Best Radio Songs Of The 1980s: #37

The best Southern Gospel radio songs of the 1980’s continue today with the song found at #37.

Gold City had one of the fastest rises to Southern Gospel stardom than any artist in the history of the genre.  By April 1985, the group would be celebrating their second #1 hit on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.

As with the group’s first #1 single, Sandy Knight penned the song ranked 37th among the best radio songs of the 1980’s; “John Saw”.

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SWOT Analysis: Mylon Hayes Family

Working in the business world, the SWOT analysis is used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of an organization while also looking at opportunities and threats the organization could face.

I thought I would translate that to Southern Gospel music.  This week’s SWOT analysis will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Mylon Hayes Family.

STRENGTHS

  • The Mylon Hayes Family are technical singers.  They strive to sing the right note, pitch and key of the song.  This is something Mylon learned from his parents (Howard and Lucy Hayes).
  • The group is young, which means they have plenty of years to keep providing great music.
  • There is also strength in being a family unit.  Personnel changes are less likely and audiences love stability in a group’s personnel.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • Dealing with something every family group in the history of the genre has had to deal with; competing against the popularity of the all male quartet.
  • Having to sing to tracks in the live concert setting.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Would be nice to see some original Hayes Family members hit a few of the group’s tour dates.  Mylon and his sisters, Janet and Sharon were a powerhouse vocal trio when they sang together in the Hayes Family.

THREATS

  • The continued decline in the Southern Gospel listening audience.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  Joseph Habedank***

Best Radio Songs Of The 1980’s: #38

Continuing the countdown of the best Southern Gospel radio songs of 1980s finds us at #38.

The Hinsons had already established themselves as one of the best groups in the industry, during the 1970’s.  Giving listeners classics like “Camp Meeting Days”, “Hallelujah Meetin”, “That I Could Still Go Free”, “Touch Of The Master’s Strong Hand” and “You Can’t Hold Back The Dawning” to name a few.

But the group’s first #1 song on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart wouldn’t come until July 1982 with, “God’s Gonna Do The Same For You And Me”.  The song was found on the Hinsons 1981 Calvary Records release, Bubblin’.

The Symphony Killed Southern Gospel Music

Not to rehash the downside to artists using tracks instead of live musicians; I’m gonna go ahead and do it anyway.

I listen to Enlighten on SiriusXM in the car, during my morning and evening commutes to work.  With the lack of music from the 70s/80s/90s on the network, the listener is treated to a lot of the over orchestrated, over produced Southern Gospel sounds of the last 15 years.

Today’s Southern Gospel music is one of the few musical genres that doesn’t translate well from recording to the live concert setting.  For artists to capture the sound from their recording, they would have to tour with an orchestra every performance.

Since they can’t afford that, listeners have to sit through the group sing to tracks, not knowing exactly how many additional vocals are built into the track.  Those additional vocals prop up the singer from being able to pull off the performance of the over produced track.

Even Southern Gospel artists that tour with musicians are wasting their money, because they mix tracks with the instruments and the audience member is left to wonder where one starts and the other ends.

I also don’t get quartets who hire a piano player to sit there most of the program and push a button while they clang on the keys a few times during the performance, to supplement the track.  And even when the piano player is finally given a chance to show off with a solo, they perform along with a track.

For me, the use of tracks has ruined the Southern Gospel music concert experience.

This is the concert experience I grew up with and boy is it sorely missed.

Best Radio Songs Of The 1980’s: #39

A couple of weeks ago I started a year-long series remembering 1980’s Southern Gospel music.  I am taking the year to countdown the best Southern Gospel radio songs of the 1980’s.

At #39 is the breakthrough song for St Louis based family group, the Lesters.  By this point in the group’s career, they were already celebrating over 50 years in Gospel music.

In 1979, the Lesters released Ain’t God Good, on QCA Records.  The song was released to radio and by mid 1980, “Ain’t God Good” became the first top five Southern Gospel radio single for the group.

It would launch them in to the mainstream and would start what would become a great decade of hits for this family.

