Southern Gospel 101: The Essential YouTube Videos, 2011 Edition

A friend fairly new to Southern Gospel recently asked for a way to become more familiar with the genre. Here is a fairly simple way: Watch these 101 videos five to ten times each.

  1. Bishops: Lazarus Come Forth.
  2. Bishops: A Rose Among the Thorns.
  3. Blackwood Brothers: He Bought My Soul.
  4. Blackwood Brothers: Crossing Chilly Jordan. No good live footage seems to exist of this lineup – Bill Shaw, James Blackwood, Cecil Blackwood, J.D. Sumner, and Whitey Gleason – so this is the next best thing.
  5. Blackwood Brothers: Zion’s Hill. The list needs a London Parris video, and this is as good as any.
  6. Booth Brothers: He Saw it All.
  7. Booth Brothers: His Grace is Sufficient.
  8. Booth Brothers: Still Feeling Fine.
  9. Cathedral Quartet: Boundless Love. One of Southern Gospel’s all-time most embarrassing moments—yet you’re certain enough to hear it discussed that you might as well avail yourself of the opportunity to see it.
  10. Cathedral Quartet: Champion of Love.
  11. Cathedral Quartet: This Ole House. Yes, the infamous Dove Awards performance, and yes, you should watch it at least once.
  12. Cathedral Quartet: Sinner Saved By Grace.
  13. Cathedral Quartet: Somebody Touched Me.
  14. Cathedral Quartet: Step Into the Water.
  15. Cathedral Quartet: We Shall See Jesus.
  16. Chuck Wagon Gang: Echoes From the Burning Bush.
  17. Collingsworth Family: Holy Holy Holy.
  18. Collingsworth Family: How Great Thou Art. The list would not be complete without at least one Kim Collingsworth solo.
  19. Crabb Family: Through the Fire.
  20. Dixie Echoes: How Big is God.
  21. Dove Brothers: Get Away Jordan.
  22. Florida Boys: Goodbye, World, Goodbye.
  23. Florida Boys: Treasures Unseen.
  24. Florida Boys: When He Was on the Cross.
  25. Brian Free & Assurance: For God So Loved.
  26. Brian Free & Assurance: Long as I Got King Jesus.
  27. Gaither Homecoming: Going Home. The video that kicked off the series is too significant to have no representation on this list! The solos are from Michael English and George Younce.
  28. Gaither Homecoming: The Ninety and Nine. Featuring Donnie Sumner and the Talley Trio.
  29. Gaither Homecoming: Rock of Ages. Featuring Reggie Smith, Joy Gardner, Stephen Hill, and a magnificent final verse by Vestal Goodman.
  30. Gaither Vocal Band: Let Freedom Ring. The masters of the big ballad never had a bigger ballad than this one . . . and never a more powerful recorded performance than their Carnegie Hall performance shortly after 9/11.
  31. Gaither Vocal Band: Oh Love that Will Not Let Me Go.
  32. Gaither Vocal Band: The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference.
  33. Gold City: Reunion at NQC 2010. This was the first time since they originally parted ways that the lineup which made Gold City a household name in Southern Gospel stepped out on stage together.
  34. Gold City: When He Calls I’ll Fly Away.
  35. Gold City: When He Blessed My Soul.
  36. Greater Vision: My Name is Lazarus.
  37. Greater Vision: There is a River.
  38. Greenes: Miracle in Me.
  39. Ernie Haase: Redemption Draweth Nigh.
  40. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound: Forgiven Again.
  41. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound: Reason Enough.
  42. Wes Hampton with Steve Green: It is Well.
  43. Happy Goodmans: The Eastern Gate.
  44. Happy Goodmans: God Walks the Dark Hills.
  45. Happy Goodmans: Looking for a City.
  46. Happy Goodmans: I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now.
  47. Happy Goodmans: When Morning Sweeps the Eastern Sky.
  48. Heaven Bound: Canaanland is Just in Sight.
  49. Hinsons: Call Me Gone.
  50. Hinsons: The Lighthouse.
  51. Hoppers: Jerusalem.
  52. Hoppers: Shoutin’ Time. Featuring the Cathedrals on the encore, just months before Glen Payne’s death—one of his final recorded video performances.
  53. Hoppers: Miracle in Me. Greg Bentley, Connie Hopper, Dean Hopper, Claude Hopper.
  54. Inspirations: Jesus is Coming Soon.
  55. Inspirations: Touring That City. I’m open to a rendition featuring Archie if a really strong non-commercial performance is available.
  56. Inspirations: When I Wake Up to Sleep No More.
  57. Isaacs: He Ain’t Never Done Me Nothing But Good. Most available renditions are either commercially released or with poor video or audio quality.
  58. Isaacs: I Will Praise Him.
  59. Kingdom Heirs: What We Needed.
  60. KingsGold: I’m Winging My Way Back Home.
  61. Kingsmen: Beautiful Home.
  62. Kingsmen: Excuses.
  63. Kingsmen: Glory Road.
  64. Kingsmen: Jesus is Mine.
  65. Kingsmen: Shouting Happy.
  66. Legacy Five: I’m Winging My Way Back Home.
  67. Legacy Five: Forgiveness.
  68. Legacy Five: We are Home.
  69. Legacy Five: Whispers in the Night.
  70. Martins: He Leadeth Me.
  71. Masters V: Just a Little Talk with Jesus. The song needed to be on the list, and the group needed to be on the list. Since they didn’t have any iconic original songs, this seemed like a good fit.
  72. McKameys: God on the Mountain.
  73. Nelons: We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown.
  74. Paid in Full: I Could Sing About Heaven.
  75. Karen Peck & New River: Four Days Late.
  76. Karen Peck & New River: Last Night.
  77. Perfect Heart: In the Sweet Forever.
  78. Perfect Heart: Somebody Touched the Lord.
  79. Perrys: Calvary Answers For Me.
  80. Perrys: I Rest my Case at the Cross.
  81. Perrys: Who am I. The audio and video quality are far worse than others of the same song—yet the rendition is too powerful to pass this one up for another. The Perrys are the masters of the live acapella encore, and this is perhaps their best.
  82. Perrys: If You Knew Him.
  83. Plainsmen: Dry Bones. This features a young Rusty Goodman, singing bass, prior to the Happy Goodmans days!
  84. David Phelps: No More Night.
  85. Rambos: He Looked Beyond My Fault.
  86. Rambos: New Shoes.
  87. Singing Americans: Welcome to Heaven to Stay. Though not among their top five greatest hits, it’s a solid performance from the lineup that needs to be captured.
  88. Speer Family: What a Meeting.
  89. Sunliters: Here Come the Rattlesnakes.
  90. Statesmen: Happy Rhythm. This is incredibly rare footage featuring Denver Crumpler.
  91. Statesmen: Heavenly Parade.
  92. Statesmen: Just a Little While. Most of the Statesmen footage that survives from this era is footage recorded for television broadcast in a sterile studio and comes nowhere near capturing the Statesmen’s live charisma. This is an exception!
  93. Talleys: Triumphantly the Church Will Rise.
  94. Talley Trio: The Broken Ones.
  95. Talley Trio: Searchin’. With Jason Crabb.
  96. Triumphant Quartet: Love Came Calling.
  97. Triumphant Quartet: When the Trumpet Sounds.
  98. Mark Trammell Trio: Love Lifted Me (featured here). This illustrates, perhaps better than any of their original material, the chemistry that gave this lineup an incredible on-stage presence.
  99. Various – Bass Singer Quartet: Just a Little Talk with Jesus.
  100. Weatherfords: Prayer is the Key. Lily Fern Weatherford, Glen Payne, Earl Weatherford, Armond Morales.
  101. George Younce with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound: Suppertime. A timeless, priceless moment as a legend bids farewell.

