15 things I hate about you

John Crenshaw enumerates some stuff he really doesn’t like about gospel music (h/t, DA). Plus, tips on eyebrow maintenance!

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  1. Musicscribe Blog » Crenshaw’s 15 on 12 Oct 2009 at 11:26 pm

    […] like about gospel music” has gathered plenty of attention after being pointed out on Doug Harrison’s blog and later on Daniel […]


  1. David J. Stuart wrote:

    Good list John! lol

  2. Rick wrote:

    Mr. Crenshaw, I agree with you on each and every point. Well enumerated, Sir!

  3. BUICK wrote:

    All fair comments. Some I agree with. Some I strongly agree with. (Not that I believe my opinion carries any weight.)

    I would add one other: I don’t like the practice of turning up the volume so loud that it rattles the putty out of the windows in a vain attempt to cover up weak harmonies. When you see blood coming from the ears, it’s too stinking loud. And when “the promoter” tells you it’s too loud, turn it down or turn it off and leave town. (But that’s just my personal beef.)

  4. Casual Observer wrote:

    Refreshingly blunt and brilliantly succinct. Oh, and little to disagree with…

  5. Joe wrote:

    Except for one glaring error…no matter what Mr. Crenshaw likes or dislikes, there actually may be someone sitting in the same concert in which he is sitting, who is going to hell, and maybe closer than anyone thinks.

    If the Lord moves upon a singer to give a gospel message, Mr. Crenshaw- you should be sitting there praying that God would bless that word in the salvation of a needy sinner.

    One of the very best 5-minute gospel messages I have ever heard, was preached by Tim Riley of Gold City. There was not a single thing wrong with it.

    This message is eternal. It is not just for a blogger’s pleasure, to tell us all what he likes or doesn’t like about it.

  6. Gayla Fooks wrote:

    John, I always love your articles. This list is marvelous!

  7. Tjeerd wrote:

    I agree
    As a Canadian I never get all exited with patriotic music at a gospel concert. Maybe its a Canadian thing.
    I agree with keeping politics out.

  8. Tjeerd wrote:

    I would add one more.
    No more Southern Gospel Christmas concerts.

  9. Ben Harris wrote:

    My Buddy John…You had the nerve to print what most of us think.

  10. John Rulapaugh wrote:

    Funny thing Crenshaw, your #1 and mine are the same. LOL

    I’m sure this comment will come back to haunt me at some point so all of y’all that like to save stuff to bring up against them later…save this one.

  11. RF wrote:

    Like Rick and David, I also agree with every one. Funny, sometimes two Christians can agree. Wonders never cease.

  12. Randy wrote:

    So what John Crenshaw is saying is that he hates Southern Gospel music, because you can’t go to an SG concert without seeing any of that. Way to prove a point John! SG does suck in every way. Time for change. BUT……..it won’t. Death is just around the corner.

  13. pk wrote:

    14. gospel karaoke (otherwise known as soundtracks), but I like it even less if there are voices on the tracks. Bring back the live musicians!

    applaud this…the only difference between a gospel singer with a soundtrack and karaoke at the bars is no drinking at the gospel function (that we know of)

  14. jbb wrote:

    WEll, everyone has an opinion and frankly, I only agree with a few of yours, but, that doesn’t make either of us right. I for one do not care for live music. I like soundtracks. I enjoy a little testimony along with the singing and I think it’s time to not be politically correct and be biblically correct.

  15. bandless wrote:

    I am hearing more about live bands. Do those who complain have even a clue how much it takes to be on the road. Sometimes you can barely make your own house payment, how are you going to pay for an entire band. I would love to have a band, but I would also like to feed and clothe my children.

  16. Gary wrote:

    These are “complaints” great and I agree with all but the message part. I believe we should testify about the One we are singing about and, I could add a few more to his list!

  17. cynical one wrote:

    pk #13 — Maybe “no drinking at the gospel function (that we admit to)” would have been more accurate. :-)

  18. KEW wrote:

    I think #3 is particularly brilliant!

  19. quartet-man wrote:

    #13, not hardly. Generally the quality of the southern gospel tracks is better than the ones used for Karaoke.

    Maybe I will have time to comment on the list itself later.

