What Is Our Silence Worth to Miley Cyrus?

Culture/Society | 54 Comments

Spreading the word about certain people whose work (I believe) deserves a larger audience is one of my favorite things to do! Privately and publicly, I do it constantly.What Is Our Silence Worth to Miley Cyrus?

Frankly, it aggravates me to hear people complain about the books and songs that are at the forefront of our society’s consciousness. I agree with their complaints, but they still aggravate me. Why? Because so few do anything but complain.

Do you promote Miley Cyrus? I didn’t think so. But while you and I ignore her, someone is fiercely promoting every move she makes and doing a heck of a job. In the seven months since Miley’s VH-1 appearance that had everyone up in arms, her newest video on YouTube has been viewed more than 601 million times.

Allow me to repeat that: 601 MILLION views…in less than seven months.

Do you think Justin Bieber is likely to come to his senses, stay out of trouble, and become a good influence for your children and grandchildren? Probably not. Bieber has figured out that the more he misbehaves, the richer he gets. And it’s true. The kid is closing in on 1 BILLION views on YouTube.

So this is the lesson our children are learning: It doesn’t matter how you get attention as long as you get it. And if you get enough attention, you’ll be famous. And rich.

How about Sugarcane Jane?

Never heard of them, you say? Yeah, my point exactly…

Anthony Crawford and his wife, Savana, are incredibly talented, long time friends of mine who had the audacity to get married before they had children. Curiously, they have stayed married and out of trouble, all while raising a family somewhere other than New York or Los Angeles. This very cool couple, performing together as “Sugarcane Jane” and with a couple other buddies as “Willie Sugarcapps,” don’t have a single song on YouTube with more than 15,000 views.

If I had a goat, this would get it.

You will never convince me that the majority of America’s population LOVES Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. But if you argued that the majority of America’s population quietly shakes their head and goes about their business, I’m all in. (Gently…don’t loosen those blinders.)

We are dangerously passive when it comes to promoting people who deserve it. Is there anyone whose work or influence we should passionately get behind? Or do we carry on with our timid retreat as the culture we have allowed to overwhelm us continues to marginalize most of what we consider right and good?

Promoting a person and their work is a way that we can change this world. What book or song or person might the world never read or hear or know about…if not for you?

It was just a simple answer to a question from the press. If not for a few words, spoken with genuine enthusiasm, we might never have heard of the insurance salesman who had written a book in his spare time. The Naval Institute Press published a few thousand copies of that book in 1984 and, as expected, it went nowhere. Then, one day, a reporter asked, “Mr. President, what are you reading?”

Answering with excitement, Ronald Reagan said, “I’m reading a book given to me by a friend and I can’t put it down. It’s called The Hunt for Red October!”

Today, few people remember that Tom Clancy sold insurance, but his book sales have soared well past the 100 million mark.

 

Billy Graham is one of the most influential men in our nation’s history. Yet, were it not for a two-word telegram sent in 1949, we might never have heard of him.

William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, sent a telegram to the editor of every newspaper he owned. The message was: Puff Graham. The very next day, papers across America released enthusiastic, admiring articles about this young Christian minister. Curiously, Hearst never directed his newspapers to stop “puffing Graham,” and obediently, they never did.

In his book, Just As I Am, Graham wrote that he never knew when, how, or why such a powerful figure had taken an interest in him. For the record, he stated, “Hearst and I never met, talked by phone, or corresponded in any way as long as he lived.”

Yes, Billy Graham was and is an incredible communicator, but you could probably name other incredible communicators who are less well known. Why? One reason could be that no one became a “promoter” of their work.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Anthony and Savana.

Sugarcane Jane

One evening, after dinner at our home in Orange Beach, Anthony was showing something on the guitar to our boys. Very quietly, he began to sing the classic ‘60s song California Dreamin’ and we held our breath in awe as Savana harmonized. It was truly one of those magical moments.

Several months later, Polly and I were out of the country with friends and told the story of that moment. The next day, I called Anthony and asked if he and Savana could recreate that and email it to me.

“Just set up your iPhone and sing,” I said.

“No problem,” he answered, “but be warned…the kids will be in the shot!”

