Thanksgiving open thread

Happy Thanksgiving. Here are a few items that didn’t rise to the level of their own post but might help seed some holiday discussion:

  • Via reader DJ, a Christmas album recommendation: pianist Chris Dawson’s Stridin’ Through Christmas, a stride-style take on some xmas standards. iTunes has the teaser clips, of course, and here’s a fuller length clip of the artist covering Fats Waller’s “Handful of Keys.” Nothing that will shift the plate tectonics as far as Christmas music is concerned, but a pleasant, tasteful, nonshchlocky take on some standards all the same.
  • Have you been asking all your friends and neighbors: do you have any idea when, where, and how I can see a rebroadcast of the 2005 Singing Fan Awards? I know! Me too! Well, dear readers, our wait is over.
  • Via Daniel Mount, Garry Jones is allegedly reviving what sounds like a Mercy’s Mark lite for some select dates and Jay Parrack is involved. And Jerry Goff is reuniting the Singing Goffs (if you’ve forgotten what they sounded like, this clip, starting around the 1′40″ mark, is a pretty decent reminder … Gerald Wolfe in his 20s imitating Goff in his 50s also turned out to be a pretty decent imitation of Wolfe himself in his 40s and also: someone should cover “Jesus Will Never Say No.” Seriously).
  • Attendance at Dollywood’s southern gospel is up 40% year over year (h/t, L).

See you next week.

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  1. Robert York wrote:

    “■Attendance at Dollywood’s southern gospel is up 40% year over year ”

    This being the case do you think it was because of the Singing News Fan Awards being there this year? Was it because they added more shows to their October lineup? or what do you think brought increase in attendance?
    Personally I would like to see Singing News Fan Awards continue at Dollywood. We were there and thought the ceremony was a lot better than it has been at NQC.

  2. Kyle wrote:

    One could make an argument for a drinking game while listening to that Singing News Fan Awards show. For group member that is no longer with the group they were nominated with, take a shot. My guess is that you wouldn’t make it past the first 20 minutes before passing out….

  3. irishlad wrote:

    #2 Haha good one,i enjoy a scoop as much as the next man,but THAT scenario would be too much…Haha again.

  4. Tommy wrote:

    So the Anchormen have made another change by bringing in a former member. As some know, the entire group quit a few years back due to problems with the owner Tim Bullins. He went out and convinced a local group called Chapter 4 to come on and change their name. The owner of that group had to give up ownership and work for Tim. Keith was responsible for booking most of there dates and keeping the group alive. While this may be a good mover for the “group”, it is a low move. Keith kept them alive by bringing his group over and this is how is he paid back. This is a good example of how some artists will lie through their teeth to make their horrible actions seem like a good thing.

  5. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Yeah, I can just see myself sitting on the edge of my seat wondering who is going to win.

  6. Christine wrote:

    I am curious to know if anyone else, besides me and another pastor friend, has had an encounter or booked a concert with Eller Promotions? I welcome any feedback and thoughts…

  7. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Thanks for the “Handful Of Keys” link, by the way. It made my day.

  8. Irishlad wrote:

    ….5# falling off your seat more like :)

  9. N. Watkins wrote:

    Just heard the Lefevre Quartet tonight. Mike Allen is their bass singer (great addition in my opinion)… What happened to Inman?

  10. Irishlad wrote:

    EVERYONE ON FACEBOOK go to Gerald Wolf’s latest status to see what happened to an unsuspecting public at lunchtime in a food-mall somewhere in Americana.

  11. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #9: Was he just filling in or did they announce him as the official bass singer? I know he’s filled in a few times for them.

  12. Concerned Artist wrote:

    Church staff and sound engineers: when you have an artist in your church, either allow them to set up their own sound system, or tie into yours. And if by chance the artist has no choice but to use your church’s system, please do not change the settings after the artists have walked off. It is very irritating to walk on stage and have your mics turned off, and the monitor mix changed. Many times, this is the artist’s first impression on the audience. It can make or break how the audience perceives the artist. And for your info.. The artist does not care about your television mix for broadcast. The viewers at home will not be buying the CDs at the product table after service. We artists understand your church may not like loud volumes or irritating frequencies, so kindly let us know your church’s preferences and we can always adjust to your needs! So please do the artists a favor… Let us set up!