If you have the time and patience, you can watch all 101 videos at once, here:

Much of the credit for the strength of the list goes to all who offered over 250 comments here. As outlined there, I sought significant songs by significant groups, with two additional criteria: (a) Wherever possible, footage never released on VHS/DVD, and (b) Wherever possible, live footage that showed the performer connecting with the audience and the audience responding.

The Cathedrals, Happy Goodmans, Gold City (assisted by a three-song video) and Kingsmen fully deserve their 5-6 slots, and the groups with 1-4 slots each deserve those. So changes are unlikely at that level. But I am open to changing renditions of individual songs posted, and in some cases changing song selection within a group’s slots. So suggestions in those latter areas would be welcome.

For more Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

184 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 can’t believe this didn’t make the cut. Regardless of how you feel about The Oak Ridge Boys, there’s no denying that they were one of the most energetic gospel groups around, and had a MAJOR influence on the industry, and this song is a perfect example as to why. The 1972 Song of the Year, “King Jesus”:

    • No matter who I selected and who I cut, I can guarantee that I am up for a few group-specific complaints. Just to take the first example that comes to mind of another group in the tossup category, supposing I’d bumped Wendy Bagwell’s slot to make room for an Oak Ridge slot, then it’d be your blogging co-host on here giving me the hard time. :o) (< That sentence deserves a DBM smiley, even if WordPress can't understand his sense of humor!)

      • His name’s on the blog, we gotta keep him.

      • I suppose so!

        Of course, someone else might make the case that I could have just as easily swapped out the Speers, David Phelps, or one of Gold City’s or Legacy Five’s songs to make a spot for it – but each would have garnered its own set of complaints. (I did, reluctantly, bump my favorite Gold City performance of the last 8 years or so, since the last mega-group lineup disbanded, “Satisfied,” to make way for the Sunliters or the Speers.)

      • “supposing I’d bumped Wendy Bagwell’s slot to make room for an Oak Ridge slot, then it’d be your blogging co-host on here giving me the hard time.”

        I’m okay with that and I suppose Kyle is too. 😉

      • I’m not surprised. “Sure, why would it bother me if David got on here and gave Daniel a hard time? Let me sit back and watch the show!”

      • Yeah, although we would disagree with your doing so, we still might pile on for the sport of it. 😉

      • And for my part, I’m not crazy over the ORB, and I’ve never heard of Wendy Bagwell. So there! 😮

      • ^ And that’s why Wendy needs to be on the list, and ORB doesn’t.

        Sorry, Kyle! 🙂

      • YGG! Get busy! The girls in the Sunliters did some of the best singing out there. I just listened on YouTube for some time last Saturday night. Well, I was listening even more to the funny stories. My dad used to repeat them to me, so I couldn’t remember which ones I’d heard and which ones I hadn’t.

      • Thanks! I’m more “up” on guys’ groups, so that’s why I’m out of touch here. 😉

  2. Wow! I watched a couple of these. Sure wish I had time to see them all.

    • Try to find the time some time, if you can – even if you might have compiled a list with a few differences, each of these videos is, at any rate, worth watching!

  3. Something to think about….if this is meant to be a primer/intro to sg to the newbie, the bass singer qt is not the best intro. It is cute/funny but as an intro to the genre, not so much. Having it on the list is fine but maybe not as the intro.

    Maybe alphabetical is not the right idea? Pick the strongest few songs , then mix it up.

    Like the choices though. Changes could always be made, but I like it!

    • You know, I do agree. I think I’ll bump those two down to various.

      After that point, a Bishops/Blackwood Brothers/Booth Brothers set isn’t a bad way to kick off the list at all! 🙂

      • I was expecting more Signature Sound, but it’s not a bad list. 🙂

      • Well, I was, too, but a ratio of two EHSS to six Cathedrals is about right – though if EHSS goes as strong as they have been for another 25 years, it’ll be six and six then!

