Southern Gospel comes up empty at Grammy® Awards

While the Grammy® Awards’ voting base consistently honors major players in a field in other award categories (like CCM’s “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album”), they often show a distinct bias in our category towards artists from secular genres who record a token Gospel project. That bias struck again this year, as country act Diamond Rio received the “Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album” award, over two Southern Gospel nominees (Jeff & Sheri Easter and Karen Peck & New River) and two other nominees, Christian Country act Austins Bridge and country artist Ty Herndon.


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118 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. Well, I guess there’s a reason its called the “Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album” award and not the “Best Southern Gospel Album” award.

    • Yes. (But has a Bluegrass Gospel album ever won?)

      • You’re the expert.

      • Well, maybe on the Singing News Fan Awards, but the Grammy results have been so scatterbrained over the years that I haven’t cared enough to really memorize lists of past winners.

  2. Seriously, why would we expect the Grammy’s to “tip its hat” to music that is suppose to glorify God and exalt Jesus Christ such as SG? The world hated Christ before it hated us (John 15:18), and how can a worldview based organization recognize or even understand that which is spiritual (1 Cor. 2;14). It’s a greater honor to be recognized by God than the world.

    • Agreed. That’s part of why I barely tip my hat to them. For me, it was a tossup whether I even bothered to talk about them today, or whether I typed up another post I’d been contemplating.

      The reason I went with this, actually, was because I’ve been working on my income taxes all weekend, and I could type this one out faster! 🙂

  3. If a SG group performed with fire, strobe lights, puppets, a backup band (with brass line), hanging from swings and had back up dancers we might get an appearance on the grammy’s. Otherwise, we will have to stick with the Singing News Awards and with the great singing we all love 🙂

    • I was able to read that comment with a serious face until you got to the part about backup dancers. Now I have these mental images of the Inspirations or the McKameys or Legacy Five with backup dancers, and I can’t help but smile!

    • Please, don’t give anyone any ideas! 😀

    • so you haven’t seen signature sound?

      • I knew this was coming…

      • I did, too… 🙂

      • I did, too…

      • I think someone was meant to say that! :-)!!

  4. Daniel,
    Why bash a Country act for doing Country Gospel albums, and doing it with the quality it takes to win an award? This is not a “token” recording for these guys. They have been doing family friendly and inspirational music for a long time.

    • While I agree with Daniel on what the award typically goes to, in this case it might not apply as well. Diamond Rio has been signed to Word Records, a Christian label, since 2007. Indeed, the Grammy winner was a Word Records project. (One that is a year and a half old, though.)

      That said, I would love it if the Grammys recognized Southern Gospel music more, but am not surprised that they don’t. It’s more about the name on the front of the CD than the Name sung about in the songs.

      • Now wait Brian, are you saying that the times that Southern Gospel won Grammys, it was because of whose name was on it?

      • I’m saying that the Grammys are a secular organization who view the music from a secular perspective. I’m sure they’re not sitting around the table thinking which recording does a great job of lifting up the name of Jesus, drawing sinners to repentance and edifying the saints.

      • Grammys are given for excellence in performance. If the category was “best recording that does a great job of lifting up the name of Jesus, drawing sinners to repentance and edifying the saints” by a Country, Southern or Bluegrass artist, it might be different. Maybe not!

      • Grammys are supposed to be given for excellence in performance, but my point is that in this (admittedly down-ballot) category, at least, they are not. They are given based on name recognition, which is far too often name recognition for a secular artist’s work in another field, regardless of the quality of other nominees.

        While I recognize that drop-in-and-drive-through side projects by secular artists can technically be eligible, I would rather see the award go to someone whose career has been in the genre – even if that may be a country Gospel or a Bluegrass Gospel artist.

      • From what I understand, the Diamond Rio guys are serious about their faith and have wanted to make a transition from secular country to Christian music for years. That’s why they signed with Word. There’s an interview where they discuss this in some depth.

      • If they’re going for the CCM market, then that’s the category under which they should have been nominated.

        My whole point is that Grammy voters aren’t – and, historically, haven’t – taken our genre seriously. (In that case, why bother with the category at all…?)

      • It’s true. SG has always been a niche market.

      • I understand the points, but I think the award needs to be given to the best project in that genre. Not on place in industry, name recognition, years of service etc.

      • I understand your position, and that the rules allow for that. My position is that the award ought to be given to an artist from one of the genres covered who produces an eligible album.

