Midweek update

Blogging will continue to be somewhat sporadic for the next few weeks, so round-ups and updates will have to suffice for the most part.

  • As you’ve probably seen by now, Eva Mae LeFevre has died. Tributes and notices here and here. And here’s a clip of her and the LeFevres in their prime. In addition to showcasing her bread-and-butter talent holding down a vocal and instrumental position with first-class tact, taste and reliability (the LFs were the UnGoodmans), the clip also highlights her uncommon gifts as a classic gospel player. In other words, be sure to watch it long enough to catch her turnarounds between verses. RIP, Eva Mae.

  • Should gay gospel artists and other closeted professionals be forcibly outed? So suggests one reader. Perhaps he’s taking his cues from the new documentary Outrage, which attempts to out several conservative politicians who make anti-gay positions a mainstay of their political careers. In general, this seems like a bad idea no matter who’s doing the outing (as Emerson says, do your work and I’ll know you), but in any case, it’s interesting to watch people from very different camps go so far in either ideological direction that they end up meeting on more or less the same side.
  • Roy Webb, Christian Davis, Archie Watkins (feel free to add your own names) … and now Steve Ladd. Enough soloists already. Honestly.
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Comments

  1. Leadsinger wrote:

    Ivan, Mark Bishop, Marsh Hall, Kenny Bishop, and Tony Jarman… (Well Jarman always says he is going solo as an excuse to leave a group… It never seems to materialize.)

    RIP Eva Mae she was a classy classy woman.

  2. Skeeter McJones wrote:

    I read here all the time but never post. Being a man of 50 years old, within the last ten years I became a Goodman fan. I really liked them but have negative things about them. For instance what was said about the Lefevres vs the Goodmans. Can anyone tell me why they were different?

    Skeet

  3. Jake wrote:

    Alright — People on this blog site have been hinting and stating for months now that there are gays in SG music. Nobody wants to name any. It’s time to put up or shut up. I for one am sick and tired of hearing insinuation after insinuation with an “I know but I’m not telling” attitude. If you are going to call them out, then call them out. If you don’t have the guts, then please keep your “inside information” to yourself. ENOUGH ALREADY!

  4. scope wrote:

    Here is my take on the subject of gays in SG music. I don’t know any SG people who are practicing homosexuals. I do know several wha have same-sex attractions. That is a totally different thing to me. The attraction is a temptation, not a sin. Even Jesus was tempted by satan. The sin would be to to give in to the temptation. I do not feel that I am qualified to decide who has given in to this temptation any more than I feel qualified to decide who is cheating on their spouse. The who “judge not . . . ” thing that the Bible teaches. Wouldn’t it serve a better purpose if, instead of wondering who, we just pray that all who spread the gospel in song or in preaching or in missions work will turn to God for the strength to withstand every temptation the devil throws at them?

  5. gina wrote:

    I saw Archie Watkins recently and it was barely what I call a solo appearance. He did about 30 minutes of songs he did with the Inspos, then later teamed up with Matt Dibler and company as Inspos Lite. Yep, a few encores of ‘I Have Not Forgotten’… Hope Archie does truly stick to solo.

  6. JLL wrote:

    God bless Eva Mae. She was truly one of that last of the old guard SG performers. Our loss is heaven’s gain…sure hope they have a sturdy piano for her up there!

  7. Weber wrote:

    Scope, you mean to tell me all those folks you know that have same-sex attraction are celebet(spelling)? You must be the most nieve person on this blog. My friend same-sex attraction is not normal. Just think if your parents had same-sex attraction you woundnt be here. You seemed confused, there are plenty of gays in SGM but i havent met any priest or nuns per say…

  8. justme wrote:

    How does…

    “He will be taking a job as worship leader in a church near Gadsden, AL.”

    Turn in to…

    “…working with the worship team, I will be performing solo concerts on a limited schedule starting in August.” (i.e. going solo)

    What’s wrong with just saying, “I’m sick and tired of being on the road 300+ days a year and the toll it takes on my family so I’m going to go and do something else.” ????

  9. Joe wrote:

    Doug asks “Should gay gospel artists and other closeted professionals be forcibly outed?”

    No person who is living in open sin has any business whatever, getting on a stage and singing gospel music.

    Especially, an active homosexual. The gospel changes lives, turning sinners into humans who have a true desire to live holy lives well-pleasing to the Lord.

    A practicing homosexual is openly defiant to the concept of a life and soul cleansed by the blood of Christ.

    Not sure who or how they need be “outed”- if they were truly honest before God, they would out themselves.

