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September 8th - September 15th, 2005

National Quartet Convention

Lots of photos from Danny Jones. More from Jerry Kirksey. David Bruce Murray blogs Tuesday night’s concert.

September 15th, 2005


Perfect Love

Daywind Records gives you the chance to listen to two songs each week from the new album “Perfect Love” by The McRaes. It releases on October 11th.

September 15th, 2005

Why Southern Gospel Doesn’t Catch on in Australia

In my blogs page I’ve already poked fun at the Dunaways for their Dunnyville Blog, suggesting that they probably don’t know what “dunny” means down here in Australia (it’s slang for an outdoor toilet). Now I learn there’s a Southern Gospel group called The Dills. Check the Australian Slang Dictionary for one of the meanings of “dill” down under. Usage guidance is here, here and here.

September 14th, 2005


National Quartet Convention, Day Two

Lovely headline to a convention report in the Louisville Courier-Journal: “Sweet, spiritual sounds of gospel fill air at Kentucky fairgrounds.”


Chris Unthank reports on some of the acts


The biggest shock of the afternoon came from the newly reorganized Mercy's Well, which features two new vocalists - Greg and Jeremy. They have a great sound - one that was missing from the earlier incarnation.


Amy Marie Unthank also has a report. David Bruce Murray continues his detailed blogging of the concerts. Avery Fineline, not yet in Louisville, compiles a series of random observations on convention happenings.

September 14th, 2005

Convention News, Day One

Jerry Kirksey posts photos of the opening night, including a $500,000 souvenir gift item. David Bruce Murray makes you wish you were at the opening concert. And Avery Fineline asks: “Is this the year when Gaither's absence becomes such an accepted fact of life that more people shrug it off than not?”

September 13th, 2005


Southern Gospel on Steroids

Which singing group is - according to a pastor of America’s fastest-growing denomination - “Southern Gospel on steroids?” Scroll down about halfway through this article for the answer.

September 12th, 2005


Blogging the Convention, Day Two

David Bruce Murray continues blogging his five-day road trip to the National Quartet Convention. Day Two finds him in West Virginia, where he blogs a concert by the Mark Trammell Trio at a church that’s been around for 207 years.

September 12th, 2005


Do You Want To Be Forgiven?

Southern Gospel News lets you listen to the new radio release from Signature Sound Quartet.

September 12th, 2005


SG for MS

Southern Gospel personalities, including Dottie Rambo, Candy Christmas, Russ Taff, Aaron Wilburn and Sonya Isaacs, are among a large group of artists who have recorded a CD titled “The Lord Will Provide,” intended to benefit multiple sclerosis research and to provide medicines and equipment for sufferers. My aunt in London died of complications caused by many years of MS, as did – earlier this year – one of my best friends. Please support this project, which is organized by Roger Neal’s Neal Family Ministries.

September 12th, 2005


Blogging the Convention

David Bruce Murray is blogging his five-day road trip to the National Quartet Convention. His first posting is from Roanoke, Virginia, where he attended the Gaither Vocal Band/Signature Sound concert.

September 11th, 2005


Tips for the Top

Randy Renigar of Great Southern Gospel Radio picks two songs that “could go to #1 on your favorite major SG chart” –


I Don’t Wanna Go Back by Kingdom Heirs – “It’s Southern Gospel, Quartet Style, Gospel Singing without leaning one way or another. Pure and simple Gospel Music Southern Style. You’ll Love It!”


He Saw It All by the Booth Brothers – “A word craftsman worded this song. Listen very carefully to this song and you will see what I mean. A blind man saw it all, a deaf person heard it all, and a cripple was being chased. It is a hallelujah type of song.”


Randy also picks his “Best Song You’ve Probably Not Heard On Your Local Station” –


Ain’t No Doubt About It by Dewayne Holt – “The Family Music Group has got a good’n here. Dewayne Holt has a tinge of a Country Sound but delivers a song with an above average message in an above average style. The song could be the testimony of Christians everywhere.”

September 11th, 2005


Ivan Parker, Good Guy

An article I came across in the Daily Mississippian recalled a recent posting from Avery Fineline about the dilemma faced by singers when asked to do pro bono benefit concerts:


"It's for a good cause." The five words every owner or group manager dreads hearing. But it's a dilemma groups face countless times every day: people wanting artists to do fundraisers for reduced or no fees.


