Thursday round up

  • Marsh Hall has, as I’m sure you’ve seen by now, signed a solo deal with Daywind. Kyle wants to know why he didn’t sign with the Spring Hill, given Gaither’s involvement there, and there are some possible answers kicked around in the comments to Kyle’s post. But there may be a more obvious answer here: if you think (as Gaither certainly seems to have thought) that Hall couldn’t pull his weight in a quartet where the workload and demands are dispersed across multiple personalities, why would you sign him to a solo deal? Hall seems like a nice guy and he’s got the look (though you wouldn’t know it from that horrible photo), but I can’t imagine sitting through a full concert of Just Marsh. Then again, maybe he thinks this is the best way to get his old job back. It worked for Lowry and Phelps, after all, and it beats the Michael English alternative of adultry, addiction, and homelessness (Guy Penrod seems still be to be deciding which approach to take).
  • The SN Top Five Fan Award finalists are out.

Consider this an open thread.

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  1. Ron F wrote:

    Well we have Marshall Hall at Daywind, and thats great. What about Guy Penrod, wouldnt he need a Record company before his first gig comes around in August.

  2. Kyle wrote:

    Did Gold City lose a lot of favor with the fans when Jonathan left or what?? They only have two nominations overall, one for Horizon for Bruce and one for bass for Aaron.

  3. Influence wrote:

    I was reading on some other blog or message board earlier this evening about the fact that Triumphant Quartet is nominated for Artist of the Year, Mixed Group of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Musician of the Year, Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass Singer of the Year. For those of you who keep up, other than Scott Inman winning Horizon Individual or Young Artist or whatever and Jeff Stice winning Musician of the Year last year, Triumphant has never been a major player in terms of the Singing News Fan Awards. For years after Sutton, Bennett and Stice left the Kingdom Heirs, Triumphant Quartet was only on the main stage once per year at NQC (though I believe it may have it expanded to twice per year recently). Now, Triumphant is on the main stage on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings this year. Three words for Integriphant - I’m sorry, that’s just so funny to me for some reason - WELCOME TO DAYWIND.

    Fan favorites are just that, fan favorites. But you have Clayton Inman nominated for lead singer of the year, and for the first time in a while (unless I’m mistaken), no Arthur Rice on the list. However, Arthur is nominated for male singer of the year.

    Steve French is nominated for baritone of the year.

    Scott Fowler is nominated for male singer of the year.

    Rodney Griffin was nominated for baritone of the year.

    Notable deserving nominees (who are not sure-fire selections each year) though include…Tim Parton, Charlotte Ritchie, Jim Brady (though he’s on everybody’s rising star list), Bill Shivers and I Know It Was The Blood.

    The most surprising omission that I noticed was Karen Peck and New River not being on the list for Trio of the Year. The Whisnants are though. Now, no offense to the Whisnants, who do an outstanding job and select great material, but there’s just no comparison between KP&NR and the Whisnants. And I don’t get Jeff and Sheri Easter getting a nomination instead of KP&NR either. But congrats to both of those trios. Here’s the only conclusion that I can come to, and it deals with Daywind too. Daywind pushes their artists for those SN Fan Awards (and wins more than half of them each year), and maybe they just have too many trios to push (with the Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Mark Trammell Trio and KP&NR). Maybe, somehow, KP&NR was just the odd trio out. Their new project is really solid though. Karen has become a female icon in the industry, hosting multiple awards shows and just becoming an instantly recognizable figure in Southern Gospel music. KP&NR has been nominated for Dove Awards the last two years and have had numerous top singles. They seem to be at the height of their popularity and still on the rise. Their lack of a nomination for Trio of the Year is a mystery to me.

    Good luck to all.

  4. Leadsinger wrote:

    Kyle I was thinking the exact same thing, maybe they should join Daywind… Since Daywind artist’s seem to get more recognition than anyone else…

  5. Arlen wrote:

    Not so fast . . . Adultery, addiction and homelessness has worked for a good many SG artist through the years. From the posts here, it certainly fares better than same sex attraction.

