The Last stand in Louisville: NQC 2013 Open thread

Life conspired and transpired and as much as I had hoped to participate in the load out in Louisville this year, twasn’t meant to be. So it will fall to others to say the benediction over Freedom Hall. Consider this your NQC open thread for the week, and whatever else you do, I expect someone to figure out if Erhlers Ice Cream will be making the move to Pigeon Forge.

Meantime here’s one of my favorite NQC-Louisville memories. A lot has happened there, of course, and it’s hard to forget the Big Moments Everyone Remembers (George and Glen on the phone) and the one-off personal favorites (Mercy’s Mark debuting in the east wing), but I prefer this clip for its ordinary extraordinariness … one of those things that came out of nowhere and clobbered me nearly senseless all the way up in those cramped enpleathered seats, high among the darkened cat walks and filthy ceiling tiles of the uppermost decks.

I don’t have much more to say NQC than I have already, so by way of farewell, I’ll repost some of what I wrote long ago about my affinity for the convention:

I was 17 the first time I attended the National Quartet Convention. The group I was playing for had just done its first date or two after spending a year in rehearsal and a lot of time in the studio. Though I had played hymns and old-school SBC church music all my life, sg was still more new than not. My minister-father instinctively distrusted what he perceived to be fast-talking, palm-greasing womanizers (or worse) that passed themselves off as “singing ministries” and whose primary effect, my father believed, was to cast the pastor in the role of traffic cop at an altar-call artificially inflated by lachrymose lyrics, secular rhythms, and finely polished testimonials road-tested by assembly-line schedules. All of which meant I was enthralled as if by fire for the first time when the guys in the group starting loaning me old albums: Masters V, the Statesmen, the Blackwoods, Blue Ridge, the LeFevres, the Kingsmen, the Stamps, the Goodmans and on and on until I was glutted with my vinyl epiphany.

So when we arrived in Louisville that year, I was the first one in the Expo Hall. Pushing past a coupla old folks with mile-high ice cream cones and a small battalion of Pentecostal women idling by, I walked up to the first doorway I could find that led to the auditorium. And that moment for me remains frozen: the general din of activity behind me bathed in that tawdry, dumpy, oozing yellow light of the hallway; the great performance platform gently rotating in front of me, just barely visible from where I stood, standing in stark relief against the seemingly pitch black arena around and drenched in sharp, crisp spotlights. The performers seemed to float as if suspended by god’s very hand. And the sound … the glorious sound. I don’t recall who it was; probably the Workmen or some such group that gets an early Friday night spot for bringing umpteen busloads of ticket-buying WMUs and Gideons from the Simi Valley to northern Kentucky. What I remember was the inimitable sound of four harmonizing voices massively amplified in a 40,000-seat auditorium. From where I stood, it was transcendence itself come down and run all over me. And I still get that giddy feeling each time I pack up and head south for the NQC.

NQC has existed elsewhere than Louisville and will carry on in its new home, in one form or another, I know. But for me, the NQC is Louisville, just as for others in an earlier time, NQC was its truest best self in Memphis, or Nashville. And so, it’s time now for me to say farewell to the convention, or at least my fondest memories of it. Goodbye to all that, in that place.

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  1. gina wrote:

    Avery, I just have to say that I miss your firsthand analysis of NQC. Your comments and coverage a few years ago were so entertaining that I couldn’t wait to read each day. You made me feel I was there, and I appreciated your humorous, yet honest, play-by-play of events. You are missed!

  2. NG wrote:

    There are folks who love the Louisville setting possibly because that was their introduction to NQC. For me my first visit to Louisville (2003) was OK but 2011 was a disappointment. Neither measured up to the ones I attended in Nashville in the 70s but that was likely because those were my first major gospel events and the superstars of the 50s to the 70s were there. Would like to go to Pigeon Forge but have a lot of doubts about that move.

  3. A fan wrote:

    I was in attendance on Monday night. Not a real strong line-up, but there were some good moments.

    One of the good moments was from an unknown group from KY that took the stage at 7:15pm, the Sneed Family.

    It is a mom, dad, kids, and son-in-law ensemble. The girl, Amanda, can flat do it! The son, Seth and son-in-law Caleb are great as well. Mom and dad and too bad either.

    While dining in the exhibit hall, I was sitting with Gerald Crabb and Diane Wilkinson. Someone asked Gerald, “Who do you see here tonight that could possibly fill the void that the Crabb family left when they retired the group? His response? “I don’t know, but them Sneed Kids sounded pretty good tonight.”

    Right now they only have a few original songs, and cover quite a few artists, but with some good songs and a little more A&R, they could be a force to be reckoned with. Did I mention they played with live 6 piece band? They rocked the house! Not bad for a bunch of baptists! LOL

  4. Mike wrote:

    I echo Gina’s sentiments. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s a rehash of what you’ve already said. However, isn’t that what followers of God do, repeat and rehash … almost as if they’re trying to convince themselves of the truth in those words of the Bible. Truth is necessary and needed. So, rehash … this industry has a desperate need for a semblance of honesty, aka “realness” … yeah, truth. Cliff notes = we miss your take on things.

  5. A Fan #2 wrote:

    #2: A fan… Are you the mom, Mrs. Sneed? Any group at nqc could gather up a band from the other groups and get them to play cover tunes. By the way, I’ve heard Gerald use lots of different family group names as a next comparison to his Crabb Family. He’s giving a kind gesture. Don’t get too excited. The daughter has a nice voice. Nothing that could outshine 90% of the other female singers in the same building though. The other family members would do well to just sing backup for her. So add honest opinion to the list of needed songs and A&R.

  6. Observer wrote:

    Wow. Fan #2 is either jealous or just down right rude. I have never heard the Sneed Family, so in no way associated.

  7. A fan wrote:

    A Fan #2 - Not their mother. As to the Gerald Crabb remark, none of the Sneed’s were even in close proximity when the remark was made.

    If the Sneeds are not your cup of tea, that’s ok, I get it, but you don’t have to be mean about it…Mean people suck! Lol.

  8. tjt wrote:

    Hey # 5, I agree the Sneed Family was ok…. but nothing to get too excited about. I thought the daughter’s voice was weak in some places. As far as the live band, I think they normally just have their son playing drums for them at most of their concerts. I don’t think they will be the next Crabb family…..but they sure try to be like the Hoppers. Also #2, the Nashville years were a lot of good memories for me as well. It was more singing and not a lot of fluff, between groups coming on and off stage. No videos, etc…

  9. "The real" Observer wrote:

    Just wanted to make the point that #6 was not me. I have not posted in a while, but just did not want there to be any confusion. lol. I did not hear the Sneed family, so i have no comment.

  10. A fan wrote:

    I did not say or indicate that I thought the Sneeds were the next super-group, mixed group of the year etc….i was merely giving a compliment to a group that i thought did well. If no one else likes them, fine, that is your prerogative, but IMHO, I thought they did well. Besides mom and dad, they are kids, in their teens and early 20’s I think. Do we have to be so critical? Can’t we just be glad for them?

    They are not seasoned artists, but hey, Somebody liked them, they were on the main stage, which is more than many other groups can say….selah

  11. Mark Crary wrote:

    I was at the national quartet convention last night, attendance was way down and lots of empty booths. NQC use to have the Singing News fan awards on Thursday nights and have close to a full house. I am sorry that they don’t do that anymore it made for an exciting night. In the past if a group did really good on the main stage they would have a line of people at their booth when they came off stage. It wasn’t that way last night. You had big name groups sitting in their booths talking to themselves, no fans, no sales. The flea marketers need to go, it cheapens the NQC. If you need your teeth whitened just go to your dentist. There were less high quality groups there and more B rated groups. Major record companies had no real presence there but then again maybe there are no major record companies. It seemed like everybody was in slow motion. It was sad maybe because it was the last year in Louisville or maybe because southern gospel music is declining.

  12. Wade wrote:

    Thanks for reposting I COULD STILL GO FREE… gives me chills and makes me tear up no matter what kind of cynical mood I am in!!!

  13. Mike S wrote:

    Had to be 1977 maybe 78, I had never been to a “big” gospel concert and our song leader at church took me with him. The Cathedrals came on stage and sang “A Prodigal Son” and George Younce got in his mike (which was very hot!) and did that ending he does “thee…thee..thee..(slide down an octave)theeeee” It seemed to me that old Nashville auditorium shook to the foundations. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Still one of the most enduring memories of my life.
    Later I saw the Hinsons lining up in the hall ready to go on stage. They lined up single file and I thought it was the most impressive thing this ole 13 year old farm boy had ever seen! They had an energy on stage (going on about 11:30 pm as I recall) that I have yet to see since.
    Gosh, I miss Nashville!

  14. A fan wrote:

    11–I thought the teeth whitening booth was both funny and sad. What has the convention become?!?!?!?!?

  15. Wade wrote:

    Love NQC in Nashville. Was about to go 5-6 straight years at least 3-4 days!!!

    Then of course a bar tour down town and it was amazing how many group members where hanging out and some pretty good scrap iron quartets were put together for some pretty good singing!!!

    You don’t get that now and doubt you will get it in Gatlinburg!!!

  16. LightkeepersJournal wrote:


    Thank you for sharing that beautiful clip of Mike Bowling & The Crabb Family singing, “That I Could Still Go Free”. That was one of the most moving performances that I’ve seen in a while.

  17. KOTF Fan wrote:

    Hello, just wondering if anyone saw the Keepers of the Faith Quartet on Wednesday. They are my favourites. Just love those guys.

  18. tjt wrote:

    I am hoping that the NQC won’t make the Brown Family the new Pfeifers and have them do something every night. They seem to be on a lot this week. The song about the Choir and the birds, was a bit much after the first time. The Piano thing today with Gerald and Gordon Mote was great, hope they team those two up again next year at PF/14.

  19. Anna wrote:

    After cancelling my plans for the day, I sat in front of the computer and watched “Free Friday” for 10 hours straight. What a total waste of time. Here are my thoughts for the week:

    * I’m sorry, but people PAID to listen to the kid with Down’s Syndrome. Why didn’t they just turn her mic off?
    * It’s called Southern Gospel Music– NOT country. If I wanted to hear country music, I’d watch CMT.
    * Was something wrong with my sound or did the audience keep forgetting to clap?
    * Why do they keep singing “I’m Winging My Way Back Home” over and over and over again? WHY? 90% of the songs I heard are STALE!
    * Why do they keep saying 40,000 people are there?
    * Why did Mike Bowling’s kids sing two songs? Troy’s a jerk, but the man’s got talent. Give the kids a lollipop and let him sing.
    * When did Les have a stroke? Someone should have told us so we could send him get well cards (seriously: whats up with him?).
    * Am I the only one that’s noticed Gerald Wolfes’ vocal changes? That’s not the man I grew up listening to. GV sounds like they’re holding their noses while they sing. He struggles to hold his note and his speaking voice sounds like an Irishman who’s lived in the States for a long time.

