Are You Listening?

Periodically, I want to provide my readers a way to express their view/thoughts on Southern Gospel music.  In this ‘are you listening’ feature, it will be a way for you to let artists/industry folk know how you feel about certain aspects of Southern Gospel music.

The first question to mull over is this; If you could immediately change one thing about today’s Southern Gospel, what would it be?  Your answer can cover anything as it relates to the music, artists and industry.


9 thoughts on “Are You Listening?

  1. I’ve been singing for about 10 years, ( weekends) and I’ve learned it is so hard to break through southern gospel on the next level. Sometimes it just seems like its all about who you know, or who your parents are and nothing to do with how talented. Why is the industry so shut down to regional groups like we are second rate or something. Oh and another thing when someone takes the time to come talk to you at your table don’t look over them when they are telling you they really enjoyed the concert. I really love southern gospel and I know there are many regional groups that have a wonderful ministry and they will never be heard because of they way things are in southern gospel with the good ole boy system. But we have decided we will go wherever the lord opens the door for us to minister in song because some churches just can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars to some of the top groups to come sing at there church. Just baffled!!!!!

    1. I quit worrying about “the next level” years ago. For me, it was a matter of simply not being able to reconcile my own personal desires with what God wants of me. If He wants me on the mainstage at NQC or traveling on a bus with a quartet, He’ll make it happen. I put it in His hands and trusted Him to guide me. There have been a few times where it looked like the door might open, but He made it clear that it was not my time. And I’m good with that. He obviously has other plans for me right now.

  2. Artists need to utilize more producers/arrangers. Wayne Haun and/or Trey Ivey are listed in the credits of 90% of the non-Crossroads label CDs I listen to. On Crossroads labels, they use Jeff Collins most of the time, but occasionally Danny Crawford’s name will sneak in. Too many artists use this small group of producers/arrangers, who then use many of the same studio musicians on their projects, is it any wonder that so many artists sound the same? It makes the genre very boring.

  3. Originality. Stop feeling like excellent SG music has to have the same Daywind writers everyone thinks they have to use and overly orchestrated tracks. I think a group could be inventive and branch out without mimicking CCM or Country.

  4. Fire the entire NQC Board of Directors and replace them with businessmen and other such people who are interested in the future of Gospel music, not group owners and current singers that pack the schedule with their own groups. Trust me, the audience notices. They don’t like it.

  5. I would echo the producers/arrangers sentiment. Nothing against Wayne, Trey, Ricky, Jeff, et al….they obviously have the talent. It’s just time for some fresh ideas.

  6. Southern Gospel music is quickly becoming a niche market and I can imagine in a few years it will disappear in some areas. We live in the Deep South and really no one comes through our area much anymore. I don’t understand the business model. I have many friends in SG full-time whose groups are constantly in the charts – yet I only see them in local churches – very rarely in a concert setting. I remember going to one of the Thanksgiving sings in our area probably 10 years ago to hear 2-3 nights of all the top groups – the huge arena was packed. Later I heard that the promoter lost his shirt and went bankrupt. Now – groups like 11th Hour who are vocally exceptional rarely appear anywhere but in churches for a love offering. Same with The Bowlings, etc. With the advent of digital production, stacks, vocal tuning, etc – you really don’t have to be a great artist or vocal talent to put out a great CD, project, whatever. So the market is flooded with average to good groups, who are no doubt doing the Lord’s work, but I am really going to pay for their product or see them live? Please name one singer in the neighborhood talent-wise of Tiranda or Kim Hopper that has hit the market in the last 20 years (Amber Eppinnette is one – see above).

    Thank goodness for Apple Music… Apple Music – I’m sure its killing the industry, but I digress. For years, my wife and I have joked that we are always the youngest fans at SG concerts. Now that I’ve hit my 40s, there are younger people in the audience but not many… Why is Quartet Convention held at a time when most younger families cannot attend? I know its hot in July in Pigeon Forge, but if they are trying to market to the younger generation, why not schedule when young people can actually show up. We can’t bank on the Erwins to save SG for the under 30 crowd.

    I grew up listening to SG. We played SG music for our children in the womb. I’m not sure who is leading the industry – Daywind, NQC, Gaither, etc… Although I’m certain it will continue, because it is the Gospel in song, I’m afraid it will only be a remnant in a few years.

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