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

11/09/2004

Problems in Southern Gospel (Part 2)

2. Too many groups.

That statement can be read by 10 people and get 10 different interpretations. What I mean is there are too many Southern Gospel groups who are out there trying to be full-time ministries.

For one thing, it waters down the talent pool. Nearly every full-time group has AT LEAST one very talented vocalist. This person is many times a former member of a "big time" SG group who wanted to go out and start their own group. I can certainly understand that. They feel like they can go in the direction they want and also have more control over their finances. This may be true, but the problem comes in when they find the other members of their "new" group. In very few cases is the entire team good enough to be making their living singing. Even if they do have the singing talent, they don't have the life experience and know-how to survive on this talent alone.

Another problem with so many full-time groups is that we get a WIDE diversity of talent. The best groups (Gold City, Hoppers, etc.) are so much better than the average or low-end groups that the audience expectations at a concert (or on radio) can be dropped greatly when they hear one of these lesser quality groups. This causes all the groups to be lumped into this one mediocre category, when in fact many groups in the SG industry are as talented or more talented than the groups of ANY OTHER MUSICAL GENRE!

Finally, another problem with so many full-time groups is the saturation of the SG market. This in turn causes many groups to struggle financially. They are all competing for the same audience and the same venues. If a promoter can get one group cheaper than perhaps a more talented but also more expensive group, many times the promoter will go the cheaper option. This hurts the fans, hurts the perception of the genre, and hurts the more talented groups financially.

Hopefully no one will read this and think I have anything against part-time groups. That is NOT at all what I'm talking about. I truly believe that many, many part-time groups are more talented than some of these full-time groups.

Agree or disagree? These are just my opinions. What are yours?

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