Because you can never have too much Teddy Huffam (big h/t, Grigs):

I wasn’t sure about the details of the clip, so I asked around a bit for some help. A friend of mine replied:

This is from Live In Orlando - Teddy Huffam and the Gems.  For a period of time in the late 80’s /early 90’s, Teddy and the Kingsmen appeared together quite a bit.  Big crowd draw.  They did separate sets then a joint one or, more often, Teddy would, near the end of his set, bring Anthony out to play piano, etc. until they were all on stage together.  Teddy was probably as good with an audience as Hamill and, when you got them both on the same stage it was amazing.  They would competitively switch out stage control, song to song, each building on the previous…  live band required and they both had ‘em and they totally knew each other’s material and could change anything at anytime during a song.  That was truly an art unto itself that no longer exists in our genre.


On one level, this kinda thing just has to be enjoyed:  Burger is so young … Foxy’s piece is so bad … Huffam is so in command, the way he bends the song to his voice and takes possession of it stylistically – or, in his words, turns this southern gospel standard “a little black.”

More than a little, I’d say, but not a lot, either. That is, it’s the hybridized nature of the arrangement that’s fascinating to me. Huffam declares the song “a little black” almost before it gets started, but that remark says less about the opening bars and more about the need for a black singer to manage the expectations of a largely white evangelical audience, put them at ease even as he telegraphs to them that while this won’t be entirely unfamiliar, it won’t be straight-ahead sg either.

At any rate, there’s no great black gospel influence at work in the introduction. The rhythm is laid down in fairly conventional southern gospel style. True, it’s much slower than the Kingsmen would normally take the tune (the dazzling bass guitar lines keep the beat moving along, and prevent the pace from slackening), but “slow” doesn’t come in just one color. Rather, it’s Huffam’s particular way of singing behind, ahead of, and around the beat that largely accounts for the song’s feeling “a little black.” Notice also that the three voices added in the chorus never join the lead to harmonize in a traditional southern-gospel ensemble (as some key passages of the choruses do in more traditional sg arrangements), but sing only contrapuntal BGVs that echo the lead.

At the same time, the song is many ways classic white gospel in the style the Kingsmen immortalized. Skip ahead to around 3:28 and listen through to around the 3:38 mark and you’ll hear how just as the tune has picked up into double time and you’re ready for the ending to blow the gates wide open, everything gets dialed back: the rhythm returns to quarter time, the voices reduce their dynamic levels by half, the instruments back way off. This now-classic move builds enormous tension and anticipation, and Huffam has the natural-born showman’s sense of how to milk each line and note for maximum suspense – leaning forward a little, as if to suggest listen closely, friends, or you might miss the best part. Fat chance. This is a Kingsmen song after all … but still … I leaned in just a little, anyway.

All of which makes the ending of this particular song pretty disappointing. It’s as if the hybrid styles and approaches canceled each other out. Black gospel songs typically achieve their ultimate dramatic effect through long rubato endings wherein improvised vocals spool out elaborate freestyle runs and scats around the tonic of the chord, usually established by a choir or set of background vocals. On the other hand, white gospel, as we all know, relies on delayed harmonic resolutions and flamboyantly staggered endings that don’t so much prolong the final bars of the song as suspend musical time and fill the space with vertiginously resolved dissonances. Here, we get neither, as if no one really knew what to do … and so the song just sort of stops. But thanks to YouTube, Teddy lives on.

PS: Does anyone else think Huffam looks a little like the actor who plays Clay Davis on The Wire?

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  1. Grigs wrote:

    What I love about it is how much Foxy seems to be enjoying himself. He always seemed to get so much joy out of singing and encouraging other artists. I remember one year at NQC, the Kingsmen were doing “Behold The Master Cometh” and Glen Payne was in the artist’s area waiting to go on. Eldridge spotted Glen and started singing to him. Glen gave Foxy some kind of encouraging gesture, a thumbs up maybe, and hollered something. Eldridge got a big grin on his face and just started singing harder. Made me glad that I brought my binoculars. :-)

    Oh, yeah, Brother Teddy was awesome. I actually stumbled across this…wasn’t even looking for Teddy clips.