      • It wasn’t the EHSS to Cathedrals ratio I was reacting to.

      • Oh – probably EHSS to Sunliters, Speers, or other groups you might not be too familiar with yet. Ah well, even though you’re less new than when you were NewSoGoFan, I’ll be patient and give you more time to discover some of the greats of yesteryear. 🙂

      • I would have issues with the EHSS selection YGG. Sorry Daniel!

        It is the one jarring note in the whole list. I can see you are trying to include non-Cat’s covers, but you can’t divorce Ernie from his roots.

        Even “Forgiven” with Doug on lead, [any version] is better than what’s up bro!

      • Here’s the issue.

        If I’m going to go for “We Shall See Jesus,” “Step into the Water,” “Tryin’ to Get a Glimpse,” or any of the others – I would have a hard time not going for the original.

        An earlier draft had ten or eleven Cathedrals songs (and definitely had OWAS.) I decided I couldn’t go any further than 5 or 6.

  4. This list could be discussed/argued till the end of time! There are so many great SG songs. You are brave, Daniel to tackle such a task. I wil enjoy seeing these clips for a long time to come.

    Also, thanks for not bumping Wendy Bagwell for the Oaks 🙂

    • You’re welcome!

      Kyle – I told you so. 🙂

    • Stacy, go to the corner. 😉

  5. You missed the Greenes “Hold On” and “When I Knelt”, also surprised you didn’t do the Nelons “Thanks” they made such a change in their country sound music to more of a progressive sound in the mid 1980’s. Surely Nelons should be mentioned more than one time. Many groups such as Taylors, Triumphant Quartet just recorded many of their song in recent times. Must have made more of an impact to the industry then you give credit for.
    I would use their stuff to get someone hooked on SG for sure. JMHO.

    • Brett, at least I included the Greenes and the Nelons. 🙂 Changing their slots would have meant bumping someone else, quite naturally – say the Speers.

    • And honestly, of the three Greenes’ songs under discussion, I do think “Miracle in Me” is by far the strongest.

      I picked the Nelons song I did because it featured one of the group’s strongest lineups – with Karen Peck, and Kelly and Rex Nelon. The other factor was that the “Thanks” video submitted was from a Gaither Homecoming, and I’m trying to use as few videos released on VHS/DVD as possible, especially for videos currently available (as Homecoming videos are).

  6. Great list but how do we not have at least one Kingdom Heirs song on the list. A group that has been around 25 years or more should get some respect.

    • While I like #42, I would move Kingdom Heirs to that slot. Just think they have made more of an impact on SG music.

      • I bumped someone else to make a spot for them.

    • Tim – to answer your question directly, they didn’t make the initial draft (though they’re there now) because neither you nor anyone else suggested them in the nominations post. Had they been suggested there, they would not have slipped my mind.

      Oh – and not every group that’s been around 25 years or more deserves a spot on the list just for being around 25 years or more. There are far more than 101 groups in our genre who have been actively touring for 25 years or more!

  7. Surprisingly little negativity Daniel!

    …It must be a good list 🙂


    Group names look odd graded on surname, where the forename of the singer is part of the title – such as BFA not at “B”, EHSS not at “E” and KP&NR not at “K”

    I would have “Reason that I’m Standing” for the Crabbes, especially as Joe is on lead in preference to listed item.


    I am, honestly, underwhelmed at the EHSS song selection, not the nimber of insertions. I Cannot believe that the ‘Top 101’ Significant Moments of SGM does NOT include Ernie on “OH What A Saviour”. Commercial or not the Tribute rendition is historic,

    MAJOR BUT [2]:

    Did I also miss something and there is NO Glen Payne on “We Shall See Jesus” – again commercial, but Farewell rendition.

    Against the run of argument 🙂 I DO like “Sppertime” closing out the list.


    Put the list up again, without alphabet group names, and rate them by “Most Significant Moments 1- 101”.

    OR, open to the floor…..

    • I thought OWAS was on the list . . . must be my mind skipping a beat.

      If you like, I invite you to find incredible, non-commercial versions of Oh, What a Savior and We Shall See Jesus, that fit all the other criteria and have great audience connection, and have a persuasive case for which of the groups’ other songs should be replaced.

      • The “non-commercial” was not to be the over-riding criterion :-)!!

        If “incredible” is the thing – which it should be, and audience electricity is essential;

        “Oh What a Saviour” / Tribute EHSS DVD

        “We Shall See Jesus” / Farewell Cathedral’s DVD

        There is enough electricity in these two to run the stage lights in the Ryman for a whole concert! 🙂

        Actually I’d happily let 39 & 41 EHSS be dropped to get these in, and that works AGAINST the ratio of Cat’s v EHSS

      • I ask this in a friendly way, with a smile on my face: Are you saying that you know my mind better than I do, as to my intents regarding commercially released DVD footage? 🙂

      • Daniel, I thought you were going to have a Cats version of “OWAS” on there, but I don’t see it.

      • Yes, I was going to.

      • Did you change your mind? Because there’s really no reason not to include it. I would suggest going for Deep In the Heart of Texas. For anyone looking to become acquainted with southern gospel, it’s a must-include.

      • Again – non-commercial videos exist of this song. In fact, good non-commercial videos exist of this song.

        I just haven’t settled on one yet, and I’m open to suggestions.

      • Brother, it would be a wee bit difficult to rob George and Glen now. 😀

      • …and it would be just as hard to get their permission, their green light for saying that they’re OK with it and to go for it.

      • I think you should seriously reconsider this—you’re taking it way yonder too far. But if that’s what you want to do, then I would suggest going with this video, watermark or no watermark:

      • I’m nowhere near taking it too far – to put it directly, the Farewell or Alive/Texas videos posted are posted in direct violation of both video and audio copyrights, against the law.