Anthony and Savana have a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.

I have watched the little video they sent many, many times. It is, for me, another, different kind of magical moment that reminds me not only of their talent, but the love they have for each other and their family. I thought you might enjoy it, too. Be sure to watch until the very end.

After California Dreamin’, I’ve included a song they recorded recently with their friends Will Kimbrough, Grayson Capps, and Corky Hughes.

I encourage you to LIKE them on Facebook and check out their website

Now, leave a comment and tell me, who do YOU think deserves our attention? And what are we going to do about it?

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  • http://www.jenniferhester.com/ Jenny Hester

    I for one will start to promote those who deserve to have their message heard. Thanks for the insight.

  • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

    Andy, it’s interesting how popular culture and the media sensationalize various activities and people to gain our attention. Although we don’t likely “agree” we don’t do anything to silence it, so that noise continues to build around us. (i.e. Reality TV)

    I find it the same way with writing myself. Look at the top blog posts on Huffington, etc. They are often very controversial and generate a lot of argument. Likewise with the NYT Bestseller list.

    There’s the constant pull to gain attention, expand your voice vs. stay true to the message you feel entrusted to deliver regardless of the response.

    You start to wonder if anyone wants to change enough to do something about it…

    You and David need to do a podcast episode on this.

  • Bonnie Gendron

    I believe Pastor Jerry Dirmann deserves your attention, because he preaches the Word of God straight up, leaving no room for excuses as to why God’s promises aren’t happening in a person’s life. Check Pastor Jerry out on TBN on Monday nights at 10 pm PST, or on the Church Channel on Tuesday nights at 8 pm PST. You can also watch his video podcasts at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-rock-jerry-dirmann/ and his website is http://www.jerrydirmann.com

    Check out this video by Pastor Jerry on Abiding In Jesus Through Our Words (Part 1):

    http://www.podcastdirectory.com/episodes/abiding-in-jesus-through-our-words-part-1-jerry-dirmann-29184754.html

  • Gary Zimmerman

    Wow… really good music… I liked their FB page. Here’s another group we need to promote – https://www.facebook.com/breezewoodrocks
    These guys are really really good. Enjoy

  • Lisa Molina

    What you have written here is important. What we give our attention to grows. Thanks for your continual insights Andy. Happy to be along side you and know you on this beautiful journey of life.

  • Lois Peterson

    So sad that Christians are talking about Miley and Justin in such livid terms. I don’t like what they are doing or showing, however, I do know that they both come from Christian families and their parents are most likely sick about what they see going on. Christians need to pray for them to return to the Lord, and pray for their moms, in particular, who are surely praying with broken hearts as they see their kids caught up in the world’s lifestyle and as they hear what the world says about them.

  • http://www.plexusslim.com/wanona Wanona Scheriger

    Awesome! I liked them on FB and will do a search on YouTube. Thanks for bringing them to our attention!

  • Suzan Grissett Buckner

    These two, (Savana and Anthony) are wonderful. Not only musically talented beyond words, but they are honestly two of the nicest people ever! They need to be promoted to the world!!
    Suzan Buckner

  • kaki58

    How nice. .. and true. Good good good!!! Truth is that people are passive on promoting anything deserved of notoriety, except for buying into high dollar promotions, allowing themselves to be led around by their noses by propagandists whose only intent is making money. Apathy shall prove to be our fatal flaw. I talk about this band and share their music with everyone for the reason being it’s well worth my time. What is wrong with us?

  • Donna

    Miley who?

  • JB

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been listening to Sugar Cane Jane, Willie Sugar Capps, and all of its members for quite a while now, and I have seen them live twice in the last month or so and plan to see them again in May. I agree with everything that you have said here, and I do try to promote a lot of the music that I listen to,. Like Todd snider, Jack Ingram, Roger Allan Wade, Shawn Mullins, Jason Isbell, Ansty McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadoures and many more. When people ask me what kind of music that I listen to I tell them I listen to the best Musicians and Singer Songwriters that you’ve never heard of.

