Blog Archives

2015 Wrap Up

2015goodbyesign-825x510Everything that needs to be said of Southern Gospel music in 2015 is said; just about.  Here are a few more things to wrap up the year and look ahead to 2016.

Some Stats:

goodmanrevival2015happymaxTop Five Read Posts of 2015

  1. 2nd Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors – And The Winners Are…
  2. And Southern Gospel’s Greatest Song Is…
  3. Songs In The Key Of Happy – Goodman Revival
  4. 2015 NQC – Monday Night Recap
  5. Ready To Sail: Erwins

**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.

dunaways2014kitchenmaxTen Most Played Southern Gospel Songs of 2015

  1. “Pray Now” – Karen Peck & New River
  2. “Jesus Loves You” – Jeff & Sheri Easter
  3. “What Do You Say” – Amber Nelon Thompson
  4. “Battle Cry” – Kingsmen
  5. “Just As I Am” – Ball Brothers
  6. “Greater” – Erwins
  7. “He Left No Stone Unturned” – LeFevre Quartet
  8. “Mercy Built A Bridge” – Dunaways w/Ronny Hinson
  9. “My God Is So Good To Me” – Jordan Family Band
  10. “Pray On The Little Days” – Mark Bishop

**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.

lannywolfe1973songaboutjesusmaxMost Viewed YouTube Clips of 2015

  1. “I Love Him Too Much” – Lanny Wolfe Trio (1973)
  2. “An Unfinished Task” – Hemphills (1970)
  3. “There’s Something In The Air” – Lanny Wolfe Trio (1972)
  4. “Jesus Is Still The Answer” – Lanny Wolfe Trio (1974)
  5. “Someday I’ll Walk On Gold” – Lanny Wolfe Trio (1975)
  6. “I’ve Been To The Potter’s House” – Quinton Mills (1988)
  7. “My Soul Has Been Set Free” – Willie Wynn & Tennesseans (1975)
  8. “What A Happy Time” – JD Sumner & Stamps (1974)
  9. “Thank You Dear Lord” – McKameys (1980)
  10. “He Hideth My Soul” – Charles Johnson & Revivers (1989)

**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.

LaBreeskaIn Honor of those who passed in 2015

  1. Tom Armshaw (Promoter/Radio)
  2. Jerrel Don Brashear (Artist)
  3. Andrae Crouch (Artist/Songwriter)
  4. Terry Davis (Artist)
  5. Jack Lee Eubanks (Industry/Producer)
  6. Savana Foust (Songwriter)
  7. Chris Hancock (Artist)
  8. LaBreeska Hemphill (Artist)
  9. Jimmy Justice (Artist)
  10. Carolyn Kirksey (Industry/Singing News Magazine)
  11. Mosie Lister (Songwriter)
  12. Margaret Mabry (Songwriter)
  13. Dickie Mathews (Artist)
  14. Carroll McGruder (Artist/Songwriter)
  15. Ken O’Shields (Promoter)
  16. Paul Roark (Artist)
  17. Faye Speer (Artist)
  18. Glenn Totherow (Artist)
  19. Luke White (Industry/Public Relations)
  20. Cheryl Jackson Wilds (Artist/Songwriter)
  21. Ruth Ellen Yates (Artist)

Looking ahead to features you will find in 2016

  • 3rd Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors
  • Album Reviews
  • Annual Countdown of Southern Gospel’s Best Albums/Recorded Songs
  • Fab Five
  • 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.

Best Of 2015 – #2

Crabb #2We 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”.

Easters #2 (300x300)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.

*Video Credit (#JeffAndSheriEaster)

Best Of 2015 – #12

Easters #12A 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”.

Crabb #12Another 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.

