Ten On Ten (Redux) – JD Sumner & Stamps

jdsumnerandthestamps1979keepmemaxThis week the ten on ten (redux) will re-visit JD Sumner and the Stamps. On October 19th, 2011, I presented the original ten on ten feature for the Stamps highlighting the group’s ten best albums.  This redux feature will now shine the spotlight on the three lowest ranking albums of JD Sumner and the Stamps recording career.  First, the original list highlighting the group’s ten best recordings.

  1. Live At Murray State University (1975)
  2. The Exciting Stamps Quartet (1970)
  3. Live In Nashville (1971)
  4. The Touch Of His Hand (1971)
  5. What A Happy Time (1974)
  6. The Final Sessions (1999)
  7. Signs Of A Good Life (1969)
  8. Let’s Have Church (1995)
  9. Sweet Song Of Salvation (1972)
  10. Victory Road (1990)

jdsumnerandthestamps1969singsongstoremembermaxThe lowest ranked albums in JD Sumner and the Stamps discography are as follows:

  1. Keep Me (1979)
  2. Songs To Remember (1969)
  3. I Believe In The Old Time Way (1980)

#ASKSTEVE: Answering Your Questions

askstevelogoThis week continues my #asksteve feature where I answer your questions about Southern Gospel music.  I have two questions to answer this week.  This series will continue weekly as long as there are questions to answer.  If you have a question you want answered leave it in the comments section or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving it in the comments section, you can email me (swea215@yahoo.com).  Thanks.

Question 1

  • From reader Andrew:  Do you have plans to share why these albums rank so low? Several of these, I’ve agreed about (didn’t take time to comment, but I agreed). However, I’m just curious as to why you think they’re the bottom 3 albums.
  • Answer:  This question was left on a recent ten on ten (redux) post on the Perrys.  Since I have been asked this question before I will answer it here.  When creating a list to rank the best (of anything), something on that list will ultimately rank at the bottom.  When I am compiling a list of ranking the best albums in an artist’s discography, I look at several different factors.  They include: (1) Song Selection  (2) Hit Songs from the Album  (3) Vocal Line-up  (4) Remembrance Factor (how many times was the album actually played)  (5) How did the album stack up to other SG albums released the same year.  In the case of the recent Perrys feature; Full Circle (1994), is ranked lowest because of how it ranked in the criteria listed above.

Question 2

  • From reader Trent (via email):  What are your thoughts on the Duggar situation?
  • Answer:  I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to answer this question and if it has any relevance to Southern Gospel music.  Since a large majority of Southern Gospel artists/listeners watch this program I will add my thoughts.  I want to start by saying I have never seen the program in question (19 Kids And Counting), but I am well aware of the Duggar family and especially Josh’s (former) work with the FRC.  I guess my biggest concern in the entire situation is the lack of concern I see for the victims in this case.  A large portion of the comments I’ve read from various Christian websites are quick to stand behind Josh Duggar, but very little for the lifetime of scars the victims in this situation will carry around.  I see a lot of people immediately jump on the word forgiveness and that we as Christians should forgive.  At the end of the day, it is not in our place to forgive Josh Duggar.  There was no crime perpetrated against us.  The only person(s) that can forgive is the Lord himself and the victims of the abuse.  And even if Jesus has forgiven him, there was still a crime committed for which he (his parents and local law enforcement) should have to answer for.  And the damage the Learning Channel has caused by giving this family a platform, with them already knowing of the abuse allegations is reprehensible.  So, I want to close by leaving this note to the Allen Family (a Southern Gospel artist), who is considering having their lives chronicled and broadcast by the Learning Channel for a future show.  I would think long and hard about your decision.

Round 2 Voting: Search Of Southern Gospel’s Greatest Song – 1990’s

Today continues round 2 voting in our search for Southern Gospel’s greatest song.  We started with 120 songs to represent the decade of the 1990’s.  We are down to 60.  The top five in vote tally for each of the five polls will advance to the semi-finals.  Rules are as follows:

  1. All readers of this blog can participate.
  2. Please vote in each poll.
  3. You get three choices in each poll.  Be sure to select three choices in each of the polls.
  4. The top five songs in each poll by vote tally will advance to the semi-finals.

