Quote of the day

I’m elbow deep in term papers and final exams, so you’ll have to make do with the wisdom of others. This, from one of today’s better comments:

If a CCM artist is copying a secular cousin, how does that make their genre worse than SG, who has been copying itself for the last 60 years?
To me, the genre’s popularity increased with groups like the Goodmans, Hinsons, and Crabbs, and I guarantee that if you judge by album sales, you will find that the outside-the-typical artists (although despised by much SG fans) were outselling anyone because of their originality. But, I’m sure you would compare those artists to ’secular’ cousins as well in country music or wherever.
Although I do not agree with everything you write, I see nothing wrong with criticizing a performance or album or artist. However, you do seem to be stuck in a box, musically, and that is fine. SG is your thing. I would highly recommend, though, that you do not criticize a genre you know very little about (as you have noted). Stick with NQC and all the little politically pushed award shows within the SG genre.
The Doves aren’t your game, and neither are they to the majority of your readers.

Email this Post


  1. Extra Ink wrote:

    The Doves used to be “our game”, and I think that is what bothers SG fans today…the genre went from being the primary player to not being recognized as a player at all in the course of about three decades.. Yes, there still are the obligatory SG awards, but they are definitely not a highlight of the evening to most of the crowd.

  2. Ben Harris wrote:


  3. Ellise wrote:

    The doves not being our game is wrong to say. Why? I listen to all forms of Christian music. If it is for the glory of GOD, I have no problem with it. My opinion is who am I to say GOD can’t use a style of music that maybe my place of worship/church doesn’t favor. That is why there are different styles to begin with.

  4. Randy wrote:

    The point being made here was based on the criticism of the Doves by a primarily SG focused blogger. The Doves aren’t an all SG categorized award show, so where would it benefit a total SG fan to read about what an SG critic thought of a CCM focused award show? It would be like George Jones giving his take on the Stellar (Black Gospel) Awards.

    A second point was raised concerning SG, as an industry, always being how ever many years behind every other style of Christian music. Few artists have actually pulled SG to the forefront, but those artists were majorly criticized by the jealous ‘traditionalists’, although acclaimed by other progressive industries. Some were even noted in the secular world as being influences. Kenny Hinson comes to mind.

    Whether SG is in denial or not, it is not on the forefront of anything. It has been pushed aside (sad to say) and disreguarded by many Gospel music fans because it has built walls around itself. It is it’s own segregated community with an elderly demographic, yet the die hard fans stand and clap everytime an artist or industry leader stands at an even and proclaims ” I don’t care what anyone says, Southern Gospel is just as strong today as ever and it will always be!” Who are we fooling? Look at sales. Look at demographics. Look at concert attendance. Look at everything past the stapled ego of those who have rubbed shoulders with and “contributed generously” to those on boards of conventions and award shows. This is not fame, although in the minds of these people, it’s nothing less than fame.

    There is more out there than this gated community. If anyone from the outside don’t bow down to those living in the gated community, they are usually considered the ones who don’t know what they are doing. THEY are the untalented rejects. THEY are the ones unaware of what’s happening in the modern SG world. When is SG going to wake up and realize the music world DOESN’T revolve around it? Quite frankly, SG has blinded itself.

  5. quartet-man wrote:

    #4 Randy said “Quite frankly, SG has blinded itself.”

    Ask the blind man, he saw it all. ;-)

  6. Yeah... wrote:

    Good points, Randy, and true. I feel that one of the primary reasons this has happened is that like the PGA tour among sports, sgm provides an intimacy between performers and fans that’s unprecedented. I can easily count on the fingers of one hand the CCM concerts I’ve been to where it was even possible to meet the artists after a concert. Yet, in sgm, the little old ladies can hug and pinch the cheeks of their favorite artists, share their prayer requests, and the like. And to me, that is a primary reason why this genre has been successful - accessibility. I find it charming, actually. I know many folks - in several countries - who’ve been so disappointed when the Gaither gang came to town, and they didn’t get to meet anyone before or afterward. But, the constant exposure on TV has made the fans think they know many of those people, so in the end, they’re okay.

