Perhaps I should title this "Lack of Acceptance..." as I'm pretty sure I'll find other vocalists who have had the same problem as I have. This probably applies more to those who have had a measure of success in other parts of the country and/or world, whether it be with their recorded music or performances in other cities or coutries.
TMV a very unique site and I've invited most of my extensive email list to check it out. I'm pleased to have been featured several weeks ago. Those of you who read it will know that I do have that measure of success mentioned above. Ever since I started being heard on worldwide radio with my original songs, I have had a difficult time getting not only these songs, but any songs period, heard in the various communities in which I've lived, and especially at my home church. I've heard that even Amy Grant was not permitted to sing at her church, after the success of her first hit single, "Baby, Baby".
When I lived in FL, I had to change churches several times before I found a small one, where I was a bit more accepted. Since moving to GA, I have found the same problem, but refuse to change churches. I'd most likely find the same problem at another church and I really do like the one where I belong except for the lack of acceptance of my music. I attend the comtemporary service there and do feel the type music performed is not unlike what I do best. There seems to be a rule that one does not perform original Christian songs, which is unusual since new songs by other comtemorary artist/songwriters are sung quite often. This makes one wonder if those same artists and/or songwriters also had a difficult time being heard at their churches.
It's not only the churches, but also local radio stations and newspapers. I once promoted other artists and songwriters, but now have others promote my original songs. My media promoter has tried to get press for me in our local newspaper, but to no avail. Both she and I thought what she sent was really newsworthy, especially for a small city. For instance, they not only didn't write it in the paper, but never responded to her email. For example one of these stories concerned my being # 1 on the Roots Gospel chart for 18 weeks. This is an international chart and that was a record for any artist of any genre. I had also been as high as #19 on their Top 100 chart which included the likes of Carrie Underwood any many other artists everyone has heard of. More recently they learned that I've been # 1 in the country pop - christian country genres at www.numberonemusic.com. (http://www.numberonemusic.com/judywelden) for a year. I'm still amazed about this, but blessed just the same!
There is only one radio station here, which happens to be a Christian station. I hand-delivered my two Christian CDs when I first moved here 6 years ago. Soon after my promoter started to send them PR, but they have yet to play a song of mine. I have always given the Lord credit for my original songs, both Christian and secular; I'm blessed to have been able to get them heard worldwide, but do wonder about this. It would be great to have one's music and voice accepted in one's own community, especially when travelling to perform is not as easily accomplished at this time.
I'm wondering if other members at TMV have had these or similar experiences. I suspect they have because my promoter once asked her vocalists this question after I was rejected at church once more (July, 2007) and many of them wrote to us they'd had these as well. Since then I've just learned to accept the fact, but thought I could help others with this article. I think the best thing to remember is that even Jesus was not accepted nor respected in His own locale, so we must grit our teeth and deal with it.
I'd love to hear from others who share this adversity. Misery loves company, you know!! : )