      • I don’t know how good any of the nominees were, so I can’t give an intelligent opinion.

      • That is the crux. Is the award given to the best album released in the genre, or does the album have to be produced by someone from within the genre?

        Now, I would love for SG artists to win. I think the Grammy people are uneducated. They don’t know the genre. Perhaps the best thing they could do is have a separate award for special album which would cover events not from within the genre. However, I am not sure there are enough of those to set up a separate award.

      • Well, at least we understand each other now!

        Truth be told, whether or not I cared for the style, given that the award is for Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel album I wouldn’t have any problem with an artist who had made their career in Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel taking it home. I’d root for the SG artist(s), though, of course!

    • Jasmine,
      Surely you aren’t giving the Grammys credit for determining what constitutes quality in this category, are you?

      This is the same organization that nominated the Light Crust Doughboys in this category…not just once, but year after year.

      That being said, I don’t have a problem with Diamond Rio winning, but it’s pretty random how selections have been made in the past.

  5. What southern gospel artists today are making the same strides as folks like James Blackwood and Jake Hess? What record labels in southern gospel even have a good Christian Bookstore distribution that justifies the Grammys even being aware that their CDs/artists exist?

    • Q1. Collingsworth Family, Booth Brothers, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, and maybe a few others

      Q2. Crossroads – to the extent it matters anymore. With how quickly bookstores are closing across the country and CBA membership is shrinking, it matters less than it used to.

      • 1. Ernie absolutely is making strides, but he clearly didn’t put a big album out during the eligibility period. Tribute to the Cathedrals is only a 3-4 months old. The Booths did the album of their career and Daywind doesn’t even release it, leaving it to be sold at their table only…still trying to figure that one. The Collingsworths can sing wonderfully, but it’s still relatively early in their career for a Grammy nod. Grammy folks take a while to notice folks like them sadly. And quite honestly, there just aren’t many fantastic albums released in SG anymore. I can name about 3 released last year that I give much airtime at all in my CD player.

        2. Crossroads puts out some good music, just like Daywind. And Crossroads distributes just kinda here and there, like Daywind. SG is so past its prime in terms of magnitude and overall music quality that we should be glad that they even include the genre in a three-way category.

        And like many of us good, loving, Christian people who love southern gospel, it’s easy to disregard the Grammys as being “too worldly” and revel in our own self-pride. But a Grammy nod should be very much an honor. It’s proof that your CD of gospel music made it to the masses, and in today’s case, against all odds. But let’s go ahead and downplay what the Grammys mean. They’re out of touch. You can’t find a good southern gospel recording hardly anywhere anymore, but everybody else is out of touch. We’ve got it all together.

      • I’d rather be in touch with God and out of touch with the rest of the world . . . over the alternative.

        Ditto for the artists I prefer to listen to!

      • Sorry if I’m offending abk, but you’re coming off a bit snobby here. I agree that there’s more to good music than southern gospel, but couldn’t you find a way to say that without looking like a twit?

        And in any case, if Lady Gaga and Eminem are supposed to be everybody else’s idea of great music, then musically speaking that’s a pretty high bar…not.

      • Are you saying it’s snobby to say that it’s a far higher priority to be in touch with God than in touch with the secular music world? In what way is that snobby . . . and how could any Christian not agree?

      • I was addressing abk.

      • Oh, OK. The wording wasn’t quite clear, and since it was right below mine . . . anyhow, sorry for the confusion!

      • It would actually have been snuggled in a little more in the comment chain if I were replying to you, but I see how your eye missed it. I also addressed abk by name, but his handle doesn’t stick out, so it’s understandable that you missed that too.

        I thought my comment was pretty clearly sending negative vibes his way and not yours, but whatever. 🙂

      • OK. 🙂

        The opening sentence was “Sorry if I’m offending abk, but you’re coming off a bit snobby here.”

        I thought “sorry if I’m offending abk” could really have applied if you were offending him by replying to him or offending him by replying to my comment, right above yours . . . anyhow, I was a little confused by all of it. 🙂

      • Hmmmmmm, perhaps I need to brush up on comma usage, “Sorry if I’m offending, abk.” 😉

      • Daniel and NSGF I’m not sure if either of you are following me. First, being in touch with God and trying to expand SG’s buying public are totally different things. Secondly, if we want to be defining some of the posts that are “snobby” and are not, we need to read all of these posts and then do the math over again. Oh well, yall hammer away at me, I’ve got work I gotta do anyway.