*Video Credit (#JasonCrabb)

VOTE: Recorded Song And Album

INVITATIONToday 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)

  1. “Greater” – Nathan Cochran/David Garcia/Ben Glover/Barry Graul/Bart Millard/Mike Scheuchzer/Robby Shaffer; recorded by the Erwins (Ready To Sail)
  2. “Jesus Loves You” – Sheri Easter/Don Poythress/Kenna Turner West; recorded by Jeff & Sheri Easter (Small Town)
  3. “Pray Now” – Dave Clark/Michael Farren/Karen Peck; recorded by Karen Peck & New River (Pray Now)
  4. “Thank You For Saving Me” – Michael Farren/Greg Sykes; recorded by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (Happy People)
  5. “Tumbling Down” – Michael Farren/Kenna Turner West; recoded by Canton Junction (Every Hallelujah)

Album of the Year (had to be a 2015 release)

  1. A New Look – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite Records)
  2. Happy People – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (Stow Town Records)
  3. Moments Like These – Bowling Family (Daywind Records)
  4. Pray Now – Karen Peck & New River (Daywind Records)
  5. Ready To Sail – Erwins (Stow Town Records)

VOTE: Artist – Mixed Group And Duo/Trio

INVITATIONToday 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.

Artist – Mixed Group (at least 4 vocalists)

  1. Collingsworth Family
  2. Erwins
  3. Mylon Hayes Family
  4. Nelons
  5. Perrys

Artist – Duo/Trio (no more than 3 vocalists)

  1. 11th Hour
  2. Bowling Family
  3. Jeff & Sheri Easter
  4. Greater Vision
  5. Karen Peck & New River

The Fab Five – October 2015

Now that NQC is over, we can get back to regularly scheduled programming.  As I do the start of each month, I present the five most played Southern Gospel radio songs (or should be) in my musical playlists over the preceding month.  The Erwins top the list with a song that should be a single.  Jeff & Sheri Easter has one of the best songs of the year.  Lefevre Quartet, Triumphant Quartet and the Browders finish out the top five.  Enjoy!


*Video Credit (Various Artists – Topic)


*Video Credit (#JeffAndSheriEaster)

LeFevre Quartet

He Left No Stone Unturned

Triumphant Qt

*Video Credit (Various Artists – Topic)


*Video Credit (Various Artists – Topic)

2015 NQC – Thursday Night Recap

Canton Junction (300x300)The night started in the same vein as last night and I thought I was in for another long night.  But, the skies opened and the music performances got progressively better.  Here are Thursday’s hit and misses.

  • After seeing them in concert last week in North Carolina, I was excited to see what Canton Junction was going to stage tonight.  They did not disappoint with four great song choices.  Did I tell you how much I love the song; “Tumbling Down”!
  • How great was it to see former Perrys members join them on stage for “I Wish I Could Have Been There”.  Lets see; there was Loren Harris, Joseph Habedank, Mike Bowling, Nick Trammell and Debra Perry.  I think I got everyone.
  • The Mylon Hayes Family continue to impress.  They continue to rise in the ranks of groups that I want to keep in my musical playlists.  Their set tonight was technically perfect.
  • I have already told you how much I love Jeff & Sheri Easter’s, “Jesus Loves You”.  I can’t get enough this song.  Thank you Sheri for penning what will go down as one of the best songs of 2015!
  • The Taylors continue to bring that classic mixed quartet Southern Gospel sound to the stage.  Their style is reminiscent of the great mixed groups of the 1970’s/1980’s.
  • After the splash they made at last year’s NQC, it was bittersweet to know tonight was the Old Paths last set at NQC, since they are coming off the road in December.
  • I am surprised the NQC didn’t have full afternoon showcases of some of these finale events.  I know they did the Cathedral reunion showcase, but a heritage of gold and even a full Booth Brothers/EHSS showcase would have been nice.  I have enjoyed these finale segments each evening.

  • Thank you NQC for nearly ruining a great musical flow.  Things were really getting good with the sets of the Perrys, Mylon Hayes Family, Canton Junction and Jeff & Sheri Easter back to back, when you decide to bring on another individual to peddle his new book.  It took the wind right out of my musical enjoyment.  Why give this guy nearly ten minutes to hawk a book when he has an entire hour tomorrow to convince everyone to buy it.
  • As I mentioned at the start, I thought tonight was going to be a repeat of last night.  Four of the first five artists on the stage were train wrecks.  I’ll let you figure out which one of the five wasn’t.


