Open thread

A slow week, no? Or maybe it’s just my near total immersion in footnotes that’s blinding me to everything else in the world. Anyway, let’s see what we missed.

  • The more or less complete NQC schedule is  out (h/t, Burke). I just scanned it very quickly so I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of interesting tea leaves to be read, but two things did stand out: no McKameys on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, and the Song of a Lifetime showcase is back.  I was at the first one of these showcases and was never as blown away as Phil Cross told us (over and over in countless emails) we should have been  but whatever. I’m not the target audience for this stuff. Still: how many songs of a lifetime - a lifetime, mind you - can there be for a writers out there in the sg world, really? At some point, this concept is going to lose its valence.
  • Scott Fowler is putting his weight behind a new group called the Freedom Singers, who seem to be leveraging their debut heavily on having fled Romania in search of religious freedom and undergone some pretty extreme ordeals in the process. I think I see why Fowler is backing them, but also I think these guys got some bad advice  from whoever told them the best way to tell their story was to hit the road as singers. As one reader put it in comments: “No disrespect to their story, but once you’ve heard it, and the singing doesn’t cut the muster, how many would actually go see them again?”

What else?

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  1. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Regarding the group from Romania, it’s their story that is the draw.

    For an extreme example, see David Ring. He can captivate an audience of thousands with his story, then he sings “Victory In Jesus” in his halting voice. I can’t remember any of the details of his story, but I sure can remember when he sang and no one laughed, even though 95% of the audience was high school age students.

    If this trio can find a way to effectively communicate their story, people will want to hear them sing as well. If they just come out and try to sing like an ordinary Southern Gospel group does, I don’t expect too many people will want to go hear them again.

    See America’s Got Talent for some good examples. It’s not a talent show, even though some of the acts are very talented. It’s a competition to see whose story can capture the imagination of people who care enough to vote. That’s why you see a couple of little kids break dancing getting more votes than an accomplished singer or an impressive dance routine done by adults.

  2. JB wrote:

    Just heard the Browders went #1 in Singing News!

  3. Rwsg wrote:

    #2- I heard the song was performed by the gentleman in the wheelchair, and it’s titled, “I’m gonna stroll down the streets of Gold” lol. I wonder who is the money machine behind this local group?

  4. Andrew S. wrote:

    #2- And looking at its positions on past charts, it’ll probably be the #1 for the year. It’s a great song, but I don’t understand why it had to have a 44 (?) second intro. Any explanations, anyone??

  5. LS wrote:

    #4…The radio edit of “Message of the Cross” has only a :17 intro; the CD version has a longer intro because…well, just because that’s what they wanted to do.

    #3…You are NOT as clever as you think you are! The song features Sonya Browder, Matthew’s wife. Before you make fun of them, you should listen to the project. I admit that I’m not a big fan of their dad’s singing, so I usually skip over his feature, but the rest of it is great! They earned this #1 with a marvelous song. No “money machine” had anything to do with it.

  6. Rwsg wrote:

    I’m not trying to be cleaver. And I’m aware that the female has the lead on the song. But don’t be so blinded to think that just having a great song justifies a spot in the number one position. Politics and money run this business. Real solid talent with great songs have long eluded this business. Other than Gaither, SG is not represented on any MAJOR media outlets, partly due to the monopoly created by various SG personalities, in order to secure their own groups/artists success. You wanna play with the Big Dogs? Buy enough stock in the NQC, (sky line boys), pay one of the major record labels and secure your spots, (Calvarys voice, the Crist Family, etc…) or suck up to the other groups and and industry insiders and put on concerts non stop to help the big boys secure dates and watch how they scratch your back to get you on the cover of the SN, and on main stage, ( Diplofats). These are the facts and I pity those who are blinded by the good ole boy payment system. Now I’m just gonna sit back and wait for the “others” to get on here and justify their cause. But believe me, this isn’t so hard to figure out, once you’ve seen the inner workings. By the way, go check under many (not all) of the group’s bunks, and you will see the only Godly thing they have to truly offer is their song lyrics. I promise it won’t be a Bible that you will find!