  13. Robert York wrote:

    N. Watkins: Think Keith Inman got a big promotion on his job and he isn’t able to travel and sing now.

  14. N. Watkins wrote:

    He was introduced as “our bass singer”. Nothing was said except that. Thanks York.

  15. Aaron Swain wrote:

    Thanks, Mr. York, for the info. Keith was a terrific bass, but Mike Allen is just as good. I’ve long said that he’s one of the most underrated bass singers out there, so it’s good to see him with a group.

  16. LarryS wrote:

    To Concerned Artist -

    As a minister of music, I can’t imagine the “freedom” some pastors and music ministers exercise when it comes to guest artists and sound systems.

    Having been on both sides of this issue, I understand both sides. However, I completely agree - if you have certain parameters you wish to work within, consult with the artist BEFORE set-up.

    We had an group in our church who, according to them, has been called the “loudest group in gospel music”. I don’t know about that, but I DO know that last time they were with us, I got a couple of complaints during the break. I politely told the one lady that the group set up and ran their own sound, and that I wasn’t going to tell them to turn it down. BTW, I would’ve told her the same thing even if they had patched into our house.

    I know you can’t please everyone, but the best approach is to have really good communication from the start. Fewer misunderstandings or unmet expectations that way, from both sides.

  17. irishlad wrote:

    Re: mike allen and the le fevre qt; what became of the prophets,i thought he was their bass? I know mike gets a regular gig with bill and the homecomers,but I think at heart he enjoys nothing more than singing with a regular qt…think phil cross etc, also it seems professional singing is his vocation rather than ‘double jobbing’.

  18. weber wrote:

    #4 Sounds like they got ” Blackwooded” speakin of, has anyone heard who the new tenor is?

  19. Doug Sword wrote:

    I have been waiting for an open thread to post this.

    There has been a lot of back and forth about how Ernie Haase and Signature Sound related to their fans. Some seems to view them as arrogant while others have a better impression.

    Recently, my wife and I took our grandaughters to an EHSS concert. During the intermission, my grandaughters went to Doug Anderson. He took two of their latest photos and autographed it for them. He spent a great deal of time with them. Tim and Devin were equally gracious to them. Finally they went to Ernie. My youngest asked him to sing her favorite song, “Someday”. He explained to her that he couldn’t do it. Then he knelt down beside her and sang it for her.

    In my over fifty years of attending Gospel concerts, I have never seen a group extend themselves to the extent that EHSS did. Their kindness have cemented my grandchildres love of Southern Gospel Music.

  20. Debbie Cornett wrote:

    Here’s a link to a nice little story about former Blackwood Brothers tenor Bill Shaw.

    Keep on singing, Bill!

  21. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    I’ve never adjusted a volume for any crabby old lady, although I have faked adjustments to appease crabby old ladies, and that seems to work fine.

    Old people: vote with your feet or your pocketbook. Otherwise, shut up. No one is listening to your complaining anyway. Probably because the artists can’t hear you over the music.

  22. quartet-man wrote:

    #21 A friend of mine did just that in a concert he did the sound on. The singer and her friend told him to turn it up or down (I can’t remember which). He turned a knob that really didn’t do anything and asked “how’s that?” They said it was better. LOL.

  23. Hector Luna wrote:

    “fakin” the sound adustments never fails.

  24. cynical one wrote:

    Several days ago I saw on another sgm website an article about Sarah Palin’s new tv show.

    What in the world does that have to do with sgm? She didn’t appear on a sgm program. She didn’t have a quartet on her show. I didn’t watch it myself, but no mention has been made that she promoted sgm (or anything about the Gospel, for that matter).

