Truth in charting

In an email that made the rounds late last week, the station manager at WSTS in Fairmont, NC, just says no to the SN chart:

In order to be God honoring and Christ exalting in the music we play, we are electing to remove ourself as a Singing news reporting station.  This has nothing to do with the Singing News necessarily.  I have to stand before God and give an account of my entire life. I have not been honest in my charting, ever.  It has been more based on who I like or the people I know.  Most of the time just to help an artist or someone I consider a friend  has soley been my motive.  So the best way I know to be completely honest is to not be involved.  If there is one of the reporting stations that is completely honest and not showed favor,  I would be shocked.  I don’t personally think there is a way to be completely honest in any charting system.  When it is all said and done, who does the chart glorify,  it glorifies sinful man and not God.  We all know God on judgement day, will not care about the chart or who had number one songs.

I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the open letter appeared in this a.m.’s ShowPrep as “SG NEWS” just under a banner ad announcing Mike and Kelly Bowling’s “Notified” as “radio’s most requested song.” I have no idea if there’s a connection between the letter and the ad, but the juxtaposition was illuminating, even if coincidentally. The ad concludes with the following:

“This is their next #1″  Ellis Manley (KJIC,Texas)
“Wow.. The hottest song on the west coast!  ..#1, #1″  Duane Meadows (KERI, California)


If I were a betting man, I’d wager that “Notified” will debut super high on the chart … say, the top 20?

Later: FWIW, David Bruce Murray takes issue with the email thusly:

If you’ve been lying when you report airplay data to a chart and you want to come clean, that’s fantastic. Honesty should always be appreciated, but it really isn’t necessary to trash everyone else in the process.

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  1. jj wrote:

    This is stupid on the DJ’s part. I am a DJ and to be honest it is part airplay and part persuasion. I think that’s the job of the promoter and artists…to sell their product. And if some DJ is failing in his life, its not fair of the DJ to blame it on the system. I mean HONESTLY if he had a problem with this and was convicted of God about this then stop doing it. This seems nothing more than this DJ trying to stir the pot a little. I doubt God will be condemning me to hell for what I put or don’t put on my chart. I think God sees the big picture like the rest of us. This sounds like nothing more than the DJ wanting some drama. I have the song “Notified” and it is a strong song. Did it make my chart this month NO will it next month YES.

  2. Ben Harris wrote:

    The charts are a problem, that is for certain. A couple of years back we had the number one song on Solid Gospel for 3 months in a row, “Jordan’s Swelling Tide”. This is over 100 stations nation wide on their network. Fine. We were elated. In the Singing News chart it barely made the top 60. So what gives? I had lunch with Les Butler of Solid Gospel/Singing News just before Christmas and we discussed ths very thing. I told him then, Singing News should publish the Solid Gospel Network chart as its own (since it really is anyway) and let the so-called charting stations go away. My argument is that SoGospelNews and several other web based gospel sites, publish their own charts, which have no bearing on reality at all, why shouldn’t Singing News publish their chart based on what their sister company is playing and in what rotation. Makes sense to me and I think it did to Les as well, but I would imagine a lot of charting stations would be alarmed.

  3. WA wrote:

    Before this thread’s comments go on to Rick Hendrix, Singing News, and so on, I cannot agree more with what the station manager wrote: “When it is all said and done, who does the chart glorify, it glorifies sinful man and not God. We all know God on judgment day, will not care about the chart or who had number one songs.”

    Amen, Mr. Station Manager. I’ve often wondered, at the end of the day, what of Christian music and all who sing it will survive the Judgment Day. Kudos for walking away from any semblance of fraud and phoniness before then. If there were more people like you in that position, this industry would be a whole lot more positive and healthy.

    Awards come from men; one day all that will matter are the rewards that will come from God. I think we forget that at times.

  4. DS wrote:

    It’s a great song. The entire record is good. I think radio likes it. Is this a story? If it debuts high does that mean there’s a conspiracy? If this were not a great song, and a very good album this philosophy may have validity. But, a new group that has overwhelmed radio to the degree that Mike and Kelly have, may not be the best example for this “random” viewpoint. This is not BAD music that is being charted as a favor. This is GOOD music from artists that have collectively had multiple radio success stories. I think possibly 20 or more #1 songs. It is refreshing to believe that good songs still garner airplay. The DJ that is convicted should consider following his convictions privately. I hardly think God made him responsible to “straighten out” the rest of the radio charters.

