Southern Gospel Perspective

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

Location: United States


SG Wiki

David Bruce Murray's site is now a Wiki, check out David's Musicscribe site for details.

Prayers go out to the families of the victims of today's airplane crash in Lexington, KY that killed 49 people. Also, prayers for the one survivor who is in critical condition.


This, That, Changes, and NQC

Some of the comments I've received about my "fan"atics post have been interesting. Look here and please let me hear some more. I'm very interested in what you have to say, and I will try to respond as well.

There is a small amount (so far) of discussion related here at AMGS too.

Recent changes that are stirring the pot in SG are:

John Rulapaugh leaving Palmetto State shortly after Burman Porter joins them from the "Blackwood Gospel Quartet". John is joining the "Blackwood Quartet", not to be confused with the group Burman just left. (Are you confused yet?). John has written a very honest and forthcoming letter here. You should read it for yourself. Good luck to John, Burman, BGQ, PSQ, and BQ. Hopefully all will work to the best for all.

Loren Harris leaving The Perrys. Man, I really hate this one. I have mentioned several times on my blog how impressed I am with Loren. He's a real talent and The Perrys are sure to miss him. His fill-in should be able to handle it though, Shane Dunlap is stepping in for the interem. Hopefully, The Perrys can talk him into staying for a while... He is one of the great lead singers of today. Signature Sound, just doesn't "sound" the same without him.

Probably just coincidence, but these changes seem to occur a lot around NQC time. NQC is about a month away. I missed last year, but will be there for Fri and Sat nights this year. Can't wait. There will probably be more changes as we get closer and then following, so look here for more opinion.


Southern Gospel "fan"atics

What is it about SG music that causes the sometimes extreme cases of "fan"aticism we see in this genre? Does this occur in other music genre's as well?

I've noticed over the past several months and years that a certain percentage of SG "fans" seem to latch onto one particular group to the exclusion of all others. I mean, is it normal for someone to think that their favorite group has the best singer at every position?

I am one who seldom has one particular group that stands way above all other groups. Typically I have 5-6 groups that have different things about them that I like and enjoy.

For example, Greater Vision records songs that really have meaning to me and Gerald Wolfe's vocal abilities are something to behold. That being said, I like Jonathan Wilburn with Gold City just as much at lead and Gold City has an overall better sound to me (although slight). The Dove Brothers are another group that gives something different and I enjoy their ability to remind me of "the good old days". The Florida Boys have probably the best bass singer on the road today and their lead singer is also extremely talented.

So, am I the oddball or is it more typical to put your favorite so far ahead of every other group? I would love feedback on that.

It may seem like I'm picking on one or two group in the following, but this is just for illustration, they are not the only groups that have this type of "fan"dom. The Crabb Family seems to attract a crowd that is really only there for them. In other words, I'm not sure most of their "fans" even know there are other SG groups that travel and sing. If you dare say anything slightly negative about them, the uproar is tremendous.

Another group that is recently developed this type of following is Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. A recent discussion (that has since been deleted) on their website is typical of the attitudes I'm talking about. Here was the gist since it has been removed: A thread was started about Tim Duncan being a great bass singer, carrying on the mantle for George Younce, sounding a lot like George, and generally being the best bass singer on the road. When a naysayer came along and said that Tim has a long, long way to go to be considered in the same breath with George Younce and that he (Tim) is not really even one of the very best bass singers traveling today, the "fan"atics came out of the woodwork and did everything possible to beat back that opinion. Implying the naysayer did not know good singing, wasn't sophisticated enough to hear George in Tim and basically that George passed the torch to Tim, so he must be the best.

If you want to join, then you can see what I'm basically talking about by reading most any thread over there and noticing the overall "gushiness" of the comments. Most of these are made by people who don't know these guys at all and may have only seen them in concert a time or two.

If it weren't so sad, it might be funny. It makes me want to know more about the "fan"atics and their demographics. From my limited viewings it seems for SSQ that their "fan"atics are either white-haired older ladies who want the guys to be their children/grandchildren or they are teenage girls (and probably boys) who adore them for all the same reasons that teenagers adore any secular "boy band" that you could name. Does this explain any of the fervor that develops for this one group? I don't know.

Again, these are not the only groups that have this type following, but I can only write so long... Another similar hero-worship group that comes readily to mind is The Gaither Vocal Band. Also, don't take from my using these groups for example that I don't enjoy them, I do. Some more than others, just like I feel about most groups.

OK, let me have it, but keep it civil please.