A reunion too far

Via Daniel Mount, I see the Crabbs are staging a “reunion” at NQC. Huh? The engines on their buses haven’t even had time to cool down since the family’s “retirement” and we’re already having a reunion? This seems like a fine example of taking a good idea, running it into the ground, and breaking it off.

Look, reunions can be great, especially in a genre like southern gospel, which runs on high-octane nostalgia. The Cathedrals reunion, of course, is the gold standard here. And the Gaither Homecoming phenomenon is really just one big reunion by another name (in fact, it’s arguably true that the penchant for reunioning in sg is really a result of the popularity of the Homecoming videos).

But the point and appeal of most reunions (the rules don’t really apply to the Gaithers, since they sort of broke and remade many of today’s gospel music bidness rules) is that it reunites people who haven’t been together for … well, a lot more time than has elapsed since the Crabbs retired (they just released a cd this month a few months ago, for goodness sake!). So let’s call this what it really is, shall we: high-profile promotion for the Crabbs last project and a way to plug the various seeds and weeds that have sprouted from the rubble of the original Crabb Family.

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  1. Jesse wrote:

    I’m sure this is a NQC originated idea not a Crabb Family publicity event. Also their CD came out in September. So if you don’t like the idea, then don’t go, no offense dude…

  2. zack wrote:

    sorry…I think its a publicity stunt as well…and Honestly…I don’t even know how you could consider the crabb family southern gospel anymore…They were pretty much all contemp. at nqc 07 anyways…Don’t get me wrong…I like the crabb family but I just don’t know if NQC is the place for them…and as long as were on the subject…I sure haven’t heard anything on any of them since the split….

  3. RF wrote:

    Well…at least it’s just a showcase. And a one-year reunion is sort of like coming back to your high school the year after you graduated when you see everyone nearly everyday anyway.

    And agreeing with Zack here…they morphed into something other than southern gospel along the way. Sounds like a way to get the young into the convention which is fine by me.

    That said, to be pure sg, I’d rather see another Florida Boys reunion. But wait…what happened to the new Florida Boys?

  4. tim wrote:

    They are having a “reunion” on Feb 15th in WV. Everyone but Kelly. I’m glad to see it. From what I understand it will be the three seperate acts (Aaron and Amanda, Crabb Revival and Jason Crabb) seperately and together. Either way it will be a great night.

  5. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #3: A Florida Boys reunion would be great! And I haven’t heard much on the “New Florida Boys” either. I guess after Dan Keeton left and started his own quartet, all the buzz went over there.

  6. Wayne wrote:

    So let’s call this what it really is, shall we: high-profile promotion for the Crabbs last project and a way to plug the various seeds and weeds that have sprouted from the rubble of the original Crabb Family.

    I’ll take a stab at this: “NQC presents the Crabb Family High Profile, Last Album Promotional, Seeds and Weeds from Rubble Showcase.” “Reunion” is sure easier to say.

  7. Brad Cox wrote:

    I agree with zack it is definitely a publicity stunt. Always trying to get some extra press to make an extra buck. Why can’t they just be happy singing with each other every other week because they are still together a lot. I think it is time they just move on.

  8. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    Why should they “just move on”? The fact is, SGM is driven by supply and demand just like any other business. Whether you like it or not, there is a demand out there for “The Crabb Family”, they are supplying what the fans are demanding.

    Let me get this out of the way….

    [Random Poster]”They are not doing it because the fans want it, they are doing it because NQC wants it.” [/Random Poster]

    And to that I would answer, why do you think NQC wants it? There is a demand.

    Many people complain about SG artists not getting enough in the love offering, or not being paid by the church, or blah blah blah, but when perhaps someone does something to put a little money in their pocket, STOP THE PRESSES!!!!

    Either way, I don’t see the problem with it.

  9. JB wrote:

    The music we have gotten here at the station on Mike & Kelly Bowling is very Southern. I hope they will stay that way.

  10. LW wrote:

    Frankly I don’t understand all the Hype about the Crabb family to begin with. I think there are other family groups out there who are alot more talented. But who cares who sings with who when? If they want to come back all together NQC and sing, well so be it.

  11. Mark wrote:

    Who cares! So what they are having a “reunion” concert at NQC. I think NQC has finally made some good decisions in regards to this year’s event. I hope they have a good response.

  12. Cabell wrote:

    #10 LW, I could not disagree with you more. Did see them live? IF you have then you would understand that the “talent” of the Crabb Family is in their understanding of cunducting a worship service. I, at one time, thought they were absurdly overhyped and would not attend a show. A friend of min talked me into going to the last show they would do in our area, and I was absolutely amazed. If you have never heard their arrangement of “Shout to The Lord” you may have missed one of the greatest live concert moments of all time. Masterfully done. While there are very talented family groups out there now, the Crabb family have definately set the standard.

  13. Susie Q wrote:

    I agree with you Bari-Tone-Def i agree. There is a huge demand for them. I for one am demanding them, there the only reason i listen to Southern Gospel! or started listening to SG! Thru them i have found other Artist such as brian Free etc…. so Thank you Crabb Family! I love yall’

  14. Brandon Shreve wrote:

    From what I understand, the plan was always to reunite a couple times a year for kicks and to (gasp!) make a few bucks. :)

    I see no problem with it. The Crabb Family are one of the few groups to “step outside the box” so to speak. I think they were very important to how people percieve our industry and I don’t see anyone replacing them anytime soon. I think we can only benefit from getting the chance to see them together every now and then. They should call it something other than a reunion though IMO.

  15. Faith wrote:

    Wow, some retirement. Do people already miss them that much?

  16. Chuck Peters wrote:

    My original plans were to attend 2008 NQC Tues through Fri.. leaving Sat morning. I have booked another night at the hotel.. just so I can stay and see the CF reunion event. I think it will be one of the best things at NQC.

  17. zack wrote:

    Please don’t get me wrong…I like the crabb family…but I just ain’t so for sure that NQC is the right place for them…They have morphed from SG to more of a contemp. feel….I would love to see them more around the arkansas area, but to me NQC should be kept more to a southern gospel restrection…we don’t want to totally loose the vision of J.D. Sumner….do we?

  18. Kyle wrote:

    Personally, I look forward to seeing any of the Crabbys, whether it’s on a stage or on TBN. Have enjoyed the group from way back when Gerald was still taking the point. We went a full year with the Crabbys Last Stand tour, and I think it left folks wanting more. So, any chance to get more of them will always draw a crowd.

    That said, there’s a real danger of reunionitis. A Crabb gathering once in a while is a great thing, but too many of them will make these concerts seem cheap and overdone, kinda like KingsGold.

  19. Joseph wrote:

    Shall I quote Avery on his NQC 07: Friday Night blog…


    “I miss the Crabb Family.”

    Number one: We all know you indeed love the Crabb Family, yet love to dish and stereotype them more.

    Number two: Does anyone know for sure that this was planned by the Crabbs or by the NQC board, who of course would never try to…GAITHER…excuse me…sell more tickets by someone’s surprising, yet perfect timing return to the NQC? Just a thought.

  20. Poppi (Pop-eee) wrote:

    Can someone tell me how I can access recent posts? Every time I try to find something by subject or for that matter even a word or phrase or subject; I come up with every kind of post(s) except what I am looking for. Is there a one two three, etc., step(s) to follow?

    Email me at “gcmp21@aol.com”

  21. cynical one wrote:

    I was at the Crabb Family’s “last performance at NQC”, on Saturday night of the NQC ‘06, and I recall they were extremely well received by the crowd. I also recall the MC (probably Jerry Goff, but I wouldn’t swear to it) saying something to the effect that “we hope they come back at some point”. And the audience was in obvious agreement.

    NQC not the place for The Crabb Family? Not according to the crowd that night. It was more than just polite applause. It was very enthusiastic!

    That being said, I too have noticed on their itineraries, while the smaller acts are doing some individual gigs, the “family” is together a couple of times a month. It’s as if they’ve never split, except for Mike & Kelly. It’s kinda like the couple of years when Tara was gone, but now it’s Kelly who’s gone. And Tara is really shining brightly now. She’s really grown as a strong singer.

    But with all the family dynamics, which are pretty well-known by now, the M&K part is not so surprising.

  22. wackythinker wrote:

    Zack, although their initial fan base was the sg crowd, CF was never really true sg. They’ve always been more country gospel. Any morphing has been to the contemporary side of country, but not truly contemporary. Hense the title of their cd “Blur The Lines”. They truly have done exactly that.

    And I’m not sure J D wouldn’t have been ok with that at his NQC. SG groups have been doing that since the 30’s or 40’s, mixing pop sounds, r&b, barbershop harmony, country bluegrass, et al, with traditional white church music. As they say, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

  23. cdguy wrote:

    If memory serves me correctly, when the Crabb Family made the inital announcement (about a year-and-a-half ago) they said they would be doing both individual ministry and whole-family ministry (when the schedule allowed). They just couldn’t sustain the every week 2-bus schedule they’d been doing, on a full-time basis. I think that’s exactly what’s happening — individual (or small group) ministries somewhat full-time, and big group once or twice a month.

    So maybe it’s just a misnomer, calling it a “reunion”. Publicity stunt? Probably not. But NQC is probably wise to include anyone they think will sell tickets, whether it’s Gaither, Crabb, Inspirations, McKameys, Perrys, Greater Vision, or anyone else, as long as it falls under the EXTREMELY WIDE umbrella of sg. And, IMHO, they all do.

  24. zack wrote:


    I can totally agree with you on everything you just said…I guess thats kind of what I was trying to say…I ain’t the best with words! lol Don’t get me wrong I’m not opposed at all to mixing that kind of stuff…I do it all the time myself! lol but thanks for helping me out there!

  25. thom wrote:

    It would be nice to see NQC do a BIG tribute to Big Jim Hamill since he passed away this year. It would have been nice to at least MENTION him at last years “‘nqc anniversary’” while he was still alive but it’s too late for that now. Maybe this year the board will ask sometime to produce a nice tribute to him.

    Has anyone heard from Mickey Gamble and the folks at Crossroads music who promised us a “best of” Jim Hamill project/Cd/Dvd, etc.? I wonder were that stands? I would love to have a really nice compilation DVD of some of his best moments.

    as for the Crabb Reunion - whatever will help the NQC attendance, I’m all for it.

  26. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Why not have Jason give a three point sermon during the event?
    The three points can be:
    1. Thru It All.
    2. Love.
    3. Grace of God.

  27. zack wrote:

    i’m all for a Jim Hamill showcase!!! that could be GREAT!!!!

  28. Channing Ford wrote:

    I laugh everytime I read something about the Crabb Family being contemporary. If you ever listened to contemporary Christian music, you would know that they are anything but. They did a great deal of variety in their concerts, including praise and worship and some songs like “Shout to the Lord” and others on the “Blur the Lines” CD that were originally contemporary, but they still Crabbalized them and made them more their own, more progressive country. For those of you who long for that kind of gospel music, I would highly recommend Crabb Revival. They are awesome and continue the original Crabb sound with some tweeking, making it more modern country. I have not seen what others here are saying, two or three scheduled events with the entire Crabb Family a month. Where have those been possted. Also, the two times I did see them, Kelly and Mike were there. It’s strange to me how things get so twisted here!

  29. thom wrote:

    evidently the “crabb reunion” will be hitting the road some, too. The week after NQC they will be in Chattanooga, TN - and to quote the promoter “all the crabbs you can stand, the entire crabb family” will be their together that night.

  30. Payton wrote:

    TOTALLY agree with #28. Contemporary they AIN’T. The whole “Crabb Reunion” thing is ridiculous. Nobody misses them that bad yet. I would think you could at least wait maybe 5 years? How long has it actually been so far, does anybody know? I guess Kathy Crabb has run out of money and talked them back into hitting the road for a few more……….Who knows?

  31. Ron wrote:

    Channing have you ever been to a Crabb Family concert? Well the last one I went to was totally Contemporary, They still release great songs for SG and Hey!!!! We need them.

