From the dept. of unintentional howlers

I just noticed that a while back Daniel Mount asked:

Would it be a good idea or a bad idea for local Southern Gospel stations to have an amateurs hour?

Would it cause even less professional acts than some stations currently play to get aired? Or would it have a positive effect of isolating amateur acts in that segment?

Uhm, isn’t most of every sixty-minute bloc of programming in sg radio pretty much amateur hour already, more or less?

Honestly, I defy anyone in sg radio to figure out a way of distinguishing between the amateurs and the hackilicious craptastic vapidity that passes for vast segments of “professional” southern gospel. Which is to say, I’m with Kyle. Playing amateurs for the sake of playing amateurs is nonsense, and it’s a version of this thinking that’s made sg radio such a mess … they say they’re a nationally touring group? Well, then cue it up, Coy. Heck, let’s chart it in the No. 1 position. “And now brothers and sisters, here’s the new No. 1 song in gospuhl music, ‘You’ll Never Run Out of Blood!’”

Thus we find ourselves in a place where it would be far easier or more logical to have a Real Live In The Flesh Professionals Hour than to try to distinguish the amateurs from the amateurish, and even then most stations would struggle to fill the slot if they were (capable of) being honest about the quality of the music.

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  1. Grigs wrote:

    My uncle’s name is Coy. The only cueing up he’s ever done has been in a pool hall in Austin, Indiana.

    What was your topic?

  2. Wade wrote:


    Ya never know what you are going to get when you find a SGM Radio Station when on the road.

    Was traveling through Columbia, SC last week. There was a station there 102.7 it seems. The Station played all southern gospel. The programing was very smooth (automated) and the liners and all the cut in’s where very professional sounding.

    But in the 1= plus hour I listened they never told the name of a song nor the group.

    After every song I prayed some one would come on and back sell the tune and artist… but nope…never…

    Everything else was great… if anybody knows the owner tell him to help us out!!!

  3. NS wrote:

    WOW I am from Austin IN. And yes I agree with you AVERY. It is getting harder and harder to find a “TRUE” “Professional” act in SG anymore.

  4. jbb wrote:

    Do you have to be “professional” to be played on the radio? I don’t think so…..
    And who determines who is good enough to be played? I agree that there are some “amateurs”, as you like to call us, that need to sing only in the shower, but, I also think there are some so called “professionals” that need to do the same. Just depends on whose ear is hearing it.

  5. quartet-man wrote:

    I’ve been to Austin, IN. We used to go there when I was a kid and get groceries at some sort of place that offered good deals on them (canned goods and such) (I think in bulk) Can one of you natives help me out with what this place was? This would have been 30 or more years ago.

    As far as SG stations, we have a good one I can pick up. They are pretty professional, interesting, they sometimes have it automated, they use two computer systems, but they too don’t name the song and artist too often. They say it is because of the DJ’s having so much to do with two computers, other tasks, requests etc. We are fortunate though to have it. Used to the only thing we would get (when I was growing up) was a program for a few hours on Sunday morning by a DJ that was anything but professional.

    As far as local acts, my station does have a time for local artists, which I have mixed feelings about. It is nice to support the local folks and they likely depend on them for assistance, and it is nice that they have standards for play, but I understand the other side too.
    Here is the money quote they use concerning local artists. Pretty rare I’d say. :)

    “All artists, professional or local, must meet certain vocal, musical, & project quality standards. The fact is, we obviously can’t play everything that is submitted. We strive to keep our programming professional quality.”

  6. scope wrote:

    I have had numerous conversations with local DJs about not namin the song and artist. Their position is that people get tired of hearing so much talking. I begged them to do an experiment, and let the listeners judge, but no. The station is pretty good about the mix between professionals and non-professionals.

  7. quartet-man wrote:

    #6, the station I talked about says that why song titles and artists are not mentioned is one of their most frequent questions as I would suspect.

  8. Grigs wrote:

    #5, you’re probably thinking of Morgan Foods or Austin Supermarket.

  9. Tom wrote:

    Not to be overly contrarian, since I agree that there is too much amateurism in certain corners of sg radio–and perhaps even on the NQC stage (as suggested by the previous post). And I have no more interest in hearing the McKameys or the Inspos than the next sg fan.
    But it seems worth pointing out that the push for “professionalism” may be a matter of personal taste and interest. Of course, it all depends on what is meant by “professionalism” and “amateurism,” and I’d venture to bet that Avery’s criteria might differ from those of others who agree with his general complaint. Certainly we’ve all heard BAD gospel groups, but . . . .
    In some other genres of music, overly polished or over-produced music appeals primarily to the uncritical masses; the critics’ faves are certainly professional in many respects, but a raw or organic sound is seemingly preferable to something that is overly commercial due to over-production. There’s a decent market for garage bands in rock music from fans who eschew the banality of mainstream pop. Or there are fans of Tom Waits and the like–artists who may appeal only to a narrow segment of music fans. Why do the Wauhobs rank among the faves of many critically-acclaimed rock artists?

    What’s the parallel in sg? Isn’t it possible that there are some people who appreciate the rawness of an unpolished performance? Of course, I have my own criteria for what I like to hear, but there are many times I’d prefer a bit more “rough around the edges” to the syrupy saccharine of some overly-polished sg. (That’s also why I LOVE live sg bands and can’t fully appreciate the move toward Memorex groups.) I’d sometimes rather hear a few off-key notes and a few wrong instrumental notes during the pursuit of a musical moment than to have everything polished to the point of sounding like Celine Dion.