    I fail to see the point.

  5. Andrew S. wrote:

    There’s no telling how many #1 songs have bought the top position. Satirically, I am absolutely thrilled with the dishonesty SN charts have conveyed…especially in the last 5 years. It’s a little odd that there is a different #1 song every month that is pushed out to radio by a moving radio promoter. Rick Hendrix had 4 or 5 #1 songs last year. He’s already gotten 2 out of the 3 so far this year. Hendrix also has the 2 highest debuting songs on the SN charts (Shepherd’s Call-Crabb Family and He Chose Me-Freemans). Sounds a little fishy, IMO. Personally, I’d like to hear SG songs hit the charts like they used to….for like years at a time! I wonder though if SG radio djs would be willing to play SG songs constantly for more than 6-7 months at a time anyways. Who knows…

  6. jj wrote:

    I think they said it best at when they blogged about this. That pretty much sums it up on this situation.

  7. G. H. wrote:

    Here we go again, blaming everything on SG radio. Could it be that just a few record companies and promoters have all the “good” artist. I think if you look, the three or four major labels (promoters)have the best artist and the rest are playing catch-up. It sounds like everyone does not want to know what is playing on southern gospel radio. What presure do you think promoters place on radio? What do we have to gain? A few extra CD’s, A glossy 8×10 signed picture, a box of candy… come on! You do not realize all the work it is to take calls, fill out a chart, do your very best to be honest, tell most people that call you “your song is not on my chart,” and then take abuse like this from people that have never been in this position. If the other DJ had a “conviction” would not the christian thing have been to get out without the “press release,” and trying to take the rest of us down in a blaze of shame. It is not the major companies that do this kind of thing, it is all the people that complain about things not being fair. Take a look at the latest SN chart and tell me what song does not deserve a position. The days of an artist, that can not carry a tune, making the charts is over. I think this is what upsets everyone. I have been in SG music for over thirty years both as a musician and gospel DJ. I think I know a good song, that is air worthy. Once it is added it is up to the listener to let me know what they like. I have been in this market for over twenty years. I know by the end of the first verse if my audience will like the song. Please give your local radio DJ a break. There is a time in the future, if things do not change, that there will not be any of us left. Then some of you will be very happy. Please pray for us that God will keep this great door open. I love my job and SG music. I have didicated my life to promoting it. I value your opinions, but I ask you to be honest and don’t take it personal. Everyone can not have a #1.

  8. Ron F wrote:

    I am a DJ. I dont take Phone calls. Emails only. This works great for me. “Notified” is a great song , but it has no business coming out with a debut in the Top 5. It did not make my chart this month. More than likely it will next month because it is a great song.

  9. THE MONK wrote:

    First of all let me let everyone know right away that I am partially responsible for the chart mentioned in all the hulabaloo. If the truth be known, I filled the chart out every month here at WSTS as well. Randy’s comments are “stirring the pot” because they are true and people tend to reject the truth. The primary reason that Christ was hated was because He told the self-righteous Pharisees the truth. If you knew Catoe, you would know that he is a man of integrity and humility. Second of all, this press release was sent out to get the word out to promoters as well as The Singing News magazine. I don’t care who you think you are, everyone in this industry has been influenced by a promoter if they are a charting station, that is the promoters job. Everybody knows, that he who spends the most money gets the number ones. We are all staring at a big white elephant in the room and denying it’s presence. But you know, every man is truly entitled to his opinion thanks to our incredible forefathers. This entire fiasco was not meant to condemn DJ’s but boldly proclaim honesty for once. Everyone seemed to miss the entire point of the statement, which is: A chart in an “industry” such as ours, exalts sinful man and not the Lord of Glory. Most of this industry wouldn’t know Jesus if they met Him in a broom closet. I am quickly reminded of Matthew 6 when contemplating all of this mess because SG artists are getting their reward now. Blow your trumpet if you must, but don’t expect to be pleasing to God. God is a jealous God and nothing should steal His glory and honor. Especially not a bunch of wicked, lying, self-serving, prideful, applause-loving, egotistical, meglomaniacs. My phone lines are open, 910-628-6781 if any man wants an explanation. To God be the glory!

