Dissent of the day

I’ve Got an idea. If you want it done right and you are the only one that can do it right and you have all the right ideas quit being a back seat driver and sacrifice everything like many of my friends in this business have done and get your several friends on this board and start your quartet.Quit being bitter at what everyone else is doing and you go it better.Get in the game and join the team. Then we can have you as our model to do things right for this industry. You my friend are obviously the genius and the rest of us are just plain dumb! That will give us all a chance to write about you and the great deal you have sacrificed to make this industry better.Sell your home, mortgage your house, get your bus, forfeit your kids education, make Mama worry about if the paycheck will be there next week, sacrifice till you can’t sacrifice anymore, then only then can you tell us how to do it.

I hear a version of this argument pretty often, and I get how people can think like this. But what’s striking is how this kind of response makes no effort to explain why something that looks sloppy to someone like me actually isn’t. Instead it’s just blunt-force solipsism: it’s good if the people doing it say so. But how is this is not a defense of mediocrity? I’m actually asking.

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Comments

  1. wackythinker wrote:

    Doug, maybe there’s a middle ground. Maybe instead of sitting back and GRIPING about the mediocrity, we should offer our services to those who are trying to do something different, and HELP them do it better.

    One complaint I’ve always had with this site is that the criticism is seldom CONSTRUCTIVE. And maybe that’s true with many areas of life, not just these pages.

    I’m not a part of any group, nor am I one who has been putting together the multi-media presentations that are being discussed, but I do get defensive about constant criticism, possibly because that’s the environment I grew up in. And when there was a complitment, it was always followed by a “but”. “That was nice, BUT you could have .. . .” or “Good job, BUT it would have been better if . . . ” You get the idea. I was probably 40 years old before I heard my dad say he was proud of me.

    You’re right, holy shoddy is still shoddy. Most of us have agreed to that already. BUT (there I go down that same road) might there be a way we can help the cause without sounding condemnational all the time? Maybe there’s a more constructive way to go about this.

    And I’m preaching to myself, too, by the way.

  2. Norm Graham wrote:

    I don’t think it is the critic’s job in any field (art, books, movies, television, restaurants) to try to do something better than those they criticize or to help people do things better.

    Critics simply point what they think is what is good or bad (and why) about whatever it is they are reviewing. As a reader, I can accept or reject what the critic says and if I disagree with a lot of what they say I can reading stop them.

  3. Alan wrote:

    Hmmm. If there’s one thing that I think we’d all agree on, it’s that Doug and other bloggers have fairly thick skin. When you present your opinions, especially when they’re either unpopular or especially strident, there will always be responses.

    We all know the old adage that “Those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach become critics”. There might be a kernel of truth in that, but it’s not always a given. One can be a genius of an art critic, or a food critic, and not know how to hold a brush or make a good hollandaise sauce. That doesn’t necessarily equate to them not knowing when something is done right, or when it hasn’t been.

    Like most of us, there have been (and undoubtedly will be) things that Doug will write that upset us. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s his blog, and his opinions, to which we’ll either agree or disagree.

    And yet…I personally feel that overall, this site has had a positive effect on a lot of us who sing in front of audiences. Or, maybe it’s best if I just state that as only referencing me, personally. I know that reading some of the blogs and comments has made me better at what I do. The reason is, it makes me want to be better, when things are pointed out concerning others, that I might need to address to myself. And, I can tell you that a lot of the folks often mentioned here do read averyfineline, even if they don’t respond. If Doug points out areas where change for the better is truly necessary, and artists quietly work to improve themselves, that’s positive, isn’t it?

  4. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Perhaps the dissenter should start their own blog.

    I don’t really mean that, of course. I’m merely suggesting logic that’s identical to this complainer’s logic.

    If you can’t punctuate, you probably shouldn’t write. Right?

  5. Adam wrote:

    Legitimate question: How many and which groups/people work in SG to actually the “industry better?”

    To bloviate further:
    I seem to notice more people wanting their 15 minutes of fame, name in the singing news, spot on main-stage at NQC, invitation to be a part of Gaither’s next parade, etc. I know I want all of those things too. However, I do not strive to make this industry better. I bust my hump trying to display and satiate my passion for and calling into this style of music. The “industry” can collapse for all I care. This is a personal business for me, at least.