  6. Robert wrote:

    I agree with Kyle about Gold City. I saw them the other night on a show called Four on GMC. Everyone said the new lead is a better singer than Jonathan. He may be but the blend is not there and the personality of the group is gone.

  7. Robert wrote:

    And about Michael English. You know what it says, “all have sinned”. Sounds like someone is casting a stone.

  8. RDB wrote:

    Robert, you should know better than to bite at remarks about Michael English. Thanks for not quoting scripture and for keeping your remarks to 3 sentences. (Actually, since the grammarians among us might argue that your sentences are incomplete, lets just call them thingies with periods on the end. That will make them so much happier.)

  9. Andrew S. wrote:

    #3-What about the Talley Trio’s lack of nomination for Favorite Trio. In my book they deserve to be right under the Booth Brothers (higher than GV). I enjoyed seeing TaRanda’s nomination for Favorite Female Singer; but what’s this about Carol Woodard receiving an Alto nomination when she no longer sings?

  10. Wade wrote:

    Kyle… I have some ideas about GCQ but they get me in trouble…lol It is ashamed… wished they could get back…

    The tribes are going to be out showing how strong they are in those 1st 3 catagories.

    TaRanda ROCKS and I HOPE SHE WINS EVERYTHING she can!!

  11. Influence wrote:

    Excellent points Andrew. The TT should be nominated. They work too hard and take a lot of pride in what they do.

    The Carol Woodard nom makes no sense to me either.

  12. wackythinker wrote:

    Andrew S — #9 — re: Carol Woodard no longer singing — Apparently the fans don’t care about those things when they’re nominating. And apparently the muckety-mucks who tabulate the ballots must not care either.

    I wonder what would happen if someone nominated Anthony Burger or Roger Bennett next year? Would they be on the ballot?

  13. gina wrote:

    wackythinker - I suppose if Anthony Burger or Roger Bennett were on the job for the majority of the year, their inclusion would be permitted as well.

  14. Joshua Cottrell wrote:

    You do have to admit about DAYWIND, they do have the most exposure outside of Gaither. I have always said that Triumphant was the best group not in a Gaither concert. I am sure some will disagree but with Jeff Stice as a producer, even their table projects sound better than half of other artists label projects. Give “Intermission” a try, a great album without a lable.

  15. jonathan edwards wrote:

    I have to disagree about GC don’t get me wrong I loved Jonathan’s singing but there sound now is as good as it has been since Brian, Ivan and Mike days.

  16. Wade wrote:

    Ahhh Jonathan… they just lost a tenor singer… almost like starting over…

    Speaking of Gold City they had a GREAT TABLE PROJECT a few years back when Bill sang Bass and it was Better than anything I had heard unless it was a LIVE PROJECT!!

    Is Lauren Talley REALLY a SOPRANO SINGER??

  17. quartet-man wrote:

    #16 Wade, she sings the soprano part which is probably what it is based on, but I don’t really consider her a soprano as far as range and timbre.

  18. DamonFromKY wrote:

    While there is certainly some good talent under the Horizon and Young categories, it cannot be a good sign for SG that of the 10 names in the Top Male/Female singer categories, 8 of them were first nominated more than 15 years ago.

  19. dmp wrote:

    Anyone know why Gaither seems to get snubbed at these awards? It is very rare to see him or anyone in the GVB nominated…

  20. Leadsinger wrote:

    Just got back from a Gold City concert… They were really on tonight, you would never know Steve is leaving they way he was singing. He really raised the roof, Bruce is really starting to mesh and blend very well. He really surprised me on “Midnight Cry” if Gold City can hit a home run with the new tenor they will be just fine. But as they say it takes around a year or two to get the right blend with a new singer. Steve will be greatly missed however very much so… Those are some BIG shoes to fill even more than what Parrack was IMHO…

  21. NG wrote:

    “Anyone know why Gaither seems to get snubbed at these awards? It is very rare to see him or anyone in the GVB nominated…”

    I assume the folks who watch Gaither on TV and buy his DVDs are generally not the same folks who subscribe to the SN. Gaither”s audience is far greater than those who follow SGM and subscribe to its main publication

  22. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Maybe Salem Communications should start a Homecoming Fan Awards under the auspices of the Homecoming Magazine.