  2. SG-Yesteryear wrote:

    sums it up for me!

    Nobody could capture an audience like
    Teddy, no one!

    With the Sony orchestra’s of today, sure
    brought back good memories of hearing
    Teddy and his boys……LIVE!


  3. cdguy wrote:

    Why are we able to enjoy this less-than-perfect clip, but not one from Gaither? Is there a double standard? Have our standard for living artist been set higher than for dead ones?

    Not sure I understand, although I did enjoy watching this almost as much as enjoyed seeing these 2 groups 30 years ago.

  4. Bud wrote:

    I remember seeing TH & G in the late 1970’s. As good as the musical performance was, the most notable thing for me was that one of the singers, while singing, would point to the sky and twirl in a circle without getting tangled in his mic cord. Live bands and corded mics. Those were the days.

  5. David Stuart wrote:

    I love this video, acutally, i purchased this DVD of this concert at NQC this year from Willis Canada , who was selling these. If anyone is interested in buying this , go to his website.

  6. Extra Ink wrote:

    So what happened to the group and to Mr. Huffam?

  7. Grigs wrote:

    Teddy passed away in 1991 IIRC.

  8. Irishlad wrote:

    #6.Gone to that concert hall in the sky.(sung to the tune of Delta Dawn).

  9. quartet-man wrote:

    #8 Which version Helen Reddy or Tanya Tucker? :-)

  10. Irishlad wrote:

    9QM. I’ll opt for HR,even though she’s an Aussi and beat Bette Midler to the #1 spot. Lol.

  11. quartet-man wrote:

    #10, I agree. Helen’s is by far the superior version and the one I heard as a kid. Earlier today I found out something interesting about that cut. I guess Barbra Streisand was set to record the song. The tracks were ready and she refused to sing it because she didn’t like the melody. They enlisted Helen to sing to the already finished tracks and she was coached to get rid of her accent.

  12. SGfan wrote:

    “At the same time, the song is many ways classic white gospel in the style the Kingsmen immortalized. Skip ahead to around 3:28 and listen through to around the 3:38 mark and you’ll hear how just as the tune has picked up into double time and you’re ready for the ending to blow the gates wide open, everything gets dialed back: the rhythm returns to quarter time, the voices reduce their dynamic levels by half, the instruments back way off.”

    To all of those in the earlier blogs asking for Doug’s credentials to make the judgements hem makes, well this is a present. This “critique” proves that he lacks knowledge in musical theory and should abstain from using terms such as “double-time”. The rythym in this song never changes, just goes from kick-stick to kick-snare and back to kick -stick. The tempo never picked up into “double time”. The only thing changing here is dynamics. I just thought I would point out the obvious. Otherwise, I think this was a classic performance of that song. It is not even all that much slower than the Kingsmen normally took the song. It is fun to hear Teddy add his own style to the song. I guess Doug should stick to areas he has authority in and leave the discussion of musical theory elements to those of us who are professionals in that area.

  13. Irishlad wrote:

    11 QM. Well said my man! I think you and i would share the same taste in quartets too.

  14. quartet-man wrote:

    #13, You just may be right. :-) Mine are the Oak Ridge Boys, Cathedrals, Gaither Vocal Band, Gold City, Stamps (with J.D. or the versions back in the late sixties or early seventies when he stepped back) , Singing Americans (with combos of Michael English or Ivan Parker on lead and Danny Funderburk or Rick Strickland on tenor. The Imperials has some good stuff and the Sound’s first lp (The Sound That The World Needs To Hear) was great, but I don’t know that the same group ever did any other albums. Later albums by the Sound didn’t do anything for me. My favorite version of the Stamps by the way is Bill Baize, Donnie Sumner, Ed Enoch and Richard Sterban. They all had great voices.

  15. Irishlad wrote:

    Firstly apologies to you and other bloggers for pulling completely OT.1. Oaks(with Noel Fox onwards) 2. Blackwoods( JD to Ken Turner)3. Imperials(only with AM)4. Kingsmen (live stuff only).5.BF&Ass(Bob Caldwell onwards)6.PSQ( Joel Duncan to Jeff Pearles)7. Legacy 5.8. All Gold city. 9.All Cathedrals. There’s more but i’ll quit here. Pretty predictable i know,but, with a few personal preferences thrown in. Also you can tell i like and admire good bass singers.