  10. cdguy wrote:

    Jake — You know as well as I do, Doug would never allow names to be posted here. And people who watch to folks on stage (if they have any gift of discernment at ALL), will be able to tell most of them. Yes, there are some who might surprise most of us, but if it walks like a duck. . . . .

  11. Sensible wrote:

    It is a disgrace and completely sickening to think a man practicing homosexuality (or even having an eye of attraction for the same sex) could stand on a stage and try to present the gospel of Christ through song. They should repent of their sins.

    But, this is not the only sinful category that plagues SG music. There are those who travel away from their family and commit adultry or fornication while on the road. Some have been involved and entrapped by the pornography industry. Others over the years have been involved in alcohol or drugs.

    People involved in this kind of sinful behavior are not grounded Christians. They should get out of the industry.

    If I had a group and knew such behavior was taking place, they would no longer be on my bus.

    Here’s the real debate. If all the homosexuals, fornicators, and drunkards were exposed and kept off the SG stage, what affect would it have on the industry?

    Some say the industry would fall apart because there would be no one left in SG. This affects booking agencies, record labels, studios, radio promoters, radio stations, and SG magazines. This scares those who depend on this industry for a living.

    However, I feel it would have the opposite affect. God honors those who honor his Word and authority. Taking these sinful homosexuals, whoremongers, and drunkards out of SG could have the opposite affect on the industry. By honoring God and his word, God can turn people’s hearts back to having confidence in those who sing SG. In turn the fan base could increase by the grace of God. If we honor God, God can make it happen!!! There are so many people who simply do not trust SG artists because they have seen and heard too many stories.

    I do not know for sure what affect it would have on the industry, but I sure do know it would revive the ministry of SG.

  12. Weber wrote:

    Sensible, well said, in the large view its loosing ground anyway, I say its worth the risk, start it over from scratch. Just because scripture says to come out from amoung them, and note those who walk disorderly amoung you, maybe God was just kidding,……..

  13. DMCsings wrote:

    Hey gang, this is my first time posting, though I’ve been a long time reader. My opinion on homosexuality in southern gospel is as follows. Let me start by saying, I am one of those people who believe that most people who live a homosexual lifestyle are born that way, it isn’t just a decision they woke up one morning and made. However, the bible takes a clear stance on the issue, and I don’t want to go against God’s word. I do however know that the Bible says to love the sinner and to hate the sin. Be that homosexuality, extra-marital affairs, alcohol, drugs, what have you. I think sometimes we forget because these people are on a stage proclaiming God’s word that they are just as much a human as you and I. If you look at the men and women God used in mighty ways in the Bible, a lot of them were in far worse shape when Jesus found them, then the people we are so quick to criticize today. Also, I think there is a place for these people in the Lords, work. My God is a miraculous God, and can bring anyone out of any pit in their life. Sometimes God allows us to go through these things as a part of his grander plan. If one homosexual person is turned off to the message of Christ, and they feel that Christ could never love him because of their lifestyle, and a gospel artist can say “hey, I’ve been there, and I relate to you, and YES God does still love you and has a place for you” then it’s served it’s purpose. Homosexuality is no more a sin than being judgmental. So let’s try not to throw stones, and try to love each other as Christ loved us. Cause let’s face it, no matter how good of people we may think we are,not one of us deserves the UNCONDITIONAL love God gives us. Pray for fellow Christians, and be concerned for them when you see them go through these things, don’t wash your hands of them, because that is not what the Lord would do. And lastly, it’s important to remember this God uses us, in spite of us, not because of us.

  14. quartet-man wrote:

    #11, I realize that the sin of homosexuality is really spelled out in the Bible. I have never had to deal with that temptation, but I have others including looking at nice looking women. Being tempted is one thing, giving in is another. Now, I am not talking about those who look with lust consistently as I think there are those who surrender to it and even if they never act on it, might do other things like porn and the like. To me that is a different beast than those who might be tempted on occasion, but turn from it and don’t dwell on it.

    So, if we were to take people off stage who were not perfect, who had never sinned or even weren’t perfect after conversion, my friend there would be no one left on stage. David, Peter, Moses, Solomon, Paul, even Job would have been hopeless and should not have done the good things they did. Yet, even after each were less than perfect, God still used them mightiliy. Of course I will say again, this doesn’t excuse people for continuing sinning, but it does give them hope that when they do something outside of God’s will, their lives are not over.

  15. Rick in Georgia wrote:

    As a gay man, I believe in outing only when closeted gays use their influence to actively and hypocritically speak or lobby against other gays. Otherwise, it is a matter of privacy, and may do much harm instead of good.

