Audience Response

We’ve all heard a tenor or bass singing out of his natural range, a worn-out comedy routine, or a challenging song attempted by someone who isn’t able to do it justice. I cannot tell you how many things I’ve heard justified with this line: “But the audience responded well.” Here’s a little secret: (Most) audiences…

Sheep, Goats, and the role of government

In a 2012 post, I discuss the questions “Was America a Christian Nation?” and “Is America a Christian Nation?” In the context of that discussion, I offered several possible definitions of what, exactly, it means to be a “Christian nation.” The one that has the most relevance to our country’s history—the definition under which we came…

Song Snapshots #14: Love Brought Me Back (The Perrys)

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs. About twelve years ago, co-writers Belinda Smith and Joel Lindsey got together for a writing session one day. They knew the Perrys were looking for songs, and Joel brought the idea for “Love Brought Me Back.” He told Belinda Smith…

Song Snapshots #13: In Time, On Time, Every Time (Gold City)

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs. When songwriter Belinda Smith was in college, she sang in a regional Southern Gospel group with her brother and her next-door neighbor. One weekend, she auditioned to be the piano player for The Rowlands. At the time, Kyla Rowland and…

The Centrality of the Gospel Message in Southern Gospel

In operatic music, the vocal performance is central. Melodies, harmonies, and lyrics find their purpose in how effectively they provide a vehicle for the vocal performance. In bluegrass music, instrumental virtuosity is central. Melodies, harmonies, and vocal performances all find their purpose in how effectively they provide a vehicle for instrumental virtuosity to shine. Then,…

Song Snapshots #11: Every Scar (The Talleys, Darin & Brooke Aldridge)

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs. One day, Gina Boe’s daughter asked her about a scar on her hand or her arm. When Gina told her daughter the story, she commented, “Oh, every scar has a story to tell.” It occurred to her that the line…

The Essential Songwriter Collection: Phil Cross

The Essential Songwriter Collection series lists ten songs each from legendary songwriters that every Southern Gospel fan should add to their collections. Champion of Love (Cathedrals, Symphony of Praise, 1987). If there was ever an obvious pick, anywhere in this series, this would be the song and the rendition. Hope Has Hands (Grace Has a Face)…