        And thank you Eddie Crook…the legends of this industry do know what they’re talking about sometimes!

      • NSF, yes, the comma does clarify beautifully. 🙂

        ABK – I’m totally agreed that we need to increase SG’s buying public.

      • Crossroad, Daywind, and New Haven, as well as a plethora of independant labels/artist, have as strong of a distribution as the stores could possibly ask for. The problem is that most Christian bookstore owners/managers don’t think they can sell sg. May not enough sg fans as ASKING the store owners/managers for the product.

        If you can’t find your favorite artists in your local store, ASK for it. Don’t just look around and leave.

      • As for the Booth Brothers’ cd, it really wasn’t an sg project. More p&w. IMHO, it didn’t fit what Daywind does, and would not have received sg radio play. Why SHOULD they have picked it up? Nice stuff, but not sg.

        Besides, I’ve heard snippets of their new one that’s in the works, and it sounds like the Booth Brothers we know and love.

      • Praise and worship?

        Umm….

        Influenced by ’80s and early ’90s inspo, maybe.

        But 24/7 choruses?

        Umm…no. 🙂

      • The only worship songs on there were “In Christ Alone” and “Before the Cross.” Nothing else from that album would fit the P & W genre.

      • …and those are decidedly outside of the mainstream of P&W, with the Gettys describing “In Christ Alone” as a modern hymn and the other being in a similar vein.

      • I know. I wouldn’t put them in P & W proper either, although I think “In Christ Alone” could legitimately be called a “worship song.”

      • P/W, no. CCM, maybe.

        IMO, its just as much P/W as Midnight Cry or When I Get Carried Away

      • BTW, reading this put In Christ Alone in my head now

      • As P/W as Midnight Cry . . . I like that comparison! 🙂

  6. If KP or J&S had won a Grammy, everyone would be praising NARAS for including SG.
    We should be glad that they even include a category with SG.

  7. If the NARAS (organization that gives out the awards) wants Southern Gospel and Bluegrass Gospel to take them seriously, perhaps they’d be doing well to take us seriously.

    As it is, they don’t care all that much, and people in the industry have been trending toward caring less – for this very reason.

  8. How many commenters on here are voting members of NARAS? It is kind of like the political elections. If you are not registered and do not vote, you should not gripe about the outcome. And Mr. Murray, don’t forget, the Doughboys featured Mr. Southern Gospel Music – James Blackwood! I would like to know how many distributed or downloaded units each act moved. I’d say Diamond Rio thru WORD was the most. I was rooting for J&S, by the way, but since I am not a member of NARAS, I won’t complain.

    • Actually, I’m eligible, due to working full-time in the music industry – but, as I indicated in an earlier comment, the NARAS voters have demonstrated consistently enough that they don’t care about SG one way or the other, that I’ve gotten to where I don’t care about the NARAS enough to join. I just barely cared enough to post this year, and who knows what future years will hold!

  9. Five of the last ten Grammys in the Southern/Country/Bluegrass category have been given to Southern Gospel artists. Can’t ask for much better than half in a three genre category.

    • But how many of the other half have gone to artists whose careers have been primarily in Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel?

      • 2010 Jason Crabb Jason Crabb
        2009 Gaither Vocal Band Lovin’ Life
        2008 Ricky Skaggs&TheWhitesSalt of theEarth
        2006 Amy Grant Rock of Ages – Hymns and Faith
        2005 Randy Travis Worship & Faith
        2004 Randy Travis Rise and Shine
        2003 The Jordanaires, Larry Ford & The Light Crust Doughboys – Tribute to James Blackwood
        2002 Chad Evans (engineer) & Bill Gaither (producer & artist), Gloria Gaither & the Homecoming Friends Bill & Gloria Gaither Present a Billy Graham Music Homecoming
        2001 Brent King, Alan Shulman (engineers), Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder Soldier of the Cross
        2000 Bill Gaither & Gloria Gaither Kennedy Center Homecoming

      • To Randy Travis’ credit, he has not been a one-Gospel-CD flash in the pan. He has released several Gospel CDs.

        The Grammys have noticed and recognized some legitimate SG acts, but the sad fact of the matter is it’s just all too random. CDs from acts that are relatively low on the meters of SG fans and critics alike will often get a nomination, while names that are lauded almost universally in our ranks are passed by year after year.

