Saturday News Roundup #65

In the news:

  • About a week back, I passed the one-year-mark with Crossroads. It’s been a great year! Occasionally, I find that I say everything I have to say in a blog post or album review on the Crossroads site, and thus simply forget to mention it here. (Take, as a great case in point, the album summary for the Talley Trio’s Stories and Songs.) Lest I be entirely remiss in this area, let me catch up on two newsworthy stories here. First, Mark Bishop, who has been recording with Crossroads/Sonlite Records since 2002, just signed a publishing agreement to be on the Chris White Music / Asheville Music Publishing songwriting roster.
  • Second, Crossroads recently rolled out an innovative website feature, the Crossroads Video Vault. Currently, several exclusive concert tapings are available, as are song-by-song downloads of several current DVDs (like NQC Vol. 9 and NQC Vol. 10). The part that excites me the most is the plan to release out-of-print videos through this formatβ€”videos you can’t get elsewhere.
  • Singing News is conducting an online poll to determine readers’ all-time favorite cover.
  • Soloist Jessica King has returned to Southern Gospel and has signed with Daywind.
  • Don Butler, a Southern Gospel Hall of Fame member who was a member of the Sons of Song, and then became an industry executive, working in booking with Sumar Talent, passed away on February 3 (Thursday) at age 80.
  • Fellow Asheville-area Southern Gospel blogger Adam Edwards made a move I wish I had thought of making, signing up Brian Crout as a contributor to his blog. Brian, I hope you won’t be a stranger in the comments here! We’d certainly miss you if you were! Either way, though, we wish you the best of success!

In the press:

  • / The St. Petersburg Times featured a nice interview with Phil Collingsworth and an area host pastor, announcing an area concert.

Featured video:

Word has it that early in the Signature Sound Cathedrals Tribute project process, Ryan Seaton was slated to sing “Champion of Love.” Of course, the plan had to change when he left, but now that the soundtrack has come out, he has started singing it. Here, he sings it with the Ryan Seaton Quartet – Toby Hitchcock, Andrew Goldman, and Aaron McCune – an ensemble solid enough so as to leave assorted observers hoping that they will go farther than merely making occasional appearances.

Also, correspondents have been sending in more videos of the Kingdom Heirs’ new lineup. Via Bryan, here’s a video of Look for Me and He Locked the Gates, and via J.C., here’s He Lifted Me / Fire Away.

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45 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I hate to be picky about how you say things, but the way you wrote “word has it” about Seaton slated to sing SOL makes it sound like you doubt it. But I am probably misinterpreting…

    Anyways, that indeed was the case. You even said so yourself:

    I could still remember hearing Ryan sing the song on that video clip (which is no longer online) when I mentioned it in my blog post.

    • It just means that is what he heard. Since he wasn’t there when the decision was made or possibly got confirmation he was playing it safe.

    • You know, I’d entirely forgotten that video clip. Good point.

      I’ve learned the hard way to be cautious about everything that I do not know for a certainty.

  2. Thanks Daniel for the mention. I certainly don’t plan to be a stranger in the comments here. Hopefully I’ll be bringing something different to the table over at Southern Gospel Critique. So I’ll have plenty to say here, too.

    I hope all of y’all who read and comment here won’t be shy in doing the same over there. Adam and I would love to have some great discussion with you.

    • Oh, I plan to be over there, for sure! πŸ™‚

      • Thanks for acknowledging the new addition to the blog. I can’t say how much I am thrilled to have Brian on board and from the looks of his first post, there’s going to be some very great writing to look forward to!

      • From the one he did here as a guest post, I knew there would be from the moment you announced it!

      • Congrats to Brian! He’s a great addition. You’ll be glad to have him around. πŸ™‚

  3. Wow—so the OOP stuff would be released digitally only, or also physically?

    • Digitally only, much like any number of old Hoppers, Karen Peck & New River, McKameys, and other old and out-of-print CDs are now available digitally.

      CDs and DVDs are generally placed out of print when the cost of printing up another physical batch is not justified by slowing sales. Whether that number is a run of 500 or a run of 5000, I honestly don’t know, since I’m not involved in that part of the process. But naturally, there’s less demand for older titles.

      Thankfully, digital can remove that one factor which keeps older works unavailable.

      • Good point. And if you want to be able to watch with family/friends, you can burn a blank DVD.

      • Yes – as you are probably aware, copyright fair use laws permit burning digitally purchased media to physical media like CDs or DVDs for your own personal use.

      • Yeah. Except it’s a little more cumbersome here due to the amount of space it would take up on your harddrive. But for really OOP stuff, it might be worth it.

        Any chances of re-releasing some Cathedrals videos?

      • Well, I would say that the chances are best for items we’ve released!

      • I don’t think you released any Cathedrals videos originally, did you?

      • Umm, no, we didn’t – they were with Canaan for quite a number of years, then with Benson/Heartwarming/Riversong in the ’80s, then with Homeland in the ’90s. Given that a staffer at Homeland was Glen Payne’s son-in-law at the time, one could say Homeland had the inside track!

      • Yeah, that’s what I figured. I don’t think I realized that your releases would be brand-restricted! But that makes sense.