1990’s – Round 2 – Poll 1

  1. “Built On Amazing Grace”
  2. “Calvary Came Through”
  3. “Common Garments”
  4. “Do You Know How It Feels”
  5. “For God So Loved”
  6. “Go And Tell Somebody”
  7. “God’s Building A Church”
  8. “Jesus Built A Bridge”
  9. “Not Even A Stone”
  10. “Old Ship Of Zion”
  11. “Right On Time”
  12. “There Rose A Lamb”

1990’s – Round 2 – Poll 2

  1. “Angels In The Room”
  2. “From The Depths Of My Heart”
  3. “Healing”
  4. “I Am Redeemed”
  5. “I Call It Home”
  6. “I Need You More Today”
  7. “I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is”
  8. “Please Forgive Me”
  9. “Roses Will Bloom Again”
  10. “Somebody Touched The Lord”
  11. “When He Spoke”
  12. “Wish You Were Here”

1990’s – Round 2 – Poll 3

  1. “He Made A Change”
  2. “Heavenly Sunrise”
  3. “He’d Still Been God”
  4. “He’s In The Midst”
  5. “Is Anything Too Hard For God”
  6. “It’s Still The Cross”
  7. “Just One More Soul”
  8. “My Name Is Lazarus”
  9. “Praise His Name”
  10. “Through The Fire”
  11. “Under His Wings”
  12. “When Jesus Passes By”

1990’s – Round 2 – Poll 4

  1. “Anchor To The Power Of The Cross”
  2. “He Is Here”
  3. “He Is Mine”
  4. “Here I Am”
  5. “In Time, On Time, Every Time”
  6. “Mention My Name”
  7. “Oasis”
  8. “One Scarred Hand”
  9. “Outside The Gate”
  10. “Praise God, It’s Settled, I’m Saved”
  11. “That’s Him”
  12. “The Love Of Jesus”

1990’s – Round 2 – Poll 5

  1. “God Likes To Work”
  2. “God’s Promised Land”
  3. “I Will Rise Up From The Grave”
  4. “If God Be For Us”
  5. “I’m Not Giving Up”
  6. “Jesus Saves”
  7. “On The Road To Emmaus”
  8. “Out Of His Great Love”
  9. “They’ll Never Crucify Him Again”
  10. “Wedding Music”
  11. “Yes I Know”
  12. “You Can’t Ask Too Much Of My God”

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:

  • Wendy Bagwell (Marines) – Wendy Bagwell & Sunliters
  • RW Blackwood (Military Service) – Blackwood Brothers
  • Rusty Goodman (Army, Korea) – Happy Goodmans
  • Hovie Lister (Military Service) – Statesmen
  • Rex Nelon (Marines) – Nelons
  • Glen Payne (Military Service) – Cathedrals
  • Ray Dean Reese (Army) – Kingsmen
  • Tim Riley (Army, Vietnam) – Gold City
  • Henry Slaughter (Army) – Imperials
  • Brock Speer (WWII) – Speer Family
  • JD Sumner (WWII) – Stamps Quartet
  • George Younce (Army, 82 Airborne) – Cathedrals

**And to all those who have served, I say thank you!  Happy Memorial Day!

*Video Credit (Curt Goad)

Ten On Ten (Redux) – Perrys

perrys1995fullcirclemaxThis week the ten on ten (redux) will re-visit the Perrys. On October 11th, 2011, I presented the original ten on ten feature for the Perrys highlighting the group’s ten best albums. Since that time, the group has released Through The Night (2012) and Into His Presence (2014).  One of the two albums was strong enough to find a place in the group’s ten best albums, knocking out the 2011 recording, Blue Skies Coming.  This redux feature will also shine the spotlight on the three lowest ranking albums of the Perrys recording career thus far.  First, the original list highlighting the Perrys ten best recordings.

  1. Almost Morning (2009)
  2. Changed Forever (2001)
  3. Look No Further (2007)
  4. Come To The Fountain (1998)
  5. This Is The Day (2003)
  6. Come Thirsty (2006)
  7. Center Stage Live (1996)
  8. God’s Little People (1988)
  9. Crossings (1997)
  10. Blue Skies (2011)

perrys1984lookingbackmaxNEW TOP TEN LIST:

  1. Almost Morning (2009)
  2. Changed Forever (2001)
  3. Look No Further (2007)
  4. Come To The Fountain (1998)
  5. This Is The Day (2003)
  6. Through The Night (2012)
  7. Come Thirsty (2006)
  8. Center Stage Live (1996)
  9. God’s Little People (1988)
  10. Crossings (1997)
  11. Blue Skies (2011)

The lowest ranked albums in the Perrys discography are as follows:

  1. Full Circle (1994)
  2. 25 Years And More (1995)
  3. Looking Back (1984)

#ASKSTEVE: Answering Your Questions

askstevelogoThis week will begin my #asksteve feature where I answer your questions about Southern Gospel music.  I have two questions from last week’s comment section and another I received via email.  If there is a question you have or if you just want to get my thoughts on a certain Southern Gospel artist/issue/topic, be sure to leave it in the comments section for next week’s Q&A.

