Open thread

Holiday traveling (I finally saw one of those YH/KPNR billboards outside Chattanooga … hooo boy!) and other stuff will keep distracting me from much new posting for a bit longer, so feel free to talk amongst yourselves. Will the Thursday night NQC line-up be strong enough to bring weekenders like me in a day early, or will we save our cash for the Gaither showcase (if this year’s Saturday night lineup just gets moves to Thursday, count me out)?* And speaking of, how much will this showcase set us back? The usual? More? Meanwhile, will Palmetto State get their soap opera? Is Guy Penrod really Jesus (and is commenter Shamika a wanton backslider for suggesting as much in the first place)? If you’re up for non-sg talk, has anyone seen that strange choral-competition show on NBC? Oh my. Choirs should not try to do interpretive dance. What else is on your mind? The discussive possibilities are, as per usual, pretty much endless.

*Update: Thanks to David Bruce Murray for setting me straight on little things like …  uhm, you know, the day of week when certain important performances will take place at NQC. Details, details.

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  1. Musicscribe Blog » NQC 2008: Worth Attending More Days? on 19 Dec 2007 at 3:49 am

    […] Harrison posed a series of questions to launch his current open thread. One in particular caught my […]


  1. JM wrote:

    Thanks Doug for the open thread…the perfect Christmas gift for readers of this blog!

    In one form or another this topic has/is/will be tossed around for some time; but, I’d like to put the question in recent historic context. Over the last 10 years, we have lost the vast majority of SGM “giants” of one sort or another. I won’t bore with a listing of these folks, as I would neglect to include someone and would then be upbraided for the exclusion. And despite the somewhat “mixed” reviews that our brother from Indiana gets on this site, it is safe to say that when Bill Gaither passes on, our “touchstone” to those good, old gospel greats will also be gone. I reference BG here because, regardless of your feelings regarding his motivations or purposes, he brought together many of these folks in a viable format, just a few years prior to their passing.

    So, on to the question: When BG takes his final bows on this stage and is called up to the final Homecoming, who has the gravitas or presence or “juice” to take up the mantle of leadership in SGM? Is this important? Do we need an undesignated leader to represent the world of SGM? Or as with dodo birds and eight-track tapes, does SGM just slip into extinction, with a fleeting Wikipedia entry? Just wondering…

  2. Aaron Swain wrote:

    Read the thing about PSQ. Ouch. That had to be an awkward moment when those guys got confronted…

  3. cdguy wrote:

    JM — Great question. I’ve pondered that myself. Although Charlie Waller has done a good job (Grand Old Gospel Reunion) of keeping the heros gathered together on occaision, he’s getting up there in years, too. And he’s never drawn the attention Bill has (national tv, for example).

    There are a few people in the Gaither clique that could ably host the thing for a while (Lowry and Penrod come to mind), but I don’t know how long they could sustain it. Or if they would want to.

    It would also be interesting to see if Gloria would want to keep the thing going, should she outlive Bill. She could host, but I’m not sure she has the interest in doing that. And their kids are not involved enough to pull it off the hosting job. I’ve been surprised they’ve not been more visible. I’d think Bill would want to pull Benji in as co-host, but he may not want to be involved in that way. He’s more into CCM and other ventures.

    There are others who may be connected with the artists as well (or nearly so) as Bill, but I’m not sure who would have the notoriety or personality to pull it off for a long term. And although Bill’s videos have become (or maybe have always been) primarily a vehicle to promote his music and GVB, I can’t think of very many people who could successfully promote their own music in such a subtle way.

    As I said initially, interesting question.

  4. jb wrote:

    Strange that you should bring up the Choir competition. I watched it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. A young lady from my home town in Southern Illinois was in the Michael Bolton choir. The best thing about it, no professional singers, no full- time singers or part time singers, just common people. The grandmother really impressed me. As far as interpretive dance, maybe EHSSQ was the correographer….Just kidding and I did mean that as a joke. I do good to stand and sing at the same time. Merry Christmas to all and God Bless You at the time and all year.