  20. Audrey Cole wrote:

    John, I totally agree with your 15 reasons you do not like gospel music. Just a couple of modifications on my part. No one can sing “Oh What A Savior” like Rosie Rozell, but John Rudapaulgh is a very close second. It definitely stops there.

    A #16 I would add is I do not like the rehearsed dancing. It just does not fit and some of them look so out of place.

  21. Randy wrote:

    The top 15 things I hate about Southern Gospel:

    15. Pride. (People care so much about how others view them and paint a picture of perfection on themselves. Come on! Be real! Who wouldn’t want to see Les Beasley in a dunk tank? I’d want to hang out with THAT guy!)

    14. Apparitions of live music. (A piano player, drummer, and an Instant Replay are not a band. If you’re gonna have live music, then have ALL live music. Go all in or go home!)

    13. Comedy. (It sucks. Hair jokes, tie jokes, fat jokes, tenor singer jokes. Please don’t joke until you get good at it and say something that hasn’t been said)

    12. Backstabbing. (After all, a concert is a competition, isn’t it?… In SG, everyone is a true friend, until you’re on the bill with them. Ever see 12 different sound systems at an SG event? I call that ‘Lack of Trust’.)

    11. It’s old. (You are old. Your fans are old. Your market is old. Your songs are old. Your style is old. Your bus is old. You are crumbling in every way)

    10. Traditionalism. (Country music don’t sound like Hank Williams anymore, thank God! Why is it a goal to sound like the Blackwoods or the original Statesmen? SG fails to progress)

    9. Cliché. (From lyrics to stage performance, I can predict what’s going to come out of your mouth before you say or sing it. It’s all been said and done. Find something else)

    8. Sunday School songs. (Yeah. Like EVERYONE is going to relate to the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I guess it’s okay if your demographic is a group of theologians and you don’t mind them pointing out that the rest of your song is Biblically inaccurate)

    7. No originality. (There’s only really 10 true SG songs. You just change the lyrics to those 10 melodies thousands of times and re-sing and sell them.)

    6. Adultery. (Try to name 5 groups who haven’t dealt with cheating husbands and/or wives at SOME point. I honestly can’t at the moment. Maybe I know too much for my own good.)

    5. Ego. (You are not famous. Nobody outside the SG industry knows who you are or knows what SG even is. Owning a bus doesn’t make you “somebody”. If you start a quartet and have $200 to your name, somehow, you will get a bus)

    4. NQC. (The most boring and monotonous musical experience one could ever encounter, unless you’re 85 and love sorry attempts at slapstick comedy, flea markets, and middle-aged fat people attempting to sing in harmony)

    3. Homosexual lifestyle acceptance. (Do you accept a Pedophile’s lifestyle, as well? Wasn’t he just born that way?)

    2. Politics. (If you’re rich, you can go pro. Talent is not an issue.)

    1. Fakeness. (”Gospel” is a term reguarding the message of Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. How can you sing about and proclaim to know and fear God when your lifestyle reflects the opposite? There is no fear of God in SG. Fear of failure, maybe… but not God.)

  22. Michael Booth wrote:

    I’ll give you a band for a $30 ticket. And how bout those who don’t want to hear a Gospel message at a Gospel concert leave after the first half. The second half can be for the non-negotiable Great Commision that is not restricted to Church service.


    Michael Booth

  23. Ben Harris wrote:

    #12 If you think SG is so bad why do you frequent a site dedicated to discussing SG? Now, I happen to agree with you that SG maybe on its last leg, but we very likely disagree on how to fix that. My belief is that if we do not get back to high quality music, performed in a professional manner, we will continue to lose audience. The concept of attracting a younger audience may be well intended, but it does not accomplish that goal and further more, the style so presented, chases off our core audience. Why SG labels and SG artists cannot see this is bewildering to me.

  24. yeah... wrote:

    I personally - even strongly - agree with many of the things on John’s Top-15 list. However, my two cents on a few of them:

    #14, singing to tracks. As “bandless” said in post #15, only when there’s a massive increase in income will sgm artists be able to afford live musicians. It isn’t going to happen, so deal with tracks. Utopia is fine and dandy, but it’s absolutely unrealistic these days for all but a very few. I do agree on stacks, though, and while secular artists use them all the time and no one squawks, some will always despise them in sgm. The average concert-goer has absolutely no clue that stacks are being used.