    Proverbs 29:25

  10. he wrote:

    Jesus didn’t send out press releases!! PLEASE!! Stop making everything spiritual. The few that are truly spiritual enough to be convicted if they felt there was a problem here, would NOT try and bring attention to the situation, or themselves. This makes everyone look stupid!! The applause loving folks, egotistical folks are now competing with the internet “attention seeking” folks.

    Can you imagine this going on over in the CCM world??

    SG is small because of this sort of thinking.

    Get a grip people!!!!

  11. Just Curious wrote:

    I am certain that god is getting the glory in this post. The charts are nothing more than a tool that is being used to spread the message of gods grace. I too have worked in radio and there are songs that i personally love that others may or may not love. I only answer for myself. If you are asking if I will chart the new bowling song, NO. I personally don’t like it. If you are asking if I will chart the new Crossway song I answer with YES YES YES! I do love that song and so do my listeners.
    That is why it is called my chart.

  12. promogurl wrote:

    As a radio promoter for one of SG’s record labels, I can honestly say that I am proud of our DJ friend in NC for being obedient to the Lord. He is right on the money….this is SO true and a real problem and it isn’t fair. I love my job and the opportunity I have to meet wonderful people and promote southen gospel music, but, I won’t have it cost me my soul.

  13. Andrew S. wrote:

    Ron F-Has “Notified” debuted in the Top 5? wow. all I can say is wow. so suprising!! j/k

  14. CR wrote:

    The Monk, Monkey or whoever you are…looks more like jackass from where I am setting. You are blind, you are pretty much the ONLY one that sees this as what you are saying. Like I said I report and sometimes yes I do a favor. But to think I was sinning or going to hell for that is a stretch. This is nothing more than Catoe trying to get some attention. Find another way to get some attention go on a diet loose 100 pounds, I dont know something other than this. This is just idiotic. And for him to say I am sorry God I have sinned I am going to stop charting and Im going to take down every other piece of trash charting stating with me is again…idiotic. And now you are trying to jump in to get your name some press. Go away both of you. People have laughed at you all for a long time now. Its time you go away. And you end it with my phone line is open if anyone wants to talk. Again hello you are not Dr Phil. Sounds like another need to feed your “I want to stir the pot” attitude.

    And promogirl… A radio promoters job is to get that song you are pushing as high as you can. And you are after the same damn thing. And stop trying to act all sweet and innocent. We DJ’s have heard and seen it all, you cant fool us. If you cant do that because of your “Beliefes” get out of it. If not you are doing your artist an injustice. Come one people no one is saying you have to sell your soul but you must do your job.

    One last thing, Catoe and Monkey you know you are only doing this because you are out of a job. I did a little research and found where your station sold. Hey I get your thought process “Lets go out looking like we are actually Christians.” Get a life!!!

  15. Ron F wrote:

    #13 I dont know if it made the top 5. I just know some in the industry were saying that it might. I dont see how that is possible.

  16. cdguy wrote:

    I’m not sure the author of the email quoted above was trying to say that EVERYONE who reports is not totally honest, as some have intimated.

    But I can see how personal taste and bias, and manipulation could come into play. But isn’t it likely that happens in other genre, too? Both Christian and secular? SG and CCM?

    Let’s face it, charting is primarily an ego thing. I’m not sure charts sell product. Airplay probably affects sales, but I’m not sure charts sell music. Music sells music.

  17. apathetic wrote:

    Why does this DJ feel he has to totally stop reporting to keep his reporting honest? What about just reporting honestly? You played a song a certain number of times or you didn’t. That’s all. It’s not rocket science. Just tell the truth.

    Ya know, some times when I’m on the interstate I will drive faster than the posted speed limit. I know it is a sin, so I am going to just stop driving.

    Too funny!

  18. apathetic wrote:

    Oh, and I am also going to put up a billboard on the side of the interstate to let everyone know that I will no longer be sharing the road with them since I tend to speed sometimes and so do many others on the road. I just can’t take it anymore. I have to come clean. LOL

  19. Stac wrote:

    Ok, I understand repenting for dishonesty, but why not just start charting what you’re actually playing? As other DJs have posted everyone doesn’t falsify their charts, put on there who is being requested and played. “Go and sin no more” as Jesus said. Are you not playing Southern (White) Gospel any more?

