I’ve been meaning
for a couple of weeks to thank Avery Fineline for his
First of all,
thank God for Martin Roth. I'm not sure what it says that an Australian pays
better attention to American newspapers than any of us actually in America, but
he's really carving out a fine niche for himself down there (even if he still
refuses to tag each post with a unique link). Anyway, via Roth, what on earth is
going on with
this Jessy Dixon story out of Wisconsin?
Why, it seems like
only yesterday that Avery appeared to be
accusing me of using stand-over tactics to get what I wanted out of the
that is. The Gaithers have taken some of his money, it seems, and he's feeling
misled by the various interpretations of the word "my." Anyway, point is, gospel
music's sole Australian fan (ok, it just seems that way) and pretty much a
one-man Gaither PR operation down under needs an "in" at Gaither.com. And
apparently the Gaithers aren't doing a very good job of keeping their Australian
friend happy. Somebody help him out?
Avery always calls
it as he sees it, which is why, when I set up my website, I
described his blog as, “provocative commentary and the finest writing about
Southern Gospel on the internet.”
Anyway, about his
comment that “an Australian pays better attention to American newspapers than
any of us actually in America,” I note that a couple of months ago
David Bruce Murray spoke of my “uncanny ability for finding obscure stories
about gospel music.”
It’s true that I
have several decades of experience in journalism – including some years in
as a foreign correspondent – and I probably do possess a bit of a nose for
sniffing out a story.
But in the case of
Southern Gospel, it’s simply a case of subscribing to
Just enter the
name of every SG star you can think of and then, whenever his/her/their name
appears in the news an email arrives to alert me. The vast majority is useless –
notices of upcoming concerts and the like – but once every couple of weeks or so
a story arrives that can actually become an SG talking point. I’m just amazed
that no-one else seems to be doing this. May 9th, 2006
"You know what?" he answered. "You don't ever replace anybody. You've got to
do something different. I've never tried to go out and find another anybody.
That's what's so great about the Body of Christ. Nobody has to be a duplicate of
"Gordon Mote is our keyboard player now and he's stunning, but he's totally
different from Anthony. He's been blind from birth, so he knows all this music
by memory. Everybody else comes in with a written chart. Gordon will hear the
chart once and he knows it. The other night at a concert, a cellphone went off
in the crowd and Gordon repeated the exact same series of notes on the piano --
just like that." May 5th, 2006
Churches with a Two-Drink Minimum
Some SG artists struggle to get publicity. Yet for some reason Chonda Pierce
seems to get plenty. I suspect the media are intrigued by the concept of a
Pierce, the daughter of a Southern preacher, was 16 years old when her
sister, Charlotta, 20, was killed in a head-on collision. Her father gave up the
ministry and walked away from his family. And Pierce walked away from her faith.
Not long after, sister Cheralyn was diagnosed with leukemia and died a month
later. In 22 months, her family of five was reduced to two.
Her message to listeners? Laughter brings relief from pain and reminds us of
"I grew up a preacher's kid and love it when we play a church building," she
says from her Nashville home.
"Of course, I've been in some churches where they need a two-drink minimum," she
cracks. April 29th, 2006
New Photos of Anthony Burger
Anthony Burger Productions has added lots more
of Anthony to the official website. Included are his own final snaps
from the February cruise April 21st, 2006
Mark Lowry - A Crazy, Messed-Up Lot
Mark Lowry is profiled in the Toledo Blade:
There are some religious topics that seem to beg for his comedic barbs.
"Look at TV evangelists!" Lowry said. "They remind me of that bumper sticker
that says, 'Jesus, save me from your followers.'
"We're a crazy, messed-up lot and I'm right up there in the middle of it. And
yet I love it. I love the church, I love the people. I love what God is doing
with all of us. With some of us, it takes a long time. It comes down to this:
love God and love people. That's it." April 14th, 2006
New England musical ensemble HuDost featuring two core members,
singer/songwriters Moksha Sommer and JemalWade Hines, present acoustic-based
music on Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union ballroom.
....HuDost’s original work ranges in style from alternative world music to their
own country and eastern fusion, and atmospheric, experimental sound. This is
mixed with the rich, eclectic, blending of traditional Sufi music, Bulgarian and
Balkan translations, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic and Southern Gospel. April 5th, 2006