Southern Gospel 2018: Flash Drives; (1) For $20, (2) For $30

I saw something on the Booth Brothers website in the fall of 2017 and never got around to writing about it.  I thought it time I offered my thoughts.

The group is selling a flash drive of (40) songs, that includes the trio’s three most recent albums plus a hymns recording.  The flash drive retails for $40; basically $1 per song, which is what a listener would pay if they downloaded the song from a digital download site.

Is this a unique way for artists to sell their music digitally without ever having to list it on a digital download site?  Would listeners be willing to purchase a flash drive?  Could this ultimately replace CDs in the Southern Gospel marketplace?

Thoughts?  Is this a genius idea or something that will never catch on?

Clear Skies: Ernie Haase + Signature Sound

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Clear Skies
  • Artist:  Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
  • Label:  Stow Town
  • Style:  Traditional; Progressive
  • Release Date:  01/26/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  50 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, it is time to take a look at the new album from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound; Clear Skies.

The group takes the listener on a voyage of various Southern Gospel quartet sounds.  One moment you’re listening to a song that could’ve been recorded by the Statesmen in the 1950’s, to the funky late 1970’s sound of the Imperials, to a classic Cathedrals sound from the 1980’s.

The 2018 edition of Signature Sound remains unchanged from their last recording; Ernie Haase (tenor), Devin McGlamery (lead), Dustin Doyle (baritone) and Paul Harkey (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • EHSS has already had one big hit from the album with “Give Me Jesus”.  Taking unpublished lyrics from Fanny Crosby to come up with a masterpiece.  A must listen!
  • I’ve been singing the praises of Lee Black’s songwriting before others took notice.  Glad to see now he is recognized as one of the best Southern Gospel songwriters.  He teamed up with Sue C Smith to pen “Heaven Is”.  Great song!
  • Paul turns in a stand out performance on the traditional ballad, “Long Line Of Love”.  A song that could have found a home in the Cathedrals repertoire.
  • There are a couple strong up-tempo Southern Gospel quartet songs.  The first is the big band treatment given to “As For Me And My House”.  Fun song.
  • The second is the modern style, “You’ll Find Him There”.  This would make a great radio single.
  • Devin turns in a nice performance on a song he co-wrote, “Walking Through Fire”.
  • The songwriting trio of Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey contributed seven of the thirteen songs on Clear Skies.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Give Me Jesus”, “Long Line Of Love”, “Heaven Is”, “You’ll Find Him There”, “As For Me And My House”, “Walking Through Fire”, “Clear Skies” and “Love Took His Breath Away”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Sadly the really strong moments get offset by a couple weak moments.  “My Hallelujah” threw off the pace of the recording.  It sounded like something that should be in a really cheesy movie about a church choir competition.  Already been done.
  • The songwriting of “Sailing With Jesus” doesn’t match the caliber of the rest of the recording.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “My Hallelujah” and “Sailing With Jesus”.

WRAP UP:

Clear Skies is a great Southern Gospel quartet album to start 2018.  “Give Me Jesus” is a true masterpiece.  The strong moments far outweigh the weak.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Clear Skies” (Mid/Up)/Devin; Dustin – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  2. “Heaven Is” (Fast)/Ensemble – Lee Black, Sue C Smith  3. “Give Me Jesus” (Slow)/Ensemble; Paul; Ernie – Fanny Crosby, Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  4. “Sailing With Jesus” (Mid/Up)/Dustin – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  5. “As For Me And My House” (Up)/Ensemble – Karen Whitt  6. “Give Them All To Jesus” (Mid)/Devin with Booth Brothers – Bob Benson, Phillip Johnson  7. “Long Line Of Love” (Slow)/Paul – Jeff Bumgardner  8. “Love Took His Breath Away” (Slow)/Ernie – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  9. “Three Men On A Mountain” (Slow)/Paul – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  10. “You’ll Find Him There” (Fast)/Ensemble; Devin – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  11. “My Hallelujah” (Fast)/Ensemble; Ernie and Voices Of Lee – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  12. “Walking Through Fire” (Slow)/Devin – Devin McGlamery, Lee Black, Sue C Smith  13. “Longing For Home” (Mid)/Ernie – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey