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Monday, October 17, 2011

Don't Be Misled--I'm at the Bottom Rung

The public at large tends to think that anyone involved in the music business, particularly the artists, live in luxury, make truckloads of money they don't what to do with, and essentially lead a glamorous life that is far removed from that of ordinary people.

That may be true for Mariah Caray, Celine Dion, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, or Sugarland, but for most nothing could be further from the truth.

Only a tiny percentage of artists make it to the top level. Most operate in the dregs of society, at the bottom rung, attempting to squeeze out a measly living by doing one-night-stands in various small-time venues.

This is even more true in Gospel music.

Take Southern Gospel, for example. Out of the several hundred groups that are out there singing, only about 30 or so manage to make enough money to stay on the road week after week. And some of these in the top 30 must supplement their income by working other jobs. The money is simply not there, not by a long shot.

I remember when Glen Payne and George Younce first launched the Cathedral Quartet in the early 60s. Many assume that the group has always been prosperous, rolling in dough, living the good life. Far from it.

Glen and George struggled for the first 20 years of the Cathedrals' existence.  I remember that Glen, as manager, would have the quartet out on the road for 28 out of 30 days of the month, singing almost every single night at every small church that would agree to have a quartet come in, just in order to scrape together enough money to meet expenses and pay the singers a little money. But times were very hard.

In fact, in 1979 when every member of the group departed except for Glen and George, Glen almost decided to hang it up altogether and put the Cathedrals to an early grave.

But, the group was blessed enough to add 3 newcomers to the field of quartet singing--pianist Roger Bennett, baritone Mark Trammell, and tenor Kirk Talley. By 1981 the group's fortunes began to change. The new sound appealed to a broad cross-section of listeners, and it certainly helped when they were able to get several of their recordings to the top of the radio charts. Soon promoters inundated the group with requests to sing at paid concerts.

Thus, from 1981 or so until 1999, when the group retired, they enjoyed tremendous success that only continued to climb right up until their retirement.  The 18 years of great success was far less than the 20 years that the group spent in small churches night after night barely making enough in love offerings to fill the bus with diesel.

My point in telling you all this is that contrary to the notion of many that Gospel singers are 'only in it for the money' is ridiculous. If that were true, they most certainly would NOT be singing Gospel music! For most, there is NO money in it, just a deep love for the Gospel, an abiding love for this kind of singing, and a desire to be out there spreading the good message of Christ's love.

And as for me, I am at the bottom rung of the faceless scores of good, solid folk out there every week trying to take the Gospel in song to people who need to hear it.

But, as you well know, it is impossible to exist without money. Many lament the 'profit motive' as evil but turn right around and engage in it to the max, because no matter what they tell you outwardly, internally they know that unless they get out there and work in order to make money, they will not eat or pay their bills.

And this is why I ask you, without hesitation, to donate to this ministry. We are over half-way through our '10 Days Ablaze' where you can get some mighty fine free gifts for your donation. Soon this special promotional will end.

I need your support. And if you support what I am trying to do, consider making a donation. Take a look at the various levels of donation and the free gifts you will receive as a result RIGHT HERE.

If you don't support what I am doing, or you hate my singing, or you wish I would go away, then don't donate. I don't want you to feel pressured to support something you don't want or like. But then if you were so dead-set against it, you wouldn't be reading this now, would you?

Thank-you sincerely for what you have done so far. And please, if you have not given, consider making your gift today so you won't miss out on free Bibles and/or free music.

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