Southern Gospel Perspective

My thoughts and opinions about Southern Gospel Music, both past and present. Feel free to comment and criticize...

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Location: United States

11/04/2004

Problems in Southern Gospel (Part 1)

As I see it, there are several issues in Southern Gospel music that keep it from being all that it could be. I will start with one issue today:

1. Radio. Plain and simple, Southern Gospel Radio is poor at best. I travel quite a bit and I've heard many stations across the Southeasten US. For the most part, they are terrible.

I hear DJ's who know nothing at all about the genre. They mispronounce group names, talk about group members who have left years before, and claim to know nothing about groups that have been around for decades.

Very seldom do you hear the name of the song or the name of the artist identified. To me, this is basic. If our genre is to grow, the audience NEEDS to know group names so they can go out and buy material they hear and enjoy!

Too many radio stations claim to be Southern Gospel when they are in fact mainly a preaching/Christian programming station. There is nothing wrong with being a preaching station, but please don't call yourself an SG station when you play 2 hours of SG per day. If you are an SG station, then play Southern Gospel music.

Song selection is also dreadful in most cases. The station I pick up best at home never plays a current song! Their playlist is at least a year old, many times older.

Other stations throw in huge amounts of local talent. While this might seem admirable, it only hurts the genre. Suppose a listener was scanning their car stereo and came across the "Paw and Maw Quartet" singing "The Skunk Run Up My Driveway"? Do you think that is going to leave a good impression of Southern Gospel music on them? NO! On the other hand, what if they heard "The Talley Trio" singing "His Life For Mine"? They might stop and listen and even come back later to hear what else is playing.

Lest you think I only see the negative, I would like to brag on a few stations. Solid Gospel out of Nashville, SGLive365, and All Quartets Radio are all very good stations. There are other good ones out there too. Just the poor ones seem to outnumber them so badly.

That's my take and opinion. Do you agree or disagree?

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