  • http://www.klingtocash.com Kristin Ingram

    Great post! I believe we all need to do more to promote the awesome things we come across each day and not just the train wrecks. We have the power to determine the next big thing. Let’s do it!

  • Treavor Williams

    I have grown to love this little family not only on stage, but off stage as well. They are a wholesome down home family that most should expect for ourselves and our children to aspire to become. I instantly admired them and after meeting them and talking with them they found a special place among so few that are true to themselves and genuine to all those they meet. If you find yourself anywhere on the coastline of the gulf of mexico, be sure to catch them in one form or other of their groups Sugarcane Jane or Willie Sugarcapps. But don’t think for a minute that they won’t take time to chat about anything, they adore their fan base and welcome each one as if they were the president of a major record company. That Anthony, like his better half Savana, is a professional musician, but a novice comedian, be a sport and laugh at his jokes, even if they are at your own expense.

  • Karen Overstreet

    We should “do something about it” by praying for these young people and their families and for this generation of young souls-in-the-making. I once taught a Sunday School lesson to some of our youth in which I brought a plate full of scraps from my garbage. I asked my students what they would think if when they said, “What’s for supper?,” their mother put this delectable dish before them. After the gagging ended, I asked them what would happen if they actually ate this? Answer: garbage in…garbage out.. I then pointed out that our minds and hearts are more valuable than our stomachs. So, it make sense that in the same way this food causes damage to the body, the garbage we allow to enter our hearts and minds, makes us a susceptible to a more serious illness…depravity of the soul.

    Karen O.

  • Keith

    Very well spoken and the conclusion is great.

  • Ken Keiran

    Great article!! Thanks for getting the word out. So many great artists that are coming out of the the Gulf Coast region. And they all are friends. Anthony and Savana of Sugarcane Jane, Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough and Corky Hughes all form Willie C. Sugarcapps. Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack on their own or together in Daddy or The Bis-Quits. They all deserve to be heard by the masses. They’ve got the talent part down. Maybe they all need to go out and start misbehaving’.

  • Michel Bingen

    hi ! i’m michel from brussels belgium ! i’m following this awesome singing family crawford on facebook and youtube . they are great musicians and i love what they do both formula sugarcane jane or willie sugarcapps . I hope one day they be able to tour in europe !!! on the “california dreaming” video , i loved Loretta getting in tune with her
    parents on the end of the song ! so cute …
    don’t worry about the number of views on youtube ,they are not reliable !!! Youtube
    manipulate them,or people are buying millions of views, or utilising a “internet motor”
    to make fake views !!! also when you “moneytise ” ( for publicity) your videos ,your number of views are suddently decreasing !!! my friend Chris lost 100.000 views

    without warning or explanation ! and he lost of course money !!!
    But youtube remains a good system to help you to get well known or famous !…

    How can we order their records ,cd, dvd,in europe ? or do you have a adress in the states where we can order those records ? thank you in advance . Michel

    • Jay Everett

      Itunes and williesugarcapps.com

  • Andy & Sugarcapp fan

    I think Willie Sugarcapps deserves our attention. They are great, moving, a blessing. Thank you for introducing them. My husband has recommended them to the manager of the Okla International Bluegrass Festival. We are buying their cd and passing their web to friends!!!!

  • http://www.chancescoggins.com/ chance

    YYYYYYEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great, great, great!!!!

    Great point with Miley and Justin. And awesome challenge in the back half. People will talk all day about what they hate, but getting them to promote what they love is inexplicably hard! what is the deal, most especially among creatives. What in the world is that about? We are so easily threatened, as if one persons promotion equals a demotion for us. Craziness.

    On my way to Youtube to check out more from Sugarcane Jane. :)

  • Roger

    Love their music and their spirit. Thanks for sharing and making such a great point. We tend to see mostly what we look for so I’m trying to look more for the good and less for the other “stuff”!

    Here is the FB page for a local band I love:

    https://www.facebook.com/TheLowerLights

  • Joan Schimbeno

    We spend a couple of months on the Gulf Coast of Alabama in the winter and never miss an opportunity to see Sugarcane Jane and Willie Sugarcapps! What incredibly talented people they all are! Genuine, true blue people, every one. Proud to call them our friends!

