Saturday News Roundup #68

In the News

  • Earlier this week, BMI honored the most-played Christian songs in 2010. Five Southern Gospel songs were honored: “He Locked the Gates” (Kingdom Heirs), “It Pays to Pray” (Greater Vision), “Life Goes On” (Talley Trio), “Stuff of Life” (Booth Brothers), and “When the Trumpet Sounds” (Triumphant Quartet). Rodney Griffin, who wrote two on the list (“He Locked the Gates” and “It Pays to Pray”) was one of three honorees for Christian Songwriter of the Year. Griffin appeared to accept his honor, and Triumphant Quartet also appeared to sing “When the Trumpet Sounds.”
  • The March AFA Journal featured the Todd Allen Family. [EDIT, 2/22/13: Broken link removed.]Β This is the same family that performed a special version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as a male barbershop-style quartet at last year’s National Quartet Convention.
  • Brian Free’s mother, Frances Free, is hospitalized after suffering a massive stroke last week. Brian’s father James passed away last October.

60 Second CD Review: Joy in the Journey (McKameys)

Over the years, the McKameys have produced a number of strong albums. Joy in the Journey is their strongest since I discovered and started paying attention to Southern Gospel seven years ago. Four highlights:

  • I Have a Great Savior. Several reviews called this a weak track; I find that puzzling. Though it’s a new song, written by Rebecca Peck, it has the musical and lyrical feel of a hymn. It’s a great fit for the McKameys’ voices, and one of the strongest tracks on the project.
  • Joy in the Journey is a cheery, encouraging convention song penned by alto Sheryl Farris.
  • When Faith Steps In. This story-song, by Squire Parsons’ daughter Leigh Parsons Sexton, is a clear stand-out and was an obvious pick for first single.
  • God Doesn’t Think Like Me is a power-packed fusion of a chorus that feels like a big ballad with the McKameys’ distinctive harmonies.

Blog Updates

This week, I totally revamped the menu. The Home and pages links have joined the categories in the main red menu below the logo. Social media, post by email, and RSS links are now where the old menu was.

Random contest: What two graphic design changes did I make to the site this week? The first person to correctly list both wins a free CDβ€”the Crist Family’s debut project, Worth the Trip. The winning entry is the first to accurately list both!

Also, during the recent preparation/launch of’s YouTube channel, I kept thinking that I could and ought to take our video presence to the next level. The leading news websites in other industries usually have their own video players. While having YouTube as a free option was helpful for this site’s first four and a half years, I decided to make the dive and pay for custom video hosting. Our genre deserves the same level of quality other industries have. Custom hosting also allows better security and the ability to offer exclusive footage. AndΒ call me a geek if you like, butΒ YouTube’s compression algorithm is as horrible and lossy as JPEG compression!

Our YouTube account will remain active. Even once current and past videos have moved to our higher-quality custom channel, YouTube will continue to host our Essential 25 and Southern Gospel 101 playlists.

Open Thread

As usual for the news roundups, consider the comment section an open thread!


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40 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’m sleepy and wish I hadn’t woken up early. πŸ˜‰

    Cool on the video player. It will be interesting to see it in use.

    • Why? Too much information at too energetic of a pace for first thing in the morning? πŸ™‚ (Sorry, y’all, I’m an early bird! I peak first thing in the morning, and it’s all downhill from there!)

      You can see the video player in action with the Garms’ Booth Brothers video, posted earlier this week:

      It was the first to be rolled over.

      • No, I wished it as soon as I woke up. I didn’t even attempt to go to sleep until after 1:00 and then woke up 7ish. Now, I regularly sleep 6 hours or less a few days a week, but Saturday isn’t one of them and I only slept around 3 hours Tuesday night (or more accurately Wednesday morning). So, I am a night owl, not an early bird. I presume that the owl could eat the bird, so I have a better deal. πŸ˜‰

      • But owl’s beaks are tiny, even if they’re bigger birds, right? πŸ™‚

  2. To the tune of “Lucille” by Kenny Rogers

    In a bed in Indiana*
    praying for manna
    because I don’t want to get up
    But I am still famished,
    last night’s meal has vanished,
    my stomach is act’lly empty.

    So, I get inspired,
    although I’ve perspired,
    I reach out and pick up my phone.
    I dial a number, it’s not for a plumber, but for a real nice pizza joint.

    You picked a fine time to bring me a meal. I was so hungry I let out a squeal.
    I’ve had some bad times,
    I’ve lived through some sad times,
    I thought that “the hurtin’ won’t heal”
    you picked a fine time to bring me a meal. πŸ˜‰

    *Quartet-man is quite aware there is an extra syllable here. Rhythm must be changed to work in the extra syllable. πŸ˜›

    • An honourable – maybe dishonourable? – addition to the PARODY gallery Q-M!

      Maybe Daniel can file all the upcoming efforts in a new section – since he reorganizing half of the Southern Gospel Genre in one weekend! πŸ™‚

      Red Bull for Breakfast?

      • Reorganizing half of the genre? Or just half of my site? πŸ™‚

      • Thanks, David.

  3. It appears to me that someone has been under a very tight rein to stay on topic all week and has suddenly thrown caution to the winds. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

    • I guess! But here’s the place to do it! πŸ™‚

      (I really do enjoy having clean fun that doesn’t hurt anyone!)