    Do you think that site just wanted to use their platform to promote Palin?

    PS. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful Bristol finally got kicked off DWTS. ;-)

  25. GH wrote:

    #22, that trick works everytime. I love it and use it often. Amazing how much it works.

  26. LarryS wrote:

    You know what? I know the “faking” adjustments trick works - but I won’t do it. I don’t like giving the impression that we’ll make whatever changes that just anybody deems is appropriate.

    The music in our church is loud (not damaging, mind you). I don’t apologize for that. I got a few complaints for a little while, but 2-3 complaints a month out of 400 people a week is acceptable to me (and to my pastor, more importantly). I’m not going to change the approach I take based on a couple of people not liking it.

    Now, one of the people that complained has started wearing earplugs. He feels that our church is the church for him, and he made an adjustment that made it work for him.

    To my knowledge, we haven’t “lost” anyone due to the volume. It is what it is. I know we’re not the church for everybody, and that’s okay. But if you like it loud and you wanna feel it - we may be your church!

  27. Robert York wrote:

    Music too loud for you, we got ear plugs for sale back at the ticket table.

  28. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #18: If you’re talking about the Blackwood Quartet, their new tenor is Mike Helwig. I saw them in concert last Friday and it was his very first night with them, and he did a great job. He has sung with The Torchmen, The Stamps, and The Homesteaders.

  29. Ken Grady wrote:

    Michael Helwig also sang with The Wilburns at the end of their run. He is an incredible singer and a strong presence on stage.

  30. JR wrote:

    #19: My kids also love EHSS, and would rather listen to them than any other gospel group. They love watching their videos over any other Gaither video.

  31. Aachen1720 wrote:

    What happened to Chris West? Gold City if Tim steps down again?

  32. Andrew S. wrote:

    #28 (Aaron Swain)- The Homesteaders are now known as the Williamsons. Michael is actually on their latest cd that released approximately 6 months ago. Do you know of a replacement?

  33. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #32: That’s true; I keep forgetting about the name change.

    As far as a replacement, your guess is as good as mine. I didn’t even know he had gone to the Blackwood Quartet till around Thursday or Friday.

  34. Rev. Al wrote:

    I saw the Oak Ridge Boys several years ago in concert. It was right after they transitioned to country. They were rockin it out - but there were several old ladies who came expecting Smitty Gatlin. After about 5 songs - a little old lady walked down to the stage and stood there until the Oaks finished that song. Duane Allen knelt down and talked to the lady. Then he stood up and announced to the crowd that this sweet lady wants us to turn it down and sing some gospel songs. So - they pretended to turn it down and they sang two acappella gospel songs - Burdens are Lifted at Calvary and Life’s Railway. Afterwards - they went back to their planned agenda. It was first class. He handled that old woman with such respect and dignity.

  35. Andrew S. wrote:

    #33(Aaron Swain)- Ahh.. Thanks for the info!

  36. LS wrote:

    Mike Helwig? He was all excited about joining the Music City Trio when I talked to him at NQC! Can’t everybody just stay put for a little while?!

  37. Irishlad wrote:

    #36Music City Trio who? that’s a new one on me,fill me in Aaron/LS.

  38. Irishlad wrote:

    Everything i love about American musical showmanship has just revealed itself to me in all its spectacular glory in the person of Kim Collingsworth.Only i had procrastinated in cracking open a recent Gaither DVD i would have discovered this phenomenon of the keyboards sooner.Sometimes being a diehard “quartet man” has its Joe Bonsall said “you have to watch out for those family groups”.

  39. Tommy wrote:

    I heard from a friend of mine that Mike Allen was only filling in with the LeFevre Qt. They are looking for someone but he didnt take the job. I dont think they do enough dates to keep guys. I would like to see him back with a group. He is incredible.

  40. Ken Grady wrote:

    #32, 33 David Folenius is the new lead singer for The Williamsons. Michael Helwig does sing on their newest CD, which features several excellent songs written by Lisa Williamson.

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