was the best NQC we have attended to date in that regard. I thinkit will even be better next year when it moces into the new hall adjacent to Freedom Hall. The long walk was a killer for me and I know it had to be for others older than I.

    As to payment for showcases, it depends on what showcase. We were set to do a showcase in 2006 when we were moved to the main stage for that year. There was a payment for that appearance scheduled had we remained on that roster.

  105. TLN wrote:

    To add to my comments (#92) about how NQC definitely needs to be held in the summer months so that young people can attend…well, to keep it short, I purposely left out the well-known fact that there are some tremendous young artists that are still pursuing (and excelling) in the SG field (Thank God!…and KUDOS to them!). I’m not nieve about that.

    Thank God for the small percentage of younger people who WERE able to come (most only were able to attend Friday evening and Saturday). But, the fact remains, to get our young people (and families) there, it NEEDS to be moved to sometime in the summer. Yesterday would not be soon enough.

    And…to the NQC Board Of Directors, PLEEEZ put more emhasis on placing the quality artists from SG’s different sub-genres onto the main stage…PLEEEZ (take a good look at what you’re really doing…then toss the ‘politics’ out the door…for the good of all)!

  106. DM wrote:

    New Age was blended in with the booths so that no one even noticed. When you advertise your music as mystic eastern that is New Age. They blend in then hit the mainstage some day. One of them sang in a show case. Did you notice the New Age priest there? In a booth. Their goal is to deceive even the elect.

  107. concerned wrote:

    As an avid PV fan for many years could anyone give an explanation why a member of a group would be fluffing up the hair of another group member while on mainstage at NQC performing one of the most spirtual songs ever written? Or was it just me that caught that Friday night?

  108. Bakersville wrote:

    I saw a few mishaps on mainstage at NQC this year but I did not get to see the Poet Voices peform. I read on here thier music was messed up a little, maybe they were nervous.

  109. Karalyn wrote:

    #92: Totally agree! I’m a senior in high school and I am going to finally get to go to NQC in 2008…. after I graduate! I have wanted to go to NQC ever since I found out it existed and I can’t hardly believe I’m FINALLY going to get to go. Just wish I could have made it sooner.
    Oh and #107 - LOL!!!!!!

  110. German 3rd wrote:

    what in the heck is #106 talking about?

  111. youngartist wrote:

    My thoughts exactly. ??? What?

  112. Interstate@ibc.com wrote:

    #107 I was at NQC and saw what you are talking about. Chalk it up to inexperience and nervousness by the “hair fluffer”. He was probaly trying to ease his mind after the sound blunder at the begining of the second song, Days That End In Why”.

  113. Montana Man wrote:

    For 110 and 111, DM 106 was addressing my questions in 89 to his original #77, so start there. I wasn’t at nqc, so I didn’t know about his reference to New Age priest (in a booth). Didn’t see the old people who were present, either.

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