Christian and Sophia Davis’s baby recovering

Over the weekend, Diana Brantley and Donna Hefner mentioned on the Singing News forums that Christian and Sophia Davis’s baby Anneliese Grace had stopped breathing twice and was hospitalized with what they were afraid was a serious viral infaction. (Christian Davis sang bass with the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet and Mercy’s Mark, and also recently released a solo CD.)

The Davises just sent me this update and picture to pass along.

Daniel,
We gave birth to our precious little girl on Monday morning June 2, 2008 at 3:30 am.  Anneliese Grace weighed in at 6 lbs 5 oz and a length of 19 1/4 inches.
On Friday, June 6, 2008 Anneliese was admitted to the hospital due to breathing issues.  She has been thru several tests and has been found to have developed pneumonia and is being treated aggressively with antibiotics.  Today we had another X-ray to compare to the one taken on Friday and it is now showing clear…. Praise God !  We are not sure when we are getting to come home, however with all the prayers that have been going up we have come from a once grave diagnosis of ” possible viral infection” to a treatable “bacterial infection” two days later.  We know it is the Grace of God and the healing power of prayer that has seen us thru.  We are not sure when we are getting to come home…possibly having to spend 14 days in the hospital so she can take her antibiotics thru her IV.  Please continue to pray for Anneliese, Mommy and Daddy.
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Marketing Groups (and CD Reviews)

What is the value of a CD review?

Former Bishops bass guitarist Steve Perkins, who contributed to Mark Bishop’s Fields of Love project, proposes the question:

Either way, what can we (artists and record companies) do to better serve this SG internet community and translate their passion for SG into revenue? Do reviews from anyone (no offense to Doug, SN, or other print and online outlets) really have any influence one way or the other on your music purchases? What would you say is your main reason for purchasing a SG CD?

He raises several questions, but I wanted to look at one in particular. What is the value of a CD review?

Rarely does someone purchase a recording by a group he has never heard–a group that doesn’t already have a track record of producing recordings he likes–on the basis of one review alone. But CD reviews and word of mouth (from forums) can, over time, get people curious about a group. This leads them to check out the group when a chance arises, be it a sale at a bookstore, a concert in the area, or a showcase at NQC. That, in turn, can often lead to product sales.

Marketing a group–taking it from zero name ID to having an established fan base–isn’t an easy thing. It will typically involve some mixture of paid marketing (advertising) and free marketing (publicity–product reviews and press releases).

The first step is making people aware that the group exists. This is often done through some mixture of advertisements and press releases–the press releases being more likely to be printed if one or more members of the group come from an established group. The second step is making people curious enough to want to check the group out. This is where reviews come into play, a positive review, like this one, can make people curious enough to check out a group. Once you have their attention and they try a CD or concert, you get to the third part of the process, the make-it-or-break-it step: Delivering on the potential and landing someone as a fan.

Of course, the same principles apply to marketing other things, such as this website; you had to find out about it, perhaps through a link somewhere, and be curious enough to click the link. But getting you here wasn’t enough; I had to come through with content that made it worth your while to stay and keep coming back, or else you wouldn’t have come back.

While I’ve marketed this website and other projects, I have never marketed a group. Those of you who have done so undoubtedly have more insights about the process; if you are so inclined, feel free to share those in the comments.

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Sony’s Thoughts: God Will Make This Trial a Blessing

Back in 1989, the McKameys recorded a song called “God Will Make This Trial a Blessing.” The first verse was about a person who was going through a difficult trial and was trying to find a way out but there was no human way of escape. They knew, however, that no matter how difficult this trial that they faced, God would turn it into a blessing because of His love. The song builds from there and ends with that same person standing on the mountain and looking back at the trial. He could now see how God had led him and how God had never left him.

Many times through the years, I have been able to relate to the first verse of this song. I have faced trials that seemed they would never end but I had to trust that, one day, God would make that trial a blessing for me as well. I can honestly say that He always has. I haven’t always seen a tangible blessing through these eyes of flesh but I am so thankful for what God has done in me by helping me to lean on Him in ways that I wouldn’t have if not for these hard times. I am thankful that I can now unwaveringly say that, no matter what you’re going through, God hasn’t left you and He will turn this into a blessing in your life if you will let Him.

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Saturday News Roundup #15

Other stories from the week:

  • MLive.com reviews a Gaither Homecoming Concert in Grand Rapids. Most interesting was their summary box, which gave the concert 3 1/2 stars (not sure if it’s a 4-star or 5-star scale) and covered everything from Most Unique Souvenir (“Ernie Haase Bobble Head, $15″) to top Distraction (“Pre-recorded background vocal tracks sometimes were too loud”–not sure if that’s a reference to stacks or background vocals).
  • SouthernGospelReporter.com site editor Chuck Peters set up a fund where donations can be made to cover medical and other expenses for Larry Ferguson, Dottie Rambo’s manager, who is still recovering from his injuries from the bus accident. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.]
  • Canaan Records has launched a podcast series featuring their upcoming releases, available on their website.
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