  16. Grigs wrote:

    BF and Ass…lol.

  17. Irishlad wrote:

    16 I made an ass out of myself there! Lol.

  18. Grigs wrote:

    I’m not assuming anything about you, Irishlad.

  19. Wade wrote:

    # 12 SGFan - Your quote…

    “The rythym in this song never changes, just goes from kick-stick to kick-snare and back to kick -stick.”

    Boy that sentence shows your overwhelming musical knowledge too. Maybe you should join Doug!! lol

    I am 43 and been paid to play percussion since I was 13 and never heard it put quite that way.

    But here is kick stick to ya… that sentence will confuse tellmeplease babe for years!!! lol

  20. Wade wrote:

    SG Fan- I am VERY SORRY please accept my apology and to you too tellmeplease.

    I forgot this was a GOSPEL MUSIC blog and we should not criticize each other even constructively because some of you are doing this for the Glory of The Lord and that makes it OK to be wrong or suck because you have a good heart.

    Plus you might be a kid of a gospel music performer and Lord have Mercy if any of the kiddies read or hear anything negative about their perfect parents who never set on a bus and gossip or talk about other artist. Everything that goes on Gospel Music Buses are PURE and nothing ever negative goes on, most do not even pass gas.

    So please accept my apology again!!!

    Be wrong and all you want. If you are an artist kid or spouse or even artist them selves please write and be critical all you want cause YOU KNOW the ppl and it is OK to repeat what others have said and then reinforce it by telling us how well you know them and that will make it ALL OK!!! Cause even though it is widely known and accepted as fact you are the only one who can say it.

    Or if you are like Dr. Joe you can bend the Bible to meet what ever you think is OK. You can go on the web and find out stuff on ppl and post it…cause it is OK to gossip and back stab ppl if they are not living the correct life as any individual determines cause they are the PURE.

    Then you can get on the blog after you say things and live in your own reality and deny you said them regardless of how many times you have said it…and regardless if your QUOTES are pulled together to show what you said.

    You can doooo ALLLL of this while being a coward and not having the guts to reveal who you are…. because you are doing it for The GLORY of The Lord!!!

    God Bless Your Souls!!!

  21. quartet-man wrote:

    19 For years I have made it a practice to presume, not assume. That way it makes a pres out of you and me. ;-)

  22. 2Miles wrote:

    #16…since you brought it up…

    Does anyone else have the issue on their XM receiver that nearly everytime Brian Free & Assurance is listed, they are listed in this inappropriate manner?…I realize there are limited characters but surely something can be done…

    I mean they are going to be the butt of all jokes….

  23. Grigs wrote:

    Then there was the year that the NQC program listed Brain Free and Assurance in the list of performers…..Poor Brian. LOL

  24. SGfan wrote:


    You are hillarious. First of all, I merely pointed out that the only thing that changed was the rythym instrumentation and some minor pattern changes (although the overall pattern remains the same just different hits on the snare) , not the timing or tempo which remains pretty consistently between 95 and 102 bpm (beats per minute). Now if you want to talk musical knowledge, I actually have a degree in Music. My emphasis focused on music theory. I have been a professional performer for several years now and I am now a producer/studio musician. I am sure that when it comes to my well of knowledge in the music area, you will find that it is pretty deep.

    I will accept your apology for being wrong. I do not apologize for being right however. I also do not reveal my identity simply because I do work in the industry and I don’t have time to have to deal with someone having hurt feelings by something I said or typed on this site. A lot of people have the tendency to wear their feelings on their sleeve, and I am too busy to have that too worry about. If I see someone in person, I am just as honest and straight forward to them as I would be on this site, but then I am face to face with them so they can experience the attittude or spirit in which it is presented instead of being left to assume what that attittude or spirit might be in the typed words.

    By the way, in the studios here in Nashville we usually refer to the bass drum as the kick, the snare remains the snare and usually the sound of hitting the stick against the rim of the snare we call stick. I hope that explains it on a level you can understand. I would think a paid percussionist of 30 years would know that.

