Group turnover

On yesterday’s post: I do genuinely enjoy Signature Sound and, in fact, don’t mind the album cover at all. My observations yesterday were simply to the fact that it was different from everything else I’ve seen in Southern Gospel.

Right now, the NQC Silly Season for group turnover seems to have slowed for the traditional groups. The Blackwood Quartet is still looking for a tenor, and the Monument Quartet is still looking for a lead and a bass. But that about does it for personnel changes in major traditional groups.

But if we turn to the progressive Southern Gospel groups, we see that three or four of the most popular ones are in the midst of significant personnel changes.

Annie McRae is still looking for two other singers to form a new trio and keep the McRae group name active.

Adam Crabb and Terah Penhollow recently announced that they will be forming a new trio after the Crabb Family completes its farewell tour next year.

Kelly Crabb Bowling left the Crabb Family earlier this week to join her husband in the Mike Bowling Group. After some rapid turnover, Mike Bowling was the only member left in his mixed quartet. It had been announced that Kelly would join next year, and I guess whichever member she would be replacing decided not to be a lame duck for a year.

The Crabb Family is known for their marketing genius, and Kelly proved yesterday she had a full dose of the family gene. In the press release, she said she’d be happy to sing with her family on any of the dates in their farewell tour in which the Mike Bowling Group was also appearing. Well, guess which group concert promoters will be booking along with the Crabb Family for the next year?

This will mean a lot of exposure for the Mike Bowling Group; but it is not only exposure, it is exposure to that audience of progressive Southern Gospel fans who are most likely to love their music and who are most likely to be looking for another group to name as a favorite. As I said, this is a touch of marketing genius.

So here we have Mike and Kelly Bowling looking for one additional singer, Adam and Terah Crabb looking for one, and Annie McRae looking for two. If the Mike Bowling Group can hire Annie McRae, we could see the makings of another Southern Gospel supergroup, combining one of the most popular members from each of three different groups.

It was marketing genius to handle Kelly Crabb Bowling’s move like she did. If Mike and Kelly can piece something together that the fans want to hear, the added exposure they will probably get in their next year could place the Mike Bowling Group on the map as the “next big thing” in Southern Gospel.


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3 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I think it will be interesting to see how all of these moves comes out in the end.

    Thank you Daniel for the great report. You do a good job.

  2. I’m a little skeptical about all that has been said about the “marketing genius” move made by Kelly. Is it really all about marketing anymore? I guess it is, and it saddens me to think that we can’t reach people anymore by just laying out His word to the lost and witnessing. It’s a shame that we have to put God “on the market” and be strategical about the way we witness. It’s all about the look and money anymore. *shaking head*

    As for the new supergroups, don’t count on it soon. Everyone knows the real reason that the Crabbs were big. And it wasn’t marketing or the ever-so-loved “momma”. We all know what it was.

  3. I recently became a fan of The Crabb Family with Kelly singing in it. My husband and I just drove 4 hours total trip to see The Crabb Family as it now is. We went to the concert in Beckley, WV. It was really sad for me because the sound is not there. They did not sing any of the songs I love from previous albums and what they sang from the new “Blur the Lines” album was just awful. So here we go again, another spirit filled gospel group giving away to “marketing”. I wonder if they ever take a listen at just how great they really were as “The Crabb Family” with Kelly. Well at least I have the DVD to look at when I want to remember how it was back then. Also the instrumental from tonight sounded like a Led Zepplin concert not something you would here at at Gospel Concert.. I really felt the sincere words and heartfelt spirit when I listened to songs like “He Makes the Sun Rise for Me” and “He Came Looking for Me.” I wish the family well and I hope I get to hear you sometime in concert all back together on stage. I will pray for all of you.