“John in the Jordan” at #1 on multiple charts

Signature Sound’s current single has climbed to the #1 spot on several different charts, most notably the May 2007 Singing News radio airplay chart. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.] (SN posts their airplay charts a month before the press date of the magazine.) It is also #1 this month on the Powersource, American Christian Top 40, and Gospel News singles charts. According to promoter Rick Hendrix, “‘John in the Jordan’ has become the first song in history to capture the # 1 spot on 4 leading trade magazines in the same calling period.”

When I first saw pictures of Signature Sound, I wasn’t too sure about their spiked hair and generally modern appearance. But hearing their sound won me over; underneath the spiked hair and short ties, they are vocally a traditional male quartet–and one of the best.

It has been fun to sit back and watch a Southern Gospel quartet succeed. They have found their niche, and they are utilizing it well.

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41 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. From the post above: “the first song in history to capture the # 1 spot on 4 leading trade magazines in the same calling period.”

    So my question is:

    Since USGN ( US Gospel News ) has not published a chart since October of 2006 when Paul Boden passed away, I’m just curious how the publication could still be used in a press release like this? And Who/What is American Christian TOP40? I’ve never seen a copy of that leading trade magazine.

    I’m thrilled to see the well earned and well deserved success of artists like Ernie Hasse & Signature Sound but I have real concerns when the desire to create a “historical moment” is done with a press release that lacks credible information.

    Charles Brady
    Caraway Media Group

  2. You raise a good question.

  3. I believe the US Gospel News chart is meant to be Gospel News Chart (old habits die hard). I hardly think a mis-type (typo) makes something less credible. Perhaps one should do an inquiry into American Christian Top 40 before accusing.

  4. My apologies for the typo. I’ve gone back and fixed it.

  5. Daniel thanks for fixing that typo on USGN. Now maybe if Susan would fix it on her site most everyone would be sharing correct information.

    As for American Christian TOP40 I have looked and I can’t find a thing about this leading trade publication. Daniel if you could enlighten us I’d be interested in learning more about it. I mean, if it’s a leading trade magazine I want to know because I might want to subscribe to it.

    Here’s something else to think about.. What constitutes a “leading trade publication?” Would a printed publication with say 1000 paid subscribers really constitute a “leading trade publication?”

    For anyone who might be interested, we learned that a lot of the numbers that folks thought were real were in fact not real at all. For example, did you know that USGN had a total paid circulation of less than 4000 subscribers? The number was closer to 3500 and the folks from GMN could give you the exact figures. I have it in my files but I’m not at them today but it was closer to 3500 than it was to 4000.

    Now in the past I thought that the publication had upwards of 70,000 to 100,000 subscribers. When we were looking at purchasing the USGN those were the numbers we had in mind so you can imagine our shock to learn that the largest print runs were done for the Sept. NQC issue and that was less than 15,000 total copies being printed. Most months only 7500 copies were printed and most of those were shipped to artists for table distribution and free comp subscriptions.

    Our industry really is quite small but based on the ad rates I have seen you sure wouldn’t know it!

    I think the time has come for some real honesty and integrity in southern gospel and it really chaps me to see some of the junk that goes unchecked in our industry.

    And Susan I’d appreciate it if you’d fix that typo on your site about the USGN singles chart since it is not true.

    Charles Brady
    Caraway Media Group

  6. Google is your friend. I did a search for “American Christian Top 40”. The search yielded the following website, which is currently down for maintenance:

    [EDIT, 11/6/10: Regrettably, the link seems to be broken, so it has been removed.]

    Josh Akers, of the group Atoned, is the current webmaster.

  7. All sorts of references to American Christian Top 40 on Google [EDIT, 11/6/10: Regrettably, the link seems to be broken, so it has been removed.]

  8. And just when I thought EH&SS and Gaither were above cheap “news”. Great for them, but I wonder if they would have been first to achieve this honor if it had been back in a time when everyone in SG didn’t have their own chart? Do you think songs like ‘Excuses’ and others of days gone by that had big chart success would have done the same thing if there had been so many charts back then. Also, in any other industry, are there more than four charts that anyone would even recognize as legitimate? The true telling sign will be how long it stays there.

  9. I did the Google search before I ever made the first post. Based on the search results I couldn’t gain any clear indication of what/who American Christian TOP40 is. Is it a printed publication or an on-line publication? Is it even a publication or is it just another chart? Who can subscribe to it? I know where to get a subscription to Singing News and Powersource & I know that both are leading trade publications in southern & country gospel music but until today I have never heard of American Christian TOP40 so I am still struggling with how I could be in this industry and have missed this “leading trade publication” quoted in this press release.

    Would one of the Unthanks or Daniel or anyone who knows care to post the answer to the who/what the leading trade publication “American Christian TOP40” is?

    The website being down doesn’t help much!

