Survey: Familiarity with Other Genres: Results

The results are in!

Thank you to the 224 of you who took this survey. Here’s a PDF with the complete results: Summary. For the visually inclined, here’s a graph:



  • Even though Inspirational Music as a genre essentially no longer exists, at least as it was known from the mid-70s through mid-90s, my hunch was correct: Its numbers are the strongest outside of Southern Gospel itself.
  • There were only four artists with 100% name ID: Gold City, Legacy Five, Sandi Patti, and Carrie Underwood.
  • Over half of the responses came during the first 24 hours. Most of you who answered right off were this site’s loyal readers , before other sites linked here and sent their readers over to join in the fun. I bring that up because, for over 24 hours after the survey’s launch, all seven of the Southern Gospel artists had 100% name ID.
  • Familiarity with CCM was about where I expected. Casting Crowns and Jars of Clay were the only two artists where double digit percentages of you own one or more of their projects. On the other side of the spectrum,Β  roughly 4/5 of this site’s readers have never heard a song by Francesca Battiselli, who just won a Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year (and 68% have never heard of her, at least till now).
  • I had to smile at the remarkably low numbers for Inspirational artist Annie Herring. Her “never heard of” numbers would probably be half as high if I’d mentioned the group she fronted, the 2nd Chapter of Acts. (I named her individually because her solo work was Inspirational, while the group work was early CCM.)
  • This blog has a reader with a complete collection from the infamous rapper Eminem?
  • One figure jumps out from the SG section: Double-digit percentages, more than twice as much as the next closest, have never heard a song by the Collingsworth Family!

Any other observations from these numbers?

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36 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. “One figure jumps out from the SG section: Double-digit percentages, more than twice as much as the next closest, have never heard a song by the Collingsworth Family!”

    That’s because – and I’ve said this for awhile now – while the Collingsworth Family has a HUGE fanbase and can outsell just about every group out there, they’ve yet to really infiltrate the Southern Gospel market. They’re getting there – but it’s been a slow process for them! Their fanbase isn’t the Southern Gospel fanbase – it’s a separate group of people that don’t normally listen to SG.

    It’s interesting how that works sometimes. Another group that is like that is the King’s Heralds.

    • I think you have a good point there, since Phil & Kim did tour for 20 years before starting to break into Southern Gospel.

  2. I also think it’s funny that people marked that they have 5+ projects of acts like NEEDTOBREATHE and Tenth Avenue North when neither of those bands have 5+ projects…

    Also, I don’t think Battistelli and Tenth Avenue North were the best choices for the survey considering both only have one album under their belt.

    • Well, I didn’t know that. πŸ™‚

      So that I could pull representative and significant artists from the other genres, I just chose nominees from their genre’s awards shows. I’d never so much as heard the name needtobreathe, but I figured that at least Battistelli was a reasonable choice due to being the Female Vocalist of the Year.

      • Sorry, I meant “heard the name Tenth Avenue North,” but the statement is true either way.

      • Needtobreathe – the Group of the Year winner
        Tenth Avenue North – the Song of the Year winner

        You’ve not even heard of these bands? Hearing a song is one thing – but hearing OF them?

      • True. I don’t recall hearing their names until preparing the survey.

        I used to follow CCM pretty closely, but that was until I discovered Southern Gospel (and found out that there were actually albums out there where I might like all ten songs, instead of just one or two songs at the end)!

        After discovering Southern Gospel in 2004, I just haven’t bothered to keep close tabs on CCM. So if someone was really big prior to 2004, I’ve probably heard of them, otherwise, probably not.

  3. That is SO interesting! I’m dissapointed I missed taking part. πŸ™

    • You could sign up for email updates of posts (see right below the search box) so you don’t miss important posts in the future. πŸ™‚

      • I missed it too! I’ll go sign up for the email updates πŸ˜‰

      • Awesome – thanks!

      • Or you can just obsessively check the blog and the comments feed throughout the day ………….

        (I extremely limit my browsing on the internet, so I pore over the sites I do allow myself to check regularly.)

      • I’m honored to be on your shortlist!

  4. Daniel,

    Thanks again for the survey & interesting results. If anyone would like to listen to some samples of some of the CCM artists please visit my blog at

    You can compare all the Dove Song of the Year nominees in one place!