    Lastly, item #5, no preaching. As Joe said, I remember one of Tim Riley’s five minute messages, and it was fitting, very well done, and added to the concert rather than detracting from it. You can call it purely entertainment till the cows come home, but above all, every concert is also an opportunity. I thank God for those who give a message and do it well. God’s promise is to bless the message, not the medium. Spoken, sung, or written, it’s all His Word, and I think it’s a waste of time if a visitor comes and leaves knowing nothing more of Christianity than they came with.

    I won’t comment on the point that no one should sing “Oh What A Savior” other than Rosie. That’s so misguided that it deserves no comment. I heard old Rosie do it live a few times, and he was great, no doubt. But, it’s been done so well since, even if Rosie was the first and some feel that his version was best.

  25. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    #14- “…and I think it’s time to not be politically correct and be biblically correct.”

    Which part of not being politically correct do you ascribe to be biblically correct? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The death penalty? Single payer health insurance?

    I’m seriously asking, because most of what you likely refer to as not politically correct have no basis in biblical truth.

    And certainly have no business at a “Gospel” concert…

  26. Paul wrote:

    Your comments are absurd. You said, “SG fails to progress.” Really??? You mention that country music has progressed, implying that SG music hasn’t. Even when groups try to sound like the Statesmen and Blackwoods, they do it in a more modern way. That aside, SG HAS progressed…..just look at the Vocal Band, Booth Brothers, etc.

  27. IVP wrote:

    Let`s start a list that the singers HATE about concerts… I`ll start… People talking to people in another row, while singers are sharing the Gospel !

  28. anthony wrote:

    # whatever, how about 30, even 45 minutes late from scheduled start time. # whatever, if you have seen the group 2 or more times in a couple of months, crying at the same point in the song. # whatever, constantly looking at there watches.

  29. Randy wrote:

    First, amen Michael Booth. And second #23, Ben, I don’t frequent this site often. Occasionally, I will hear of a popular discussion here reguarding SG and even though I feel it accounts for nothing, I will throw in my 2 cents. I know industry leaders frequent this site and I only hope they will grasp a fraction of what I am trying to say. I am involved in the industry, (now) sad to say. I remember the potential it once had, and have seen it go out the window. I use to be proud of SG. People were open to ideas. Younger crowds and groups flourished and approached SG from different angles. Groups were creative, original, and YOUNG. There was a time when SG vocalists actually INSPIRED country artists. Those days are gone, because it’s a copycat agenda.

    I can’t enforce the fact enough that it IS old and dying! I, for one, want change!!! But, I have no strings I can pull. Just a hope that my voice will be heard in some way and that thoughts will be provoked.

  30. Shane wrote:

    I agree with post 15 on AFL and M. Booth. Those of you that want to complain about “tracks” are the very ones that will go to a Church service or concert weekend after weekend and put in $1. The reason everyone is letting their bands go is because the fans don’t support the groups they go hear. They want a thousand dollar “show” for free. If those who want to hear SGM the way it COULD be, (live band, etc.) would support it like you do the SECULAR things you pay hundreds of dollars for tickets for, then the people doing this for a living could feed their families and take a band with them too. You guys obviously want to complain without thinking how a SG group can support a quartet with 4 band members on $500 a concert and $200 product table sales - and might I add, most churches nowadays croak over when they think about having to even put out $500 for a group to come hundreds of miles in a bus. (Oh and side-note about the bus topic…you try getting 3 motel rooms night after night for a group and add gas to haul a van and a trailer and see if it isn’t more cost-effective to have a bus). Split that $500 8 ways and see what you have left. OH YEAH, and that’s after the Pastor has announced to the church that “If you want to give to the group, write the check to the Church, and all of this offering goes to the group” and then the church collects $1500-$2000 and gives the group only a check for $500. Make no mistake, SGM isn’t about making money. However, it takes money to operate…just like every other music industry. The only difference is, SG Groups are left to the ravishing wolves of churches and “promoters” etc. All the other industries promote their artists.

