NQC 07: Bugs and Fake Florida Boys

Let us now praise free wireless in airports. I’m in the Orlando terminal waiting for my connection to Louisville. Looking at comments traffic, I think it’s safe to say the NQC’s live-video feed has the makings of a success (if it, like the exhibit hall, can be debugged). Sixty bucks seems a little steep, but if people are willing to pay it, I guess that’s what the market bears.

In other news, it looks like the Fake Florida Boys thing that Charlie Waller has cooking is indeed for real. Sigh. What on earth is he thinking? Why not just field The Grand Ole Gospel Quartet (cause that’s actually not a bad name)? Is this Florida Boys 2.0 some sort of joke? Homage gone awry? Is there a missing piece to the puzzle here that - though it’s difficult to imagine - would make this all make more sense?

I don’t know enough about the personnel in Waller’s line up to comment one way or another about the sound. But that’s really not the point: Can you imagine a Cathedrals Quartet hitting the road post-George and Glenn and being staffed by, say, Bill Gaither, Russ Taff, Larry Ford, and Roy Webb? If you can, you may not be alone but I suspect you’ll have your pick of seats for any and all of the Fake Florida Boys concerts. Which is to say, the talent (or lack thereof) ain’t the point. It’s about branding and history. I don’t know whose behavior is more outrageous here: Waller’s bad judgment or Beasley’s brazenness.

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  1. JM wrote:

    Perhaps the underlying question is this: Do most southern gospel groups have such a standard sound, stage presence and “schtick” that they COULD be bought, undergo a wholesale personnel change and emerge with a sound and performance that somewhat approximates the original? Before you answer the question too quickly, do a quick review of groups that have undergone massive changes and still seem to produce a sound that matches or exceeds the original. Unfortunately, in some cases, matching the original is no great task…however, it has been done any number of times. And, while I doubt that groups who possess tight harmonies and a stage presence that feeds off of their tenure and common experience can be easily duplicated, there are a number of groups who seem to have that “cookie-cutter” feel about themselves…wrong or right?

  2. RF wrote:

    I don’t know much about the Florida Boys pre-Glenn, Allen, Josh and Gene, but there was no real Statesman Quartet without Hovie Lister. There was no Cathedrals Quartet without Glenn and George, and there’s no Florida Boys without Les, Glenn and Darrol. Case closed. Only the Oaks have been able to pull this off and even they have had continuity–all of them usually didn’t leave at one.

    Good luck, Charlie. It should be a short run.

  3. FBFAN wrote:

    I don’t know all the details as far as the name transaction, or Beasley’s reasoning for this, but…. Charlie has exploited this Grand Ole Gospel thing far too long… sure, it’s great to take a look back, and remember how things once were, and to pay respect to those who paved the way for gospel music today….but lets get real here….its 2007…I often feel I’m drowning in old songs, and “how it used to be done”. Taking the Florida Boys name only verified for me Charlie’s tactics… this is his chance to really be a performer…to truely shine in the lime-light…to prove that the old way is the only way….unfortunately, his talent line up (full of no-bodies, save Josh Pope), will be a huge dissapointment, as not one of them are professional vocalist,
    (according to his own standards), and I have a feeling that no one will truly accept them as the Florida Boys. Its a ploy for Charlie to keep the Grand Ole Gospel days alive. Let it go, and the let the Florida Boys rest in peace. If the goal was to keep it going, I feel they could have worked with Josh Garner to create a new Florida Boys. What a talented, exciting line-up that would have been, if Josh was looking that direction…

  4. thom wrote:

    this whole thing stinks, as I said in a post on an earlier thread. Come on guys - just retire the good name along with the group!
    I agree that Charlie should use another name like “grand ole gospel quartet” as someone else said.

  5. Montana man wrote:

    Maybe the “new” FB theme will be “Oh yes, we’re the great pretenders.”

    There is some precedent for abrupt change, though not at the FB level. Last December the four singers quit the Anchormen (they re-formed as Driven) and Tim, aparently notorious for low budget, went out and got (bought?) another quartet. Instantly those four men were turned into the Anchormen. They had 8 minutes of main stage fame Monday night, and their predecessors, who had earned main stage time in 2006, were singing in showcases this year.

