Bill Gaither rethinks Homecomings

Chuck Peters has the story: [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.] Bill Gaither is about to do a taping with many of the major Southern Gospel groups. This wasn’t exactly a secret; various groups, such as the Ball Brothers and the Collingsworth Family, have referred on their websites to being a part of what for each is their first Gaither taping.

But a few months ago, in another piece of news, the Gaither Homecoming tour announced an “artist reduction.” (No, this does not refer to a weight-loss program!) Fewer artists will regularly appear at the Homecoming Tour concerts; there will be the tour stars, such as the Gaither Vocal Band and Signature Sound, as well as several soloists and perhaps one or two other groups.

So how is one to explain these two moves which appear to be in opposite directions?

I think that Gaither is rethinking the Homecoming series. Perhaps the immediate future of the Homecomings will be fewer artists on a tour, but more artists at tapings. But this could lead to a long-term future for the series, in which the tapings introduce a new generation of artists, who eventually become popular enough to be added to the tour.

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6 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I for one will not doubt the marketing genius that is Bill Gaither. He also has a unique ability to touch emotion with his songs and presentation. If your take is right it sounds like a good business decision to me. Many of the original artists who helped start the homecoming craze have passed on so without newer (younger) artists to drive it, it will wind down. Everytime I’ve thought Bill Gaither was winding down he would come back with a great new idea eg Trio to GVB to Homecoming now ????? Go Bill. His solos annoy me greatly but I love just about everything else.

  2. I’m happy to see The Collingsworth Family included on the list. They are teriffic and I’m looking forward to seeing them live when they come to my part of Georgia in April.

  3. I would agree, with the exception of the Booth Brothers. It saddens me not to see them at a Gaither Homecoming concert.

  4. The Booth Brothers will be at some events as their schedule permits. For instance, they will be at Family Fest as shown on page 91 of January’s Singing News.

    The groups that will be at every homecoming concert are the easters, Lynda Randle. SSQ, GVB, Mike Allen, Ivan Parker, Ben Speer, Gordon Mote, Russ Taff, Joy Gardner, and Jessy Dixon. Other groups will be added as their schedules permit.

    I imagine a lot of the groups probably had converstations with Bill like the Cats did. Bill asked them if they could do better if they weren’t obligated to the tour. When the Casts said yes, Bill let them participate as they could.

  5. Ron, thank you for the more complete information.

  6. Why doesn’t someone sponser an hour of singing every week (Sunday Morning or Saturday Night) like the Gospel Singing Jubilee we had when I was growing up. This way you could have a known group and then have some newcomers?