Sarah Palin to appear at NQC

This just in: Sarah Palin will be the featured keynote speaker at the National Quartet Convention on Thursday, September 16. NQC announced it on their (oddly enough, private) Facebook page and will post details tomorrow on

This prompts an odd thought: Thursday afternoon/evening is the old Singing News Fan Awards slot. Which event would draw a bigger crowd?

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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. That is hard to say. I think a lot of SG fans’ politics align with hers, not all. I doubt if those who go to NQC and disagree with her WON’T stop going because of her, I don’t know it it will attract a lot of new folks to NQC who don’t normally go. At least not return visits. They might get some people in there for the first time, but unless they have a way of hitting them with the music at the same time and hoping to get new fans who might take to SG, it might be a one time thing. You do have to give them credit for trying something different whether it works or not.

    • “You do have to give them credit for trying something different whether it works or not.”

      I like the way you put that.

  2. Sadly, they already have my money for Thursday, so I hope that the ex-Governor is given an afternoon slot. This will probably be my last trip to this event. I go to hear music. [edit]

  3. It seems like this will be more for the benefit of Sarah Palin’s political career than any sort of tie-in with Southern Gospel.

    At least Mike Huckabee can play a bass guitar.

    • Yeah, if Mike Huckabee was showing up, playing a couple of Gospel songs with a live band, and then talking for a while, I’d definitely go to that (despite the talking for a while part).

  4. It is not a bad move by the NQC.
    Now it opens the door for many possibilities.
    One possibility is inviting Pastor Huckabee bringing his guitar to sing and can relate to 90% of the crowd from a ministry viewpoint.
    NQC should invite a well known Democrat to speak at the convention this year or in 2011 in the spirit of fairness.
    As for 2012, let’s not go there.
    Mixing politics and church is not a very good idea.

    • I’m sorry to disagree with you when you say that it is not a bad move by the NQC. I think it sets a terrible precedent. I am not the least bit interested in seeing any politicians speak at NQC and will not buy a ticket to do so. Can anybody tell me how this could possibly be related to Southern Gospel music?

  5. A note to the commenter who posted at 6:07 A.M. with a fake or at least invalid email address:

    I can understand your viewpoint; however, there is a rule regarding
    comments on my site that even comments that are not positive have to be
    constructive in some form or fashion. Could you possibly find a way to
    re-phrase that?

  6. I too am disappointed. I wonder if Mrs. Palin will draw a bigger crowd at NQC than she’ll get this very week, when she is the keynote speaker at the national convention for the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.

    I guess it is all about drawing as many people as they can, though.

    Is this “keynote speaker” at NQC a new thing, and if not, who filled the role last year?

    • They have had afternoon preachers like Dr. Charles Stanley and David Jeremiah, I believe.

      • That’s what I thought.

        I was going to post something else, but I reconsidered. I’ll just say you should never try to replace the Word of God with something that might draw more people.

  7. When I first saw this headline, I thought “Oh my, Daniel is 5 days late with his April Fools Day joke!”

    • I did at first think it was a joke too.

      • Well, Q-man, I still kinda think it’s a joke!

      • I actually went to the Facebook page before posting last night.

  8. Well, honestly, I’m not impressed with the decision to feature Sarah Palin at NQC. But I’m also not impressed with Dino, the Brooklyn Tab Chior, or any of the other non-southern gospel side shows featured there. I go to NQC for southern gospel music, and I think that can be handled amply by the folks who do southern gospel full-time. For the board to feel the need to produce dog-and-pony shows or bring in outsiders in an attempt to attract more visitors or make more money says a lot to the fact that we must not value our music standing on its own merits–and that is probably the perception outsiders have of us, too, sadly. Unless southern gospel music is presented in a professional way during Sarah Palin’s presentation, I honestly see no reason to have her there. I agree with most of Ms. Palin’s views, and I think she was probably the best candidate for the presidency when we voted last time, but I don’t think a full-fledged showcase devoted to a speech and Q/A session is the best use of NQC’s time, if the goal of NQC is to promote southern gospel music.

    • Brady, I agree. Palin, Brook-tab, Dino… I like them all, but I don’t want to hear them at NQC…

      • Does anyone get the feeling that maybe the board has a confidence problem in many of the groups that are at NQC? It seems with the numerous amounts of groups with booths that there should be more than enough ‘talent’ on hand to fill all the time slots and showcases without resorting to ‘outside’ sources.

      • Not necessarily. Part of what the board wants to accomplish is attract new fans, bring new people in the doors who haven’t ever been there before.

        And, with this, I think I would at least give them points for trying.

        I predict it will be standing-room only.

    • Maybe they should just have invited Sarah to come sit in the audience and let people know that she is there. Then she could enjoy the music if she truly does. There are so many more Artist that should have gotten more recognition. Dino has nothing to do with Southern Gopel Music either and didn’t agree when he took over the Pianorama. It should have been someone like Gerald Wolfe. Just too many changes have happened in the last few years, just to get more people to come to the NQC.

  9. I am very conservative and have no problem with her in that area. I have a HUGE problem with her at nqc. She does not represent sg music and her stump speeches do not promote jesus (even though she is a christian). Nqc is way off base here and will damage itself in the process. Preach Jesus , not politics. Political parties didn’t hang on the cross and die for me!

    • “Political parties didn’t hang on the cross and die for me!”

      WOW! I might use that one.

    • I agree: I don’t have a problem with her, I just have a problem with her AT NQC. Not the place for politics.

