Then and Now
Jonathan Sawrie does some historical accounting to compare the earnings and expenses of professional gospel acts in the 50s and their counterparts today (h/t, again, NG). And because I find it singularly unilluminating to hear about the time when gas was [insert pennies-on-the-dollar-sum], as if only prices have gone up and everything else is the same, I’ll peel off some of Sawrie’s …erm, money quote, which is adjusted for inflation, more and less:
In 1950 most quartets were getting around $700 (total) for Thursday-Saturday or a little over $200 per show plus sales³. (Note: They didn’t ordinarily work on Sunday. Perhaps we’ll discuss that little piece of trivia sometime in the future.) Hovie, not to be outdone, was getting $800 for the Statesmen.
A new Cadillac was $4,700 new, but most groups bought used. There were no hate, er I mean, love offerings, so ticket prices were around $.75 for adults. Each man could roughly count on $150-175 a week to take home.
Let’s see what that looks like in 2007 dollars:
$200 per show - $1,452.96 to $9,399.25
The whole thing is here. (You’ll want to chase his footnotes to understand those ranges.)Email this Post