    I did a WHOIS search on the domain name and didn’t find out anything useful since the domain was registered using a proxy.

    So since first learning of this “leading trade publication” I still don’t have a clue…….. (maybe that’s the point?)

  10. Charles,

    I don’t have a clue, either. I just saw it in the press release, which is posted on SoGospelNews and Singing News.

  11. Well….. My thought on this is pretty much unchanged. If you are going to run a “history making” press release it would sure be nice if the information regarding the history making event is accurate. I’m still looking for for those 4 “leading trade magazines.”

    I have heard of SGN Scoops before & Randy Stalls has a printed publication & I think Randall Wilds has a new printed publication but I don’t think any of those would attempt to pass themselves off as a “leading trade magazine” but I honestly have (NEVER) heard of the American Christian TOP40 Magazine. If it is real someone please let us know!

    Otherwise Daniel I’m going to send out a press release and make you Number 1 on that chart next month! LOL!!!!

    Charles Brady
    Caraway Media Group

  12. Ha! 😀 As you please…

    Coming from you, a relatively well-known source, I have this feeling some people would believe it!

  13. I believe the American Christian Top 40 is Randy Stalls’ chart. After the American Christian Music Magazine folder last year, Randy Stalls took over all their charting.

  14. That should read “folded” not “folder”. I was too quick with the “Post a Comment” button.

  15. WOW- how the typing fingers can get you in trouble. I accept full responsibility for the errors. When Hailey in my office typed the press release up-it was still up in the air on a couple of the trade magazines. I did correct the USGN to Singing News before it ran as the official GMN Top 100. The only thing we didn’t catch was in place of American Christian Top 40-who is now dark, it should have been Cashbox Magazine. Ernie Haase and Signature Sound are actually # 1 on 5 of these charts. But, we listed 4 because we knew ACTop40 was going dark as of April 2007. So, please accept my apologies for the errors and how they may have affected your opinion on this story. I am sure everyone here has an opinion about which magazines and artist are leaders. Southern Gospel is a small world and our leading charts are no where near the charts in other genres.But, mind you-Ernie Haase and Signature Sound have been number one on Billboard Magazine and the song “John in the Jordan” was also # 1 on Charles Brady’s RadioActive Weekly back a few months ago.
    Thanks you guys for helping sort this out.
    Rick Hendrix

  16. LOL!!! So according to the original press release I read, we have 2 now defunct “leading industry magazines” that were half the basis of this historical 4 chart event! You have to admit that is some funny stuff even in southern gospel!

    If it is Randy Stalls ( and Randy is a great guy ) then it should have read the CMP Chart shouldn’t it? I’ll have to buzz my NC buddy and see what the story is on his chart.

    Thanks Chris for clearing it up for me! I really had never heard that ACMTop40 name before today. Do you know who had the magazine before it folded?

    Charles Brady
    Caraway Media Group

  17. At the end of the day, who cares. EHSS is #1 in the leading trade publication for Southern Gospel music, Singing News. That is all that needed to be said. Every press release for EHSS doesn’t need to come with the word historic.

  18. Amen, Seaton.

    Enough of this nitpicking!

  19. Chart or no chart, I wish EH would say JORDAN and not JERDAN. Just my “nitpick” for the day.

  20. Amen jb. The first line makes me change stations, but evidently, according to my history book, I’m the only one who doesn’t like it.

  21. Make that 2 baritonHart…I don’t like it either.

  22. I tend to prefer straight-ahead quartet singing, but I’m okay with the bluesy feel on the first few lines. But I really like when the chorus kicks in, Tim Duncan starts off on the low notes, and some *real* quartet singing takes place. There’s too little real quartet singing on the airwaves today.

  23. I take back what I said earlier. Randy Stalls did not take over ACM charts, rather Rob Green did with Christian Music Weekly. I get the two mixed up often.

  24. I take back what I said earlier. Randy Stalls did not take over ACM charts, rather Christian Music Weekly did. I get the two mixed up often.

  25. I agree Daniel. There’s nothing better than good quartet singing. I don’t mind the bluesy intro, it’s just Ernie’s pronuctiation of “Jerdan”. Not that it’s wrong, but to me it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.

  26. Amen to jb and baritoneHart’s comments. I am discusted that a song with such obvious pronounciation errors is on any Southern Gospel station.
    All I can say is, what would the ‘greats’ of the past say about such sloppiness??
    For example, the Statesmen were the top group of their day because they spent countless hours praticing, polishing their sound till it became perfect. In no way did they acheive their legendary status by slurring words.
    To Signature Sounds shame, I’ll mention the professionalism of the Cathedrals. Would George or Glen have hired Ernie if he came to the Cathedrals from a group like Signature Sound??
    I would guess they would have never considered it.
    So no one misinterpets me, I’m not attacking Ernie, Glen or George in any way, shape, or form. But, I think Signature Sound has lowered their standards to far.