  20. promogurl wrote:


    I know very well what my job is, but when a DJ asks me what position do I want one of my artists songs to be, I don’t play that way and I won’t. Am I friendly, send give aways and freebies and chum it up with them, absolutely!!!! But, unlike some of my colleauges in the business, I do not ask for a “favor” or bribe or buy one of artist a spot on the charts.

    Thank you for the compliment about being sweet and innocent, I appreciate it!

  21. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    I once asked a DJ how he came up with his charts. He told me that each month he would print off a report that showed the most frequently played/scheduled songs for the month. In addition to this, he kept a log of song requests. If two songs were tied on the spin report, he would then go to the request log. If there was still a tie, he would list them alphabetically. Seemed fairly scientific to me. I wonder how many charting stations actually schedule music over just playing whatever they want?
    To kinda switch gears, something that I do feel is dishonest is the practice of stations that are affiliates of network stations being allowed to turn a chart in based on the charts of the network. This would mean that one network station with, say, 20 affiliates would be allowed to turn in 20 exact same charts. This happens. Here in North Carolina it happens every month.

  22. DJPhil wrote:

    #14, CR, I hope that you just ran out of your medicine or someone just ran over your cat or something to bring out that much hatred of people. I hope you are not in SG radio, that would be sad for your listeners. You really need to meet Jesus because you have no evidence of that now in your post. I know Randy, he is a friend of mine and although our stations don’t report to SN, I understand the frustration of promoters wanting people to falsely move a song up the chart. I DO take exception to his linking all DJs to “dishonest” charting. As for our station(s), the chart I report is, and always will be, based on the actual rotations of song, as are the charts of the 20+/- station JoyFM group. For the most part, all the best radio stations, Christian and secular don’t determine their playlist by “listener favorites”, which is really to limited. It of course should be influenced by the listeners. Many of the larger stations use focus groups(a small cross section of target listeners) to determine their playlist. I know the JoyFM group has used those in the past.
    CR, to follow up on Randys radio career, the lady that owned the station died and the two nephews sold it to the highest bidder, it is now a hispanic station. Several years ago Randy went from that station to MANAGE the other 50kw station which is owned by a secular group and he has managed to keep it a Christian station for several years now(don’t know if you have any idea how difficult THAT is). Oh…what have YOU been doing for the Kingdom??? Oh thats right, writing hateful posts…

  23. CVH wrote:

    Good Lord, where to begin?

    I read Chuck Peter’s SG Show Prep and saw the original piece last week - and the responses to it published this morning. Not unlike the thread here, they run the gamut.

    Beyond his theological distortions, the manager of WSTS greatly overstates the chart’s importance. Southern gospel charts may have internal significance within the format, but in the big picture they are more about promotional value to the artist or label.

    The accuracy of a chart is determined by the integrity of the person responsible for compiling it. In my thirty years in secular and Christian radio and the music business, I’ve seen them done by everyone from qualified music directors who use data analysis and research tools (song testing, focus groups, etc.) to part-time weekend announcers who chose the songs they liked regardless of content or quality.

    Do label promoters or indie promoters play a role? Of course, and they should. I’ve only had a handful through the years who were obnoxious, pushy or otherwise not worth my time. Most are more than just song pluggers; they seek to develop a relationship with the programmer, understand the station’s format and preferences and work to get the most suitable songs placed. It’s a two-sided relationship and if you understand that going in, it doesn’t have to be contentious or manipulative.

    Some posters have questioned whether this practice happens in secular radio or the CCM side of Christian radio. Not so much. These days any programmer who cares about his job knows he has to add and rotate the best possible mix of songs in order to be competitive in a widely divergent marketplace. If you do too many favors for a promoter or give in to the temptation to add a song that doesn’t deserve a slot in the playlist, it will come back to haunt you. But as some of the comments here indicate, the level of discourse among southern gospel radio professionals is at the high school level. The format reflects some of the attributes of the southern gospel subculture itself - arbitrary, simplistic and unaffected by norms of taste or style. Again, there are exceptions, but the format as a whole suffers from a lack of professionalism at every level, especially compared to other Christian formats and many secular stations.

