UPDATE: Comparing the radio charts: 1983 and 2003

UPDATE (10/10/08, 9:08 AM): Here are the first 100 responses (Excel spreadsheet). I had to clear them and save them since the poll only takes 100 responses at a time. If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, do so, but if you have, don’t vote twice!

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ORIGINAL POST: Many Southern Gospel fans believe that radio was much better in the “Good old Days.” So when someone gave me some old Singing News issues, I decided to select an issue more or less at random (mainly based on having a month-to-month equivalent 20 years apart).

I made a survey listing the top 40 for August 1983 and for August 2003, 25 and 5 years ago, respectively. I have three checkboxes, “Know It,” “Have It,” and “Love it.”

Check “Know it” if you’re familiar enough with the song that you could at least hum or sing along with the chorus.

Check “Have It” if you have the song in your collection. It doesn’t have to be on the original recording; having it on a greatest hits compilation will do.

Check “Love It” if you would rate the song four or five out of five stars – either very good or excellent.

Here’s the poll:Β [EDIT, 2/22/13: Broken link removed.]

Are the songs from 1983 as recognizable, or even more recognizable, than the songs from 2003? The 1983 chart has the disadvantage of being so far back that many of you will not have been listening to Southern Gospel radio then, so if it holds its own, I’d have to say it came out ahead.

If you’re so inclined, go ahead and forward the poll to your Southern Gospel friends (either the direct link or a link to this post with the explanation). The wider of a survey base we get, the better.

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23 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 did notice a few repeats on the ’83 chart (multiple artists singing the same song)….

  2. I was surprised how many songs I knew and also how many of the songs I had from both charts.

  3. #1 – That was a lot more common back then! πŸ™‚

  4. I hope I didn’t skew the results too badly – Some of them I said I have because I taped them off the Gospel Greats. That mainly affects the 2003 chart.

    1983 was the year before I was born, after all. πŸ™‚

  5. Well, it’s a couple of years before I was born, and yet I think I still have more from the 1983 chart!

  6. If it weren’t for the Gospel Greats, I might. But some of the 1983 ones I also knew that way, or I had heard them on AQR and am not sure whether I know the original version or not.

  7. I was excited to see “Come to the Wedding” by the Hoppers on the chart. I found the record at Goodwill not long ago. It’s interesting ’cause the album cover is so plain. It makes it seem really early in the Hoppers’ career.

  8. You know its funny, 1983 was 8 years before I was born and I knew more of those songs than the ones from 2003.
    Maybe it is accredited to the fact that my father has exposed me to ‘old southern gospel’ my whole life and that is what I have grown to love.

  9. These “I wasn’t born in 1983” comments are not necessary! πŸ™‚

  10. OK. I won’t say a word about 1983.

    But I will let it drop that I was born in 1986. :mrgreen:

  11. To quote a great man, “I’ve got socks older than that!”

  12. I probably do, too!

    I love hand-me-downs!

    Actually, more seriously, I might not have socks older than that, but quite a few of my suits and other formal dress clothes probably are. πŸ™‚

  13. Hey Grigs, I was alive in 1983. I turned 6 that year. πŸ™‚

  14. I tried last night and again today and it is closed. Are you redoing it, or did I miss the boat? πŸ™‚

  15. No, it’s not closed. It has acted finicky for a couple of people.

    Any chance someone else on your computer voted? It would tend to remember that.

  16. OK, here’s what happened: It hit 100 responses and that’s all it takes! I guess I need to save those, then clear it and start over.

  17. Cleared – go for it now.

  18. From the survey results, it’s interesting to note that the Cathedrals had more responses on their songs in the 1983 chart than any other groups, and Legacy Five had the top result for the 2003 chart. Now Gold City came in a strong second place for both.

  19. ^

    Must be those Roger Bennett fans! πŸ™‚

  20. I was 15 in 1983. I remember 99% of those tunes, and also have the original records. Southern Gospel didn’t start cds until around 1989. As far as SG goes, the Cathedrals and Gold City had the most #1 songs during the 1980s. I never listen to the radio anymore since I got a Cd player in my car 11 years ago…

  21. I turned 8 in 1983, and I wasn’t listening to sG then–didn’t start until ’88 or ’89. But I still knew (and have) a lot of the 1983 songs. I was in the middle of an SG hiatus of sorts in 2003, So I’m not familiar with many of those songs at all.

  22. Well, 1983 is 20 years after i was born, so i guess i’m getting old! ha ha. I love the poll and know or have most of the songs.

  23. Cool 2 see Nelons had 2 songs in the top 20 in ’83 and Karen Peck leading the single for “Wedding Day” . I recognized more in ’83 and we do not have any SG stations in Maryland. I get it from only 2 hours of Gospel Greats. I was 5 in ’83.


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