    * Glad to see Burman’s made a miraculous recovery.
    * No act was strong enough to stand alone so everyone had to conjure a gimmick. For example, The Hoppers pulled Taranda out of the hat (What was up with her ears? It looked like two big wads of Big Red). New River had the Nelon-Clark-Thompson Trio join them on the last number. Gold City had Jon Wilburn chime in. The Isaacs and Booths used Gaither as a crutch (BTW, if a group has to rely on Gaither’s vocal abilities to pull them out of the hole, they’re in bad shape).
    * Parade of Pianos? Who gives a rat’s butt? If I wanna hear a piano solo, I’ll get out the hymn book and play something. I want to hear PLAYING and SINGING at the SAME TIME. Wow. What an idea. Who woulda thought of that one?
    * A couple of groups gave an encore when the audience showed no signs of wanting to hear it again.
    * David Phelps looks like someone who stumbled off the streets looking for the soup kitchen.
    * Gaither’s hair looks like the dye had a counter-reaction with swimming pool chlorine. (I really have seen that happen…)
    * Mike English, we’ve all been to the dentist. Cut out the face contortions when you’re in front of “40,000″ people.
    * If the majority of men in SG aren’t gay, they’re missing an excellent opportunity.

    * I’m starting to think SGM is deliberately trying to go out of business.
    * They’re all a bunch of clowns. The only problem is, no one is laughing.
    * I’m glad I have $59.95 to spend next week.
    * I’m thankful I have the music from my childhood on back-up CD’s.

    * Best song of the night: “I was sankin’. So deaaeep in sin…” Oh wait, that came on my MP3 player after I turned the computer off. My bad.

  20. Sgfan wrote:

    It’s really sad to see the decline of NQC. I think the same ” mafia” is pushing a lot of groups out. I’m getting tired of the same 4-5 groups everywhere doing everything.

  21. josh wrote:

    #19. Anna, you asked you to do the Democratic Response? Ignorance must be bliss!!!

  22. tjt wrote:

    So, Anna # 19, I take it we won’t see you in Pigeon Forge in 2014?. I am curious, did you like the shape of the stage? You didn’t mention that in your ramblings……..I am just curious if that pleased you?

  23. SoGoChickTN wrote:

    I spent the latter part of NQC week solely in the exhibit hall tending a booth and walking around a bit (okay, I gave in to the teeth whitening deal as well), and I had a few observations of that side of things:
    - Lots of empty booths: did people pay for booths and never come or did they just never sell the space? If the latter is true, there was a lot of money lost and they would’ve done better to bring in MORE flea marketers or allow the exhibitors to pay a minimal upcharge for some more space.
    - Overall lack of enthusiasm: nobody seemed all that happy unless they were chowing down on some Ehrler’s ice cream. Seriously, the upper echelon folks looked glum, the lower echelon folks looked glum, the fans didn’t even bother putting on the usual sequins and taffeta. A couple of fellow booth tenders who were new to sogo remarked that the nicest folks they’d met in the whole place were the employees working the food stands and wondered why all of the singers looked like they were attending a funeral. Well, when you think about it…
    - Next generation? Lots and lots of the sogo offspring were walking around, unparented, with the same bored smirks (or sneers) as their parents, clearly ready to get the heck out of dodge. If there’s a torch to be passed, I don’t think it’ll be to many of these kiddos. At least the Bowling kids do have some level of interest in the genre and are herded onto the stage. Some of the others wouldn’t even sit in or near their parents’ booths.

    I was hoping for some sappy sentimentality toward the ending of an era or even nervous excitement about the next phase of NQC. Instead it seems like everyone was ready to pack up, go home, and forget any of this happened. This definitely wasn’t the excitement I encountered during my first NQC in Nashville in 1989 or even one I attended in Louisville five years ago. No mad rush for the newest CD release, no clamoring for photos with a GVB’er or two. No fascination with a new group with unlimited potential that came out of nowhere and sang at a random showcase.

    I am thankful for memories, Youtube, and old CDs. Bon voyage, Louisville. Thanks for some great times.

  24. Jackie wrote:

    #19 All I can say is wow….I really hope you feel better now. Imagine carrying all that around inside you.

  25. Steve Smith wrote:

    Anna, I’m sorry you “wasted” your time watching a gift. No one forced you to watch. Such snarky remarks. Freedom Quartet has a much, much easier schedule than the Dove Brothers. I, for one, am happy to see Burman back, even in a limited capacity. And why in the world would you say that Troy is jerk? How about next time just skip it. You sound like you wouldn’t have like it no matter who sang anything.

  26. Josh wrote:

    Now we know where the bitter, negative minded southern gospel fans go to vent. This blog has turned nasty. It is such an embarrasment that even the owner never replies to comments and rarely updates with new topics. Doug, don’t shut this thing down, as it is better that this group of pessimistic, mean spirited people have a place to go and spew their comments. It keeps them off the other blogs and forums.

  27. LightkeepersJournal wrote:

    #19 - Anna…..

    I think it will be a very long time before we hear a group like The Hinsons again, with their incredible vocal and songwriting abilities, to include sincere, spirit-filled performances.

  28. CVH wrote:

    Back in 1957 when Cecil, James and J.D. started the NQC one of their main goals was the commercial opportunities that could be realized if the venture became profitable. To this day NQC has never been a charity or a ministry outreach. Despite any of its high points through the years, it was started as a business and remains a business - and a struggling one at that.

    They’re not innovators. What few attempts they do make end up looking cheesy because no one knows what they’re doing. They don’t bring in outside professionals to do research on the evolving market. God forbid they discover they’re doing something wrong.

    Cosmetic changes, technological improvements and the evolution of styles are a given; like everything, SG is driven to some degree by the culture. But that’s not planned, deliberate change with a goal in mind; it’s more a grudging accomodation of the inevitable. Even if organizations like NQC, a privately-owned entity, desired improvement and change, they have little influence over what groups, all of which are also business enterprises, do.

    Giving George and Alma from southern Ohio a show, a corn dog and a free consultation with a reverse-mortgage company is what matters. A chance to have their picture taken with Gerald Wolfe or pinch Michael Booth’s butt is even better. And sitting in the stall next to Karen Peck in the ladies room, listening in on her cell phone conversation, is the gold standard in convention experiences.

    I may have been squinting as I went through the exhibit hall but was there a display of caskets and memorials? Some smart company could offer an “NQC Special” with a built-in MP3 player loaded with the deceased’s favorite songs. Or they could license the likenesses of some SG greats and have a line of “Ultimate Fan” caskets - James Blackwood, Big Chief, Brock Speer and J.D. “I’ll piss on your grave” Sumner.

    Anna hit a lot of valid points in her post. NQC is in serious trouble. Maybe Gaither should buy it (does he own a piece?) and Gaitherize it. Or shut it down. The blue-hairs are dying out, most younger fans aren’t buying the crap and events like NQC are circling the drain. And just like the band that played as the Titanic went down, SG music will be heard fading off into the distance…a victim of its own intransigence.

    Gotta run…Aunt Blabby’s up in the nosebleeds and is screaming for more chocolate-covered caramel corn.

  29. Anna wrote:

    Free Friday wasn’t a gift to me, considering SGM actually owes me for all of the concerts I’ve paid to attend over the last couple of years that were painful to sit through (not to mention those DVD’s I got ripped off on…but that’s another story). To the one who asked if I was coming to NQC…Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend next year. You see, the last time I PAID to hear SGM, the singing was once again painful to sit through, the bass singer was drunk (or maybe high–not sure which), and then there were the hookers….Anyways, that’s not the kind of entertainment I paid to see. Coincidentally, I’m going to hear the Hooker Quartet again at the end of the month, but hey, it’s a free concert. I don’t know why I keep going or why I sat 10 hours in front of the computer screen. I guess I keep hoping that one day I’ll hear something that will remind me of why I ever fell in love with this music in the first place.

  30. Beans wrote:

    This “Anna” just has to be a fake. This is over-the-top jaded, even for some of the stuff that’s been said on here in the past! Haha wow

  31. Mark C wrote:

    * I’m starting to think SGM is deliberately trying to go out of business.

    I think maybe Anna is on to something here.

    Southern Gospel Music here in Dayton, Ohio is about 10% of what it was 20 years ago. SGM radio gone, SGM concerts with over 150 poeple showing up gone.

    something is wrong.

  32. Brett wrote:

    Anna, SG is bigger than you.

  33. Stenz wrote:


    1) Read a Zig Ziglar book
    2) Join a local Weight Watchers group
    3) Take a dozen or so of your cats to a local shelter

    You’re welcome.

  34. GAMusicLover wrote:

    I attended a lot of the showcases and even the main stage each night. What I think is sad is how everything has to be in a certain box. If they don’t change their expectations then they will lose all of the fan base to the Casting Crowns of the world. When Jason Crabb performed, you could see a herd of gray hair go toward the door. Jason Crabb to me is the best act around with the best band around and he is also personable unlike 2 of the Gaither Vocal Band members. They acted like the fans were meeting Elvis or something. I saw the line and went the other direction. Nobody is worth seeing that don’t care if they even acknowledge your presence. Also disliked the Hoppers. While walking by their booth during the meet and greet that the Hoppers had advertised. Dean Hopper was on the phone for a good five minutes while his 2 fans were waiting to visit with him. Southern Gospel is literally dying out. You would think the last time in Louisville would bring out the best of the groups. It was a huge let down for someone that wanted to make one last trip to Louisville before the change. Pigeon Forge to me will be a joke. They might as well start something like the Country Bear Jamboree with Matinee shows or something. There is a reason that it was a huge flea market with a lot of empty booths in their last hurrah in Louisville.

  35. John Situmbeko wrote:

    Perhaps, Anna, you need to lay your cares at the foot of the cross.

  36. Deb Chuvalas wrote:

    I dont understand why they keep putting the same groups on the main stage and never allow for really good singers, Etc: The Three Bridges: on stage. I think it must be jealousy or just a power play.yep, the white hairs are dying off and there is not a group that draws the next generation, like Three Bridges , into the world of Southern Gospel Music.

  37. AJJ wrote:

    I was disappointed this year too. I think the groups as a whole are not what they use to be, but, I am not what I use to be either…I enjoyed The Dixie Echos and was impressed with their new bass singer. I know NQC is a hard week for the singers, but, with all the modern technology, why do some feel the need to sing out of their range. some things left me scratching my head, like The Browns, Jeff and Sherri Easter, Dixie Melody Boys, Ivan Parker, Gold city..If some of the groups had to go through the showcases to make it to main stage, they wouldn’t be there. None of this is to be critical, just an opinion of course.

