Is Southern Gospel Music Dying?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Kiffin, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    I remember back in the early 80's as a teenager going into a Christian Bookstore and looking for CCM music. It was usually in a small section while groups such as the Cathedrals, Kingsman, Rex Nelon singers were dominant and the Southern Gospel section was huge.

    Almost 20 years later if one goes in most Christian bookstores - the roles have reversed. The CCM section is huge while the Southern Gospel section is tiny. There is no question that CCM has surplanted Southern Gospel as the Dominant form of Christian music. Even here in the deep South, it is becoming more common for CCM music to surplant Southern Gospel in rural churches. That is not to say Southern Gospel Music has died in that Bill Gaither's Homecoming Album's are very popular as well as the Martin's.

    I think that Southern Gospel Music does not speak to the younger generation. Southern Gospel is in danger of becoming nothing but a subculture music if it does not win younger fans.

    Southern Gospel I believe has declined because unlike it's secular cousin Country music it has refused to adapt it's style to appeal to a younger generation. I think it is viewed as a dated type of Country music by many of the younger generation and unless it changes unfortunately this southern style of Gospel music will become a novelty with 10 to 20 years. :(

    [ January 03, 2002: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I grew up with Southern Gospel, and tho' I am not a big fan of it, I do not believe you can say it is a dying breed. I think it is a style that many in the south love .. . deeply.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    When I was a boy, there were gospel singings going on somewhere almost any Saturday night or Sunday afternoon - not just quartets to which someone was listening, but people gathering to sing themselves. The gospel singing tradition is not dead, but I believe one thing that has dimished its strength was the move from actually singing the music (in churches and singing conventions) to listening to someone else sing it. Public music teachers seemed to look down on it as backward. Add to that the fact that trained worship leaders fought to promote a more polished sound and then the younger generation (probably starting in the mid-70's) went after "Christian" rock and then CCM. The southern gospel style still has an enthusiastic following, but, like the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be.
     
  4. jeronimo

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    Well, I don't think that southern gospel music is dying. I know a whole lot of teenagers that like southern gospel. Probably because a couple of my sisters like southern gospel. They especially like the Gaither Vocal Band. My older sister has seen tons of the homecoming videos, and she's just 18. I don't know if it's dying or not, but I do know that there are still a whole lot of people who love southern gospel.
     
  5. Mike McK

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  6. Jude

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    I'm not a 'Southern gospel fan', but do very-much enjoy and appreciate the talent of the Gaither Vocal Band.
     
  7. All about Grace

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    TIC ALERT :eek:

    As long as there are rednecks, there will be Southern Gospel music :D
     
  8. dianetavegia

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    It's alive and well around here!

    My favorite S/G group is 'Won By One' and my favorite song they do is "It Should Have Been MY Hands Where the Nails Were".

    Diane (quickly pulling the collar up around her neck)
     
  9. blackbird

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    Cajuns love Southern Gospel, too!! My favorite is anything from the Cathedrals, "We Shall See Jesus Someday"--by Gold City and "Its Still the Blood" by The Inspirations---mercy, that Archie Watkins can sing, can't he???

    Where ya been, Diane?????

    Blackbird
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Southern Gospel Music seems acceptable to all, but it often is marred by the same negatives as CCM. It often has a </font>
    • Emphasis on strong beat,</font>
    • Cult of personality, superstar, moral??</font>
    • Weak doctrine,</font>
    • Weird dress style (and hair-dos) of musicians</font>
    We tolerate or endorse it with Southern Gospel and condemn it with CCM. Hmmm :rolleyes:
     
  11. TaterTot

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    I agree, Dr. Bob. Our little country church has a very steady diet of Southern Gospel. (Almost exclusively!) The doctrine in many of the songs is "dumbed down" and just plain wrong. We sing alot about dear ol' mama on that gospel ship that has set sail, etc. One song we sing frequently states, "They searched thru heaven and found a saviour..." This drives me crazy. People sing this stuff without thinking! I am not talking about folks such as the Cathedrals, etc, just plain old Southern Gospel that's sung in church. Our pianist and organist do NOT read round notes. Only shaped. I can't understand that. I can read both with no problem, although I greatly prefer round.
    I used to like Southern Gospel since is was a novelty to me, but now, it is crammed down my throat and I sometimes resent it.
     
