Three skills a Southern Gospel group owner needs
When a group lineup stays together long enough to climb to the top, often, a member will leave to start his own group. Sometimes the new group is a major success, and sometimes not. Why?
There are any number of factors, but sometimes it is as simple as the fact that the skill set needed to be a good singer and the skill set needed to be a good group manager don’t completely overlap. Here are three skills a good group owner / manager needs:
Picking the Right Songs
Almost any professional singer who is listening to song demos can weed out poorly written songs. But not every singer can pick the right songs for the group.
Two groups’ stories illustrate this well. Through the 1970s, George Younce and Glen Payne picked good songs for the Cathedrals. Through the 1980s and early 1990s, the Perry siblings picked good songs for the Perrys. But after Kirk Talley (and later Roger Bennett) started screening songs for the Cathedrals, and Mike Bowling started screening songs for the Perrys, both groups started finding the right songs. The breakout hits that resulted made all the difference in both groups’ careers.
Picking the Right Singers
Much like with songs, most professional singers can weed out applicants that are simply not professional quality. But finding the right singer is a less common talent. Imagine the Booth Brothers today with Josh Garner or Tony Peace singing baritone, instead of Jim Brady. Both are great singers, but neither would have been the right singer for the group.
Given that every group is different, there’s no formula for this. It’s a talent, albeit one which can be honed.
Picking the Right Emcee
Sometimes the group owner is not necessarily the most effective emcee. Look no farther than the Kingsmen: Imagine Eldridge Fox had decided to keep the emcee work for himself, instead of handing the microphone to Jim Hamill.
In several instances above, I gave examples of a group owner delegating responsibility to a member. If there’s something you can’t do well, delegate to someone who can do it well.
These are three of the most important, but there’s no way this is a comprehensive list. What are other important traits?