Milestones … and a 30,000th Comment contest

This site is a little over 100 comments away from the 30,000 comment mark (not counting spam or deleted comments, of course!)

We’re also about two months away from our fifth anniversary. With one or two exceptions, such as when the power was out for more than twenty-four hours, we’ve had daily posts here since September 2006. I love throwing a party and finding prizes to give away, but there is only one problem: The anniversary usually falls during NQC, when about a thousand of our regular readers aren’t here!

And, to top it off, today is my birthday. I had hoped to keep my age out of the public eye for online security reasons, but since another blogger has posted it, there’s no use crying over spilt milk. (EDIT: She found another instance where someone had mentioned my age in the past.) I am a QUARTER of a CENTURY old today. It sure sounds impressive when I put it like that! πŸ™‚

So I thought: Why not toss all three in together and give away the best prize I’ve ever handed out? When I was assembling my complete collection of Cathedrals projects, the single hardest project to track down was Land of Living(1987). But earlier this year, I actually came across a duplicateβ€”as well as a duplicate copy of their far more remembered project from the same year, Symphony of Praise.

BothΒ projects will go out to the person who makes this site’s 30,000th approved comment!Β Both are in cassette format; however, if the winner does not have a cassette player, I can convert them to mp3 for him/her as part of the prize.

And just to prevent comment stuffing, let me borrow a few rules from our 10,000th Comment Contest (which was under two years ago!):

  • Inconsequential posts such as β€œLol,” β€œYeah,” β€œI agree,” or β€œgreat post” will not be counted. The next qualifying post will win.
  • If you post a number of identical posts on different threads, they will be counted as inconsequential posts!
  • (new) A straight “Happpy Birthday” or “Happy Birthday, Daniel” also won’t count as the contest-winning post.
  • …basically, summarizing several of the above posts, the winning comment needs to be four words long or longer!

EDIT, 7/15/11, 6:47 A.M.: We have a winner! Congratulations to Samuel, who was determined enough to win the prize to stay up till 2 A.M. commenting on old posts. It worked!


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85 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. Happy Birthday Daniel! How many different Cathedral recordings do you have in your complete collection? And does that include “table” projects?

    • Phil – thanks! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 80. Yes to table projects, but no to compilations. I didn’t see the need to buy something full of songs I already had just to get a different cover!

      • I am curious, have you ever posted anywhere the list of Cathedrals projects that you have? I think with records and CDs, I probably have half of the collection and would be interested in expanding on it a bit…I am the same way, I don’t buy the compilations or “best of..” most groups.

  2. Happy Birthday, Daniel! I remember those days back when I was 25. Of course, I just turned 26 in May, so I would hope I remembered.

    • I would have been concerned if you had forgotten! πŸ™‚

      So that means that our ages overlap most of the year; cool, and I hadn’t realized that.

  3. Happy Birthday Daniel. Look at the bright side. #1, you’re only half as old as myself. #2, I have a child your age. #3, you’re only a third as old as my Dad!
    However, for me personally, it doesn’t sound impressive for to say that I am a half century old! Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • Wow!

      I’m impressed by the half-century part, though! πŸ™‚

  4. Happy birthday (again), Daniel!!! My favorite age was 25! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I reached that age.

    And I hope you have fun with the contest. I think it’s a great idea to celebrate early rather than during NQC.

    • Thanks! I’m sure I will have fun. As I said in the post, I love throwing parties here! πŸ™‚

      When I was seven, I decided that that was a cool number and my favorite age. I haven’t changed my mind yet. πŸ™‚

  5. I was sure I had seen your age somewhere online. It didn’t occur to me that you’d want it to be a secret. I wouldn’t have posted it if I’d known.

    • Thanks, and as you commented below, it turns out that it wasn’t an issue, since the Talleys had already said it.

  6. Aha…the Talleys spilled the milk (or beans) last year. I knew I wasn’t the first: [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.]

