Saturday News Roundup #83

Worth Knowing

  • Remember the Grammyยฎ Awards shakedown this April, which involved eliminating the Southern Gospel category, along with several dozen others? It’s unlikely that anyone in a position of authority in our genre even registered a protest. But other genres aren’t taking it so quietly; musicians in Latin Jazz and other genres are alleging racism and even filing lawsuits! Of course, in our case, while industry considerations undoubtedly factored into the elimination, we simply cannot expect a lost world which hates Christ and the cross to love our song lyrics!
  • Mark Trammell’s mother-in-law, Dorothy Sparks, passed away on Monday after an extended illness. Visitation will be tomorrow evening from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. at Akins Funeral Home, Russellville, Alabama. The funeral will be Monday, 11 A.M., at the same location.
  • Southern Sound’s Ben Harris offers his no-holds-barred thoughts on NQC’s decision against inviting Southern Sound to a mainstage appearance. (Facebook login required.)
  • Black Gospel matriarch Delois Barrett Campbell passed away earlier this week. She traveled with her sisters Billie Barrett GreenBey and Rodessa Barrett Porter as The Barrett Sisters for over forty years; they appeared on several Gaither Homecoming videos. (Hat tip, Andrew.)

Worth Reading

  • Friday Night Revival has a well-balanced take on a thorny issue: Southern Gospel singers who aren’t living the life they portray on stage. He asks questions which need to be asked: How do we hold Southern Gospel singers accountable without requiring them to attain the impossible, perfection? How do we balance the two?
  • Friday Night Revival also has an insightfulย in-depth review of the new Booth Brothers CD Let It Be Known. (Our take is here.)
  • An Artist’s Perspective breaks down the economics of a Southern Gospel cruise. It’s the most “must-read” entry on the site to date.

Worth Watching

Over the last four years, “Old White Flag” has become Clayton Inman’s signature song. The accompanying white hanky-waving in the audience is now as recognizable and anticipated a concert moment as Peg McKamey Bean’s shoes flying. Four years into the song’s run, here’s what a current performance looks like:

Worth Discussing

You decide! It’s our weekly open thread!

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65 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 think the new Booth Brothers is fantastic and will be reviewing it very soon myself—should go up on the blog some time next week.

    • I love the Booth Brothers too, they sound amazing!!!

  2. Sure wish I could read Ben Harris’ comments…but it says unavailable.

    • You and I may be the only two folks around without FaceBook. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • No – my siblings also aren’t on Facebook. I believe TGF isn’t, either, which means that out of all my contributors, Sony’s the only one on Facebook!

      • Right-O! Life is still “relatively” simple. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • I’ve looked for some of you on there in the past, but I certainly understand why you wouldn’t want to sign up. Technology can be so addicting (spoken from example). My siblings and I were just having this discussion less than an hour.

      • …ago. (oops!)

      • Hey Josh!

        If you don’t mind…and since this is an open thread :)…how many siblings do you have?

        Interesting that you were just having a conversation about this. We often talk about how to use the new technology as purposeful tools, not as our primary social connection.


      • I have four siblings (all older; I’m the BABY lol), but was only talking with two of them (and their husbands).

        We were talking about how technology can control us without us even noticing (guilty as charged lol).

      • If I could jump into this side conversation: I totally get where you’re coming from. When I joined Facebook, I had a book to promote, and I wanted people interested in the book to be able to find me. Over time, that became less of an issue, and became more. Now there are about 450 people who follow the page ( to get the automatic post notifications for each post.

        So…I have reasons other than personal preference for maintaining a presence there. However, I have tried to make it a major point to, at any time, have a number of real-life/offline friends, both from church and work, and long-distance friends with whom I talk on the phone occasionally. I realize how important it is to not trust all my friends and my social life to a social network!

      • Not necessarily here, but so many people dog Facebook. It is a tool. It can be used for good things. It is a good supplement and additional way to keep in touch with friends. If it is your only source of friends, watch out. But, one could say that about email, blogs, message boards, phone etc.

        I am not a Twitter person per se. There are times artists post interesting things, but there is also too much waste of time there. However, some love it and that is cool. You won’t hear me dogging them or Twitter. For some reason though, those who don’t like (and often haven’t tried) Facebook and their ilk, seem to feel the need to voice their disapproval quite loudly. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I believe that resistance to change is an integral part of our genre. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Facebook is like any other communications tool – it can be used for good or bad. The same goes for the telephone, by the way; the social revolution its introduction initiated in the 1920s and 1930s was perhaps even more profound than Facebook! There were people known – as with Facebook today – to spend all their time on the telephone, and not get anything else done.

