Open thread

Non-bloggerly life doesn’t permit much more than a pop in to open window and create some room to breathe in here. Somewhere, I’ve got a list of open-thread roundups going, but they’ll have to wait for now. In the meantime, consider the floor yours.

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  1. JM wrote:

    Doug,

    Thanks so much for the opening. There is a question that has been on my mind for some time and I’d like to pose it to your posters: How has the SGM business been affected by current economic adjustments and business shifts?

    I know that many groups are finding it much harder, economically speaking. However, I’ve that sort of feedback for decades in SGM. Are current circumstances influencing groups to “turn over” emplyee rosters more or less often? Are we more or less likely to see groups “downsize” from quartets to trios to soloists? In order to capture a more “cutting edge” audience, are groups more or less likely to program increasingly toward CCM styles of music and presentations? Are groups more or less likely to take new risks in addressing their musical choices? Is the Gaither Homecoming concept the new paradigm of SGM presentations or does that concept live and die with BG? Is technology influencing how SGM is delivered to our audience or are we trapped in the 20th century? Is SGM actively attempting to discover its identity, post-Homecoming?

    I know there are a lot of questions here, but they sort of all tie together. The future is coming down the tracks; does SGM ride the train or get run over by the train? Just wondering what your wide variety of posters might think.

  2. BigC wrote:

    Would love to see a TV deal on this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iV2PTyKM4

  3. Randy wrote:

    JM, I’m not sure anyone can answer your questions. Posters can voice opinions, but the truth is: nobody knows. If there is a truth, though, it is that in more recent years, SG has definitely been “behind the times” as far as technology, marketing, style, and demographics go. There are those who will defiantly argue that I am wrong, but record sales, concert attendances, and popularity statistics will prove otherwise.

    As far as the effect of the economy on SG… Full-time groups have been filling up 135 gallon bus tanks and driving 1500 miles to play for 60 people for a $300 “Love Offereing” for years. And they’re STILL doing it! SG artists are evidently immune to the economy. Unfortunately, they are not immune to themselves and their failure to adapt to modern culture.

  4. baritonebob wrote:

    In my opinion, the Albert E. Brumley annual singing is slowing wilting away. As recent as 11 years ago, the promotion still stated that available seating was 13,000 with parking for 10,000 cars. 5 years ago the event was moved to Lebanon, Mo. with reported seating of 7,500 and just this year it was finally revealed that there are only 6,000 seats available each night in the Cowan County Civic Center. The promoter reports packed houses but all we have to do is look around and see numerous empty seats. Last Saturday night, quartet night, the Civic Center was just a little more than half full. Bob Brumley has hung around long enough to be chosen for the SGM Hall of Fame yet his own interest has been waning for the last several years. One year in particular, I witnessed him leaving the singing on Saturday night well before it was over. Jerry Kirksey hollered at him and stated in a surprised manner, “Are you leaving.” to which Mr. Brumley replied, “Yes, I am going to get on back up the road, Duane(Garren) can close it up.” He could’nt stay a total of 4 nights per year? We set in the stands night after night watching him wander aimlessly around while some really good music is taking place on stage. If THE promoter can’t remain interested, how can he expect the fans to even as they grow smaller in number every year?

  5. JM wrote:

    Randy,

    Agreed…and while none of us know the future, we ought to be able to make at least a few well informed conjectures about the shape of things to come.

    On certain levels, SGM has embraced changes in technology and what it can do to assist in delivering a more cost effective and professional sounding product. Many of the posters to this site rail against the use of tracks, vocal enhancement devices and other tools; but, in many cases, they certainly help groups sound better than they have any right to expect. Some artists have attempted to employ visual presentations of various types; these have been met with decidedly mixed reviews.

    You’ve brought up a great topic, Randy. Given advancements in technology, the cost to artists of transportation and the inability of SGM to depend on a certain revenue stream (apart from the success of the Gaither model), why haven’t more artists pursued web-based broadcasting opportunities for pay-per-view concerts? Or, even using the facilities of various Christian broadcasters for the same purpose; goodness knows, Christian broadcasters could use some fresh, interesting, modest cost programming.

    Sad as it is, it seems that SGM is a train wreck looking for a place to happen. Unfortunate that there seems to be such a lack of vision and an aversion to calculated risk.

  6. quartet-man wrote:

    It appears that Burman Porter is going to sing with the Dove Brothers again with the possibility of it being permanent.

  7. WOW! Look at this! wrote:

    This isn’t SGM related but its AMERICA related. They were on Fox & Friends this morning.

    It’s Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson and the group SIDEWINDER singing a cover of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep. WOW! She’s amazing!
    Check it out!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBaskRZDbNA

  8. Andrew S. wrote:

    #6- What happened to David Hester?

  9. irishlad wrote:

    Isn’t it just funny i mentioned Burman in a recent thread?

  10. irishlad wrote:

    Btw,that was funny curious not funny ha ha.
    I loved to hear him sing Operator,he has one of those melodic Bass voices you could listen to all night,like Tracy Stuffle or Keith Plott or Ken Turner,those guys know how to carry a tune.