  12. fromtheright

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    Kiffin,

    You're exactly right. Was in a Baptist Bookstore a couple of weeks ago and had to look hard among the CCM CD's to find Gold City. I think it's a sad development, though there is also some Southern Gospel that makes me cringe, but there is bad and/or poorly produced music in any category.
     
  13. Dan Todd

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    This northern boy - loves southern gospel music.

    There are some great southern gospel songwriters who have not dumbed down the lyrics - Phil Cross for example.
     
  14. Ransom

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    SaggyWoman said:

    . . . I do not believe you can say it is a dying breed.

    A man can dream, can't he?
    :D
     
  15. Lifter

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    According to the Singing New magazine, Southern Gospel is growing at a higher percentage than most other types of music, including CCM. I can't quoted the figures. I am relying on memory from several articles last year. This includes concert attendance (look at a Gaither concert) CD sales, and radio play. I agree that some of the theology is a little suspect, but you'll find that in any type of music. In general, when a person sings a SG song at our church the meaning is very clear. You don't have to sit there and try to decide what is being said in the song. I can't say that about all types of Christian music (IMHO) [​IMG] .
    TaterTot,
    If you are "reading" the shaped notes, chances are you are still using lines and spaces. People who exclusively read shape notes like your pianist don't use the lines and spaces at all. I know is is strange, but they can put the song in any key they want to. (By the way, if you still have the same pianist she is great. Been listenting to her as long as I can remember and hope to see her tonight and tomorrow at an ole time shaped note singing convention. I won't tell her about this thread. ;)

    Don't count southern gospel out.
    Joel
     
  16. Cop'n NC

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    I will have to agree with Dr. Bob. The last Gospel concert concert I attened was a joke to me. The lead singer had pink hair some off the wall pink dress, that was enough to distract you from the music. And the lyrics well,...........all of them said basically the same thing that when we die we are going to be lifted up in the clouds to meet God, which is true but no thought in the songs at all to me. And the lead sing was putting on some big emotional show case crying one second then smiling
    the next. My self and plenty of other people couldn't help not to laugh. It was good comic relief, but I was not left with any message that I haven't heard from all the other gospel groups. But some Gospel groups are good, but they are few and far between to me. Id rather spend my money and see a Steven Curtis Chapman concert or Third Day.
     
  17. TaterTot

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    Hi, Lifter! Thanks for the reply. I am acquainted with the shaped note reading as well. And I think our pianist is phenomenal!! I wrote an article on her and her husband a couple of years ago for SeniorMusician magazine (Lifeway). My issue is just that its ALL we get. (SG music.) By the way, do I know you? We might be neighbors!! :D
     
  18. Lifter

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    TaterTot,
    I doubt that you know me. I live about an hour from you. Went to school at USM. You used to have your church's name in your profile, which is how I knew who your pianist is. I did get to see her last weekend. I hope her husband is doing better.
    I also agree with you on the line "They searched through Heaven and found a Savior..." Horrible theology. And don't get me started on "When I've Gone the Last Mile of the Way." :mad: Writers of all types of Christian music should take a little more time thinking about what they are saying.
    Joel
     
  19. showard93

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    Well Personally thats all I listen to is southern gosple...no ccm here. All my kids here is southern gospel or church choir music etc....

    I personally think their is some southern gospel singers that just call them that but they are really more contemporary and all the ccm is a few christian words with a rock-n-roll beat.
     
  20. Joshua Rhodes

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    Please showard, refer to "Christian Music You May Not Have Heard". I take exception to this statement as a writer, singer and musician.
     

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