While we’re taking a gander at gospel groups dredging up 1970s tunes, here’s GVB covering “One Voice,” which is - oddly enough, given that it’s a Barry Manilow song - a casebook example of one of those stand-and-deliver performances of flatfooted virtuosity that gospel types love to rave on about (this “flatfooted” bidness is on my mind […]
In today’s installment of our “Just Sing” series, an illustrative of example of what happens when singers don’t just sing (h/t, KC). To wit, the Hoppers, reviving an old 70s tune, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.”
Never mind the fact that I liked the second verse better the first time the Hoppers sang about this […]
Ask and ye shall receive. I’ll be back after a brief commercial break (aka my day job).
So there’s this - a story about how Korea has transformed the creation and production of pop music into a cultural export. Reduced a three stop process, the transformation relied on three main factors:
1) Korea decided to produce pop music like it produces cars.
2) Korean record labels transformed the way music was released.
3) Korea is one of […]
Today is the 30th anniversary of what is understood to be the birth of the mass-market cd. Given the very reliable transition to new technologies in the music industry just about every 30 years, nobody may care or even remember to mark the cd’s 40th, or maybe even its 35th. So dust off that old […]
So the NQC post-mortems have rolled in, including reactions to the announcement of NQC’s 2014 move to Pigeon Forge, and the responses range from mixed to meh, it would seem.
As for this year’s convention, comments here reinforce what folks on the ground and near to the heart of the NQC mothership have indicated to me: that […]
This is probably only new to me - because I am hopelessly late to most mainstream culture stuff like this - but tonight Avery HQ screened Bernie, a Jack Black/Shirley MacLaine/Matthew McConaughey flick about a swishy smalltown southern funeral director … but I repeat myself (seriously though, this really does seem like a movie at […]
NQC ‘12 kicked off today with the announcement that this is the next to last year for the festivities in Louisville. In 2014*, NQC will be moving to Pigeon Forge. Goodbye to all that, indeed.
More on this later, but my initial reaction is A)getting to Pigeon Forge is going to be a lot more difficult […]
NQC 2012 kicks off this weekend and this will I think be only the second time in 20 years that I won’t be attending. This year, the externalities of real world obligations have come to encroach so mightily as to make a trip to Louisville even impossibler than it normally is in the middle of a semester.
My publishers at the University of the Illinois Press asked me for an interview about my southern gospel book recently, and the results of the conversation are now up. Among other things, we talked about some of my favorites discoveries in the research process:
Q: What is the most interesting thing that you learned while researching the book?
Harrison: One of […]
At the end of a long, thoughtful response to reading my book and reflecting on the spiritual and cultural labor performed by a variety of hymns and gospel songs in a southern cultural tradition of lamentation and world-weariness, a regular reader posts a link to “Farther Along” and then writes:
I guess the question could be […]
Across the transom this a.m. trundles this announcement from the southern gospel convention singing world (h/t, SS):
The first Singer’s Glen Music and Heritage Festival in five years will take place in the village outside Harrisonburg, Virginia, September 22-23.
According to Dale MacAllister, a Singer’s Glen resident, “The Festival is very much on. . . . Practice […]
I wish Dean Adkins or some such southern gospel collector with troves of great images from back in the day would do the equivalent of this for southern gospel.
Via the winds of Mount Listmore blows in a video of the Sisters Ruppe staging a vocal transfiguration of “It is Well” at Stephen Hill’s funeral.
With no disrespect intended to the departed, it’s really too bad that these days it seems like a funeral is often just about the only place you can reliably go for musically enlivening […]
The Daily Mail has a story about the J.D. Sumner du jour, Tim Storms, who holds the current world’s record for lowest human voice. Here he is gutting it out with Amazing Grace:
From the news report:
The man who holds the record for the world’s lowest voice can hit notes so low that only animals as massive as elephants […]
Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes via Facebook on Avery’s 8th blogoversary yesterday. The magazine Religion Dispatches gave me a bloggy birthday present of interviewing me about my new southern gospel book this week. The interview is aptly titled “Still Captivated by Southern Gospel.” A taste:
Q: What inspired you to write Then Sings […]
That’s how a new comic novel describes American Copyright law:
Reid does believe in the sanctity of intellectual property. But he thinks the penalties for copyright infringement in the U.S. are so extreme that they wind up being counterproductive.
“When the law gets stretched to such a cartoon extreme — $150,000 penalty for pirating a single 99 […]
From the great American composer Marvin Hamlisch, who died today. Hamlisch wrote the music for “A Chorus Line” and “The Way We Were,” among many others:
“I’m not one of those people who says, ‘I never read reviews,’ because I don’t believe those people,” Mr. Hamlisch said. “I think they read ‘em. These songs are my […]
Listening to that “I’ve Just Seen Jesus” clip I posted yesterday, I was reminded of one of my pet theories about the shifting centers of southern gospel taste that surfaces from time to time.
(Not so) Succinctly stated, it’s this: that southern gospel’s alleged distaste/disdain for Contemporary Christian Music really only lasts as long as it takes […]
My favorite Gaither Kool-Aid drinker, regular reader KC, sent me this official youtube release from the Gaither Mothership of the Larnelle Harris David Phelps and Sandi Patty Roseanne Roseannadanna Lana Ranahan covering “I’ve Just Seen Jesus.”
“Everyone is talking about” this clip, the mothership tells us in the youtube blurbage. Uh huh.
But certainly this is […]
As promised, my interview with Anthony Heilbut, the don of black gospel music studies, is now up at Religion Dispatches. A taste:
Your account of the black church charts a dramatic swing in attitudes and practices toward non-heterosexuals over the past 30 years. What do you think are some of the origins of this […]
Ok, so only I have a sorta-kinda inkling about what that phrase actually means. It’s from a pointy-headed study of pop music that concludes, basically, that pop music is literally boring:
We find three important trends in the evolution of musical discourse: the restriction of pitch sequences (with metrics showing less variety in pitch progressions), the […]
Via a link that was a making the rounds on Facebook recently: a copious evisceration of all that grates and benumbs about congregational P&W music. From a list of the main features of these songs that offend the writer:
3. They repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And rep — all right. See what I mean? […]
In preparing to interview Anthony Heilbut (most well known for his landmark book on black gospel from the early 1970s, The Gospel Sound), I’ve been spending time with his most recent book, The Fan Who Knew Too Much.
There’s a lot more to be said (some of it from the man himself, I hope, when I talk with him) about […]
Given the … ahem … “short break” this summer, I’m sure some of you, dear readers, have been ready to call me gone, if not precisely in the way that old Hinsons song has in mind. But you’ve all done a smash-up job of talking amongst yourselves in my absence.
It has been one of those […]