  11. quartet-man wrote:

    #8, that I do not know.
    Laddy, yeah I thought of that when I heard. By the way, would you mention me and great riches? ;)

  12. irishlad wrote:

    11 Q-man,sure i’ll mention you in great riches, but waddya mean exactly??

  13. tommy jones wrote:

    I think Burman is a great bass. I just wish they would go back to singing traditional quartet music like they did when they first started. At that time, I felt they would become one of the all-time great SG quartets, but they changed directions. I guess it must be because of $$$$, although the best qts. are still not starving sticking with the type of singing that made SG music.

  14. quartet-man wrote:

    #12 You asked about Burman and lamented that he wasn’t singing and a short time later he is. So, if you do the same for me, perhaps it will work again and I will come into a lot of money. ;)

  15. irishlad wrote:

    14 ok,if you sound half as good as BP your wish is my command,but from what i hear 30k even for the top men is hardly great riches… :(

  16. Joe wrote:

    Question for the experts….on the live cut of the Perry’s, singing “Praise God. It’s Settled, I’m Saved”…who is the female soprano lead who encores the final chorus as infinitum? It’s a voice much higher than Libby’s….

  17. quartet-man wrote:

    #15 I just meant in general terms, not for singing. :D

  18. Gayla wrote:

    Hidee,
    I just returned from the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. From the stage McCray announced that David met with him and simply stated that he wanted to be home more with the grandkids, etc. He said he would still be doing some singing just not on such a large scale. Of course everyone was sad that David is leaving, but they were thrilled that Burman is coming back! The original Dove Brothers once again “brought the house down” at GOGR. I think it was handled wonderfully to simply announce it from the stage, so there is little “grounds” for rumors etc. - very classy!

  19. NG wrote:

    Re Dove Brothers: A reliable poster on another board said it was announced on stage at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion by McCray Dove this past weekend that David Hester was leaving as bass to spend more time at home with the grandkids. Burman Porter, who sang with the original Dove Brothers at the GOGR, will be rejoining them as bass before NQC.

  20. quartet-man wrote:

    #16 The Perrys used to have a soprano. Nicole Watts might be who you heard.

  21. Tony Watson wrote:

    #16 Nicole is definitely the one you heard on that live album. A funny side note is that Dennis Horton, the piano player at the time, had trouble getting to the reprise track on the Mini-Disc player, hence one of those reeeeeeaaaaalllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy long “Praiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise” notes that Nicole held out. Great album.

  22. Ode wrote:

    1- JM,

    The timeless rabbinical tale of wisdom is traditionally told in reply to questions of such nature, goes like this:

    A concerned man comes to his old rabbi, as Jews often do when facing important life decisions, in need of advice on how to invest his modest funds to reduce loss/increase profits in this time of harsh economic turmoil. At the same time a deeply religious, frum young lady walks in seeking answer to her own dilemma. Rabbi politely invites her into his office first. She is getting ready for her wedding, etc. and is eager to know what proper sleepwear should a newlywed girl choose to look modest and godly but yet attractive to her husband?

    Rabbi replies “Regardless what you choose, the result will be same”, also raising his voice so the man waiting in the hall could hear him: “Mr. Rabinowitz, this advice applies to your situation, as well”

    Whatever SG groups do right now they are going to be screwed, too. Economy assures it for all musical genres. What they do with it, on the other hand, just as in the case of young bride and the entrepreneur, depends on how well they adjust the changing circumstances to their advantage. “But the final outcome of all your affairs will only depend on Almighty and you”, as the rabbi added afterwards.

    Dead branches of SG will die off, those who change with times will survive. Oversupply of SG singers will get practical,responsible,find real jobs,leave the business, sing as an occasional weekend hobby. It might end up a blessing that really cleans up the shop- raises the quality bar ;)

    #2 said it very well.

  23. Ode wrote:

    I meant #3 Randy, not 2,sorry.
    JM, you might want to post your question in other blogs, like of yankeegospelgirl ( brilliant lady!) and daniel mount’s. They know very much of this business.I have them in RSS,they got lots of commenters I think, to.

    15, LOL .. i-lad, wait.QM, i am sure, will donate accidental wealth to a worthy charity cause. What else? Otherwise as a new inexperienced wealth-owner he’ll quickly become profoundly hated by his church for not giving them enough of it and fighting in quick post-honeymoonal divorce court for the second half of it.

    Idea of subsidizing some SG groups sucks, that’ll stall their much needed improvement that only tough economy would force them into. Toys,women and drugs he is not into, right?

    So just by-pass it by saying better funds for poor and suffering,donated in QM name?

    Maybe mention ode and my coveted green card instead ? Money acquisition I will take care of myself ;)

  24. quartet-man wrote:

    Ode, I would have to be married first. Of course I am sure all sorts of new love-interests would come out of the woodwork, but I would have to wonder their intent. So, it might be hard to marry any of these women who showed up without questioning their motives. I might have to go undercover or at least hide my wealth and try to keep its existence from being known.

    As far as the church, I am a church employee, so I might be unemployed too. ;)

  25. Andrew S. wrote:

    #21- The story goes that Horton had the track paused in case they were to do an encore. He pushed the double pause button to stop the timed encore. That’s why it took so long to get it started back.

    And Nicole’s performance started my deep love for Southern Gospel. Too bad she left the month after “Praise God..” went #1 on the SN charts.

  26. BobB wrote:

    Here’s Nicole and the Perrys singing “Praise God” at the 2000 NQC.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyEDtKKbaf0

  27. William wrote:

    ryan seaton quartet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLtmnfw8fqI

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