Posted by: coomercove | April 8, 2008

Stage antics, shoes, and the McKameys

There is a thread on the Singing New forum about groups’ stage antics.  One “stage antic,” or actually classifying something as an antic, seems to be rubbing some people the wrong way.  The first item mentioned in the original post was about Peg McKamey.

peg mckamey kicking her shoes off within first 20 min of concert

Some people seem to have taken offense to this being classified as an antic.  I don’t know about the time frame, but it does seem like she loses a shoe during a large majority of the group’s concerts.  I’ve seen this topic discussed (that is putting it nicely) before, and typically, a McKameys’ fan will eventually eventually take the other side to task for questioning Peg’s spiritualness and Christian walk.  It isn’t a matter of Peg’s life, it is a question of whether or not the kicking off of the shoe is routine or is due to an actual move of God.  The fact that it happens enough that when people imitate her, they kick off their shoe is a telling sign (to me anyway).

My personal opinion is that it is an antic.  I don’t really think it started out as an antic, but once it started and got people talking, it became part of the McKameys’ stage presence.  Don’t we all know, realistically, that southern gospel at a professional level is a ministry as well as entertainment?  Stage presence plays a part in that.  If you don’t like to call it entertainment, you can call it holding an audience’s attention long enough to form a connection with them so that they can be touched by the songs and testimony.  If a group comes on stage and immediately starts preaching, I don’t think that an audience would be receptive to that.

I also have a bit of backstage talk to help sway my opinion.  A friend of my dad’s had a hard time dealing with the “stage presence/entertainment” part of singing once they joined a full-time group.  Peg took them aside one night and to give some encouragement.  I’m paraphrasing of course, but she told them she didn’t exactly like kicking off her shoe at almost every concert, but she also didn’t want to disappoint the people that came to see it.  If kicking off her shoe gets the peoples’ mind off of waiting for it to happen or helps connect her with the crowd, she’s going to do it so they are more open to God using her to minister to them.

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Responses

  1. In order for someone to properly minister to someone else, they have to make some sort of CONNECTION with them. Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries, all will tell you, if you can’t connect with them, you might as well be ministering to a brick wall.

    Ever see the foreign ministries? They ADAPT to the culture to make a CONNECTION, then once that connection is made, they MINISTER to them.

    In this case, the connection is made through music and entertainment.

  2. Well said…well said…

    I’ve grown up going to McKameys concerts and had not experienced her shoe show at all until a few years back. I’d always seen her run the aisles like a mad woman…it scared the living daylights out of me! I’ve seen the McKameys quite regularly in the past ten years or more and saw that it was something gradually slipping in. Several years ago, it seemed like she was doing it at every concert I attended where they performed. The people came (and still come) to watch the shoes make their flight instead of listening to some Southern Gospel music. About two years ago, I asked her why she did it and she gave me the story of Moses and the burning bush and that sometimes she just felt that Holy Ground underneath her and had to loose herself of those shoes to obey God…

    …sounds pretty interesting to me…

    I do say though that they are some of the most decent singers you’ll find anywhere!

  3. SoSoGospel Music freak said: “they are some of the most decent singers you’ll find anywhere!”

    Interesting choice of words. They are not generally my cup of tea, but I do like a couple of their songs.

  4. What I meant by that was that they wore decent clothes when they performed-not their singing.I particularly don’t care for their style of singing,but they do have some great songs.

  5. I feel so hurt. I know that when Peg kicks her shoes off it IS OF GOD! She dosen’t always do it, just when the Lord tells her to. So my question is WHY is it such a BIG topic everywhere? If people don’t like it, then just don’t watch them sing!

  6. I often wonder this. When is it that many gospel groups today say, that they are in it for the Lord, but seems like the almighty dollar kicks in. I love The Mckameys with all my heart, and many other gospel groups, but when it comes to us SMALL TIME LITTLE COUNTRY CHURCHES, we just don’t have what it takes to get a big time group to just come and help our people, as much as I love the Mckameys, I don’t believe they, or many other big time groups would ever shadow the door of my little Jamestown, TN. church. How big is big???? It use to be a ministry, not a show.
    Love to hear from folks on this topic, am I wrong?
    http://www.paulpinnickministries.com


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