    • Oh, OK! I’d forgotten all about my age already being out there. Thanks for the reminder!

      • Don’t forget to correct your post accordingly.

      • I knew your age; I guess I learned it in the forums days. (I’m not sure I remember it exactly, but you’re just a couple of years behind me, so I know pretty close.)

  7. Wow, Daniel, that sounds like a wonderful idea! Great contest. Its hard to believe its been that long. I have been on the internet since 1998, and have always followed all the Southern Gospel blog, chat rooms, and message boards, etc. , as well as groups webpages.

    • It is indeed hard to believe that it’s been that long!

      • So, So, La, So, Do, Ti………….that’s Happy Birthday Day to you in sollfegio like we used to do at singing conventions. George and Glenn would know how to sing it!

      • OK, that is officially the coolest rendition of “Happy Birthday” that has ever been directed my way! Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

      • Daniel,
        You’re not even close to the age where you start holding the age. But let me say the older you get the faster time goes! πŸ™‚

      • That’s true! When I was a child, days seemed to last FOREVER! Individual days!

  8. Happy Birthday Daniel!
    I’ve really appreciated the time you’ve put into this blog as I know blogs take a lot of work and dedication. I had always enjoyed SG music but didn’t have a very good way to follow it (I’m not a big one on magazines) until I discovered your blog one and a half years ago!
    Great job and Thanks again!

    • Why is my post waiting moderation? I’ve posted here several times before?

      • Have you changed your email? Or perhaps the computer you’re posting from? (IP address)

        If either have changed, then the blog assumes it’s someone new, so that someone can’t just put in your email from a different computer and automatically put spam up under your name.

        Anyhow, thanks for the kind words!

  9. Lol! Yeah, I agree, that’s a great post!

    πŸ˜‰

  10. BTW, I already mentioned it on facebook, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Daniel!

    I’m enjoying your daily posts, so keep it up!

  11. By the way, when I posted this morning, I said we were a little over 100 approved comments away from the 30,000 mark.

    That number is now less than 100!

  12. Again, happy birthday! Let me asure you … I’m over twice as old as you are and it only gets better πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work! I love to read your posts.

  13. Speaking of the Cathedrals “Land Of Living” album, i had the album, then had someone make me a digital cd copy of it. So i gave my album copy to jeff Foster last year at NQC. But i still have the Cd now. But i would glady take the cassette if i won it! lol. I had a cassette of it when it came out, but over the years, it wore out!

  14. Happy birthday, Daniel! So, it took three years to get 10,000 comments and only two more years to get the next 20,000? That’s impressive. I know my day generally is not complete without checking your site. It has been quite nice to have one source to check for the most interesting/important headlines in the southern gospel field. Plus, it’s nice to know there are other people my age who love southern gospel as much as I do.

    • Brian – thanks! It is indeed nice to know other young SG fans! And I’m honored to be part of your daily routine!

      Yes, the pace of discussions here has picked up noticeably over the last two years. But it took years of patience, and hundreds of posts (I think) with zero comments before ever getting to this point!

      • Happy birthday. 25… Now I can do a Cutco presentation for you! Though, it would be hard for me to do it all the way from Oregon.

      • What is Cutco?

      • It’s a brand of knives. I just got a job as a sales rep for them. I enjoy it.

      • Ah, OK!

      • Does that mean you can’t try to sell them to someone under 25? So my married brother and his wife who already are parents, eligible to vote, making payments on their home, couldn’t buy a set of kitchen knives from this company?

        I would be inspired to comment on the liability-obsessed state of our country, but I’ll just have to shake my head. (Not anything at you personally or even the company. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it ridiculous.)

  15. I still have to convert my “Raise the Roof” tape to CD. But “Land of Living” sounds like a good tape. The first group I ever heard sing that song was DayBreak.

    • Of the two, I’d have to pick “Land of Living” as my favorite.