    Bottom line,
    Don’t complain if you aren’t making any effort to make the industry better. Don’t complain about how groups are horrible because they don’t have a band, when you don’t support the group anyway. The only way we’ll get back to the old Kingsmen days where the band was 80% of the group is to go back to the days where there were enough church-goers and concert-goers to fund the group. Churches these days won’t even book groups because “they can’t get their church people to show up on Saturdays anymore”…but that’s a whole other argument…

  31. Derek wrote:

    Way to go Michael! If you don’t want to hear the GOSPEL, don’t go to a GOSPEL concert! Duh! Every crowd and every concert isn’t prime for “preaching”…but if the spirit genuinely moves the person on stage to give a word of testimony or even an invitation, that’s what they’re supposed to be doing IMHO.

  32. Bryce wrote:

    Randy (post #21),

    I’ll take a stab at #6:

    Greater Vision
    Talley Trio
    Collingsworth Family

    Pass or fail?

  33. Gary Lane wrote:

    As a GM promoter I tend to agree with much of Randy’s concerns but somewhat with less acidity. To me point #9 separates the pros from the minor leaguers. Let me just add that I get tired with questions from the stage which I NEVER answer to…….Are you having a good time here tonight? Are you glad your a Christian tonight? Just wave at me if you are. At your next concert count the number of questions your asked. If you were paid a dollar per answer that you give, you’d go home ahead $!

  34. Bill Bailey wrote:

    “The only difference is, SG Groups are left to the ravishing wolves of churches and “promoters” etc.”

    The ravishing wolves of churches and “promoters” that the writer speaks of are the very ones who are supporting and paying the artists aforementioned, and basically bankrolling this industry. As an artist manager (Perrys), local church pastor for over 20 years, concert promoter for 23 years, and a lifelong fan, I have experienced first hand paying groups and artists when there was a loss. I have taken money from my personal family budget, raided my retirement, and left concerts to head home on a credit card because of a loss. Our church has, on more times than not, added to the offering to make sure it was sufficient to meet the needs of the artist. I have also been blessed to make significant money at times. However, to call the ones (such as myself) who provide this payroll to our artists “ravishing wolves” is a discredit, slanderous, and downright ludicrous.

    There is not a major concert promoter today that earns their full time living from this industry. They give of their time and money because of their love of and belief in southern gospel music. 95% of the churches that the Perrys work in each year do everything within their power to make sure our needs are met. Many of them go beyond what is expected.

    I am sure there are frauds and crooks in our industry. I am sure there are churches who have taken money from an artist’s offering for their own good. However, these experiences are the exception and not the rule of thumb. The vast majority of promoters and churches who book our artists do everything within their power to make that event a success, and honor their agreement. To lump them together and call them “ravishing wolves” is totally uncalled for.

  35. Catoe wrote:

    It is a fearful thing that anyone who would profess to be a Christian would say “I don’t like to hear preaching at a gospel concert” The preaching of the word, in whatever capacity and wherever it is done will be a delight to those that have been redeemed. 1 Corinthians 1: 21 “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” I find it troubling that Mr. Crenshaw has gotten more set in his ways. This doesn’t line up with being conformed to the image of Christ. People have been martyred for the sake of the gospel and for us to even have a chance to hear it. Before you spout off things you don’t like about gospel music, you and the rest of us should keep in mind, it only took one thing for a Holy God to not like about us to cause the death of His only begotten Son. We all deserve the wrath of God and to be hung on a cross. I like this quote I read recently from an unknown author: If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

  36. Michael Booth wrote:


    you make a good point that the Spirit MUST lead in any Gospel presentation or testimony. I think the thing that bothers guys like John C about ” preaching” is that many have tried to manufacture the “Spirit” and it would have been better to just sing!! I’m sure that guys like John and others would be happy for people to come to Christ if it is a “genuine” move of God. If I may try to speak for others.

  37. Glenn wrote:

    I love to hear you sing, but if you promise to restrict it to last half, I’ll just leave then. I think of Mr. Crenshaw’s list, #5 and #9 are the most relevant.

