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

12/20/2004

Let's Just Be Ourselves

Lots of interesting (and sometimes confrontational) discussion regarding the direction of SG and who/what is an SG artist supposed to be like.

McCray Dove has his opinions about what he likes. He also simply states that he performs what he enjoys without making a judgement about other artists.

Buried within his discussion is an interesting point though. He says, "I am waiting for the ear ring and nose ring to take place." This statement does raise the point of what is and isn't acceptable in SG. My response is that in the end the market will decide.

If what you are selling (in this case your music, your stage presence, your ministry, etc.) will be judged by the audience. If you record and sing music that audiences enjoy and purchase, then no matter what you call yourself (SG, CCM, etc.) or no matter what others call it, you can be successful.

To me, the label you put on something has little importance when compared to doing something you enjoy, something that audiences enjoy, and something that is furthering the Cause of Christ.

A perfect example of this might be The McKameys. They are without a doubt a very popular group. There are many who would say they are not Southern Gospel. Some might argue they have more of a country sound. So call them Country Gospel. Really what does it matter? If you like them, you are going to buy their music and go to their concerts regardless of what label they are given.

The Dove Brothers are another good example. McCray and the Doves sing a very traditional quartet program. Sure they have some nice stage antics, etc. to liven the event, but in the end they are a Southern Gospel Quartet. The people who enjoy that kind of thing are going to buy their music and attend their concerts. Their success will be based on continuing to put out good music and keeping their audience happy.

The above are just two examples and two extremes. There are other variations as well. Both groups are successful and have an audience that enjoys what they do. Both these groups could be on the same program and they would probably attract many of the same fans and also many fans that like one or the other better.

Whatever you call it, I don't think I've read anyone suggesting we kick groups out of our genre just because we don't enjoy their style. There may be certain promoters who prefer to promote one type of group more than the others. The same rule of "the market" applies here. If the promoter can get audiences to attend his/her concerts, then they will be successful and can continue with that direction. If audiences don't come out, then the promoter will quit/go out of business or try something different.

When you get down to it, my point is "Let's just be ourselves". Sing what we enjoy singing and keep our audience happy. Hopefully we won't have to start wearing noserings any time soon.

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