        Different people have different communication needs; Facebook is a great fit for some of us, and not for others. (Just like telephones. ๐Ÿ˜› )

      • True, but I am not limiting it to SG, there are people at church, on computer support boards etc. have the same feelings.

      • I knew we weren’t really the only ones, but I do feel less in the minority now that y’all have commented!

        FB is something that I re-evaluate every year or so. On the one hand, I’d like to be more in touch with my out-of-state cousins and their baby pictures. On the other hand, I know my propensity to get sucked into the online world. (Not to mention respecting my husband’s feelings, who’s been scared by hearing FB named a factor in a large percentage of marriage breakups.)

        So far, I just haven’t found the benefits to outweigh the disadvantages for me. And it’s easier to be able to tell people “I don’t have FB” than to explain, “Yes, I do, but don’t send me a friend request.” (Or just to deal with their friendly spam, which I know some folks are notorious for.)

    • By the way, Paul and Amy – that’s why I noted “Facebook Login Required” after the link! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I suspect that one has to be Ben Harris’s friend on Facebook to see it. I am not able to see it, either.

      • Well, in that event, here’s a key quote:

        “Friends, We are being bombarded with email and questions of why we are not on the main stage at NQC this year. It was not our choice but that of the board at NQC. The board wanted more time for themselves, and wanted to contain the costs in paying other groups. There was mention that the evening concerts were going to long into the evening, but better planning on alloted time and alloted appearances would certainly and easily fix that. Roughly 20 groups were cut including the Lester’s, Dixie Melody Boys and us, as well as others. We plan on being there, but as far as the main stage is concerned, that is up to the NQC Board.”

      • Assumptions are often inaccurate.

      • So true! I am not saying that I agree with any of Harris’s views; I just quoted him so that the fans who were unable to follow the link were able to see what he had said.

      • I am logged in…but still nothing!

      • Sorry; as per another comment below, it sounds like you have to be logged in and on Ben’s friends list, so I copied a key quote in a comment below.

  3. Worth announcing: I have only handed out three five-star album ratings all year. #4 is coming next Friday!

    (Feel free to guess what album it is. That doesn’t mean I’ll tell you, though! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    • O.K., we’ll feel free to guess! Ummmm….let’s see: the new release from Liberty Quartet or the Collingsworth Family.

      (Disclosure: No insider information used.) ๐Ÿ™‚



      • Both have a shot at 5 stars, but I’ve not heard (all of) either yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wait! You’ve already reviewed “The Only Way”! Are you doing a re-write?

      • That gave me the biggest laugh I’ve had all week…just for that, I should!

        I will say this, though: It is an album to which you contributed piano parts on two songs.

        (For those paying attention at home, and who read liner notes, you can probably guess it from this!)

      • That would be MTQ’s Treasures!

      • I had this sneaking suspicion that I could count on at least one reader to put the pieces together! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Gerald Wolfe played piano on two songs on that project. ๐Ÿ™‚

        And by the way, I also have a sneaking suspicion that you would say that my rating is, at least, not too far off of the mark. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yeah, I gave it 4.5 in June. I guess half a point deduct for no new ground-breaking.

      • I contemplated doing the same thing. I usually do with most table projects, in fact.

        But I decided that maybe this one was better just as it is. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet but I will say it’s the Kinsmen new album or The Collingsworth. I would love to see what Ben said maybe he’ll come on here and post it because I can’t see it either, but anyways I think people need to quit whimpering about NQC.(I don’t know if Ben is) But there sure has been a TON of whimpering this year. It’s just the way it is, not everyone gets to be on the main stage. Why is this so hard to understand, if you don’t like it don’t attend. It’s just life unfortunately we don’t always get our way. I’m sure they will be singing on a showcase some time during the week right? White Flag!!! Always brings a smile to my face, thats my Dad’s favorite song, he just laughed and laughed when he watched them sing this live, I love ot see my dad laugh!

