Southern Gospel has only had one Vestal and one Hovie. We’ve had more than one Jake, Glen, and George, but if someone just uses those first names, we know who they are talking about.
It seems that another of our genre’s most indisputably talented vocalists is making a bid to join that select list. Since TaRanda Greene’s husband, Tony Greene, passed away last fall, she has launched a solo career. Yesterday, she launched her website: www.tarandamusic.com.
The website’s header and home page identify her by her first name alone. On the bio page, she is referred to by her maiden name (TaRanda Kiser) in the opening and closing paragraphs, and eleven times by her first name alone. Though she isn’t referred to as TaRanda Greene at any point, it’s not like her thirteen years with the Greenes are glossed over. She tells the story of her courtship and of Tony’s proposal on the NQC mainstage. She recounts the blessing of having two children after they were told it was impossible that they have any. And, of course, she tells the blessings and challenges of Tony’s final months on the earth.
Now it might be preposterous for a Daniel, a Josh, or a Bryan to try this. But it’s not half as much of a stretch here. She has one of the most unique first names in our genre. A simple Google search for her first name alone reveals sites related to her as four of the top ten (and ten of the top twenty). This does include the #1 position, currently held by the Greenes’ group site.
In all fairness, concerns other than marketing may have been a factor; a domain squatter owns tarandagreene.com, and may not have been willing to part with it for a reasonable sum. That could have provoked the thought process.
Only time will tell if she will join the ranks of Vestal, Hovie, Jake, George, and Glen. At any rate, she has the talent level to make a bid for first-name-only status credible.
(Note to commenters: Feel free to discuss the implications of the re-branding in a constructive way. But I will be even more watchful than usual to remove anything that is not constructive.)