    The Couriers brought three guys in with them for a couple of years, sold ‘em the name and turned ‘em loose. (Now three of the originals have re-formed as Dave, Duane & Neil.)

    Maybe only God knows how many iterations of “Blackwood Brothers” there are, have been, will be.

    And today’s Imperials connect only by Morales father and son.

  6. clyde wrote:

    The news about the new Florida Boys is a great opportunity for someone to get it exactly right. I hope it works out this way!

    With Charlie Waller (who knows exactly how things should be) singing lead and owning the show, surely he will hire the perfect folk to fill the slots. He should no doubt hire Jerry “It’s Got Have A Shave and a Haircut” Kirksey at baritone. No doubt he would have Roy “If it ain’t old with a pencil-thin moustache it ain’t good or classy” Pauley providing the bass. Tenor would have to be a different guy every other road trip (got to keep at least one Florida Boys traditions in place). And then they will need Doug Harrison on keyboards, because his vast knowledge of the business and his expert musical ear to make sure the whole package is above reproach and perfect.

    With these Monday morning quarterbacks of Southern Gospel all in one group singing song after song about just holding on til we get to heaven, the Southern Gospel bi-plane that the Gaithers have hijacked and turned into a 747 will finally be reduced to the cropduster it was destined to be!

  7. Wayne wrote:

    I agree the name should have been retired. I can’t see the masses accepting a phoney FBQ, especially with this vocal line-up. I’ve heard Charlie sing. He’s ok, but nothing to write home about. Buddy Burton is a semi-legend. He sang with Hovie and the Statesmen for a few years as well as a few other groups. But really, it’s the baritone part so nobody really cares anyway. Chip Cooper. Hmmm. I thought he was singing with Ed Crawford and the Mystery Men Quartet but maybe that gig didn’t pan out. I also know that Chip filled in for the Pine Ridge Boys for a while when “Big” Jim Stewart was having some health issues. All I can say about Chip’s voice is that he better be mighty thankful for condenser mics.

  8. thom wrote:

    montana man - there are actually 3 different groups using the Imperials name.
    Joe Moscheo, Terry Blackwood and their group, Armand Morales and his group go by the Classic Imperials, and then Morales son and his bunch are also using the Imperials name.

    not quite as bad as the many apperations of the Blackwoods, but working on it!
    SUrely we won’t see the same thing with the Florida Boys name - I sure hope not anyway.

  9. Dave wrote:

    I believe the Blackwoods are down to 3 groups right now.
    1. The Blackwood Brothers , led by Jimmy
    2. Blackwood Gospel Qt, let by Mark
    3. The Blackwoods, led by Ron & R.W. Jr. in Branson.

  10. Dave wrote:

    This also reminds me when somebody new bought the “Perfect Heart” name and started a new qt. using that name, and it went belly under.

  11. Radioguy wrote:

    I think had Josh Garner and Gene MacDonald stuck around they would have a chance at this new FB thing. Other than that, it probably won’t pan out, but then who knows. Look at the Palmetto State Qt who enjoyed bigger success without the 2 old guys.

  12. AJ wrote:

    i think you all need something to do!!

  13. Aaay Nonemus wrote:

    Umm..in response to #9, for the record, RW and Ron’s version of The Blackwoods(with John Rulapaugh singing tenor BTW) are in Pigeon Forge and not Branson.

    Just wanted to clarify that!

  14. Dave wrote:

    OK, thanks Aaay Nonemus for correcting that. I was a little unsure of where they played at.

  15. Trevor Haley wrote:

    In response to post #3, FB Fan you are being a little too hard on Charlie. Charlie Waller has a great respect for classic quartet music. It’s much more than just an “exploitation” to him. If anything, he has probably taken a loss through the years promoting this style music, and not simply chasing after the latest thing. We have performed at Grand Ole Gospel for a number of years, and if you have not seen Charlie work behind the scenes, you shouldn’t really judge. He has a lot of respect for his audience and the history of the music. Is this program going to appeal to everyone? No it is not. But there is always a huge crowd of folks that eat it up. He has given a lot of new groups a chance to be seen, including ourselves. I also believe he was the first promoter to feature the Dove Bros. on a major program. And it’s not only the traditional groups he turns the spotlight on. The Booth Brothers have been featured there for many years. His main concern in quality.