Question 1

  • From reader JSR:  Do SG artists coordinate attacks on bloggers and websites that give less than glowing reviews of their music? I’ve seen at least one review that got so much attention by fans of the group that I suspected the group requested their friends to go attack the site with nasty comments. Any idea if this happens and any examples of it happening?
  • Answer:  I don’t believe artists specifically have fans attack certain websites/blogs over less than flattering album reviews.  I do believe there is a certain sub-set of fan that are so passionate about their favorite artist, they will attack.  These individuals can’t separate the art (music) from the individual performing it; so they automatically think that a critique of the music is an attack on the one performing it.  Believe me, this happens is all genres of music.  A One Direction fan is about as rabid as they come.

Question 2

  • From reader Jeff:  Why do so many people go solo and leave an established group?
  • Answer:  This one is easy; MONEY.  The only justifiable reason to go solo in Southern Gospel music is there is more money to be made.  Here’s a simple example:  Say said solo artist was once in a quartet that had to pay four members every week.  Let’s say that a Saturday date yields the group $2,000.  That is $500 per group member for that date.  If that established vocalist now goes solo, let’s say they request $800 to $1,000 for a Saturday date.  The solo artist is already ahead by as much as $300 to $500 a performance.

Question 3

  • From reader Amanda (via email):  Do groups perform patriotic songs to get a guaranteed standing ovation?
  • Answer:  While I can’t answer for the intent of what songs an artist chooses to stage, I can say that performing a song about how great America is will get a Southern Gospel crowd on their feet.  While I have zero problems with individuals being patriotic, I think this may be more of a generational emphasis and knowing the median age of a Southern Gospel concert attendee, the Southern Gospel artist knows who they are targeting when staging patriotic songs.

 

As We Speak: Greater Vision

greater-visionGRADE:  B+

  • Album – As We Speak
  • Artist – Greater Vision
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Traditional
  • Release Date – 04/14/15
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes)

SYNOPSIS:

In the wake of two of the group’s biggest albums (The Only Way – 2011 and For All He’s Done – 2013), Greater Vision releases their newest effort; As We Speak.

This is also the third album of new music since the return of tenor, Chris Allman.  The group doesn’t stray stylistically from what they have been providing Southern Gospel listeners for over 20 years.

One of the first things that stood out to me was the songwriter credits.  While Rodney Griffin and Chris Allman dominate the list, it was nice to see names like Phil Cross, Lari Goss, Joel Hemphill and Regina Walden among the credits.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chris knocks it out of the park on a song he and Rodney co-wrote; “Saved By The Same Grace”.  This mid-tempo Southern Gospel, future classic, is hands down the best song on the recording.  The song relays the message that while two sinners came with separate sins, they were both saved by the same grace.  In a time when a majority of the church has become the sin police, this was a nice refreshing message.  A must listen!
  • When a group decides to use only their own material (something Greater Vision was known for), they miss gems like the Phil Cross penned, “We Can’t Tell It All”.  I applaud the group for stepping out a bit and spreading the songwriter love.  This a perfect song for Rodney to convey.  This would make a great radio single choice.
  • Speaking of Rodney; has he become lead singer for the group?  He is featured vocalist on six of the ten songs on As We Speak, while Gerald has one feature.
  • And Rodney really steps it up in terms of performance on the group’s cover of the Hemphills, “Let The Blood Of Calvary Speak For Me”.  This big Southern Gospel ballad is something I would normally expect to hear Gerald tackle, but Rodney really out does his self.
  • The one up-tempo bright spot is another Rodney feature, “In The Sandals Of Daniel”.  This is the type of song listeners have come to expect from the pen of Griffin.
  • I couldn’t leave this review without mentioning Chris’ performance of “He Does”.  A simple musical arrangement that allows the vocal to shine.  The slow to mid-tempo songs on As We Speak are the best the album has to offer.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Saved By The Same Grace”, “We Can’t Tell It All”, “In The Sandals Of Daniel”, “He Does”, “Let The Blood Of Calvary Speak For Me” and “I Do Know”.
CRITIQUE:
  • In an area where Greater Vision usually excels, I felt the up-tempo songs on As We Speak were a bit stale in terms of what they usually offer listeners.
  • “Never Will I Ever Again”, “Toes In The Water” and “Put Out The Fire” all fall in this category.  I was surprised with the strength of the other songs found on As We Speak, the group/record company would choose “Put Out The Fire” as a single.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Toes In The Water”, “Never Will I Ever Again” and “Put Out The Fire”.