  7. Randy wrote:

    #6 I’m not coming against you in anyway, but again, your comment is trying to prove the “success” of SG and why it is “successful” by accessibility. Is it really that successful? I’m trying to figure this out. If album sales, fan base, attendance, and exposure are a definition of success compared to other genres, SG is at the bottom of the barrel.

  8. Lisa wrote:

    I posted what became the Dissent of the Day ( and never intended it to be) but there does need to be a little more discussion.

    I am southern, and Southern Gospel is a part of my rural, southern Christian heritage. That does not mean, however, that it is the ONLY language I speak.

    I think, though, that MAY be part of the problem of Southern Gospel as it is now. It has a distinct appeal to a specific group of folks…and thusly has gotten marginalized against the increasingly broad spectrum of folks who listen to Christian music.

    That said, I do not think that it is at the bottom of the barrel. I think it has work to do to energize itself into more than an extension of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming concert series. There are scads of talented singers who deserve attention and award…but there’s got to be more to the genre than there is now.

  9. Randy wrote:

    Lisa, I agree. I feel as though I have come across completely negative reguarding SG, and quite honestly, all I want to do is give it a wakeup call, though I have no influence or status. I grew up in all aspects of this industry. I know the ins and outs, what is exposed and what is kept secret. Although I still have a hand in SG, I am completely turned off by what has happened to a once blossoming genre of Christian music. Some of what’s happened are certain artists’ fault, laziness, politics, a lack of creativity, a satisfaction that has lead to a stagnant pool of ‘in the box’ thinking based on who’s got money and not talent.
    There are MANY groups out there that are very much creative and talented but will never be given the opportunity to be pushed by labels or radio because they are not suck-ups and they don’t have money to PAY to get noticed.
    If SG does not do something OUTSIDE THE BOX, mark my words, it will collapse on itself. It has already started to.

  10. Lisa wrote:

    Ya know–
    I was at the Gaither concert here in Fayetteville, NC the same night as the Dove awards.
    I watched an assortment of respected (deservedly so) singers come out and sing…with one nameless exception who scared me speechless…and THEN, out came Ernie Hasse and Signature Sound. Watching them was refreshing–energetic, lively, lots of motion, and outstanding vocals. They were clearly engaged in the audience and got one of only three full standing ovations in a 4 hour concert. (The other two were claimed by Michael English, an NC native, who is getting stronger every time he sings.)

    For those who make fun of EH&SS, they WORK at their show, and they made it fun. That just might be what SouthernGospelBlog was talking about when they said showmanship would trump musicianship…

  11. Stac wrote:

    I think Randy and Lisa should run for an SG office. Finally someone who can see we’re dieing, and we shouldn’t be. It’s really not that hard to think outside of the box but sometimes you have to put those thoughts in motion just to simply set yourself apart from the herd, like EH&SS and The Martins were very good at it as well. Gaither was a nice catapult for them, and it’s amazing how the “big whigs” of SG shut him out. Possibly the only thing that could succesfully keep it all going, now it may be too late.

  12. Ellise wrote:

    I think all of your comments bring focus to this problem. In my area, when there is a SG artist in concert, there aren’t anyone from the ages of youth to mid-adult. It is like it has lost its savour to them. My roots is SG. As a youth leader in my church, all of my teens are listening to Casting Crowns, Third Day, Mandisa, etc. Our local high school occasionally has Christian concerts. They have had SG artists with limited response. Then, they have a local contemporary band with live music. The youth are excited to hear them. It makes me wonder. My heart is SG. The message is clear and true. Somehow, it is lost on my area youth. They seem to really enjoy the feel of a live band. While the message sometimes isn’t as clear, it stirs something inside them.

  13. Randy wrote:

    Ellise, that’s exactly what I see as well. Adults and kids who weren’t raised in church don’t understand songs about “Jonah in the belly of a whale” and “Jacob and Isaac” and stylistically, SG isn’t an alternative to ANYTHING that people raised outside of church could listen to. SG has went through times of pushing toward a country sound. Groups like Mid South, White River, and The Mullins were short lived (because they didn’t fit the “SG Mold”) , but at a time, was music I could give to country music fans who had gotten saved at my church. Now, I wouldn’t dare give anything in SG to those types of people. I am embarrassed to even think that it would be like giving a polka album to an ex-AC/DC fan and then expecting it to grow on them.

