2007: Stories of the Year

  1. Roger Bennett passes away. If I’m not mistaken, Roger Bennett was the only person this year to successfully crash the Singing News server. While numerous performers passed away this year, Bennett was still a (recording) member of a top-tier group and had been keeping the Southern Gospel community steadily updated on his progress through his blog.
  2. Florida Boys retire. While the story might not have attracted as much attention as Roger Bennett’s passing, it will go down as one of the most significant stories of the year. The Florida Boys’ 60-year tradition of fine Gospel singing came to an end. It will be interesting to watch what comes of the name next year.
  3. Jim Hamill dies. Although he’d been (mostly) off of the road for several years, Hamill’s contributions to making the Kingsmen one of the top groups of their era make this one of the year’s top stories.
  4. (tie) Palmetto State Quartet restructures.
    (tie) Mercy’s Mark restructures. It would be a hard call to say which was a bigger story; both groups had shown promise with previous lineups but had been struggling before (in both cases) all the group members except for the manager left. I took the easy way out and declared it a tie.
  5. Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet disbands. Though they’d struggled for several years (since their founder, Robbie Hiner, came off the road) this quartet got off to a very strong and promising start, and based largely on that, I was sorry to see them go.

I think these were the top 5 (6) stories this year.

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  1. I think the retirement of the Crabb Family was one of the top stories also. Although they were riding a very fine line the last few years in the Southern Gospel world, they still produced #1 after #1 .

  2. Despite how far they’d moved from traditional Southern Gospel, I would still have included them in my top 5 if the announcement and the actual final concert had happened in the same year.

    But since the announcement–in my opinion, the bigger story–happened last year, that diluted the impact of the story.

    You might check how much blog / forums fan discussion there was over their final concert. Perhaps count how many websites even mentioned it.

    Almost all the discussion happened last year, over the announcement.

  3. I agree with the order you have put the stories in. It will be interesting to see what happens to PSQ and MMQ.

    I also think that one of the reasons the Crabb Family “retirement” was less of a story this year was because the individuals had pretty much transitioned to other ministries before the final concert took place.

  4. Good list – and certainly Roger Bennett’s death is the lead story – and saddest.

    Regarding #4 – my gut feeling is that MMQ will not be heard from again. Garry Jones deserves a good run – but it is very tough starting from scratch – as Dan Keaton will certainly find out.

    Regarding PSQ – I am very saddened. I feel their most recent recording was the best ever. It is a “really good” SG recording. I am anxious to hear the new PSQ.