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***

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SWOT Analysis: Ball Brothers

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.

This week’s SWOT analysis will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Ball Brothers.

STRENGTHS

  • The Ball Brothers has some of the tightest harmony of any group in Southern Gospel music.
  • The group is young, which means they have plenty of years to keep providing great music.
  • All four members of the group are now family.  That should allow stability.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • The group’s youthfulness tends to lead them to record songs that may be a bit too far on the musical spectrum; alienating the Southern Gospel traditionalists.
  • Even after touring with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound several years ago, it seems the Ball Brothers still aren’t on a lot of listener’s radar.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Would be nice to see the Ball Brothers team up with some other younger groups in the industry for a tour.  Allow audiences to see the bright future of Southern Gospel music.

THREATS

  • The Ball Brothers expanding their sound even more and abandoning the Southern Gospel market for the broader contemporary market.
  • The future of Southern Gospel music as a whole affects all artists involved.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  Mylon Hayes Family***

SWOT Analysis: Down East Boys

One of the features you wanted to see return in 2018 is the SWOT analysis.

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.

This week’s SWOT analysis will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of one of Southern Gospel’s most underrated quartets; the Down East Boys.

STRENGTHS

  • The Down East Boys album catalog is some of the best quartet music a listener can find in Southern Gospel music.
  • Ricky Carden has been at the helm, as owner of the group for 25 years now.
  • Ricky has kept strong vocal personnel in the group during his 25 year ownership.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • Consistent personnel changes hampers the vocal stability of the quartet.
  • No matter how hard they try, the Down East Boys can’t seem to get respect from a majority of Southern Gospel quartet listeners.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • I would like to see a Down East Boys reunion with former members.  The quartet had some big hits in the late 80s/early 90s.
  • Maybe combining with another quartet(s) to start a tour.  Get themselves in front of some new listeners.
  • If they own the masters, releasing their classic albums digitally.

THREATS

  • Continued personnel turnover.
  • The future of Southern Gospel music as a whole affects all artists involved.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  Ball Brothers***

SWOT Analysis: Nelons

nelonsWorking 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.

This week’s SWOT analysis will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of one of Southern Gospel’s biggest mixed groups; the Nelons.

STRENGTHS

  • The vocal strength of the group make them one of the best in the industry.
  • Amber Nelon Thompson is one reason for the vocal strength.  It is hard to find a female vocalist in the industry as strong as her.
  • Song selection has also been key to the Nelons resurgence among Southern Gospel listeners.
  • The Nelon legacy, started by Rex Nelon, is a huge strength.  The group’s contribution to Southern Gospel music since 1977 is unmeasured.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • It would be nice if the Nelons had a bass vocalist to hearken the listener back to the Rex Nelon days.
  • I wish the group used more Nelon classics in the live concert setting.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • I hope the Nelons plan something special in 2017 to celebrate their 40 years in Southern Gospel music.  I would love a recording with former members re-recording Nelon classics.
  • The Nelons have capitalized on their tour with Michael English and Jeff Stice.  Continuing that and maybe adding another artist.

THREATS

  • I believe the immediate threat that could hurt the Nelons is the two girls getting married and leaving the group.
  • As Southern Gospel concert crowds continue to dwindle, this leaves the entire industry at a crossroads of where future revenue will be generated.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  Down East Boys***

*Video Credit (SouthernGospelVideos.com)

SWOT Analysis: LeFevre Quartet

lefevre-quartet-11-x-17-poster (375x190)I re-started the SWOT analysis feature up three months ago and haven’t posted since.  Lets change that.  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.

This week’s SWOT analysis will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Southern Gospel quartet; LeFevre Quartet.

STRENGTHS

  • The immediate name recognition of Mike LeFevre allowed the LeFevre Quartet an instant listen by most Southern Gospel audiences.  His time spent with Gold City and to have the legendary name LeFevre were both huge strengths.
  • Being a male quartet in an industry dominated by male quartets allows the group comfort that listening audiences will enjoy what is provided musically.
  • The hire of Jeremy Peace at tenor was a great decision.  His vocal talent at the tenor spot is unmatched by most in Southern Gospel music.
  • Having Mike and Jordan, both LeFevres, as a constant with the group allows stability among Southern Gospel listeners.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • The group has had consistent turnover in the bass vocal spot.  If I’m not mistaken, the group is currently traveling as a trio as they look for a new bass vocalist.
  • The quartet needs a few signature songs that will be immediately recognized as LeFevre Quartet songs.  That doesn’t always translate to success but it helps.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Having the name LeFevre still in Southern Gospel music is a plus.  The group should do more to honor the LeFevre heritage in songs they perform in concert.
  • I would love to see a modern-day quartet revive, “Go Out To The Program”.  Performed by the Oak Ridge Boys in the early ’60s and then later by the Kingsboys in the 1980s.

THREATS

  • The consistent turnover at the bass vocal spot could ultimately leave the LeFevre Quartet a trio.  Look what happened to Brian Free & Assurance.  This could definitely cause the group to lose appeal with some listeners.
  • As Southern Gospel concert crowds continue to dwindle, this leaves the entire industry at a crossroads of where future revenue will be generated.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  Nelons***

*Video Credit (Clarke Beasley)

SWOT Analysis: 11th Hour

11th Hour

11th Hour

Last week saw the return of the SWOT analysis feature.  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.

This week’s SWOT analysis will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of one of Southern Gospel’s fastest rising trios; 11th Hour.  The group now has three #1 songs to their credit with several more top tens.