  16. NG wrote:

    The Booth Brothers’ first major appearance was at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion and the same for the Dove Brothers. Charlie Waller has done a lot for SGM. As for the new Florida Boys, can someone confirm this by asking Charlie Waller or Les Beasely both of whom are at NQC?

  17. RH wrote:

    As I’ve read, I agree that Les, Glen, and Derrell ARE the FB. We don’t won’t some immitators that have no real connection to the group to try to milk the name for what it’s worth. Thats pathetic! Sure if it had Josh or Gene it would be a little different, but that’s not the case. I don’t doubt that Charlie Waller respects the old groups, but honestly to me it’s disrespectful to put a group on the road and calling them the florida boys and risk (a high expected risk) belittling their legendary name. I’d love nothing more that this to be a bad rumor, or for him to change his mind and let the name retire. #3, you mentioned a group full of nobodies, save josh pope… I’d disagree and say that Josh is definitely a nobody. Buddy Burton is the ONLY one that people might know for his talent. Charlie is only known as a promoter and an unclassy one at that. Joshua pope is adequate at very best. maybe someday, but florida boys material? heck no!

  18. AJ wrote:

    I think the majority of people who have posted on this blog should honestly be ashamed of themselves. I would assume most of you would proclaim to be die hard SGM fans, right? Well, if that is the case, where are your morals and values? Is it not extremely unchristian like to be blasting people on this website? Really, what would Jesus say? I think he would be very happy that “the fake florida boys” are out on the road sharing his message, whether it be to a sold out crowd or five people, don’t you? You know, I hope that none christians do not frequent this website, as they would not learn, nor aspire to be like anyone on here.

  19. concerned wrote:

    Folks, the sky is not falling here. I suspect things will begin to make a lot more sense after NQC is over.

    First of all, we’re all assuming that the new group will be continue exactly the same recording/touring schedule the Florida Boys are currently under. I seriously doubt that will be the case. Charlie has other business interests, Josh is still under age, and Buddy has been semi-retired for a number of years. I can’t see any of these guys taking on the touring schedule the Florida Boys have had. This is pure speculation here, but I suspect it will be more of a tribute group, making occasional appearances, with Charlie doing his best to promote and preserve the history of the quartet. It is simply not a case of someone buying the name for the sole purpose of boosting their music career.

    It’s a good business opportunity - for Glen, Derrell and Les, and for Charlie and co. Let’s not forget -this is a business. While we all love to hear Josh and Gene sing, and they are great guys, neither one has ever managed/owned a quartet like the Florida Boys. It takes a great deal of money too. Who’s to say that group would be any more successfull? Or respectful of the legacy of the quartet?

  20. Wayne wrote:

    To AJ #18. I’ll answer your questions as they pertain to me…

    I think the majority of people who have posted on this blog should honestly be ashamed of themselves.
    I am very ashamed of myself for some of the things I have done in my life. I won’t list them because they are none of your business. But posting my opinions about Southern Gospel artists performances, character, and business in a frank but honest way, is not something that I should be ashamed of.

    I would assume most of you would proclaim to be die hard SGM fans, right?
    Yes. Have been all my life, even before I became a Christian. I don’t listen to country, rap, heavy metal, r&b, rock, AC, or any other type of secular music. Well, I do have a fondness for Etta James and Rosemary Clooney, but I think the Lord likes their music also, so it’s ok.

    Well, if that is the case, where are your morals and values?
    My morals and values are exactly where I keep them: in a shoebox in my closet. Just kidding. My posting on this (or any other site) has nothing to do with my morals or values.

    Is it not extremely unchristian like to be blasting people on this website?
    I don’t think that I have blasted anybody on this or any other website. I may make a comment about their style of singing or how they practice business, but it is not up to me to judge their walk with the Lord.

    Really, what would Jesus say?
    Since I’m not Jesus, I can’t really speak for Him. But whatever He might say, I would assume that it would be in King James English, with a British accent.

