The Top 5 SG Albums Industry Survey (Honorable Mention)

A couple of months back, I sent out a survey to a bunch of industry folks. I asked a group of bloggers, singers, songwriters, producers, etc. to list their top 5 SG albums of all time. The results you are going to see over the next few days or so are the weighted composite results from 17 responses. As I did with the singers survey, these were weighted so a 1st place vote was worth 5 points and a 5th place vote was worth 1 point.

Here are four albums that I will call “Honorable Mention” albums, in no particular order.

Honorable Mention:

Statesmen – On Stage
Imperials – New Dimensions
Statesmen – Sings With Hovie Lister
Cathedrals – Live In Atlanta

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

5 Responses to The Top 5 SG Albums Industry Survey (Honorable Mention)

  1. QwertyJuan says:

    Pillars of Faith and/or Acapella Gold better be on the list… šŸ™‚

  2. Ben Harris says:

    I have no problems at all with the ones you have listed as honorable mention being the best that has ever been, especially the Imperials disc. This was the first recording without Jake Hess at the helm (although one song written by Jerry Reed features Jake) and it reflects the new direction the group was beginning to take. The Imperials ushered in a new era for gospel music, and almost entirely on their own, began the music style we would later refer to as CCM. This is still the best blending quartet group of all time. They have never been equaled, let alone surpassed. And of course the Statesmen in their era brought excirement and a bit of showmanship into the realm of quartet music. Their harmonies and arrangements were way ahead of their time and to this day, are difficult to match. Every quartet since the Statesmen owe in no small measure, a great deal of their sound and their success to the Statesmen. They were the true innovators of our genre.

  3. burkesbrainwork says:

    Ben, I absolutely agree about that particular Imperials lineup. I challenge anyone to listen to Gospel’s Alive and Well and find me a smoother blending quartet. Blackwood and Wiles had such similar voices that I gave up a long time ago trying to decide which one was singing which part. I was a bit surprised that these albums didn’t make the top 5.

  4. Ben Harris says:

    I would imagine if your poll only contacted industry insiders you would have had far different results. The public at large is somewhat naive when it comes to groups and music. The gospel audience as a whole will gravitate toward the emotional rather than the well rehearsed almost every time. Those heavily invested in the music, including monetary and musically trained points of view, will gravitate toward the talent side of the equation. I have been puzzled for years why Terry Blackwood is not in the Hall Of Fame. In my opinion he is the finest lead singer ever to sing a gospel song. I have had the pleasure of working with Terry in the studio on several occassions and he simply amazes me. He does not know how to sing a wrong note, and he knows chord structures and chord inversions better than any person I have ever worked with. Roger Wiles was one of the finest baritone/leads ever to be in gospel music, and venture to say, among these two men, they have no equals in the genre today. The other problem or maybe better stated, the reality on the ground, is that the public’s memory is a mere nano-second. And too, our younger artists don’t seem to feel the need to know and understand the history of our great music. When Signature Sound first started singing, I had the opportunity to hear them in Jasper IN one night. After the concert I told their baritone that in many ways he reminded me of Doy Ott, to which he replied, “Who?” Garry Jones heard his reply and told him, “Tell the man thank you very much”. This is one of the concerns I have with our music today. To know where you’re going you need to know where we’ve been. I am not saying that every group out there needs to sound like The Statesmen or the Blackwoods, but they do need to understand the heritage and the drawing power of those groups, as well as others, that caused the fan base to grow and fill the seats. Straying too far toward country or CCM can be a fatal mistake. Not having innovation within the genre can likewise be a fatal blow. Knowing your audience is key and paramount to success in any genre!

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