Archie Watkins to retire?

That’s what I’m hearing. Of course I’ve heard Inspirations rumors before that went absolutely no where. So this could be another one of those. Honestly, it wouldn’t matter to me one way or the other. I don’t listen to the Inspirations unless the Erhler’s ice-cream line is short at NQC and I get back to my seat sooner than I intended. And I wouldn’t listen to them any more without Watkins, whose voice could qualify as a torture device under the Geneva Conventions, than I have while he’s been with them. But the I’s are immensely popular and even more successful, by most accounts. So it seemed worth mentioning.

Update: Daniel Mount, who seems to be the soothsayer of all things Inspiration, writes:

I noticed this morning’s post concerning Archie Watkins departing from the Inspirations. This was considered last fall. However, Archie made a firm decision to stay on the road for now. As recently as the Christmas weekend, he was still definitely planning on staying.

It was reported on various message boards that Martin Cook was talking to Dallas Rogers of the Dixie Echoes at the last NQC. While they did talk, Rogers has told the members of the Dixie Echoes within the last few weeks that he has made a definite decision to stay with the Dixie Echoes.

Of course, if Archie Watkins develops more voice problems, this could change at any point. But it is my understanding that, for the time being at least, Watkins has made a firm decision to stay on the road.a

Email this Post


  1. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    “And I wouldn’t listen to them any more without Watkins…”

    Do you mean that you would completely cease to listen to them if Watkins left the group? :D

    Or do you just mean that you would not listen to them any more than you otherwise would?

  2. Trent wrote:

    Archie Watkins is the defining voice in the group. His unique tenor voice is the signature of the group, and whenever he does retire, Martin will have to find a rabbit in the hat to make it work without Archie. Fans of the Inspos love Archie.

  3. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Martin Cook is the defining “voice” of the Inspirations. When he retires, the group should be retired as well.

    Although Watkins is a key element of their sound, the group could carry on with a compatible tenor…John Rulapaugh, Dallas Rogers, etc.

    Without Cook, though, the entire feel of an Inspirations concert would change. The way he works the crowd is what endears the group to their audience.

    I would love to hear Holcomb in a different group someday…

  4. Youngbass wrote:

    What ever happened to Mark Clark? He was traveling with the I’s at the end of 2006 and was singing tenor on stage I know - I have a friend who auditioned Clark for a tenor position and he later denied because of the I’s deal. If you have seen the I’s live, you have probably seen Mark standing on stage singing. He is a “backup” for Archie from what I understand. I thought he was going to be hired full-time - I wonder if the deal fell through?

  5. Ron F wrote:

    Ive had the honor I guess its an honor to bring the Inspirations on to the stage several times in my 10 year career. What I say when I bring them on is if you Love God you will love the Inspirations because they just like God ” Never change. Ron F.

  6. fConie Leonard wrote:

    Archie is the #1 tenor singer of all times. His voice is truely an “Inspiration” to the Inspirations. They are all wonderful in their own way, but without Archie, they wouldn’t be the same. I have had the honor to meet him personally on several ocasions and he is a wonderful person.
    I love him dearly.

  7. Jacob wrote:

    It is official. Archie Watkins is Retiring and is leaving the group Feb. 28th 2009. At New Hope Baptist Church in Pigeon Forge,TN

  8. William wrote:

    If it is indeed true about Archie Watkins’ retiring from the Inspirations, I want to thank him for devoting so many years to SGM and for bringing joy to so many people. He has one of the most recognizable voices in the industry, and he and the rest of the Inspirations have made some truly beautiful and distinct harmony.

    I must concede, however, that the time has come for him to take it easy: Archie’s been singing tenor for 45+ years–unheard of in any group of any genre! His voice sounds tired, and it stands to reason that it should, given his long career. He is a fantastic person: humble, godly, devoted, and a brother in Christ, and I am going to miss him in concert…The Inspirations won’t be the same.

    As for you, Avery, I am praying for your salvation. You are a good writer, but you are full of hate and bitterness. You don’t merely critique; you tear down, and that is not what SGM needs today. You have such seethingly poisonous words to say about the Inspirations, but I encourage you to listen to them from the beginning! Go back to their very first album and listen to them evolve. Listen to their works from the 1970s, when they owned Southern Gospel! You don’t have to like their music as I do, but how can you not respect and appreciate their sound for what it was and still is: Unique!

  9. oldtimer wrote:

    Someone mentioned that they would like to hear Mike Holcomb with another group. I happen to know that after Big Chief’s death Mike was one of Hovie’s primary choices to come sing bass for the Statemen. You talk about a shift in groups - inspos to statemen!! I do no know if the job was ever offered. I do know by then that the Inspos were on the top of the gospel music world and the Statesmen were on life support career wise. But it would have been interesting!!!

  10. Jacob wrote:

    It is true Dallas Rogers will be the groups new tenor and fans are already loving the new sound. You should go and see them in person and hear what im talking about. Dallas did a sensational job the night I heard him with the group and the blend was superb!!!!!

  11. Happy wrote:

    Archie is a true legend and Precious Saint of God - what a testimony and inspiration he has been to my family !! I appreciate him following God’s lead for his life and will be upholding him in prayer !! Thank you Archie for giving to the Lord !!

  12. Debbie Eidson wrote:

    I saw Archie tonight at Fullerville Baptist Church in Villa Rica, GA. He was with the Diplomats from Carrollton, GA. He did great. If I hadn’t read it on this board, I would have never had a clue that he was having voice problems. He sung about 10 solos without any problems.

  13. randall wrote:

    Archie is somewhat a devoted singer to the inspirations coming from a background of singers in his family the roses and watkins from Bryson City NC, I should really know all this due to the fact Archie is my cousin through the Watkins And Parks From Bryson City.

    And Another Statement About Martin Cook I Think The Inspirations Will Do Fine Without Him.

  14. D.R wrote:

    It would be nice if Christian people actually wrote the critiques for Gospel music

  15. Linda wrote:

    I have been listening and going to see, hear and be with the I’s since 1979, they have been #1 to me since I first heard When I Wake Up To Sleep No More. I have been to the old resturant after attending Singing in the Smokies, either later dinner or early breakfast, tubing over Devils’ Dip, poor Troy had a rough day. This is where my children spent vacations, Bryson City & Cherokee just so we could go to the mountain and listen to them and others sing. I think they are all great, But Archie and Mike can’t be beat. Love U guys!

  16. joe brown wrote:

    keep up the good work archie see you in reform al.july 30th.

  17. Ann Evans wrote:

    Apparently, I am the only person on earth that Archie Watkins was extremely rude to. He was always my favorite, but when I tried to talk to him at the cd table, the look he gave me was cold, and drop dead. All I said to him was, what was the name of the song you sung last, and do you have it on cd? I loved it. He let me know by his look and manner that he did not have a minute to answer my question. I wouldn’t walk across the road to hear him. Ruined the inspirations for me.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.