  6. BUICK wrote:

    For several years, I worked as a restaurant critic. I could evaluate a steakhouse without being able to grill a steak as well as their chef. I could evaluate a French restaurant without being able to make a soufflé. I could evaluate a sushi bar without even liking sushi. I did not have to be able to do the job better than the chef, the server or the Maître Fromager to be able to evaluate how they do their job. I just had to have experienced the best.

    Surely everyone who reads this blog knows that the way to properly evaluate ANYTHING is not to measure it by the way I could have (or would have) done it. The way to properly evaluate anything is to measure it by the best of its class.

    My complaint with Doug is not that he critiques artists or projects when he cannot do better. My complaint is that Doug, like many of the rest of us, sometimes gets enamored by his own rhetoric. Edward Bulwer-Lytton is credited with coining the phrase, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Words can and do cut…deeply. And sometimes, Doug (like many others on this blog) wants to score points more than he wants to make points. And he does it at the expense of others who are trying to make it in the SG industry. We ought all to remember that the people, about whom we write, are not mere voices, images or caricatures. They are people. And more than that, they are brothers and sisters in Christ. And we should treat them as such.

    Our rule ought to be that we would not write anything about them that we would not say to them, given the opportunity. I know Ann Downing reads this site so I’ll use her as an example–I should never write anything about AD that I would not say to her if I had the opportunity to do so after a concert or over a cup of coffee.

    At least that is my perspective.

  7. Practical Fellow wrote:

    I’m not sure I agree with the business plan referenced in the most recent dissent. I know it wasn’t the main point of his message, but I think it is the financial reality for many fledgling (and many not-so-fledgling) groups that they sacrifice everything, buy a bus and make mama worry how they’re going to pay the bills. Touring in a SG quartet or family group is not a sure-fire way to make your fortune, no doubt. But for the groups out there who get in over their heads in debt before they’ve even sold a single Thomas Kinkaid woven throw from their merch table - I don’t think they should necessarily be applauded for their sacrifice. I think they should be counseled for the poor business decisions they may be making. If you are doing the music ministry/traveling thing as a ministry - there’s no hard and fast rule that you have to have a bus, release new product at every NQC and chart in the SN Top 80. Sing locally. Work a day job. Don’t get caught up in the industry. There a plenty of groups who do just fine financially outside the narrow parameters of SG an CCM. God provides opportunities for some to advance to a national platform. Realistically, he does not do that for most artists. If you’re ready for the promotion when it comes - then you’ll be able to take the door of opportunity God provides.

    Our family traveled for several years and we made some of those bad business decisions (although we never bought a bus - praises be). At some point our primary motivation was to sing to pay bills. It was a horrible trap and took us a while to get back into the black. It also helped us reset our priorities and see that the industry focus was killing our budget (i.e. do we really need a quarter page, b/w add on page 132 of the SN to advertize our new radio single?). I love singing. I love traveling. I didn’t love the scratching-and-clawing, never quite good enough, glass ceiling nature of the industry and it almost took the joy out of traveling and singing for our family. We rediscovered our first love of singing songs about our Savior when we refocused on our region and gave ourselves permission to just sing without concern for the industry.

    I think choosing a career path in this kind of traveling/singing direction, should be done fearfully and with much prayer and counsel at the beginning and as an ongoing process. It’s a slippery business that can quickly become about “me” and not about Him - just like anything where you stand in the spotlight.

    And although I think this blog crosses the line of good taste at times (I keep vowing to stop reading one of these days), I think the dialogue it has provided in the SG market has been valuable in many ways. And to his credit, Doug has not, to my knowledge, joined any SG commercial interests where he has profited. Blog on, Doug.

  8. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Buick and Practical Fellow make some great points.

    Regarding writing what you’d say if the artist was standing there, I agree. That’s a good rule of thumb. That being said, I’ve never completely understood the sort of fan who worships an artist, but I do see how the media traditionally has fed that sort of mentality. It’s good to present artists as ordinary people, but we (bloggers) should stop short of whipping them into submission.