    SG has become music for the elderly that only they, and those who were raised knowing that SG even existed, can appreciate. It is not admired by other genres, teens, and young adults (who haven’t been familiar with SG since they were very young).

    The only way to appeal to these markets is to open up and let artists adapt SG to a modern society. Let artists be real with people instead of, “Amen, we’re gonna do a few songs for you tonight, Hallelujah, praise God…” That’s a language only Christians speak. Where is the heart for the lost? What is SG doing to try to reach those who don’t know anything about being a Christian? Hoping a grandson who isn’t saved will push his grandma’s wheelchair into the church that night and hope he likes your music? Is that the goal?

    CCM may not have an incredible message in every song, but neither does SG. CCM may not have all ‘real people’ up presenting the gospel, but neither does SG. But there is one thing that CCM has that SG doesn’t and that’s a connection with a world that knows nothing about Christianity, but they are familiar with the presentation. If you can merge the new presentation with the old (and still every bit as relevent) message, you are reaching.

    If you are going to be a missionary to Africa, you must first learn to speak their language. SG speaks its own language and the world does not understand their message.

  14. Lisa wrote:

    “Oh what I would do to have
    The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant…
    With just a sling and a stone.
    Surrounded by the sound of 1000 warriors, shaking in thier armor, wishing they had had the strength to stand.

    But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me…
    reminding me of all the times I tried before and failed
    The giant keeps on telling me, time & time again
    “You’ll never win, you’ll never win”

    But the voice of Truth tells me a different story–
    The voice of Truth says do not be afraid–
    The voice of Truth says This is for MY glory
    And out of all the voices calling out to me
    I will listen and believe
    The Voice of Truth.”

    Well, now, Y’all—that is Casting Crowns.
    Third Day is equally as accessible, and NOBODY–for my money–beats the ability of Rich Mullins to celebrate AND lament.

    I love Southern Gospel–I am Southern, and as I said before, it is my heritage. I sang it before I understood it.
    Charles Colson said in “How Now Shall We Live” that “literature, art and music offer us a window through which we can appreciate God’s truth more fully.” (p.452) Southern Gospel, as it stands now, engages the already churched. it can help in renewal, revival, and comfort. But it AIN”T going to evangelize a teenager, unless they have grown up with it on their periphery. Artists like those listed above, met me where I was. And can meet other folks where they are too.
    PS–Hey Randy–I’m the former AC/DC fan.

  15. Randy wrote:

    Pretty cool, Lisa, pretty cool!

  16. Harry Peters wrote:

    Lisa (10) Old Harry Peters acknowledges that EH&SSQ probably put on a decent “show.” Take that “Wet Dreams” video that they shot on the Navy Pier in Chicago as an example. As a SGM purist, Old Harry Peters hates to see the music watered down with so much show. However, if Ernie couldn’t fit his “act” into SGM, I don’t know of another genre of fans who would waste their money on the tickets. Plus, he’s a jerk.

  17. wackythinker wrote:

    Harry Peters — Please stop beating around the bush. Just tell us what you really think. ;-)

  18. Wade wrote:

    #17 - Wacky Thinker - Old Harry Peters often has issues expressing himself… and I know he is along with me an AC/DC fan too!!

    AND I LISTEN to GOLD CITY!!! lol

  19. apathetic wrote:

    Randy’s post #13 needs to be pubished in every SG trade magazine, blog, web site, etc. However, I doubt anyone in the industry would pay attention. I do think that there are a few artists out there trying to take SG to a new place as did Mid South, White River, etc. (Crabb Revival, Austin’s Bridge, 33 Miles) However, they are recieving the same treatement that their predecessors received. The response from the SG industry seems as that of a crabby old man who’s young neighbor’s son just walked on his grass to get a baseball that was threw too hard.

  20. enlightener wrote:

    Don’t be too discouraged about the Dove’s. I put little to no stock in any awards program unless voted on by fans in a public forum. And even then who knows if the votes are being altered. My wife used to work for a company who paid for their yearly membership so that they could vote. They would get the ballot followed by an email informing them who they should vote for. Basically if your company has the largest number of employees voting then the artists for that company win. Notice Daywind and Gaither artists mostly get Dove awards. Largest companies, most employees, plus Daywind has CCM ties to other companies who are influenced to vote for their artists.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.