Saturday News Roundup #165

Worth Knowing

  • Greater Vision is doing a going-out-of-print sale for FacesQuartets, and Live at First Baptist Atlanta here. The titles will undoubtedly remain in print digitally.
  • An Oklahoma newspaper has an article on Lily Fern Weatherford’s retirement.
  • NQC has updated their 2013 mainstage schedule, adding The Sneed Family on Monday, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound on Tuesday, The Bowlings and The Nelons on Friday, and the Down East Boys on Saturday.
  • Former Jordanaires tenor Gordon Stoker has passed away.
  • Former LeFevres soprano Teresa McNeill Burrell passed away on Thursday.
  • Canton Junction is discontinuing their debut recording, which we reviewed here, and replacing it with Show Me Your Way, releasing May 21. Eleven tracks will be from the discontinued debut, and will apparently be re-cut with new vocalist Shane McConnell. There will be three new tracks, live renditions of “Just a Little Talk with Jesus/Jesus on the Main Line Medley” and “In God We Still Trust,” and a new studio track, “Back On My Feet Again.”
  • Worth Reading: John Mathis’s column Southern Gospel Music – the 10% and the 90%

Worth Watching

Here’s a video of Gerald Williams’ Melody Boys Quartet in their prime:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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34 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. Love the video!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. For me this was their best lineup……

  3. I’ve got a question I’d like to throw out. How do we know we have another “super group” in southern gospel music (i.e., Cathedrals or Gold City of the past)?

    • Good question….I must admit I am a bit of a “quartet snob” (a term SG fans used to use) so for years I didn’t pay attention past the quartet awards at the NQC…but back in the 80’s and 90’s there were only a couple of quartets that shared the awards…Gold City and Cathedrals…today there doesn’t seem to be as much unification around awards towards one group…one other thing, Gold City and Cathedrals were liked by SG fans and people who werent SG fans, whethere you liked the Genre or not a concert with either of those groups was enjoyable…(of course I know of the Stamps and Elvis, and SS today) but even Carman did a song with Gold City…
      Not so much today….
      I will add one thing, although my first love is the quartets….Hoppers, Perry’s, Karen Peck and NR, Isaacs, Crabbs (most variations) Booth Brothers,…have all won me over…AWESOME
      One last thing…Songs…many of the “Super Groups” had identifying songs that were “Theirs”…”Champion of Love”, Midnight Cry”, “For what earthly reason” “There rose a Lamb”…
      I know I will get arrows for all of this but just my observation after 25 years of watching “Super Groups”

    • AJ – When a group starts winning everything it’s eligible for, e.g. the Booth Brothers of late, it’s fair to assume that they are a super group.

      • Speaking of supper groups…what would one expect the average salary to be for SG super group members?

      • That varies greatly, I think. I would not be surprised if a newcomer to a super group might make less than someone who stays ten years. But outside of super group territory, my best guess would be salaries of $30,000 or under; in super group territory, above $30,000, but by how much could vary greatly.

        Of course, it’s also a huge factor whether someone has an ownership stake in the group!

      • That’s really an amazing number. If the super stars struggle to make over $30k, I can understand why so many are leaving the genre. What other area of the entertainment industry do the biggest stars have salaries lower than their average fan?

      • I probably left a little too much room open for misunderstanding. I wasn’t saying that super-group members make only $30,000; I was saying that they probably at least make $30,000. I imagine that some make $50,000/year.

        Also, given that the average SG fan is on Social Security, I’m not sure but that the mega-group members at least might not make more than the average. 🙂

      • I didn’t think about the average fan being on social security…good point.

    • If you ask me the Gaither Vocal Band, EHSS, and Booth Brothers are super groups today. I would probably add Greater Vision, Legacy Five, Perrys, and Hoppers to the mix at least to some degree. I don’t know if it is okay to say this here and the promoters I have in mind have only booked a handful of groups, but he said he had to pay a decent amount more for Greater Vision than others. I don’t know and wouldn’t say if I did how much nor do I know if the price varies according to travel.

      • For whatever it’s worth, from all I have heard, there are several other groups (outside of current Gaither Tour artists) that have higher flats. But some of them have twice as many salaries to pay as Greater Vision does, so they kind of have to!