    • LOL, Amy. I saw the permission and just HAD to do it. πŸ˜‰ Truthfully though, I don’t recall having any temptations or troubles with it last week. πŸ˜›

  4. Oh, oh! I know the answer to the graphic design changes…I noticed them right away, but failed to comment earlier!

    You removed the brown top-menu bar, and you added social media link buttons on top of the navigation area.

    If that’s not correct, I have one last guess: is it the links on the sidebar to The Biblical Bookshelf?

    Did I win, did I win?! πŸ˜€

    -Taylor for TGF

    • Taylor,

      Actually, I added the Biblical Bookshelf links more than a week ago. I was counting removing the brown top-menu bar background and replacing it with the social media icons as a single change.

      However, if your remains the closest guess by, say, the end of the day Monday – or if you figure out the other before then – I suppose I’ll send you the CD for coming the closest! πŸ™‚

      • Oh…is it that you removed the RSS/email/account subscriptions on the sidebar as well? I keep analyzing the site, and this is my final guess…unless something else jumps out at me shortly. πŸ™‚

        You SUPPOSE you’ll send me the CD if I guess the changes correctly? πŸ™ πŸ™‚

        -Taylor for TGF

      • Close enough – the CD is yours. πŸ™‚

        Yes, that was where the change was made, so I’ll have it count. What I had in mind was the removal of the brown “search” header – the search form now stands on its own – but since you pointed out where the change was made, I’ll count it. πŸ™‚

        The suppose was in reference to only getting one, if nobody else got both.

      • YES! πŸ˜€

        I figured it was something to do with the search form, as it looked different/nearer to the top – and then I realized the subscription section was missing. So, it was a close guess…I guess. πŸ™‚

        No, no offense about the “suppose” thing; I was just teasing. πŸ™‚

        Thank you!

      • OK, good – I’d been pondering, “Was my comment REALLY that dense?” πŸ™‚

      • No – relax. In reality, it was Mom’s idea to mention the “suppose” thing. (She notices little things like that.) πŸ™‚

        -T for TGF

      • Ah, OK! πŸ™‚

  5. “Griffin appeared to accept his honor, and Triumphant Quartet also appeared to sing β€œWhen the Trumpet Sounds.”

    Was it all lip-synched then πŸ™‚ ?

    • I’m sure this is intended to be a joke, but I’ll have to confess that I presently don’t get it. (?)

      • It’s early and that might be a factor, but neither do I, Daniel.

      • It could also be a factor for me, though my general trajectory is peaking in mental acuteness shortly after waking up, with it all being downhill from there!

      • The “appeared to sing”, as in they weren’t really singing, but it looked like they were. Like “they appeared to have sang”…

      • Oh, I get it now! πŸ™‚ That is funny indeed!

      • πŸ™‚ How could I have missed that? That is like something I would have said. πŸ˜€

    • I got it right away, because I didn’t remember its original context. (And I think it’s pretty funny, FWIW.)

      • Agreed – now that I get it, of course! πŸ™‚

  6. The Gaither Vocal Band came to Lancaster, PA this weekend for three sold out shows. I attended the Saturday night concert. What an amazing evening. I will take time to write a review soon. Though I do not have a set list, I do have quite a few observations and comments. Our seats were on the 7th row, center; it doesn’t get any better than that.

    • I’m looking forward to reading it!

    • I was at the Saturday afternoon and evening concert in Lancaster. If I’d only been at the afternoon show I’d have gone away completely satisfied. Great show. But the evening show was, as you said Guymiddle, “an amazing evening.” I, too, am looking forward to reading your review.

  7. The McCameys new project “Joy in the Journey” is really good. I purchased it at a concert last month & have been listening to it just about every day. And to add, their concert was wonderful. Seems like they just get better & better.

  8. I guess you didn’t do a news roundup, but I just found a recent post by Josh, roundabout through YGG’s blog, and it’s definitely worth a read by folks in the industry who want real-world opinions:

    • I only do news roundups when there are at least 3 news items or columns I want to mention that I didn’t get to in the course of the week.

      I noticed what he said; my take on that is that some groups, promoters and labels might be behind the curve, but others are with or ahead of the curve. For example, I believe Gaither only promoted the upcoming Homecoming camp-meeting-style videotaping via an eblast, yet it sold out within about 24 hours – because Gaither’s put the time and effort into building his email list. There are also a number of groups with effective presences on YouTube, and most have at least a decent personal or group presence on Facebook. I could also point to a number of innovative Crossroads initiatives, but since I’ve been involved in some of them, I wouldn’t want to be bragging on myself!

      • Yeah, I agree with you. And I wasn’t saying it had been slighted, just that it’s a worthwhile read.

        I’m actually less worried about the new networking-marketing than a lot of people my age, but I can see the writing on the wall. πŸ˜€

      • Yes. I’m less worried than others, partially since I’m actively working to be either on the cutting edge or not too far behind – both in my day job and as my hobby!

      • Like I said in my post, it does not refer to all of SG music. Most of the upper-echelon groups that are ahead of the curve. I’d even say Gaither was one of the first to move ahead, something you would never imagine by just looking at him.

      • “something you would never imagine by just looking at him.”

        I laughed at loud at that one!

      • I almost took that part out because I didn’t want someone to see that and be offended by it. But, it is true.


  1. Brian Free’s mother passes away | - [...] had suffered a massive stroke several days before. Free’s father, Jim, passed away last October, so this has been…