    I all depends where the artists choose to travel on the southern gospel music highways. Its exposure to any given group of the masses that leads to popularity. (that is a very good thing,too)

    Some artists know how to travel both highways at once with their Gaither and solo dates.

    Simply stated, all awards are either are fan based derived from subscribers, memberships or viewership of any given organizations.

    It is not a criticism of the situation but is a fact that I am using as your answer.

  23. Derek wrote:

    Any inside info out there on who may have auditioned for the GC tenor position? I know we’ve run the gamut on suggestions…I’m just curious if anyone has info on auditions or if a decision has been made but not yet announced.

  24. Leadsinger wrote:

    I don’t have any inside info… But I think they are close, just a feeling I suppose.

  25. Robert wrote:

    #8, RDB, I don’t quite understand your comment? Let me take a guess. I should not comment on Michael English remarks, my sentences were not complete, and I did not quote scripture even though I did, just not the chapter and verse. Is that about right?

  26. quartet-man wrote:

    #25 Robert, I believe he or she was saying that it is popular to blast Michael English here, not popular to quote scripture, not popular to be too lengthy and popular with some to use proper spelling and grammar. Did I get it about right, RDB? :-)

  27. Weber wrote:

    All the awards are a joke, including that third-rate award show the Unthanks put on in Smyrna. I believe a professional accounting firm should be responsible for the outcomes rather than personal favorites and friends or better yet those artist who pay a little money to advertise on ones website. As for the Talley Trio? Everything they sounds the sound, Roger cant carry a tune in a bucket, and Debra has the stage presence of a hairstylist.

  28. Leadsinger wrote:

    For those mentioning Josh Cobb for Gold City it seems he is coming back to his roots… Here is a Youtube link with him singing with a local quartet recently at his dads church on “Jesus Saves” he comes in at the 3 minute mark and man does he come in. also here is one of him singing with his sister…–70&feature=related

    I also posted this in the Steve Ladd thread… I think Josh would fit in well with Gold City… IF he were interested and if Danny was interested…

  29. gina wrote:

    Saw the DMB over the weekend and Ed O’Neal announced that the lead singer (Joe Kitson?) had “gotten homesick” a week ago so Ed “sent him home”. Of course Ed had a new replacement that stepped right in and never missed a beat.

  30. Aaron Swain wrote:

    Man, I can definitely see Josh tearing up “For The Sake Of My Heart!”

    Those were some good clips. Good to hear him again.

  31. redhead wrote:

    28) he definitely did a good job, good to see him coming back. Boy, would it be cool to see him in Gold City, but I’m not sure he’s got the nasally tenor voice to fit…

  32. DMP wrote:

    You know, when I think of English, I am reminded of the simple truth that outside of Christ, I am capable of anything. I’m no better than him, and it would do us all good to remind ourselves of that daily…

  33. Linda Dillon wrote:

    Carol Woodard is no longer singing, but she was last year. Am I wrong in assuming that the awards are for the body of work that was completed last year?

  34. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Linda et al,
    Singing News Fan Award ballots were issued with the March issue (which went out in late February). The deadline for submitting ballots was March 13. The stated criteria for each category was also included in the March issue of Singing News.

    For the category in question, the requirement is: “Must sing alto with a full time Southern Gospel music group/trio.”

    Woodard’s retirement took effect at the end of March, so she was still singing full-time when the initial voting took place.


    “She [Carol] will perform with the group through March 2009…Sheryl will begin the full position on April 2nd.”

  35. Extra Ink wrote:

    Carol Woodard deserves the nomination…the fans picked her and she was eligible. She has been an under-rated singer in Southern Gospel music for many years, in the shadow of her sister. You could put Carol on stage with many SG groups today and she would shine bright.

    I am delighted to see TaRanda Greene finally being nominated. She is deserving.