  16. For those of us who don’t win, two copies of “Land of Living” are available at Amazon. On the casette cover, I recognize George, Glen, Mark Trammel, and possibly Danny Funderburke – but who is the fifth person? Is it possible that this casette is older than you are? Happy Birthday and thanks for providing the wealth of SG information that you do. I particularly enjoy the YouTube links.

    • Gerald Wolfe, and no, I’m older than the casette. πŸ™‚

  17. HAPPY 25TH BIRTHDAY DANIEL from all your Minnesota friends! πŸ™‚

    We hope you have a wonderful day and pray God’s blessings on you through this new year! (Wow, 25 – a half of a half of a century! Don’t you feel OLD? πŸ˜‰ )

    In our home, the birthday person gets to pick out all the meals for the day…and we all have to eat them whether we like them or not! So, what are you having? Lasagna? (Jayme wants to know!) πŸ˜€

    Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
    Dad Garms, Mom Garms, Ben, Taylor, Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb

    • Thanks, TGF! Actually, you’re almost all of my Minnesota friends, since Josh VanK comes from MN, too! πŸ™‚

      Thanks! And…well, as per prior agreements, Jayme can call me OLD. πŸ™‚ And yes, Jayme, as a matter of fact, I had Lasagna for lunch! I have no clue what dinner will be, though, or if I’ll even have a formal one (or just scattered veggies and crackers). πŸ™‚

      Thanks!

      • Oops! We couldn’t forget Josh! πŸ™ (Sorry Josh!)

      • I’m sure he’ll forgive you!

      • Yes, Minnesotans are very forgiving people; it’s part of being “Minnesota Nice”. πŸ˜€

      • Speaking of Minnesota Nice, that’s been so much of my habit here that one might think this was a Minnesotan’s blog! πŸ™‚

      • Its good to be remembered πŸ˜€

      • Oh, dear, if we keep going down that pathβ€””Josh, our fondly remembered friend”β€”we might end up with entirely unintended implications! πŸ™

  18. Oh yes, and congratulations on five years of Southern Gospel blogging! πŸ™‚ We are so glad to have discovered your wonderful site, and consider it a privilege to be a small part of it. Thank you for all you do to keep this a positive spot on the web and pointing to Christ through it all.

    Keep up the good work!

    -TGF

    • Thanks! Of course, at this precise moment, it’s 4 years 10 months, but as I said in the main post, I figure now’s as good a time as any to throw the party. πŸ™‚

  19. Daniel, does the total number of comments include your replies to reader’s comments?

    • Yes, sir! 2,130 under my current email address, and 3,300 under my old one – so 5,430, or a little over 1/6 of the total.

      • So you just might win this contest, Daniel!

      • Oh, dear, I didn’t think to be specific about that. πŸ˜€

        If I’m #30,000, then I’ll just give it to the first person after 30,000 other than myself to comment.

        But if I’m watching the comment count closely enough, I’ll hold off on replying till #30,000 shows up, to avoid that confusion.

  20. Daniel, did you just add the Facebook/Twitter/Google “like” thing to the posts?

    • Wow, are you sharp and on top of things! I added it within the last 3 minutes or so, testing the plugin out for use on a wide variety of sites. (There are any number of options out there, but I’m thinking I like the way this one looks.)

      • Just refreshed the page to see if anyone had posted the “30,000th comment” yet and noticed the “like” bar at the bottom of the post – and knew it wasn’t there before! πŸ™‚ Looks pretty good!

      • Thanks! I’m not saying that I’m definitely staying with this one – I might, after all, find something which looks or works even better – but this seems to be toward the top of the pack.

        We’re somewhere in the general vicinity of 50 comments to go. And by the way, if you or someone else REALLY wants those tapes, you could spend a while reading through old posts and making (pertinent) comments!

        Here are two categories that hage quite a few interesting posts:
        Reviews: http://www.southerngospeljournal.com/archives/category/cd-reviews
        Commentary: http://www.southerngospeljournal.com/archives/category/commentary

        Skip a few pages back (navigation on the bottom) to the old ones. And besides the additional entries in the contest, learning more about our genre is a nice plus!

