It’s Just My Opinion – The $20 CD???

I haven’t written an editorial piece in a while so I decided to fire up the old keyboard and write one. I did not attend this year’s National Quartet Convention (NQC) in Pigeon Forge, TN, but I had several friends who attended. One subject that I wanted to bring up is one that has really puzzled me for some time, the $20 cd.  I had asked a friend if he purchased a certain cd that had been receiving some hype. He replied that he did purchase the cd but mentioned he paid $20 for it. Now, we fans know that the standard cd price is $15, and it’s been $15 since cd’s first came on to the marketplace in the 1980’s.

I also know, as someone who has made several recordings in the studio, that there is a great cost involved in recording a cd. Everything from paying for studio musicians/leasing sound tracks, studio time, songwriter royalties, duplication, photography, graphic design and endless other things that come with recording and releasing a project, can amount thousands of dollars being spent. However, I consider $20 a steep price for a cd that is in a cardboard sleeve that probably cost $2.00 or less to manufacture.

When everyone else at an event like NQC is selling cd’s at the standard $15 and you’re charging $20, it tells me that you’re desperate to make as much money as possible. It’s the equivalent of price gouging, trying to get the maximum amount of money out of people while you have them in front of you. Maybe that works with a majority of our crowd who don’t know any better or don’t care, but there is a segment of fans that will not spend their $20 on a cd when they know they could buy it through at digital music service, like iTunes, or at their Christian bookstore for less.

Do we want to support groups by purchasing their product through them? Yes, but nobody wants to feel like they’ve been ripped off when they see the exact same cd for 5-10 dollars less elsewhere. As bad as I would like to have the liner notes to see who wrote the songs, who played on the tracks and other pertinent information, I would also not like to be wasteful with my money. You don’t have to agree, It’s Just My Opinion.


It’s Just My Opinion: NQC Live 2011 Track Listing Posted

For a number of years, the National Quartet Convention has been releasing live cd’s of some of the year’s best moments. The last couple years have seen a bonus dvd included as well. I just saw the track listing for this years disc, at in their store, and frankly I’m a little disappointed. Track listing is as follows,

NQC Live Volume 11 – CD/DVD Combo
Tracks Include:
Kingdom Heirs – No Bones About It
Ivan Parker – Twenty-Four Hours A Day
Collingsworth Family – The Resurrection Morn
Kingsmen – He’s Everything I Need – That’s All I Need
Crist Family – I Love Lovin’ Jesus
Jeff & Sheri Easter – Hear My Heart
Tribute Quartet – Homecoming Day
Dove Brothers – I Recall
Talleys – The Broken Ones
Hoppers – All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Mark Bishop – My Name Is Jesus
Greater Vision – You Were Faithful Yesterday
Legacy Five – Thankful for the Change
Triumphant Quartet – Almost HomeBonus Features:The Dixie Melody Boys Celebrate 50 Years
Antioch Church House Choir

Greater Vision – Looking for a Tenor (aka Looking for a City)

The Perry’s Birthday Surprise!
I Wish I Could Have Been There

Laughin’ With The Swan
Dennis Swanberg

This is NQC!

Let me say first that I would, and more than likely will, purchase this cd. It was my first NQC and it was special. Half of this project is good enough, and the bonus DVD material, all but one section, looks great to me.
Now I know in the last few years, Crossroads has released these projects. 8 of the 14 artists on this cd are under the Crossroads banner. If this was a Crossroads only deal, I could understand why artists like Tribute & the Crist Family are featured. But if this is supposed to be a representation of the best moments of NQC, I disagree with the presence of Tribute, the Crists, and the Dove Brothers. I would have replaced them with the Booths, Mark Trammell Quartet, and The Whisnants or Perrys.
I understand there is alot of red tape and much work involved when doing projects like these. It is very possible and even likely that the artists I mentioned or their record companies denied NQC the permission to use their performance on the disc, and that is understandable. Maybe each record company (which is basically only Crossroads, Daywind, & Gaither, to whom the majority of the artists belong) should each put out NQC live performance discs of their artists.
I am also highly disappointed that the all star choir that backed Squire Parsons on “Sweet Beulah Land”, will only receive a brief 45 second or more appearance in a compilation video of the weeks best moments, which is called This Is NQC. I would scrap the Dennis Swanberg routine (which has pretty much never changed in the past 25 years), and put the Squire & Friends performance in full as a bonus feature. It was a once in a lifetime moment that people should be able to see in its entirety.
You say, man you’re really critical of this. My reason being, when you attend something like this, and you think you heard better moments or better performances, its kinda disappointing the direction they went with the track selection on content they included.
But hey, It’s Just My Opinion!

