Southern Gospel is Giving Me the Goosebumpilies
by Ray Dudley
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Southern G. Does the Web!
I know, music has been on the web for years. But, lately, my soul seems to be seeking it out more. Especially, the great tunes of the past. Is it just me or does Southern Gospel Music get sweeter as the years go on? I've got a Pentecostal background and have been a born again Christian for over 30 years and I've go to say that my appreciation for Southern Gospel has really grown, especially recently. Maybe it's just my fondness for things from my past, maybe it's just a yearning for things more simplistic and pure. I don't know. But, what ever it is I have to admit I'm loving it. And loving it LARGE! And it's only been enhanced by the internet.
If you're not familiar with streaming music over the internet, well, my friend, come out of that cave!! There are dozens, if not hundreds, of stations that are streaming Southern Gospel music via the web. It's so refreshing to hear groups again like Southern Sound, The Triumphant Quartet, Tallys, etc. and of course anything Gaither! As I write this post I'm listening to The Cathedrals singing "Master Builder". What a treat!
Back to the Future
One of wonderful things about getting back to my roots (musically anyway) is listening to the sweeping and moving vocals of so many of the great artists. The trios and quartets just can't be beat by anything given to us in the sterile "worship" music being pumped out today. No wonder so many Christians are shallow. They're missing a huge component of their walks by not being able to be immersed in the tunes of wonderful musicians and singers like The Kingsmen, The Crabb Family, Legacy Five and The Perrys. Groups like these can take my soul places that contemporary music just doesn't seem able to do. Call me old fashioned I guess.
Many of the songs by groups I've already mentioned, as well as the voluminous number I haven't, have been very instrumental in my prayer life. They touch me and move me and remind me of things I should have my mind. And that rarely happens when I'm listening to much of what passes for gospel music today. And I'm not slamming the single artists of today as much as I am much of what we're using in our churches. (Legacy Five - Strike Up the Band is now playing)
You know, I'm not sure how I got away from the good old music. Somehow over the years wayyyyyyy too much of the contemporary gospel music seems to have wedged it's way into my life. Unfortunately, for the worse. To me it's too empty. Too vacuous. It's never talking really about Jesus, heaven, the streets of gold, conviction, etc. Now, I don't mean to slam the whole Integrity family and for sure some of it has really blessed me, but, somethings just not the same. It seems to lack the passion of Southern Gospel. SoGo is kinda like country music. It just seems more tangible, more like real life.
Lend Me a Tenor
Here's a quick pick list of some of my favorites (see how many you agree with):
The Legacy Five - Know So Salvation
The Triumphant Quartet - I Know I'm Going Home
The Cathedrals - Moving Up to Gloryland
The Crabb Family - Through the Fire (with the Brooklyn Tab.)
The Kingsmen Quartet - I'd Rather Be An Old Time Christian
The Heritage Singers - God is So Wonderful (cracks me up every time I hear it)
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound - Give It Away (five star if every there was one)
The Gaithers - Your First Day in Heaven and also Holy Highway (ok, cut me some slack here! It's IMPOSSIBLE to choose just one from the Gaithers so I just tossed a dart)
The Hoppers - Shoutin' Time In Heaven
The Speer Family - He's Still In the Fire
The Florida Boys - When He Was On The Cross (I Was On His Mind)
Obviously, this list doesn't even begin to scratch the service of all time hits and I'd be interested in some of the soul stirrers you find moving.
Let me put in some kudos for some of my favorite Southern Gospel sites:
Tunes4Him.com One of my absolute favorite streaming stations. Probably the number one station that rocks my computer (which is an iMac in case you were wondering)
Juniper Square (junipersquare.com) By far one of the great places on the web to purchase Southern Gospel music (as well as much, much more)
The Light Atlanta (http://www.thelightatlanta.com/) Another great streaming site.
The Gospel HiWay (http://www.thegospelhiway.org) Easy to use and their website doesn't give you headaches trying to search.
If you have any streaming sites you love to listen to please throw them my way. I'd love to try them out! I'll highlight some of best in a future post.
And you can't hardly listen to Southern Gospel without some extraordinary southern cooking. So let me plug a good friend of mine:
Southern Cooking Recipes (http://southerncookingeasyrecipes.blogspot.com)
And do your self a favor and stop by SoGospel.com "Southern Gospels First Dot.Com". This is a site that is just a wealth of everything you'd want to know about the Southern Gospel industry: news, current events, schedules, etc. Get a cup of joe and prepare to spend a few hours (delightfully)!
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