        Greater Vision, Legacy Five, Triumphant, etc. were all on Daywind’s label, for example, but it was Austin’s Bridge who got the nomination.

        A few years ago, Kenny Bishop, who had never released a solo CD before, got a nomination after being completely away from the scene of SG for several years.

  10. I remember trying many years ago to get a southern gospel category when I was a member of NARAS and also on the Nashville committee that screened the nominations.

    Everyone on the Nashville committee tried.
    The compromise was to have the three genres combined.

    Obviously the only way for a SG artist to win every year is to have SG only category.
    The fact is SG does not need the Grammy Awards and NARAS does not need SG.

  11. “I’d rather be in touch with God and out of touch with the rest of the world . . . over the alternative.”

    Just for fun, Daniel, you have just the David Phelps’ Fan club.
    A few years back at a Praise Gathering in Indianapolis, David was having some fun on stage with Russ Taff and his Grammy awards.
    In summary, they asked David and he replied, “I am waiting for my awards in Heaven.”

    A long time ago, a record, yes, record was out on the market called “The Game of Life.”
    The evangelical focus was on not winning in sports but how you play in the game of sports.

    Putting Matthew 6:33 as the center of your life might help you just in case you do win some award here on Earth.

    • Not very sure which way this comment is slanted GMF?

      If it is jovial, fair enough. But if you are making a serious point, against what Daniel has suggested, man you are in the wrong book and chapter, big time!

      “All these things” (Matt 6:33) is most contextual, and does not mean ‘everything’ – it is specifically the necessities of life, promised to those who put the Kingdom first.

      Perhaps Matt 6:5 fits the present thread better – “…that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward”.

      That is “seen of men” IS your reward – if that is what you seek after! Which seems to agree with Daniel somewhat, and also – if quoted in context – the comment attributed to David Phelps also :-).

      While the thread is interesting, I am not at all sure if we should stress over Christain Artists being recognised/not, by Grammy’s.

  12. I think global popularity is the issue here and I really don’t see any of the “SGM” groups being close to Diamond Rio (that were nominated). It’s just a shame that the SGM industry can’t figure out away to make one hit wonders, and stars right out of the gate. Thats why American Idol is so popular,but it takes a SGM group 50 years to get popular just in the SGM industry ex. as stated earlier The Collingsworth Family as a “fairly new group” They’ve been around for 25 years that I know of. Way to long for an entertainment act, to hit the “BIg-Time” or “Top” where ever that may be. Anyone in the music industry had help at one time in their career from a industry insider, I wonder why it seems to take so long in SGM?

  13. There are a lot of comments on this thread, and I admit I haven’t read all of them, but here’s some food for thought…

    The category says “Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album.” Diamond Rio is a Country group who recorded a Gospel album. Fits in the category just fine. It’d be like if the Gaither Vocal Band were nominated in the a category that says “Best Vocal Group” that also included the Backstreet Boys.

    Secondly, if the SG industry wants the “mainstream” folks at the RIAA/Grammys to take them more seriously, then they need to get serious with their music. What some here may label as “quality,” others look at as a joke, and not because of the Christian content, although that seems to be the main excuse from the SG folk.

    Now, had Austin’s Bridge or the Easters won, I doubt that anyone would’ve complained about Diamond Rio’s being nominated, but because they won, the instant reaction is to become defensive of our genre. “Oh, they must think we’re a joke, that’s why they gave the award to a country group.” That’s a cop out.

    IF the SG industry truly feels that way about the Grammys, then why pay to be members of the RIAA?? Nobody says you HAVE to be a member, and if the impression that the RIAA members view SG as a joke, then why subject yourselves to the ridicule?

    Now, if a Grammy really is that important, then the simple solution is this: MAKE BETTER MUSIC!!!

    For the record, this was Diamond’s Rio’s first Grammy of their career. A tweet from group member Dana Williams said this: “UNBELIEVABLE! a big hurtle for Rio has been jumped today. WE WON OUR FIRST GRAMMY!!!! REJOICE!”

    • I don’t think they are the first artists to capture a first Grammy after a token Gospel project…

      • Why must you keep saying “token” about the Diamond Rio recording? To imply that about someone taking the time, money and effort to spread the Good News, is just mean-spirited and not Christlike. I would venture to say that if the Rio project were released or distributed by Crossroads, you would be singing it’s praises.

