Random Biblical Group Names: The Contest

Last week, I asked:

It appears that, in other genres, picking rather random group names is currently considered to be cool, and has been for quite some time. What if Southern Gospel groups were to use the idea, but use Random Biblical names? (In all seriousness, this will probably never happen, and it might not be a good thing if it did. But mentioning ideas for random Biblical group names could make for a fun discussion.)

Quite the discussion ensued. So many incredible suggestions, both serious and funny, were offered that it makes sense to highlight some of the best (or funniest) by spotlighting ten of the best and asking you all to pick a favorite.

  • Dry Feet in Jordan
  • Five Smooth Stones
  • Floating Axeheads
  • Golden Calf Milkshakes
  • Heights of Nebo
  • Malchus Ears
  • Outrunning Peter
  • Pilate Error
  • Red Sea Splitters
  • Rent in Twain

Vote by posting a comment naming up to two names. Whichever name gets the most votes will win; I will email the person who submitted the favorite entry and offer them a CD from my current stack of duplicate CDs as a prize. Voting will be open for 24 hours, through 7:30 AM Eastern Time tomorrow morning; any votes submitted after the deadline will not count.

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SouthernGospelBlog.com Sixth Anniversary Contest ends this evening

Just a quick reminder: Tonight (midnight Eastern Time) is the deadline for submitting your answers to the SouthernGospelBlog.com Sixth Anniversary contest.

It seems that I made the contest far too hard; while multiple people have submitted answers to multiple of the pairings, nobody has turned in a complete response yet. So an incomplete response could still win this contest. 🙂

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SouthernGospelBlog.com Six-Year Anniversary Contest: Three(?) Degrees of Separation

The Idea

Wikipedia defines the concept of Six Degrees of Separation as “the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.”

Yesterday, reader Friday Night Revival suggested turning the concept into a contest: Take two people and see how many connections you need to connect one with the other. The person with the fewest total connections wins! Since our genre is so tightly knit that internal pairings would be quite easy, we’ll pair Southern Gospel celebrities with non-Southern Gospel celebrities.

To make things even more exciting, we’ll have a tie-breaker with the opposite goal. (More on that shortly.)

The winner will receive the following CDs: The Soldier’s Song (Squire Parsons), Forever Changed (Kingdom Heirs), The Song In My Heart (Mark Bishop), From the Smokies (Inspirations).

The Rules

To have a level playing field, here are a couple of rules:

  • Every connection must be a person (i.e., “both have been featured in Singing News,” “both recorded with Daywind,” and “both appeared at NQC 1987” don’t count).
  • Bill and Gloria Gaither cannot be used as connections. 🙂 [EDIT: Just to clarify something which may not have been clear enough from the first two: Neither can joint appearances at a Gaither Homecoming video or concert. Joint appearances on an artist recording, i.e. as a guest vocalist, do, however, count.]
  • Group members used as connections must have been in the group at the same time.
  • Any questions over the validity of a connection will be settled at the sole discretion of the SouthernGospelBlog.com staff.
  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time next Monday evening. The winner will be announced Tuesday morning.

The Examples

When submitting your results, offer a few words to explain each connection. Here’s a sample challenge: Michael Booth > Jim Hamill

Here’s a valid answer: 1. Michael Booth > 2. Lari Goss (produced Booth Brothers’ album Declaration) > 3. Glen Payne (sang on Lari Goss-produced album Symphony of Praise) > 4. Lily Weatherford (sang with Glen Payne in Weatherfords) > 5. Jim Hamill (sang with Lily Weatherford in Weatherfords)

But here’s an answer that would put you closer to winning: 1. Michael Booth > 2. Ron Booth (sang with Michael in Booth Brothers) > 3. Jim Hamill (sang with Ron in Rebels Quartet)

The Contest

Connect these pairs of individuals with the fewest number of valid connections, and submit your results to editor@southerngospeljournal.com. (Do not post them in the comments!)