  27. Part of this is probably one’s background…coming from the north as I do, and being nearly completely unfamiliar with Southern accents when I started listening to Southern Gospel, Ernie Haase’s pronounciation is no more or less foreign to my ears than Jake Hess’s distinctive Southern Stylings. And over time, since I was determined to learn and enjoy Southern Gospel, I have come to appreciate both. 🙂

  28. When I first heard the song, I thought Ernie was doing it for effect. Didn’t Lari Goss produce this recording also? It would seem odd to me that someone of Goss’ caliber would just let him sing it that way other than for effect.

    And besides that – it’s just one song that already has a slightly different feel to it than most SG on the radio. Is not OK to just have a little fun sometimes? Sure, Ernie may pronounce a word wrong in this particular song, but if that’s all we have to complain about, surely they are doing most things RIGHT.

  29. In the past I have heard other Bluegrass artists use the term in songs that mentionJordan and also some black artists have used it as well. Since they were going for that feel I’m sure that is the reason. Really I think this is more of an attempt to cross Bluegrass and Black Gospel. Most folks from here in the south would know that! LOL!!! Chris why don’t you just ask Lari at church Sunday…. : )

  30. Ernie isn’t mispronouncing a word. In parts of the South Jordan is pronounced “Jerden”- The intro is just a part of including everyone in the song.Lari and Ernie made the song fun. They are a top notch act. Their work ethics and timeless attention to details is obvious. Its kinda sad that Mary would be so offended and lash out due to a line in a song. I am just glad the song was able to make # 1 by the rest of you folks. And I am SURE George and Glenn are looking down and are very proud of EHSSQ’s accomplishments and continued service to the call.

  31. Glen-sorry….

  32. Thanks for the comment Rick. You just confirmed what I had always thought about the song.

  33. Anyone remember “Shugg Jordan”…the legendary football coach of Auburn University?…His name was pronounced “Jerdan”…yes it’s a southern thing!
    …by the way: Go Razorbacks…Beat Auburn (like we did in 2006) !!!!!
    ps..Lari is a “Georgia boy”!

  34. Charles Brady said “other Bluegrass artists” have used the term ‘Jerdan’
    Maybe I’ve missed something, but when did EH&SS become a bluegrass group?
    My earlier comments weren’t just in reference to the 1st few lines. Because, no matter how many times I hear this song, I still can’t understand most of what they sing in the verses.
    Ernie and Tim’s cuts on the song are clear, but the lyrics that the other two sing in the verses are in my opinion,(I do have the right to state my opinion, even if most don’t agree) slurred beyond the point of understanding.

  35. I just love anything that Ernie and Signature Sound sing.

  36. Mary-try a new hearing aid 🙂

  37. Hey Everyone – this is Jerry Salley, co-writer of “John In The Jordan”. I am very honored that EHSSQ recorded our song and also very excited that it has done well in the charts. A friend of a friend told me about this website, and now I wish I hadn’t even looked at it. In my world, people I love and care about are dieing and in need of my time and attention. You are all absolutely entitled to your opinions, and it’s OK if you don’t like the song or the way they pronounce the word “Jordan”, but my goodness, don’t you have more important things to do than to sit around on a computer and criticize and tear down someone else’s success and happiness? Is this considered a Christian website?? If so, God help us. We were just trying to write a true story about a mother’s baptism. Sorry to cause so many negative feelings. I will not be visiting here again.
    Jerry Salley

  38. I emailed the following apology to Jerry Salley and wanted to publicly apologize here:


    Let me personally apologize that you were offended by some of the comments on my website. I disagree with those comments, enjoy the song, and (as I have said in various posts) was delighted to see it go to #1.

    Those who would moderate a public forum like this one face a difficult question: Do we only leave up comments that we like, or do we permit both sides of an issue to speak their mind. I have chosen, at least for now, to permit both sides to speak their mind in the comments, even when I disagree with them. I hope you can understand why I feel I need to do this.

    Again, I regret that you were offended. Perhaps if you just read the posts and ignore the comments, you will not be as offended in the future.

    I will also publicly apologize on the post comments in a minute.

    Daniel J. Mount

  39. Jerry,
    Don’t you have more important things to do that sit around on a computer (an interesting image) a criticize a website where people care enough about the song you wrote to voice their opinion? Maybe writing another song that gets people talking as much as this one has would be a m more productive use of your time.

    By the way, I prefer your version of the song, because you don’t imagine yourself to be a member of the Fairfield Four when you sing it like Ernie Haase does.

    I’m saying this with all candor, since I know you won’t be reading it.

  40. That’s not Duncan saying “Hey”…that’s a cameo appearance by Gaither. 🙂

  41. Uh, Gloria? lol


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