Millions of souls served

Do the Hoppers really “average singing to over 1 million concert goers” a year, as recent press releases of theirs have claimed? (Hat tip, AD) The Singing News has them listed as doing fewer than 10 concerts in December 2007, or, counting generously, about 120 dates year. At that pace, they’d have to be singing to over 8300 a night to crack a million ticket holders. But December was a very slow month, you say. Ok. Let’s say they do 250 dates a year (which I seriously doubt): that’d come out to something like 4000 people a night. Does that sound right to anyone else? What am I missing? I’m sort of actually asking, but I also wonder if this isn’t just the handywork of the same PR copywriter who once said that Claude Hopper was one of the “nation’s leading business.” Take one part chutzpah, add two parts wishful thinking, and place in word processor. Blend vigorously and hit “print.”

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  1. Oldtimer wrote:

    The only way the total reaches 1 million per year is if they get pastors to count the concert crowd the same way we count our Sunday morning crowd. You know we can have 130 people and that becomes about 200 or 300 becomes about 500. I call it an evangelistic estimate. I do not believe these attendance numbers. I do not believe NQC attendance numbers. I do not believe most group’s assessment of their sales ( does anybody really believe Naomi and the Segos sold a million plus copies of “Sorry I Never knew you?) I do not believe the accuracy of the results of the Singing News Fan awards and I do not believe the totals that comprise the charts. So in this fantasy world, why not give credit for 2 or 3 million in attendance? Why muddle around in reality when fantasy is so much fun!

  2. Glenn wrote:

    The only one to come anywhere close is Bill Gaither, and he does it about half way through the year. Maybe they are counting the number of times their CD’s are played each year. If they sell 100,000 per year, we only have to listen to it 10 times.

  3. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Every artist at NQC probably counts it as six nights with the 17,000 seating capacity generously rounded up to 25,000 per night. That’s 150,000 in just one week!! :o)

    I could be entirely wrong, but I think the Hoppers’ PR people may have carried over some of their Gaither tour heyday accounting. Back when they made 60 Gaither tour stops a year with an average of 15,000 per concert and they did NQC and a few more large dates added in where more than a 1000 people attended, then they were getting in the neighborhood of a million per year.

    But they aren’t doing as many Gaither and other big arena dates now…are they? And is the Gaither tour still drawing like it used to draw? I can remember a time when Gaither’s Jubilate would sell out the Charlotte Colliseum at something like 21,000 seats and the Homecoming Tour would sell out the Bilo Center in Greenville, SC easily. They don’t even do Jubilate any more.

  4. Revpaul wrote:

    Hey, Oldtimer, that sorta makes you an unbeliever, huh? [grin]

  5. DeeAnn wrote:

    Did it say for this year? If not, that average probably came from the years they sang with Gaither. It was not unusual for those audiences to be 10,000-15,000 per night.

  6. Kyle wrote:

    Reality is in the mind of the beholder….

  7. Tyler wrote:

    Well I wouldn’t go as far as to say what OldTimer did. Especially not believing the accuracy of the SN results. What do you think this is? Florida? :)

    But, here’s how it might be possible for the Hoppers to have sung to a million people in a year: Gaither. In the years that the Hoppers travel with Gaither I think it might be possible because of all the Homecomings. That said, 4,000 people per date 250 dates a year? I doubt it.

  8. Tony Watson wrote:

    Claude Hopper has seemingly never been afraid of superlatives. He’s recently introduced he and his brothers as having something like the longest running quartet in history made up of brothers or something like that. . .

  9. cdguy wrote:

    “Back in the day” Gaither might have been doing 60+ dates per year, but now it’s down to about 40. As they say, “do the math.”

  10. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Does it really matter what all those press releases say?
    It is is better off to purchase paid ads becaue you have more control what is printed in the hard copy format.
    Press releases, newspapers articles and the news media tends to overstate or understate the message in order to get the attention of the masses.
    Well, in this case, it working as we are all discussing the big issue of the day on the very fine line community.
    Job well done!