      • I guess copyright / contract law is more complex than most people recognize…

      • Bear in mind that Bill Traylor was also with them during the Live in Atlanta album (which was done on CBS’ gospel label originally) and was at Benson some time before he and they migrated to Homeland. Then Word, got the Homeland stuff.

  4. Was the Ryan Seaton quartet video at a rehearsal? Just looks funny with the bass wearing a hat, and hands in the pocket. Going for the casual look.

    • Yes, a rehearsal – those were Ryan’s girls dancing on stage.

  5. Wow, that clip of Ryan Seaton & Friends is great. IMHO Wayne Haun is an ok singer, hearing Ryan on that track makes this version of COL better. From this clip is sounds like this quartet would have a pretty successful run in our genre.

    • I honestly would agree—Wayne doesn’t have the same “oomph” to his voice that Ryan does.

      ‘Course, I don’t care enough about the song to give it much thought either way, but if I did that would be my opinion. πŸ™‚

    • “To each his own….”

      Ryan doesn’t play the sousaphone πŸ™‚ , or arrange the orchestration. On the other hand he DOES have more ooomph in his vocal delivery than any curly bugle horn!

      These guys sound real good! I think there is room on the roster for a “young trendy” quartet group – who look the part – but singing solid SG material.

      Wait though, is that not what EHSS does?Did? Whatever. Just musin’

      • Even “young, trendy” quartet groups have to grow up some time. πŸ˜‰

        It would be interesting though to see where Ryan takes this, and whether it would catch on.

  6. This group of guys that Seaton has brought together has the makings of a VERY solid and marketable quartet.

    • One reason I’d like to see this group take off is because I don’t think Toby Hitchcock got much attention when he was with Austin’s Bridge. He’s too bright of a talent to go unnoticed.

      • Oh – THAT Toby Hitchcock! Thank you for putting the pieces together for me. He was the person who sang the one line that impressed me at the Austins Bridge concert I attended a while back. No wonder he sounds familiar – and, for the record, I was comparing him to Wes even then.

      • Good grief Daniel!! You mean you didn’t realize that this tenor was Toby Hitchcock?

      • Oh, I remembered his name off the top of my head, and, as you might notice, put it up in the post above without any prompting. It’s just that I didn’t associate him with that other group.

      • Okay. πŸ™‚

        I really like the way his voice sounds together with Ryan’s—especially on the final repeat of “all-time, undisputed champion…” on the word “love” when they both go up together, there’s a LOT of power there.

      • There was a wee prediction in a list somewhere a while back…

        Maybe, just maybe, it MIGHT come true.

        “Marketable” is necessary today, but this lot are powerful singers.

        Q: is it exactly the same four who appeared doing an impromptu “Them Came the Morning” a while back?

      • They did “The Love of God” and “God is Good,” and I think you’re right that they might also have done “Then Came.” Yes, it’s the same four.

  7. Just got on here in Safari. How long have you been doing the Google ads thing? I always thought you had the traffic to make that worthwhile. I guess it doesn’t do you much good with me normally – I didn’t even know you had it!

    • About two weeks.

      They’re pay-per-click ads, so I’m only paid when someone clicks on one. Thus far, it looks to be on track to cover hosting bills, with about that much more left over – nothing to get rich off of, but enough to make it self-supporting.

      But then, that’s partly because I intentionally kept them inconspicuous, and off the main page, RSS feed, and email updates altogether – they’re only on single post pages – because, at least at this point, a clean and uncluttered graphic design is higher on my priorities list than getting rich!

      • Well, paying the bills is something. That’s about what I guessed. And they’re well-targeted, which should keep them from annoying folks. I’d say it was a good decision.

      • Thanks! That is indeed why I went with Google – their network is so wide that I was reasonably confident their ads would be properly targeted.

  8. I can’t believe Aaron McCune would wear a hat in church, even if it was just a rehearsal. Guess I was just raised different. Call me old fashioned.

    • Please keep in mind that this was Indiana, not Florida. I have family in Ohio, and they have told me that it’s been above 32 degrees approximately once since Christmas, with several inches of snow approximately every other day. In other words, in plain English, it’s cold. He could have easily just come in out of the cold and simply forgotten!

  9. Here’s another chance to hear “Ryan Seaton & Friends” (Note: not an official name that I’m aware of)

    Starts slow, but really picks up about halfway through.

    • I would rather see a good group coming up with no name, as a good name going down with no group!

      I guess there is nothing new under the sun but the “Ryan Seaton Scrap-Iron Quartet” – which it is not – are well placed to make an impact in the SG field.

      These guys have a freshness that is palpable, even on bootleg video!

    • Wow! That’s very neat!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed the mac in the background and the air drums. Seriously though, the group sounds great. Beautiful voices! Nice song.

  11. Keeping up with my video-finding ways, I just found two more videos on Facebook. These are from the same night as “The Love of God” was filmed. (I think you need a Facebook account for these, sorry NSF and others).

    God Is Good –
    Champion of Love –

    I’m really excited to see if these guys hit the road together. I think they’ve got A LOT of potential.

  12. I used to watch Aaron Mccune with the Anchormen on gospel music television and I couldn’t stand watching him try to be a bass singer. Then out of curiosity I bought gold city moment of truth. I couldn’t believe it was the same guy. He had improved so much and is now one of my favorites