  10. quartet-man wrote:

    #8, I think it was probably Austin Supermarket. It was sort of like an Aldi’s maybe?

  11. NS wrote:

    You are correct Quartet man Austin Supermarket is alot like Aldi’s, and its still up and running.

  12. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    #9 - And there you have why I like the Inspirations, Primitives, and their ilk. :)

  13. Larry S wrote:

    Hey Wade - what day of the week did you come through? I wonder if it was just a weekly show or something of that nature. I LIVE in Lexington (just outside of Columbia) and didn’t even KNOW we had a SG radio station again. Par for the course…

  14. Phil Taylor wrote:

    The Columbia SC station may be fairly new. I lived in Newberry for 15 years and spent a lot of time in Columbia and don’t remember a SG station…
    It’s not just SG stations that don’t mention artists or track titles. There is an adult contemporary/adult standard station in the area… Brooksville Fl. that encourages you to check out their web site to find out who artist was/is and the track title… one of the joys of automated radio.

  15. Wade wrote:

    Hi Larry,

    It was late afternoon early evening of the Friday before Christmas. What was funny was, THANK GOD NO HOLY CRAP CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!

    The station was 102.7 WGUS I found the note I made while driving.

    I listened to right before Columbia to past Augusta, Ga.

    I do not like any stations who do not inform what the artist and tune that are playing.

    Most stations will not BACK SELL, which is tell the name AFTER the tune because of some kinda BS radio theory, that everything has to be MOVING FORWARD and not looking BACK. I am sure a CONSULTANT probably came up with this many years ago.

    But I always thought it was the best time to inform. Because that is WHEN PPL are listening for it. I would often come out of a song and say, “After this news from our sponsors I’ll give ya the run down of the last and the next song set.” Hopefully getting ppl to keep listening and getting them ACROSS the quarter hour WHILE INFORMING. ALL should be GOALS of the Station.

    Gawd, I hope I got all the periods, commas and spelling correctly. I am sure the Grammar Nazi with nothing better to do with their lives will chime in!!!

    Cheers in the New Years!!!

  16. apathetic wrote:

    I love it. “Uhm, isn’t most of every sixty-minute bloc of programming in sg radio pretty much amateur hour already, more or less?” No way! They aren’t amateurs, they have a bus! LOL

  17. Kyle Dowden wrote:

    At KWFC, where I’m program director, we are quite picky about what we allow to be played. I’m willing to take a risk on a new “amature” artist if they have potential, but the majority of the time we are going to stick with the good-to-great the industry as to offer.

    That doesn’t mean we’re afraid to give new folks a try. We did this with the Ruppes way back in their start when no one else was picking them up. We also did this with First Love (wish they hadn’t disbanded), despite the fact their album had several technical flaws. And, we gave a little known trio called The Martins their first radio break.

    Sorry for the shameless plugs.

    What I’m getting at is that sg’s radio stations have to become picky about what they air. I believe one of the reasons you have a wealth of poor quality in the industry, “pro” or “amature,” is because the new groups have tended to mimick what they’ve been exposed to. So, if it’s junk on your local mom-and-pop sg station, then the bar is set pretty low.

    One of the things we did a while back here at KWFC was to actually establish the so-called “amature hour” on Sunday afternoons. The original idea was to showcase local talent. Over time we’ve relized that wasn’t good enough. Since radio has such a huge influence over the development of local talent, we’re revamping that program (with a time change to Sunday evenings) to feature the good “amatures” in our region. Yes, it’ll limit the number of groups we play for now, but our hope is that eventually others will step up and put out a quality effort.

    That’s the end of the shameless plugs, but before we leave the topic of local artists, be careful what you ask for. Some cities in the U.S. require their local radio stations to play certain percentages of local artists in their given genre. I’m sure that sounded like a good idea to some arts council somewhere, but it can be devastating to some genres.

  18. Grigs wrote:

    Back in the early 90s, I loaned my “boom box” to a lady in the church that Dad pastored so that she and some friends could record a cassette for the local radio station’s “local talent” program. Yes, it got airplay.

  19. Wade wrote:

    Kyle… yeah taking a chance on the martin’s & ruppes was really stepping out on

    I remember the first time I saw the Martins. It was in Greenville, SC at the old Greenville Memorial Auditorium at a gaither gathering one of the weeks that Buddy Mullins sang w/ The GVB was like WoW… those kids with crooked noses can sure BRING IT!!! You know if any of them, especially Jonathan, had ever got the nose fixed it would have messed with their blend.

    Always enjoyed your station when traveling through The State of Misery!!! I mean Missouri. SHOW ME STATE IS 4 REAL!!! Are you selling the artist and tune of your programming?? Cause I am telling you according to which tenor sing Gerald Wolfe has…(Still wondering WHICH 1 is Dr. DH’s fav???) you might now know it is GV!!! We might not have renewed our subscription to the SN and not have the latest compilation CD as a PREMIUM!!!lol But probably able to recognize a Carol Robertson tune how ever threatening it may be.

    Grigs… the worst thing that came from making that tape for the local SGM Howler Station was it probably taped over AC/DC and your favorite Lover Boy tune!!! lol

    Speaking of Buddy Mullins, why does it seem he never sticks with anything very long??? Every Day Driven being the latest example.

  20. Irishlad wrote:

    In N.Ireland all the gospel ‘acts’ are non-professional because we’re not set up for it on many levels,yet,Scot Fowler commented that when he heard some of our talent he wondered why they (legacy 5) were even invited over. I know he was indulging but you get my drift i hope.

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