  38. tjt wrote:

    I would love to see the owners of the NQC to limited their performances to two nights and let other groups, join the main stage.
    I get so tired of seeing the same ole, same ole every year. Cut out this 10 and 12 mins. sets and give the groups more time.
    Give groups like The Freemans, Three Bridges, The Cookes, The Browders, the Blackwood Bros. Quartet, etc some stage time. The Finale each night is the same groups every year, and the same songs!!!

  39. Anna wrote:

    Now my best friend is mad at me for saying Troy’s a jerk–which I only said because he struck me that way when I ran into him one time. It could just be that he was slightly irritable because the chilluns are singing and not him. I would rather hear Troy sing, but old people love little kids and the SG fans are comprised of 90% retirees. Which reminds me of that night my best friend and I heard the Hooker Quartet…we were among the handful of young’uns in the auditorium that night, which I assume is why the quartet let their guards down (thinking the old people weren’t paying attention to their goins-on). They didn’t realize that my pal and I just go to watch people (we finally gave up on going to hear good singing…) and that we were sitting in the hot spot for action (near the side exit door, left of the stage…) My friend had just leaned over to me and whispered, “These guys act like they don’t wanna be here.” Well, we soon learned why…

    I’m sure SGM is bigger than me, but it isn’t bigger than the fans’ ears and what we’re hearing these days is lacking good, raw talent. Think of how many groups have a piano player traveling with them but never use him/her. The list is endless:
    Connie Hopper (I understand that Josh has come back but they were without a pianist for a long time) Mike Bowling, Troy Peach, Gerald Wolfe (who recently started playing more due to his vocal issues), Roger Talley, Ricky Atkinson, Karen Peck (who said in a recent interview that she used to give lessons) etc. etc. Look back at videos from the 80’s and 90’s–SG singers looked like they ENJOYED singing. Now they look like someone’s standing backstage with a gun in their back.

    Perhaps my first post was somewhat mean-spirited, and I apologize to anyone who may have been offended. My mother raised me better than to use gutter talk like “rat’s butt.” That’s what 10 hours of Free Friday will do to you…

  40. RF wrote:

    Quite an interesting and depressing thread. Over the last 5 years, there is little to inspire me but just a few groups. I regularly listen to Enlighten on Sirius XM these days, but only the older songs appeal to me. I had planned to go to Pigeon Forge next year (it’s close), but now I wonder. What happened to the quartets and the great songs? I’m waiting with baited breath for an answer.

  41. GAMusicLover wrote:

    This was by far the worst NQC I have ever attended out of the last 10 years. I feel like I donated money to the cause and I will not do it again next year and I live only 2 hours from Pigeon Forge. I will keep my money in my pocket and go see groups that truly are about the gospel like The Booth Brothers. I am sure they have their bad days just like anybody else but when you watch them sing the truly edify the body of Christ. You can see a better run event at Dollywood the next month. Also the sound in Freedom Hall was a joke.

  42. Byron wrote:

    We where at NQC for three days, even on Thur there where so many empty booths. Also if I wanted to go to a flee market I would go. WOW I do have a question for any one who was there or watching. When Clarke Beasley would get up on stage and talk about the move next year, was he trying to convince the fans or himself about the move. By the way the boat show that they said caused this move was at the Kentucky State Fair Grounds this week. Another WOW

  43. CVH wrote:

    RF: “interesting and depressing”. I would suspect that many of the readers and contributors on this blog are among the most dedicated fans. They not only love the music but they also are interested in what makes this thing we call SGM tick. For the most part they’re looking for real answers to serious questions. And RF, it’s sad that almost all the 42 comments posted thus far have a distinctly negative tone to them. That’s a barometer for how the industry’s doing and it’s not looking good.

    I mentioned in my earlier post that as the blue-hairs die out, SG will have to reinvent itself if it hopes to attract the most recent two generations. Everything from giving newer groups better stage time to getting out of the cavernous dumps with lousy sound (with apologies to Phil Brower); understanding and using social media and getting out of the creative rut many writers and groups are in. In the last five years I’ve heard maybe a dozen songs that really stand out. The rest is same-old, same-old. Younger fans understand this and naturally, they ask questions and expect answers. In other words, what everybody has been doing for the last 40 years isn’t going to sustain the industry, let alone grow it.

    Old school politics, resistance to change among the power players and money are what it comes down to. Unless those areas are honestly, thoroughly addressed I expect SGM to fragment further. It will always have a smaller niche audience (like Appalachian folk music) but I truly believe the glory days are over.

    Maybe we should sell to the South Koreans. Either that or Phil Cross, Diane Wilkinson and Rodney Griffin should start collaborating on a “Thanks For The Memories”, “Send In The Clouds” type song. But I wouldn’t wait too long or there won’t be anyone left to hear it.

  44. Robert wrote:

    It might be depressing. But, the truth is coming out. The fans have come to realize that something’s just not right. If you look deep into the foundation of any other legitimate genre of music, you’ll find several things that don’t exist here in SGM.

    It keeps re-inventing itself, different artists, fresh material, new marketing strategies. Sure, you have the foundation of artists that have stood the test of time, but even they re-invent themselves to a degree.

    The pack that “owns” Southern Gospel, is a bunch of old, “this is mine and you can’t have any of it”, greedy, “better than you’s” who have no intention on letting anyone else in on their monopoly.

    They award themselves year after year after year and keep the guards at the door to protect what’s left of their hold on this music. Several new artists deserve to be recognized for their talent, but it ain’t gonna happen. I know piano players who deserve to be a part of the piano showcase, but year after year, sorry no room. They put those deserving artist in the showcase in the back room like they are ashamed of them.

    Granted, most of those artist deserve to sing in the bathroom and no one will tell them to their face, “you suck but, well take your money anyway.” But there you have it, that’s what the board is thinking. You artists who, year after year give these morons your hard earned money for the chance your going to get on the main stage…..not a chance in $&!!

    Don’t take anyone’s word for it, do your own research and make the connections yourself. Take a hard look at other music industries and connect the dots. It’s time to send them a message. Grow or die, the choice is yours!

  45. Robert wrote:

    Oh and one more thing,

    The world is watching ….

    National = of or relating to a nation

    Quartet = four (4) not 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9

    Convention = a large meeting of members of a particular profession.

    Southern - uneducated, backwoods, redneck, hillbilly

    We give them no reason to believe otherwise.

  46. Ode wrote:

    3 ,
    (googled ‘Diane’) oh, an older, respectful lady songwriter, past the age of frivolous flirting. I saw  post about papa Grabb dining a lady and thought is ol’ Gerald looking for a marriage ugrade again? Is it time for bye-bye baby for wife 3 and hello gawjus for potential wife # 4?
    For you , dirty gossipers : I mean only for holy matrimony purposes, of course. We SG fans promote godly marriages between a man and a woman, like godly Grabbs marriage, not some gay abominations! 
    (googled ‘Mike Bowling’s kids’) maybe no lollipops,but baby carrots?  All of them and the mom are way obese. Not that I ever mind that, some of the best people I am lucky to know are very chunky, I love guys with some meat on ‘em, and my best male friend in college was ar.300 lbs of goldhearted treasure,
    yet if you want to be obese on stage ( in USA ) be an secular singer, an actor, a comedian, or an opera singer. Rolls of fat jiggling while screaming  Praise Jeeeesuuuus on those unable to control even their gluttony is not pretty and undermines the message.
    The biggest gift we can ever give is our time- it’s something you can’t buy back for no money. If they wasted Anna’s it’s not their fault, some people loved the show, you can’t please everybody, etc but she has the right to speak up her mind about it.  
    Your suggestion is similar to creating a sausage grilling corner in a church hall ,a peeing area in a swimming pool or a weed smoking section on plane - everyone would know what’s going on without participating. You can’t contain critique on the interwebs, this blog is regularly checked by the haters   unable to stop selves from advertising it on other social media: “don’t go to Averyfineline today, its evil!”  with predictable results, as you might guess  ;)
    Doug never replied to comments; blog was always mainly critical. Dot like it, go elsewhere -there are enough SG blogs were sugarcoated turd, religious or musical, and celebrity asskissing are the norm.
    Aunt Blabby is feeling anti-social, why sit in the nosebleeds? There were plenty unfilled seats in good sections ;) Good posts. Wish darling Avery gave you a bi-weekly or so column on history or such. As I just told some ol’ Benn on “Race for gospel bottom” thread, quality of music is what makes it or breaks it. Old folk might feel obligated to support the music of their youth, but new people buy what we like, and don’t buy what sucks.

  47. GD wrote:

    I haven’t been to NQC since the first year it was in Louisville. So it’s been a while. My interest in SG has been on life support for most of those years since. That is, until recently. I’ve never considered purchasing the webcast for NQC but I did this year. I actually enjoyed it a lot. Yes, it had technical issues here and there, but for the most part it was pretty good. To be honest, I’m enjoying the on demand most because I can pick and choose who I want to watch. A couple of moments really stood out to me. First was the return of Libby with the Perrys. All three of their sets were incredible. David Regan has done an amazing job with them. The strength Libby demonstrated could teach most of us a lesson or two. The other big highlight for me was the Collingsworth Family. They were minutes from me the Thursday prior to NQC and I am kicking myself that I didn’t go hear them live. They are different in every way and I think that’s what makes them appeal to me. I’ll definitely go see them if they’re passing through my area any time soon. Not being there in KY, I can’t confirm the flea market-ness of the event, but the webcast was a nice treat for me. I’m glad I bit the bullet. I’ll continue to revisit the on demand videos as long as they are available. There…….a nice, positive post!

  48. William wrote:

    Saw the Collingsworth Family live a few months ago. Awesome concert, several standing ovations from young and old, and an all around great concert. Well worth the time and money.

  49. GAMusicLover wrote:

    GD has to be a board member. Probably big daddy Hopper or his want to be gospel star Dean. I would not go see them across the street for a love offering or go to a meet and greet. haha

    RF is probably a radio DJ if I had to guess.

    Southern Gospel is officially going to Pigeon Forge to die.

  50. Wade wrote:

    Love to read all the people with their head in the sand!!!

  51. Sgfan wrote:

    Dead on ROBERT!!!!!!!

