Posted by: coomercove | September 15, 2009

Should Gold City cut back on dates

From reading message boards and other blogs, it appears that Gold City and Tim Riley was the big thing on opening night of the National Quartet Convention.  I’m very glad to read all the positive responses they have received.  They have had a tumultuous few months and I’m happy to see them starting to recover.  In his run down of NQC night one, Daniel Mount raised the idea of Gold City cutting back their bookings in order to bring Tim Riley back permanently.  I honestly had not thought of that possibility, although it is an interesting thought.

For the most part, southern gospel music is the one genre (secular and Christian) in which artists tour constantly throughout the year.  The exceptions to this are the big names like the Gaither Vocal Band, the Cathedrals in their final years, and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound.   This question has been asked several times, but I feel is still worth raising.  Do southern gospel groups that limit their touring have the ability to do so due to their popularity or does the limited nature of their appearances create the popularity?  It is much more memorable to see an artist once a year rather than once or twice a month.  If a group comes around your area once a year, if you want to see them, you have to go that one time.  It makes the appearance a “must see” event.  On the other hand, if the popularity isn’t great enough, people could still pass on the concert thinking that they’ll catch them next time/year or another group the next weekend.

So, is Tim Riley a big enough legend in southern gospel music that his return would create such a demand for Gold City that they could cut their annual bookings by a substantial amount?  I’ve never counted, but I’ve always heard that Gold City does close to 200 bookings a year.  How many would they have to cut?  Fifty?  A hundred?

Of course, two questions have to be answered first before this possibility can even be considered.  Is Tim healthy enough?   The second is does he even want to resume touring, even limited touring, permanently.


  1. Gaither has enough demand that he can get away with doing less and charging more. The Cathedrals also were at a place in their career that they were able to cut back and still bring in a good income due to demand.

    Right now, however, I don’t know if Gold City, even with Tim, could bring in the same kind of demand.

  2. Honestly, I have to wonder if GC would be best served by getting themselves into a set up similar to the Kingdom Heirs or other groups that work places such as Dollywood or Branson. They would primarily be based in one place, people would travel to see them rather than the other way around. Then they could do limited dates out on the road. I think being at a permanent “base” for performing might just allow Tim to come back on a full-time basis. You can already tell through their music that they are experimenting, and I think that experimentation lends towards such a performing setup.

  3. […] Rich” that have already hit YouTube from NQC, and reading this very thought-provoking post from Brandon, here are my thoughts.  Tim Riley being back, even in a fill-in fashion, has brought […]

  4. Talking to Tim at NQC I didn’t get the impression that he wanted to come back at all. He told me, I’m sixty-(something) and I’m tired. He said he gets his “itch scratched” singing several times a year with the Southmen. He also said on stage he doesn’t miss the road, just the people.

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