    Back to the Triumphant Qt./Kingdom Heirs thing, both groups are singing better today than they ever have. Each group stands alone on its own merits with high quality.

    I am excited about hearing the Perrys’ new record that will be available May 19.

  36. Markp wrote:

    Josh Cobb with Gold City- I’m sold and would buy many, many tickets!

  37. Kyle wrote:

    I’ve never been a fan of Josh Cobb’s sound, at least on the couple of Legacy Five projects he was on. He always sounded like he was straining too much (at least to me).

    I just saw a GC show today in Wilmington, OH, and they were as solid as ever. I was glad to have made it to that show, as I wanted to catch them live before Steve left. You’d never guess he was on his way out.

  38. Derek wrote:

    Per today’s SG Show Prep, Steve Ladd is now booking limited solo dates starting in August.

  39. jbb wrote:

    #35…I’m excited about the Perry’s new recording too. Hopefully I will get it this week as we are going to hear them Thurs. evening. Can’t wait!!!

  40. wackythinker wrote:

    Weber #27 — “Everything they sounds the sound.” Huh?

    If you meant to say, “Everything they sing sounds the same,” you’re pretty close to accurate. All their big or uptempo songs sound alike. But then, that happens in pop music, too. The producer/artist finds a formula that works with the audience, and they stick with it, sometimes ad nauseum.

    Also, if an artist uses the same producer/arranger year after year after year, album after album after album, they do begin to all sound alike. I could point out other examples in sgm, but I’m that would take away everyone’s fun.

    Mind you, I’m not saying it produces bad music, I’m just saying we might want to try to add some variety.

  41. Tad Kirkland wrote:

    “Did Gold City lose a lot of favor with the fans when Jonathan left or what?? They only have two nominations overall, one for Horizon for Bruce and one for bass for Aaron.”

    Gold City is not with Daywind or Crossroads.

    triumphant, legacy 5, mark trammell, all the crabb spinoffs–all suddenly became “fan” favorites once they signed with daywind.

    and is lauren talley a soprano?
    not really, though she is a phenomenal singer and definitely has a bigger upper range than say, libby stuffle or susan whisnant. lauren and debra switch off between alto and soprano. but the real reason is debra is the established and previous winner of the alto award and crossroads wouldn’t put lobby for votes for each of them in the same category.

  42. cdguy wrote:

    It’s reported that Eva Mae LeFevre passed away this morning. She was, IMHO, one of the classiest ladies of our genre.

    Talent, humor, presence, style, grace, poise, love . . .

    “Another soldier’s coming home.”

  43. LW wrote:

    For the grace of God there go I. Something to think on don’t you think? By the way Marsh Hall is an excellent singer. I think he could very well in the Contemp Christian market.

  44. GD wrote:

    The “weber” poster is showing his ignorance a bit when it comes to Roger Talley. His voice might not be the most pleasing to the ear, but to say he can’t carry a tune in a bucket is crazy. That normally means that a person is not able to match pitch or “tone deaf.” Roger Talley is gifted with the ability of having perfect pitch. I don’t know many “bucket carriers” with perfect pitch. Might want to check your comments before posting them.

  45. Weber wrote:

    wacky thinker , i totally agree, yes i meant to say everything they sing sounds the same. And your right, SG is bad about the same ole producers/engineers and same ole musicians. Whatever happened to creativity? #44 I stand by my argument, Roger Talley cannot sing, um this may be why Lauren has 98.9 % of the features they do. I put him in the same cat. as maybe Rueben Bean, Claude Hopper,Les Beasley and possibly Ernie Dawson. The same could be said for KP&NR, she leads everything and it all sounds the same.

  46. Linda Dillon wrote:

    I just loved Eva Mae Lefevre. She was a real class act. I pray that I am able to live life as full as she did. She didn’t give up. She’s finally at home with all the loved ones she had who had gone before her.

  47. Yeah... wrote:

    One just has to smile at the comments on Roger Talley. The world is filled with crazy people, as we’ve just seen. He may not be the next Ivan Parker, but he holds his own, and best of all he blends very well.