      • Intriguing!

  21. I’m still stuck on the comment that you have 80 Cathedral recordings….a bit jealous too!

    Happy Birthday! Blessings and many more!

    • Here’s the path to doing it – a path that took me about three years:

      (1) Prioritize these over other music expenditures
      (2) Look all around online for great deals
      (3) And, once you are getting close to a complete collection, exhaust every possible opportunity, great deal or not πŸ˜€

      • Or just be be born before 1963 and become a fan then and then get every project that comes out. It may take 36 years, but you’ll be glad you did.

  22. I just read a post from 2008, and it was for the 1,000th comment. Wow! Did readership skyrocket in three years!

    • Actually, it’s been slowly but steadily building that whole time. It’s more been that discussions and engagement have grown notably. πŸ™‚

  23. Happy Birthday Daniel!!!! I’m sure you are really not THAT old, since I haven’t aged a day since we met on the old EHSS MB. Don’t put me in for the prize, I just wanted to wish you all the best in the coming year.

  24. We are now within 25 comments of a winner. I don’t know if I will stay up through the winning comment or not; it depends on how soon the comments flow in.

    • STAY UP! STAY UP! We must know! It’s only midnight over in the East! Steal your Dutch Bros. coffe beans from your Oregonian neighbors house and make some coffee!

  25. Happy Birthday Daniel. Sure hope you enjoyed your day. I really enjoy your website & glad to hear you will continue your blog. Blessings to you.

  26. Land of Living was a very good project. It did have a different feel to it than any other Cathedrals recording, in my opinion. The addition of Gerald to the lineup, to the mix of voices, gave the group a new feel, a new sound.

    After all these years, I can still hear the intro to the title track as if I had just heard it an hour ago.

    • After comparing DayBreak and the Cathedrals versions, I like the straight Bb arrangement instead of the F-G of DayBreak’s.

  27. I’m impressed with how this web site has grown. It seems to me you’ve become a behind the scenes force in SGM. I believe this is evident by the some of the industry’s biggest names (Ernie Haase, Gerald Wolfe) commenting occasionally.

    Keep up the good work.

  28. I love the idea of a southern gospel blog! I’ve actually just started one myself. I’m a huge SG music fan. Some favorites are the Cathedrals (esp. with Danny Funderburk and Mark Trammell) and Gold City (esp. with Jay Parrack, Jonathan Wilburn, and Mark Trammell). I’m sure I will be visiting this blog often from now on!

  29. I’m just amazed how the readership has grown. In 2008, it was only 1,000 comments, and in three years, it skyrockets to 30,000.

    • Samuel – read that link and earlier post again. You’re missing a zero. πŸ™‚

  30. Daniele,

    About how many hits does this site receive each day? Also, what software did/do you use to build/maintain the site?

    Too: happy belated birthday.

    • Jordan, thanks! I use WordPress. That’s fairly standard among many/most leading Southern Gospel blogs and news websites.

      Hits can be a deceptive term, since each time a single item on a page is pulled from a server, that counts as a hit. So a page with 25 images (as many do, including graphical user interface elements) would register more than 25 hits for every page load. Counting just people who land on the site, I average about 2200-2700 unique visitors per day. RSS subscribers and email subscribers add 600-800 more (haven’t checked in a bit.)

  31. Daniel:

    Typo’d your name. Embarrassing. Sorry. πŸ™‚

  32. BTW I was out of town at our camp meeting for the last week, if anyone’s puzzled by my catching up on comments. πŸ˜€

    • Oops, I apologize. I thought I was posting in the Saturday Roundup thread and wasn’t trying to stay on-topic at all in these last couple of comments.

      • Thanks for the explanation! With that explained…no problem!

  33. So, are you going to announce when 30,000 happens or did I already miss it?

    • It was discussed in the comments section above. Yes, we have hit 30,000!