SoGospelNews announces Ovation Awards
SoGospelNews announced their Ovation Awards yesterday. [EDIT, 2/22/13: Broken link removed.] The Talley Trio and Gold City won the greatest number of awards.
The award results I find most surprising were in the Traditional Southern Gospel Album and Song of the Year categories. Gold City won both, with Revival and “Truth is Marching On,” respectively.
I find this surprising because I considered both the song and the album to be quite progressive. “Truth is Marching On” is a great song, and I particularly like Legacy Five’s rendition, but I simply cannot imagine one of the great groups of yesteryear fitting it into their style–Statesmen, Blackwood Brothers, Happy Goodmans, et cetera. To me, a traditional song in this genre is a song that is similar enough stylistically to earlier Southern Gospel songs that it could have been done thirty or forty years ago. That sort of song is good no matter when it’s done, no matter who does it. Don’t get me wrong, though; I have heard progressive songs I liked, “Truth is Marching On” being one of them.
After that, it shouldn’t surprise you to see how I define traditional albums: In my book, a traditional album is an album that is stylistically similar enough to earlier classic Southern Gospel projects that either the songs themselves or their arrangements leave no question that Bill Lyles or Mom Speer would have recognized it as a Southern Gospel project. Among projects released in the last year or so, I would consider Sounds of Sunday (Dixie Echoes), I Know (Inspirations), and Rock of Ages (Blackwood Brothers) to be good examples of traditional projects. Other good examples are Greater Vision’s Church Hymnal series and Signature Sound’s Great Gospel Songs of the Last Century series. The three albums and both series are instantly recognizable as classic Southern Gospel.
With one or two possible exceptions, Gold City’s album is more progressive than any of the several hundred projects in my collection. Now please understand that I am most certainly not equating “progressive” with “bad,” because it has some very nice ballads (“Preach the Word” and “Truth is Marching On”) come to mind, but I wonder what mistake led to its being listed in the traditional category (or, for that matter, what point of reference could make it seem traditional).