        Now I realize that this is more gray than otherwise because many groups are OK with at least hand-held live concert videos going up as promotion for the group. Many fewer are OK with their DVDs being ripped off.

        So my hesitations are because (a) it’s against the law to post them – even if it’s not against the law to link to them, and (b) it hurts the artists, and their heirs and families.

        As far as I’m concerned, I’m out on the edge of what is OK here – pushing it as it is!

      • Deep in the Heart of Texas is not a DVD, even though Farewell is. You might be able to find an old VHS, somewhere.

        Some time you should ask Ernie himself. I bet there wouldn’t be an issue.

      • I just might, and if I have his green light that he knows the Younce and Payne clans are OK with it, then I would happily edit those links in, at least for non-Gaither productions (where I’d want word that Gaither was fine with it, too.)

      • It should be so manifestly obvious that there wouldn’t be an issue that I half-wonder whether Ernie might prefer to have the five minutes of his time, but if it will make you happy, by all means do so.

      • Also, if you can get his permission to link to something from Live in Indiana, you should definitely post the Signature Sound original of “Calvary Answers For Me” instead of the Perrys’, because it’s much better.

      • Oh, boy, here we go again…

      • What? I made sure to say “If you can get his permission.” 😉

      • No, I was replying to your comment directly above mine. I’ve watched a few too many Perrys vs. EHSS fights back in the day, since I discovered SG when the song was new and at the time it was on radio.

      • Hey man, I’m not picking a fight, I’m just saying that Signature Sound does in fact do a better job here. Not saying the Perrys aren’t talented, not trying to knock them at all, just that EHSS is it on this particular song.

      • You’re entitled to your opinion – yet I know a number of people, some of whom read this blog, who have concluded that the Perrys’ rendition is stronger. And, in point of fact, in the various online discussions I’ve seen, in which I’ve mostly or entirely sat on the sidelines, the latter opinion is held by more people.

      • Were you under the impression that that would make the slightest difference to me?


      • I know it might not make any difference to you – yet it makes a decided difference to me, since I don’t want to have to keep the peace on that issue here – and I’m hoping that by the time certain others come around to this portion of the discussion, we’ll have traded enough comments about it that there won’t be a big fight. But if there was an active taking of sides, I wouldn’t be surprised if Perrys fans weighed in 2-1 on that song in this venue, based on previous experiences here.

      • Put another way, if it got to shouting, I suspect you’d get shouted down, though not without both sides making enough noise to damage my eardrums on the way. 🙂

      • Well, if it had come to a shouting match, I would have winked my way out of it very quickly and asked someone to pass the popcorn. 😀 As regards matters like this (this group versus that group, this singer versus that singer) I prefer to state my opinion and leave it at that without wasting time arguing over it.

      • But you have a habit of stating such views as facts, and in such a definitive way as to spark the Southern Gospel equivalent of atomic reactions! 🙂

      • Well, they are facts. But if other people want to make an atomic reaction out of it, that’s not my business. 🙂

      • There are objective strengths of the EHSS rendition.

        There are also objective strengths to the Perrys rendition.

        (And that’s about the nicest, most conciliatory thing I can think of right now – since I don’t want to say that you’re stating a subjective opinion as an objective fact again! 🙂 )

      • Well, you do the same thing yourself with some frequency, and with pretty slim justification, so if someone is going to lecture me over it, I’m not sure whether it should be you. 😉

      • I will make definitive statements on doctrinal points (and on doctrinally weak lyrics). I know you don’t always care for those, but when I have Scripture to back me up, it’s not subjective opinion. 🙂

      • Actually, I more had in mind the time when you were insisting that “The Blood Will Never Lose” just DID have terrible chords, and that was a FACT.


      • Oh, dear . . . did I actually use the word terrible?

      • If it wasn’t that exact word, you used a number of similar, very descriptive and explicit synonyms. 😀

      • (Not that they were inappropriate of course, just things like “dismal” and “atrocious” and “a mess.”)

      • “Explicit” is, in our language, frequently used to refer to swearing. Let me solemnly assure our readers that I did not swear about this song or any other.

      • I already put up an update to clarify that. See above. 🙂

      • Yes, we posted within a few seconds of each other. I am perpetually careful not to use vulgar language, and I would be dismayed were it suggested that I had!

        Thanks for clarifying.

      • Oh yes, and as regards biblical accuracy, I seem to recall someone telling me he’d have to analyze “Doe a Deer” for half an hour to determine whether it was coming from a biblically correct worldview.

        Oh wait, that was you.


      • Referee!

        In point of fsct – the “Calvary Answers…” fact, not the etymology of “explicit” which by the way has nothing to do with swearing what so ever, the early EHSS rendition IS better, IMVHO!!!!

        BUT, is atypical of EHSS signature sound, therefore the Perry’s version is a better ‘fit’ for the purposes of this 101.

        So there, both of you. Now, Enough.
        This reads like a domestic argument, pots and kettles to you both :-)!

      • Great comment, and IMVHO makes all the difference! 🙂

        All kidding aside, you have some great points. EHSS had a fantastic rendition – but it is more outside the realm of the kind of songs they really lift the roof with, while it’s perfectly down the Perrys’ alley.

      • I prefer IMHOO: In my highly opinionated opinion.


      • I can tell!

      • Basically, I follow the philosophy of Benjamin Disraeli: “Never explain, never apologize.” Words to live by!

      • Was he serious about that never apologizing part? 😮

      • Well, he was making the general point that one shouldn’t apologize where apologies aren’t necessary. Never allow yourself to be PUSHED into groveling when there’s no reason for you to do so.

      • Ah.