    I think he would be very happy that “the fake florida boys” are out on the road sharing his message, whether it be to a sold out crowd or five people, don’t you?
    I think He would be happy also for this group of men to share His message. That is not the issue. The issue is the respect of the legacy of a group of men who have shared His message for many decades under a name, and another group of men are trying to capitalize on that legacy.

    You know, I hope that none christians do not frequent this website, as they would not learn, nor aspire to be like anyone on here.
    To be honest, I don’t believe too many non-Christian folks stop by a sight about Southern Gospel music too frequently. But then again, alot of artists do indeed read this blog.

  21. Tele D. Trooth wrote:

    I got dibs on The Inspirations…

  22. Ben Harris wrote:

    I would suggest you get to now the man Charlie Waller before you talk to much about the travesty of his purchase of the FB’s. Why do you not condemn Les, Darrell or Glen for their willingness to sell? It has been for sale for a number of years as these men were wanting out. Charlie Waller may be a great success with the name, and he may not, only time will tell. But it is for certain that if everyone was of the same opinion with many on this forum, very few would succeed in SG Music. One thing I have come to know in the years we have been doing this is this simple fact, many in this industry do not want you to succeed. In fact, they will say or do just about anything to keep that from happening. During the last couple of years we have had name groups copy our songs and arrangements, record and release them, perform them on the main stage at NQC, and as of yet, we have not been given one ounce of credit for the arrangements or writing of the songs. It gets frustrating to say the least. Many so called die hard fans, are so loyal to one group, they will say what ever they choose about another in some weird attempt to make their own group of choice look better. I am sure Jesus would approve.

  23. DM wrote:

    Every Blackwood group has a Blackwood in it. Some of the guys in new FB could not make the Statesmen or Men of Music work.

  24. Gerald Rallins wrote:

    For once in my life - I agree with you.

  25. Andy wrote:

    Well said Ben. Thank you.

  26. Donnie wrote:

    I’ve read many of the reviews of the idea of the new FB. Lets be honest.
    Charlie has the know how to promote.
    Buddy is one of the finest utility singers ever to travel.
    Chip has come a long way and indeed a talent.
    Josh is a great kid, and a fine novelty, but a constant stage musician he’s not yet.
    They may have done better with one of the older lesser knowns like Myles Howard, I think he’s up in Tennessee and has played for Buddy, Jack Toney and BIll Shaw on occasion.

    Never the less, If they stick with FB standards they should do ok.

  27. Tommy Howe wrote:

    Well, I went to see and hear the “Fake Florida Boys”, in their very first concert, this past Saturday, March 29 and there was nothing fake about them.

    I have read several comments about former members, such as Gene McDonald, having the right to continue with the name “Florida Boys”. Now understand I love Gene, he is not only probably the finest bass to come along in years (my opinion) but I have known him since he was a child and he is a good friend as is his Dad, Tommy, but what made Gene a “Florida Boy? It was when Les Beasley told him he was one, just as many other tenor singers as well as several bass singers. What made Les a “Florida Boy”? It was when J.G. Whitfield told him he was. What made Charles Waller a “Florida Boy” and gave him the right to say who else would be a “Florida Boy”? It was when Les along with Glen and Derrell said so and that is that.

    Now, as far as their talent level, Saturday night Charlie did a very fine job, Dustin is a good young tenor and will be just fine, Joshua is a remarkable talent and Chip is a good smooth bass with a very wide range and fine voice. However Buddy Burton is someone I could talk about for a long time. I have been privileged to sing with some singers that most Southern Gospel fans would say were the very best, such as Jake Hess, James Blackwood, Jack Toney, J.D. Sumner, Ed Enoch, Steve Warren, Pat Hoffmaster, Rosie Rozell and the list goes on, but I have never sang with anyone I had rather sing with than Buddy. His voice has been and still is beautiful. He also is one of the easiest people in the world to travel with and get along with. If you cannot get along with Buddy you need to go to counseling because you have a problem. I think it is pretty evident; the Tommy Howe family loves Buddy Burton.

    If you get a chance to go hear the Florida Boys be sure and do so. I feel certain you will enjoy it just as did the sell out crowd at their first concert. I wish them great success.