      • No, you are incorrect.

      • I doubt it would be Daniel’s cup of tea anyway, but the word “token” doesn’t feel right either. I would feel differently if they hadn’t expressly said that they wanted to make a shift into Christian music. It’s different from “Carrie Underwood does a hymns project” or something.

      • Are they expected to record exclusively or almost exclusively Christian music from this point on through their retirement?

        If so, I take back the characterization of “token” and apologize for the mistake.

      • Let me try to shed some light. I’m not into secular music as of about a year ago, but when I was, I was an enormous Diamond Rio fan. In fact, I have every CD they have ever recorded EXCEPT for the Grammy-nominated on in question.

        They had a falling out with Arista, their long-time country label, and signed with Word Records a few years ago. They have released a Christmas album (excellent) and this Christian record on Word. I don’t know what their future plans are. I don’t see them on Word Records’ artist roster, unless I’m missing it.

        I don’t get the sense that this was a token project, since it was released on a Christian label. But I also don’t know if they are still going to be recording for Word.

        I think too much has been made of a little word. Let’s just agree to disagree peacably. 🙂

      • Thank you Brian. That is what I am saying. I don’t understand the “hate-speak” just because a Country artist won an award in a Country category.

      • Jasmine, characterizing the rather mild language of “a token effort” as “hate-speak” is uncalled for.

      • I wouldn’t say they’d need to record gospel exclusively for the rest of their careers for this not to be characterized as a “token” recording.

        A gospel CD by the Oak Ridge Boys or Randy Travis or Paul Overstreet would not be a “token,” since they’ve made gospel music an important part of their careers over a sustained period of time.

        Sometimes a secular artist is under a multi-album contract, and may have been genuinely wanting to do a gospel recording for several years before they get the opportunity. Other times, it’s a case where they see their popularity slipping and decide to tap into the gospel market to keep their careers going. This is often easy for Country artists in particular if they’ve recorded family friendly type music for the majority of their careers.

        The problem is that it’s difficult to tell the difference.

        As far as the Grammys are concerned, it’s really shouldn’t be the point. The Grammy ought to go to an artist who puts out the most superb Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel CD. Unfortunately, it usually comes down to popularity or some weird politics rather than a genuine comparison of the nominees.

      • It seems to me that Daniel is against any artist that is not labeled as exclusively Christian recording any form of Christan music. It’s all or nothing. Correct me if I’m wrong, Daniel, but the impression that I get from you is that, even if an artist is a Christian, once they record anything other than a Christian recording, they invalidate any Christian connection they may have previously had (at least, in your opinion).

        I’m a Christian. I work for a secular corporation. Does that make me any less a Christian? How is it any different than a Christian artist recording secular music? Unless they’re singing songs that say, “I hate God, Christianity is a joke,” then I don’t see the problem, as long as the songs are positive and not anti-Christian.

        I’ll be honest….your repeated use (in a condescending manner) of the term “token gospel project” doesn’t offend me….it infuriates me. To me, it says, “I don’t care where their heart is; unless they sing about God 24/7, they are fake.”

      • Infuriates? Kyle, you’re taking this discussion way to seriously and personally… And kindly permit me to correct you on one point. I used “token gospel project” once, and any other references here have been just in the context of replying to assorted comments. 🙂

        Now you’re trying to paint what I believe in a negative light. So instead of replying in kind and telling you what I don’t believe, let me keep things positive and tell you what I do believe and support.

        I believe in, support, and promote music reflecting a clearly Biblical worldview – whether or not there is a direct reference to the Cross – performed by Christian musicians for the glory of God.

        That’s what I support, and that’s what will be promoted on this site.

      • What sort of songs that don’t include a direct reference to God or salvation would you consider acceptable?

      • It would probably be impossible to come up with an exhaustive list off the top of my head. But just as one example, a song about family heritage and faithfulness could reflect a Biblical worldview, with the correct lyric.

        Also, a song about the rapture / end times / Second Coming stands a pretty good chance of reflecting a Biblical worldview, even if there is no reference to the Cross.

      • Naturally, but I meant a song that didn’t specifically refer to Christianity in any particular way.

      • Well, that’s not exactly what you actually asked. 🙂

        So how are you defining Christianity? The central, core, truth of the Gospel—or a consistent and clear application of the Bible’s principles to every area of life?

