The Southern Gospel Promoters Association was organized to help, encourage and provide information to all member Concert Promoters and work as a unified body to make a greater success of the concert arena. The organization is a working and welcome part in Southern Gospel Music, along with the many other different and effective industry associations. Being a member of the SGPA will bring a greater amount of honor and respect from individuals, artists, agencies and companies and will entitle each promoter member the right to SGPA contract privileges, benefits and information. An SGPA Code of Ethics will be required and adhered to by each member promoter to insure that the association will be honorable, respectable and legal in all presentations.
The SGPA will provide an Information Center that member promoters will be able to contact to inquire, research and receive current information pertaining to Southern Gospel Music.
The SGPA will provide to all member promoters, by request only, an SGPA Contract Rider to stipulate that all provisions for any SGPA member be provided in dealing with the bookings and payments to Artists and Talent Agencies.
The SGPA will provide to its members an annual report to keep them informed and involved. Association meetings will be held at the NQC each year. Dates and times will be announced by the President of the SGPA.
All industry publications (Singing News, etc.) have agreed to release information provided by the SGPA and to help encourage the success of the association.
Membership fee for the SGPA is $150.00 annually that allows two people per membership to attend all SGPA events. Membership fee delegates a one-year membership to be renewed each August. Funds from the membership will be used to provide mailings to all SGPA members, website expenses, and other necessary expenses relative to the growth of the organization. The fee gives the member a right to all contracts, voting rights, and information of the SGPA.
SGPA Officers will be elected each year at the promoters meeting as will the inclusion of ratification of SGPA charter regulations and By-Laws.
The SGPA offers membership to any person who promotes at least two paid concerts per year, and agrees to honor and respect the Code of Ethics of the SGPA.
Written by Harold Marshall, March 27, 2017
THE BIG PICTURE First, let me draw your attention to the symbol at the top of this page, just below our banner. The SGPA stands for the Southern Gospel Promoters Association. Let me share with you what the SGPA is, why it was needed, and how it started. When Jean, and I, started promoting our Lake Country Jubilee Concerts in 1991, we used local talent. Texas promoters were bringing in The Cathedrals and Gold City, but not much else. Worse still, the "Battle Of Songs" concerts, in Fort Worth was no longer operating. But, it was clear there was a need for well produced gospel concerts presenting a wider array of talent than was currently being presented. By 1994, we had started bringing in professional talent such as JD Sumner & The Stamps and others. But, the relationship between the talent agents and the promoters was strained, at best. Often, it was openly hostile. Plus, relationships between the artists were often not what you would expect at a Christian event, as the "Battle Of Songs" concert title would suggest. Something needed to be done, but no mechanism to work through existed at the time. Then, in 1996, something unique happened. A Florida concert promoter contacted the Gospel Music Guild (a group of leaders in the gospel music field, including talent agents, record publishers, and composers, among others) and ask them to sponsor a "Breakfast" for promoters around the country. It was held during NQC in 1996 at Executive Inn West in Louisville Kentucky. Jean, and I were invited to attend. We agreed. But, I went with a "mission" in mind. A crowd of about 275 attended. After breakfast, industry leaders made speeches, honored guests were recognized, and everyone was thanked for attending. We all were asked to stand for a closing prayer. Before the prayer started, I (in a loud voice everyone could hear) said "I'm not ready to leave. I'm in a room full of strangers, and I'd like to know you better. After this prayer, I'm going to stay and visit for a while. I'd like to meet you. I brought some business cards I'd like to give you, and I'd be glad to accept yours". After prayer, about 30 stayed to get acquainted. Twelve lingered long enough to decide we needed to get a "meeting room" to discuss the "relationship issues" that were doing so much damage to our wonderful music. That 12 decided to form the SGPA. I nominated the first President, Jerry Foster- which was the first order of business. In the 20 years since then, the changes have been amazing. The acrimony between the promoters and agents has become a distant memory. New agencies have formed, bringing a new, and a more varied talent. And you, our fans, have benefitted. The Booth Brothers, The Collingsworth Family, and Triumphant Qt., among many others, came through new agencies. About 1998, I thought the SGPA needed a "logo." So, I took a plate, a saucer, and a ruler and drew what you see above. I sent it to Vickie Booth (Michael's wife), and she put it into a usable form. There is much more I could share. But, since most of the 12 are with our Lord, I wanted to share with you the profound effect Jean, and I, and Lake Country Jubilee, had on gospel music while I still could. Thanks for your loyal support!!! More later.
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