According to the article:


Angel Ranch, Inc. is sponsoring a benefit concert Friday at the Oxford Conference Center in conjunction with Do-Glo Ministries. The concert, which organizers hope will become an annual event, will feature gospel singer Ivan Parker. It is hoped that the concert will raise enough money to help Angel Ranch with its startup costs, said executive director Sue Turner. The Angel Ranch will be a temporary shelter for abandoned and/or abused children in the Lafayette County area….Parker has a long history of performing at benefit concerts, including for churches and a multitude of charities.


I’ve always thought that Ivan Parker looked like a good guy (albeit, virtually my entire exposure to Southern Gospel is via Gaither Homecoming DVDs, where everyone looks like a good guy), so it’s pleasing to hear about his work. A Google search of “Ivan Parker” “benefit concert” brings up plenty of links.


Though one of the links, to KLLN radio, reveals this:


2003 Nov 22: Over 250 attended this 3rd annual KLLN benefit concert. Church pastor Ed Frantz and others raised $2,500 from area businesses people to pay Ivan Parker to sing for the benefit. 2003 Benefit raised $1,800


What does it mean? I don’t know. As Avery Fineline observed, entertainers – even Christian entertainers – who can’t pay their costs won’t be entertainers for long. I’ll bet Ivan Parker does lots of good works. And I reckon he’s a real good guy.

September 10th, 2005


My Gaither DVD Obsession

I share an obsession with Avery Fineline regular reader RF – to collect all the Gaither videos on DVD. I seem to be having greater success. RF writes:


I've made it my life's work (well, this month) to collect all the Gaither videos on DVD. Of course, it makes it more difficult since the dots at GN seem to not be able to read to interpret an on-line order. I've ordered Hawaiian Homecoming and they sent me Texas Homecoming (I already have that) … I've ordered Good News and they sent me Texas Homecoming. Earlier I ordered the Texas Homecoming DVD and got the Texas Homecoming video in VHS. I write and write them in the so-called "customer service" and get no response, so I'm going to box up the things and send them back with a note that says, "since you-all can't read, I'm sending back these seven copies of Texas Homecoming and I want (fill in the blank)." I'll probably never hear from them again.


I’ve placed a number of DVD orders with the “dots at GN” – the latest just nine days ago to celebrate my near-completion of a major writing assignment – and have consistently been delighted by the quality of the service. As a GaitherNet member I get free postage, even though I live in Australia, and each order has arrived safely and correctly within four or five days. That’s service. I’ve emailed customer service on a few occasions with various queries and each time received a quick, friendly and informative reply.


And the prices! Those Gaither DVDs that are available in Australia invariably cost $30.85 each (US dollars). The Gaither store sells a heap of them for $19.95 each, often throws in a free CD, and, when my order reaches $100 (which it does), they give me another DVD free. Did I mention the free postage?

September 9th, 2005


Chonda’s Back

Comedienne (not a word I’m used to) Chonda Pierce returns to the stage after a year’s break, according to a lengthy press release, published at


Within the next year, Pierce will be releasing a brand-new DVD, a book, as well as a 23-city nationwide tour. Even though she has appeared at numerous Women of Faith conferences, Pierce has spent the majority of 2005 taking time off to spend with her family and to travel while preparing for the coming year’s releases.


My exposure to Chonda and other American Christian comedians comes via Gaither Homecoming DVDs, and I’m less than overwhelmed. I happily listen to Mark Lowry sing “Mary, Did You Know” again and again, but after chuckling once through one of his – or Chonda’s or Aaron Wilburn’s or Taylor Mason’s – comedy routines, I seldom want to listen again.


Perhaps it’s cultural, though it’s been the same on the occasions I’ve heard Melbourne’s Anglican priest/stand-up comic Howard Langmead. He’s fun, and very clever, but somehow Christian comedy just doesn’t click with me. I like more bite, more edge.


But I do know that, in a hurting world, Christian comedians – and comediennes too – click with many. Good luck, Chonda. You go, girl.

September 8th, 2005


Affiliated websites: The Personal Health Monitor Blog, Bird Flu Update, Bollywood Down Under, Martin Roth Christian Commentary.


Allen Asbury
Mark Bishop
Booth Brothers
Mike Bowling
Anthony Burger
Cynthia Clawson
Crabb Family
Jessy Dixon
Dove Brothers
Ann Downing
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Gaither Homecoming
Gaither Vocal Band
Gatlin Brothers
Gold City Quartet
Greater Vision
Buddy Greene
Legacy Five
Mark Lowry
Babbie Mason
Mercy's Mark
Oak Ridge Boys
Palmetto State
Ivan Parker
Janet Paschal
Sandi Patty
Karen Peck
David Phelps
Chonda Pierce
Dottie Rambo
Lynda Randle
Signature Sound
Russ Taff
Talley Trio
Randy Travis