  52. GD wrote:

    Sorry #49, I’m not a Board member. Probably wouldn’t be wise for you to buy lottery tickets with that kind of inference making. Nothing I said remotely hinted at me being a Board member. I was simply stating that I enjoyed the webcast and listed my two favorite highlights. Nothing more, nothing less. I will say this. A number of years ago, our group was promoting a concert on a Thursday night and our attendance was not what we had hoped. Claude was the ONLY one of three major group’s owners that was willing reduce his flat to help us out. In fact, one of the other groups told us to tell the others that they lowered their flat (even though they didn’t) so the others would maybe lower theirs. That group is now out of business and ol’ Claude is not. Something to be said there. Anyway, I have no connection to the Board at this time. I simply enjoyed what I heard during the webcast. Just my opinion. We all have one ya know!

  53. CVH wrote:

    Wade, I don’t think the sand is the only place their heads are stuck.

  54. GAMusicLover wrote:

    Out of all the groups that you see at NQC, The Hoopers I mean hoppers was a joke. if they didnt have Kim they couldn’t compete on the Regional or Featured Artist Showcase. Their stacks was ao loud they were almost like milli vanilli. the sound was a complete joke. you wondered why The Dove Brothers stay so busy today. it aint the high and mighty NQC. lol it is great to see a group not limited to a dying genre.

  55. Robert wrote:

    SgFan, wish I could say that I’m glad I’m right. But, I’m not he least bit happy. The music I grew up on, the convention I always was excited to be a part of is dead.

    Other SG blogs don’t give us the opportunity to tell the truth. They filter all comments so it’s all, goodie, goodie, tell lies and pat em on the back. Let’s not tackle these problems and fix them, But let’s be in denial that there even a problem.

    The first sign that we’re in trouble that they don’t even admit it’s on life support. Go ahead pull the plug and get it over with.

  56. James Stamey wrote:

    I personally think the Hoppers are the class of Southern Gospel! Bill Gaither uses them at his gatherings, John Hagee, and other big name people. If you do not like the Hoppers vocally, I can accept it. I have never had business dealings with them, but know pastors who have and they claim that the Hoppers are top notch!
    Dean has came a long way vocally and I think he sings within his range. He has one of the better voices in SG in my opinion. Yes, Kim took them to another level and you would have to live under a rock not to see that. What made me fall in love with their music was the first time I saw them as a young teen and they came out and sang acapella. I wish they would do at least two songs that way at each concert. They have the vocal power!
    I would ask why people are so against the Hoppers and if you could explain it on the blog I would love to hear it? I would like facts not innuendo! Again, if you do not like their songs, music, or singing that is understandable because we all have different tastes. If SG is dying, and I hope it does not, the Hoppers will be one of the last groups standing I can assure you!

  57. DK wrote:

    The NQC is slowly dying. The board is running it into the ground. A friend had a lady visit his church who used to work there and she agreed…buying out people’s shares. threatening artists who thought it wasn’t a good idea to let Sarah Palin speak…I believe this particular board member borrowed a few million dollars and bought out shares of people who didn’t agree with him, and resold them to “yes men” at a higher price and made a profit …so the whole thing is run by one man really, and no one questions him….because he designed it that way….kudos to him, I sometimes think, since he is so sneaky, that he is doing this on purpose….I think “the board” wants it to crash and burn…also heard the Singing News awards left NQC because they made this board member angry because they didn’t like the tone of the column he had written…which also doesn’t surprise me…okay done now…attack me if you want…but if you do you are either naive or one of them :)

  58. Milli Vanilli wrote:

    easy there, cheeky, you owe us an apology. Our reputation isn’t stainless, we got our Grammy revoked  for a prerecorded track, but comparing us to religious shysters of the southern gospel  genre whose shenanigans got a whole year of GMA Dove -Christian Music Awards -invalidated  is a little insulting.
    While we were judged harshly by the public, paid our dues, endured shaming for the lack of honesty and integrity, they were lucky having fans much less burdened with moral values-  they shook it off and returned to brown-nosing the ballsy crooks that fooled them.  
    (and if you think we were loud and over the top, check the gaylords in the recent  NQC vid - if they were any more over the top they‘d be upside down)
    I feel for ya though, it’s  a tough world out there. Come to think of it, you can teach me a thing or two. I never screwed anyone for 8 hours straight even while on meth, but as your NQC just showed us , sg singers can successfully do it for days.
    Yet even with one of us being dead I sang to a sold out 50 000+ Dodger Stadium, so in return I can teach you a skill vital to your biz- how to generate 50k  idiots  willing to pay for karaoke, lip synching and tracks.  
    When can we get together?
    Fab ( puzzled and slightly pissed off) and  Rob (rolling in his grave)

  59. What the Buck.. wrote:

    (googled The Sneed Family).Wow. And on top - the FB pic is the best the ol  ‘Ore B. Rambo  is what was supposed to attract people to their NQC booth. These will go far, they are not burderned with conscience, which is, as my boss, a wise lady, told me once, “is like virginity, kiddo, if you lose it, its hard to reclaim it back”
    51 -Is ‘Sgfan’  you, Wadele, or is your style catches on ? ;)
    Slow, I can’t chew that fast. Give me the proverbial idiot proof version – why does the board wants to run the yearly show into the ground is their money is vested into it?
    Care to elaborate on  what you meant by “Hookers Quartet”?Singers moonlighting as male hookers? Or they invited hookers on the bus? (in this case our resident brits will again sneer :’that’s old news!’)
    Why I ask: I love music of some gospel groups, I am also recently being often asked to write a short theolo- articles for church (got sucked into it due to ill repute my big mouth and birth country has - I’d say things that are taboo for gentile flowers without blinking an eye ;) and find it handy to use ugly SG morality as an example of religious conservativism dead-endness . I do distunquish rumor and truth, so an honest answer is appreaciated. Thanx in advance.   
    ~ ode  

  60. Anna wrote:

    I won’t give the long story about why I don’t go see the Hoppers anymore. I’ll just say that this song came on my iPod the other day and I thought I’d been hacked by Henry and Hazel (see 1:02-1:41).

    A Gaither production at its finest.

  61. Amy wrote:

    I was a bit let down this year, especially the Friday evening performances. I don’t try to dictate what others listen to, but for myself I’ve committed to only listening to Christian music. The Isaacs among others seemed to think it was appropriate to revive some old secular songs for the NQC. Nothing horrible or ungodly in the songs, per se, just that I’ve chosen not to listen to that kind of music, and I didn’t spend all that money to drive 500 miles to hear it. If you want to sing secular songs, do so in the right forum. This applies to Christian rock as well. No one is judging you for crossing over, just asking that you don’t drag us with you.

  62. Robert wrote:

    Amy, people like you are the exact reason, church attendance and Southern Gospel concert attendance is on the decline. “Holier than thou”, “better than you” and “closer to God” than you, so called Christians with this, “don’t drag us with you” to Hell mentality.

    The Isaacs, among other good artists, such as Karen Peck and New River have chosen to open and expand themselves with “some old secular song”, with nothing horrible or ungodly in the song”, bringing class and dignity to a genre on life support.

    You are not “compelling” to anyone with your “nobody saved but me” idea of Christian Music. Go back to your “we’re the only ones going to Heaven” church, stay away from The NQC and Gospel concerts and pat yourselves on the back for a job well done for keeping the riffraff away from your church!

  63. CVH wrote:

    “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

    (Attributed to Hunter Thompson)

  64. Ode wrote:

    To clarify:Anna, i get that Hooker is a play on “Hopper” , but we are not in 4th grade to just pointlessly bully someone’s last name, of course. In which way The Hoppers and the prostitues are connected?

  65. Ode wrote:

    62,yeap.  Amy,better yet, hire a group for a private concert, no, I am not being sarcastic. You dont have to be an Arab sheikh to do it, its not Elton John you hiring. Slash down the cruise budget by one trip and for 5 grand you can get even a  real band playing, Amy-approved repertoire, so everything they do with their mouths pleases you greatly.  

  66. Anna wrote:

    What a jerk! Amy is 100% right and is entitled to her opinion just like the rest of us. She made it clear that she isn’t judging anyone….Robert is the one who’s judging. One of the reasons I was so disappointed in Free Friday was because of the secular music. Amy didn’t pay to hear country music…she paid to hear SGM–and that’s the point she was trying to make. The SG fans who embrace country music obviously don’t care that Dolly Parton is on her way to being the next “queen” of Gospel Music. What a disgrace.

  67. Anna wrote:

    #64: The Hooker Quartet has nothing to do with the Hoppers. #56 asked for opinions about the Hoppers so I included the link. Totally unrelated.

  68. CVH wrote:

    Ode, 64 - hey, hope you’re doing well.

    With the UN General Assembly going on in New York, strippers and hookers always look for a big uptick (so to speak) in business. There is probably a similar correlation on this “Hoppers and hookers” thing. They probably have a 15% discount when you mention “NQC.” I mean, business is business.

  69. irishlad wrote:

    i for one have surely missed you guys and gals,Sg may be dying but this site is plodding along nicely with its usual mixture of unrestrained sarcasm and vitriol..keep up the sharp work folks.
    ps,on first read i thought for sure anna was ode,surely there can’t be two. xx.

  70. Auke wrote:

    I really think it’s adorable how everybody points fingers at what the reason for the decline of the NQC/SG is. Whatever it may be, i know that the bitter,spiteful and unbelievable rudeness displayed here..ain’t helping. Just stop listening… Southern Gospel Masochists that’s what you guys are!

  71. irishlad wrote:

    …plus quotes from that barrel kissing hate the world hunter s thompson,my we are getting racy.btw i like most of his work

  72. CVH wrote:

    Auck #70 - with all due respect, do you live in a cave? Yes, there are a few occasional comments that are uninformed and sound more grudge-based than rational. But
    “bitter, spiteful and unbelievably rude”?
    Get a grip.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post I think the folks who come here care more than the
    ‘average SGN fan’. Very few want to see the industry die. But when the industry faces the same problems year after year and there’s no platform for honest discussion and no response from the industry, what do you expect?

    Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see you putting forward any suggestions or ideas for improvement. What say ye?

  73. irishlad wrote:

    72..auck all me thinks.

  74. Heather wrote:

    I think Hooker is referring to diesel sniffers.

  75. Whicked Which wrote:

    Long time listener, first time caller, as it were.

    What seems to be missing from the discussion is the position that it’s just “time”, just as it was for Big Band/Swing, for Disco, for Grunge, etc. There’s an abundance of church genres for people to choose that didn’t exist even 10 - 15 years ago. Lots of people are going elsewhere.

    In the end, it boils down to pure, secular capitalism. If people are buying the product, the product will stick around. If people lose interest in the product, the product goes away.

    If the interest were there, I don’t think that there’s anything “the industry” could do to negatively affect the popularity to any great degree.