    Regarding mortgaging the house, etc., this person may as well be saying, “Repeat all the impractical uninformed actions so many groups have done, so I can then respect what you have to say.” It really doesn’t make any sort of logical sense when you think about it in those terms.

  9. tree farm wrote:

    Right on #7. My family and I decided last year that it was time to take care of our selves. It was hard going to a church “that would have you” for $200, you drive up there and come back home in a big financial hole. That is not right, and it is not even a faith thing. We realized that God did not call us to do that. We would then be bitter about it. Well we decided that we would look after other means for finances. We started “streaming” our income with other jobs, therefore, taking care of our family. If we choose to go to those churches that only pay $200, then that is our choice, and we are not counting on just that church. Who says you have to mortgage the house, make mamma worry, forgo the kids education? You do. You make the choice. You know 3/4 of the people sitting in the congregation wouldn’t dare even contemplate those decisions. Praise God we learned our lesson and Praise God that He gives us the abilities to do other things. I am very thankful.

  10. Stephen wrote:

    I read this site for entertainment value. If the blogmaster wrote about our group, I would take it as a compliment, no matter what he said.

  11. RF wrote:

    My hobby is actually writing for a large wire service that covers automobile racing. I’ll agree with Buick in that I couldn’t drive a race car, but I understand how it works and know the ins and outs of the “industry.” I might also add that our leader is an accomplished singer and pianist, too so he knows a lot more about sg than I do sg or racing, but I’m getting off track here.

    The world of sg music is a touchy bunch. You even say a little bit negative about one of the faithful’s favorites and it’s war. That’s silly.

    When I was a kid and really into the music of the day, I read a magazine called “Stereo Review” which had music reviews. You ain’t read nothing until you have read a review of an album or a performance by Gene Lees. It was scathing if he didn’t like it. Such is the duty of a critic. It always has been and always will be. I think it was Harry Chapin who commented once that he took what Lees and his colleague Alana Nash had to say about his work and made some adjustments. Unfortunately, I doubt that would happen in sg.

  12. quartet-man wrote:

    I remember a review that I believe was in Stereo Review for the Oak Ridge Boys Album Unstoppable. It was less than flattering and mentioned the song “When It Comes To You” and the lyrics of it that said “I’m A Little bit wild and a little bit crazy.” The reviewer said something like, yeah right boys.

  13. Practical Fellow wrote:

    #11 - RF - glad your family is operating in the black! Nothing lowers the blood pressure quite like it.

    As I was reading through the posts, it occurred to me that the nature of traveling music may be forever altered over the next few years. With gas prices at all time highs in the U.S., it seems that the economy may force many groups to either retire or focus more closely on their region. I don’t think this is all bad. It may separate the wanna-be’s from the ministers, but by narrowing your sights on your region of the country, wouldn’t that make it more feasible to know your audience better and be more available to serve your audience by being in close proximity to them? Case in point: when our family group traveled, we would periodically get a phone call to sing at a special event (i.e. church dedications, weddings, funerals, etc., etc., etc.) and their budget would not be big enough to fund our trip so we couldn’t go. For those in our region who were able to benefit from our location, we established stronger friendships and support. They were the ones who bought our music and drove to our concerts. We got to know more of our regional audience in a personal way and they viewed us as people rather than ’stars’ or whatever. In my perspective, that’s what music ministry should be about anyway.

  14. LuckyDog wrote:

    #6 and #7, right on!

    Everyone in “the business” who reads this blog should read #7 SEVERAL TIMES, then print it out and post it on your office wall, reading it DAILY.

  15. CVH wrote:

    I’ve pondered the same question (”is it a defense of mediocrity?”) over the years and one of my conclusions is that it’s a variation on the old cliche, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

    Who do you think are the best (i.e. vocal quality, production quality, performance quality) groups in SG today? Just for the sake of example, let’s say one of them is Greater Vision. Despite whatever criticisms people may have had about Jason or the seeming repetitiveness of Rodney’s songwriting of late, I would think most people would agree they are, overall, a quality group. They set a high standard and meet it pretty consistently.

