Reunion timing

How long after a group disbands do you have to wait before staging a reunion? A reader implicitly raises the question in this comment to my post about the Crabb Reunion scheduled for early next year, not even two years after the group “retired.”

One one hand, in a nostalgiafied genre like sg, it would be silly to NOT stage a reunion if there was demand for it. Between a concert full of bad but sentimental covers of music from the past by aging members of a bygone group (or even their far less talented descendants), or one showcasing the best new gospel music, smart money would  bet that in sg the new music would play to a smattering of roadies, groupies, and in-laws, while the reunion would sell out and people would be paying 20 bucks a pop for commemorative hankies signed by the nephew of a woman who was once married to a guy who filled in for one of the Stamps when they sang for Elvis in Peoria in 1975.

On the other hand, reunions usually work only when they tap into an enormous reserve of goodwill, typically built up over decades of touring by the original performers, and when audiences believe the reunion gives them access to something rare, and close to extinction. If, as in the Crabbs’ case, all the original members are still working a full roster of gigs year round and start simply folding in the occasional reunion so that it’s more or less indistinguishable from their other dates (only with more Crabbs in tow and prefaced by a grandiose press release), audiences might well and justifiably start wondering what they’re paying for.

Any promoters out there want to weigh in on this?

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  1. cdguy wrote:

    Well, I’m not a promoter weighing in, but we seem to forget the kids said, when they first announced the “retirment” (or whatever it should be called), that they would, from time-to-time, all perform together, or with 2 or more of the newly established entities together, and separately. Just not full time.

    Isn’t that what’s happening?

  2. Glenn wrote:

    I guess we need to separate Southern Gospel Music (why do I capitalize that?) from the other genres. To me, the only group I would pay extremely more to see than I would have, I’m not sure how many years ago, would be the Eagles. Probably the only group I would pay significantly more money to see these days is the Cathedrals, and, duh, that is not going to happen. I guess southern gospel (why did I not capitalize that) performers just live longer.

    I still would love to see the Crabb’s together again; just not as a reunion (I am so sentimental).

  3. Wade wrote:

    The RIGHT TIME to have a REUNION is whenever you can sell tickets and put a butt ever 22 inches or so.

    I have always been surprised Gold City has not done more reunion type things. But the last time I checked about it they were all to worried someone involved would make more money that THEM or that one of the parties to the reunion would make more than another.

    Still some hard feelings if you know what I mean???

  4. CVH wrote:

    I’m with Wade on this one. Personally, I wouldn’t walk across the street to see any variation of the Crabbs, but their ‘reunion’ demonstrates two truths.

    First, because audience’s tastes are so easily satiated and because they don’t discriminate between a reunion of significant magnitude and one of trivial importance, they’ll probably fill quite a few seats. And commercially speaking, more power to the Crabbs if they can.

    But the second truth is that to call a concert a ‘reunion’ after barely two years cheapens the whole concept and contributes to the entropy that southern gospel music finds itself in. But hey, why maintain a sense of dignity or good taste when you can make a few bucks on an audience that doesn’t care.

    The Crabbs remind me of guests at a party who say they simply must leave because they have other pressing matters to attend to…and they say they’re leaving and say they’re leaving and say they’re leaving until…they’re the only ones there and no one cares.

  5. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    All is not lost in Crabbs’ country.
    Check out this story appearing in today’s Huntsville Times.
    Wonder how many units of ">1,000 True Fans the Crabb Family has developed over the years traveling the countryside?

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