In this genre, with how common encores are, we often take them for granted. “Encore,” as used in the patois of Southern Gospel music, refers to a turnaround, a repeat of a final verse and chorus. Typically, since most groups use soundtracks, encores are arranged and recorded in advance; sometimes but not always (depending on the group), they are performed by default.
Though most Southern Gospel groups will encore songs that get a good response, there are a few exceptions, most memorably Jake Hess. After years of doing encores with the Statesmen, when he started his own group, the Imperials, in 1964, one of the rules he made for the group was that they would never do an encore. He thought that if a song didn’t get all the response it deserved the first time through, a second time wouldn’t help things.
What place do (or should) encores have in our genre?
I’m personally in favor of (at least some) encores, though I think they may be over-used. They are best when there is some spontaneity involved—i.e., the Perrys encoring “Who am I,” “God Walks the Dark Hills,” or “Did I Mention” acapella, or Arthur Rice holding a note nearly forever, before the band kicks in for an encore of “What We Needed.”
What do you think?