Southern Gospel Perspective

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

Location: United States


SN Fan Award Nominees

Well, since I couldn't find much interest in the SGBA (Southern Gospel Blogger's Awards), I will give some of my opinions about the nominees for SG's reigning Award system.

Male Singer: Great to see Eric Bennett and Loren Harris recognized! Other traditional favorites like Gerald Wolfe (likely winner), Mark Trammell, and Arthur Rice also included with no surprise. A couple I would like to have seen nominated would be Josh Garner (awesome) and Jonathan Wilburn.

Female Singer: No big surprises here... I would have included Connie Hopper in my list.

Young Artist: There are some really great young artists included here! Very difficult to pick from these. I love Jason Waldroup, but how long is he eligible for this award? :D

Horizon Individual: Dan Keeton has to be the front-runner here (IMHO), he is doing just awesome!

Horizon Group: No contest here... Mercy's Mark in a landslide.

Tenor: Wow, this award would appear wide open this year. I would have included Dan Keeton in my top 10. Don't be surprised with a Greater Vision sweep in the "parts" awards.

Lead: Again, so much talent here that any of these men could win. I suspect and couldn't argue with Gerald Wolfe, but would probably choose J. Wilburn. Very surprised to not see Josh Garner on this list! Talk about under-appreciated.

Baritone: Another great group with any of the men deserving the award. The living legend, Mark Trammell, probably stands out the most.

Bass: This award should be just given to Gene McDonald until he decides he doesn't want any more! :D Seriously, this group is probably the best 10 bass singers ever nominated as a class.

Alto: How can you choose between some of these legends? Connie, Libbi, Debra would split my vote...

Soprano: Now that Janet Paschal has been eliminated and replaced with Tricia Cisneros (see here, and here) , I guess we know Tricia got the least votes of these 10. For my money though, she deserves the award. Tricia is VERY under-appreciated and very good. Kim Hopper is the likely winner though.

Soloist: I don't really have an opinion here. Don't listen to many soloists...

Trio: Is there any doubt? I guess stranger things have happened but Greater Vision seems to have a lock on this award. Mark Trammell, Booth, and Talley Trio could be dark horses though.

Mixed Quartet: A fairly "top-heavy" list, I would go with The Perrys again, but Hoppers are always a favorite.

Traditional Quartet: A top notch list. No slouches on this list and any one could win. My pick would be Gold City for this years work though. They are better than ever with quite a bit of change to cover.

Pianist: Sentimental favorite has to be Roger Bennett. He is very likely to win. This list is a group of incredible pianists though. I think Stewart Varnado's time has come.

Musician: Tim Lovelace. I mean come on... He can do it all.

Band: Toss up for me between Gold City and Kingdom Heirs, but Isaacs or Primitives probably best qualify.

Video: Haven't seen all these so I'll reserve comment.

Album: (album? really?) Some really good recordings here. I would have to go with Faces by Greater Vision. It is full of awesome music! ('course they all are, so I guess this is just my personal preference).

Songwriter: Another duh. Rodney Griffin can start walking when the presenters get on stage. This is an extremely talented bunch of songwriters though!

DJ's: No real opinion here.

That's my take, let me hear your opinion.


NQC Reorganization

Well, I've had a while to think it over, so now I will discuss my thoughts on the NQC reorganization.

First of all, I think the idea of bringing younger members into the mix is a great idea. This will help provide for continuity as some of the older board members begin to retire. It should also bring in some new, fresh ideas.

The choice of new members was Scott Fowler and Gerald Wolfe. Both of these young men have been very visible in SG for quite some time. Both are former members of the prestigious Cathedral Quartet. Both men have a history (although shorter in Fowler's case) of successfully running a SG group (business). Do these reasons mean they were the best choice? Not at all, but they certainly look to have all the qualifications necessary. I have the feeling they will move right in and make great contributions.

Another aspect of the change is that full-time SG group members (owners) are replacing relative outsiders (at least in the sense that Cumbee and Farrar do not make their living traveling the SG circuit). This is apparently a conscious effort on the part of the Board, per the press release. The net result may be exactly as the Board wishes, but I think there is something to be said for having an "outsider" or two in the mix. Good Christian business men (like the departing members) could and should add a very different perspective than a group owner.

Also, thrown into this press release is the fact that Clarke Beasley will be taking a position with the state of Kentucky for development of Convention and Trade Show business. The talk of this has gone from speculation of keeping NQC in Louiville, to guesses as to whether Beasley's security in his new job is related to the future of NQC in Kentucky. Of course, all of this is pure speculation by people who (presumably) have no first-hand knowledge of the situation.

Finally, there is more second-guessing of the decision here, with some suggesting the choice should have included females (how do we know who was actually considered?), members/owners of more progressive groups, or some "less-conservative" choices. It seems to me that we (the general SG consumers) probably don't have enough information to even make valid suggestions. We look at "so and so" group and they look extremely successful, but how do we REALLY know what their financial and spiritual situation is? Perhaps they drive around in the best bus, with the best clothes, and the best audio equipment because they are "up to their eyeballs" in debt. I would hope that the vetting process used by the NQC Board would reveal these things and leave them with the best possible candidates for the open positions. This is my prayer and hope, anyway.

That's my take, what do you think?


Interesting Threads from the "Message Board-dom"

Here John Crenshaw has a great old picture of the Speer Family with some interesting trivia:

Tony Rush makes some good points over at
My opinion pretty much mirrors what I think his is, there are very, very few "regional" groups who will sound as good as the average "professional" group.

Now I've heard and I'm sure most of you have heard a "promoter" say that this or that local group is as good as (fill in the blank with professional group). Unfortunately, he must not be listening to the same groups I am...

Not to say there aren't good "regional" groups out there, just that for the most part (in fact, I've never heard one), they don't stack up to the pros.

I know, it has nothing to do with SG, but this thread over at SSQ message board is funny to me a basketball nut...

David Murray tells it like it is over at AMGS! SG radio is one of the major problem areas in our industry, see my thoughts on it here.