  1. Jeff Chapman > Steve Green
  2. Connie Hopper > Steven Curtis Chapman
  3. Pat Barker > Mike Huckabee
  4. Libbi Perry Stuffle > Arthur Blessitt (evangelist)
  5. Andrew Goldman > Alan Jackson
  6. Ernie Haase > Bishop T.D. Jakes
  7. George Younce > George Szell (legendary conductor of Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra)
  8. Channing Eleton > Harry Truman
  9. Vestal Goodman > Nancy Pelosi

The Tiebreaker

In case multiple people tie for the fewest total connections, here’s a tie-breaker: Take legends and fellow Cathedrals members Glen Payne and George Younce, and see how long a chain of connections you can create to connect them! 

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SouthernGospelBlog.com Six-Year Anniversary Contest: Ideas

SouthernGospelBlog.com celebrated our sixth full year of daily posts and began our seventh during NQC week earlier this month. As usual, we were too busy with NQC coverage to whip up any contests or other celebrations that week. Now that we’ve had time for the commotion to all die down, let’s do one!

There’s only one catch. We don’t have any great contest ideas this time around. Do any of you have an idea for a Southern Gospel-related contest that (a) isn’t particularly hard to set up logistically, and (b) is one that a high percentage of readers would be able to take part in? Of ideas that fit those criteria, we’ll pick the one that, in our judgment, is the most unique.

To the person with the best idea: There’s a prize for you, too! Even if you don’t win the contest you dreamed up, we’ll still give you a CD. We’ll send you a list of a couple of duplicate CDs we have in our collection, and you can pick one that you don’t already have.

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NQC 2012, Day 3: Live Blog

Our NQC live blog posts take shape through the evenings.

Moment of the Night

It’s hard to pace a four-song set at NQC. Start fast? Start slow? Finish fast? Finish slow?

The Mark Trammell Quartet’s set was perfectly paced. They started with the peaceful, relaxed “Gentle Shepherd.” They picked up the pace with “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” sung as a tribute to the Couriers (whom Mark saw at his first National Quartet Convention, 35 years ago). Then Mark introduced Pat Barker. It’s clear that the NQC audience loves him; he just had to say Pat’s name, and the audience let out a cheer.

Now, we’re talking about a song that’s a recent #1 hit. It’s the most successful radio single the group has to date. It’s also huge for them live. Pat conveyed the song with passion and confidence, and the audience responded in such a big way that two encores seemed like too little, not too much.

You might think that would be the highlight of their set. But you would be wrong.

“The King is Coming” was the moment of the night.

I have many versions of the song, including the Speer Family’s landmark live 1972 version on Jesus Sound Explosion—a version so powerful that it got the strongest response of the album in front of a Jesus Music audience, surrounded by the strongest Jesus Music artists at the time. Of course, the Bill Gaither Trio’s rendition was also incredible—and many others have been, too.

Despite all that, I suspected that I would eventually make the following conclusion. After seeing the Mark Trammell Quartet’s version live, I am ready to state that theirs is the strongest version ever recorded.

Other Highlights

Kingdom Heirs. The Kingdom Heirs’ set was solid. All four songs—”I’m Not Worried About Forever,” “Tell Me Why,” “Just Preach Jesus,” and “We Will Stand Our Ground”—come from their latest recording, We Will Stand Our Ground. (In fact, they’re the two opening and closing songs, in exactly that order!) The set captured exactly what quartet night is supposed to be.

Brian Free & Assurance. They started their quartet night set with a classic, “What a Beautiful Day (For the Lord to Come Again). They then went progressive with their second song, “When the Lord Says Do It.” Their third song, “Guard Your Heart,” was more mellow musically and put the spotlight solidly on the message. “No one is invincible / you gotta watch and pray / every hour of every day / guard your heart…”

They went from the serious to the fun with their next song, “Looking For a City.” By the final key, he sang the lines “where the sainted millions / never sing this high”!

The set was well-balanced for a night honoring quartet music. They portrayed the progressive side of what they do accurately, but was still something that traditional quartet fans can love.

