I’m Back, With Survey Results!

Thank you to all those who participated in my little reader survey. I’m back from my short hiatus with survey results and lots of writing ideas! The other day, the number of participants reached 50, which is a nice round little number, so I thought I would close the poll on that note. (If you wanted to vote but didn’t get a chance, feel free to comment below with your answers.) Some results were expected, some surprising. In fact, I am embedding one additional question on a question here, since the result I got was so unexpected that it appears I needed to broaden my options selection!

Here is what I discovered about you all, my dear readers. I learned in stats class that 50 is an indicative sample, so that’s how I will treat it in this report:

1. I discovered that a little over 1/3 of you identify yourselves with some “Other” denomination than one of the options I gave, which is exactly as many as identified Baptist. So, clearly I need a follow-up question: If you chose “Other,” or if you didn’t take the survey because it looked too long and strange but you can find time for a single question, please select which “Other” you are, if not Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist or Pentecostal. I think I know which one I forgot that was getting all the votes, but I’ll see if my hunch shakes out here:

2. I discovered that nearly half of you are over 50, with the 31-50 demographic a distant second.

3. I discovered that in the car, 2/3 of you reach for Southern Gospel (you think maybe?) but curiously, the distant second place went not to one of the other genres I provided, but to something “Other.” Presumably this would include jazz, pop, classical, chorale, and other genres I left out. Sadly, it appears that none of you reach for classic rock! Ah well, just because that’s what reach for…

4. I discovered that an overwhelming majority of you, 83%, identify as “right or right-leaning.” No surprise there, what I am surprised about is that I have anyone still reading who is “left or left-leaning!” Furthermore, I was surprised to note that all five readers who chose that option were over 50, while I think all but one reader under the age of 30 identified as right-leaning.

5. Tastes were split pretty evenly on movies/TV, with “family” just edging out comedy and drama at 29%, 23% and 21% respectively.

6. About 2/3 of you are yourselves musically inclined, which I was happy to see.

7. More of you drew a blank on who John Piper and Andy Stanley are (60%) than on Star Wars and Star Trek (42%)! But Andy Stanley and Star Wars nosed forward among those who did have an opinion.

8. At least 39% of you hadn’t even heard of the Discovery Institute, with 53% going decisively for Answers in Genesis. One thing that interested me was that Answers in Genesis got votes even among those identifying as “left-leaning” or “other” politically. Not that I consider the Discovery Institute “left-leaning” by any means (don’t confuse them with Peter Enns and the hacks at Biologos!), but I just see AiG types being targeted even more often and more vitriolically by those on the left. However, for those of you who would like a little more information about Discovery and their work both in the area of intelligent design and economics, here is their website.

9. 3/4 of you duked it out over Perry Mason vs. Columbo, and it was a heated battle but Perry Mason received one vote more. I was interested to see that about half of my younger readers were NOT left scratching their heads on this particular question!

10. The Cathedrals beat Gold City hands down. It wasn’t even close.

11. 88% of you offered your opinion on Beach Boys vs. Beatles, and after a competitive race, the boys of California just squeaked past the boys of Liverpool.

12. 86% of you weighed in on Elvis vs. Johnny Cash, and the King scored a decisive 60% victory.

Reader Survey!

[This survey is now closed.]

Hi everyone! This is finals week, so I’m going to be taking a bit of a break from the blogosphere. I hope to return some time next week, when I will hopefully have written a review of the Mark Trammell Quartet concert I attended recently, a review of God’s Not Dead, a review of another Christian movie recently released on video that I’m very excited about but will leave nameless as a teaser, and who knows what else? Meanwhile, I’m conducting a little reader survey. My corner of the web gets traffic from a few different “streams” out there (most recently/bizarrely, my post on the blasphemy of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has gotten hundreds of hits from a Canadian Huffington Post piece), and so I’m curious to get a rough idea of how many people I’m either engaging, offending, or boring to tears with a given post. For a few options, I have added a “What?” or a “Who?” which is NOT meant to insult anybody who isn’t wondering! It is merely an attempt to encompass as many people as possible…younger, older,  etc. Most of the questions are musical, but there are also a few more general questions.

All info is collected anonymously, but if you simply don’t want to answer something, the survey will let you skip it.

Have fun! Click below the fold for the survey. I believe results don’t show up for third party viewers, but I’ll provide stats once I return to blogging and close it. Continue reading “Reader Survey!”

Maundy Thursday Music: “Go to Dark Gethsemane”

For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread. And when he had given thanks, he brake it and gave it to his disciples saying “Take, eat. This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Text: James Montgomery

Tune: Richard Redhead

1 Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye that feel the tempter’s pow’r;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

2 Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of life arraigned;
O the worm-wood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff’ring, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.

3 Calv’ry’s mournful mountain climb
There adoring at His feet,
Mark the miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete:
“It is finished!” Hear him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.

Sing it Again: “Taking My God At His Word”

In 2005, Brian Free took a break from quartet singing and put out what is still one of my favorite solo efforts in southern gospel. Although I’ve never quite wrapped my brain around that other-worldly voice, his ear for a good song was as canny then as it is now. My personal favorite is the fresh, vigorous country rocker “Dare to Be a Daniel” (written by fellow Gold City alumnus Steve Lacey). Other highlights include “Anthem of the Ages,” which BFA could record today like new, and the tune I’m highlighting today, “Taking My God At His Word.” I could hear a number of artists doing this today, including the Perrys, Barry Rowland & Deliverance, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, and Greater Vision.

I think I would be most excited to hear Chris Allman take a stab at it, but for Ernie to have a go would be great fun too. What do y’all think?

CD Review: Into His Presence, by the Perrys

The Perrys - Into His Presence

Into His Presence is the Perrys’ debut effort with Wayne Haun and Ernie Haase’s new label Stowtown Records. It’s also their first offering of new music since Tracy Stuffle’s stroke now over a year ago January and the subsequent departure of lead singer Joseph Habedank. However, David Ragan has been proving that he is more than capable of picking up where Joseph left off. His resonant, expansive voice is the glue that holds this new lineup together. To me, he and David Mann are cut from the same cloth (speaking of, sympathetic shout-out and best wishes to Mann, who just came off the road after discovering that his throat had been invaded by mold spores!) Tracy’s son Jared, who has an agreeably smooth low tone, is filling in on most of the bass singing for now, although Tracy makes one special guest appearance. Below the fold are my comments on this new project. Continue reading “CD Review: Into His Presence, by the Perrys”

Farewell to Pat Barker

This is so unbearably sad for those of us who love southern gospel music. It was with a heavy heart that Mark Trammell announced bass singer Pat Barker’s resignation yesterday. Mark made it clear that this was a personal decision on Pat’s part motivated by a need to be with his family, and sent him away with the blessing of being “the finest, most Christlike man ever to travel on a quartet bus.”

Life at home can be difficult when the father travels for a living, and we should certainly pray for Pat’s entire family, as Mark encouraged fans to do in the press release. At the same time, we all grieve with Mark as Pat was not only perhaps the best bass singer to leave his mark on southern gospel in recent years, but also one of the most fun guys you could have the pleasure of meeting. The warmth of his voice and his spirit will be sorely missed in equal measure. Jon Epley commented, “Pat is not only a great bass, but also has a great quality solo bass voice which doesn’t just grow on trees,” and he is so right. However, I was relieved to read that Pat will finish out the month of April on the road with MTQ, so that I will be catching one of his last concerts at the end of the month! Pat was a big reason I was so excited to see MTQ in concert for the first time, so it’s good to know that he will still be there for at least a few more weeks.

Here are some of Pat’s most memorable moments with the quartet through the years: