Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quartet Doesn't Mean Four...

... and other things I didn't know about the National Quartet Convention that's going on in Louisville right now.  

So I LOVES me some Gospel music. In all of the year I used to go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Gospel tent was the go-to tent.  Don't feel like seeing any of the bands currently playing at the other stages? Go to the Gospel tent.  You'll never, ever regret it.

And here's a little Lou secret for you: I'm not 100% sure that I ever visited the Gospel tent without crying.  Yep.  I may seem like a godless heathen, but I've got a soft heart for folks soulfully singing His praises.  Shhhhh... don't tell anyone.

Gospel.  I love Gospel music. So yeah: about the National Quartet Convention-- "Gospel Music's LARGEST Annual Event"

Uh... huh?

Some silly things I thought... 

Myth #1:  So in years past, I've thought the National Quartet Convention was a convention for Barbershop Quartets.  I thought that was kinda cute... quaint.  Kind of like our collective love of the jug band here in Louisville.  

Truth #1:  The NQC is NOT Barbershop Quartets. 

Myth #2:  When I paid more attention to the signage earlier this summer, I noticed the word "Gospel."  And I got psyched.  Psyched, I tell you.  I don't care how much preachiness I'd have to endure, if this was going to be a convention of GOSPEL quartets, I was going.  You betcha I was.  

Truth #2:  It's not GOSPEL gospel.  Not New Orleans gospel.  Not red-suit wearing, tambourine-banging, dancing like your feets are on fire gospel.  At all. Like, whoa.

So, when I got psyched, I started to pay more attention... and I couldn't quite understand why everyone in the ads was so... white.  Like not all blue-eyed soulful white like Rick Astley or Hall & Oates.  Like Branson white.  Like Sarah Palin white.  Like Miracle Whip White.

What the...?

And then I saw that they'd invited Sarah Palin to come and speak.  And I knew these were couldn't be my peeps.  At all. 

Myth #3: Nothing interesting happens at the National Quartet Convention.

Truth #3:  From the Wikipedia page about the NQC, under "Noteworthy Incidents at the National Quartet Convention."  1965: James Blackwood sneezed into the bass microphone just before JD Sumner and the Stamps took the stage. When JD sang "Blessed Assurance", the audience laughed. I shit you not, people.  There are FOUR Noteworthy Incidents listed.  THAT is one of them.

Myth #4: "Quartet" means a singing group of four.  

Truth #4: No. It doesn't.

Who knew?

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