If you want a blog post that will lure in more readers then write about blogging. This has always seemed to work for me. The topic is an easy one for other bloggers to comment on for fairly obvious reasons. Since titles are the first draw to a post, mentioning the word "blog" or some derivative of that word is a good way to start. On the other hand, certain words in a title might scare off readers or make them hesitant to read any further.
This current post is a continuation of my post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group which can be found here. To summarize, in that post I discussed the topic of reading and writing content that I find offensive. In the following I provide a specific example of a word (or more precisely a name) that some might find offensive or something they might want to avoid if they saw it in the title of a blog post, book, or what have you. I've incorporated this word/name/theme into my Battle of the Bands offering for February 1st.
Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th. The premise is simple: Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.
Jesus Is Coming Soon
"Jesus is coming soon" is a controversial statement that a lot of people would prefer not to hear, while others might be excited to hear this. It's a statement that can stir anger, fear, debate, or an icy cold shoulder. Some people upon seeing this as a blog title or a book title or a title of anything might avoid reading it. Even though "Jesus Is Coming Soon" is the name of the song I am using in Battle, I thought it best not to run off readers at the onset which is why I used a title that would have a bigger draw. I may have lost some readers as they progressed through the post, but I hope you'll approach the following with an open mind since it is an oft recorded song and one that I happen to like. Aside from the subject matter, I'm sure more than a few of you will not like the style of music since it is rather an acquired taste for those who have not been around the culture where songs of this nature are common. Hope you stay with me and we'll see how this goes.
The song "Jesus Is Coming Soon" that I'm featuring today was written by R.E. Winsett, songwriter/publisher from Tennessee, in 1942. From what I've found, the song was apparently not recorded until the latter 1960's and achieved its greatest fame after appearing on the 1969 Oak Ridge Boys album It's Happening. This album won "Album of the Year" in 1969 at the Dove Awards and the song was named "Song of the Year" as well. In 2002, "Jesus Is Coming Soon" and Winsett were inducted into the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame. Over the years the song has been recorded by numerous artists.
|The 3 Oak Ridge Boys vinyl albums that I bought circa 1970|
and still own and enjoy (photo by Betty)
During my high school and college years while still living with my parents, I'd watch an early morning television program that showcased videos of Southern Gospel artists singing their songs. As my ears became more acclimated to the music I also began to appreciate it more. The Oak Ridge Boys especially stood out for me with songs like "Jesus Is Coming Soon", "I Know", "He Did It All for Me", and "I Wish We'd All Been Ready". Eventually I bought three albums by the Oaks which I still have in my vinyl collection (pictured above). Since that time I've also bought some CD's of their Southern Gospel music.
The history of the Oak Ridge Boys goes back to 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee when they were known as Wally Fowler and the Georgia Clodhoppers. After becoming regular performers in Oak Ridge where they were popular with the employees of the nuclear research facility, they eventually changed their name to the Oak Ridge Quartet.
This group went through a number of personnel changes through the fifties until Wally Fowler sold the rights to the group name to a group member, Smitty Gatlin, who eventually updated the name to Oak Ridge Boys in 1961. The group recorded a number of albums and continued to go through other personnel changes. In the late sixties they updated their stage appearance with a more moddish rock and roll look and added covers of pop/rock hits that had positive messages alongside their gospel tunes.
The evolution of the group continued until they were signed by the Columbia label and then later by ABC Records. In 1977 they released their first all country album and after that they begin hitting the charts with the mainstays like "Elvira" and became country music superstars. This is how most people think of this group though they have returned to their gospel roots to record Christian albums along with the more popular country albums
I'm definitely partial to the Southern Gospel that first drew me to them. The other stuff is fine, but the Gospel songs touch me the most. Well, actually I've never listened to much of their other music other than what gets played on the radio. As for me and my house, give me that old time religion! Here's an early live performance of their award winning "Jesus Is Coming Soon"--please don't vote on this as I've offered it here for perspective comparison.
Oak Ridge Boys "Jesus Is Coming Soon" (@1970?)
For reference only!! Please don't vote on this version!!
Here are your voting candidates:
This was probably my toughest Battle that I've compiled yet. The first choices that I really wanted to use showed up on Polsy as not being available in all countries. As I searched through many more it seemed that very few versions of this song were available in all countries. Eventually I started finding many many more versions that were available. After much consideration of a number of good versions, I finally narrowed my contest down to the following two choices:
Blackwood Gospel Quartet "Jesus Is Coming Soon"
This version is done in a traditional style, but the video is downright strange--one of the odder music videos that I've come across. Not sure what's going on with this other than I guess these guys have a sense of humor. Inappropriate considering the song topic? I'll let you decide. I'm also a bit confused about how this group relates to any other group as from everything that I could find they seem to be a contemporary offshoot of the old Blackwood Brothers Quartet, but the group as portrayed in this video seems to have possibly disbanded and regrouped with new members. If anyone knows then feel free to fill us in. It's a highly competent version of the song no matter what the case.
Dogwood "Jesus Is Coming Soon" (1976)
Not to be confused with the Christian punk/metal group that came about in 1993, this Dogwood was a folk/rock group that recorded and performed during the mid to late 1970's. The group was founded by Steve Chapman (not to be confused with multi-faceted Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman) and his wife Annie. Their version of "Jesus Is Coming Soon" provides a more contemporary feel a la the Seekers and other such groups. The band name Dogwood relates to the traditional Christian legend that the Dogwood tree was used for the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
Time To Vote!
Maybe nuanced to those who don't listen closely, these versions provide different musical takes on the same song. Which version do you like the best?
Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.
Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
'Curious as a Cathy'
Sound of One Hand Typing
The Doglady's Den
Cherdo on the Flipside
Jingle, Jangle, Jungle
J. A. Scott
Winner Announced on Wednesday February 8th
Since voting will be open throughout the weekend, everyone should have adequate opportunity to vote. I've got a zinger of a post planned for Monday. It will be sure to offend some as I get back into my political musings presenting a slant that might come unexpectedly to some of you. I just want to try something different as I look at political controversy from a different perspective.
But by all means do come back on Wednesday February 8th to see who won the above Battle along with some additional comments about the topics that I brought up with this post.
Do you think you might have avoided this post if I had used the song title as my blog title? What is it about religion that you feel causes many people to avoid reading about the topic? Is there any particular style of Christian music that you especially enjoy?