SouthernGospelBlog.com: Why on earth are you interviewing yourself, instead of someone far more interesting?
Daniel: I want to be able to ask a question like that, but I don’t dare to anyone besides myself! More seriously, I thought this would be an interesting vehicle to mention a number of things that I hadn’t found a way to insert into the regular programming.
Since I write over 300 posts per year, it’s not like one post of this nature is much of a distraction from the regular programming.
SGB: What is the single most surprising thing that you’ve heard an artist or industry professional say?
Daniel: That one’s easy: “I don’t actually like convention songs.” At first, I thought this person was kidding!
SGB: What’s the single funniest thing that you’ve heard during a soundcheck?
Daniel: “That’s a local opening act.” The speaker pauses when, as if on cue, a singer tries to imitate Michael English and fails. “Very local.”
SGB: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of running the site?
Daniel: That’s easy! My favorite part is reading a particularly insightful comment from a reader. My least favorite part is writing CD reviews.
Daniel: I am an optimist, but I feel responsible to write an accurate review. Unless the CD is absolutely spectacular, my sense of responsibility will clash with my personality, and I end up drained.
SGB: Outside of Southern Gospel, what keeps you busy?
Daniel: I launched and help run Free Hymnal, a site with free sheet music for public domain hymns. I’ve spent a lot of time exercising this year. I love songwriting. And I’ve also been spending a lot of time thinking and writing about how Christians should use vocabulary in a way that reflects a Biblical worldview and glorifies God. I’m hoping to turn that into a book eventually, but with everything else I have going right now, it surely won’t be done any time soon!
SGB: So how rich have you gotten from all those books you’ve written?
Daniel: Truth be told, I would be several times richer today if I had spent the same number of hours flipping burgers at McDonalds! But of the kind of riches that really matter—friendships—I’m a wealthy, wealthy man. 🙂
SGB: So between all these books and blog posts—how many blog posts now?—
Daniel: 3,037 personally, 3,285 on the site—
SGB: Surely you’ve become a decent writer.
Daniel: No, I’m just an average writer. I would have been below average in 1950. But looking around at the average level of communication skills today, I think that anyone who can construct a grammatical sentence is probably above average now!
I don’t think readers come here for brilliant prose. I think readers come for the daily posts and their content. I try to be comprehensive enough that, even if this is the only Southern Gospel news website they read, they won’t miss out on any significant news stories.
SGB: Well, have you written any above-average posts?
Daniel: Three, I think:
Here’s a funny thing: My siblings are so used to average that when I wrote the most recent decent one, “Farewell, Louisville,” they said it didn’t sound like me and wondered who really wrote it!
SGB: What motivates someone to write over 3,000 posts about this genre of music?
Daniel: Southern Gospel has a rich heritage and an enduring value. I don’t want this genre to die on my watch. If I’m the last Southern Gospel journalist standing, the day I retire and turn out the lights is the day I have failed.
I’m not going to be the person to inspire the next generation of singers, songwriters, and journalists to love this music. New fans are brought in by a singer and a song. But once that happens, I want to play a role in expanding their horizons from that first artist to others, and in deepening their love for this music.
Whenever I retire, if there’s still a vibrant Southern Gospel scene—if lives are still being changed through Biblically solid lyrics—then this will have been a success.
SGB: What are—
Daniel: Oh, good grief, that’s enough about me. Let’s get back to the regularly scheduled programming. 🙂