  25. Irishlad wrote:

    23 Yes this site has quite a few Brain free participants.

  26. KDM wrote:


    Rhythm! RHYTHM! R-H-Y-T-H-M!!!

    Sheesh. Professional musicians should at least be able to spell the terms of their trade. I don’t care how much you know or how much experience you have, no one’s going to take you seriously if you expound on a subject you can’t SPELL!!!

  27. Irishlad wrote:

    26.Ha ha. Poor SGfan, he spelt rhythm correctly in his first post,then, bro. Wade started running around inside his head and now he’s suddenly got spelling problems(nb.Wades post.) At least Wade admits he’s got spelling issues.

  28. Wade wrote:

    SG Fan… yes the bass drum is kick and of course the snare is the snare, but stick is usually referred to as rim and the way you rolled it out wasn’t impressive to any one. (I have logged a few hours NOT in a SG Studio, in a symphony, too many restaurants and night clubs to count, if 2nd hand smoked killed you I would already be dead)….But then again you do SG producing and music. Can you say Eddie Crook???

    Probably taking ppls money who have no talent and selling the DREAM and telling them it is OK as long as they are doing for God’s Glory. If they were true pro’s who would care??? Now go ahead and tell us about playing golf or producing a table project with some one we heard about…

    Seems like every one in SGM is OVERLY worried about hurting ppls feelings and not having the GUTS to say who they are…no wonder the INDUSTRY IS THE WAY IT IS!!!

    There are NO EDDIE CROOKS or The Likes in COUNTRY MUSIC, ROCK or EVEN COMEDY… You either GOT IT or you DON’T and you learn about it REAL QUICK!!

    MOSTLY because THE MINISTRY and HAVING a GOOD Heart gets you NO WHERE!!! Ppl do not lie to you to get you to MAKE A PROJECT for JUST the GLORY of GOD!! To get some looser like Rick H to PUSH your SINGLE to SGM Radio to have it peak about oh say 69 and then you can go around to every one saying YOU CHARTED!!! YIPPIE!!!

    I heard a group like that Sunday Night and it was one of THE SADDEST things I have ever WITNESSED!!! Every one singing over THEIR range. The Soprano being SHARP and the Baritone being Flat while they did it. All of them using different inflections and accents along the way!!!

    SADDEST part is probably some one like you that PRODUCED the PROJECT kick sticking it while you did it!!!LoL;-)))

    Please go ahead and blast me, make up lies, and even criticize me for NOT BEING A PURE CHRISTIAN like Dr. Joe. He will tell you it is OK because YOU are TRYING to be MORE PURE and it is OK to sin against some one as long as I am doing worse sin… I am waiting. OH & Please explain this to TELLMETHIS when she catches up!! lollollol

    IrishLad is right I can spell worth a [Edit]. My grammar [Edit] sometimes too!! BUT…

    OH…thanks for admitting I was funny!!! lol…

  29. SGfan wrote:


    Thanks for pointing that out. Actually, that was a typo as you can see from my first post where I spelled rhythm correctly. Sorry if that caused you any headaches. In my first post, you’ll see that it was spelled correctly in one instance and then mispelled in another as well. Typos happen just like where I meant to say “he makes” instead of “hem makes” in the first post. I will freely admit my mistakes, but those typos do not change the validity of what I posted. Just like the point in your post where you said “have, no” and you should have used “;” instead of “,” . For you to combine those two sentences with a comma you also need a conjunctive such as the word “but”. You can point that out as a typo on your part, but it was grammatically wrong nonetheless. Just like whether or not rhythm on my part was a typo it was still the wrong spelling. Don’t loose sleep over it. Take a pill to get that blood pressure down and quit screaming. It’s unattractive.


    I don’t need your pity. Save it for your friend Wade. He is going to need it when he realizes that being able to play percussion and knowing percussion are two different things. He tried to call me out based on experience and found that by doing so he just showed his probable lack of experience in a major studio setting. As you can see from above, I will admit my mistakes. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I do not make judgements in areas that I do not have sufficient knowledge to do so. That is the point I was aiming to get across to our host, Doug. I enjoy reading his blog. Sometimes I agree, and sometimes I disagree. Many times I find myself laughing, especially when I read the responses from Wade and yourself.