    While I don’t see SG “going away” in my lifetime (for which I am thankful), I do see it as a niche market that gets further and further marginalized as fewer and fewer groups are able to make a living off of it.

  76. irishlad wrote:

    61 what exactly was wrong with that so called “secular song” by the Isaacs? have you no love or compassion in your soul?.Last time i checked that was mostly what Jesus and his message was all about.On my knees right now praying for you and similar mind sets.

  77. Robert wrote:

    No, Anna, Amy is 100% WRONG and this is the only place you can speak your mind without it being filtered and erased. Business is business and this “business” of Gospel music needs a kick in the rear.

    My point, instead of complaining, then stay away from us sinners. Now that you know what and who we are. “Dolly Parton” next “Queen of Gospel music”? Well it beats most of the candidates that I’ve seen. It would be an honor to know that Gospel music would be in capable hands.

  78. Robert wrote:

    Maybe you’d like Jan Crouch to be the next “Queen of Gospel Music”, cause that’s exactly where it’s headed. OMG I just threw up a little in my mouth….ewww!

  79. Wade wrote:


  80. Ernest Bellend wrote:

    Amen, Auke, only I don’t think it is “adoreble”. If they knew our Savior Jesus they would be saying only the positive.This is how true Christian’s suppoze to act, we only talk about good and wholy. True God’s people are not revealing the bad that is not accepteble. When I was a young boy, we were forbidden to criticize and the churches and gospel concerts and the misson conferances were always full! Coincidence? I don’t think so! 
    Amy, you are very 100% RIGHT. Gospel believing born again Christians not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, what communion hath light with darkness? What part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Be ye separate, said the Lord. Nice to see a woman with Gods values in hers heart.I love old fashion singing, but there some groups that left the Gods path. They sing secular songs as you said, and look at clothing that libral women ware on stage nowadays, they dress like hores and femnist.
    We will pray for you, the irish drunkard heathen man, and the joo hore, and that atheist woman Anna, even CVH and Robert, who are libral gay man, all them are on the fast  speedy journey to a very hot place.
    I wont spen more time on this site. I better promote our Southern Gospel music elsewhere!  

  81. Ode wrote:

    Are you bilding up suspense? :)I asked you a question in #59  about some serious accusations you have made. Are they true?
    Maybe, but most diesel sniffers are too hm.. mature to be prostitutes, no?  
    You are Irish , of course there can be two, and three, and …but after this one am calling you a cab ;) 
    ( and no, sunshine of mine, I wouldn’t  watch a 10 hour concert with amateur preaching  and advertisements for TBN  even if I was paid to do it. I was M Vanilli and Buck)
    That’s why I gently hinted about a private concert ;) if she wants it her way. There is literally not enough people to make it commercially viable for bands to sing all ol’ SGM anymore.
    Funeral homes cutting into SG market pretty  aggressively and St. Lukes Medical Center is competing for the income of the remaining customers’ . As my post to Ms Pink in here   as Sing. Snooz and Robert’s very sobering addition proves they just have no money

  82. Gospel Has Benn wrote:

    People should learn how to spell and punctuate before commenting on a blog for all the world to see. Ignorance is bliss. Also if you don’t like the way southern gospel music is then don’t support it or even comment about it. Believe me that are more pressing issues in this world to worry about than SGM.

  83. RF wrote:

    Doug needs to be here more often (you know what I mean).

  84. Robert wrote:

    Ernest, #80. Thank You sir for giving evidence to my points.

    Irishlad is a irish drunkard heathen man,

    Joo Hore?

    Anna is an Atheist woman,

    and CVH and I are Liberal Gay Men?

    As a young man, you were forbidden to criticize. Yet, you’ve grown up to be a judgemental fool! and WAY off!

    This is evidence, valuable evidence, to convict you. You and Amy should start your own church and put up a big screen and worship Paul and Jan Crouch.

  85. Lucky Stars wrote:

    Does anyone know what happed to Terrah Crabb and when she left the Bowlings. I noticed yesterday that their daughter is singing with them now as well as Troy Peach.

  86. CVH wrote:

    Ernest (#80),

    Usually when someone puts up a post like yours they’re purposefully trying to look stupid. Why? To make a point anonymously or maybe to satirize. Just remember - less is more. Your post was the equivalent of a horrible summer stock actor overplaying his role. And badly.

    Still, I’m glad our esteemed host allows the free expression of thoughts and ideas, even mindless ones such as yours. These days more and more mentally retarded people are being mainstreamed; I’m glad our host supports that effort.

    Just a couple of reactions to your post. “Don’t be unequally yoked” is a nice catch-all but like all of scripture its interpretation and application must be consistent with its original Biblical meaning. I can assure you there is not a group or company involved in SG that does every bit of their business with only “Christian” partners or companies.

    The women dress like “hores and feminist”? Priceless. Do you know what ‘hores’ dress like? I’ve seen ‘hores’ wearing obnoxious, no-class outfits and others who look like they just stepped out of a Vogue photoshoot, wearing $500+ Halston and von Furstenberg.

    But the best comment was about Robert and me. Yep, our secret is out. My, you have amazing instincts and almost-psychic abilities. Hats off to you my friend. Robert’s cool though; I told him it was just a summer thing and I had to go back to school in the fall and he totally understood.

    Please take time to write again when your I.Q. is higher than the room temperature.

  87. gina wrote:

    Gospel Has Benn,
    “Ignorance is bliss”…
    so is irony!

  88. Rick56inGA wrote:

    Re: #82 - If there are more pressing issues, why are you here at all? And if you want all sunshine and light, read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm instead.

  89. Wade wrote:

    WoW Ernest… you talk about keeping it positive RIGHT before you call not so positive names!!!

    Believe me people like you will have blood on your hands in heaven for SPEWING that HATE!!!

    What SGM needs is YOU PROMOTING it on other sites!!! Do you know Brooke!?!?!?

  90. Ernest Bellend wrote:

    Robert. You lieberals can’t keep your story straight! Are you envious because God richly blessed TBN ? Many SG groups, like Collinsworth family, said how HONORED they are to be featured on TBN and grateful to Jan and Paul Crouch for their godly ministry, they both were projected on big screen and praised, so your snark is unwaranted. Are you  better than gospel singers that spen their life on the road? What a hypocrit.

    I guess you don’t want Gospel of Jesus Christ to be alive and spread by a Christian Network that gives our singers a platform.

    The men of God like Gerald Wolfe, Clarke Beasley and other board members cherish there falloship with the TBN – what worng with you  

  91. Know Too Much wrote:

    Ernest, just when I thought there might be hope for you. Keep drinking the cool aid, sir.

    You could not be farther from reality. Theres nothing wrong with me, I’m not a liberal, I’m not the least bit envious, I’m not better than those who have spent their life on the road, I’m not a hypocrite and I’m not gay.

    I am however, a concerned man who has loved southern gospel music since I was a young teenager. I have walked the mirrored backstage halls of TBN in Nashville, experienced the fake gold spraypainted columns of TBN studios in Santa Ana, CA. Excuse me, Ernest, GOD was nowhere to be found.

    I’ve been backstage and on the buses of your super spiritual Gospel music “men of God”. There are many great people in SGM but please stop putting them on such a high and mighty pedestal. They are human with human traits. But to connect SGM with TBN, tho it might seem to you a good promotion, it will be a GRAVE MISTAKE!

  92. wontakeitlyingdown. wrote:

    80 Listen Bellend, do you not think the good God fearing people on this site have been shafted enough? But by a Bellend?that’s stooping to a new low!
    Attacking smart folk like of the smartest men in the western hemisphere is a rash thing to do,look at the intellegence displayed in his reply to you. Just because you’re seen just the once taking the trash out in fishnet stockings,suspenders and highheels your forever labeled a…oh never mind.And i’m sure through those dazed and glazed eyes that the Irishone views the world,there beats a heart of gold.Speaking of womens clothes where’s that ole redneck Wade been hiding?

  93. "The real" Observer wrote:

    Come on guys. Surely you can tell “Ernest” is a tongue in check poster… I think 95% of post made around here are by the same one or two people. Getting harder and harder to tell who is serious or not…

  94. Wade wrote:

    I am sad Ernest did not say anything about me being a drinker, drug user and my lust for women!!!

    I like it when women dress like Ho’s!!!

    In fact Jerry Jeff Walker wrote a song about it!!!

    Ernest are you Brooke’s Dad!?!?!

  95. upnorth wrote:

    Surprised at the negativity. I suspect that those who continue being that way against anything SG have had some issues in the past. A couple of other thoughts: 1. the NQC is a private corporation and is not the entire world of SG. 2. You have the right to go or not to go. 3. There are other 2-4 day concerts that are quite fun to attend, ie the Memphis show, Brumley, etc. 4. Having attended the NQC each night for 26 years and driving 1000 miles each way, we enjoy most of it, but it isn’t as good as Nashville days in my opinion. But, to keep SG going and the NQC going, we have to support it because the music of the world is trash. Its the best we have. There are good singers, and not so good singers, 5. Suggest you who want it better send an E mail to Clarke at the NQC and give suggestions. He always answers mine even though I don’t always agree with him. We are going to Pigeon. Went there after NQC and checked out the auditorium and motels. It will be a good change. Lastly, #85, Terah Crabb Penhallow is home taking care of her family. We miss her singing.

  96. irishlad wrote:

    waayyyyy up north,are you a rusty fan?

  97. CVH wrote:

    (#92) wonttakeitlyingdown,

    Gee, thanks for the compliment but to be fair, I’m probably only in the top 15 (LOL!)

    It’s like the interplay I had with Auck earlier on this thread (somewhere in the 70’s I think); if someone wants to actually engage in a meaningful dialogue that’s one thing and this is the best SG site to host that conversation. But when people like ‘Ernest’ keep coming back with even greater amounts of stupidity it’s obvious they aren’t serious about discussing the topics at hand.

    In fact, it’s funny that this clown uses the name Ernest; he reminds me of the Ernest T. Bass character on the old Andy Griffith Show, just your basic moron living in the woods and throwing rocks through people’s windows because he thinks it’s

    Is this what SGM is evolving into - caricatures of garden gnomes and village idiots?

    There are some individual business units (quartets, groups) that run a good operation and are trying to mix a more progressive sound into the genre. But that, well-intentioned as it may be, won’t save the business. Ironic, because with all the advanced technology available, it’s harder than ever to grow a brand and attract crowds.

    Back through the 50’s, 60’s and much of the 70’s the growth potential was almost unlimited. But with older groups retiring and the legends dying off (except for the walking dead on Gaither’s shows), there’s nothing waiting to fill the gap. Despite the best efforts of those who ‘get it’, the business will wither into a smaller niche market. It will never die off but neither will it ever thrive again as it has over the last forty or fifty years.