  16. Randy wrote:

    Gays? In SG? I would’ve never thought! Alcoholics, adulterers, fornicators, and hypocrites in SG? Are you serious? I thought SG was an industry of perfect people!

    Maybe I was just duped because nobody is REAL!!! If you’re gay, you’re not born that way. You’re a product of a child molester or a single parent household. If you’re an alcoholic, it’s likely that you are the bottom link of a chain of alcoholics before you. If you have an extremely lustful eye, it’s a good chance your daddy did. All these things are a curse on one’s life. It is a jail of sin. Everyone has their own jail with a certain label over the door. It would be easy to place blame on a bunch of other people for how we got the way we are, but we choose to live the way we do. Whether we are the product of another’s influence or not, it is our decision.

    My opinion isn’t to ‘out’ homosexuals in SG. My opinion is to ‘out’ everyone who has some form of addiction to sin on their life in whatever manner. The only way to get healing is to confess we are sick. SG is a sick and dying industry, stagnant in filth. Why not wash the filth out with the blood of Jesus and live again? Out everyone!

  17. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Regarding the video of the LeFevres, I wonder:
    1. Why did the drummer arrive late?
    2. When was the first clip-on microphone invented?

    As singers, the LeFevres were closer to the Speers than the Goodmans, but the main reason to see them was always Eva Mae. She played some great runs on the piano, and she had a wonderful sense of humor. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see them perform, but I sure have enjoyed watching them on video.

  18. scope wrote:

    # 7 I did not say they were all celebate. What I said is that it’s not my place to judge them. It’s not my place to decide who is celebate and who isn’t. If you think it is impossible to be celebate, then you have problems you need to pray about. And the Bible is clear that those who think they can judge others are putting themselves equal to God, which is also an abomination to the Lord.

  19. BUICK wrote:

    RE: outing

    I’m trying to think if it is ever my place to confess the sin of anyone sin, whatever it may be. It is my responsibility to repent of and confess MY sin but I think that’s where it ends.

    If someone has sinned AGAINST ME, I understand it is my responsibility to go to that person to confront him/her. But to go to other people about? Wouldn’t that be gossip - which is, in itself, a sin…and one that Scripture condemns more often than it condemns sexual sin.

  20. Yeah... wrote:

    Eva Mae was indeed one classy lady, and I agree - she was the brightest spot of the Lefevres. I worked with them years ago, and found them to be nice and gracious people. As for the “unGoodman” remark, I have no idea what to say to that. I loved the Goodmans too. They had a live band of fine musicians, and the Lefevres were more a family band. I’ve read and heard of some of the negatives expressed on the Goodmans, but never saw it or felt many negative vibes from them. And I say that from innumerable hours with most of them.

    Soloists shouldn’t be knocked, imo. One person, zero stacks, one personality on stage. No one else in a group to cover for them when they’re sick or having an off day. They stand or fall alone. A soloist who can make a living doing most everything alone stands a unique test. And by and large, most of them do a whole lot better financially than the vast majority of group singers. I realize that mine is a minority opinion, and that is just fine. Sgm is nearly unique in this; name the country soloists and then the groups…same in most pop genres. Rock is generally bands. Some of the most successful CCM names are individuals. In sgm, it’s largely groups, and those who love and follow it love group singing. I love it all…groups mixed or male, and a fine soloist. There’s room for all, as long as they have what it takes. And if you don’t as a soloist, you won’t last very long.

  21. Derek wrote:

    It’s not gossip…it’s a “prayer request”! LOL

  22. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    Yet again, the author of this website has chosen to lean on his old crutch of the subject of homosexuality to drum up attention. If we are going to “out” homosexuals in SG, should we also “out” those who offer criticism and commentary on southern gospel music and culture? I doubt that this post will see the light of day, but it is worth a shot.

  23. Joe wrote:

    DMCsings- much of what you say is true, but your underlying prmise is severely flawed.

    God’s unconditional love is granted to the sinner, so that they will repent. After salvation, there are many, many conditions attached. God calls us to holiness, and it is a command.

    For ANYONE to live in open sin, it is unacceptable to God. These sins cause one to be put away from a local church (see 1 Cor. 5). The list of qualifications for elders and deacons are straight and narrow. Scripture, in talking of the wickedness of those unsaved, commands the believer “let it never ONCE be named among you…”

    Yes- we all “have flaws”- but this does not mean that anything and everything goes. This is a trend developed by the world, and not by Scripture. Today, it is all about inclusion- anything goes, everything is acceptable, I’m OK, you’re OK…and what you end up with is how the mess in Judges was described…”every one did what was right in his/her own eyes…”

    IF this is the state that SGM is really in (and I seriously doubt it…), then we are all in huge trouble.