    Eva Mae was indeed one class act, and she will be missed. A great, great lady. And an underrated pianist. In her prime, she was magic. Best of all, she loved her Lord. She’s one happy lady right now.

  48. CD wrote:

    Can’t carry a tune in a bucket implies that someone sings out of tune or is tone deaf, or unable to match pitch. There are many well-known artists in SG that are not great singers and I agree with most in your list, BUT they can actually sing on pitch, just not in a way that is pleasing to most ears.

  49. Kyle wrote:

    I guess I can see that….when GC was with Daywind up through 2000, they consistently won in each category. Granted, the lineup was completely different at the time, but I can see the pattern here.

    I wonder if Gold City is making a concious effort to distance themselves from the Daywind/Crossroads rat races. New Haven hasn’t been holding back any expenses on their projects, and while they still have their group ad in the Singing News, GC isn’t in your face about what they’re doing, which is one of the reasons I continue to follow them.

  50. Extra Ink wrote:

    #45, I would disagree with you on Ernie Dawson. I think he is a fine vocalist.

  51. insider wrote:

    #50…yea…if you like all the extra baggage along with the voice

  52. ken wrote:

    Top 5 same ones,same awards,just mixed up a little,no change in sight!

  53. Wade wrote:


    Be careful they do not like it when you speak the truth about some of their tribe members…lol… but I agree with EVERYTHING you said, except the can’t carry a tune thing about Roger.

    He can sing… he does blend well…blends with the same ole sound!! lol

    Welcome to the asshole club!!! lol

  54. SGDoc wrote:

    #51, Leave Ernie alone. There may be better singers, and better looking people but personality and genuine interest for others is needed more in this music. So, please, can we not lower ourselves to high school, playground and childish insults. WOW!

  55. pedantic wrote:

    I know it is a flawed analogy, but aren’t you sick of the Lakers being in the playoffs again? For “some” reason, they always seem to go deep into the postseason - could it be because they are better coached, have better players, have a winning attitude and drive, maybe a “star” player?
    It’s widely recognized that Crossroads and Daywind are the major players in SGM - so why are you shocked that their artists are in the top 5 - do you think they are in business to root for the underdog? no, they are trying to attract top talent and develop them.
    I seriously doubt that either label has enough employees to influence the voting to the extent that has been alleged here - does 20 votes make that big a difference?

  56. insider wrote:

    SGDoc…if you only knew the truth. I pity you. (I’m not trying to bash you in any form. Just be careful is all I’m saying. )

  57. GD wrote:

    Hey Wade,
    If you’ll go back and read my comments (both GD and CD)I was not necessarily disagreeing with the fact that Roger Talley is not the greatest of singers. He’s not and would probably tell you that. My comments were aimed at the “can’t carry a tune in a bucket” comment. I agree that most of their stuff is starting to sound alike. I’ve always been a big fan but have not purchased their last two or three projects for that very reason.
    I’m not a “tribe” member, whatever that is. I was just trying to help someone not look stupid.

  58. SGDoc wrote:

    Well Insider, fill me in….

  59. insider wrote:

    I wish I could. I have tried several times, but the post always gets deleted.

  60. fedup wrote:

    The group that gets SNUBBED the most is the Dixie Echoes and The Dixie Melody Boys. These are two fine groups, and I cannot remember the last time they won an award. You can not touch the Dixie Echoes right now, and they aren’t even in the top ten groups. Who are the Down East Boys. WHAT A JOKE!!! What makes me sickest is the fact that Pat Barker (Bass vocalist for the DE will get looked over this year just like last year. He can flat sing as can all of these guys. I AM FED UP!!!

  61. Leadsinger wrote:

    I have to agree about the DE’s they are very deserving of the Traditional Quartet award… They are what Traditional is about, they are REAL without all of that canned junk in the background…

  62. Nashville Phil wrote:

    You are absolutely right about the Dixie Echoes! This line up that Randy has put together is certainly the BEST ever. When Pat sings “How Big Is God”, I get almost Penteeecostal.