WRAP UP:

Greater Vision has a lot to be proud of with As We Speak.  The slow to mid-tempo songs were so strong they really overshadowed the weaker moments that came with the up-tempo numbers.  This album stands alongside the group’s two previous efforts and should give the group several big hit songs (if they pick the right ones).  Continued proof the group is once again at the top of their game.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Put Out The Fire”/Ensemble; Rodney – Rodney Griffin  2. “We Can’t Tell It All“/Ensemble; Rodney – Phil Cross  3. “Toes In The Water”/Ensemble; Rodney – Rodney Griffin  4. “He Does”/Chris – Chris Allman  5. “In The Sandals Of Daniel”/Ensemble; Rodney – Rodney Griffin  6. “Let The Blood Of Calvary Speak For Me”/Ensemble; Rodney – Candy Christmas, Lari Goss, Joel Hemphill  7. “Never Will I Ever Again”/Chris – Regina Walden  8. “I Do Know”/Rodney – Rodney Griffin  9. “Saved By The Same Grace”/Chris – Chris Allman, Rodney Griffin  10. “As We Speak”/Ensemble; Gerald – Rodney Griffin

Round 2 Voting: Search For Southern Gospel’s Greatest Song – 1980’s

Today continues round 2 voting in our search for Southern Gospel’s greatest song.  We started with 110 songs to represent the decade of the 1980’s.  We are down to 55.  The top five in vote tally for each of the five polls will advance to the semi-finals.  Rules are as follows:

  1. All readers of this blog can participate.
  2. Please vote in each poll.
  3. You get three choices in each poll.  Be sure to select three choices in each of the polls.
  4. The top five songs in each poll by vote tally will advance to the semi-finals.

1980’s – Round 2 – Poll 1

  1. “Boundless Love”
  2. “Call Me Gone”
  3. “God On The Mountain”
  4. “I’m Going Home With Jesus”
  5. “In My Robe Of White”
  6. “Midnight Cry”
  7. “More Precious Than Gold”
  8. “Saved To The Uttermost”
  9. “Sinner Saved By Grace”
  10. “There’ll Be A Payday”
  11. “Who Can Do Anything”

1980’s – Round 2 – Poll 2

  1. “Antioch Church Choir (Uncle Jesse)”
  2. “Greatest Of All Miracles”
  3. “Home”
  4. “I Remember The Day”
  5. “I Think I’ll Read It Again”
  6. “I’ve Just Started Living”
  7. “Saints Will Rise”
  8. “Thanks”
  9. “Then Came The Morning”
  10. “When He Was On The Cross”
  11. “When I Get Carried Away”

1980’s – Round 2 – Poll 3

  1. “Ain’t God Good”
  2. “Cross In The Middle”
  3. “God Will Make This Trial A Blessing”
  4. “He’s Still In The Fire”
  5. “I Can See The Hand”
  6. “I Lean On You Lord”
  7. “Miracle In Me”
  8. “O For A Thousand Tongues”
  9. “We Shall See Jesus”
  10. “When I Knelt, The Blood Fell”
  11. “Who But God”

1980’s – Round 2 – Poll 4

  1. “Because He Loved Me”
  2. “Canaanland Is Just In Sight”
  3. “Champion Of Love”
  4. “Daystar”
  5. “Hallelujah Praise The Lamb”
  6. “I Sing Because”
  7. “Meet Me At The Table”
  8. “Thinking About Home”
  9. “Triumphantly, The Church Will Rise”
  10. “Under Control”
  11. “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown”

1980’s – Round 2 – Poll 5

  1. “Everywhere I Go”
  2. “He Didn’t Throw The Clay Away”
  3. “It’s Still The Blood”
  4. “John Saw”
  5. Master Of The Wind
  6. “Saved By Grace”
  7. “Somebody Touched Me”
  8. “Step Into The Water”
  9. “Two Winning Hands”
  10. “We Shall Behold Him”
  11. “Whiter Than Snow”
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