Triumphant Quartet. They kicked off with some welcome energy with “When the Trumpet Sounds.” They slowed the pace down with the second song, “He Loves Me.”

Jeff Stice introduced his piano solo by talking about his mother’s recent battle with breast cancer, and how he played for her on the piano he learned to play on during her recovery. He said she asked him to make his next piano solo CD just-piano, and that she asked him to include the first song he ever learned to play—”Mansion Over the Hilltop.” It would have been a special moment on its own musical merits, but the story made it a highlight.

They made a smooth pivot from tears to smiles with their next song, “Old White Flag.” They then ended their set blazing with “Almost Home.”

Finale: Gerald Wolfe: “You would think they wouldn’t have to call in a trio man to end a quartet program.” He says he’s sat there all night, and not a single quartet has sung the greatest quartet song of all time! So he has Triumphant Quartet, the Mark Trammell Quartet, and Legacy Five sing it “Just a Little Talk with Jesus.”

The vocalists and band stumble over the transition into verse two, and the rendition grinds to a halt. A priceless comedic exchange follows:

Gerald Wolfe: “Guys! How long have you been playing quartet music?

Scott Howard: “Evidently longer than this band’s been playing quartet music.”

Gerald Wolfe: “You know as well as I do that it’s tradition that after the turnaround, there’s a 1-7-4 chord, and the tenor takes the lead.”

David Sutton sings verse 2. Then the bass singers shine on a chorus. By this point, a fourth bass singer (Paul Harkey of the LeFevre Quartet?) has joined the ensemble.

After the big ending, Gerald Wolfe says “That’s quartet night!” And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a wrap for the night.

Live Blog

9:56: Gold City. After a presentation honoring Gold City for having a #1 song in each of the last four decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s), they started their set with “I Cast My Bread Upon the Water.” They continued in a similar vein with their second song, their recent #1 hit “Peter, James and John.” Third up was “When I Get Carried Away.”

The presentation at the start of their set made specific mention of “Midnight Cry,” in such a fashion that they practically had to include it. They did, and got a standing ovation.

They cut out almost all talking from their set, and so were able to fit in five songs. They closed with “Get Up, Get Ready.”

9:34: Legacy Five. The set began with the first major technical difficulty of the week; Scott Fowler’s microphone was off, at least in the live feed mix, for most of his featured verses. But the group soldiered on through the technical difficulties and came back for a strong ending.

The Scotts (lead singer Scott Fowler and baritone Scott Howard) were up next, with “Living in the Palace.”

Scott Fowler introduced their third song, “Life Will Be Sweeter Someday,” by saying he wasn’t sure he had even set the song to Matt Fouch to learn, and asking him if he knew it. Then, amusingly, it was Scott who forgot a line—whether intentional or not, nonetheless turning it into a fine comedic moment.

They finished with “I Found Grace.”

8:53: Paul’s Journey. There was a track malfunction just as Paul’s Journey walked onstage. It has to be unnerving for a group to walk onstage for their first set, but even more so when the track won’t play. The tenor did a remarkable job filling the dead time, with some audience banter and humor. He referred to a Statesmen video which had just been played, and said, “Now you know why they never sang with tracks, because it’s just a pain. Instead, they traveled with their own band.”

They started with “This is Just What Heaven Means To Me,” featuring their tenor. Their baritone was featured on their second song, “You Better Get Ready.”

5:41: Tim Lovelace is doing Fan Cam. More updates to come after church; consider this an NQC-related open thread till then.

5:15: Showcase Winners. The showcase winners of the day kick off the evening’s program. Revelation Trio from McKenzie, Tennessee was up first. They were a mixed trio—regrettably, not the Northern Irish trio that records with Crossroads. But they were good. The Mark Dubbeld Family was up next, singing an original song, “Inside the Gate.” It was a solid performance. The Diplomats were up third; they had a mainstage slot last year, but only appeared in the showcases this year. Thankfully, they at least got this song this year. They sang “I’ll Soon Be Gone,” from their latest album (reviewed here).