  10. Well, while a lot of southern gospel fans’ and artists’ views are decidedly in line with Ms. Palin’s, as mine are, I know there is probably a good number of folks on the other side of the aisle. And unless NQC wants to also play host to giving a Democrat the platform for an hour, I fear they are going to trouble the waters of their fan base. It could mean more harm than good. I certainly hope that the NQC board doesn’t have their collective head in the sand and think that everyone holds the same beliefs that they do. And I like Brian’s comment above–you should never replace the word of God (spoken or sung) with something that might draw more people. Well-said.

    • Brady makes a very erstwhile comment. Politics should have no place at a singing convention. NQC has done much harm to its brand by letting the Fan Awards go and now by doing this. Our democracy is based on equality for all, and to have a Republican speaker and not present one with differing viewpoints is not equality.

      • Let’s be glad that singing conventions are not bound by equality laws, otherwise we’d have to give Christian and atheist singers equal time!

  11. Well, there are certainly many more views and points to be made about this turn of events. I have two more thoughts on the subject.

    First, I think of our genre and music and message as being about the love of God drawing people closer together. NQC has always been, for me, about coming together and seeing groups or individuals you may not see any other time of year and all of us having that one love for the music as the common factor. So, for it, in my mind, to be an event that has typically had a unifying spirit, it would seem that the move to have Ms. Palin at NQC could do just the direct opposite.

    Second, I find it ironic that it appears NQC is trying to replace an awards show that featured some southern gospel music and lots of talking and speeches with…um… southern gospel music and…lots of talking and speeches.

  12. The Palin appearance is NOT replacing the Fan Awards. Fan Awards were on Saturday night, this is Thursday during the day.

    To say that this is replacing them would be saying that they had a chance to get Palin therefore pushed out Singing News and gave her their time slot. None of this happened.

    She is simply being brought in as a new showcase. Nowhere does any release mention that she is speaking on politics. That is all speculation. It is possible for someone well known to speak on their faith.

    I presume there will be many in attendance that will be glad that she is there. Southern Gospel Fans will find fault in absolutely anything. If there’s no change, then we complain about it. If something new is tried, we complain. My guess is if George Beverly Shea were to have a showcase, the fans would complain that the time should have went to a SG soloist.

    Speaking of Faith and Religion shouldn’t matter which person gives it. Whether they share your denomination or sing in your favorite group. Speaking of Faith would be like giving her testimony. Why is that such a bad thing?

    • MV – Good thoughts.

      Let me say one thing: When I posted this original post, it was not clear whether she would be in an afternoon showcase or an evening concert, in the old Fan Awards slot.

      I did try to clarify that with today’s post—which, incidentally, only has two comments, now that all this is cleared up! 🙂

  13. Bad idea…politics is one of these things people escape listening to music in general…and southern gospel in particular.
    I still would attend though…


  14. Well, at least the speech won’t be during the evening concert.

  15. I am really surprised to hear that Sarah Palin will be at the NQC. What does she really have to do with Southern Gospel Music? The NQC has changed in recent years and with many of the changes they have looked to find new ways of drawing large crowds. This indeed is one of them, but politics shouldn’t be mixed in with it. If she is going to be speaking about her faith and family then I really think people like Gloria Gaither or Anne Graham Lotz would have been a better choice. Will Sarah also be selling her book at the NQC? This too would be out of taste. It just is wrong to mix politics with religion.

    • Right or wrong, one has to admit it’s nothing new in Southern Gospel. Artists make politically conscious statements and sing politically conscious songs all the time.

  16. I guess nobody on here thinks it’s possible for a former politician to have anything to say besides politics? They do have more to their life than that. God is bigger than any political standing, and just maybe she will do what they have announced she is there to do….talk about faith and not politics?

    and another thought…

    since her being in the middle of the day is too much for so many of you, since there are other things to go do, and you don’t like the idea of her being there with no connection to SG, I would actually prefer her to be placed in the middle of the night performance… WHY YOU MIGHT ASK?, it’s not at all because I want to hear her talk during the concert… it is because, since it’s obvious outsiders will be buying tickets just to come see her, if she were during the night concert, they would HAVE to hear some of the singing, in anticipation of her being on stage, they would be exposed to SG music. Now that would really be a witnessing opportunity! But I’m sure nobody would be able to stand that. What if just 1 of the outsiders who come to see her during the day attends any other event and comes to know the Lord. would it not be worth it just for that one? If having her there could bring somebody to the event and to the saving knowledge of Christ, I would honestly rather pay your way to stay at home, just to have the opportunity of leading someone to the Lord at this event. And if you disagree, I really feel bad for you.

    • Great point.

      While a higher percentage of Palin’s fan base is Christian than of the whole population, she does have numerous fans who aren’t.

      • … and not all Christians listen to SG music. Many people still consider it old and outdated. If you put a few quality quartets/trios in those slots around Palin… maybe that could be good. ??

  17. You should also realize that back in the day candidates hired groups to sing for them. Others stumped for candidates. Also, James Blackwood either ran for office under the Democratic banner or at least was offered to and considered it, I am not sure which.

  18. I meant to also say Governor Jimmie Davis, anyone?

    • 🙂

      Also, didn’t someone with Inspirations ties get elected to U.S. Congress?

  19. I think Hatfort speeking arrangment will be better for Gov. Sarah Palin to speak to Americans not NQC

  20. I just found out about the event. This is such a sad move on NQC’s part, quite polarizing.


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