It’s Just My Opinion: Are You Doing Your Part????

I have decided to start a new series of commentary articles, called “It’s Just My Opinion”! This is my first article, and your feedback is appreciated and welcomed!

I was raised on Southern Gospel Music, I’ve been going to concerts for as long as I can remember. Yet I’m troubled by what I’m seeing as a trend in at least my area. Here in the Metropolitan Detroit area, we are not a mecca of Gospel Music, yet we have had great concerts through the years. The Cathedral Quartet was a mere 5 hours away, in Stow, Ohio, and they would regularly come to our area. Through the years, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, and the Booth Brothers  have become some of the most popular artists in our region.

What I have noticed lately is a lack of attendance at many concerts. Now there are a multitude of reasons why attendance is suffering, some answers I don’t have. But because I am a person that trys to think of logical reasons, I put together a list of complaints I hear.  In some cases people say they cannot afford to purchase tickets to the concert or fuel to make the trip, and with the economy the way it is, especially here in Michigan, it is understandable. Then there are some flat-out ridiculous excuses like, “Oh, I heard them once 10 years ago” . Then my personal favorite, “I wish you would have this artist for a concert, i would come hear them“.

So I am going to address these things, one at a time.

1. We all understand the hardship of the economy, and how things are complicated by a lack of income.  Theres nothing to be embarrassed about, many people find themselves in the same situation. I have told people this, and other promoters I know have as well. If you don’t have the funds, but you want to come, call me and talk to me and we will work something out. I remember Michael Booth telling a story about sneaking in to a church to watch the Cathedrals. He said knowing what he knows now, he would have simply told George or Glen he didn’t have cash for a ticket, and they would have helped him. I have no problem helping someone who truly wants to hear the music. There have been great people who invested in my life to fuel that fire of love for Gospel Music, and I want to do the same for others.

But on the other hand, there are some who complain about the price of tickets, I was told recently “I just can’t justify paying that much money to hear a gospel group“. Ok, point taken, $16 is not free. BUT, the same people who complain about a $16 ticket for a gospel concert have no problem whatsoever going to a sporting event or maybe even a secular concert and paying more than $16 for their ticket, but they also pay for parking, concessions, and other amenities. People spend money on things that they like or that matters to them. If you don’t like Gospel Music, that’s your prerogative, but don’t tell me it’s too much money when you spend double or triple the amount on the entertainment you enjoy!

2. The “Oh I saw them once 10 years ago” excuse drives me insane.  I’m glad you saw Greater Vision 10 years ago, but guess what. THINGS CHANGE! They are not the same group they were 10 years ago, they sing different songs, it’s a different experience! I, personally, love the current group, and enjoy them now more than I ever have. Don’t rob yourself of a blessing because you saw a group once in 1997.

3. If i have to book a certain artist to get you in the door, you won’t come, especially if you’re not coming to concerts now! A local pastor I know, who is quite a Southern Gospel fan, has always been vocal about the groups he would like to see in our area, yet when those groups come to sing, he doesn’t support the concerts. Then there are some people I haven’t seen at a concert in a long time, yet I run into them at Tigers games.  I value the input of those who love the music, but if you’re not supporting it NOW, you won’t do it later!

My whole point is this, it doesn’t matter who is singing, if you can go, GO! WE NEED TO SUPPORT GOSPEL MUSIC!!! It always bugs me when I hear local gospel groups from my region talk about how they would love to sing for a promoter yet they don’t support that promoters concerts. If prices keep rising yet attendance keeps declining, this music will only be a memory to those of us who love it. Fellow bloggers, this goes for you as well!! Support Gospel Music in your area!!! We need to do everything in our power to promote and preserve this music for future generations, and if we do all do our part, I believe the Lord could do great and mighty things!

Hey, it’s just my opinion!!!