Then—fittingly for quartet night—they picked the strongest quartet from the day’s showcases, Union Street. Members are tenor Toby Hitchcock, lead singer Ryan Seaton (formerly of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound), baritone Andrew Goldman, and bass Aaron McCune (Palmetto State Quartet, Gold City). All members except McCune had a solo.

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Giveaway: Poet Voices Online Concert Tickets

ASGM (The American Society of Gospel Music), which offered SouthernGospelBlog.com readers this drawing for seats in a December Booth Brothers online concert, will be live-streaming both the February 17th Poet Voices relaunch concert, and exclusive online concerts the following two days. (See here for more information on the concerts.)

They are giving away five seats in one of the three concerts to SouthernGospelBlog.com readers. To enter, click here! [EDIT, 6/18/12: Broken link removed.]

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CD Giveaway: The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent

Dailey & Vincent’s latest all-Gospel CD, The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent, released yesterday, as a Cracker Barrel exclusive. Cracker Barrel recently contacted SouthernGospelBlog.com, and would like to offer one reader the following prize:

  • an autographed copy of The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent
  • 2 Cracker Barrel gold cards (each card is good for two complimentary meals- drink entrĂ©e and dessert)

To enter, post a comment below, giving your real first name (last name is optional) and a valid email address. (Enter the email in the submission form; you don’t have to also include it in the comment text.)

This contest will run through 6:30 A.M. EST tomorrow morning. The winner will be notified tomorrow morning. Be watching your email, because if you don’t reply with a valid mailing address within 24 hours, a second name will be selected!

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Milestones … and a 30,000th Comment contest

This site is a little over 100 comments away from the 30,000 comment mark (not counting spam or deleted comments, of course!)

We’re also about two months away from our fifth anniversary. With one or two exceptions, such as when the power was out for more than twenty-four hours, we’ve had daily posts here since September 2006. I love throwing a party and finding prizes to give away, but there is only one problem: The anniversary usually falls during NQC, when about a thousand of our regular readers aren’t here!

And, to top it off, today is my birthday. I had hoped to keep my age out of the public eye for online security reasons, but since another blogger has posted it, there’s no use crying over spilt milk. (EDIT: She found another instance where someone had mentioned my age in the past.) I am a QUARTER of a CENTURY old today. It sure sounds impressive when I put it like that! 🙂

So I thought: Why not toss all three in together and give away the best prize I’ve ever handed out? When I was assembling my complete collection of Cathedrals projects, the single hardest project to track down was Land of Living(1987). But earlier this year, I actually came across a duplicate—as well as a duplicate copy of their far more remembered project from the same year, Symphony of Praise.

Both projects will go out to the person who makes this site’s 30,000th approved comment! Both are in cassette format; however, if the winner does not have a cassette player, I can convert them to mp3 for him/her as part of the prize.

And just to prevent comment stuffing, let me borrow a few rules from our 10,000th Comment Contest (which was under two years ago!):

  • Inconsequential posts such as “Lol,” “Yeah,” “I agree,” or “great post” will not be counted. The next qualifying post will win.
  • If you post a number of identical posts on different threads, they will be counted as inconsequential posts!
  • (new) A straight “Happpy Birthday” or “Happy Birthday, Daniel” also won’t count as the contest-winning post.
  • …basically, summarizing several of the above posts, the winning comment needs to be four words long or longer!

EDIT, 7/15/11, 6:47 A.M.: We have a winner! Congratulations to Samuel, who was determined enough to win the prize to stay up till 2 A.M. commenting on old posts. It worked!

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Guess the Baby Picture Contest #10

Do you know your favorite Southern Gospel singers well enough that you would recognize them anywhere—even in pictures from when they were children?

Let’s find out. We’ve had great fun with episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9; this post wraps up the ten-week series. Can you name these four singers?

Singer 1

Singer 2

Singer 3

Singer 4

The first person to guess all four correctly will win a sealed copy of Legacy Five’s 2001 release Heroes of the Faith.

Thank you all for taking part in this series. If you have had a fraction of the fun I have had, these ten weeks have been a great run!

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