  • Leilani Wood

    Andy,
    You’ve done it again. Written words that bring a smile to my face an joy in my heart. Thank you for the TRUTH.

  • Lisa Hatley-Nasr

    Great article! Sharing on Facebook. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform at Carrolton Station in New Orleans a month ago and have since posted about them and purchased their album – which I have on my iPod and make everyone listen to! I ran 20 miles listening to Willie Sugarcapps.

  • http://ct-social.com/ Greg Trujillo

    Key take away.

    “It doesn’t matter how you get attention as long as you get it”

  • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

    Your message is so right on. This may go down as one of my favorite Andy Andrews post of all time. I am also pretty convinced that Randolf Hearst woke up one night and heard a voice more powerful than his whisper, “Puff my young preacher!” Thanks Andy. You are an amazing example of what you teach.

  • Kieara

    Wow! They’re awesome! Definitely going to look them up. I can think of a local family, that does bluegrass, and they’re just awesome! They are The Harper Family, and they are also on Facebook. An amazing family with an amazing testimony. They also have an album on iTunes now.

  • Tami Brooks Alvis

    Wonderful! Such beautiful talent and artists. I will be liking them on Facebook and looking them up on YouTube. I will also be passing them on to others. I love to share about talented folks and their creations. Thank you for a great article. You might be interested to check out a local family in my area of southern Illinois that does beautiful, harmonious bluegrass music. They are The Bankesters. You can find them on Facebook and YouTube.

  • Betty

    Makes me miss Colorado. Her beauty is unsurpassed. When I lived there I always said that God made Colorado for Himself.

  • joyhaynes

    Thank you, Andy. I couldn’t agree more.
    This is something I would like to share. Simply beautiful voices. VIA DOLOROSA – Ginny Owens + Andrew Greer

    http://youtu.be/5dg71m7F2es

    • Anissa

      Wonderful — Thank You Joy for sharing, and I will “Share It Forward”.

  • Sally Shank

    My recommendation: http://youtu.be/Sy-RlALmdVw
    Anthem Lights K-Love Fan Awards Music
    Video. 600,000 views compared to Miley’s 600 Million.

  • Cynthia L Temaat

    Love your article, and the music, and the posts, great, great,great, keep up the good work, will share and use my voice, we must!

  • Les

    I accidentally “discovered” Grayson Capps a few months back when I was looking for a particular song on youtube, and from there found footage from The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm – and found Sugarcane Jane from there. Totally hooked on their music, from across the pond in Cornwall, England (or “near England” as they say around here). Hope they manage to tour the UK at some point, otherwise it could be a trip over there for me….. meanwhile, to promote one of ours back to you – check out our own hardworking, unsigned songwriter – Gaz Brookfield.

  • Dayna

    Check out Over the Rhine (the band, not the suburb of Cincinnati), they’re awesome.

  • Kathy Ratcliffe

    My dad spends 40+ hours a week redistributing food that would usually be thrown away from places like Publix and Panera to food pantries and charities all over Mobile and Baldwin County. My mom both helps and supports his efforts. I have never heard her tell him to do something that would generate more income. They are amazing and deserve support for their insane effort to help people.

  • Michelle Roberts Matthews

    Your post inspired me to call Anthony and find out more! http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2014/04/sugarcane_jane_buoyed_by_uplif.html

  • Jennifer A

    Thank you for writing this! It has really driven home the importance of speaking up in support of those who are far more deserving of attention than Miley could ever be. Someone I’ve been actively engaged in promoting recently is Eric Auxier. Eric is, as he puts it, “an airline pilot by day, writer by night and kid by choice.” He has written two books, posts regularly on his blog (capnaux.com) and is a contributor to two aviation magazines. Most recently he has been involved in helping a young man named Dillon, who suffers from cerebral palsy, to achieve his dream of flying. This video and the smile on Dillon’s face says it all: http://vimeo.com/capnaux/dillon

  • David

    Here is a friend on mine that I think deserves to be passed along much more than Miley C. or Justin B. https://www.facebook.com/steve.eulberg?fref=ts

  • LAOL

    Thank you Andy for this wonderful blog about two of the nicest folks anyone could ever want to meet. They deserve every bit of our effort to get the word out about Sugarcane Jane and Willie Sugarcapps, organic music at its finest!