      • This could actually have a very serious application in cases where you’re trying to take a firm stand on a matter of right and wrong, and you’re doing so against the current.

      • If no one else has, I have enjoyed you two bickering at each other. 😀 Now, if you two were dead serious, no. But as it is, yes. BTW, at least at the time, I preferred the Perrys’ version of CAFM.

      • Well, I’m somewhat serious, but some of my points were with some levity, too. 🙂

      • Quartet-man, you have absolutely no idea…

        The scary thing is that Daniel is dead serious more often than you might think! I try to give him the benefit of the doubt most of the time, but he often says, “I assure you I was quite serious.” 😉

      • Huh!

        If you carry on like this you will start your own rumours…

        Permit us to go back to discussing the christianity of the historicity of the southern gospel genre of religious music.

        You two – move this love-bicker thing to another channel! 🙂 🙂

      • Yeah, I knew you two mostly believed what you were saying. What I meant by serious is that you are doing it with a bit of levity and not upset with each other. If you two were really mad at each other I would feel differently. You two are just sort of jabbing each other in fun while you make your points.

      • Oh, well that’s certainly true. We’ve known each other long enough to build up pretty thick skins. 😀

      • True. 🙂

      • ‘Course, I do sometimes get annoyed/frustrated with Daniel, but that’s not the same thing as getting mad, uh… right?

      • I would say no because you still love him. Even most husbands and wives get frustrated with each other at times. I think you put two people in a room you will likely have that eventually and two strongly opinionated ones speed up the process. 😉

      • True.

        Though I wish to clarify that Daniel and I are not husband and wife! 😮

      • My point was even those “in” love with each other and made lifelong commitments to each other can annoy each other. 😛

      • Yes, that’s what I thought. I just wanted to squash any rumors before they got started. 😛

      • Yeah – and just for the record, though YGG and I share a love for Southern Gospel, our worldviews on practically everything else are so widely different that we know better than to even contemplate anything along those lines!

      • This is very true, though you would be surprised at how closely we agree on some areas where other Christians might disagree with us, e.g. politics and avoiding certain kinds of reading material.

  8. “I anticipate making around five exceptions, for moments that are too historically significant to ignore, yet I plan to use as few as possible”

    Your gravatar is ALWAYS smiling Daniel, though I believe you are too bro :-)!

    In a very brotherly way I suggest the only word I have an issue with in the above is, “five”!

    • There are people who would expect me to make about 98 exceptions for a list of 101 songs…

      • I only asked for TWO.

        All other objections are minor. Historicity is at stake bro, not commercialism.

        That’s your thing isn’t it? 🙂

      • Two more, on top of far more already than I’m comfortable with! 🙂

        Actually, I do want great historically valuable videos, but not at the expense of what is good for the artists and what is good for the genre – not anything that would or could harm the artists.

        Anyhow, if you or someone else finds great non-commercial videos of those two performances, I would give serious consideration to swapping them out in place of other performances.

  9. BTW: To everybody out there who drops in [commenting or otherwise];

    This may be debated as DEFINITIVE, what is not in question is Significance [as Mark Lowry might have said]. This is a major statement of consistency, quality and God given talent, used mostly for His glory over a chronicled period of three generations at least.

    Big appreciation to DJM for facilitating and producing, never mind the nerve to select [only] “101”.

    If, like me, you don’t have time to listen for 7 hours, at least do yourself this favour…

    Click on the link and savour the impact of this list on You Tube – all in one place.

    A wonderful testimony of a light shining in a [very] dark place!

    Maybe, over there, some casual observer will be touched by a testimony, whether spoken or in song.

    • Thanks! It did take pretty much all the nerve I could work up! And even then, I knew I’d get at least as many complaints as I have so far – but I still think it was worth it. 🙂


    If you are a ‘newbie’ looking for an ‘intro’ to understand what Southern Gospel Music [SGM] is about;

    PLEASE NOTE: The quality of sound, camera work or any other aspects of some of these bootleg “recordings” are NOT representative of the genre as a whole.

    [The featured persons – who were largely not consulted – are excluded from the above disclaimer].


    Some of the featured persons are in heaven and are beyond reproach, and/or comment.

  11. Having been a fan of the Talley Trio since their inception (and even a fan of the original group), I was a little surprised to see The Broken Ones made the list instead of His Life for Mine.

    Glad to see that Triumphantly made it, though. 🙂

    • I love the song “His Life for Mine,” make no mistake. Yet from watching its reception live, I’m thinking that “The Broken Ones” is becoming something of a career signature song for Lauren.

  12. Poor Daniel… You had to know what you were getting yourself into, but you bravely went where no one had gone before… Thanks… I plan on starting to watch the list this evening….

    Since it seems customary to complain, I wouldn’t want to leave without voicing mine… Doesn’t the Crabb Family have more number one songs (using the Singing News chart) than anyone else? or at one time I thought they did… The McKameys might have passed them since the Crabbs quit singing… Looking at your list I would think they were a “flash in the pan” group… I think they have made a huge impact on the direction of southern gospel music (good or bad-you decide)…

    • The McKameys have three more #1s than the Crabbs.

      However, there are actually a number of other groups who have spent much longer at the #1 position. The reason the Crabbs and the McKameys have more, numerically, is due to how much faster songs move up and down.

      One other pertinent point: The Crabbs had a big impact for about a decade, mid-90s through mid-00s. Groups who have been at the forefront for three or four decades deserve greater representation on the list to represent different major/significant eras and lineups of the group.

      • Very valid point Daniel. Some groups, in their own evolvement, represent the changes in SGM over 3, 4 and even 5 decades – probably almost a unique aspect of southern gospel [even though we do joke about revolving doors]. The changing tenor personnel of the Cat’s over 45 years is worth a study in itself – “Top 101 of the Cathedrals” anyone?

