Could They Make It? Entry 4: Susan Boyle

A few weeks ago, I started a series of posts about soloists and groups from other genres, asking if they had what it took to make it in this one.

Part of my original plan was to get around to Susan Boyle, who became an overnight Internet sensation thanks to this video, eventually on a slow news day.

The announce of her debut album, entitled (to nobody’s surprise) I Dreamed a Dream, has pushed this up the priorities list. Sound clips, up on her website, show that the track list will include “How Great Thou Art” and “Silent Night.” Just yesterday—oddly—the track list also included, and included a clip of, “Amazing Grace.”

So . . . does SuBo have what it takes to make it as a Southern Gospel soloist, to stand alongside the likes of Ivan Parker and Mark Bishop, in the unlikely event she should choose to try?

Pros: Stylistically, her choice of instrumentation isn’t that far off from what our genre uses—piano-driven reflective songs, and big orchestrated ballads.

Cons: I can’t think of any besides, perhaps, her personality. She cracked under the stress of the Britain’s Got Talent final in a pretty public way. Granted, there is nothing quite so stressful in our genre, but an NQC mainstage meltdown is not what our genre needs! Other than that, I don’t see her use of vibrato as a drawback; after all, our genre has had its share of singers who employ vibrato extensively, notably James and Jimmy Blackwood.

So what’s your call?

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8 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Welll…she’s very talented!! Happy to here there’s going to be hymns on her new album…because a whole lot of people will buy it. Don’t know if I can see her sings SGM though. She’s well – I guess highstrung…actually I don’t know how she’s going to do with the whole “showbiz” thing in general.

  2. I feel that Susan has a beautiful voice, and I am pleased to see that she has chosen, or her producer has chosen to include some hymns on her album. Although, if you notice the hymns chosen are considered “Classics”, and Susan coming from a Catholic background would be familiar with those particular songs. I really cannot see Susan as a SGM soloist, as it is a totally different genre for her.
    I also really wonder if she is just a passing fade, based on her mental stability, she has had several meltdowns, and from what I have read, everything is fine as long as she is in the spotlight and everything is going her way. But once the pressure hits, as we all know it will in that kind of business, will she be able to withstand it…..

    • If the hymns are the ones listed on her website…then I would consider them classics.

  3. i LOVE her voice. i don’t see her as so-go material at all, but that doesn’t stop me from listening. thanks for the link to her song list…i’ve been listening to the clips, and i love them! one sort of so-go song i’d absolutely love to hear her do is “no more night.” ahh…i know i’d have goosebumps on that one!!

  4. Speaking of vibratos, don’t forget Denver Crumpler. About the time we think that we don’t like something in particular, someone comes along and makes it work.

    • I wish I had more recordings of Denver. I only have one or two on compilations, nowhere near enough for me to really know the level of talent he was—though, I must say, YouTube and sound clips on his son’s website have gone a long way toward persuading me he was the best tenor they ever had.

      • Go to

  5. …not gonna happen.