    #16 cdguy makes a good point - charts don’t sell music, music sells music. On the other end of the reality spectrum, posters like The Monk need to have their meds reevaluated. I’m sure he’s well-intentioned but sincere intentions don’t a cohesive argument make.

    Like it or not, accurate or not, as long as southern gospel radio exists, charts are here to stay. Is the system perfect? No. So work to make it better or pick up your promo discs and go home. Nobody cares.

  24. CR wrote:

    Phil….there is no hatred on my part. Just calling it as I see it. I think the whole flow of comments and responces is saying the same thing. If Randy is convicted about it then good for him. But dont set out on a mission saying that everyone else is sinning by filling out a chart. Get a life, this ploy is nothing but drama. Just because God convicts him of doing something in his life DOES NOT mean God convicts someone else. Randy Catoe is not the judge to say that charts do not glorify God.

    And on the station…come on man its a hard job for any of us to run a station. But lets not go so far as to give him a medal of honor. He is doing nothing more than the rest of us out here are doing. Everybodys work is hard, thats why it is called work. You do see me on here whining for myself or some of my friends.

  25. Doris wrote:

    Charting is a joke anyway. Everybody should know that if you have to depend on a promoter to get you a number one song, it is probably not really a number one song. I remember a time when it was the song that made it number one, not the people behind it.

  26. Food for thought wrote:

    Heaven forbid someone try to do what is right. So many times people talk about all the sin and things hidden in SG. Now someone brings a bit to light and people want him to hide it. Make up your minds.

    Sure he said he would be surprised if anyone was totally honest 100% of the time which to me makes me think he is accounting for ones who are biased, but not necessarily realize it. However, he doesn’t say for sure it is that way. Perhaps it could have been worded better in that instance.

    I also am not sure that God will hold it against someone for having a chart, giving awards or something, so that part might have been a bit more spiritualized than it is. However, he seems to be trying to do right and perhaps he didn’t feel like he was strong enough to chart and not be tempted, so he removed himself from the temptation. That is what we are supposed to do, flee temptation like Joseph did with Potiphar’s wife.

  27. Tom wrote:

    Is sg radio truly this hokey? When I was a dj at a ccm station in the late 80s and early 90s, we reported to CCM Magazine charts. Our Music Director determined which songs to add as new each week, which songs to keep in heavy rotation, which songs to have as recurrents, etc. Then he entered them into a fairly simple computer program and printed out assigned playlists for every hour of the day. Djs could play requests occasionally, but not more than one an hour, and we had to record them on a “request” sheet (as well as which song on the playlist we skipped) and the MD would keep track of them. The computer compiled the list of songs that we submitted to CCM Magazine. This is basic to professional radio branding and formatting, and for providing consistency to listeners.

    As far as sg radio goes, I only get Solid Gospel and there aren’t many sg stations here in central Indiana–so I admit general ignorance about the current state of sg radio. Is sg radio so hokey that each dj chooses what he/she wants to play, without any guidance from a Music Director? If so, then no wonder so many people complain about sg radio playing trash.

    Contrary to what the overly-superspiritual joyful-noisers have been saying, there is a very good reason why having a RELIABLE chart is important. In order to run a successful business, retailers need to know what is popular and what is not so they know what and how much to order for their inventory. Concert promoters need to have a reasonable idea of who is currently popular so that they can make responsible decisions about who to book for concerts, and how many tickets they can expect to sell–i.e., whether a given artist will have enough draw to pay the flats. Artists need to have a reasonable idea of how their songs are doing and which ones are attracting attention.

    The job of radio promoters is just as important, because record companies aren’t going to make any money if no one buys their CDs (in which case the record companies would go out of business and there would be no CDs to buy or sell). One way to sell CDs is to expose songs to people who might want to buy them–and the primary buying audience is people who listen to sg radio, so that’s the best place to advertise your product. Promoting a song to radio is a form of advertising. It does no good if the song hits only position #38 and then stays in the same spot for 18 months because hokey sg dj in City A is the only one playing it in January, then hokey sg dj in City B is the only one playing it in February, then hokey sg dj in City C is the only one playing it in March, and so on. The only way to get strong chart exposure is to try to encourage ALL sg radio stations to add it at the same time and hope that it makes its way up the charts. That’s the purpose of a good promoter.

    YES, IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY AND THE INDUSTRY. Without viable record companies and concert promoters and retailers, you have no industry, and without an industry you have no genre.