      • That’s what I was trying to say, and what I meant by “a direct reference to God.”

        What I’m trying to ask is whether you would accept a song that does not specifically present a gospel message. Would you accept a song with beauty and truth that does not contradict the Christian worldview even if God was not prominently featured or referred to in the lyric?

      • I believe you’re presenting the converse of my assertion – I’m not so closely familiar with formal logic as to be absolutely certain of my terminology here – but I think you’re going for the converse, which is not necessarily true (and can be tricky to discern).

        I’m in support of songs that clearly do present a Biblical worldview, even if God is not specifically named.

      • “does not contradict the Christian worldview”….

        NSF, Is NOT the same as “promotes…a Biblical worldview.”

        Daniel is postulating a positive assertion. What you are espousing is not negative – so it is not actually converse – BUT it is neutral.

        Which is not the position Daniel is proposing. I, personally, would keep the “Christian” and “Biblical” perspecitves in music as positives – [or else we get back to Beethoven, again] :-)!

      • David: “‘does not contradict the Christian worldview’….NSF, Is NOT the same as ‘promotes…a Biblical worldview.'”

        That’s precisely why I wouldn’t answer the converse, and would only state the positive.

      • Okay, I understand what the purpose of this site is, and that is fine as far as what you want to promote and have grow. I don’t know how you feel morality-wise about say Christian love songs, songs about life that don’t mention Christ, religion, etc. yet don’t have something that is contradictory to Christianity (i.e. cheating) or at least that present it as right or not as wrong.

        Then there are songs that do present a Christian point of view even if God might not be mentioned. Perhaps a good example might be the song Gold City did “What Children Believe”. As far as I recall, that song could be sung in church (at least in a concert setting) although it doesn’t mention God or teach specifics from the Bible because it tells about wrongs in the world. It might not present Christ as the answer, but we at Church already know He is and that life gets messy and is imperfect.

        I don’t know how you meant the comment “token gospel project” or some of the other comments, but I understand how they can sound to people. Some Christians (not saying you necessarily just talking in general terms) have a bit of a way of perhaps looking down or elitism as Christians. Not, that all who do think they are better (some might come to this from a level of looking down at anything that is less than what they feel Christianity is about more than thinking they are better).

        Now back to the “token Christian” part of it. That can come across as saying the person’s motives are not good and perhaps more self-serving or more done out of duty or because it was expected. First of all, I would think it is too soon to know if it is “token” since they haven’t cut anything else since. We don’t really know their lifestyles (although I read their book and know more than some), so assuming because they hadn’t cut Christian songs prior means they aren’t Christians is wrong. Christians can and do work for secular companies. Saying they aren’t Christians because they have performed in secular venues is wrong because the power companies supply power there, the phone companies provide power there. I haven’t heard of any Christian plumbers refusing to do plumbing work at anywhere but churches. I haven’t heard of any Christian contractors refusing to do any work that isn’t a church or even houses for Christians (who undoubtedly don’t spend every second of every day doing strictly Christian things in the house such as watching secular (but clean) TV shows or similar music, homework from school, parties with friends (where Christ isn’t preached) etc.

        I personally see nothing wrong with love songs that a Christian man could sing to his wife or girlfriend (but of course those wouldn’t really be a good thing for a regular church service, they could be used for a Valentines’ Banquet in a fellowship hall though.)

        Of course you are free to use this site to promote what you want, but there is a difference between not promoting something and finding fault with it, deeming it as immoral or someone wrong for liking or choosing to do it. I am not saying that you meant to do that or hold those beliefs, but there are people out there who do. Sometimes comments made here by some could be taken that way (whether those who made them meant them that way or hold those beliefs or not). However, even if the people here don’t believe those things, there almost certainly are those in the world who do. Unfortunately, I think no matter the motives of those who hold those beliefs, they can have non-Christians think that we Christians think we are better than them. Most of us Christians realize that whatever good is in us is from God and that without Christ’s sacrifice, we are lost. Nonetheless, I don’t think it stops some of us from thinking we are better than those we deem worse than us.

      • Or we could put it another way: Does singing “Ba ba black sheep” support or contradict a biblically correct worldview?

        At a certain point, worldview analysis becomes useful only for satirical purposes. 😀

      • Needless to say, I disagree.