**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “Mercy Walked In” – Gordon Mote  (2) “Long Live The King” – Old Paths  (3) “As We Speak” – Greater Vision  (4) “There’s Still A Refuge” – Mylon Hayes Family  (5) “Tumbling Down” – Canton Junction  (6) “Jesus Loves You” – Jeff & Sheri Easter (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (7) “He’s My Guide” – Taylors

Best Set of the Night:  I’ll have to give the honor this evening to Canton Junction.

2015 NQC – Monday Night Recap

Triumphant (300x300)Night two of the 2015 National Quartet Convention has wrapped.  A nice broad spectrum of artists graced the stage tonight.  Here were the hits and misses.

  • Triumphant Quartet continues to prove why they are fan favorites.  Their set was cohesive from beginning to end and vocally one of the best sounding groups of the night.
  • It is good to see Mylon Hayes training up his children on how to sing properly.  The same lessons he got from his mom and dad, Lucy and Howard Hayes.  It is nice to see the Hayes Family legacy continue in Southern Gospel music.
  • Speaking of being taught to sing properly, how about the Renaissance Quartet.  These young adults schooled many of the established groups on the stage tonight in terms of harmony, diction and singing on key.  Great job!
  • Jeff & Sheri Easter also turned in one of the best sets of the evening.  Singing material from their newest recording Small Town.  “Jesus Loves You” is easily one of the best recorded songs of 2015.
  • But one song that may have that beat is Karen Peck & New River’s “Pray Now”.  It will be hard pressed to find another song that has defined 2015 for Southern Gospel music.  The group showed off newest male vocalist, Ricky Braddy.  While he went a little too far vocally with “Were You There”, he still showed what kind of vocalist he is and will be for the group.
  • It was nice to hear a couple of classic tunes from Gold City including one that I haven’t heard in over 20 years.  They opened with “Gettin’ Ready To Leave”, which was originally recorded by the group on their 1983 recording, I Think I’ll Read It Again.  Will we find this on a future Gold City recording?
  • Classic quartet music was provided by Freedom Quartet who opened with “One Way Flight”.  I have always enjoyed this song.
  • The program was only running ten minutes behind tonight.  Not too bad.

  • I am really not in the business of giving history lessons but Scott Fowler, I am going to have to call you out.  While the founding fathers may have used Judeo-Christian principles, they never intended to establish a national religion that all citizens/government had to follow.  The United States has never been nor is currently a Theocracy.  Please go and read the writings of John Adams, James Madison (author of the Constitution), Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on what their actual thoughts/views were on religion and the separation of church and state.  Thomas Jefferson was a deist who did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah or the incarnate Son of God.  All of these men were instrumental in providing counsel on both the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.  I guess the truth can be inconvenient when you’re trying to generate revenue.
  • Why does the Convention board feel the need to trounce out Fox News correspondents just about every year.  Again, for revenue’s sake, a man peddling a book about something that is not even happening in America.  These same individuals were touting this falsehood thirty years ago.  Give me just one instance of legitimate Christian persecution in America and I will reconsider my thoughts.
  • Not to raise an issue of sexism, but why does every night of the NQC have father and sons as emcees?  I have zero problems with that but couldn’t they have switched it up and also had mothers and daughters emcee several nights.


**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “The Sweetest Words He Ever Said” – Mylon Hayes Family  (2) “Jesus Loves You” – Jeff & Sheri Easter  (3) “Go Out Singing” – Whisnants  (4) “Love Them To Jesus” – Old Paths  (5) “Pray Now” – Karen Peck & New River (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (6) “Gettin’ Ready To Leave” – Gold City  (7) “Jesus Will” – Wilburn & Wilburn  (8) “I’m Standing On The Solid Rock” – Renaissance Quartet  (9) “Because He Loved Me” – Triumphant Quartet

Best Set of the Night:  A very nice close to the evening.  Best set goes to Triumphant Quartet.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 158 other followers