    Suggesting that simply having charts equals “sin” (and especially when done in the holier-than-thou manner that several have done so far) is absurd, both theologically and practically. If there is any “sin” in the process, it is the sin that the guy confessed to in the original “press release.” The charts are not the problem. He is, and I’m glad he’s resolved to stop that particular sin. Hopefully he can work on his judgmental attitude next.

  28. Terry wrote:

    Round and round we go. Singing News is making money off their charts and Rick Hendrix is DEFINATELY getting rich. I found this from an older post. Singing News executives live and own huge housing developments and Rick Hendrix has a 2.5 million dollar home in a area of Nashville called Belle Meade.(Beverly Hills) of the South I guess LOL

  29. Brother T wrote:

    For the sake of truth, Catoe and Monk are real deal Christians. They are 100% authentically sold out for God and the work of His Kingdom, on and off the air. I know them both from way back and it is a real joy of mine as a reasonably known SG artist to minister in music with them at many WSTS affiliated concerts. They are always focused on the glory of God and the spreading of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel very confident that they know that as stewards of such a serious ministry as Christian broadcast that they are and will be accountable unto almighty God for much more than who made top 10 in a silly SG chart. It is important to the ministry of WSTS and their listeners that WSTS spreads the truth about God and salvation as well as the truth about what is Biblically right and wrong. It is not up to me to decide whether or not charting is right or wrong, but I do know that morality, conviction, confession, accountability, and truth matter a whole lot more to God than whether or not some SG act is top 40, top 10, or number 1. Charts are fleeting. Last weeks charts are already in the trash can. Throughout history, there has only been one real number one hit: God is very real and very just; furthermore, Jesus is coming back, whether you are ready or not and you would be very wise to seek the Truth of Jesus and God’s salvation before it is too late for you to do so. I know for certain that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the highest priority at WSTS. I am proud that Catoe and Monk are real men of integrity, conviction and honesty. If God laid it on their heart to give up charting for the bigger picture, I am very glad that they did. It wouldn’t bother me if many stations were to follow. Real ministers or artists do not need the charts with God as their promoter anyway. I feel that the station has made a choice to have real integrity in their ministry. That is few and far between for many of the stations that I have come to know in my travels. I support WSTS and their staff and I very much wished that I lived in their listening area so that I could hear their encouragement every single day. That Monk can sing too!

  30. Seaton wrote:

    Folks, who cares. At the end of the day listeners will buy the music they like. It won’t matter if the song charted at #1 or #100.

  31. SGDoc wrote:

    A new book is coming out soon. “The Southern Gospel Truth”. One chapter should deal with “translation”. When in the business of Southern Gospel, one needs to know the translation of what one says and what they really mean.

    For example, When the radio promoter promises “We’re gonna put you at track 4″ - translation - “Your not really track 4 quality, we’re gonna put you at track 10″. Now see, if you knew the correct translation, you’d not be disappointed.

    Example #2, The radio DJ says to a group, “lets record the interview so I can play it more than once” — Translation — “I really have no intention on playing your song or playing this interview, it just gives me a way to toss it without you knowing it” See once again, if you knew the correct Southern Gospel translation, you’d not be surprised that the interview was never heard by anybody.

    Example #3, The Southern Gospel artist that sold you that bus said, “I’d not be afraid to drive that bus anywhere, there’s not a thing wrong that I know about.” — Translation — That radiator has holes in it, we rigged a small car alternator in it, we re-routed the wiring and it’s a fire hazard, the rust is so bad that the roof is collapsing, and the front end is not safe at all.” Now see, if you’d had the correct translation, you would not have made a grave decision that put you out of business.

    This DJ is simply quoting the Southern Gospel radio chapter. Translating to you the truth of just how it is. Not just here in SG Music but in real life. You must know the correct translation.


  32. Kyle wrote:

    It’s much ado about nothing. I’m not sure why everyone is getting all worked up over something that is essentially “manufactured news.” What Mr. Catoe claims to have done in falsifying his charts is nothing new to southern gospel or any other genre. The SN weeded out a large number of charting stations not long ago for sending in false reports. Mr Catoe has just saved them some trouble for the next phase.

    We’ve went round and round about the airplay charts before on averyfineline, and this trip down memory lane doesn’t add anything new to the discussion.

