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.] 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.
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 CD—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 SouthernGospelBlog.com’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. And call me a geek if you like, but 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.
As usual for the news roundups, consider the comment section an open thread!