Saturday News Roundup #79

In the News

  • Jeff & Sheri Easter’s bus was in an accident early yesterday morning. Via Madison Easter, a driver swerved into their lane. Jeff & Sheri’s bus driver slowed down and moved over; his actions were enough to avoid any injuries, but the driver slammed into the side of the bus anyhow. The driver of the other vehicle was uninsured and was arrested for DWI.
  • It’s not been the best of weeks to be a Southern Gospel bus, or a group that owns one. The frame on the Ball Brothers’ bus broke in half on a recent trip. Mechanics estimate a $20,000 repair charge. While they are optimistic that their insurance will cover this, their insurance will not cover the $9,000 to rent a bus until repairs are complete. So, to help cover the bills, they have offered a limited-time complete download set of all of their music for $25, noting that if 360 fans purchase this, it would cover the needed funds for the month. It can be purchased here.
  • Justin/sgmusicfan has launched a blog chronicling his quest to collect Southern Gospel autographs. Along the way, he plans to offer other news and commentary.
  • Singing News has posted audio file submissions from the 4th Annual Songwriter’s Search.

Video of the Week

How often do you see an artist slip over to the mixing board and get to work mixing their next major-label release?

Yes, this is for real, and not a “just for TV” staged moment. (If it was staged, I would have surely done something about the awful lighting!)

Open Thread

Consider the comments section an open thread.

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20 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. DWI? Is that DUI State-side?

    • Pretty much. We used to use DUI (driving under the influence) but switched to DWI (driving while intoxicated) because it’s rather more direct and less of a euphemism.

  2. I believe that Gus Gaches is going to be mixing L5 newest label release… 🙂

    • Yeah, I’m not saying that it never happens – just that it isn’t a frequent thing!

      • I know… 🙂

  3. For a moment I thought DWI meant Driving Without Insurance, then I read the comment section. Too bad for the buses and their owners. Thank God the owners are safe!

  4. I was clueless to the difference between DUI/DWI until the officer informed us that a DWI is when the driver is over the .08 limit, DUI is within the legal limit.

    From my understanding it’s a difference of a fine and going to jail.

    • Madison – fascinating! I had not known that DUI was still in use at all, at least in some states.

      And I know we’re all glad that you all are safe.

  5. Speaking of bus trouble, the Collingsworth family has been having trouble with theirs also. At their concert in Roanoke, VA, they said that they were “leaking petroleum on the highway.”

    • had been

    • Was that a serious statement, or phrased as a joke about high gas prices?

      • It was a serious statement. They also had a problem with their bus on the way to Peterborough, Ontario. Correction: I said “petroleum”, I recall now that they actually said oil.

      • Wow! Three bus issues in one weekend…wow!

        I know groups often work bus quips into the routine, but that did sound a little more specific than the usual “it would cost less for AAA to tow us here” quip!

  6. It’s probably a serious statement. For as long as group’s have traveled in buses, there have been bus troubles. When you put between 80,000 and 100,000 miles per year on ANY vehicle…there will be issues. The real problem is… Gospel Artists’ revenues haven’t kept up with the pace of fuel prices, parts and labor costs, insurance, regulatory costs, replacement costs, and other related expenses over the last few decades.

    That’s why you see more and more Artists “patching” instead of replacing their buses every five years, these days. The only “replacing” you’ll see is “stepping down” into less costly modes of transportation, ie Sprinter-vans.

    While God is faithful to provide our needs, we still have to use the brains He gave us to make wise decisions about our methods of travel. Any Artist will tell you, it’s the most expensive part of what they do, as well as being the expense they seem to have the least control over.

    For comparison, here’s an example. In 1972, quite a few groups ordered new Silver Eagle buses from Belgium. Cost (before conversion), $52,000. In 1993, we took delivery of our new Prevost XL2. Cost (before conversion), $280,000. Last year, when we looked into replacing our coach. The cost (before conversion) had risen to $425,000. By the time the conversion would be finished, that cost would rise to $625,000 or more. With diesel fuel being $3 more per gallon than it was in 1993, our fuel-only costs have risen by more than $34,000 per year, since 1993. Beginning in 2010, new EPA regulations DECREASED (not increased) fuel mileage on new buses by 14 – 20%. So, replacing an aging bus with a new bus, would increase fuel-only costs a minimum of another $4000 per year. Of course, you would also have to add the new bus payment and increased insurance costs into the budget, as well.

    Once you “digest” all those numbers, you’ll probably be hearing more stories, some funny and others not-so-funny, about “bus troubles” in the coming months and years. It’s the reality of the new economy.

    • Wow – I had a general sense that the cost of a bus was well north of $400,000, but I hadn’t realized it was another $225,000 past that!

  7. As my Dad would say… “They ain’t cheap!” I’ve actually seen fully-converted buses go well past the million-dollar mark…but certainly not in our genre. Mostly in the NASCAR circuit and private motor-home segment.

  8. How does a big turd frame break in half? That’s my question?

    • Hey Samuel, watch the language…

      • Does that comment still get counted? Sorry, I didn’t know it was offensive to people.