NQC drops Dixie Melody Boys from mainstage schedule
- The Dixie Melody Boys have been cut from the main stage. There has been some fuss, particularly since the group is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year; there’s even been a Facebook started petition to get the board to reverse the decision. Yet there is another side to the story: Most or all years, the board removes one or more acts who have had frequent lineup changes. (Parenthetically, see here for an earlier discussion on what constitutes frequent lineup changes; this site defines it as an average of more than one change per year, and the board likely uses a similar definition.) Virtually every time over the last 5-7 years that the board has removed such a group, someone has come online and posted something to this effect: “Well, but they haven’t cut the Dixie Melody Boys, who have had more changes.” The board undoubtedly gets frequent and constant complaints every year, and perhaps they just got tired of hearing this one!
- Other groups pulled: Original Couriers, Liberty Quartet, Soul’d Out, Ball Brothers, HisSong.
- Dailey and Vincent’s set got one of the strongest responses of any set last year, and it looks as though the board responded; they bumped them up to two nights, and moved the other prominent bluegrass group appearing, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, to opening night.
- Three acts make their first mainstage appearance: Squire Parsons, Guy Penrod (first time as a soloist), and the Voices of Lee. Let’s put the Dixie Melody Boys question in another light: Will Guy Penrod draw more people? Probably. (Will the other two? Toss-up.)
- I seem to recall the Browns had their first scheduled mainstage appearance (and second overall) last year; however, it may have been their second, with their first being an unscheduled best-of-showcase highlight from the year before.
- NQC has listened to numerous fan suggestions to offer some of Southern Gospel’s more engaging artist-emcees the emcee microphone for an evening (in place, by and large, of the Christian comedians, though Dennis Swanberg appears once.) Gerald Wolfe, Karen Peck Gooch, Michael Booth, Susan Whisnant, Jason Crabb, Sisters, Brian Free, Sheri Easter, Debra Talley, and Dean and Kim Hopper will be sharing emcee duties.
- The Gaither Vocal Band will be appearing once, on Friday; Signature Sound has two sets, but on separate nights from the Gaither set—Wednesday and Thursday.
The NQC board will never be able to make everyone happy. But it seems that this year’s lineup is fairly strong, with a reasonably small number of eyebrow-raising moves.