  11. Judy wrote:

    All I know is I have friends who pastor a 250 member church in TN and The Hoppers’ booking agent called (the week before) to see if they could come to the church on a Sunday night. If they’re working any churches where there are only singing to 250 people, they ain’t singing to a million people a year.

  12. Chuck Sims wrote:

    If they are singing to a million people a year in 120 concerts, that means that each concert has to be 83,000 people, not 8,300. Do the math (8,300 x 120 = 996,000, not even 100,000)

    If they are playing to those kinds of crowds, they are more popular that I thought.

  13. Dale Steenhoven wrote:

    The Hoppers were in Joliet, Il a few years ago, and there were about 300 in attendance. Before that, I attended their concert in Mpls. MN., and there were 250+.

  14. Advisor for Retardos wrote:

    Children, what does it matter? They are probably ’serving’ more than we all are right now. Sounds like you all may just be sad that your sign says “Over 0 served” . SHUT UP AND GET TO WORK!

  15. BUICK wrote:

    OK - I think the dozen preceding posts have established that the Hoppers are not singing in concert to a million people a year (unless you count people watching videos that were recorded “in concert” in that number). It’s hype. It is untrue. Whether it is a serious falsehood, an innocent mistake or a bit of Madison Avenue advertising, that is for each reader to decide. But the mathematicians and statisticians among you have proven, beyond any doubt I might have had, that the claim is bogus. You are all very persuasive.

  16. Jeremy Miles wrote:


    Try the math again my friend. Doug was right the first time.

  17. BobB wrote:

    #12-Check your math again.

  18. Chris wrote:

    So tell me… do you hate all southern gospel music, or just the hoppers. I’m sure you’re hear to fight against the “hypocricy” of these “so-called-christians”, but don’t you think this blog is just a little on the nit-picky side? I like to join in the fun as much as anyone, but this one seems a bit childish. That’s all.

  19. PassTheCornbread wrote:

    I would guess he was including television, which wouldn’t be a lie.

  20. quartet-man wrote:

    I don’t consider it hateful to expect Southern Gospel groups and performers to not lie. Sure there is hype on commercials and all, but we as Christians should be different. This also seems to go beyond hype. People on the outside either see us exaggerate or outright lie. It isn’t a good witness. I love the Hoppers and wish them well, but the carnival type promotion and hype need to go. We should be accurate and truthful.

  21. Bubba wrote:

    My first thought was that Amy was writing press releases for the Hoppers now.

  22. Amanda wrote:

    #19, I think you’re right. If they were including television, a million is probably about right.

  23. Tony Watson wrote:

    Yes, point established, but the remarks come together to spell a larger point about publicity and such. Any of us could get caught up in our own press clippings if we had some I suppose. It’s just one of those things that makes you grin and shake your head in amazement, like when Claude goes around to the booths at NQC at the early part of the week and says “welcome to my convention”.

  24. Payton wrote:

    Now THIS is the funniest thing on here right now……Makes me giggle when I say it out loud haha. A million.

  25. BL wrote:

    Ah, pay attention ya’ll. It doesn’t say they sing to one million people yearly in a live setting. It just says they “average singing to over 1 million concert goers.” Those one million concert goers didn’t necessarily attend a Hoppers concert…just a concert in general….and at some point they probably saw the Hoppers on TV or on one of the Hoppers DVDs. Therefore, they are concert goers who saw the Hoppers sing and I’m sure by the end of the year when you factor them all in, the Hoppers have indeed sang to over a million people. haha! You gotta love their marketing people! lol

  26. Angie M wrote:

    My seeing-eye dog is a concert goer.

  27. Jay wrote:

    Get over yourselves, people. You have more than proved your pointless point. What’s important is that The Hoppers are wonderful singers who do a good work for Jesus. if you don’t like them, fine. Go listen to whatever you do like, but quit trying to tear down people. In the end, if they have only sang to one person who makes a decision to become a Christian, their lifework will have been sucessful.

  28. Ron wrote:

    December 29th the Hoppers sang to over 900 people in Clanton AL

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