  5. gc wrote:

    It will all be handed to and see

  6. Bryan K. Fowler wrote:

    Looking for some projects that I cannot find…Does anyone have any quality “Heirloom” projects from the original group?

  7. andrew jackson wrote:

    i cant hardly type this without laughing, but what about jonathan of young harmony taking bills place. you know they have the billboards and stuff. isn’t he a songwriter too? i just had to throw that one in. still laughing

  8. dkd wrote:

    Ernie may want it, and get it but does SG want Ernie in that capacity?

  9. assemblypastor wrote:

    #7, why must you need to turn this into a Young Harmony slam? They have been at church where I pastor in Indianapolis, three different times and truly blessed us in real song ministry. Ginger and Johnathan both seem to be really genuine people and I have never heard them trash anyone, even when I put them to the test. Why would you feel the need to slander them on here? Let them do what God has obviously called them to do.

    As for Bill Gaither, I am certain that he has a plan already set in order for a predecessor. He has talked to me personally about future arrangements. He is a smart man.

    Do any of you know Darrell Freeman personally? I have met him only once, but I couldn’t tell if he was genuine. Can anyone give me the heads up on him? I would like to have The Freemans at my church, but want some kind of character reference from someone that really knows them.

  10. BGC wrote:

    Gaither is winding down. Don’t get me wrong, I love the video’s, the talent, and the message. If someone steps in and continues this deal changes will have to be made. Ticket sales as well as product sales have slightly declined the past two years (public Indiana information). I look for a new approach with with some new faces as well as our SG heroes. Things are in the works, it could get exciting! Merry Christmas everyone!

  11. Oldtimer wrote:

    Though I admire his talent and respect his ability, I am not a great fan of the person I am going to name ( he has alaready been mentioned.) But the only person who even approaches having the across the board appeal ( I am talking age-wise, denomination-wise, and genre-wise) combined with a knowledge/ love for SGM is Mark Lowry. He is the only possoible Gaither heir-apparent on the horizon. Someone mentioned Ernie Haase - Again I am not Ernie Bashing, but he appeals to SGM and then only to a distinct group within SGM. And don’t throw up the number 1 SN song as proof of his popularity - if I am not mistaken some group called “Heirline” also has a SN number one to their credit. Honestly I do not look for a post-Gaither Homecoming. I think when he goes it does as well and the Homcoming days get filed away under “those were the days” along with the Statemen,Blackwood heyday, the Gospel Singing Jubilee, and the Goodman-mania of the 70s. It is already winding down and I suspect that it can creep along as long as Gaither desires - but then no more.

  12. BGC wrote:

    I will be glad when the day comes when posters will be a bit more accountable. I guess the technology is here but would discourage rather than encourage participation. I just think it would be a good idea to make it harder to change your identity, maybe linking it to an email like SN but there are ways to create endless identities with that also. You may say well we are all Christians here so there is no need for this but I disagree. It is just too easy for groups and individuals to use the boards for their own personal agenda and gain. Especially in the past couple of weeks, wink wink. Merry Christmas!

  13. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year in 2008.

  14. Chuck Peters wrote:

    BGC.. Great idea.. being more accountable. It’s easy.. just put your name on your posts. Even initials are not enough.

    I hate name dropping.. but this is for a good cause.. To the person who asked.. I have known Darrell and Chris Freeman for about 22 years. I have had both personal and business dealings with them since the mid 80s. You won’t find any better people. They are the real deal!

  15. AD wrote:

    assembly pastor, kinda seems you’d be open to somebody slammimg Darrell Freeman here……..

  16. EHSSQfan wrote:

    #9 assemblypastor….ok…you know ginger and johnathan are good people because you have put them to the test, you have personally discussed with Bill himself on who will take the reigns of the homecoming empire and you are coming on here to ask if DFreeman is genuine? I would say he is as genuine as the others you have put to the test and im sure he and his family is worth the $500 plus a love offering that you might be able to afford to pay out. Call BSA im sure they will help you with your question…pastor.

  17. CG wrote:

    assemblypastor (post #9),

    I’m just curious, did you seek a “character reference from someone that really knows them” when you first started having YH truly bless you “in real song ministry”, or are you attempting to turn this into a “slam” of the Freemans?