  7. Andrew S. wrote:

    LS (#5)- If you’re going to edit the intro for radio, why not just start out w/ a 17 second intro instead of making music consumers listen to a person hit 3-4 notes on the piano for 46 seconds??

    And considering who was promoting, I would be lead to think there was a moneybag behind it. He’s pulled this thing off before.. I just hope they stick around unlike some others who’ve gone #1 and didn’t.

  8. LS wrote:

    #7…There was less “promotion” than you’d think, at least based on what I saw. I believe this might have been the rare case of a great song rising on its own merits! And don’t worry, the Browders aren’t going to disappear. I met Matthew at least ten years ago; his heart is, and always has been, in the ministry side of this whole thing. The #1 is wonderful and I’m thrilled for them, but it’s not their reason for singing.

  9. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Today is the last day to vote in the Artists Of The Decade poll.

    I just deleted 20 duplicate votes from the same person. We now have a tie for the leading position in the 2000s…the group that WAS leading the 2000s is now down precisely 20 votes, so you can guess what group they were trying to help. That group is now in third place…feel free to go ahead and guess and I’ll tell you tonight when the poll is over.

    There’s another close race for first in the 1970s between two groups. The group that was leading before I deleted the duplicate votes from someone who manages to live in 20 different cities at the same time is still leading. I think they were voting for random groups in the decades other than the 2000s, so it wouldn’t look too suspicious…didn’t work!

    The 1980s and 1990s races are not close at all, but there is a rather tight race for second place in the 1990s.

    If you HAVEN’T voted already, be sure to get your vote in before midnight Eastern Daylight Time tonight. Thanks for your participation, but please, limit your votes to ONE per household.

  10. dontkikamoocow wrote:

    Mike and Loreen Payne are settling in to pastor a church. Also some link to their website and some ancient, yet entertaining videos.

  11. JB wrote:

    #8…I must disagree with you on that one. I work at a charting station and I was beat up daily by Rick Hendrix…from post cards, emails, fax, calls. You would think he was running an election.

    #7 I agree with you, Hendrix has done this before and I know of one group in particular that just disappeared after the fact

  12. Andrew S. wrote:

    11- He actually wrote that artist’s song in addition to the other artist’s song he pushed that happened to hit #1. Neither group has seen the Top 10 since. I’ll say that I’m annoyed that he does that..b/c it makes the radio charts look cheap. But I suppose that’s the politics side of SG.

  13. quartet-man wrote:

    #9 DBM I hate that someone feels the need to cheat and lie to try to artificially have their favorites or perhaps their own group (although in this case I doubt it) rise to the top. My thinking was if it doesn’t happen on its own fair and square, then it isn’t good to have happen. What good is it to win a race you cheated on? Well, I suppose in the case of groups pulling that stuff, the tangible rewards might be something desired, as well as bragging rights and perhaps increased income would get them something, but it doesn’t buy them the fan support and popularity the top would indicate.

    Shame on anyone who would want to lie and cheat to get to or get someone they wanted to get to the top. Even if my favorites don’t win, doesn’t mean I don’t like them better or in my mind they didn’t deserve to get there. If more people don’t see it my way than others, then that just means they have less good taste. ;) Okay, I put a joke in there, but I am ticked that someone is cheating even if it is for the same people I voted for. What happened to honesty and fair play? Their winning steals from those who would have won and those people voting for that person. Shame on them.

  14. SaraBeth wrote:

    Okay…let’s see…The Freedom Singers entered Canada illegally but that’s okay because they’re white and from Romania, right? I wonder if they would be so embraced (and endorsed) if their skin was brown and they were from Mexico.

  15. Andrew S. wrote:

    Great post, quartet-man. My sentiments as well. I’d do that.. Only for the Perrys; but I don’t have the lack of honesty that that nobody had. I couldn’t do that anyways, b/c the Perrys didn’t make it to the final competition.. sadly enough.