  30. not a grammarian wrote:

    “loose” something that needs to be tightened

    “lose” the opposite of win

    your spelling arguments are diluted when you have other misspellings in your post, and claiming it was a “typo” just shows a second kind of laziness

    what does any of this have to do with the superb performance by Teddy?

  31. SGfan wrote:

    #30 not a grammarian,

    The argument about typo’s has nothing to do with Teddy. “Loose” was a typo as well.
    Get over it. Don’t tell me about laziness until you learn how to capitalize the first word in a sentence.

    Now to the original subject of my post which had a lot to do with the performance, I was pointing out that Doug’s critique or explanation was inaccurate.

  32. Irishlad wrote:

    How those cages do rattle.

  33. SGfan wrote:


    You just assume that I am a SG producer, LOL! You could not be more wrong in your assumption of me and who I am. As far as the whole stick vs rim argument, I’ll give you that the technical term is rim, but when you get into a DAW such as Sonar you’ll find that particular sound labeled “stick”. The reason you may ask, the sound produced is generated more from the contact of the stick than the vibration of the snare. Furthermore, you will not see me using this site to “name drop”.

    No, there are no “Eddie Crooks” in country, rock, or comedy, so it is no wonder that I haven’t ever heard of you. I’ll tell you what the saddest part is. The saddest part is a middle - aged, d-list wannabe, overweight comedian in Chattanooga who assumes he knows too much. The sad part is one that knows he is not funny enough to get laughs on his own, so he has to insert f-bombs and other explicatives into his material to get the shock value laugh. Now that is funny! LOL!!! If insults equal funny, then maybe I should try my hand at being a comedian. After all, it would not be very hard work to drop an f-bomb every now and then to get a laugh. Maybe then I could go to some second or third rate comedy club, get featured once or twice a month, and call myself a professional comedian. You see, you are not the only one on here that can hurl insults.

    I never produce projects for people who have no talent. Maybe that is why I haven’t produced anything for you yet, LOL. You see, I am very picky about what my name goes on. I want what I do to be equated with excellence, so when I produce, I demand the best from the artist I am producing. I want them to have a project they can be proud of and one that I would never be ashamed of pointing to as my work.

    In closing, I leave you with a saying I learned from my dad. Be careful in assuming. When you “assume” to much, it will make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Go eat too much and figure out how to add a few f-bombs to your stories of your Thanksgiving experience to tell in you next show to 35 people.

  34. not a grammarian wrote:

    “explicative” - serving to explain logically what is contained in the subject
    Wade, it’s no wonder nobody thinks you’re funny - throwing those “explicatives” and f-bombs

  35. SGfan wrote:

    #34 not a grammarian,

    Sorry, meant to use the word “expletive”. By the way, learn how to punctuate or quit trying to criticize in areas you do not have command of youself. After all, you are “not a grammarian”. Maybe you should change your screen name to “Webster’s 2008 edition”. Seems you and Doug have something in common. LOL! Both of you like to be critics in areas where you seem to have no authority to be such. Happy Thanksgiving.

  36. Wade wrote:

    SG Fan- WoW talking about being wrong. You must be having you monthly crampin’ too!!

    You clearly have never seen my act. While I admit to being adult I rarely drop an F- Bomb in the act. When I do fundraisers it has to be VERY CLEAN. So that part of your blab is way wrong.

    Fact is I am working on corporate & clean comedy nights next year for the club where church small group and corporate entertainment will be featured. The Owner does not think it will work because he says the church ppl who come come to see the dirtiest acts while NO SHOWING Clean Comedy Night

    The Comedy Catch in Chattanooga is one of the Best Independent Clubs in the USA. Been in Biz for almost 25 years producing 6 shows a week, which is nothing to sneeze at…

    I tell ya what SGFan…. Jan 11, 2009 is the next round of Chattanooga’s Funniest Human. I MC & Produce. Why don’t ya STRAP IT ON and drive down I-24 and bring your BEST 5 Minutes… 5 Minutes is ALL and enter the contest and then we will see who is D-List. I will pay your entry fee. We can record both our sets and put them up on youtube or roof top comedy and we can let the ppl decide who is D-List. The Club is always looking for clean clever acts. So BRING IT!!!