    But does that mean they should be the standard against which other groups are measured? Can you really compare a male trio to a mixed group? Or, with the exception of their ‘Everyday People’ record, their style of big orchestrated production with the simplicity of an acoustic bluegrass project? Those things that can be objectively measured in their own right (vocal performance, quality of writing and production) should be; but since SG has always been a populist form of entertainment, a lot of the “what’s good” and “what’s not” seems to come down to fan reaction…
    whose fans can shout the loudest or vote the most on award ballots (or object most strenuously on blogs like this).

    I don’t know any other genre of music that allows subjectivity to overide good judgement as much as SG. I also don’t know any other genre that allows so many levels of professionalism to flourish. If you’re a local rock or country band, you might play a few bars or county fairs but you’ll probably never open for Rascal Flatts or Coldplay, let alone develop into an A-list group. Yet if you’re a local or regional SG group you can play churches within a few hundred miles and consider yourself semi-pro. You can get a song plugged on SG radio; you can sell a few thousand CDs, whether they’re good or not. Try that in country or rock or pop. The populist, Christian culture makes it easier in SG.

    That’s not to say there aren’t good part-time groups out there; there certainly are and any group that aspires to be their best should be applauded and supported. But for many, even some full-time groups, the ability to get by trumps any sense of obligation to examine their art critically and seek to improve.

    There’s an inverse proportion of enthusiasm vs. talent and quality in SG compared to other genres of music. If you’re a classical music fan, you have a certain level of expectation about the music, the artist and, one might say, even the venue and atmosphere in which it is performed. I don’t think there’s as much of an expectation of (or an understanding of what would constitute) objective quality among SG fans as there is in other genres of music. Yes, that’s a generalization but I don’t know what else would explain the disproportionate enthusiasm for groups that are clearly average or sub-par. The question the critic asks is, is this good art? The answer the SG public often gives is, we don’t care, we like it.

    Just as “iron sharpens iron”, I think the type of critical interaction people like our host bring to the conversation is essential to the greater good of the genre. Those who object either get it and don’t care or, they don’t even realize there’s something to get.

  16. Brian wrote:

    I think one thing that hurts Doug a little is the fact that most of us here don’t know him. Unless I missed the bio / introductory blog, we don’t know his background. There is no, “this is who I am and this is what qualifies me to make this judgement”. Buick states that you just need to have expereinced the best. I can’t completely agree with that. For example, I don’t drink at all, and if I were put in a position to judge fine Bourbon, I wouldn’t know the cheap stuff from the best stuff. You could tell me this is the best stuff, and I doubt I could really tell the difference. Just because I have tasted, or experienced, the best doesn’t make me an expert. Most folks tell who they are and what makes them the subject matter expert that qualifies them to make a judgement on whatever you happen to be critiquing at the time. Thats all.
    However Buick, I do agree on the rest. I’ll say it in simpler terms, I think sometimes he likes to hear himself talk, or type, or however you might want to illistrate the point. We are all guilty of that to some degree or we probably wouldn’t even respond. But the five dollar words and endless sentences do tend to get tiresome.
    Lastly, sometimes it’s a little hard to tell where Doug is coming from. One blog it’s “there isn’t enough live music” the next is “fire the piano player to save money”. Sometimes maybe a little detached from the reality of SG. I remember the whole “spend more money on a better produced project like country or pop stars do” thread. The reality is, there is no money with which to do this. Reality is, they are just trying to make a living. Reality is they are trying to do something positive with the time they are given here.
    Criticism is a good thing for the industry, no question. Knowing your critic knows his / her stuff make it even more valuable.

  17. Leebob wrote:

    Wait a minute….How many of you paople watch ESPN, MNF, MLB, NBA on TNT. Those broadcasts are filled with people who didn’t do scratch on the playing field but somehow have managed to make a great living critically analyzing the play of professional athletes. Just because someone is not doing something doesn’t take away the ability to process what is happening, analyze it, and offer constructive changes. The last cry of the one who doesn’t have a clue how to fix their situation is…”HAVE YOU EVER DONE SUCH AND SUCH?”

