Canaan Records Returning?

According to, Canaan Records is returning to Southern Gospel. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.] It will again be a division of Word, as it was before.
Of course, in the old days, it was Southern Gospel’s premier label, featuring names like the Cathedrals, the Florida Boys, the Happy Goodmans, the Kingsmen, the Inspirations, and pretty nearly anybody who was anybody.

If they can manage to land a few artists who are even half as good as their previous roster, they’ll have a great label. The Florida Boys, the Hoppers, and the Blackwood Brothers (Jimmy’s group) are three artists presently without a label, and the Chuck Wagon Gang may be (depending on the status of Song Garden). I’m not going to name other names, but I can think of several other artists presently with other labels that would benefit from Word’s marketing connections.

Word probably dumped the Canaan album because it thought Southern Gospel was the past. So the best part of all this news is it shows that Southern Gospel isn’t dead yet. Maybe our best days are still ahead.

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13 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Hmmm, I thought this was still in the planning stages. I’ve heard of a couple artists that are in talks – but am in no place to state those names for obvious reasons.

    This will only benefit SG. Hopefully, Canaan can take the spot that Spring Hill left vacant.

  2. Chris, that Spring Hill comment does bring to mind a few other names, most prominently the Booth Brothers. I’m not sure who they’re with right now.

  3. The Booth Brothers aren’t with anyone right now.

  4. You wrote:
    “Of course, in the old days, it was Southern Gospel’s premier label, featuring names like the Cathedrals, the Florida Boys, the Happy Goodmans, the Kingsmen, the Inspirations, and pretty nearly anybody who was anybody.”

    So I suppose the stable of artists from Skylite and Heart Warming were chopped liver? Let’s see. . . that would include the Speer Family, Oak Ridge Boys, Imperials, Blackwood Brothers, Rambos, Downings, Statesmen (although they did have one CD on Canaan in the 90s), Gaithers, JD & the Stamps, Masters V, and perhaps the best two albums ever released by your beloved Cathedrals.

    If I were placing artists on a scale, I’d say that “pretty nearly anybody that was anybody” weren’t necessarily recording on the Canaan label.

    Did they have a good group of artists? Yes. “Southern gospel’s premier label in the old days”? Nope. I just don’t buy it.

  5. John, I love it when you stop by and comment! It’s always a unique and informative perspective.

    Incidentally–and I only bring this up since you’re the master of SG trivia–the Oak Ridge Boys do have an entry in the Canaan Discography, if I’m not mistaken – Together With the Harvesters (CAS-9625).

  6. Thanks Daniel for your nice words.

    Oh! Were the Oak Ridge Boys REALLY the Oak Ridge Boys when Hamill was in the group? LOL! Sorry. Just a little sarcastic comment there. . .

    You are correct that the Oak Ridge Boys “Together With the Harvesters” was released on the Canaan label. It’s a nice album. However, like several of the earliest Canaan albums, this is a reissued project first released on Arthur Smith’s Festival label. It was reissued when the Harvesters Quartet moved to Canaan for their final two albums.

  7. Okay. Thanks for the clarification! 🙂

  8. Hey, John, I say that Canaan Records was “one” of the premier labels back then. With groups like the Happy Goodmans, the Florida Boys, the Couriers, the Harvesters, the LeFevres, and yes even the Tall Men Quartet, they were at least on par with Skylite, Sing, and HeartWarming Records.

  9. I am curious as to if they still own the masters to the old Canaan projects and would release them on CDs?

  10. Does anyone remember Marvin Norcross?

  11. Phil – I hope so! I also hope they’d make them available as digital downloads.

    GospelHog – I’ve heard about him. I’m too much of a newcomer to remember him personally.

  12. When I first read Deon’s comment, I thought he was being serious!