    It’s hard to get a serious dialogue going when there’s no place to do it and blissful ignorance is preferred over honesty and acknowledging the tough issues.

    It reminds me of NASCAR; the France family owns it privately; there’s no ‘league’ or ‘officiating body’. Thirty-six races a year. And one of the sisters owns Speedway International which owns thirteen racetracks around the country. They keep redesigning the cars to find the best combination of safety and power. They’ve become more fan-centric. They try to make the television coverage more intense. Still, sponsors are walking away and seasonal ticket sales are down from $188 million to $116 million.

    So come on, power players; let’s talk. Here, anywhere. Just be willing to come to the table with transparency and an open mind. Next move’s yours.

  98. Garden Gnomes wrote:

    97- Dear Mr. CVH,
    Your warnings about SGM joining  us at an alarming rate are very troubling news .
    After an emergency meeting we wish to issue a brief statement:
    Being mainly stiffs and dunces we clearly share common traits with SG, but after a certain point in their outrageous behavior -  NQC’s  leading crooks’ proudly bragging about their partnership with TBN would be a good example - the association with SGM would become problematic for our public image and damaging to our brand.
    SGM is not  comparable ornamentally (guess the retail value of ‘Clarke Beasley and Paul Crouch shaking hands ‘figurine? That’s a whole 0 dollar bill right there.) No gnome with any self-respect would wear a rug or a cloud of pink hair or rob the elderly  on fixed income. Have you ever seen a quintet of morbidly obese gnomes climb a stage to sing? We have standards, Mr.CVH.
    Kids and youth love us, yet are scared away from SGM. We need no questionable associations, so unless they keep their distance we will be requesting a restraining order.
    Maybe Village Idiots would be more welcoming of SGM’s sort into their community?
    Thank you for your time and suggestions,
    Singing Gnomes.

  99. Indiana Daze wrote:

    The comments are so entertaining, I truly wonder if these they come from real people or just a couple of students having lots of fun. Whatever the case, Anna is my heroine (or hero is she’s a he). Funny. Anna you seem to know a lot of inside information. Keep it coming!!!

  100. CVH wrote:

    #98 Garden Gnomes,

    Thanks. I think. On the Beasley-Crouch figurine, I think you’re on to something. We could get Department 56 to create a line of figurines of the big names through the years. Recreate J.D.’s custom coach. All their little accessory stuff. I think you could get at least $39.95 per piece. I’m in…anyone else?

  101. SGnsider wrote:

    #45. One could just as easily use the word Robert in place of “Southern” for your definition…..which would most likely prove to be more accurate.

  102. RIP NQC wrote:

    Has anyone seen how they are setting up NQC next year? They are basically telling the weekend warrior groups to take a hike. You will not have a booth next year but you can take an ad in the NQC program next year to sing on the Regional Artist Showcase. It is a complete joke. Why would anybody do this unless your travel expenses wasn’t that bad? You will not have a booth to be able to point people to come by an visit. RIP NQC your audience is literally dying out. I will not give you my money next year and my group has been a faithful attendee for the past 9 years. I am sick of how this Southern Gospel industry is and I would rather keep the money that would be expensed and use that money to actually do ministry.

  103. James Cunup wrote:

    102 (Rip NQC):

    Getting rid of the local and regional groups is the best decision NQC has made in this whole transition. Its groups like yours that hamper Southern Gospel Music. You go to churches with your off pitch, harmony part searching singing, giving the public a distorted definition of what SG music really is. Groups like yours are stupid enough to buy into some scam record company’s radio compilation disc that they promote to you as going out to all the radio stations that play gospel music. Do you know that other than a few reputable record companies and radio promotors, your song on the disc you paid for is being thrown into the trash? They call and tell you that radio is spinning your tunes…they are right…the disc is spinning on their Christmas tree as an ornament! (Tongue in Cheek). And the ones that actually do get played are an embarrassment to this music. I can’t tell you how many times Ive turned on the radio and heard regional and local group’s music. It’s horrible! If I were someone scanning the stations and I heard your mess, I’d turn the channel and decide to never want to hear anything remotely close to SG music. Your group cheapens the SG name. Stay home. Please keep your money. Its quiet obvious that NQC doesn’t need you or your money! Let the audience spend their money on quality music… you guys are killing the industry. Now the pro groups won’t have to put up with your attitudes and sulking about not being on the “Main Stage”. Traffic can be directed towards real music, instead of your booth. No more cheap t-shirts and trinkets to litter all the local group booths. Stay home. We beg of you. By the way, speaking on ministry…The church people and Christian concert goers get ministered to on Sunday at church by the choir and preacher. They don’t need your ministry. Go to the streets, homeless shelters, etc to minister. Those are the people who need it most. Let the church and concert goers enjoy some good Christian entertainment.

  104. RIP NQC wrote:

    With all respect, RIP NQC, this may be the BEST thing NQC has done. I agree with “James” above me.

    The “weekend warriors” who can’t really sing and shouldn’t really sing, should not be given ANY national platform.

    This is a NATIONAL convention, and the proliferation of HORRIBLE groups that have NO BUSINESS taking any kind of stage should not be giving people a HORRID view/impression of Gospel music.

  105. DD wrote:


    Mr Canup you are so wrong it isn’t funny. I kinda like to think what “cheapens” SG is your pro touring groups who can’t keep singers because of what benefits they offer and who continue to battle the local and regional groups for “love offerings” at you neighborhood church. Let them only do concerts with promoters of “christain entertainment” and you’ll see less and less of them. I’ve been part of a regional group for 20 years. Twenty years ago I may have agreed with you on the quality of the pro groups as opposed to a regional group, but not anymore. With the constant revolving door of singers and the technical advances in the studio it has gotten closer than you think. I do have a pet peeve though and it envolves those who leave a pro group, start a new group and before they even sing a tune they are considered the next best thing in SG with all the accolades of a seasoned group. Usually, they flame out because they aren’t the best thing or can’t even earn enough money singing to even buy a can of potted meat! Then the local and regional groups are still there to step in, minister through song while you wonder “what happened to all the pro touring groups”?

  106. RIP NQC wrote:

    James Cunup,
    Go sing Looking for a city again off key. lol Good name by the way.
    Southern Gospel is hurt more by people like you that are in a mid level group I assume that hates when a group has any success at all. NQC is anything but a ministry minded thing. It is a complete joke like you are.
    Why did the crowd and the booth spaces continue to diminish in Louisville?
    Main Stage other than a handful of groups is actually worth listening to. You wonder why the industry is going down fast. It is not going to be any better in Pigeon Forge. You have reduced the venue in which the Main Stage artists perform from 20,000 to 12,000. I am sure that is the Regional Artist fault. lol
    It is people like you that is giving Southern Gospel a bad name. You sound like a bitter gospel singer that is seeing the economy and your groups pitiful table product hurt your paycheck. Continue to call churches for love offering singings because it is dying out. Good luck Cunup. lol

  107. Garden Gnomes wrote:

    If you want to sell a deskpiece depicting two boobs  you can find a better choice of casting mold than one of Beasley and Crouch, Sir.
    In any case, don’t bill them as ‘garden gnomes’, for Christ sake! We don’t need our reputation stained. We sell our share of drunks , womanizers and petty thiefs , but nobody as bad as what their  lot is sporting 

  108. Robert wrote:

    James? Is that really you? Your famous. Everyone who’s never heard James sing should experience the beautiful sounds of ole James. Well here …

    By the way James, very well said.

  109. James Canup wrote:

    105…Think of this…once all the weekend worriors who have jobs during the week stop eating into the profits by selling their cds and taking money from the budgets of churches and ticket payers, that will leave more money for the pro groups to operate on, perhaps due to more funds available to us. The local and regional groups are “double dipping”. This irritates the pro groups who do this for their living. Think about it…All the local and regional groups will be gone from NQC. That means more revenue in product sales for the pro groups, and less cost on needed space and set up for an exhibit hall to house all the booths that do not need to be there. This is more money available to operate on for the NQC and the groups performing. The more money available, the better the pay that will be available for current singers, and better singers who would be enticed to want to join a group and STAY! Benefits such as insurance, food allowances on the road, uniforms, bonuses and pay raises would be available to cover each artist. Heck, we may even be able to bring the bands back!

    106: I’m not a mid-level group member, nor am I a disgruntled or bitter singer or group owner. Our group is not seeing any pitfalls or cuts in our paychecks. We offer our members all the nessesities and extras. Great pay, bonuses, raises, all road expenses covered, etc. There aren’t many groups like us that are able to provide for our members. By the way our group doesn’t make calls to churches, nor do we work on love offering basis. When a demand and presidence is created, you don’t have to work on love offerings. Moving to Pigeon Forge benefits NQC in two major areas: The statistics show that moving to a smaller venue will help even out the attendace during the Monday-Saturday concerts. There are only so many seats available, so ticket buyers planning to come to NQC at the smaller venue will be more apt to come during what used to be the “attendance off nights” from Monday through Wednesday, so that they can be guaranteed a seat. This leads to more people each night in attendance, (NQC can boast in overall attendance on Friday night of an estimated 35,000 people…I don’t see much reduction there) and steadier sales at the product tables each night. The second area of benefit is the attractions available in Pigion Forge. There are plenty of hotels and motels in the area, FREE PARKING, numerous restaurants, sight seeing, Dollywood, etc. This is a highly attended vacation spot, and is positioned in a location where a huge SG artist and fan base is. For those who have flown in to NQC in the past, they will still be able to do that via Knoxville, which is located very close to Pigion Forge.

    But of course you can’t possibly see the benefit of all this because its YOU who is bitter and disgruntled. You proved that in your first post. My responding post was letting you know you can whine and complain all you want, because you are not needed at NQC. By the way, NQC has stock owners and a board of directors. Its a company. Not a church or a faith based 501c tax excempt organization. NQC in it’s entirety is not a ministry. Facts my friend, facts.

  110. CVH wrote:

    DD (#105),

    “Potted meat”? Ewwww…..

    GG (#107),

    I apologize - and you’re right - I should not have associated you with their dark, evil souls. Most garden gnomes I’ve seen look either happy (maybe a little too happy) or confused. I’ll try to be more precise in the future.

    No one has to convince me of the heresy espoused on TBN. I’ve seen it from behind the curtain and in front of the curtain. The interfamily accusations of theft, multiple state investigations and charges, IRS issues, Paul’s occasional bisexual indulgences - it’s an affront to the gospel and if they all spend a Christless eternity in Hell sucking puss out of the boils on Satan’s ass I think they’d be getting off easy.