      • That is under serious consideration. 🙂

      • YGG can do:
        “Top 101 Ernie Performances of OWAS” then; Cat’s, OFQ, EHSS etc. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Actually, I was thinking about doing a blog post like that… 🙂

      • Basically, I’m planning on doing a 25 essential [group name] series – after I check with each group manager to ensure what level of videos they are OK with. (That’ll save a lot of trouble!)

      • Maybe we can do parallel posts like that on our blogs and put together our lists without consulting each other. It would be interesting to see how much they overlapped. 🙂

      • Individual blogs, and the SG blogosphere as a whole, are all stronger if different sites offer unique content.

        (Of course, that could be taken to an extreme, and I’m far from advocating that. Yet I think the general idea holds.)

      • I know. It was just an idea.

        However, our lists might be rather different at that!

      • Very true!

      • Translation: DON’T STEAL MY IDEA. 😉

      • Ha!

      • I am quite amused by the translation. 🙂

  13. Wasn’t ‘Sorry I Never Knew You’ by Sego Brothers and Naomi the first and only million selling song in SG? What do you think, Daniel?

    • I’m sure numerous other Southern Gospel songs (especially the works of Cleavant Derricks and Bill & Gloria Gaither) have sold more than a million copies all told. I honestly don’t know, off the top of my head, if that was the only to sell a million copies all at once.

      Oh, and by the way, for comparison: I doubt the Sego Brothers and Naomi passed the 2 million mark for total units sold in their career – but the Chuck Wagon Gang has sold over 40 million total units and the Blackwood Brothers have sold over 50 million total units. So if we’re going on units sold, the CWG gets about 20 slots, the Blackwood Brothers get about 30, the Bill Gaither Trio probably gets 20 or 30, and Naomi & the Segos and everyone else are doing good to get 1!

      • Oooooh, interesting. I had no idea the Chuck Wagon Gang had sold THAT many units and surely don’t think they should have 20 slots on your list.

        I wasn’t really saying to consider it just b/c of units sold, but the impact it seemed to have on SG back in the day.

      • Ah, well, sorry for the misunderstanding – I thought you were pretty much saying that the list should be based on units sold – which would make for quite an interestingly different list!

      • That would be an interesting list also! I’ll bet it would be Gaither ‘top heavy’ though. If you ever decide to tackle it, I’ll be interested to see what you find.

      • It would be fascinating – I’m guessing primarily Blackwood Brothers, Chuck Wagon Gang, Statesmen, Stamps, Gaither, maybe Cathedrals, in about that order – and not too many others!

      • What does the current ‘units sold’ comparison look like Daniel?

        Top five over the last ten years for instance?

        Just out of curiosity.

      • Honest answer: I have no idea as to specifics. But I can say this – with a few blockbuster exceptions (in other genres), a group at the same level of stature as a group a decade ago, before Napster and YouTube changed everything, sold about ten times more units – in our genre and others.

      • Oh man! That explains your non-commercial video bias then :-)!

        10% of 1990’s sales? Scary. So all commercial music shared on YouTube should be subject to Performing Rights levies then – a split inventory, with free to view snippets and pay to view tracks??

    • I would love to include the song, whether in this year’s edition or next year’s. But could you find a non-commercial version of the song?

  14. Either that or THIS….

    Look at the people reactions and looks on their faces… these guys were “IT”.

  15. Hey Daniel, I was wondering… would you consider swapping either #67 or #68 for another one of L5’s hits? Like “I Found Grace” maybe?

    • Yes, I would consider swapping #67 out – if there was an incredible non-commercial version with great audio and video quality, and where the group really connected with the audience (preferably getting a standing ovation!)

      Tall order, but I’m not afraid that you can handle it if it can be handled! 🙂

      • Hmmmm… let me do a little digging 😉

  16. Daniel, thank you for all the work you did in putting this altogether. I am on youtube listening now and really enjoying each video. I didn’t realize there were so many older videos of the sg singers. Thank you.

    • Thank you! I am glad it opened the door for you to enjoy some of the greats of the past!

  17. Okay, I have some things to say about this. These are not griping, complaining, question Daniel’s rights or what he is doing and the questions are not meant to trap him or accuse him. Okay? 🙂 I am also not saying he is necessarily wrong. I want to give my opinions and want to understand how he is thinking.

    1. I already covered the fact that Gaithers play free videos consistently on many TV channels and in fact pay to do so I suspect on many (infomercials). This doesn’t mean they don’t have the rights to decide when and where they do so.

    2. I hate that the list has to use substandard performances (in video and sound quality), not the best performances and not even always the better songs to fit the requirements. It seems to me that if we are trying to promote the artists, genre and music or educate newbies that we would want to present the very best. I understand legalities and morality though. It is just a shame that the list is less than even though I understand why.

    3. Do or can the artists really know how much You Tube videos are affecting their sales? Oh, I am sure some don’t buy because they can get the milk for free, but others might buy because they are introduced to the music. So, I don’t know if overall they come out ahead or behind or how they can even know. With that said, the artists should have some say even if we disagree and laws are laws.

    4. Daniel, I do have to ask (to understand) how you differentiate in the artists and songwriters, record companies and others who would receive monies from the sales. The artists are only part of who invest time, money, skill, work etc. into them. Granted the artists might have additional financial investments made. Is that too how you differentiate between professional videos and bootleg ones from concerts? In the latter, the group still has work involved, the songs, musicians (tracks) etc. are still utilized. I know what curiosity did to the cat, so I am thankful I am not feline. 😉

    P.S. I also acknowledge that if you are convicted in linking the videos, you shouldn’t.

    • Q-M, I heartily agree, and you said it better than I could. Thanks Bro.

