By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Things are a bit sweeter down South for the Gaithers. “It’s always fun to go down South, because they know how to cater,” Bill Gaither said in an interview with the Daily Journal. “They know how to cook green beans down there.”
And Gaither ought to know. He and his group, the Gaither Vocal Band, have traveled the world singing gospel music, and Gaither has enjoyed a wildly successful career that spans decades. He’s found his fans love his music, so he lets music speak for itself.
“If you like vocals, you’ll get a lot of vocals: a lot of harmonies, and even some a cappella. We have a lot of fun with the music with the vocal band,” he said.
In fact, the Gaither shows are among the most successful to ever take place at the BancorpSouth Arena. The group has performed more shows (eight), and had the most sell-outs (five), and performed in front of more people (60,546 total) in the building’s nearly 20-year history.
Gaither has hundreds of songs to choose from when he picks a setlist for his shows, but, like the food, he changes what he does in the South.
“It varies from place to place,” he said. “In the South you have more Baptists and Pentecostals, but up north you have more Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists, so you do some changing. Not a lot, but you do some changing, because there’s something (one denomination) will go for more over another.”
Songs like “He Touched Me,” “Something Beautiful” and “Because He Lives” are the stars of a Gaither show.
“We have a lot of fun between the songs. But we let the songs do the preaching, because we have some great songs,” Gaither said. “It’s a lot of music. People tell us they like a lot of music.”
Making fans happy is what Gaither does best.
“I think it’s a wonderful time for people to come out for three hours and say, we’re not gonna worry about mortgages or losing my job or the loss of a loved one and have a good time and sing about the Lord and lift Him up,” Gaither said. “We love Mississippi; we love Tupelo.”
WHAT: A Gaither Homecoming, featuring the Gaither Vocal Band, The Isaacs, The Martins, Charlotte Ritchie and Kevin Williams
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: BancorpSouth Arena
COST: $36.50/artist circle, $28.50/reserved, $24.50/seniors, $22.50/groups of 15 or more
INFO: bcsarena.com, (662) 841-6528