  38. AnnD wrote:

    Wayellllll, I just hate the word HATE

  39. Shane wrote:

    Bill Bailey,
    First off let me say that - having the opportunity to know a little about your background and having been to your concerts, and though you don’t know me (most likely), I know you indirectly. I will, publicly, state that you are the exception to the rule. Unfortunately, not all of the promoters are a Bill Bailey. While you will come out of your pocket to make sure groups are funded (which means that concert-goers aren’t doing their job), there is a good percentage of promoters that AREN’T honest…and really I was too specific in my term “promoters”, when I really meant to encompass recording studios and labels, radio promoters, etc. (all different forms of “promotions” for groups)..there’s alot of “ravishing” going on to small up-and-coming groups. Not every church is like that, and definitely not EVER concert promoter is like that. I do definitely agree with your post and it’s my error for being so specific, however, I have personally felt the impact of people “preying” on young artists because they are just that - young. Instead of helping new groups get started, they take advantage of their ignorance. After all, SG should be the industry that helps others…right?

    Again, sorry for the misimplication!

  40. JEB wrote:

    Fan? Yes, I am driving 2-1/2 hours tonight to see the Booth Brothers & Legacy Five. And I’ve driven much, much further…

    I go to hear the music and am very pleased to pay for Christian entertainment. I do not want to hear preaching - period. Counting a processing fee, I paid $57.50 for two $25 tickets, will spend $35 for gas, $20+- on food, and the two of us will spend $100 or more on new projects. Don’t abuse my time and money by preaching to me.

    That does not mean there should not be testimony… There should! It does not mean there should not be words spoken to introduce a song… There should! But do not preach… George Younce could say 50 words and tug at your heart - without preaching. Roger Bennett, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Ernie Haase, Scott Fowler - they all learned well from Younce. I go see the Dixie Echoes, Hoppers, Down East Boys, Talley Trio, Perrys, Tribute & Janet Paschal every chance I get. All are great Christian entertainers that do not preach.

    I live in Charlotte and there are many things that could keep me in Charlotte tonight. Steve Martin is opening a new theater playing banjo with a blue grass band. There are plays and other concerts. In addition to all of that, my couch feels very good at night. But I choose to drive and listen to the Booth Brothers and Legacy Five sing, not preach…

    One thing is for sure. If an entertainer wants affirmation of the gospel - he or she will hear it at a SG concert because they are, for the most part; singing to the choir. The applause comes from virtually everyone when there is good singing and good music. It comes from many when there is preaching from the stage. What they need to worry about is the difference between “many” and “virtually everyone” - and that is critical. I am in that group and SG does not want to drive away my demographic group!

    Let the Holy Spirit do the work through the music. We have songs with great lyrical content. As Tim Riley once said, let the music soften the heart so it will be more receptive to the Gospel (my paraphrase)… By all means, open and close in prayer. Make it an evening of Spiritual significance. But do not preach!


  41. Jim Luckett wrote:

    Great post JEB! Especially the last paragraph. Let the holy spirit deal with hearts through the music.
    There’s nothing better than good preaching, but I go to hear the music at a SG concert. Testimonies from the singers? Sure, why not. If it appears to be sincere, it gives me a greater appreciation of what they’re doing.
    And Michael, I would gladly pay $30 a ticket to see and hear a good live band!

  42. Dean Adkins wrote:

    I don’t intend to speak for John Crenshaw (who is a fine Christian gentleman) but I believe that Michael - in comment #36 - described John’s intent. Those of us who have been around this genre for many years can recall a 45 minute set by an artist (or group) that included 4 songs and the remainder was preaching (and not good preaching).
    Note to John C — I never intended to “throw you under the bus.” LOL!

  43. Michael Booth wrote:

    Ok fellas

    I have a serious question. What do you consider “preaching”?

    After reading all of your replies I get a sence
    that some of you consider a lot of talking preaching??

    If someone takes 50 words to set up a song by quoting Scripture with a connection to the message of the song… is
    that preaching??

    Another thought… at the second half of a concert when the message is presented, could you guys not stay around to pray for others salvation? Or, help talk to someone that the singers couldn’t get to that showed some indication of being moved by the message?

    You see guys, there is plenty of work to be done each night and for the sake of the Gospel and peoples salvation you can contribute. The Great Commision is for all believers and it is not a request by God. Boy it sure is a privelge to tell someone about Christ. Hope you guys feel the same.

    Michael Booth

  44. David wrote:

    I think most groups need to guard against being ravaged instead of ravished, Shane(and Bill).

  45. Joe wrote:

    We must never forget that music is neither a gift nor a ministry, as defined in the NT. But instead, the Bible has clearly stated that God has chosen, “through the foolishness of preaching, to save them which believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).

