Tuesday night of the 2016 National Quartet Convention is now in the record books. The night overall was mediocre, especially compared to last night’s memorable moments. I was hard pressed to find the highlights. Tonight, there are definitely more misses than hits.
I’ve enjoyed the hall of fame segments the last two evenings. Carroll McGruder’s music, along with the McGruders had a ton of impact on me as a teenager. Glad to see him honored.
Boy, do I miss hearing a steel guitar at Southern Gospel concerts. Thank you Jeff and Sheri Easter for providing that highlight tonight.
The Down East Boys was an early highlight. “One Way, One Name, One Door” is one of the most played Southern Gospel songs in my playlists for 2016.
Kim Collingsworth’s speech about music/life was far better than anything else the group’s segment provided tonight.
The LeFevre Quartet ended the evening on a strong note.
Did the tenor mic seem off tonight or was it just the tenor singers? The tenor vocal in the mix (at least through the web cam) overpowered the other vocalists for the majority of sets. The sound crew didn’t take the mic from last night’s presidential debate, did they?
Did Mark Bishop burp on the ending to “Pray On The Little Days”?
Have the Inspirations thought about retirement?
The Booth Brothers trying to create a musical moment with the Collingsworth Family derailed when “Life’s Railway To Heaven” turned in to a train wreck?
Speaking of the Booth Brothers/Collingsworth Family segment; combined the artists got one hour on stage and they still went over.
**Now to crown the best of the night:
Best single song performances (in order of appearance): (1) “One Way, One Name, One Door” – Down East Boys (2) “It Is No Secret” – Booth Brothers (3) “I Know” – Kingsmen (4) “I Want To Walk With My Lord” – LeFevre Quartet **some of you would think I didn’t watch the entire night because of the number of song performances I enjoyed. But I did, oh I did.
Best Set of the Night: I nearly named my bed best set of the night for keeping me comfortable while watching tonight’s program but the LeFevre Quartet came through in the end (despite staging “Oh What A Savior”) to pull off the most solid of any on the night.
The dogs days of summer have arrived; August 2016. As is the case at the start of each new month, here are the five most played Southern Gospel radio songs in my musical playlists over the preceding month. Enjoy!
**This tells me that my readers enjoy awards/honors (where they decide the results) and album reviews. If I had expanded this list, you would be surprised at how many of the most read posts are album reviews.
**I present the fab five feature at the start of every month to let you know my most played Southern Gospel radio songs in my musical playlists. I get asked on occasion what I am currently listening to and this allows me to let the readers know. These were the ten most played songs of the entire year.
**I started a YouTube channel in September 2015 to go along with the blog. This blog has always been about the music. I try not to play favorites and present Southern Gospel music in all its forms throughout its history. With my vast music collection, I noticed there were many classic songs missing from YouTube that may never be heard again. I wanted to change that. These were the ten most viewed clips since September.
In Honor of those who passed in 2015
Tom Armshaw (Promoter/Radio)
Jerrel Don Brashear (Artist)
Andrae Crouch (Artist/Songwriter)
Terry Davis (Artist)
Jack Lee Eubanks (Industry/Producer)
Savana Foust (Songwriter)
Chris Hancock (Artist)
LaBreeska Hemphill (Artist)
Jimmy Justice (Artist)
Carolyn Kirksey (Industry/Singing News Magazine)
Mosie Lister (Songwriter)
Margaret Mabry (Songwriter)
Dickie Mathews (Artist)
Carroll McGruder (Artist/Songwriter)
Ken O’Shields (Promoter)
Paul Roark (Artist)
Faye Speer (Artist)
Glenn Totherow (Artist)
Luke White (Industry/Public Relations)
Cheryl Jackson Wilds (Artist/Songwriter)
Ruth Ellen Yates (Artist)
Looking ahead to features you will find in 2016
3rd Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors
Annual Countdown of Southern Gospel’s Best Albums/Recorded Songs
Most Overrated Southern Gospel Artist Series
Southern Gospel’s Greatest Songwriter Series
Southern Gospel Tidbits Feature
Top Ten Back Then
And Much, Much More….