    As has been discussed before, the only true way to get a true airplay chart is to have a listening service (there are a couple of them) that monitors station airplay and record spins. But, before those services pick up southern gospel, there needs to parties willing to subscribe to the data. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    And, as has been discussed before, airplay charts only show what’s popular at a given station. The true test is the sales chart from the local bookstores.

  33. SPD wrote:

    Why not let BMI/ASCAP be the chart? I had a conversation with Ricky Atkinson a couple of years ago. He told me then that according to BMI and his royalty report that Prodigals Father ( I think that was the song) was played more than any song in christian music for that period but the song never made the SN top 10! Which goes to show that more DJs lied about what they were playing than those who were honest, at least on the SN chart anyway! I don’t have a problem per say with DJs having preferences and voting for their buddies. Just don’t call it a radio chart! The SN chart should have a disclaimer printed at the bottom that says “this chart does not necessarily reflect actual air play”. If they did that I’d have no problem! To go further I attended the GMA seminar at Crabb Fest in Owensboro, KY in 2006. In one of the sessions Cathy Crabb was speaking on radio promotion and ‘how to’ to get a leg up in the industry. I actually heard her say with my own ears that it took ten thousand dollars to push a #1 song. Yes she actually said that in public! So basically you pay to play! That’s why I think there’s such a disconnect between the industry and fans (what few fans are left)!

  34. The Ole Gator wrote:

    I have said it many times and will say it again. The charts serve only the following purposes:

    1. To make artists feel good about themselves, seeing their name in “lights”.

    2. Offer a way for promoters to make a living.

    3. Offering a way for publications to make a living running ads for artists that want to feel good about themselves, seeing their name in “lights.”

    The public, fans or whatever could care less what song is in the #1 spot or the #41 spot…they just don’t care.

  35. ask me wrote:

    Songs that are hits on the radio are more well-known and have better sales (at least in Itunes Store). #1 songs can do great things for groups. Let’s not underestimate the effect of charting.

  36. LOL wrote:

    Southern Gospel music is no different from any other genre of music. It’s all done to glorify man. If it was truly ministry then there would not be any demands for a certain amount of money by the artist or their agent just to sing about this christianity that is so wonderfully displayed here on this site.

  37. WAYNE wrote:

    Ole Gator I’m with you. I’ve never listened to a song because it was on the SN or any other chart. I listen to a song because I like it or because one of my favorite artist (MIKE&KELLY) sing it. That being said I have looked at a song on the charts before and could not believe it was there. Thanks to Catoe I now know why it was there.

  38. Terry wrote:

    CHARTS do matter!!! Or you all wouldnt be making such a fuss over them. Most people that say charts dont matter or need changed are the artist that cant chart. I sang once-and guess what I NEVER charted….But that doesnt mean Singing News is crooked or BMI should count the charts…. whatever

  39. Jim wrote:

    Mr. LOL (or whoever you are) I don’t know what planet you are from but your post is simple ignorance. If you had any idea about ministry or music, or what it takes to make ends meet, you would have caught yourself before you pressed the “post” button.

  40. Jim2 wrote:

    I concur with Jim.

  41. quartet-man wrote:

    36 LOL, a person needs money to take care of their needs and their family’s needs. Do you work for free? Many pastors get paid (often not enough for what they have to do). The gas company, grocery, electric company etc. don’t give these things away to those in the ministry.

    #37, maybe not, but there are some people may not hear a song if it doesn’t chart as high. Stores may not carry them, the stations who program by the charts may not play them etc.

  42. LOL wrote:

    Jim, if you truly loved god, you wouldn’t ask for money to carry on his word. Jesus said to take no thought for these things. Pastors do get paid enough, actually too much. It must be nice to preach a bunch of fairy tales as truth and get paid for it. You people must really like Dan Brown. You’re in the same group.

    Btw, #41, gas companies, etc. are not ministries. Get your head out of your ass and maybe you can see the truth and stop all this bullshit.

  43. LOL wrote:

    Webmaster you’re an asshole for not letting my comment post. I don’t why you don’t do want obscenities posted on here when all you is post trash anyway. You can all go to hell.

  44. Jeff wrote:

    That would explain why Crabb Revival didn’t chart as well as Mike & Kelly Bowling. “The Journey” is a great song that should have done better than it did.