    I don’t know if they are snubbed. I really don’t think they try to compete in the “See Me, I’m A Star” show. They are very in-tune to their Market. They pack the Venues where they work and sell lots of product.

    Singing News Charts doesn’t sell product, the Performance does!

    Heck, I love em!

  63. jbb wrote:

    Just hear the DE sing “How Big Is God” last night on the Gospel 4 show hosted by Brian Free. They did an awesome job.
    I agree that alot of good groups get overlooked, even those that sing in the siderooms at the Hotels and the siderooms at the convention center.

  64. Thursday wrote:

    # 45 Ernie Dawson spends too much of his concert time talking about beans and taters, taters and beans, beans beans, taters taters, beans beans, taters taters.

  65. cynical one wrote:

    #64 — People tend to talk most about what they know the most about. Maybe Ernie knows food most. lol

    But then, some of the posts on this site might indicate that people talk most about what they THINK they know the most about.

    I’m just saying. . .

  66. Weber wrote:

    Wonder why Ernie and old Heirline got the boot or no invite to NQC main stage this year, not that they have the quality that needs to be there, im just sayin

  67. LS wrote:

    #66…Heirline didn’t “get the boot” from NQC. They’re on an afternoon showcase, as are many artists who aren’t on the Main Stage this year. (They were on a showcase last year, too, and I really enjoyed their performance.) The Main Stage is as much–or more–about connections as about quality, so don’t knock the showcases. Many of those groups are Main Stage quality…but with the same few groups singing on Main three times during the week, there aren’t a lot of spots left for the rest!

    I’m just sayin’…

  68. Weber wrote:

    #67 You may be right, to some degree about the connections being the criteria for Main Stage. If my memory is correct, Heirline was on mainstage a few years back. Maybe the ‘boot’ went into effect last year, not sure. How many years does a group have to pay to sing, or showcase before they realize they are not main stage material.

  69. LS wrote:

    #68…The groups don’t pay to be on the featured showcases. NQC pays them, so someone must believe they’re quality groups. (And 99% of the time, they are!)
    I enjoyed the showcases last year more than ever before. Moving them to a real concert hall instead of conference hall made a world of difference in the presentation.

  70. AnnD wrote:

    Uh….don’t think the showcase folks are paid

  71. Weber wrote:

    #68, the showcase folks are paid? where are you living. These groups pay to sing brother, which i think is an abomination. These artist developement companies tell these groups they need exposure, so the groups pay them lots of money to sing one or two songs. Its southern gospels own little ponsi scheme.

  72. LS wrote:

    I’m not talking about the regional showcases…the featured showcase artists are paid. A good friend of mine, who happens to be a well-known booking agent,
    told me last year that the groups are paid. (No, I didn’t ask how much.) Also, I’ve seen checks being handed out. The groups may have to pay a fee for some showcases–I don’t know, and unless you’ve applied, you don’t either–but they do not pay to appear on the afternoon NQC showcases.

  73. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    #71, Gaither/Haase did a showcase last year. Believe me, they were paid.

    If the showcase is free, though, then no, it’s doubtful any of those artists would be paid, and you’re correct that they may very well be paying in some fashion or another for the opportunity to sing…renting a booth, for example.

    Rule of thumb…if you have to buy a ticket from NQC in order to see a showcase, those artists are likely being paid…at least something. I know the Chuck Wagon Gang announced they were declining to attend NQC a few years ago, because what they would have been paid for a showcase was considerably less than what they’d have received to sing on the main stage…but it’s not like they aren’t paid at all.

  74. A Friend of A Friend wrote:

    #72 is right. The featured showcase artists are paid. Actually, one group I know of will be on Main Stage AND on a showcase. They indicated that they were getting paid more for the showcase than for their main stage appearance. It is hard to believe, but they really have no reason to lie about that. I’d say that I’d take the showcase over the main stage. The lesser-known groups seem to grab the audience’s attention better in a smaller setting. There’s nothing worse than being on stage in front of 15,000 people, and 90% of them are blanantly just enduring your 12 minute stand, as they wait on The Gaither Bunch to take the stage…

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