    When we shift our focus from the easy targets (like TBN, the NQC and other obvious trouble spots) to the more obscure ones, the conversation bogs down. Everybody wants to sidestep discussing the foundational issues because they’re complicated and the SG industry tends to be very closed-mouth on its business practices. Yet those issues are going to shape the future viability of the business much more than petty bickering over venues, regional vs. national groups and tenor turnover.

    Southern gospel music has existed in a small self-contained bubble for years. But the oxygen is running out; it’s time to grow up and move on.

  111. j-mo wrote:

    James Cannup is an incredible singer. Incredible.

    He’s also dead on about NQC and regional groups. Plenty of regional groups have valid ministries and a few may even have better talent than a lot of pro groups. That’s not the point. The National Quartet Convention is and should be a showcase of the best full time national touring groups the industry has to offer.

    If regional groups want to sing for love offerings at churches in their area I’m all for it. But they don’t have a place at NQC any more than the country cover band that plays the honky-tonk bar down the street once a month has at the GMA’s or any other big country music event. Know your roles people.

    And, James Cannup, your role should be tenor singer of a top tier full time gospel quartet. Never give up on that dream!

  112. THIS is what hurts.. wrote:

    OH MY GOODNESS….press release I just saw ::::

    The Williamsons Announce New Lead Singer

    Weleetka. OK (October 14, 2013) The Williamsons of Weleetka, Oklahoma are saddened by the loss of our “long time” friend and lead singer David Folenius.

    Now, in that opening line, don’t you think that DAVID DIED!? And that the “long time” friend comment actually means that they “ARENT” long time friends.

    NO NO, if you READ ON, you find out that he is leaving to hold revival meetings with his wife all across the country.

    WE NEED BETTER THAN THIS! This writing is horrendous!!!!

  113. Anna wrote:

    Hey, y’all…Guess what?! Just ran across the latest single from the very “capable-handed” Queen of Gospel Music. Maybe she’ll sing this one at NQC next year:

    #99–Indiana Daze, it made my day to know that I am someone’s hero. And just think, I thought everyone here hated me…Even the imaginary “Ernest Bellend”.

    By the way, for all who are wondering…I got to the bottom of the Dove Brothers mystery…You know, where the guy kept repeatedly posting, begging for us all to go see them. Well, my curiosity got the best of me so I took the bait. Ha Ha Ha. The laugh’s on me because I now realize that he was either joking, drunk, paid-off (or James Cunupp using another name). All in all, I’m glad I left early or I wouldn’t have made it to the Sizzler before closing. The fried chicken tenders were out of sight.

  114. Robert wrote:

    That’s what I said, he’s incredible. But this isn’t the real James. James is a wonderful solo artist that I could listen to for hours. I got these YouTube videos on a playlist and let em repeat.

    Who needs the rest of them when we got James. The future of Southern Gospel is in great hands with James involved.

    I’ll admit I was wrong about Dolly. We should make James “King of Southern Gospel Music”. As a woman’s place is not on the stage anyway.

  115. Ode wrote:

    113, As Ernest Bellend’s puppet master allow me to me clarify-  I personally don’t hate you.
    Yet I am sure all the Bellend’s character prototypes -posters that called all of us commenters gay because, well, we stand for Doug’s human rights, and two a-holes SG singers that posted here-  do. And why wouldn’t they?  You claimed SG use hookers in plain sight of fans, bass singers perform intoxicated or stoned, and to top it off you didn’t mentioning names,thus brigning the cloud of suspense on all, bashed  Dove Br as unworthy, called Troy Peach a jerk, etc, etc.. I presume it’s all true?
    Were did you see Doves though, may I ask? I just checked bcz your post sounded fishy, and the closest they performed to any Sizzlers location in the last 3 months was hundreds of  miles away…Which one I missed?

  116. Ode wrote:

    W, bud, u r right. Being shafted by a joker on a free blog is  annoying - being shafted with the same  beliefs and morals as Bellend’s  by gospel artists for the price of a ticket, that’s when it becomes a worthy experience!  
    I agree with ya, Dubya, our CVH is smart. He wants to beat his pruning hook into a speer, speaking in biblical terms, he  just offered a  serious debate, he is a hardplayer. God speed, if that occurs, I am all eyes.
    Ilad’s got the heart of gold? How can I get a proof? See, the standard way to the man’s heart dont’t work as he made clear “no American grub, girl, and definitely no stinky hummus ‘n falafel. The Irish bangers are best” so am seeking high and hm.. low for the alternative way. Yet, to keep it on blog’s topic, one thing I am afraid of, he mentioned gospel singers in his bloodline, don’t know how bad growing up with access to  tour bus screwed the little fella up.

    He already told me that in USA the common sogospel tour bus sign “Please no Solids, Stay Quiet”  in plain UK -speak goes as: “No shitting allowed, Shagging Expected”. Hope he outgrew the belief that’s what the back of the vehicle is for! Scared to go to UK, you know  the cars they fancy, those buggers are  ‘economy class’ size….

  117. Whicked Which wrote:

    109 - “Double dipping”. Really? So instead of a “second job” where they’re being led to do something that can impact lives and also happen to get paid for it, they should just suck it up and do evenings and weekends at Wal-Mart solely because it’s irritating to you and some unnamed others? Eeek.

    For those proposing only “national” groups at the convention, how the heck are you gonna execute that one? What’s the criteria and who decides?

  118. Ode wrote:

    To 103- Are you saying that ALL the regional and local groups are bad and unworthy of being presented at the national event? Even the heavy competitive screening wouldn’t reveal at least a handful good enough to be an asset to NQC? So the entire board is just a bunch of shysters caring about money alone, not the genre’s future?  
    Sorry Cunp, but thou shalt not talk out thine ass.
    What you are advocating is considered to be economically bad business practice even in secular world (some artists openly argue that SGM’s standards are worse).
    Any smart investor, pro or not, knows well that monopolizing a progressively decreasing market by shutting out new or lesser known talent is effective only temporarily. While they protect their own interests for the immediate present it becomes an unwise tactic in the long run- they are essentially gambling in hopes there’ll be enough old fans to last until they retire.
    A proverbial shot  to the foot.
    What such behavior breeds is stagnation in attracting new audiences and heavy nepotism, the latter is especially devastating in the music industry because their young (or inner circle protégés) so often lack talent and personal abilities to carry on a particular group well.
     NQC board is not acting in the best interests of the public or SG genre, and eventually not even in their own.
    Hugely financially successful outdoor festivals and major events in secular rock, including Christian, take the exactly opposite route. They expand to capacity and bring in many upcoming bands (if not for their outstanding quality or professionalism) realizing the positive marketing effect that  variety of choices has . Many world famous groups started out as virtually unknown local garage bands.  
    Ignoring the free market rules made NQC worse, not better. By closing the stream of fresh talent they turned the pool into a pond.
    Their business mentality is scaring away the young audience, which is a flying unicorn at SGM concerts now, and, sorry for gloomy prediction, will deprive them of sufficient elderly fan base in the near future.
    NQC is a snake that is eating its own tail.

  119. James Cunup wrote:

    The amazing wonderful Tenor singer spells his last name like this: Canupp” :)

  120. CVH wrote:

    Another aspect of the discussion is the part that publishing plays in the income mix for groups. In the secular market, with a few exceptions, publishing has overtaken concert revenue as the primary income source. The Christian markets (CCM, inspo, SG, etc.) will never reach the critical mass necessary to generate those kinds of profits. There are exceptions - Chris Tomlin earned between $12 and $15 million in just CCLI royalties last year; through the years Gaither has generated millions in publishing but the norm is far different.

    SG’s share of the market is always going to be proportionately smaller but its growth rate is nearly stagnant and the core of its demographic is literally dying off.

    I personally think that some of the best songwriters on the planet are writing southern gospel. But if there’s little opportunity to exploit those copyrights we’re back to concert revenue as the primary income source - and each slice of the pie gets smaller and smaller.

    Where are the big ideas? Where are the best and the brightest? And what’s the end game look like? Are steps being taken to encourage the genre and keep it alive or is it just every man for himself (and the last one out turn off the lights?


  121. irishlad wrote:

    CVH,the term”imploded”comes to mind.For all your earnest exortations that my friend is what’s gonna happen in the now sad little world of SG.I’m sure Dolly’s secretly laughing her cute little butt off at the whole mess.All the heroes,movers and shakers are dead and gone.I’m sorry for being so bleak. you Ode xx

  122. A Suggestion wrote:

    To all the little ladies, pastors and fans….PLEASE stop giving the singers cakes, pies, sweets, candy, etc. Its not a blessing. Its not goodies for us to take to get us down the road. We do not need it. You give us all the crap, then 10-20 years later when we are all 100 lbs heavier and have heart attacks and strokes, you will be the first ones to mention how we should have lost weight and taken better care of ourselves. If you want to be a blessing to us, make us small healthy meals that we can eat that will save us on calories, and save us from having to stop and eat on the road. If you want to help us on down the road, fill up our fuel tanks. The money you spend on the ingredients for the junk food could be put to better use in helping us “Sangers”. By the way… a lot of health conscious singers drive about 30-40 miles away from the venue or church, and then chunk the junk food in the trash at the fuel stations. There’s all your money wasted. And another thing….we do not remember those red velvet chocolate dipped pecan cakes you made us 5 months ago. Don’t come up to us and ask us how did we like them, cause we will tell you what you want to hear.

  123. irishlad wrote:

    122.A suggestion for you.Why don’t you stop by a poor neighbourhood and give the goodies away to some of the kids,i’m sure they would appreciate it.That’s of course if you really had any left.

  124. Auke wrote:

    “It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.” (von Goethe)

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a gifted playwright, novelist, poet, statesman, scientist, and philosopher. But above all these marvelous titles he was an amazing thinker! Listen to what his quote says; It is the function (why it’s here, and how it’s supposed to work) , he then continuous saying, ‘that it’s supposed to renew our perception’.

    So it doesn’t necessarily changes our perception,what we really appreciate right now, we’ll probably like for years to come, but in its historical context, yours and the world’s. Your taste in music for instance can change overnight though, through associations with bad situations, bad people, or your ears certainly recognizing that it was really shitty music to begin with. Your perception was pure, and pristine to begin with and uniquely yours! But as with all things, it requires maintenance! Through the years the artistic receptors in your brain got cluttered with too much junk, scheiße, creative clutter. I don’t like the combination of the words creative and clutter, because real creativity is never clutter! It might not be your taste, but it’s never clutter. To ease my mind I put ‘pseudo’ in front of the word ‘creative’ So it’s Pseudo Creative Clutter!