    • SOP – well, I can guarantee you, at least, that it’s not the first half of your prediction! I reviewed the Kingsmen album here, giving it a solid four stars:

      • Yes! I see that now.. LOL oops and let me make myself clear I’m not attacking Ben, really! I’m just making a blanket statement about the entire feeling of a lot of grumbling that I hear about NQC. A lot of groups complain about it, but they still show up every year, I guess it must be a vital part of the industry or they wouldn’t be there.

      • No problem!

        Exposure on the NQC stage can be a boost for some groups.

      • I think that’s a big SOME.

    • Oh, and Old White Flag is a Triumphant Quartet song, not (last I heard) a Southern Sound song.

      • Yes I know that. Sorry didn’t mean to leave the impression that SS sang it.

      • Oh, OK. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Would the 5 stars be going to the GVB children’s project?

    • Umm, no. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That was my guess too.

      • Seriously or sarcastically? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. :-). Come on. How could Bill half talking – half singing about little boys fishing not get 5 stars?

  7. Just curious, do you review “novelty” projects, such as best of collections, children’s CD’s or Homecoming releases?

    • Sometimes! If I’m impressed enough!

  8. Thanks for linking my video! I know there’s quite a few of them on YouTube, but I thought a new one wouldn’t hurt. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Why should “we” (SG Artists & Fans) be upset about not being a big part of an event (The Dove Awards) that included an Open Bar, and a partially-inebriated host, who boasted about coming from a local bar to the event? Count me out of the “in crowd”. You won’t hear of me complaining about not being included…or showing up.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The Dove Awards are most certainly not what they used to be. It’s rather sad.

    • Wow! I had not heard anything to that effect. That is the kind of thing I assume we get from the Grammys – which is what I had been discussing in the original post – and not from the Dove Awards. Sad.

      • If I’m not mistaken, the hostess even shared a few off-color words to show what her daytime job is. Churches have learned this, and it’s about time that Christian music should. Mixing worldly entertainment with Christian music only waters down the message and leaves each at nearly the same level. Which makes our music less of a savoring salt – something we’re called to be.

        As far as worldly entertainment, I’m not referring to Inman’s performance on “Old White Flag.” ๐Ÿ™‚

        My comments refer to the Dove Awards’ hiring a secular TV personality to host the year’s largest multi-genre Christian music event.

      • I too was disappointed at the choice of host this year. Nothing against her personally, but not the person to host that kind of event.

    • Good stuff! Thanks for sharing and standing. We need to hear these types of stories!

  10. Sorry to here of the passing of Delois Barrett Campbell . After being introduced to their ministry on The Gaither vids i youtubed a lot of their music and it is incredible . She had one of the most powerful voices i’ve ever heard!!!

  11. Did I see on this blog that Jay Parrack was singing in a new group. Been trying to get some information on the group but can’t find it. Always loved hearing him sing. Is he going back on the road fulltime?

    • Last I heard, he was still a minister of music, and was only singing in positions that did not require Sunday concert dates.

      • If I was a betting man, I would bet that Jay will be at NQC this year. He seems to have been peeking back into the SGM door. Maybe just wishful thinking on my part, I do miss him.

  12. I know I’ve seen recently somewhere on someone’s blog about buying directly from the artist versus some other outlets. Where was that at?

    • Actually, you probably saw it at the AbsolutelyGospel forums, where I shed some light on the advantage to groups (who desire the platform and publicity that a label provides) to have albums also sell through other channels.

      • THAT’S it! Now I’ll have to go find it…

  13. Daniel J mount. I have a question. I primarily buy a cd because of the bass and tenor performances. I am heavily considering buying never walk alone by brian free and assurance. I know what to expect from brian free but is there quality bass singing on that album. I know jeremy lile is capable but I havenโ€™t read any reviews of very memorable bass moments like low notes and stuff like that. Please help

    • If you measure quality solely or primarily by the depth of the lowest note hit, then this CD isn’t for you.

      Lile does sing the low notes expected of a Southern Gospel bass, but he’s not Tim Riley. He doesn’t try to be. He’s Jeremy Lile.

      Jeremy has two nice, melodic bass solos on the project.

      Unlike you, my primary consideration in purchasing a CD (or in recommending it) is the strength of the songs – most important, the originality and strength of the lyrics, and the originality and strength of the melodies right after that. On that basis, I would recommend purchasing the CD.

      Oh, and with not reading any reviews of the CD, I’d like you to invite you to change that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Check this out:

  14. That’s not the only thing that I judge a cd by. Take their accapella cd for example. That was some of the best bass singing I’ve ever heard