    Before American Idol I could not tell you one thing about Simon (honestly at this point I still couldn’t) but his critiques are usually dead on. So now lack of doing takes away from the reality of our statements.

    I have gleaned alot of valuable information, not only from Doug, but from many of you simply because we are talking about industry problems and issues that otherwise would not be discussed.

    Great post #7…bottom line (how many of my posts have said this) when you get away from why you started singing in the first place, bitterness will settle in, you will leave the first love, and ultimately all sense of joy and purpose will get lost.

  18. Robert wrote:

    I know a little of Doug’s background. I don’t have to see a “bio” to know that he knows a lot and cares a lot about SG. The thing is most all other SG message boards and blogs (especially sogospelnews) sugar coat so many things to the point of having a detrimental effect on the music and industry that most of us love.
    Sometimes the truth hurts. This is not a time for us to be “pulling punches”. In my opinion the more we talk about the negative things the more people will try to do something about them.

  19. Brian wrote:

    Never said Doug had to be able to sing, or play or read music or be good at any of them. Just asked the question, who are you? What qualifies you? Thats all.

    Those guys you see on T.V. are usually color analysts.The expert analysts are usually ex-coaches, players etc. Maybe not all but most.

    Simon is / was a Sony Executive I do believe, not completely sure but something like that. Probably gives him the background and experience to make such judgements.

    Also please remember, a bunch of folks areeing with you does not make you right. Just opinionated.

  20. Grigs wrote:

    Critics have their place, but let’s face it, Theodore Roosevelt was correct when he said that the person who was “in the arena” really matters most. I can name dozens of actors from 50 years ago and tell you about their great performances. I don’t think I can give you the name of a single film or theatre critic from that era. Being a critic is no great skill. We are all critics at one time or another; some of us just have bylines or blogs.

  21. Brian wrote:

    Robert, I don’t disagree. It’s time for a good hard look, I don’t have a problem with that at all.
    You say you know that Doug cares a lot and knows a lot about SG. Cares? Maybe, sometimes I wonder. Knows a lot? Again, maybe, but I don’t really know. I could type up a fancy review of how the last Space Shuttle mission went and make it sound good but that doesn’t prove that I know a lot. See my point?

  22. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    I’ve been around blogs, message boards, etc. for a long time. The one thing that is common with all of them is the assumption that the person who runs/owns the blog, message board, etc. knows more about the subject matter than any of the readers. I have found that to be completely false. Most of the time, its someone who is very well versed in writing and speech, no more and no less. Simply listening to a CD and finding flaws does not an expert make. I have to agree with #19 on this. What makes you and expert Doug? Why do believe that your answers are the ones that will bring SGM to the forefront of American culture? I too have noticed the contradicting statements from time to time. You ask questions and we answer, how about answering one from us …

  23. Rhonda wrote:

    Brian,
    Looks like you missed the point. When the comment was made about Doug’s experience that was taken as (whether intended or not) as “Who do you think you are?”

    Leebob was exactly right in mentioning people’s referencing to the “color analysts”. Regardless of the term you use, when you watch a sporting event you still listen to what the color analyst has to say because it ADDS something to the broadcast. I think Leebob’s point was that no one questions these guys on their opinions. They are listened to because they have a higher level of interest and knowledge than the “average joe” sitting in front of his television.

    As for Simon Cowell, did you know BEFORE American Idol what experience he has? Do you know who the majority of the movers and shakers in SG are? Yes, there are a few well-known but do you know well the ones who aren’t so well-known but are well respected. Which also begs the question how did they (or anyone who doesn’t actually perform) get to that level of respect? By having an opinionated and having people agree and implementing their ideas.

    I don’t sing sg but am involved in it in many ways. Does this mean my opinion of what is mediocre or what is good doesn’t count? I run sound for our group, and while I miss somethings, I can tell you without looking who is on, who is off, and even for that matter who needs a drink of water. Like Doug, and many others I have a love and passion for SG. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what is wrong and what is fixable. It takes giving a hoot and having enough guts to say so.