    I happen to know the reputation of both groups pretty well…I can recommend the Freemans.

  18. Revpaul wrote:

    #9 AssemblyPastor — Yes, I know Darrell Freeman and his wife Chris, both personally and socially. They are wonderful genuine Christian people, and they really know how to have church. I have had them in my own church and they remain favorites at our concerts. Chris is a phenomenal singer, having sung for years with The Hinsons. Don’t miss the opportunity to get to know them better. Book ‘em and you’ll love ‘em.

  19. dd wrote:

    He said assembly pastor): Do any of you know Darrell Freeman personally? I have met him only once, but I couldn’t tell if he was genuine. Can anyone give me the heads up on him? I would like to have The Freemans at my church, but want some kind of character reference from someone that really knows them.

    Chill kids. He was asking a question….. . He said he would like to have them, he wanted to know about him……


  20. gc wrote:

    Assembly Pastor? “I have met him only once, but I couldn’t tell if he was genuine. No kidding. If you saw him twice would you know if he is genuine? I saw Rock Hudson in twenty movies and did nt know he was gay.

  21. Fan1 wrote:

    Maybe the new single from the freeman’s “I need a drink” got his gears a turnin’.

    No bashing the freeman’s here…i enjoy their music.

  22. assembly pastor wrote:

    #17 CG, as a matter of fact, i did do a character reference on young harmony before they came. on their website they have listed the phone numbers of the churches where they sing each week. I call about 12 of them where they had been asking the pastors if they were pleased. i asked each to give a reference. i try this with every group that comes here. i certainly would not want to slam anyone. that just isnt who i am.

    #16 just for your knowledge ernie and ss have been to my church several times over the past 4 or 5 years. the flat that we give is more than what you mentioned. we are careful about who we bring in and this way our board and members dont mind giving.

    #20 rock hudson? i am hoping that you are more intelligent than what you just came across. the more time that you spend with people the more you get to know them. it then is easy to tell what they are like when they arent in the spotlight. i heard an old saying many years ago, are you the same person when no one is around as you portray that you are when people are around. again, the more time you spend with someone, the more you get the know them.

    no harm meant to or on anyone

  23. Montana Man wrote:

    assembly pastor: First, your suggestion that Andrew Jackson (7) committed “slander” against YH.

    What he did do was note parallels about BG and YH — billboards, stuff and songwriter. That is called commentary and it does NOT constitute “slander.”

    In fact, you apparently know very little about the difference between libel (written) and slander (oral), and in that instance you would do well to be quiet about things where you lack basic knowledge.

    Then your comment that you “couldn’t tell if (Freeman) was genuine.” Raises all kinds of questions about your criteria for telling “genuine,” as you apparently believe you usually are able to discern genuine and artificial on one meeting. Good luck.

    Should we be impressed that BG talked with you personally about future arrangements? To what genuine degree?

    About Mr. Freeman. I do NOT know him personally. I attended one concert where his family was the group. Something had gone haywire with the sound and what the audience was getting was a blasting of drums with little else. The promoter tried to tell him from the audience that something was wrong with the sound — drums were too loud. Mr. Freeman let the promoter (and all of us) that he had been doing this for 15 years and he knew what he was doing, and that he heard the complaint from audiences all the time that the sound was too loud. The promoter persisted one more time — with audience support by applause — and Mr. Freeman grudgingly checked out the sound, found out whatever was wrong in the balance (or something else) and resumed the concert — without any apology of any kind or shade to the the promoter or the audience. He has never been invited back, and never will be.

    If you feel I am picking on you, you’re right. I, too, am part of an assembly and I find your comments uninformed and embarrassing and would have preferred that you merely identified your self as “pastor,” rather than tagging the movement. Thank you.

  24. Grigs wrote:

    I saw Rock Hudson in a lot of movies. Thought “Giant” was probly the best. That was a real good movie.

    The only Freeman I’ve met was Misty. She was really nice.

