Group Schedules and Big Dates

Late last week, David Bruce Murray made a fascinating post at the Musicscribe blog about group schedules and the ratio of big venue concerts to smaller venue concerts. [EDIT, 6/7/12: Broken link removed.] Essentially, what he did was to take the list of venues on various groups’ schedules and see what percentage of those dates were at big venues, as well as how many dates a group had to work to make ends meet.

He observed that the big secular acts were able to be successful with a limited number of dates that were only scheduled at big venues. He observed that the only act in Southern Gospel that could do the same was the Gaither Vocal Band, although Ernie Haase & Signature Sound came fairly close.

My question is this: I wonder how the touring schedules of Southern Gospel’s biggest acts of the past would have compared–say, the Cathedrals in 1997 (the final year they did regular touring, before their big Farewell Tour), the Kingsmen in 1982, the Happy Goodmans in 1970, Gold City in 1989 and 2001, the Blackwood Brothers in 1951 and 1963, and the Statesmen in 1956 and 1963.

I suspect that this comparison would reveal that Signature Sound is actually closer than the Gaither Vocal Band to having the touring schedule of a typical Southern Gospel mega-group: 75% of dates in big venues, but some smaller concert dates as well.

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5 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I’m curious, Daniel…what made you pick the years you did for the Blackwood Brothers and Statesmen? Was their something momentous in 1951, 1956, or 1963 that would have made those years stand out in particular?

  2. John, sometimes I just want to make people curious, 😮 😀

    No, more seriously, I did have a reason for each year. I generally picked years one year before a major performer departed or died and the group had to rebuild. I know that is somewhat arbitrary, but let’s face it–the Blackwood Brothers took a while to rebuild after the 1952 plane crash, the Statesmen took a while to rebuild after Denver Crumpler died, et cetera.

  3. But Daniel, the Blackwood plane crash was in 1954, not 1952.

  4. Also, the Blackwoods were back on the Godfrey Telent Scouts show by 1956, and won it again…and Crumpler passed away in 1957, so you might want to modify those years slightly.:-)

  5. I must have been only half awake when I wrote that post!

    Since your comments would make no sense with an edited post, I think I might leave the mistake.


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