    OH…OH that’s RIGHT… you would have to have enough GUTS to reveal who you are and not be able to hurl the insults about being fat from behind your MoMMa’s Computer. (Thanks CVH).

    When you have to stoop to over weight insults and other things you have never heard then WoW… is all I can say… it is pretty funny too that the one of the biggest HURLS @ Dr. Doug is he must be over weight and hiding behind a screen. Most of the rest of what you said just made no sense but I am sure it makes you feel better.

    Yet here we are again OUT in the WIDE OPEN and EVERYBODY knows who we are and the critics don’t have the [Edit] to come out your hole and show your face.

    As far as D- List Goes. The Chattanooga’s Funniest Human Contest recently out drew in box office, food & beverage sales of 2 of comedies biggest longest running acts, James Gregory & Killer Beaz. They had The FRIDAY & SATURDAY NIGHTS and we had the THURSDAY & SUNDAY.

    The SHOWS recently sold out the club for the first time in 2 years since Ron White came to the club and we did it on a Sunday Night, not a holiday or prime weekend night like his were. The club for the FIRST TIME EVER was SOLD OUT on a Sunday Night.

    I invite you to go to www.myspace.com/loandr4u and read the blogs about the shows. You will see that while I Produce & MC the Shows I do not take credit for being the sole reason for the success. I have 8-10 comics per night competing for features in future shows with big prize pools of money and THAT with YES the fact the shows are very well produced are the reason ppl come to see them even on the NONE PRIMES DAYS!!!

    I promise when they travel from all over the country to compete in the contest and they suck… they are told and we do not have any 2nd line producers telling them not to give up because they have a good heart and can do it for the Lord, despite them SUCKING!!

    As far as name dropping I do not think I have ever mention playing golf with some gospel music STAR or producing their project, but YOU HAVE!!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving to ALL…especially SGFan… somebody send him some wine to go with his cheese.

  37. Wade wrote:

    IrishLad… Seems we could be Twin Sons of Different Mothers concerning out love for Make Quartets. Oaks w/ Little Willie, Duane, Bill & Noel… was maybe the BEST Quartet EVER…

    In fact if you really think about it… Gospel Music, became SGM shortly after they left to go country… been REAL DOWN HILL from THERE!!

    As far as cage rattling goes… you don’t have to rattle the cage of the angry monkeys at The Zoo… they are already angry with life and and rattle it all on their own.

  38. SGfan wrote:

    “As far as name dropping I do not think I have ever mention playing golf with some gospel music STAR or producing their project, but YOU HAVE!!”

    When? I don’t play golf.

    “You clearly have never seen my act. While I admit to being adult I rarely drop an F- Bomb in the act. When I do fundraisers it has to be VERY CLEAN. So that part of your blab is way wrong.”

    Then you don’t deny using it to get a laugh.

    I will admit, I have never seen your act. The only thing I can judge from is your posts on this site. But I guess you miss my point. Anyone can hurl insults. That is what I was showing you. I am sorry if I touched on an area in which you were a little sensitive. Many people are sensitive about their weight. But all of that has nothing to do with either Doug’s or my oringal post. I pointed out inadequacies in his assessment and you felt the need to come to his defense by talking about an area that you thought you knew more than you did in.

    Wade, I really have nothing against you. I do feel that you need to learn that just by typing something in all CAPS or having “[Edit]” scattered through your posts do not make the posts funny. I doubt you will have to worry about me making the trip from Nashville to Chattanooga for your little open mic night. I don’t have the time. I barely have the time to look at this blog from time to time. I think I am finished with this particular conversation. If you or anyone else wants to argue music theory and the assessment of such in Teddy’s performance, then I am open game. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and the next time I go to the zoo, I’ll be sure not to walk by your cage. If I do, I might think about throwing you a banana.

  39. Bones wrote:

    Those were the days. We didn’t think they would end but they did. We don,t have anyone even close to replacing them. All of the present groups suck.

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