    If Tim Riley or any other exercised singer can preach a 5-minute gospel message between songs and reach one soul for heaven, who has already been spoken to through the words of the music, then he should.

    And JEB- I’m truly sorry you consider that an “abuse” of “your” time and money. Who allowed you your time? Who provided for you that money? How perfectly self-centered and egotistical that statement was. Your personal universe is exceptionally miniscule.

    Here’s what to do, next time you have given of your time and heard-earned cash to go to a SGM concert, and someone begins to preach the gospel to the unsaved, and begins “abusing” you….

    Either pray that your Savior will find some poor sinner sitting there on their way to destruction, or instead sit there quietly and humbly yourself, thanking God over and over that He ever allowed the Savior to find YOU.

    Amen, Michael Booth!

  46. John Crenshaw wrote:

    Dear friends,

    I’d like to thank you all for giving me my fifteen minutes of fame!

    I’ve been writing a monthly article on the SGM Radio web site for a couple of years now, and its never gotten as many hits as it has this week. For this, I’m grateful.

    Let me encourage you to check it out every month. I attempt to entertain my readers with a wide variety of subjects including gospel music, recent concerts, church happenings, and life in general. I attempt to make them relevant, rather short, and hopefully humorous.

    Most of my long-time (or long-suffering) readers know that I try not to take myself too seriously, and love to interject humor into my writing. If you know me, you’ve figured it out by now.

    I “borrowed” the title of my article from some old-time gospel personalities. Although I may not care for something, I may still be in the minority for “nobody likes it but the people”!

    I hope you’ll tune in again next month and maybe I’ll say something else that, depending on your outlook on the subject, will either bring a smile to your face or place a burr under your saddle.


  47. mboothsfluffybuddy wrote:


    # 43 The best thing ever written on this site. While I don’t think a group should sing 4 songs and preach for the rest of the time…your recent approach is the right way. Sing just as much as ever but add scripture and present the gospel like you have been doing the last few months.

    As for the rest of us believers…We SHOULD be praying during that time. A perfect example of this was at our concert together recently….a lady in our church led 2 to christ while we were on stage! I did not find that out till a few days later! If you remember ….you felt like you missed it that night?

    We never know……

  48. Zack Swain wrote:

    I know I don’t post on here much, But I couldn’t sit around and be silent on this one. As an artist my self, I know I could never go anywhere with out presenting the opportunity for someone to come to know Jesus as their personal savior. Now granted I’m not a big name artist or a house hold name and probably never will be. I PERSONALLY believe that being an artist out there takes a calling upon your life. and those of us who have truly been called will find a way to present the gospel in venues all over the world. I have no problem with being entertained at a gospel concert but I feel as for my self I have been called to a ministry, and I will do just that. Minister. Like I said. These are my personal feelings. You don’t have to agree. Just stating my mind.

  49. Bones wrote:

    Since Rosie died we can’t hear him sing. You can stay home and not listen to Ernie or anyone else sing. You won’t hear any talking either. Stay home. Don’t go to the NQC, hate everyone, everything and feel sorry for yourself. It’s all about you.

  50. JEB wrote:

    #45 Joe - I must respond…

    I spent the evening with the Booth Brothers and Legacy Five. WOW, what an evening. Great ministry and great sharing and great music!

    Abusing my time is a 2-1/2 hour solo concert with Michael English three years ago - and there were eight songs. EIGHT… I took 12 people and was greatly disappointed. The singing was good, but there were only EIGHT songs… 150 minutes total - 30 minutes of singing - two hours of either rambling or preaching. Never again would I pay money for that abuse.

    There is a promoter in Winston-Salem (I do not remember his name…) that has a minister to deliver a sermon at every concert. It is part of the program. If I go to one of his concerts - I know there is going to be a sermon. That is OK…

    What I don’t want is to pay money for singing - and get the sermon. I think you know what I am talking about.

    Surely on averyfineline one can be very honest if not a little sarcastic to make a point.

    Blessed after a night of BB & L5…


    PS: By the way - if interested, Gus Gaches (Mike Lefevre QT / Priority) was singing tenor with L5 tonight. He was superb. Hope he winds up with the job.