        No lyric is so neutral that the Biblical worldview has no bearing on it. Even a lyric which is utterly useless and perhaps nonsensical is a waste of time – and Scripture has a few things to say about wasting time (and, for that matter, idle words.)

      • That’s priceless, Daniel. I think I’m gonna quote you on that, if you don’t mind. 😀

      • Sure! 🙂

        I’m glad you’re laughing with me (at least, I hope!) I’ve been laughing ever since posting that! I sure didn’t see that conclusion coming – even when starting to type the comment. 🙂

      • …though, upon further reflection, I do hope that you will not be applying this to a certain Lari Goss / Cathedrals song you have been known to particularly dislike… 🙂

      • What—about idle words?

      • No – that you’d characterize it in the useless department. 🙂

      • No, I’d put it in the “mediocre, cheesy, bad taste” department. 😉

        In any event, something like the “ABC” song isn’t necessarily useless, because simple songs and nursery rhymes like that can be used to introduce little kids to the basics of music, rhyme and rhythm. When they have a little tune to hum along with, presented so they can grasp and understand it, it’s a great learning aid. People also use nonsensical songs for vocal exercises—ever hear of “Mommy made me mash my M & Ms?” 😀 (Oh wait, except you probably shouldn’t sing that because it wouldn’t be inherently true….after all, Mommy didn’t REALLY make you mash your M & Ms. :lol:)

      • Yes, that song can have some value for teaching purposes.

      • But seriously, if I’m going about my work and begin humming “Twinkle deedle dum, twinkle deedle dee,” I somehow doubt that I am thereby doing something unbiblical. 😉

      • I’m unfamiliar with that song.

      • Are you still pretending to keep a straight face, or are you really being serious? 😉

      • Well, I was serious that I don’t know the song (and judging from context, I suppose I don’t want to, either!)

        While I was laughing at the timing and the way it was said, I do seriously believe that we’re not supposed to waste our time.

      • I’m not talking about literally spending hours staring at the wall and humming silly songs to ourselves instead of doing our work. I’m just talking about HAVING FUN. Does the phrase “Whistle while you work” ring a bell?

        But heaven forbid we should allow ourselves to be silly and goof off sometimes… 🙂

      • And I’ll just end with one thing more: God must have a sense of humor, or he wouldn’t have created such dorky-looking animals—or dorky people, for that matter.

        I’d like to think that when we just sit back and enjoy something like this, God is laughing along with us:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfmvkO5x6Ng

      • I am SO GLAD someone else said this. As I was reading, this is basically what I was thinking in my head as a response. Thanks for saving me the time! 🙂

      • I will go on record as saying that Josh wasn’t responding to my previous post because I hadn’t finished it yet. 🙂 I must have started it before his post, but didn’t get back to it or finish it until after he did his.

      • Correct, I was referring to Kyle’s post.

  14. My issue with the Light Crust Doughboys is they somehow managed to get a CD nominated for several years in a row without even offering those CDs for sale in the Christian market. Virtually no one had ever heard of any of their CDs until AFTER the nominations were announced. One featured Englebert Humperdinck. Another featured Ann Margaret.

    They play a few festivals every year, make a CD, and get an automatic Grammy nomination in the Country Gospel, SG, and Bluegrass Gospel category.

    Go look at the ridiculous “artwork” they put on the cover of one of the CDs they did with James Blackwood. Now that’s Grammy quality, ladies and gentlemen!
    http://www.theconnextion.com/artgreenhaw/art_index.cfm?ArtistID=415

    • So, with that ridiculous artwork, they nominated their project, garnered actual votes, and won fairly and squarely. How scandalous!

      • It doesn’t make any sort of practical or creative sense, so how it happened over a period of several years naturally comes into question. I don’t know the answer, of course. It just seems really, really strange that a group with no presence in the Christian market whatsoever and who tours very little can be nominated in multiple years and actually win one of those years.

      • Like the Soccer FIFA World Cup – is going variously to Russia and Qatar, ZANU PF govern Zimbabwe, and 1,000 other anomalies in the world outside – all with “actual votes”!

        Don’t you know that “actual votes” and “won fair and square” are often mutually exclusive statements, or do you live on another Utopian parallel planet nowadays :-)??

        All the more reason not to scratch itches in an open forum my dear.

        BTW: This ain’t no “hate-speak”, not by a long shot!

