Every good group needs great vocalists and great songs. Great groups have one more thing: They either do something nobody else does or do it better than anyone else. Many of these can be described in ten words or fewer. Four examples:

  • Statesmen (50s/60s): Modern harmonies and an energetic live delivery
  • Isaacs (90s/00s): Gospel bluegrass with tight family harmonies
  • Bill Gaither Trio (60s/70s): Group members writing enduring classics for every record
  • Gold City (80s): Cutting-edge progressive Southern Gospel

The point isn’t to be unique for the sake of being unique; those acts are novelty acts.

If a group does something innovative and is successful, others will eventually copy the unique factor, and perhaps even the songs. Regional groups, and sometimes a few groups on the national scene, are content to jump on the bandwagon of the currently successful trends. The great groups create those trends.