  24. J wrote:

    I remember my grandmother telling me about the first time she saw Eva Mae. I was five (a very, very long time ago) and don’t remember the concert but my grandmother said that Eva Mae started singing “God is God” and she didnt know whether to jump, run, scream or just what to do. She said they did three encores before they could go on with their program. She was a lady, something not easily said these days.

  25. Tommy Jones wrote:

    Have to agree on the “non-Goodman-like.” I always thought of them, the Rambos, et. al. as being LOUD, not harmonious and pleasing to the ear like the Lefevres, Speers, and quartets like the Imperials and Blackwoods.

  26. cynical one wrote:

    Wayne — #22 — He, pretty much, outted himself a few months ago, when he posted something he had written for his academia job. At the end, it included a brief bio that included something about living with his lifepartner. Anyone who read that far caught on pretty quickly, and referenced that info in their postings.

  27. pk wrote:

    actually, this gay conversation is just a repeat of the countless other gay conversations that have been on here. I just shake my head. I think everybody knows where everyone stands on the issue. My stand: It’s between the person and God. All I can do is pray.

    As for Eva Mae, I loved to watch her play piano. Does anyone know whether her obit is online or not?

  28. Jonathan wrote:

    Ok here is my take we keep talking about “outing” the homosexual or fornicator and if we did how would SG fair, well news flash why pick on those sins why not out everyone who sins and I think the Bible is clear on who that is so I guess everyone consider yourself outed. Now lets let God convict and worry about ourselves and our relationship with Christ.

  29. Jonathan wrote:

    By the way my name is Jonathan Edwards and I am a sinner who has just been saved by Grace.

  30. apathetic wrote:

    http://www.legacy.com/atlanta/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=127429957

    Eva Mae LeFevre

    Family-Placed Death Notice

    LeFEVRE, Eva Mae MRS. EVA MAE LeFEVRE Mrs. Eva Mae LeFevre, 91, Gospel Music Pioneer, died Monday, May 18, 2009. She was born Eva Mae Whittington, August 7, 1917. She married her beloved Urias LeFevre in 1934. She gave birth to five children; Pierce, Meurice, Andrea, Mylon, and Monteia. Named the First Lady of Gospel Music, she went on to sing and play piano for 86 years. Throughout her career, she was devoted to helping others know Christ our Lord. Eva Mae received multiple Grammy and Dove nominations and awards. Eva Mae was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. To view and share more about Eva Mae’s life, please visit www.evamae.com. Eva Mae was preceded in death by her most beloved husband, Urias, son Pierce; daughter, Andrea Charmagne; parents H.L. and Lydia Whittington; grandson, Monte Rae LeFevre, brothers, Curtis and James Whittington; sisters, Ruth Williams, Jewel Nelms. Her survivors include; sons and daughters in law, Meurice and Peggy LeFevre Sr., Mylon Rae and Christi LeFevre; daughter Cheris Monteia LeFevre; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great grandchildren; brother Harry L. Whittington; sister, Pearl Ballou; Naomi Smith; and Joyce Duncan; numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral Services for Eva Mae will be held 12:00 Noon, Thursday, May 21, 2009 at the Mt. Paran Church of God-Central, 2055 Mt. Paran Road, Atlanta, GA, 30327. Interment will follow in WestView Cemetery. Eva Mae’s family will receive friends 6:00-9:00 P.M., May 20, 2009 at H.M. Patterson and Son, Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Road, Sandy Springs, GA, 30328. Eva Mae’s family would like to extend a deep thank you to all of her extended family for their thoughts and prayers.

  31. Robb wrote:

    #27 I agree. Nothing can be discussed here without bringing homosexuality into it. ENOUGH already!!! We KNOW how you feel-like PK says, all we can do is pray for you and thats what we’re suposed to do anyway.

  32. redhead wrote:

    31) i agree Robb

  33. Ted wrote:

    This thing about “outing” and banning gays.
    What about lying, stealing, adultery, dishonesty. Lets ban everyone who struggles with sin.
    SG, will become a showcase of perfect people.
    No need to sing about grace.

  34. Wade wrote:

    Dr Joe.. my friend… if there were conditions after salvation Jesus came and died for nothing. Grace not by works thing…think that is in there too!!! God Bless his Heart!!

  35. Wade wrote:

    Here come the twisted verses…hang on

  36. Irishlad wrote:

    We’ve all got a big bad dog in us.Just kick it back into it’s kennel when necessary and everything will be just fine.