  51. yeah... wrote:

    Michael Booth, I wonder if you haven’t hit the proverbial nail on the head? I love to hear the Gospel, in any way that it’s given. But…it unnerves me to see and hear what I feel is a human being trying to manufacture the visitation of the Spirit. When He is there present, and moving, it’s a powerful thing. Very few true Christians will ever get upset with that, even at a Gospel concert. When it appears to be a hoped-for, manufactured “moment”, it’s awkward and turns some people off. So perhaps it’s those times that have provoked many of these comments.

    Still, your point is well-taken concerning the last two verses of Matthew’s Gospel. As we’re moving about the world, we’re to make disciples. Period. And, to assume that every person attending a concert is “part of the choir” seems a stretch to me. I say - keep on doing what you are. It might be one major reason why the Lord is blessing you guys as He is. Oh, and the music’s pretty fantastic too!

  52. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #50: Bet that Gus with them made for a good sound. I’m assuming Frank wasn’t there; I know he’s staying on until they find someone for the job.

    I know that one of the guys that tried out fills in for Priority when Gus is unable to be there. Either one of those two would be good for the job.

  53. JEB wrote:

    #52 Aaron - Gus would be a perfect addition in my opinion. They sang “I Found Grace” for their second or third song - a real test for any L5 tenor. In fact, I’ve not heard them sing that song in years. Gus has a rich tenor voice. GREAT potential addition.

    And no - I did not see Frank and do not think he was there.


  54. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #53: Gus is one of those full-voice tenors that I’m a very big fan of. I agree that he would be a great addition; it would make for a very full sound.

  55. DP wrote:

    We have one or two concerts a month at our church. 21 for the year by the time we get to Dec. 09. All are full time professional groups. There are times that some groups try to “force” the Holy Spirit to make an appearance, but let me dwell on 2 concerts that we flat out had church. The first was Triumphant. They are typically more on the entertainment side (nothing wrong with that!) but the Spirit showed up in a mighty way that night. Eric did a great job of calling the right songs at the right time and the testimony at the end was real and heartfelt. People are still talking about that night from a few months back. Then - a few weeks ago, The Perry’s came to town. Wow - I have never felt a movement of the Spirit at a concert like that. Both Tracy and Libbi spoke / testified / preached(?) for a few minutes a time or two, but it was the songs…. Great songs sung by annointed singers. From the first song - God showed up and after the concert, no one wanted to leave! When Joseph H. sang Almost Morning and If You Knew Him, the place came unglued. I’m not pentecostal, but I came close to having a runnin’ spell! All that to say: The gospel was presented in a mighty way. When it comes down to it, we have to do whatever it takes to win people to Christ. Finding the right mix of singing and testifying is difficult I am sure, but we can tell the difference between when a group is forcing the issue or when the Holy Spirit is in control. When God is in charge of the program, you can’t go wrong!

  56. quartet-man wrote:

    #52 Would that be Nathaniel Justice?

  57. truckstopdinner wrote:

    GUS=Best tenor of all time,He can fit with anybody, and makes the best better. By the way have you met my friend Avery:)

  58. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #56: I think so. I do know his first name is Nathaniel; not sure about the last name.

  59. lovelife wrote:

    Hate, sure is a harsh word!

  60. quartet-man wrote:

    #58 I heard him fill in with them in Indiana. They said he is a Hoosier.I never realized why he was filling in or that it was for more than one date.

  61. apathetic wrote:

    “8. Sunday School songs. (Yeah. Like EVERYONE is going to relate to the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I guess it’s okay if your demographic is a group of theologians and you don’t mind them pointing out that the rest of your song is Biblically inaccurate)” Hilarious.

    I strongly agree with the live band concept. Funny how “back in the day” every pro group could afford a live band, but no one can afford it now. A lot of today’s great musicians cut their teeth in a live SG band. I.E. Kelly Back, etc. Why does this model no longer work?

  62. John Crenshaw wrote:

    #38 AnnD and #59 lovelife . . . just wanted you to know that I never used the word “hate” in my article. I don’t care for that word, either.

  63. lovelife wrote:

    John, I read your article and I know you didn’t use “hate”,but, changing 1 word sure changes the sound and meaning….Doesn’t it? Thanks.

  64. Tyler wrote:

    Go Michael Booth!

