Hall Of Fame 2018: Ann Downing

This week the Southern Gospel Music Association announced it’s 2018 class into the Southern Gospel music hall of fame.

Among the four members included, and the only woman inducted this year, was Ann Downing.  Ann started her singing career just out of high school when she joined the Speer Family.

When Ann married Paul Downing in 1969, they immediately formed the Downings.  The group released three albums on the Heart Warming records label that inaugural year.

Ann went on to win female vocalist of the year, at the Singing News fan awards in 1973.  Ann continues her legendary career, today, as a solo artist.  An honor that is long overdue; congratulations Ann Downing!


Thanks For Sticking Around

To all my faithful readers, I want to thank you for sticking around, even though I am currently not able to post as much as I used to.  At the beginning of the year I mentioned that life has been barreling full steam ahead, which leaves me little time for my hobbies (ie; the blog).

I am hoping as summer approaches, I will have some time freed up to post on a more frequent basis.  There is plenty of posts to share with you, just currently no time to get them finished/posted.


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.

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?

2018: A Year To Revisit The 1980’s

Happy 2018.  We are a week in and I’m ready to get back at it.  Thanks for your responses to what you want to see in 2018.  The SWOT analysis feature will return and album reviews will remain.

I also decided while on vacation last week, that I wanted to revisit the 1980’s as a year-long theme in 2018.  Starting next week, I will be begin what I consider to be the (40) best radio songs of the decade.

I will also be looking at the best and worst albums from the decade, while also presenting commentary on the 1980’s and how it compares/contrasts with today’s Southern Gospel.

2018: Year Of The Reader

As we close out 2017, I want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  Here’s to living our best lives in 2018.

Most of my faithful readers are cognizant of the fact that toward the end of the year my posting became sporadic.  Life gets in the way of our hobbies sometimes.  That was the case for me.

I don’t see 2018 changing that, so that is why I want to make 2018 the year of the reader.

Since I will have a limited amount of time to focus on blog posts, I will only provide what my readers want.


In the comment section, please list the features you want to see in 2018.  Those are the features I will focus on.  It can be anything as it relates to Southern Gospel music.

I have a winter vacation this first week of the new year, so I will start on your featured requests next week!  Thanks for sticking around!