Canaan follow-up

Several of you have legitimately criticized the optimism (and some hype) surrounding the resurrection of Canaan Records. And since I’ve participated in that optimism, let me say a few more words about that.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m assuming Canaan is different. Mostly, my high hopes are built on two things: 1) Dave Clark’s reputation in the industry and 2) the potential that Word, Canaan’s parent company, brings (or could bring) with it for investment.

That said, empirically speaking, there’s plenty of reason for skepticism up to this point. I know record labels don’t build themselves overnight and things take time etc. On top of that, not everything is within the label’s control, of course. The Booth Brothers, for instance, turned Canaan down, a fairly unpredictable move (given the group’s track record of making sound business decisions), not to mention an enormous mistake considering that Canaan could have introduced the group to a whole new inspo market that would have loved what the group is doing, but doesn’t necessarily love southern gospel.

Imponderables aside, though, Canaan really should have scored and announced one big, young, new name soon after the Hoppers deal to buy the label some time to do whatever it is one hopes they’re doing in these vast gaps of silence between signings (one of the worst kept secrets in the industry right now seems to be Canaan’s long flirtation with Lauren Talley, which has been going on long enough now for most couples to get hitched, break up and remarry). So yeah … high hopes and all. But The Ride is only going to take Canaan so far, after all.

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  1. Charles Brady wrote:

    “The Booth Brothers, for instance, turned Canaan down, a fairly unpredictable move (given the group’s track record of making sound business decisions.”


    In reality Doug they probably made another “sound business decision” by going with Daywind.

    I have to ask the question Doug… Did someone from over at DW wet in your cornflakes or something? As of today we have only 2 “real” record labels in southern gospel & Daywind happens to be one of them. Crossroads is the other. Both of these companies combined contributed probably 75% of the top songs & awards in SG and both have very good management & radio promotions & distribution that have contributed to not only their success but the success of their artists as well.

    Being involved in media, radio & retail sales I have found these 2 and only these 2 to have been consistent & active on behalf of their artists.

    Word/Canaan & Springhill in case anyone forgot left/dropped southern gospel. That’s a part of their history. Crossroads & Daywind have stuck it out for a number of years when times were good and when they were not so good.

    Now it’s your blog and you can trash anyone you want but when you take a group of the caliber of the Booth Brothers and question rather they made a mistake by going with a proven business over one that is trying to make a comeback after leaving the genre then my guess is that those that can write well must have a problem with math. Because it’s obvious that you have no abilities at all when it comes to making “sound business decisions.”

  2. wackythinker wrote:

    Thank you, Charles. This is exactly what I’ve thought about Doug’s comments of late about the top s/g labels. “Sound business decision” doesn’t generally include jumping on a bandwagon that has no momentum.

    Canann doesn’t really have much of a current track record for anyone to hang their hats on, yet. And Spring Hill has flip-flopped on the genre over that past several months (maybe a year).

    And Doug, Charles is right. It appears you have a real “hate-on” for Daywind. What’s up?

  3. Md101 wrote:

    It’s interesting to me that Canaan got The Hoppers and now the LeFevre Quartet, two names which were big for the label back in the hey-day. Could it be they are trying to bring back some of the “familiar” household names to the label which were popular years ago?

  4. cynical one wrote:

    md101 - The Hoppers were far from has-beens when they signed with Canaan. They were just without a label. They shopped their project several places, and came to an agreement with Canaan. The project was already recorded before they signed, so Canaan had nothing to do with production, song selection, etc. Only distribution and promotion. So that’s a less expensive way for Word to “hop” back into s/g (if you’ll excuse the intentional pun).

    As for MLQ, they were never a major name, only on the coattails of Mike’s aunt & uncles. If their project is developed by Cannaan from the ground up, and it appears that may be the case, it will be a truer test of Canaan’s accumen at pruducing and promoting s/g.

  5. Trent wrote:

    Something I found interesting at NQC ‘07. Several big-name groups’ personnel were seen milling around over at the Canaan booth. Obviously, they were courting Canaan….the thinking among SG groups in these economically challenging times is that Canaan has much bigger pockets than Daywind or Crossroads because of the parent company, Word. Canaan could, with the backing of Word, do much more for a group’s stock in the industry via heavier promotions and more marquee concert placements.

  6. md101 wrote:

    Cynical One,
    No, I wasn’t saying the Hoppers were “has-beens” at all. I just feel like the label may be trying to bring to its roster some of the names it had years ago back in the day, like the Hoppers, The LeFevres (I know this is a totally different group from the original back in the 70’s) in an effort as they have said to revive the label. For example, if The Goodmans and Cathedrals were still around they might try to get them back to the Canaan label where they originated. I’m just thinking about names here, not production or whether they’re major or minor groups.

  7. cdguy wrote:

    Trent, yes, Canaan COULD put more money into the groups, but WILL they? Probably not. It’s been acknowledged that Word’s uppermost management has never believed there was a lot of sales potential in southern gospel, so their “bigger pockets” may have a very short zipper.

    And Word is struggling. That’s been common knowledge for a few years, now, in the industry. That’s why they’ve signed so many movie distribution deals. Music sales are down, so they’ve branched out into movie distribution in a much bigger way than Christian labels ever have in the past. So, their “bigger pockets” may not be very full.

    I would also point out that labels have never had much influence (if any) over concert promotion. So, “more marquee concert placements” is probably not a realistic expectation.

    Canaan will probably do ok with whomever they sign, but I doubt they do much better than the top-tier labels have been doing for the past several years. It’s still the economy.

  8. Juliet wrote:

    Charles Brady, the deal is- the Booth Brothers made a mistake by going with Daywind is because there are WAAAAy too many fish in that sea. The Brothers will now be treated second rate because they’re on the same record company as every other freaking artist…the Hoppers,however, were genius to take their time and wait for the Canaan contract to come through {which is what the Booths did not do}. The Ride has so far been VERY successful for both Cannan and the Hoppers. And Crossroads’s only true accomplishment is having the Talleys on their list.

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