  15. I went through a period of time – in my teens, actually – where I was trying to live by some demanding guidelines. Maybe we should say rules. If I told you how much I prayed, you’d definitely think it was a “holier-than-thou” thing. (In reality, it was pretty much a dead, dry struggle.) I held myself to a tight rein in about everything. I don’t think I had any light reading; I pretty much tried to get rid of everything possible that wasn’t directly religious. I never have run around with buddies “hanging out”; but I didn’t really do anything in the way of recreation at this point. I strained myself to about the breaking point.

    One day my dad was doing some work at the parsonage, about a half mile away. On a whim, I got on my bike, brought the dog along, and rode over there. I pulled up at one point and questioned myself if this wasn’t a waste of time; if I shouldn’t go home and… I don’t know, read a book or pray, I suppose. But I “yielded to temptation,” (after all, it was the pastor’s family,) and on I went.

    I sat on the edge of the porch with the pastor’s family and the dog, on a beautiful spring afternoon, and we laughed, talked, laughed, watched the children, laughed some more, and watched the guys work. I got home feeling so refreshed, and as I walked up the sidewalk to eat supper, a wave of love for God washed up in my heart and completely surprised me.

    I never understood before then what Wesley meant when he said that we had not only a right, but a duty to partake of every pleasure that tends towards the love of God. Now, that requires plenty of discernment and an honest heart. I have a lot of hesitation about posting this here, because I’m afraid it will sound like I’m posting about country music. I haven’t run across any that I feel like is conducive to Christian values, but that could be because I don’t expose myself to it. But we had a “Wee Sing Silly Songs” as children that we adored, and I plan to hang onto it until my (as yet nonexistent) children can enjoy it too.

    I feel like there is a “food pyramid” of music. The basic staple of my diet is lyrically solid music, from hymns at church to the most spiritual songs of SG artists. I also enjoy listening regularly to SG music that I don’t consider as deep lyrically, but it still reinforces sound Christian doctrine. I enjoy sweets – once in a great while I have an urge to turn on some country gospel song with mind-bogglingly good electric guitar playing, even though the nominally Christian words are pretty shallow. (To be specific, some of the Statlers’ work qualifies here.) And there are occasions down the road where I’m sure I’ll listen to my niece as she enjoys, “There’s a wart on the tail on the frog on the bump on the knot on the log on the hole in the bottom of the sea.”

    • Well-said Amy. And I have a book recommendation for you: Testament of Vision: Reflections on Literature and Life, Education, and Religion, by Henry Zylstra.

      Zylstra speaks directly to Christians who are where you were, and he penetrates with feeling, warmth, and wisdom. Highly recommended.

      (Side note regarding country music: A lot of country music is not good stuff, but there is good stuff there. Try “Go Rest High On That Mountain” or “Ellsworth.”)

      • Oh, well, I didn’t consider “Go Rest High on that Mountain” country. 😀 “Ellsworth” I haven’t heard of.

      • You’re not missing anything. It’s forgettable, nowhere near on par with even “Go Rest High” (which, though not necessarily a favorite song, is decently well-done.)

      • Somehow I have a feeling NSF is typing a response as I speak. I’m guessing I’d agree with you, but (as an old friend of my dad used to say) “Not knowing, could not state.”

      • I know both songs. “Go Rest High” is amazingly poignant and masterfully performced, while “Ellsworth” strikes me as a little cheesy.

      • Yee-hah! I’m not alone! 🙂

      • For the moment, you have company. 😆

        At least you know the folks around here are honest when we do agree with you!

        BTW I made the 100th comment in this thread. 😛 After staying out of it for most of the conversation.

      • My goodness! I hadn’t even realized we were close. Last I checked, it was at 57, I think.

        Ah, well, there’s a (kinda) new Perrys CD to talk about today!

      • I consider “Go Rest High” to be one of the greatest songs ever written. “Ellsworth” is not quite on the same level, just a different kind of song, but it is still deeply moving and subtly powerful. You should give it a spin despite what a couple people have said to its detriment. “Forgettable” it most certainly is not. 😉 In all seriousness, one reason, I think, is that it lets the story of its character speak for itself. Instead of launching into a mini-sermon, or a neat wrap-up verse to make “the point,” it simply leaves us with that story, to think about and respond to in our own way.

  16. “wasting time…and, for that matter, idle words.”

    of which, methinks, there are in this thread, not a few! 🙂

    Just sayin’ folks…