  45. GH wrote:

    No all that explains is that Crabb Revival didnt have Rick Hendrix on the phones for them. And IMO at our station SO FAR I have NEVER had to worry about playing ANYTHING that Mike and Kelly have sent to us here at the station. Its a hit and miss with Crabb Revival because not everything they send out is Southern. Not that I am saying thats a bad thing, but I do think if they (Crabb Revival) want to make it in SG they need to be consistent in what they send out. And who knows they may be happy with what they are doing. If they are more power to them and I wish them the best of luck.

  46. quartet-man wrote:


    Everyone who are Christians are called to be in the ministry, but those who do it as a vocation need money. That doesn’t mean they charge for everything they do, but unless they already have good money or backing somehow, they need money. As far as pastors. there is far more involved than preaching a few hours tops in a week. There is counseling, visitation both at home and places like hospitals, nursing homes, during times of death and illness of family members etc. Pastors are often on call 24/7. Even more so than Doctors, CEO’s etc. No, I am not a pastor nor have I been.

  47. brother wrote:

    #42 Fairytales? The blind will see, the lame will walk, the dumb will speak! That’s just what happened when Jesus came. Blessed is the man who isn’t offended in me…said Jesus

    #43 Politicians feed lies and get paid for it. Shouldn’t those that speak truth get paid more. You really can’t put a price on the gospel its priceless.

    Some folks say all truth is relative it just depends on what u believe. Their aint no why to tell who God is or what’s really true…but that means you believe your own statement, that there’s no way to know what’s really true…you are saying that your statement is true, your killing yourself. If what’s true for you is true for you and what’s true for me is true for me, what if my truth says yours is a lie, is it still true? Come on man!!!

  48. Mike McIlwain wrote:

    #46, Q-man,
    Preach it, brother. I am a minister and can confirm that you are correct in all that you stated.

  49. Jeff wrote:

    GH wrote:

    “No all that explains is that Crabb Revival didnt have Rick Hendrix on the phones for them. And IMO at our station SO FAR I have NEVER had to worry about playing ANYTHING that Mike and Kelly have sent to us here at the station. Its a hit and miss with Crabb Revival because not everything they send out is Southern. Not that I am saying thats a bad thing, but I do think if they (Crabb Revival) want to make it in SG they need to be consistent in what they send out. And who knows they may be happy with what they are doing. If they are more power to them and I wish them the best of luck.”

    Thanks 4 shedding light on the Crabb Revival scenario. I thought it strange SG played “You Amaze Me” which really sounds contemporary christian. I like the Bowlings as well.

  50. Chuck Peters wrote:

    Ben Harris..

    If the SN published the Solid Gospel Chart.. and your song appeared.. It would still just be one charting person’s opinion. I love Solid Gospel.. and think they do a fantastic job.. but I am not sure what their chart means.. or is supposed to represent.

    The present SN news chart represents several charting reports.. and is supposed to be a sampling of actual airplay. Sure it isn’t perfect.. but it’s a better plan than any other. And I think the SN is trying to make it more accurate.

    Until someone finds a way to measure real SG sales (table, book store, mail order..etc).. the SN is the chart I would favor as an artist.

  51. Extra Ink wrote:

    I’d like to address an earlier post where someone suggested that artists release songs to radio for an ego trip. That is not true in my group’s case, and in many other groups’ case. My group has been on the SN chart. Yes, it’s very exciting to be on the chart, and yes, I want the song to go as high as it can. HOWEVER, the main thing is releasing to radio on a national level increases the wing span of your ministry by allowing a truck driver traveling down I-65 in Kentucky in the middle of the night to hear the gospel message in your song. The widow in Atlanta, the 10-year-old kid in Phoenix, etc. You get the point. It’s an opportunity, if you have great songs and you believe in their messages, to get the Good News out to a wider audience. That’s the most satisfying part of it, to me.

  52. GH wrote:

    I just noticed on Singing News web site that Notified by Mike & Kelly Bowling debuted at #13 and their song that was #1 last month fell to #14. That is wild, but I am happy for them

  53. jerry ashley wrote:

    Charts are of no importance to a musician that is only interested in spreading the Gospel for the Glory of God and not interested in personal gratification…What is Your motive? God knows…

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