Following up last week’s post regarding the Southern Gospel song, of the (2) responses I received, the lyric was considered to be the most important part of the Southern Gospel song. I would venture to say that if I had received any more responses, lyric would probably top most people’s list. With that being said, the question I have been pondering is, why is Southern Gospel music not a song driven market? Why can’t new artists find success with a great song?
Mainstream musical genres create successful artists through song success. More than touring and image, initial success in mainstream musical genres is a direct result of a mega-song. The touring and image part for mainstream musical artists will continue their success but I don’t believe it has anything to do with initial success. Produce a big radio hit and initial success is almost guaranteed. Using an example from mainstream country radio. I had no idea who Easton Corbin was until the song he released, “I’m A Little More Country Than That”. If you ask any major country music fan, whether they like him or not, they would know who Easton Corbin is because of the success of that song.
The question I pose to all of you is why, in a musical genre where lyric is considered to be to most important element to the song, Southern Gospel success does not come with the success of a song (at least within the last 10 to 15 years). Artists normally have to build their image and generate buzz through touring to become established in the Southern Gospel market. At the end of the day, Southern Gospel is an artist driven, not song driven market.
Lack of radio coverage or poor quality of Southern Gospel radio programming could be one of the biggest factors why this doesn’t occur as it does in mainstream musical genres. It could be the ’7th grade click’ mentality of some fans that believe their favorite groups are the only ones and they rather not be introduced to other great artists. It could be that personality is really more important than the song and we rather not admit it.
So I pose the question to all of you. Why is Southern Gospel not a song driven market? Why can’t new artists generate success with great songs? I would like to hear your thoughts.
Look for a free music contest post on Wednesday based on today’s discussion.