In the past, I had always attended Monday night, which is always quartet night. Saturday's lineup had 19 groups, including 11 quartets.
When I left Harlan County just before 9 Saturday morning, after a long night at the Enterprise, I was very anxious to get to Jefferson County to attend the day-long event.
I rushed up there to see my good friends, The Roarks, of Sharps Chapel, Tenn., in a artist showcase, but the group had just wrapped up when I arrived. A 10-minute talk with them really got my evening off to a good start.
The second event of the day was the Songwriters Showcase featuring Phil Cross.
Over the past year, my favorite song was "I Know I'm Going There," by the Kingdom Heirs. The showcase started off with the group singing that former No. 1 hit.
The showcase also featured The Talley Trio, Legacy Five, Mark Bishop and Gerald Crabb.
After a 15-minute break, another showcase was presented with newer artists such as The Monument Quartet, The Mystery Men Quartet, Lumber River Quarter, The Gabbards and one of my favorite family groups, The Hoskins Family.
By then, it was 4 p.m. and the exhibit hall was open. The exhibit hall was located in the east wing and all the groups had their product tables set up.
With program in hand, I got several groups to autograph my book, such as Greater Vision, The Galloways, Gold City, The Kingsmen and The Triumphant Quartet.
I told myself I was going to limit my CD purchases to three. I did very well and found some great bargains. One purchase was at a table where CDs were $5 each, but any five for $15. The Galloways had a special with their new project ($10 and any other CD for $5 more) just for NQC.
By then, it was 6 and time for the main show.
The Anchormen began the evening concert, and on the final song, two former members of the group joined the group on stage.
The next group was Three Bridges, a trio I hadn't seen before. Their 15-minutes performance was awesome.
Other groups to perform on stage included The Crabb Family, The McKameys, The Nelons, The Perrys, The Hoppers, The Dove Brothers, The Dixie Melody Boys, The Dixie Echoes, LordSong, The Florida Boys, Gold City, Greater Vision, The Kingsmen, The Palmetto State Quartet, Brian Free & Assurance and The Inspirations.
My plan next year is to attend the entire week of NQC, but I say that every year.
It's always the highlight of the year for gospel music fans.