  16. quartet-man wrote:

    Thanks, Andrew. It looks like I could have taken a few more breaths and added a few more periods.;) I stand by the sentiments though.

    As far as the Perrys, I wouldn’t have voted them as artists of the decade because I don’t think they were tops in even the largest part of the decade.

    However, they did some good stuff before Harris left and their most recent CD is great. It is one of the best total albums for quite a while. There is only one song on it that I generally skip. It isn’t bad, just not my cup of tea.

    I think they are a great group and really with all due respect to the Hoppers, Greenes and Talleys (whom I all like) are my favorite mixed group currently.

  17. Menendez wrote:

    #6 - ” Diplofats ” - LOL

  18. copperhill wrote:

    I went to see Gold City last night (7/16) in Hattiesburg, MS at Heritage United Methodist Church. This is a very large–and beautiful– church and people were hanging from the rafters. The sanctuary pews were full, the balcony was full, chairs had been placed along the side walls and in the back and in every other available square yard of sanctuary floor space, as well as in the vestibule behind the open double doors.

    I’m not a good estimator of crowd size but the Associate Pastor said it was the largest attendance the church had ever seen for any occasion. It appeared to me to be at least a couple hundred more than for a Perrys concert in April that I attended there.

    I am a newer Gold City fan, having become “hooked” from the Youtube video that I linked to from this site, featuring the current “new” lineup performing One Scarred Hand at their very first performance together (after one day of practice). So I do not have any nostalgia for former GC lineups as many long time sg fans have. Based on what I’ve seen on YouTube and heard on the “Best of” CD though, I prefer the current lineup to any of the ones in the so-called “glory days” of Gold City.

    Bruce Talifaro’s voice has an “edge” to it–not unlike Michael English and Jason Crabb, who are two of my other favorite singers. My favorite song featuring Bruce was I’m Not Giving Up. He can tear that song up!

    They closed out the night with Preach the Word featuring Josh Cobb and to me this ranks right up there with Josh’s solo of Satisfied. He got the 2 biggest standing O’s of the night.

    Bottom line– Gold City is currently, hands down, my favorite quartet. They displayed such energy and had an air of confidence about them–much more so than when I saw them in February for a 4 or 5 song set. I had also seen them a couple of months ago without Roy Webb and I was struck by what a difference he makes.

    The one thing I could have done without was references to Fox News to elicit applause and mild President bashing that elicited laughter from the audience. I do wish they would have a little more consideration for their fans (apparently **very** few of us in number and considered expendable) who do not share their politics. I know what they are . . . just don’t talk about them.

  19. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    The results of the poll are in:

  20. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    I’m assuming it’s just the work of one or two overzealous fans.

    I said I’d give more details on the repeat voters. I had someone (or possibly a couple of people) who cast 25 votes for Ernie Haase & Signature Sound in the 2000s section. In the other sections of the poll, they mixed it up to try to throw me off the scent.

    I’m not going to say why I was able to realize it was the same person. I may want to do another poll later on, and it’s good to keep my methods of detection to myself!

    If I hadn’t noticed what was going on, though, it would have made enough difference that EHSS would have won rather than finishing behind the GVB and the Booth Brothers.

  21. rusty wrote:

    All you people on here (quartet-man) are just wannabe singers who can’t hack it in the big leagues! Get a life! You suck……get over it!

  22. Andrew S. wrote:

    And what gives you the ability to say that, 21??

  23. Andrew S. wrote:

    Sorry, #20.

  24. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    #20 wrote “you people,” so THWAP!!!

    Ah, that brings back memories (that none of you get, I know). I just had to do that for myself. I feel better now! :o)

  25. Michael McIlwain wrote:

    Why would you say such a thing. Q-man is a true musician who leads God’s people in worship every week. He knows music and is very talented. He also loves gospel music and supports it by passing along his love for it by using it in the church where he serves. Q-man is a good guy.