    I’ve never met any of the Hinsons. I saw Ronnie in a Denny’s once. It was after midnight, he looked tired, and I WAS tired so I didn’t bother him. I should have at least said “Hi Ronnie…love “The Lighthouse”, man!”

    I’ve found a lot of old Oak Ridge Boys LP at Goodwill here lately….late 60’s, early 70’s. Great stuff.

    I saw a picture on EHSS’s website where Ernie was wearing a plaid shirt with a suit and tie. You don’t see that much.

    Does anybody else remember the Bucketeers? They were a basketball team Meadowlark Lemon started after he left the Globetrotters.

    The thing that worries me most about Young Harmony…Do they bake the dressing inside of the turkey or in a seperate pan?

    Hey, he said we could talk about anything we wanted. Some of these things keep me up at night.

  25. rw wrote:

    Perhaps The Freemans wouldn’t want to sing at an assembly whose “pastor” solicits character references in a public forum. I wouldn’t.

  26. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Generally speaking, pastors of churches do not have the time nor do they discuss their business relationships in plain view.
    Pastors have a higher standard as they represent their higher authority and the flock that they shepherded.

  27. volscot wrote:

    Grigs, I remember the Bucketeers. He also had the Shooting Stars and the Harlem All-Stars. None of them lasted very long.

    That seems to be a theme with Meadowlark in his post-Globetrotter days. His gospel music career didn’t last very long either. What year was it that he as on stage at NQC?

  28. Grigs wrote:

    Lemon was at NQC in ‘97 IIRC.

  29. Practical Fellow wrote:

    I’ve been watching the Clash of the Choirs - I’m enjoying it. The Patti Labelle choir has blown us away here at our house. That first number they did (echoes of Kirk Franklin anyone?) was terrific. I think I raised a hand while on the couch.

    Since we’re free-associating here… Can anyone tell me about the Martins these days? I know they are touring, but what about a new record? Is anyone else going through withdrawls? They are one of my all-time favorite artists and I know they sort-of retired a while back. Are there any rumors of a record deal and a new recording out there?

  30. dd wrote:

    rw, pastors have a reponsiblityto protect their flock and be very careful to screen who comes in to their services. he thought he would get a legitimate response that would actually generate helpful information for him to make that decision.

    his mistake……

  31. Tele D. Trooth wrote:

    I LOVE “dumpster-diving” for old vinyls at the Goodwill store. America’s Thrift Store in Tuscaloosa is a gold mine.

  32. dd wrote:

    btw, listening to the cats Accapella Christmas project is proof that a focused project can be successful….18 min. 35 sec. of absolute perfection!

  33. mark forester wrote:

    The Matins are recording a new CD. They have 5 or 6 songs done from what I hear. It is being produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts.

    Not sure when or if it will be finished .

  34. Dave wrote:

    A quote from Rory Rigdon on the GVB/SSQ Together video….”Did you ever eat cured ham, and wonder what it was cured from”?

  35. Leigh wrote:

    Grigs, I love ya! Is your last name Seinfeld? I wish you’d been around the last few weeks when comments here were sounding reeeeally nasty. ;)

    I’m SO excited to hear that The Martins are recording a new album!!

  36. DamonfromKY wrote:

    Back to Palmetto State for a moment, did anyone notice the “News” story on about the Palmetto State merger? The story listed Larry Strickland on the by-line and contained many self-congratulatory lines, ending with the humble thought, “Most importantly, Larry brings his beautiful bass voice back into gospel music.”

    I know nothing of Mr. Strickland and the press release may well have been written by someone else, but I think he needs to remove his name from authorship if he’s going to be so gushy about his own talents.

  37. KEW wrote:

    grigs oh grigs, stuffing is inside the bird and dressing is in a separate dish. Just remember to take out that packet of giblets (icky things) that come with the bird before you stuff it.

  38. Jay wrote:

    About asemblypastor -
    I had no problem with his question… It might’ve been better suited as a stand-alone question, and not casually thrown in at the end of a post. But, hey THIS IS A BLOG! Most people make up the rules as they go…

    About The Freemans -
    Seem to be OK people. I’ve noticed some issues with egos, but, heck, if you were 100% honest, we’ve all got ‘em, so what about it??