STRENGTHS

  • 11th Hour has four albums to their credit and what they’ve been able to do, with the help of Crossroads and radio, in just a short amount of time is amazing.
  • The majority of the success can be credited to group founder/owner, Amber Eppinette.  Her songwriting and strong vocal/stage presence has allowed not only the industry, but the general Southern Gospel listening audience to take notice.
  • The trio has also been given the opportunity to have songs pitched to them, from the start, by the industry’s biggest writers.
  • While still being a young group within the industry, their success can only grow.  I would be bold enough to say, that as of this writing, they are the top trio in Southern Gospel music.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • They will never have the success/respect of a male quartet.  Southern Gospel has always been and will always be dominated by male quartets.  That doesn’t mean mixed groups will never have success because there have been plenty (ie; Jeff & Sheri Easter, Happy Goodmans, Hinsons, Hoppers, Nelons, Karen Peck & New River, Speer Family, Talleys, etc).
  • Certain times, depending on the song, 11th Hour can sound a lot like the Martins of the 1990’s.  While the Martins were an awesome group, an artist wants to be able to maintain and create their own identity.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • I know the group already does this in concert, but I would love to see an entire set with just Amber playing piano and Grant on bass.  Groups displaying their musical talent along with their vocal talent only enhances their audience appeal.
  • While this has nothing to do with 11th Hour specifically; in the vein of the last statement, I would love for the NQC to have one night during the week devoted to only voices and live instruments.

THREATS

  • Talented artists like 11th Hour have to excel doubly in order to be recognized with all the competition there is with sub/below par talent trying to catch a little spotlight.
  • Losing their record deal.  We see Southern Gospel artists move labels all the time, but being with one of the biggest in the industry in terms of success and promotion of their artists; I would want to see the group lose that.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  LeFevre Quartet***

I know the following clip is two years old, but it shows what I am talking about if 11th Hour would do an entire set with just piano and bass.

*Video Credit (Candy Hughes)

SWOT Analysis: Canton Junction

CantonJunction (300x300)The last SWOT analysis feature I presented was February 2013.  In my reader survey a couple of weeks ago, a reader asked if I would bring this feature back.  You ask, I listen.  You are the only reason I continue this blog.

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.

This SWOT analysis return will look at the strengths and weaknesses of new quartet sensation Canton Junction.  They burst on the scene with a progressive Southern Gospel quartet sound that has caught listener’s attention.

STRENGTHS

  • With the backing of Difference Media (John Hagee Ministries), it is hard to not be successful.  The built-in audience/listener base is huge.
  • Matthew Hagee made it a point to find some prominent Southern Gospel quartet men in Tim Duncan and Ryan Seaton to fill vocal spots.  Casey Rivers at lead is no slouch either.
  • Their progressive Southern Gospel quartet sound puts them in a league with artists like the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.
  • They  put on a performance.  When the group tours, they are serious.  When I saw them live in the fall of 2015, they came with a five piece band, sound, lights and they weren’t afraid to entertain.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • At the moment, their limited tour schedule inhibits more Southern Gospel listeners from seeing them live.
  • Trying to create their own identity along power house artists like the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • A nationwide tour:  the group should plan on at least a thirty city tour this year.  Hitting new areas and defining your group as more than just the house band for John Hagee’s church would be beneficial for a wider audience.
  • Getting spots on all the major concert series would be helpful also.

THREATS

  • As with any Southern Gospel quartet, if the group suffers from consistent personnel changes, it will only hurt them with audiences.  Keeping a stable vocal line-up is key (see Triumphant Quartet).
  • The one downside of being affiliated with a major televangelist, is if scandal would arise, it would most likely hurt the reputation of the group.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  11th Hour***

*Video Credit (Clarke Beasley)

SWOT Analysis – Kingdom Heirs

KHThis week finds another SWOT analysis feature.  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.

This SWOT analysis looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the Kingdom Heirs.  The resident group of Dollywood for nearly 30 years, the Kingdom Heirs have become one of the biggest quartets in Southern Gospel music.

They continue to provide the Southern Gospel listener with a consistent formula of standard quartet music.

STRENGTHS

  • Most seen group in Southern Gospel:  By being the resident group of Dollywood and performing several shows a day while the park is open allows the Kingdom Heirs to sing to more people in a year than any other artist in Southern Gospel music.
  • Arthur Rice:  Arthur Rice has proven he is one of the best lead singers in the history of this genre.  He rarely ever seems to be recognized for that talent.  Arthur has also proven his producing talents for the Kingdom Heirs over the course of the last decade.
  • Dianne Wilkinson:  Songwriter Dianne Wilkinson is as much a part of the Kingdom Heirs as any performing member.  Her songs have dominated Kingdom Heir albums for many years, providing the group with many hit singles (including several #1 songs).
  • Still have a band:  The Kingdom Heirs are of the rare breed that still have a band in Southern Gospel music.  Even though they still incorporate tracks with the instruments, it is still nice to have a band backing them up.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • Getting too comfortable in the recording process:  The Kingdom Heirs last two albums (When You Look At Me, We Will Stand Our Ground) have not lived up to the great albums the group was releasing prior (see Forever Changed, Going On With The Song, True To The Call).  Here’s hoping the next new album is a return to form.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Quartets recording:  Wouldn’t it be an interesting concept for the Kingdom Heirs record label (Crossroads) to get a couple of their quartets together to do a quartet recording by mixing members and adding different vocal configurations.  In addition to the Kingdom Heirs, they could use the Down East Boys, Inspirations, Kingsmen and Tribute Quartet.
  • Kingdom Heirs reunion recording:  While I understand this is about as likely to happen as Kim Hopper singing bass, it would be nice to see the former members come together to perform some of their biggest songs through the years.

THREATS

  • Losing their jobs at Dollywood:  The biggest threat to the Kingdom Heirs would be losing their jobs at Dollywood.  Having to go on the road full-time would be a huge adjustment for the Kingdom Heirs.  It could be one that would cause the group to retire.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  McKAMEYS***