  26. DRL wrote:

    #21, Rusty, at the risk of feeding the trolls ….. I never realized that there IS a “big league” in southern gospel before. (Unless your last name starts with G and rhymes with Gaither, that is.) Perhaps you could enlighten me as to where this big league is to be found, so that I, a useless “wannabe singer” (something else I never knew) could start trying to hack it there.

  27. quartet-man wrote:

    #21 What in the world brought that on? What did I say or do to get such ire?
    Are you the one who did the cheating? Or do you not like that I prefer the Perrys as the best mixed group followed by the Hoppers, Greenes, and Talleys? I just don’t get it.

  28. quartet-man wrote:

    #25, Thanks, Michael. I am puzzled why he attacked me unless he is the one who was messing with the numbers and didn’t like his sin being called out. That, or not liking my choice of mixed groups.

    Either way, neither were done out of some jealousy because I want to be an SG singer and can’t hack it. I don’t want to be a full time SG singer and there are definitely many in the field more talented at performing than I. I would be the first to say that.

  29. quartet-man wrote:

    Andrew, I am not sure which post you are referring to (”rusty’s” or David’s”).

  30. quartet-man wrote:

    Okay re-reading my comment, perhaps they didn’t like that I wouldn’t have voted Perry’s as the top artist of the decade. Well, that is my opinion. I think others deserved it more than them for the length of the entire decade. However, if the Perrys put out as good as albums as their most recent for a decade’s amount of time, they might be in the running.

    I like Almost Morning that much. Joseph has really come into being a great lead singer, Libbi is great on the alto / tenor, Troy does well n baritone and Tracy on bass.

    However, looking at the last decade, the GVB and others were more consistent over the whole decade. Agree or not that is my opinion based on the projects I heard, the tangible success seen etc. No harm was intended and no slight to the Perrys. I really like them. I hope to see them. Although I can appreciate Rusty liking them and defending them if that is the problem was, I disagree with the spirit in which it was done. Very hateful and to me not the way it should have been done.

  31. quartet-man wrote:

    Sorry for my horrible misuse of an apostrophe in the name above. I have sufficiently chastened myself. ;)

  32. Wade wrote:

    God I can’t believe some one tried to stack DBM Poll. Wonder what they’d do for a Singing News Fan Award!!! Call the FBI!!

  33. cynical one wrote:

    The voting irregularities in DBM’s poll brings to mind the 1971 Dove Awards. At least that was for a statue (or nine).

  34. Andrew S. wrote:

    #29 (quartet-man) - I had some wires to cross. My first one was right on to whom I was speaking; but I thought that I’d said that to David. That’s why I said, Sorry, #20. Or something like that. I’m sorry for the confusion.

    #32- What makes you think that it hasn’t happened in SN Fan Awards before?

  35. chuck stevens wrote:

    Speaking of Gold City, They should use Roy Webb more during their set. He is priceless on stage with his quick wit. I would love to see him go back and forth with Tim. Every Quartet needs some good comic relief on stage. I saw them in Tulsa at a church a few weeks back and he was as funny during the record plug as most people are during their entire show. When it comes to singing, they are spot on, and I look forward to their new recordings! I do wish the Band Of Gold would come back as well.

  36. Menendez wrote:

    You think they bought thier weigh onto the main stage? Yeah, that’s funny. I’m still laughing. The Sinning News, too. Yeah, right. UmHmm.

  37. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Rusty’s post used to be #20. Now it’s #21. I’m not sure whose was added later.

  38. JM wrote:

    I guess since this is an open thread it would be appropriate to note the passing of Doug Oldham. I first recall hearing Doug in the 70’s, when his concerts were largely composed of Bill Gaither’s early tunes. He was a great communicator and knew exactly how to present a song. The 70’s decade live album of Doug and the Speer Family still ranks high in my mind as among one of the best SGM live recordings. Thanks for the years of ministry, Doug! No more bad backs or wheelchairs; just a place in the heavenly choir!

  39. AAron wrote:

    #6 is right… exactly right.

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