  28. InsideMan wrote:

    So, this would be the equivalent of what Beasley supposedly attempted to do with his involvement of The Kingsmen name in 2001 and the way that all of the group members with tenure (Ray Dean Reese/Parker Jonathan) were actually fired, before they all decided to band together and carry on under another name.

    What goes around comes around I suppose.

  29. Ben Harris wrote:

    I think you will find that Les Beasley had nothing to do with the Kingsmen ever. You are confusing him with another man. I could give the name but choose not to.

  30. Ben Harris wrote:

    Oh yes, the Kingsmen were not fored but rather quit rather than go forward under the Kingsmen name under new manangement.

  31. Ted wrote:

    I heard Florida Boys sing at a Lawn care Expo some years ago. I asked Les Beasley whats with the Carolina Boys not singing at the NQC and all the silence from Singing News about Carolina Boys. He looked at me shaking his head, “that is a complicated situation”
    He did not go any further then that.
    Was it true that Beasley bought the Kingsmen name?

  32. C wrote:

    I heard the “new” FB sing at one of their first concerts, and might I say they are just great. Their CD is something to get your hands on as well.
    I think it is wonderful that the “new” FB are keeping the “old” FB songs. Charlie, Buddy, Dustin, Chip, and Josh all do a wonderful job of bringing a new sound to the old FB name.
    All I have to say is don’t dog them until you hear them. I grant you will love the sound and the personalitites that come with the NEW Flordia Boys name.
    I wish them much success and cannot wait to hear some new cuts from them.

  33. Dorthy wrote:

    Fake Flordia Boys…I wouldn’t say fake, just a new twist on something old. And must I say it sounds much better than most of what is out in the SG music world I absolutely love the stage presence and presentation of thier show. All of the men look very nice and sound even better. I highly recommend getting in to see them if the chance ever arises.

  34. BRIAN S. wrote:

    I have been around Gospel music for 40 years, and I want to express what a lot of people think, but don’t have the guts to say. This business is just that, business. Mix in a combination of money, politics, B.S. and hypocracy at the highest level and you have the recipe for SG music. In other words, the same recipe found throughout the secular world of business. I have often noticed where some folks love to speak on Gods behalf, as though any of us would be so qualified. If I may follow that same path and theorize what God might think, my first thought is that God would probably consider it a great service if we would not so carelessly fling around the “M” word (ministry) as we so often do. Our “ministry” (or at least the one that counts) is the life we live, day by day, 168 hours a week. Any fool can go put on the Sunday slacks and act like the model Christian for a few hours, or better yet, pointing to the sky at the required moment if we are singing in front of an audience. That pointing to the sky gets em everytime don’t it? I sing in a quartet, and we recently went on a cruise with a number of other groups, mostly unknowns, but a few that have had moderate success. I had a much better time mingling with the “worldly” other 1500 people on the boat than I did the 300 or so “Christian” performers. I have never witnessed more arrogance and unchristianlike attitudes in my life. The air was so thick with artificialness, I had to get out of there. And the bull was so deep I needed to wear shorts to stay above it. I would hate to see any of the people I saw actually become well known in the real world because I could not imagine their heads getting any bigger. And why their heads were as big as they were is completely beyond my scope of understanding.

  35. A. L. Taylor wrote:

    you know I am a firm believer in don’t knock someone until you have heard them… Don’t Go thinking someone may do a bad job taking over the reins of a top group like the Old FBs but rest assured Charlie will keep the name THe Flordia Boys Quartet alive. This new group in my book is one of the best groups out there right now… You go Charlie let people you are not through yet

  36. P. Hyde wrote:

    I too, when hearing about Charlie’s purchasing the Florida Boys name from Les, was a bit skeptical. My first time hearing the new group, I was not very impressed. Recently Charlie has sent me a few cuts of their new project. I was very pleasantly surprised!
    Charlie admits that he is probably the weakest vocalist in the group. I thought he did fine. Eddie did a good job on tenor and Chip does some good solo work. Admitedly he is not the lowest bass, but he is smooth and projects good feeling in his vocal work. Heck, I would sing with them, and probably will!

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