      I do feel the list could well be counter-productive to a “newbie”. Those of us who are ‘old friends’ of SGM enjoy the mess-ups and low-lights of people we feel we know and are comfortable with because we KNOW what they are capable of on top form and reproduction of.

      If I was a genuine green-horn peeping in the SG ‘101’ window, half of this list would scare me off, to CCM or wherever:

      Which would be the fulfillment of the ‘Law of Unintended Effect’.

      This is an historic effort, big credits Daniel, BUT, a shop-window for newbies it is NOT. IMVH[H]O!

      • Thanks, David and thanks Daniel for taking the time to explain your position a little better.

    • q-m:

      1. True, and that’s why I have just a little less hesitation linking to a Gaither clip.

      2. There are some that are flatly substandard – but there are others, like the Perrys’ “Who am I,” where there might be shaky video quality, but the performance is powerful and the audience comes unglued.

      Artists often hold just a little something back when they know the professional cameras are rolling and $10,000 or $20,000 is on the line for a taping – and those moments just don’t happen as often.

      That said, I’m planning to feature other artists throughout the year, and get their feel for what they’re comfortable with, so if they are comfortable with professional videos

      3. Yes – while we cannot necessarily know down to the exact number, there has been a significant and noticeable decline in SG artist DVD sales since YouTube really became big in our genre.

      Here’s where my day job at a record company is applicable, since I’m involved in some of these discussions with some artists, who’ll often decide against investing the money in a professional video nowadays, only to see it go up for free on YouTube within days.

      4. I use the artists by way of the easiest point of reference. The other aspects bother me, too – and I speak firsthand here, since I have no desire to spend 3/4 of my life on a bus each week, but my primary personal interest musically ins songwriting and I work for a record company!

      So I recognize that there’s quite a bit of gray area here. Yet, since YouTube’s content identification system went up, labels have the option of (via a distributor, typically) automatically identifying label-owned footage and, as desired, pulling it down or displaying advertising against it. Check out video #101 on the list for an example (and it’s from an NQC DVD, and those of you who care know who released it!)

      Also, since more artists have started posting videos themselves, that has made me a little less antagonistic to Y-T.

      • #3 But we can’t be sure if YouTube is to blame or if DVDs are following CDs and the like and just declining due to many other options for entertainment.

        “who’ll often decide against investing the money in a professional video nowadays, only to see it go up for free on YouTube within days.”

        How can it go up for free on YouTube within days if they decide against investing the money to do it? 😉

      • Wow – that was unclear meaning, even if you likely knew my intent!

        Here’s how to properly break it up:

        “who’ll often decide against

        investing the money in a professional video nowadays, only to see it go up for free on YouTube within days.”


      • I confess this morning when I read it (and not awake all of the way yet) I read it more like I was joking about. Of course that made no sense and I was able to figure it out quickly. 😀

      • Oh, OK! Well, with this clarification, it should now be a little more clear to everyone!

  18. This list is so good I would hope you would keep it up for a long time as some of the good old stuff is just great stuff. I pulled up some of the old Statesmen clips and I have to say there is no present group that compares in terms of harmony and being in synch.

    • I am thinking of featuring the Statesmen individually.

      • Did they do enough solo performances for you to do that? 😉

      • Oh, dear – you are on quite a roll tonight! 🙂

      • Yeah, and I could make jokes about not sitting on dinner rolls or something about “when the roll is called up yonder”, but I do have SOME standards. 😉

      • Whew. 🙂

  19. OK, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I think you did a good job!

    Does that mean I agree with every choice? Of course not. Giving Perfect Heart as many songs as Greater Vision is ridiculous. 😛 (IMVHHOO – in my very humble highly opinionated opinion) Dove Brothers obviously should have had more than one slot.

    But making a perfectly fair list is impossible. A committee that took a couple of weeks to work on it might come closer, but there would still be subjective choices. Taking the list as a whole – This is a good job.

    (Now, if I could only reconcile myself to YouTube a little better.)

    • Thank you!

      I considered more than one Dove Brothers slot, and in fact had “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb” as a second right up to the end. At the end, I remembered a few groups – Speers and Kingdom Heirs, and maybe a few others – whom I’d over looked, and I had to bump something to get them in.

      Part of the reason I didn’t do more with GV is knowing Gerald Wolfe’s past hesitation with YouTube footage of the group.

  20. Aren’t you now contractually obligated to include this on your list?

    • I’m contractually obligated to include it on my 2031 list, after Caleb is the legendary bass singer of the Greater Vision Quartet!

      • HA! Even better!

      • You totally had me there for a minute, but then the inspiration hit. 🙂

      • “You totally had me there for a minute, but then the inspiration hit.”

        Inspirations hit? I thought you said Greater Vision, or is he gunning for Holcomb’s job someday? 😉

      • You missed the “s.” 🙂

      • “I’ll be 27! I don’t know if I’ll be a bass then! But I hope so! :lol:” -Caleb

      • That is, of course, if I let Caleb out of his lifetime family group contractual agreement… – Dad for TGF

      • Thanks for the laugh! I needed it tonight!

        Oh, and Caleb – if you’ll ever be a bass, you will be well on your way into subterranean vocal territory by 27! 🙂

  21. OK – I just signed up for GV’s email updates the other day, so forgive me if this is old had and I missed it. But in the newsletter this morning, he mentioned them having their own YouTube channel. Is that something new? Or is it limited material, specially designed not to compete with their sales?

    (Remember, I’m at work and can’t be blamed for not checking this out myself. 😛 )

    • “old hat,” I meant to say! lol

    • It’s been around for a little while, and specifically avoiding the commercial footage.

      • OK. I suppose that’s what the video on the development of the Christmas project was from. (Which really did sell me on the CD, and I actually bought it. Of course, I would have given it my best shot anyway.)

