Dale Flynn ... Putting Life Into Jamaican Gospel
...Ever since the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, (JCDC) solicited Dale Flynn's involvement in the National Gospel Song Contest three years ago, the competition has never been the same, becoming more professional and attracting quality performers.
Despite the success, Flynn
prefers to take a backseat and praise the man he
says is responsible for his
success - Jesus.Flynn
then disclosed the secret to his
success as a Christian businessman, dispelling the swirl of accusations against him that he
is hard-nosed and does anything to stay ahead in the growing gospel market."I employ the Bible's principles - whatsoever thy hands find to do, do it with all thy might," Flynn, head of Life Productions, said.
"I am resolved not to lose focus.I never get into squabbles with anyone and I look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my life."
But how does he
balance business with ministry?According to Flynn
has struck a balance with what he
3M Theory - message, man and money.He
explained that it is impossible to operate a ministry without money, yet money has to take second place.
"You can have all the money in the world but if your message and methods are not of God
, your efforts will eventually be derailed," he
In 1998, Flynn
was invited by the JCDC
to submit a proposal for the Gospel Festival, which he
said was "fledging" at the time.He
then entered into a faith partnership and with this utterance sealed the deal: "In every era God has a man and I think that I am the man for these times."
said, over 25,000 albums have been sold and $1.2 million in royalties have been paid out to artistes and songwriters.According to Flynn
, it is important for artistes to know that apart from pirated copies of their work, album sales have been properly tabulated.
"We operate in a global marketplace and we are all for transparency.We do not have anything to hide because at the end of the day we would like to know when an album goes gold, we want to brag about the figures and to say, ‘look what God
has done'," Flynn
added that at the end of 2000, local gospel music would have received another boost with the addition of 30 new music videos.
Flynn boasts that the Gospel Song Contest has improved in standard since he
took over its production: "In 1998, it was bigger and better; in 1999, best ever, but in 2000 it's going beyond all limits.We want to market more products with Jamaica as our base and the world as our marketplace," he
musical background, it would seem that the JCDC
did the right thing in attracting Flynn's attention.A stickler for quality, with a keen musical ear, Flynn is a skilled musician and is one of the pioneers in the restructuring of Jamaica's gospel music industry.His
involvement dates back to 1974 when he
, as a young seventh Day Adventist singer with the Golden Melody Quartet
, won top prize (a trip to the Cayman Islands) for best quartet in a Jamaica Youth For Christ-sponsored Talent For Christ competition.The group, he
said went on to do recordings and perform at live concerts and church services.He was also a member of an accapella group, The Temple Singers.
In 1979, he
directed the Dale Flynn Chorale to another YFC victory.That group, he
said, went all over ... children's homes.And I think it is out of these experiences that I still have a heart to this day to reach the lost, unreached and unchurched," Flynn
In 1982, Flynn
was asked by Sylvester Lashley, former president of West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University) to get involved in gospel music at an international level.That year he
brought the internationally acclaimed Heritage Singers and King Herald Quartet for the first time to Jamaica.He says that it was out of that experience that he gained recognition as a gospel entity and was asked to manage groups, the first of which was New Creation Heritage.Flynn
also organized the Kiddies pantomime, Kids Praise 84.
It encouraged Flynn
to form his
own company."Because of the demand, I decided to formalize an organizations called Life Productions in 1985," he said.
was contacted by overseas interests and got involved in record deals with Maranatha Music and Word Records, the latter being the largest gospel music company in the world.He
still does business with them.
After 1990, he
went straight into production as Life Singers members had all embarked on solo careers.Life Productions
has since managed to place gospel music on radio, starting with nightly slots between 12:00 and 1:00 a.m. on JBC radio 2.Flynn
eventually managed to get an 8:15 - 9:00 morning slot on JBC FM, sponsoring the programme, You, Me and the Gospel Sounds.
says local gospel music in on its way up, he
likens the present industry to a family with problems.
"Yet that does not mean that they are unsolvable," he
said."I do not have anything against anybody..I don't have anybody in my pocket; I only have Jesus in my heart.God
would never be blessing me so much if I was a mean spirit.All that I am and ever hope to be I owe it all to Jesus," a jovial Flynn