Does Southern Gospel Music Have A Five Year Plan?

N5Y_LOGOI have wrote several commentaries over the last several years; one questioning whether the Southern Gospel industry/fan base actually care about its history (here).  And another six part series several years ago talking about Southern Gospel’s impending irrelevance (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4), (Part 5), (Part 6).

I am not going to spend my time re-hashing the irrelevance series, thus the reason for the links.  Instead I want to take a look at whether the Southern Gospel music industry as we know it now will still exist in five years.

As a member of the business world (day job), anytime you’re interviewing candidates to fill a certain position, you tend to ask the question; ‘where do you see yourself five years from now’?  So, I am throwing that question out to the Southern Gospel music industry; ‘where do you see Southern Gospel music in five years’?

Instead of me blubbering on about this particular question; it is time for you, the reader, to sit in the interview chair and answer this question.  You are the individuals who are still listening, still attending concerts, still purchasing product.

A few things to think about while coming up with your answer:

  • How will continued concert attendance declines affect this five-year forecast?
  • What creative ways can artists come up with to continue to thrive in this kind of declining market?
  • Will the thinning out of artists because of financial constraints actually help Southern Gospel because of less over saturation?
  • Do you believe you will still be listening/supporting Southern Gospel music in five years?



2 thoughts on “Does Southern Gospel Music Have A Five Year Plan?

  1. I am a long time SGM fan, but I believe gospel music as we know it will continue to decline. The impact of country gospel and progressive gospel has caused many of us to lose interest. I myself only purchase CD’s of three current quartets. These three still take pride in their appearance and sing traditional SGM. I would estimate that 95% of my listening to gospel music is to the quartets of the late 40’s through the early 60’s. Current groups with all the modern conveniences are not willing to pay the price in rehearsal time, etc. Check out the daily schedule of the Statesmen in the late 40’s and see if you can find a current group with that type of dedication.

  2. Steve, great question. I see the concerts goers dwindling. It still is older audience in the future. I was talking to a singer from a mixed group I won’t mention who, that said they get upset when they come to a church and a pastor dismisses the youth to go to Junior church. They miss the next generation to hear this music. Also when They are given the oppportunity to hear,the younger generation buys the cd’s like crazy because it is different then what they hear with contemporary music. so in 5 years if the southern gospel industry, does not embrace the youth and work on targeting that audience, it will continue to to decline. Also there needs to be more young people involved. I think Bill Gaither needs to pick his eventual replacement. I believe that Karlye & Lexi will be involved more with the Hoppers. I hope Gold City finally stays with the same members. The Singing News charts needs updated to include album sales including table sales, and youtube views of singles. People need to be aware that southern gospel albums are now being posted in complete songs on youtube. I don’t know if this will hurt or help southern gospel sales. Southern Gospel Artists need to get with the times and offer their albums online. They also need to offer their back catalog online. I believe this will help sales. Radio stations need to expand their audiences including putting new stations in Maryland, Delaware, New York, California to expand this music. There’s an audience out there, you have to work a little extra for it. This is not the time to be lazy and just be in complacency. Always & Always the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be the center of it.

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