    About YH -
    You gotta give ‘em credit… They have a way of remaining a popular topic on many varied blogs…

    About Avery -
    I think Doug should be the next Bill Gaither!

  39. Practical Fellow wrote:

    Can anyone validate the info posted on #33? Are the Martins with a new label? Yikes! I’m really excited!

  40. mark forester wrote:

    Practical fellow:

    My information about the Martins recording comes from someone who has a songwriting cut on the new Project. I won’t reveal who that is……

    I have no idea about a label or if they even intend to finish the CD or continue touring. I do know that Jay Demarcus has produced what has been done so far.

    Time will tell.

  41. natesings wrote:

    If memory serves, Jay DeMarcus was the (or a) producer on Michael English’s “Gospel” CD.

  42. CVH wrote:

    Forgive me for not bashing YH or the assemblypastor…and grigs, a couple of Advil PM will help you sleep at night…but here’s a new question/topic:

    Does anyone know the actual status of many of the masters of some of the albums produced from the late 60s to late 70s, especially the product released by Benson (Heartwarming, Impact) or Word (Canaan). Usually a master would not revert back to the artist but I’m wondering if the actual original 2-track analog masters still exist (let alone the 2″ multitracks); and/or whether or not they’ve been digitized. With all the changes in ownership, label mergers and dissolutions, I’m wondering if they’re still in a vault somewhere, being kept for possible future remastering or just archival purposes.

  43. Grigs wrote:

    My last name isn’t Seinfeld, but I am glad that somebody loves me. :)

    KEW, I guess that I should have asked if they prefer stuffing or dressing. My answer to that question would be a resounding “YES!”

  44. Jay wrote:

    I can’t wait to hear The Martins new CD. They could always sing good, but since Joyce’s recent conversion at a Nashville revival, I can’t help but think that she’s singing with a genuineness like never before. I truly admire her for being bold enough to make a public commitment to follow Christ, after having been in this industry for so long. She gained a lot of respect with me where that’s concerned.

  45. Practical Fellow wrote:

    re: #44 I’m sorry… did I miss something? Joyce just recently came to Christ?

  46. Derek wrote:

    I don’t know much about Larry Strickland. I did know that he sang with The Stamps during the Elvis era…but so did Richard Sterban of the Oaks. Who came first? Anyone know? The most notable thing I know about Strickland is that he married Naomi Judd! (And there was trouble in paradise at one time there too…but I guess they kissed and made up!) Do you think Gaither will do a Judds reunion video next? Which SG artists will make guest appearances to sing the hits of the Judds? EHSSQ will probably cover “Rockin’ With The Rhythm of the Rain” or “Have Mercy”…or both?!

  47. jb wrote:

    Me too #45. Did I miss something. Joyce just now came to Christ? I will say nothing more on this matter.

  48. concertgoer wrote:

    Do any of you all know of any good concerts (possibly multi-group events) being held in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama or Georgia between Christmas and New Year’s Day?

  49. Wes wrote:

    This is to all the unlearned people who want to bash Young Harmony for being successfull. Ist they have billboards up for a reason and they call that Marketing !! And they do get alot of call off the billboards. Something maybe others should do if they want to be working more than just 1 or 2 days a week. I would say that the guy who was laughing ( #7 Andrew Jackson ) at the billboard ideal really knows nothing about Marketing or Promotion. And its probably no fault of yours for being unlearned or trained in this field, because I know things could be rough out there on the road ( if you are on the road ) working the 2 days a week thing. You need to work at least 3 days to be up to par to even think about getting your own billboard . And you may say to yourself, why would I want one? Maybe because it gets more Bookings, Humm.. SO next time you want to laugh at someone, you need to take notice and ask yourself, How come I have overdraft charges in my bank account and Johnathan doesnt..? Could it be because he is a marketing Genius.. I think so !!! Not to mention a Great Guy.. Johnathan may God Blees you even more so you can help Andrew Jackson get his own billboard and get some of those overdraft charges off his ban account..

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