The Power of the Cross

This post was the final post on Southern Gospel Journal. Let’s finish this project by placing the spotlight on what matters most. To survive and thrive in the future, Southern Gospel needs young talent. We need to encourage talented young singers who love this music, because if there’s going to be a Southern Gospel worth…

The Inspirations at 50: Their Ten Greatest Albums

This year, the Inspirations celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Let’s commemorate this landmark milestone by looking at their top ten greatest albums. #10: Two Shoes (1998) The Inspirations’ Canaan era made them legends. After signing with Crossroads, they quickly returned to the top of the genre. Two Shoes is the strongest release of the interregnum. It contained…

Look at what the Couriers did. Do that.

In the mid-1950s, Duane Nicholson (tenor), Neil Enloe (lead), Don Baldwin (baritone), Dave Kyllonen (bass), and Eddie Reece (piano) started performing together as The Couriers. Within about a decade, Baldwin and Reece had left, but Nicholson, Enloe, and Kyllonen carried the group forward as a trio, with Kyllonen moving up to baritone. They retired the…

The Essential Songwriter Collection: Beverly Lowry

The Essential Songwriter Collection series lists ten songs each from legendary songwriters that every Southern Gospel fan should add to their collections. The response to Beverly Lowry’s passing last week highlighted how many fans view her primarily as Mark Lowry’s mother, and not as much a songwriter in her own right as she deserves to…

The roar of B-17 engines, and the importance of teaching children hymns

Happy Veteran’s Day! The other day, as I was outside exercising, I heard a sound that instantly took me back to my childhood. My apartment lies near the approach path for landing at one of the Asheville Airport runways, so I hear certain engine sounds all the time: The shrill whine of a commercial airline…

Michael English and Mark Lowry to leave the Gaither Vocal Band

Last week, news circulated that Mark Lowry was leaving the Gaither Vocal Band. Lowry confirmed the news in a video posted yesterday morning. Lowry indicated that a press release would be forthcoming. What Lowry didn’t add was that Michael English has also decided to leave the Gaither Vocal Band. In the official announcement, Bill Gaither commented:…

Babylon is Fallen: A Look at Southern Gospel’s roots

Southern Gospel finds its roots in Southern shape-note singing. The Sacred Harp singing convention tradition preserves this older stylistic form in a fashion largely unchanged from what our ancestors experienced 150 years ago. Many Southern Gospel fans are aware that the more participatory Sacred Harp tradition still exists, while many Sacred Harp fans are aware of…