  22. For the Collingsworth Family to have three spots out of 101, though truly very talented, is absurd when you look at the success of (and I’ll just name two groups where the numbers will back me up) The McKameys and The Crabb Family. The latter two groups only have one spot each on the list but have 17 and 14 “Number One Hits,” respectively. Maybe if the list were a collection of someone’s top 101 songs, I wouldn’t object; but from simply a historical and factual standpoint, The McKameys and The Crabb Family have meant and continue to mean more to the genre that The Collingsworth Family. And I find it mind-boggling to think anyone knowledgeable about the music we love would disagree.

    • Errrrrmph, well maybe from a historical standpoint, but…

  23. I understand, but from Daniel’s own words:

    “We should do an annual Southern Gospel 101 list of 101 YouTube videos crucial to understanding the genre.”

    Surely if one were to strive to “understand the genre” videos should be provided of SGM’s most successful artists, which would, if nothing but statistically, include more videos of The McKameys and The Crabb Family than the Collingsworth Family.

    Daniele said that videos should “from one of the 20-30 most all-time historically significant groups in our genre.”

    Historically significant. I’m not even trying to say that The Collingsworth Family aren’t better than the two other groups in this discussion or that they are not more popular today than the other two. But “historically” and in hopes to “understand the genre,” surely no one could disagree The McKameys and The Crabbs are more crucial to those two distinct goals.

    As an example, from 2000-2010, The McKameys have performed on the Main Stage of the National Quartet Convention 31 times. The Crabb Family performed there 17 times in the last ten years. The Collingsworth Family? Four. This is a perfect illustration of clout and prestige within the genre.


    • NQC is not the only measure of prestige in the genre – and, if one takes Gaither into the equation, not even the most prestigious measure.

      Sure, the Crabbs have more Gaither appearances, but for some of that period they were as much in the CCM market as SG.

      • I guess I’m just wondering outside of number one songs, NQC appearances, and longevity, what else does a group like The McKameys have to do to be considered more prominent than The Collingsworth Family “historically”–which was supposed to be the focus of the list. The McKameys have 17 “Number One Songs,” The Collingsworth Family have none. The McKameys have 29 more NQC appearances than The Collingsworth Family. The McKameys have been a full time ministry for over 20 years. And SURELY no one can make the argument that The McKameys have ever been a part of the CCM market.

        It is perfectly fine to say you don’t like their music, their songs, what have you. But I just can’t grasp an understanding as to how someone can make a case for them not being influential, prominent, historic to Southern Gospel Music. It’s factual.

        And by the way, Gaither appearances bridge genres as well. Marty Stuart, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lynda Randall. All split genre.

      • I can follow your points here much more clearly here than when the Crabbs are in the mix. As to the McKameys, my original plan was to do two McKameys and two Collingsworth tracks, which I do think to be more fair in light of the Collingsworths’ increased Gaither exposure and the McKameys’ increased NQC/Singing News radio chart exposure. The 1/3 as opposed to 2/2 was simply due to the videos I had handy that were either noncommercial or known to be OK with the copyright holders that were both available and were really solid performances.

      • Understand. Truce. Nice debate: my first on this board. 🙂

      • I’m likewise delighted that we could come to a truce.

        I plan to update this list annually, and will certainly consider updating it with two McKameys songs, particularly if a qualified video is unearthed that is as strong a song and as well received as God on the Mountain. 🙂

      • Sounds great.

        I very much enjoy this blog and the news and service you provide to the fans of this music.

      • Thank you! Sometimes it’s quite a bit of work and time (this post being a perfect case in point!), but it’s always worth it when it’s useful and enjoyable in the end!

  24. OK, everyone, “We Shall See Jesus” is now on the list. 🙂

    The Rosie vs. Ernie debate has already been ongoing, and I’m presently pretty hesitant to wade into that by posting one rendition and not the other.

    • Oh, come on, “wade out a little bit deeper.” 😉

      • Daniel could always compromise by uploading his own cover.


    • You could always just post Devin’s instead…

      • Umm, I just edited Glen’s in earlier today.

        I think there would be about a 99-1 negative reaction (if you would be the 1!) if I posted any other rendition of “We Shall See Jesus” than Glen Payne’s.

        (I seriously doubt either Ernie Haase or Devin himself would want me to include a version other than Glen’s in a list of this nature!)

      • Ummm, why would Daniel post something other than Glen’s version??

        (See? 😉 )

      • Or L5’s is pretty good too

  25. Whenever you get around to doing another one of these, I feel this song is a must-include:

    One of the more well-known quartet songs, using two mics, no canned music, matching suits, and connected with the audience from what I can tell.

    (I’d even be willing to sacrifice an EHSS slot for it)

    • Wow! Well, in that event… 🙂

      I’m planning on doing these big lists annually, and other groups in the interim. If we do a DE-specific list, we can definitely include it in that; if not, then yes, let’s consider it for next year.

  26. BTW heres a better version of Forgiven Again:

    Same concert, better video

    • Good thought! I’ll change it now.

  27. What about something from The Payne Family? Jesus Fan or The Conversation comes to mind. Or the Singing Cookes, Running My Last Mile Home.

    • Well, we’re about two months after the list was posted. However, if you could find us great examples of any of the songs you named that fit our criteria, they will be considered for the 2012 edition.


  1. The Cathedrals’ Essential 25: Nominations | - [...] Essential 25 series was inspired by our Southern Gospel 101 post, where we collectively compiled the 101 videos we…
  2. Essential 25, The Cathedrals: The Poll | - [...] Essential 25 series was inspired by our Southern Gospel 101 post, where we collectively compiled the 101 videos we would…
  3. Essential 25, The Cathedrals: Results | - [...] Essential 25 series was inspired by our Southern Gospel 101 post, where we collectively compiled the 101 videos we would…