  32. Channing Ford wrote:

    Yes, I have seen them, but I am also a CCM fan. I listen to much more CCM and people who think that the Crabb Family was CCM are mistaken. They have their own style. It is not traditional SG, much more progressive, but definitely not CCM. They could probably venture there, had they not decided to split and go their own separate ways, but none of the Crabb Family’s albums were ever totally CCM. On “Letting Go” they probably got the closest, but it was still more praise and worship. I liked the variety they did in concert. They did SG, P & W, and some more progressive numbers that leaned more toward CCM, but nothing like the CCM I am used to.

  33. antipathy wrote:

    The Crabb Family/Crabb Reunion, etc. is the only thing that will keep Southern Gospel alive for future generations. If SG doesn’t do something to draw in new fans/younger audience they will be able to hold the NQC in a high school auditorium in fifteen years.

  34. zack wrote:


    I could not disagree with anything more on here! being one of those members of a younger generation of gospel music, I can tell you the crabb family is not the only thing keep it alive. Even at the gaither Homecomings you have a fair number of “younger” audience members…Signature sound is doing well drawing in a younger audence, Many artist are doing well drawing a younger audience…mark lowry, the Issacs, the ball brothers etc…..

  35. antipathy wrote:


    You may see a few younger people in the audience but nothing like you see in other genres. I didn’t mean to say that the Crabb/Crabb Revival was the ONLY thing keeping it alive, but I think those with a more comparable sound to that of their secular contemporaries are helping. I love the Isaacs, Austins Bridge is great as well. There are a few of them out there. I like a lot of the Gaither stuff too, but it is a far cry from the traditional sounding SG.

    Another point is I am talking ticketed events. Events where the audience had to pay to see the event. Not just where it was their regular church service and they were going to be there anyway.

    Another thing to consider is your location. In the south (Bible Belt), #34 would be a truer statement than in the rest of the country. I live in Ohio. I remember 20 years ago the SG scene was thriving. There were SG stations on FM radio, concerts almost every week. The SG scene today does not look anything like this. You are lucky to catch SG music on a weak AM signal between hacking preachers and the radio rosary programs. So, I think location has a lot to do with it as well.

    I do quite a bit of traveling to all parts of the country and make sure to go to church even when I am not in my home town. I have seen this all over the country. SG is diminishing very quickly. And I feel without a “new sound” similar to that provided by previously mentioned groups the genre will dry up within 15 to 20 years. Especially the Quartet aspect of it.

  36. Rita Stacy wrote:

    wherever one or two Crabbs gather—
    I’ll be there fast as I can get there!!!
    More Crabbs in more places–PRICELESS!!!

  37. LW wrote:

    #12 Thanks for your comments and I will keep an open mind. #34 I agree with you about the Isaacs for sure.

  38. Shane wrote:

    #30….. Kathy is a dear friend of mine….just for your information she has a GREAT career and is happy with what she is doing. She for sure hasnt ran out of money. As for the kids she supports all of their efforts.

  39. Jay wrote:

    #4… “Everyone but Kelly…”

    Reminds me of the Sesame Street song, “One of these kids is not like the others….”

  40. Donna wrote:

    The Crabbs are an awesomely talented family. Does anyone know where Jason, Adam, Aaron and Terah’s biological mother is today? Terri could sing well as I recall. The children had to be talented with a father and mother who were both gifted singers. I believe she even performed on one of the first recordings that Gerald made (this was early, early–before the “Crabb Family” made their debut. I cherish my copy of this early performance. Some wonderful songs were recorded on it (my very favorite is Almost Time To Say Goodbye)!!

  41. roses wrote:

    The Crabbs are a very talented family.I really enjoy hearing and seeing them. Have heard jason preach once. He did a great job. What difference does it make how many times they sing as a family???? If you like it watch/listen. If you don’t like it, don’t watch/listen. Shouldn’t be a problem. And I’m an OLD lady, not a teen!!!!!

  42. John wrote:

    I thank God for a family like the Crabb family that will take time out for God’s work. To witness to the world that Jesus can save their soul from hell. I think if we would all pray more and less running people down when the devil attacks their family it would be a better world to live in. The devil has attack the members of this family in many ways but i’m proud to say that God is on their side and the devil is a loser. In JESUS NAME.

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