  5. I was a little surprised at how “poorly” bluegrass did in the survey. But with the choices, I can see why. The ones listed (with the exception of DL&Q) aren’t the ones that have major gospel crossover appeal. I think SG fans know a good bit of bluegrass, but are more likely to know about the Primitives obviously, the Rochesters, and someone like Ricky Skaggs or Rhonda Vincent. Skaggs and Vincent are both still pretty big in the mainstream bluegrass world, but weren’t up for the big awards this year.

    • Brian – That’s why I went with major nominees, to avoid “with the choices” stuff. πŸ™‚

      I’m not bothered at all – just giving you a hard time! πŸ™‚

      • I would have made the choices the same way you did, for consistency’s sake.

      • OK, neat. πŸ™‚

        Of course if I was going with all-Gospel groups like the Isaacs or Primitives that are probably as well known if not better known in SG than Bluegrass, I would have expected numbers comparable to the SG groups.

  6. Hey Daniel I just wanted to check on you. There’s not a post up for 4/28. Why Daniel why?

    • I might be a genius, but this morning I guess I was a scatterbrained genius! πŸ˜€

    • Yeah, I was tempted to post “Are you OK”! πŸ™‚

  7. I found it interesting that 9.4% of respondants owned at least 1 ac/dc project.

    Think of how far apart SG and ac/dc are in both style and message and yet almost 10% of respondants have at least some affinity for that genre (as well as all the others including rap).

    I point this out (and i think your survey is genius in illustrating) because the SG community can bury their head in their attitude towards their audience but need to realize they are more diverse than they think.

    great survey.

    btw-i read via rss subscription and this is the only SG blog i read to keep in touch with the genre. just fyi.

    • That is an interesting point. I hadn’t noticed that number.

      David – any thoughts on why some of the rock artists might have higher numbers than the CCM artists? Could it be what some of the readers liked back in their young and wild days, and now that they’ve settled down, they like Southern Gospel, skipping what one might think would be a natural intermediary step?

      I’m honored you use this site to keep up with the genre!

      • “Could it be what some of the readers liked back in their young and wild days, and now that they’ve settled down, they like Southern Gospel, skipping what one might think would be a natural intermediary step?”

        That’s not it at all. Secular rock groups like AC/DC not only sell huge numbers of product on a global scale, they’ve also been around for decades.

        Sure, you’re asking Southern Gospel fans, which is why the CCM figures are as high as they are, but it’s not surprising at all that more SG fans are familiar with and even own an AC/DC recording vs. a group like needtobreathe who formed in 2000 and didn’t have a major label release until 2006.

        (Yes, I realize you were asking a different David! :o)

      • Interesting.

        So do you think most SG fans who have an AC/DC project got it at the same time they were an SG fan, or before?

      • My guess (about half tongue-in-cheek) – Those were Avery’s readers. πŸ˜›

      • I like it. πŸ™‚

      • I couldn’t say.

        I can only speak for myself. I’ve acquired my entire collection of LPs, cassettes, and CDs since “becoming” a Southern Gospel fan. Actually, there’s never been a time I can remember that I wasn’t a fan of Southern Gospel. I don’t own any AC/DC, though.

      • I posted a reply, but it didn’t show…testing again.

      • Alrighty…maybe this one will work.

        To answer your question…I don’t know.

        I do know that with my own collection, everything in it has been added since I “became” a Southern Gospel fan at the age of five or so.

        I don’t own any AC/DC, though…or any of those artists in your Rock category.

      • sorry took so long to reply. i have no idea about anyone else so i’ll just speak for myself.

        i grew up in church-raise on SG. Love it. But I also grew up in the goold old US of A. Home of country music, rock and roll, and BBQ. I can like more than one thing at a time.

        I think most people are that way. When I ride in other people’s cars it is a habit to ask if i can scanj their cd collection. They are always diverse in styles. Very rarely do I find someone who only listens to one style of music.

        Now to get SG in the mix though-you have to have had a particular connection to it somehow. The other genres are very popular.

  8. David, when did you acquire your collection? Do you own any AC DC? πŸ˜‰

    • I don’t have anything by AC/DC, but I have recordings by Genesis, Billy Joel, Bruce Hornsby, Yes, and Michael Jackson.

    • i think you were asking the other david but yes i do have ac/dc. both before and after i enjoyed SG. in fact their new album is one of their best and i saw them on tour last year.

      and they used a live band with no trax. πŸ™‚

  9. I don’t either, but I have Journey, Reo Speedwagon, Survivor, Chicago, Peter Cetera, Michael Bolton, Lionel Ritchie, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, Elton John etc.