**I want to thank everyone who stopped by the blog in 2015. This year had to most views/site visitors of any year I have been doing this blog. As long as you continue to stop by, I will continue the blog.
We are one day away from crowning the best Southern Gospel album and recorded song of 2015. But, first lets see who claims the runner-up spots.
There is no doubt, Jason Crabb is the biggest crossover artist in Christian music. His music has crossed stylistic barriers to appeal to a huge base of listeners. All this, while still appealing to the Southern Gospel crowd who enjoyed the music of the Crabb Family.
In 2015, Jason released what I consider to be his best solo album to date; Whatever The Road. There really is something for everyone to enjoy. You get Crabb’s country-style that fit with his Crabb Family days, along with some pop flavors that appeal to a broader listener base. All of this while still not going too far for the album to be marketed to Southern Gospel listeners.
Personal favorites from this recording include: “If I Shout”, “Chance For A Miracle”, “Home”, “He Won’t Leave You There”, “Never Gonna Let Me Go”, “This Life For You” and “He Knows What He’s Doing”.
There were truly two songs that defined 2015 in Southern Gospel music. The first is the song ranked #2 among the best recorded/released this year.
Sheri Easter got together with Don Poythress and Kenna Turner West to pen the most personal song of the year; “Jesus Loves You”. Everyone listening to this song can relate to its message and the reminder that no matter what we face in life, Jesus’ love for us is steadfast and never fails.
This song was close to claiming to top spot for best recorded song of 2015, but there was one that edged it out; find out tomorrow.
A bit of the country Gospel style that has a listening audience in Southern Gospel music takes over the #12 spots for both album and recorded song of the year.
Jeff and Sheri Easter have been recording together now for nearly 30 years. To celebrate that milestone, the duo gave listening audiences, Small Town this year. A collection of eleven new songs that bridge our love for the Father with our love for each other.
Love was the theme of this recording with “Jesus Loves You” to “I Love You” to the country love song, “The Light”. Sheri Easter continues to be at the top of her game in terms of conveying a song to listeners.
Personal favorites from this recording include: “Jesus Loves You”, “Hallelujah Coming From The Valley”, “Small Town Someone (Lunch)”, “More Than Enough”, “My Wave”, “This Side Of The Dirt” and “When The Harvest Comes”.
Another country-style Gospel artist to find a home in the countdown is Jason Crabb. He blends progressive Southern Gospel sounds with country and pop overtones for a style that is uniquely Jason Crabb.
His 2015 album release, Whatever The Road, eclipsed his last recording Love Is Stronger in that there is a whole lot more that Southern Gospel listeners will like about Whatever The Road. The song selection is some of the strongest of his career, including the song ranked 12th among the best recorded this year; “Chance For A Miracle”.
In a world with an ever-increasing mindset that miracles no longer exist, we only need to be reminded of each new day to know that a miracle, even in the smallest of forms, still encapsulate our everyday lives.
Today concludes voting in the 2nd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors. The final two categories are best recorded song and album for 2015. You get one vote per day and polls will remain open for one week. Once voting is complete I will have a wrap up post listing all the winners of the 2015 honors. Thanks for participating. Click the link on each nominee to see an audio version of the nominees.
Recorded Song of the Year (song recorded on a 2015 release, did not have to be a radio single)
“Greater” – Nathan Cochran/David Garcia/Ben Glover/Barry Graul/Bart Millard/Mike Scheuchzer/Robby Shaffer; recorded by the Erwins (Ready To Sail)
“Jesus Loves You” – Sheri Easter/Don Poythress/Kenna Turner West; recorded by Jeff & Sheri Easter (Small Town)
“Pray Now” – Dave Clark/Michael Farren/Karen Peck; recorded by Karen Peck & New River (Pray Now)
Today you get a chance to choose the best mixed group and duo/trio for 2015. You get one vote per day and polls will remain open for one week. Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.