    I thank God that we are not all clones, and I am grateful for sites like Doug’s. Without them we would all be frustrated by the mediocrity that has been building for years. If you like the candy-coated version of things, if you don’t like strong opinions from people who are passionate, then this is not the site for you. If you want to stick your head in the sand, do it, but it is not wise to suggest that just because someone else’s opinion isn’t yours (and that was the gist of your comment)it isn’t the right one.

    I don’t know if you were trying to speak to someone specific, or to Leebob specifically, but let me point out a few facts. You don’t have a clue how many people on all the different levels of our industry have publicly and privately agreed with him. He is also not blind to the fact that he can be out of the mainstream at times. But at least his statements are constructive, yours added nothing to the discussion. So you seem to be rather opinionated yourself, just not in a constructive way. Some may view my comments the same way, so I will part with this:

    SG is the music with the clearest gospel message. That being said, it is also the one that is willing to except mediocrity and the leftovers from other genres of Christian and secular music into the fold faster than anyone. Some are chasing fame and fortune (they couldn’t make it there so they know they can fool the people here with the right words and right songs). On the local, regional, and national levels there are those who feel justified in shoving open the doors with a little bit of cash, instead of waiting on the Lord to take them on the road He wants them on. As long as there are people like this, there are going to be people who take your money and make their fortunes on your back. When that is no longer the practice (why are we the only style of music that still does this to the national level) then the quality can start to increase. There are other issues as well, but until this is accomplished the radio will still play the less than stellar performances and the ones that should be out there representing the best won’t get the time they should.

  24. jbb wrote:

    We know how the old saying goes about opinions…..I just want to say that I am thankful for my blessings. I haven’t lost my home in a flood, haven’t been in a tornado, and I have a job that I can listen to this SG music we “argue” about…There is no greater music than SG-and that is my humble opinion. God Bless.

  25. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    *sigh*

    Rhonda,

    My question is, how come every time someone questions Doug’s experience, background, knowledge, etc., one of his minions comes to the rescue? I can understand why you would take sides with Leebob, but do you really think Doug and this blog with all its negativity is helping the genre of SGM? I havent seen one line on the jacket of a CD that thanks averyfineline for its contributions. I do know several people in the SGM industry and yes, they do SOMETIMES agree with what Doug has to say, as do I. But 90% of the readers of this blog roll over and play dead as soon as Doug speaks, as if it is the gospel itself. You mentioned clones in your post, I think that is what a lot of the folks here are doing, simply following Doug’s lead because it is easier than thinking for yourself.

    The question still remains ……. Doug’s expert analysis derives from what experience, knowledge, studies, etc.?

  26. Brian wrote:

    Rhonda,

    Uhmm, Wow. That went from a nice civil conversation to a personal attack real quick. Not sure what I did to deserve it but hey, I’m a big boy, I can take it. I didn’t attack Leebob, just answered questions as if we were talking face to face…I thought. Please show me one area where I said my opinions are the right ones, or for that matter where I said that Dougs opinions are wrong. You can look and look but you won’t find it. I realize that you and Leebob are connected and I also realize that this stems from something else where I was trying to be a friend but nevertheless. I will try to answer a few of your questions. Did I know who Simon Cowell was before Idol…nope. To be completely honest, this past season was the first season I have ever even watched. But, with a little time you can find out who Simon is and what his credentials are. What difference does it make if I knew before hand? I know now, and it makes his judgements more valid…to me. Do I know who the majority of the movers and shakers in SG are? Well, trying hard to not sound boastful or whatever…yes, I do. And how did they attain their status of mover and shaker? All are somewhat different I guess, but the short answer would be, they earned it.The difference being, we know who they are, we know their backgrounds.You said, you don’t sing, does that make your opinion not count? I will say this again, never said Doug had to be able to sing, or play, or read music, or care, or play Yatzee, or solve a Rubics cube. So to answer your question no that does not in anyway nullify your opinion.(As you have mine by the way)
    I chuckle at the clone statement and for that whole paragraph really.Nothing could be further from reality when it comes to me. You will just have to trust me on this one. And believe me, I am no Ostrich. I come to this site for the same reason you do. It is not your everyday, run of the mill SG site. Actually, I hardly ever even go to the others.
    As far as the “gist” of my comment, I am afraid you have read way, way to much into my comments. I never said that Dougs comments or anyone elses for that matter aren’t valid. Never said or even suggested that mine are the correct ones. I simply asked the question, “who is Doug?” Nothing more, nothing less. If you go to my first post on this topic you will see that. I basically said, it would help if we knew who was doing the criticizing.