      • Also: In the list of today’s super groups, I’m pretty sure you’d have to include the Collingsworth Family and Triumphant Quartet as being on a similar par with L5 and the Perrys.

  4. You are pretty much dead on Daniel. Used to bank a group that would probably not be classified as a super group. The owner drew $800 a week and the rest $400 a week. The group always had Above $10,000 in their operating deposit account. All of their spouses had outside employment. As a retired bank President, I would say they were a very well run organization.

    • Interesting insight, aachen.

  5. Daniel is well within range…

  6. That really shocks me because one would think the Super Groups would make a good Salary . I don’t think 50,ooo is not that much really .And then they have the expense of being on the road do they lease their buses or own them not to mention repairs .Some groups like Daniel said pay more employees from bus drivers,Product managers,to sound technicians .Plus do they pack their own food ? Or do they eat out that’s expense .I know many groups pack their own food and sometimes the promoters feed them.A question I have and maybe Daniel can answer it do the promoters make any money off of the concert’s???? Or do they pay the group and try to break even??? I would think it could be a risk to promote a concert.What if you don’t sell all the tickets. And it’s a risk for the group if they go in for a free love offering I’ve seen groups not even break even for coming up to sing and really made nothing and that’s sad .

    • I do think $50,000 is actually a very good salary for someone with no college education or even just a Bachelor’s degree and less than a decade of work experience. 🙂

      Yes, it is a risk to promote concerts. If it’s a love offering concert, the group takes the risk of whether the love offering will cover their expenses. If it’s a ticketed concert, that generally means that the promoter pays the group enough that the group’s expenses will be covered; at that point, it is the promoter’s risk. If the promoter does not sell all the tickets, the chances are higher that he will break even; on the other hand, if he does sell all the tickets, he stands a decent chance of making a profit.

  7. Thank You Daniel I was just curious on the Promotor’s side of it and yes 50,000 is a lot of money that I also will never make in a year.Just with my dad having a Master’s Degree in the electrical Field and being an inspector for years and watching kids for Doctor’s and Lawyer’s I guess 50,ooo seemed not as high and I had a misconceived idea that the Top Southern Gospel groups made a lot more money then they do. And yes 50,ooo for some only having a High School Education is good . And you are right the top groups would more then be willing to help upcoming new groups get started but sometimes being on the side that I sing with my friend any place God opens the door for us we are just scared to ask a top group questions and for help and that is silly I know for the SG groups are people God uses just like any other people God uses Thanks for doing your blog you always have something good on it and worth reading and also thanks for presenting the Gospel in your blog for you never know who will read it and God’s Word will never return Void so maybe somebody could be reached and come to Know Christ by reading a blog .Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday.

    • You’re welcome, and you have a blessed Resurrection Sunday, too!

      There are two ways to approach top groups with questions. It’s probably asking too much to ask them to advance your career. But certainly ask them for advice – what to do, what not to do. Most are happy to offer advice from wisdom they have learned.

  8. Check this out! (no FB account necessary)

    • Yikes. That was some pretty awesome singing right there.

    • That church is blessed!

      • is that Jay Parrack? I can’t tell from the distance….

      • Sure looks like it!

  9. Daniel,
    Thanks so much for including the 2002 Grand Ole Gospel Reunion video of Gerald Williams and The Melody Boys Quartet! I am so pleased that many of your readers may be able to see this “version” of the Quartet for the first time! Marvelous memories! (I apologize for the blank comment before this one. I am not computer “savvy” enough to remove it – if there even is a way I could!)

    • You’re welcome! I did remove the blank comment just now.

  10. WOW! If that trio had a bass singer they could really go somewhere!! LOL Great job Guys!

    • There aren’t too many comments that literally make me laugh out loud, but that one did. 🙂

    • You took the words right out of my mouth, Pat! It would have to be a good-looking bass, though…know of anyone?

  11. Well, I’m taken… so…. No!

    • Another confirmation that Pat Barker is clearly the most handsome man in Southern Gospel music… He is equally humble as well…

  12. I saw the Melody Boys inHickory,N.C. years ago with this same line up, I too think this was their best, bought a lot of their music, one of my favorite groups.