    Speaking of such! A lot of the music cranked out in the Southern Gospel music scene is nothing more than the same old same old….clutter… really is. Music today in general is almost reduced to wall of sound, with less melody, lyrical content and more bpm’s(beats per minute), except of course in P&W music, that’s all about no beat per minute. On the other hand, P&W scores big in the less lyrical content, less melody departments. In SGM it’s all about who wins the (fixed) Dove awards, which are really awards for who is being the most ridiculously predictable. And of course’s singing SGM is apparently the best job not to retire from. Because you probably didn’t make enough money singing for decades, and you simply can’t. Unless you’re Bill Gaither who made tons of money, and still keeps on, keeping on.

    Speaking of the creative impasse in SGM, a lot of it has to do with a Gaither’s media conglomerate. Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world.There’s a media conglomerate active in SGM today. One I believe keeps a lot of old folks in the business, and leaves the much desired young guns out of it. I love SGM’s heritage, don’t get me wrong! In fact I buy a lot of vintage records, more than ever before. I buy stuff from the early quartet’s to groups that were active in the 80’s. I gradually stopped buying stuff from the mid 90’s on..with a few exceptions the GVB being one of them. The Vocal Band I still buy, but more out of a sense of loyalty, to some of the individual singers. The last real creative thing those guys made was the A Cappella album. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the some of wonderful things the conglomerate brought us. God know’s that at that time SGM needed renewal!

    With big money comes the word exclusive, excluding everyone who is a potential threat to your media-empire. That’s what it is, hate to pop your spiritual bubble, but it is not only run as an empire…it is an empire…with a emperor! Who runs it like a empire. I know, I know…you gotta make money to fund your overhead, in order to preach the Word…right? Amen brother, amen! Each nite you get up there and sing, and maybe occasionally even a classic like ‘He Will Provide’, but really don’t have the faith that He actually will. That’s why less of y’all will take a ‘love offering’. Of course some of you say, ‘in secular music it is no different’. You are right! But it should be! We are called to be different from the world! So don’t give me that prosperity gospel rap, it’s downright wrong! It’s bloody obvious that revival doesn’t last a life time….otherwise there wouldn’t be use for a word such as ‘revival’.

    Some of you might say, what is your beef with SGM? Nothing! Got no beef, other than that it’s all about playing safe…lyrically, musically and creatively ..and safe gets corny, cliché fast. It’s the same stuff over and over…you name it! It’s stacks, tracks, and polo’s with slacks, Man I could go on and on, about the inevitable solo efforts of individual members, why would one who claims love for SGM not wanna sing harmony with others, except for those who were chosen to back him/her up? Some of the finest quartets were broken up over that. Define that? That is the apparent urge to be the centre of attention, cutting back on operating costs, and increase you salary, while you’re at it! I hear the same people say, ‘that’s renewal! No I disagree respectfully ! That’s change! Change is embraced , but often it alienates. Alienation has been going on for a good number of years now. In secular music. at least tolerates a ‘alternative scene! Some produce the most inspiring unique artists! That’s what in SGM circles is referred to as ‘locals’ and ‘amateurs, and the consumers/buyers won’t give em the light of day because the pro’s say they are. “Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures’ Cesar Chavez once said. The ‘industry’ isn’t preserving SGM, it’s protecting it in a fierce manner. No strangers (aliens) allowed, unless they are granted a safe passage from the emperor himself.
    Bill Gaither (bless his heart) has become the Bob Ross of SGM, painting the same corny thing every time. It’s one reproduction after another. And we art appreciating snobs know that a repro is for the (creatively) poor. Meaning, that if you can’t afford a Van Gogh, don’t be hanging his stuff on your wall. Art collectors are greedy for great art, and not great names alone. I’m a collector, not a buyer! I’ll gladly hand over a thousand dollars, in exchange for a true work of art, it will last me a life time. But I refuse to spare you a dime for a ‘knock off’…then regret will probably haunt me for that same life span.

    “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us”. That’s what Marten Luther, theologian and blatant anti-Semite said. Being wrong about one thing doesn’t disqualify the essence of that quote.

    ‘Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed’. (Machiavelli )

  125. The Art Coach wrote:

    Thumbs up!
    I hate the word “SANGERS”

  126. sensible wrote:

    #122 - That is so true! I knew of groups that would set the junk food cakes out and squash them with the bus just for the fun of it because they did not want to eat it. First . . . it was fattening. Second . . . if it was homemade, you had no idea how clean the household was that it came from. I remember though one time someone gave our group a huge box of blueberries. That was a real treat!

  127. Winged Monkeys wrote:

    There is no set criteria, Your Majesty. The people that own the event are going to designate which groups to consider  national and deserving to be on main stage based on certain  time-proven factors, fully independent from the quality of performance. We were assured it’s  totally aligned with Christian principles and is completely honest and fair -  as it’s always been!
    Now, if you allow, Madam, we plan to fly to the famed Land of Dolly Woods where it’s gorgeous Head Mistress, informally known as “Clark Beasley with balls” is hosting a gala show of a few SG artists, lucked into becoming her true bosom buddies, as we were very touched to learn . We wish to be  touched more, so bye!

  128. A Suggestion wrote:

    irishlad - Great idea. Its usually in the middle of the night when we leave with the junk, and don’t really want to take the chance of getting mugged if we did find a poor neighborhood at night. We did give a pan of peanut butter fudge to a homeless man one evening.

    The Art Coach - I hate that word too! lol Thats how the grannies like to call the gospel groups sometimes. “We just love them gospel sangers. They are such blessings to us. Heres something to give you acid reflux when laying in your bunk tonight. God bless ye!”

  129. Whicked Which wrote:

    125 - my dear friend, Gus Paul Sanger, agrees with you. He feels it an affront to the lengthy history of the Sangers that preceded him. He’d speak for himself, but he’s very busy trying to wheedle an audition with Bill to replace Michael English. He sings with that same level of passion, but my concern is that it takes a fifth of Tequila to get him to that space…

  130. Robert wrote:

    #122. I got an idea. Since there is a great possibility that there is a pretty girl at home who would love to bake you your favorite healthy, no sugar, diabetic, won’t give me a heart stint cake, save the diesel fuel the world needs and stay home.

    No, really. Instead of leaving her alone for 5 to 7 days a week to fend for herself, instead of playing “save the world”, and “I’m the worlds greatest singer” go home.

    Instead of scoping out the girls, luring the young ones in with coloring books, go home!

    And for all you other “man whores” reading this post, that goes for you too!

    Save SGM, go home!

  131. CVH wrote:

    #127 - i thought it was Clark Beasley with boobs.

  132. j-mo wrote:

    How is it decided who would perform? Come on people, there aren’t that many quality acts out there. I’m sure even among this contrary group of commenters we could come to an almost unanimous general consensus about the top 25 acts in the genre as far as drawing power is concerned. I doubt there would even be very much disparity in all of our top 40 lists. By the time any of us tried to name a top 50 we’d all be struggling to think of anyone at all (except the Joyful Noisers, who probably have a top 300 list scribbled on a He is Lord notepad and stuck to their fridge). The NQC main stage needs to be reserved for groups who will draw a significant number of fans to the event. The groups who need NQC more than NQC needs them should be limited to showcases.

    These are the groups I’m guessing would be pretty much consensus as the top 25 drawing groups, in no particular order:

    Booth Bros
    Greater Vision
    Legacy 5
    Gold City
    Jeff & Sheri
    Dove Brothers
    Kingdom Heirs
    Brian Free & Assurance
    Collingsworth Family
    Lefevre QT
    Mark Trammell QT
    Karen Peck & New River

    I doubt many would disagree with much of that as a top 25. Beyond that, we could probably all continue to agree on most of the next lower tier of names to round out the top 40:

    Three Bridges
    Dixie Melody Boys
    Dixie Echoes
    Aaron & Amanda Crabb
    Canton Junction
    Wilburn & Wilburn
    Blackwood Bros
    Primitive QT
    Soul’d Out
    Old Paths
    Crist Family

    Throw in some soloists (Jason Crabb, Ivan Parker, English. Lowry, Mote, Penrod) and you’ve already got more than enough acts for a full and diverse mainstage lineup without having to throw in groups that are considered scrubs even more than some already in that 2nd tier.

  133. Good Points wrote:

    122 - The grannies and pastors probably aren’t reading this site.
    130 - That was taking it a little too far. If you have ever been to a concert, they are mostly age 40 and over in the audience anyhow.
    132 - I agree completely. But maybe your list is a touch off balance. Gold City hasn’t had any stability in years and have lost loads of pull. The Kingsmen aren’t as relevant as they were years ago. Lefevre Quartet has a name from years past but no talent available. The Dove Brothers aren’t even at NQC anymore. They fell off the wagon a long time ago. The Inspirations have lost all their sensible legends and are all but sticking a fork in it. Going by the current direction of radio play, popularity and fan base I would say these would be the top tier groups in no particular order:
    Booth Bros
    Greater Vision
    Legacy 5
    Jeff & Sheri
    Old Paths
    Soul’d Out
    Kingdom Heirs
    Brian Free & Assurance
    Collingsworth Family
    Mark Trammell QT
    Karen Peck & New River

  134. Ode wrote:

    Neah, “CB with boobs”  means   “NQC board’s  meeting”, but I meant  exactly what I said in 127 ;)  Dolly is Clark Beasley ( in a sense she’s involved in music events) yet, unlike him, she has balls  (to be progressive and do it efficiently) as evidenced by her making money and expanding vs. him and his boobs scamming elderly out of cash ,selling them schlock and downsizing.

    PS Robert, I know SG are mostly a bunch of sleazebags and happy they are, as a genre, going under, but what  “coloring books”, pray tell ? You are actually accusing SGM singers  of pedophilia?!! Wow. (  Giving Robert and Anna   “ The Biggest Balls and Loudest Mouth on AVFL” award.   Me and Wade can  safely retire now.)

  135. Gus Paul Sanger wrote:

    129, My friend, those are old numbers. I grow in spirit, get deeper and more filled with it daily.  Can’t get quite as low Burman Porter (yet), but a fifth arent enough. About a half would do it. Praise the Lord!God Loves Southern Gospel, amen

  136. Robert wrote:

    Uhh, more than one book and author, there Ode. But I’ll leave naming names to those with bigger balls than I. Some are still left and at a deep discount mind you.

  137. Robert wrote:

    Your smart Ode. You can find em. Or you can email me. I’ve got a picture that makes me cringe.

  138. irishlad wrote:

    Du bist nur Haufen Wichger,abgeseten von Ode und CVH eun puar andere. Excuse my German,it’s been a while. :)

  139. CVH wrote:

    Irish - sure, sounds good to me (although I have no idea what you said.)

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