  65. Terry M wrote:

    Randy… my thoughts EXACTLY. Good post!

  66. Alan Kendall wrote:

    I suppose that the mentality of presenting the gospel is different things to different groups/singers. We from the Melody Boys have normally kept our program to solely music, usually with our tenor singer’s testimony followed by “Broken Vessels” at the end, which makes for a powerful moment. I don’t believe any of our group would claim to be masters at preaching, so we try to take care of the singing end best we can, and leave our fans/friends filled with encouragement, and the joy that comes with being a Christian. When Tim Williams follows up with the testimony of his son, we have truly seen some very moving moments in our concerts. Many of the groups in our business know their fans and know what works for them.

    I will say this for Michael Booth. Being the master emcee that he is, intersperses his comedy with his sincerity so well that many people greatly get something out of what he says. Often when he gives his “mini-sermons”, he is really sharing the gospel while being very entertaining at the same time. The same applies for other emcees like Randy Shelnut and Gerald Wolfe. Different things to different groups.

    Then I’ve seen today’s Florida Boys leave their crowds beyond happy following an evening of great singing and a lot of lighthearted comedy. No preaching found there, but I’ve seen people young and old fall in love with those guys and with the gospel music they presented. Different things to different groups.

    Hovie preached. JD made us laugh. George spoke from his heart and told funny stories on Glen. Tim Riley testified. Les Beasley always surprised us with his quick wit and timing. Hamill kept us on our toes. All of these styles worked and all of these emcees brought their groups to the forefront of gospel music.

    I, like Michael, believe John to be criticizing the “manufactured” moments that are attempted to be created on the stage each night. Those I am not real fond of.

    Constant prayer will probably change things the most when it comes to us as gospel groups serving our part in the great commission. We never know what good we may accomplish that we never see from the stage. Every group has their unique style (or should), and it’s just a joy to be in a business where we can not only enjoy singing, but enjoy singing music that just happens to be about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  67. AnnD wrote:

    And I didn’t read “hate” in your article, either, John…..I just took the opportunity to vent a little about something that pushes a button of annoyance :), didn’t realize it was posted close to your article.

  68. gagurl777 wrote:

    It seems to me that you just go to concerts for a good entertainment. A southern gospel MINISTRY is not about ENTERTAINMENT. It’s about traveling throughout the country to reach a lost and dying world. If you don’t like the way concerts are performed or if it bugs you to hear the word of God then go to Joel O’steen’s church and let him tickle your ear of how happy and prosperous your life can be. God has called many southern gospel artists to do a work for Him and after all that He has done for all of us… I for one feels like He does deserve a hand! If you can’t appreciate a small child on stage that loves to sing for the Lord then let that be your intermission. And the reason why so many artists are using tracks are because people have let the southern gospel industry go to the dogs. No one cares about the fact that it costs money to have a live band. The people that complain about the missing instruments are the first ones to pull out the good ole George Washingtons when it comes time to take up an offering.

  69. IVP wrote:

    There`s no alter call at a “Homecoming Concert”

  70. Michael McIlwain wrote:

    You are correct, IVP. I’ve been blessed at every Homecoming Concert I’ve ever attended.

    As an associate pastor who leads musical worship I can say that songs are great teaching tools to communicate a message. A well-crafted song stays with you and helps you to remember the truth communicated in the lyric.

  71. jd wrote:

    gold city got a bass yet?

  72. AAron wrote:

    I went to a Carmen concert years ago & he gave an invitation and people poured out of the stands like a Billy Graham event.

  73. sgnsider wrote:

    #32, Bryce

    Fail. Sorry to shatter your illusion.

  74. Rod Black wrote:

    To paraphrase J.D Sumner….”just sing the dang songs”

  75. Melvin Klaudt wrote:

    Think about this!! Having been in SGM for almost 60 years either directly or indirectly, and having been in the real estate and construction industry for over 40 years, the world talks more about HELL and JESUS CHRIST than the christian community does. The name of Jesus and Hell is misused and said more than you hear many times in SG concerts and churches. Why do we get offended if it is used in SGM concerts? Just an observation.

  76. Susan Abernathy wrote:

    Who in God’s name put the Diplomats on the front cover of the Singing News?????
    What has Singing News come to??? They are the biggest disgrace to Gospel Music.

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