  • Sandy Johnson Shockley

    Thank you so much for your article, unfortunately, it seems to be a Christian trait to be silence in the face of the enemy. Yet, I have a wonderful friend, birthday sister, sister in Christ, who is called to teach. Not as an educator, but as a Christian educator. She has developed a blog on WordPress, written some of her own studies, for example Daniel and The Names of God, to name a couple. She lives to study God’s Word. I’m hoping you would consider Dorcas Elizabeth (Beth) Beegle Andrews. She has a following here n the Tallahassee FL in a couple of churches. She is a dedicated servant, and her hearts desire is to write for The Lord. Blessings. http://dbethandrews.wordpress.org/

  • Rocki Holder

    Please check out my daughter, singer/songwriter Ali Holder. aliholder.com. She has an MA in art & works 2 teaching jobs to support her singer/songwriter career.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    I never really thought about this before in terms of promoting what you love and is good and true. Another way to reduce the influence that the Mileys of the world have is to stop watching and listening.

  • Sylvia Doggette

    Thanks for bringing them to my attention. Worthy of our attention.

  • Barry Williams

    I love the Frog Pond and the all of the musicians that play there. Many of them play together on stage for the first time. Sugarcane Jane, Will Kimbrough, Grayson Capps and Willie Sugarcapps are just simply phenomenal!!! The Frog Pond is also where I met the infamous Andy Andrews for a second time. We should all promote the good things that are all around us. After all, if we don’t, who will? The good is there. We just have to open our eyes and be Noticers.

  • Jeiko

    I recently finished reading a book by a young man who followed his heart and not the money. In about 6 years, he has gotten 200 schools built in the poorest countries. The book is called, “The Promise of a Pencil.” His name is Adam Braun. One of the ironies is that his brother, Scott, who goes by the name, Scooter, discovered Justin Bieber at age 14. According to the book, Justin has been donating $1 per concert ticket to Adams cause. It is interesting how two individuals can take such different paths in life.

  • Wilbur Martin

    I have known Will Kimbrough (the “Willie” in Willie Sugarcapps) for about 20 years. He has played guitar for Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffet, Kim Richie – live and in the studio. A more talented player and writer would be hard to find.

  • Keith Mohr

    awesome post Andy! I agree. It seems that crazies get the attention these days.. people rarely promote goodness.

  • Suzanne McCandless

    Discovered Sugarcane Jane a few months ago after listening to Willie Sugarcapps being interviewed on the Buddy and Jim Show. What a treasure! I hope that their success is far reaching! I am hoping that I will get to see them play live some day. Thanks for sharing the family video in this article :) So sweet.

  • Cal Carter

    Anthony and Savannah are the real deal playing the places with real people! God bless them and their children.

  • Mitch Dolphin

    I actually do promotions and graphics for Miley Cyrus and as a former Gulf Shores resident I gotta say that I absolutely love the music scene down there! Grayson & Savana both make beautiful music and I’ve been to many shows at Pirates Cove & even attended the Willie Sugarcapps’ album release party at Soul Kitchen last year. Another thing I have to say is before y’all go trash talkin’ Cyrus you have to hear her “Backyard Sessions” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDwKtF-uaO4 … kinda reminds me of The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm :)

  • http://smarturl.it/iRidiculum Mitch Dolphin

    Furthermore- I’m positive that if Cyrus were to express interest in covering any of their lovely works that there would be little or no protest to that. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93CZ6oFR8Q0

  • Gregg Boutilier

    Check out Music in Atlanta on Facebook! We’re dedicated and passionate about promoting bands like Sugarcane Jane and MANY , MANY more!!! We’re currently spreadin’ the love for bands like: The New Orleans Suspects, Randall Bramblett, NRBQ, Dave and Phil Alvin, Michelle Malone, Biters, 7Horse and on and on and on! Our only reward is the hope of adding a few fans to the fan bases of the bands we love!

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    Love this post! My response: “Puff Andy Andrews!”