    Lastly, I don’t really know what your beef is with me, other than the fact that I dared question Leebob, but I want you to know that I don’t have a beef with him, you or anyone else on this board. I hope there are many people that agree with Leebob on some of the things he has said, because most is good advice as far as I am concerened. And thank you for letting me know that my comments added nothing to the discussion. Just like the rest of your post, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

  27. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    RF wrote:
    “I think it was Harry Chapin who commented once that he took what Lees and his colleague Alana Nash had to say about his work and made some adjustments. Unfortunately, I doubt that would happen in sg.”

    It has happened, actually. A few artists in Southern Gospel do accept constructive criticism found in reviews and some of them go so far as to make adjustments based on what they’ve read.

  28. Leebob wrote:

    I did not realize little ol’ me could stir up such angst! LOL!!!

    The point I was simply making was that on the talk show circuit on radio (pretty much my only exposure to radio because at least it changes from hour to hour) when someone starts to say “who are you?” it is the first sign of someone arguing from a point of weakness.

    The value of this blog is that it offers the not so sweet issues and gives us a different perspective of how to maybe address our weaknesses. I have never shunned away from criticism, almost to the point of believing too much of it. It is the criticism that causes me to step back and rethink what, why, and how I am working our ministry and what we can do to make it better.

    Unfortunately there are some (not naming names) who think if you dare disagree with their favorite group’s style (twang factor, dance routines, butt pinching *sigh*) you are somehow not promoting sg. On the contrary, having been a music minister and friend of many pastors I know what the majority of pastors are saying about the lack of ministry in most groups (unfortunately this includes some local/regional groups) as to being the top reason they no longer book groups unless they know them personally or have been recommended by another pastor friend. I only hope that the groups who read on this board and care about their ministry will step back and rethink motives and methods for the improvement of their ministry. As more groups change, especially the local/regional groups, the overall status of sg will improve on a grass roots level.

  29. Brian wrote:

    Leebob, you have stirred up nothing. The funny thing is, for the most part, I agree with you and have yet to disagree with you on this thread.

    I completely understand your point. I too listen to talk radio almost exclusively as we have no SG to speak of in my area. So I get your point and I can see where may question might come across that way. Thats one of the bad things about posting on boards like this or e-mail, there is no voice inflection or tone or mood to typing so sometimes the point get missed or way, way too much gets added to the statement in the readers mind.

    The last thing on my mind when I brought Doug up my original comment was a childish come back of some sort. He asked a question, I responded with what I thought could be an issue. Simply stating, and not a direct quote of myself but, “it may be easier for folks to take your advice, criticism or comments if they knew who was giving the comments”. Thats all I said, thats all I meant. Nothing more, nothing less. Simply another point of view, not even necessarily my point of view, just a different one. If we all had the same point of view, well we will leave that alone.

    Tell Rhonda to have a cup of coffee on me ( check is in the mail ) and relax. Try not to take things so personal. It’s all good, we are all on the same team here, mostly.

  30. matureman wrote:

    It has been interesting to be gradually introduced to Doug through his blog over the past few years. Here are some of the things I think I now know about Doug:

    –He can read music… well.
    –He knows vocal music, proper breathing, placement, etc.
    –He knows a lot of SG singers.
    –He used to play piano for a singing group.
    –He isn’t a gossip.
    –He is a P.K. and loves his Dad, who is a Baptist (?) preacher. So, Doug knows church.
    –Doug was or is a teacher; could be an English teacher.

    –And…(drum roll) he can blog with or better than the best of them. This is the first place I go every morning after a look at news headlines. Averyfineline and coffee are natural companions!

    Aren’t we fortunate to have a “more than qualified” critic to comment on something we love?

    Other than that…

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