Availability of SG Downloads: Part 2

It has been suggested that piracy in Southern Gospel is a moot point because so few SG albums are available for digital download. I decided to check iTunes and eMusic to see what kind of selection they had.

In yesterday’s post, I indicated I thought I’d have my list done by yesterday afternoon. Well, it took a little longer than I thought. Here’s the list–17 pages in a pdf format.

Look it over and take in the scope and breadth of what you can find at just these two sites.

Is this a good selection? Yes.

Could it be improved? Yes. There are glaring omissions, especially from the Cathedrals repertoire. (Also, the Collingsworth family is about the only major Crossroads/Sonlite/Horizon artist not on eMusic, and I’d love to see them added.)

But there is also a surprisingly vast scope of material, from the 1940s through the present day, covering everything from the Inspirations to Signature Sound, from the Golden Gate Quartet to the Jody Brown Indian Family (JBIF).

If the ultimate goal is getting everything that has ever been recorded online and available for download, I grant that we still have a ways to go. That’s a worthy goal, at least if you stick to the worthy projects by decently good artists.

But I think it is safe to say that the argument that one must resort to illegal downloads because there isn’t much else doesn’t hold water.

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6 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I am shocked. It has been several months since I last tried downloads from the internet, and at that time nothing much was there. This is tremendous progress.

  2. The total of 17 pages is a little misleading — there is a lot of repetition (multiple listing of the same group). The page total could probably be reduced by half if that was taken into account.

  3. I meant to say in my previous post that combining the lists (eMusic & iTunes) would reduce the number of pages.

  4. Dean, your point is well taken. Of course, the list could also be expanded by going to other download sites.

  5. While this list is slightly longer than I expected to find, I still think the exploitation of outlets like iTunes and eMusic is low. A number of current groups on larger SG labels are represented, but what I have a difficult time finding are catalog titles.

    By this point in time, you’d think every out-of-print title in the Benson and Canaan catalogs would be available for download. This technology isn’t new any more. Every SG label with an extensive catalog of popular artists (Homeland, Benson, Canaan, etc.) should be exploiting this technology for residual income (the best kind) by now.

    It’s a no-brainer.

  6. The thought of the Homeland, Benson, and Canaan catalogs being made available has me excited. I would love to see that. I’d also like to see the Skylite label being made available again. Those albums are typically even harder to find than those from the three labels you named.

    You are, of course, fully right; we don’t have everything that we could have yet.