  37. Joe wrote:

    Wade-

    There ARE conditions after salvation. Every time you write here, you prove yet again that you’ve never cracked your Bible.

    There are conditions for elders and deacons. They must be met (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1).

    There are conditions to remain in a local church. They must be met (1 Cor. 5, 6).

    There are conditions for elders and teachers. They must be met (1 Tim. 5:16-20).

    There are conditions for servants/employees. They must be met (1 Peter 2).

    There are conditions for husbands and wives. They must be met (Eph. 5).

    There are condiotions for every true child of God. They must be met (Eph. 6, Romans 8, and a thousand other places).

    What about “Be holy!” (1 Peter 1:16). ??

    If you feel that now, since Jesus died, you can live any old way you see fit, and blame it all on grace, then you have never understood the death of Christ. A true believer has been CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST, and is dead to the world, themselves, and their sinful nature.

    “Grace not by works” is BEFORE a sinner is saved. Afterwards, every believer “must show a pattern of good works” after salvation (Titus 2:7-8).

    Your consistent lack of knowledge of the Bible is astounding.

  38. apathetic wrote:

    Just curious, this question combines two of the favorite topics on here. To those on this site who prefer a “partner” to a wife or girlfriend, in this past season of American Idol were you pulling for Danny Gokey because of his love of gospel music and music minister occupation or were you pulling for Adam Lambert because of his orientation? Or did any of that play a factor into your favorite at all? Just curious as to where any loyalties reside. Do those on this site identify more with someone’s similar love of gospel music or ones similar companion preference. Not that the answer means anything, we’re all going to hell for watching American Idol. LOL

  39. jbb wrote:

    And all fo God’s People said…Amen

    Joe, that what just what I was thinking so I don’t need to add to it. Great post.
    Just as the Bible is full of promises, it is full of Conditions.

  40. jbb wrote:

    Sorry for the typo: should be “of” not fo.

  41. cynical one wrote:

    re the clip of the Lefevres — “I see dead people. They’re just singing. They don’t even know they’re dead.”

    Seriously, I love watching old footage like that and old Gaither videos, et al. But am I the only one who thinks “I see dead people,” everytime I watch them?

  42. Yeah... wrote:

    Well said, Joe. Well said. Nothing more has to be added. I couldn’t help but remember what the Apostle Paul wrote, after reading Wade’s thing: “What do we say? Should we continue in sin, so that grace might abound? God forbid.”

  43. elvis wrote:

    Is there a difference between sin and an abomination? Leviticus is very clear in chapter 18 about it. I agree with other posters that unless you are ready to “name names,” then this is all speculation/gossip.
    Just be ready that if you do decide to “out” someone you better be ready to prove your accusation and have a really good attorney. Otherwise, my suggestion would be to not cast any stones.

  44. Just Thinking wrote:

    Irishlad wrote:
    We’ve all got a big bad dog in us.Just kick it back into it’s kennel when necessary and everything will be just fine.

    I really like this analogy! And yes, we all sin, but there is a big difference between people hating their sin and people excusing their sin.

  45. Oldtimer wrote:

    Grace my friends - Grace.

  46. redhead wrote:

    Man, as soon as the word “gay” is mentioned, it turns into a gay thread. Enough already!

  47. vjacks wrote:

    Avery, Is it just me or are you only nice to dead people?

  48. Wade wrote:

    Gawd I love being right thanks Dr. Joe.

    I got better things to do . I MCed a Gospel Concert last Saturday Nite and had HALF Baptist, HALF Church of Gawd and every body got along fine.

    I hope my Mansion is right next door to Dr. Joe.

  49. Jim2 wrote:

    Newschannel5 reports that Young Harmony’s tour bus was possibly firebombed overnight in a parking lot in downtown Nashville

  50. pk wrote:

    http://www.amazinggracebaptistchurchkjv.com/gpage43.html

    has some commentary on Ungodly SG music, Gaither and Christian Homosexuals. I had to go thru some of the stuff listed on the left of the screen…most of it very strict doctrine that the guy has….but I did like the jokes.

  51. Kyle wrote:

    There was a song Shel Silverstein wrote for a group called “Old Dogs” (Mel Tillis, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, and Jerry Reed). I believe the tag was, “Nashville is rough on the livin’, but she surely speaks well of the dead.” Seems sometimes you can subsitute “Nashville” with “Avery” sometimes…

  52. Blake Edmondson wrote:

    pk,
    That church and that website are a disgrace to conservative baptists everywhere. The pastor, if you read his writings can’t even spell, and doesn’t take the time to research anything before writing it on his site. Don’t follow that link because, as crazy as liberal christians have become, guys like him are just as bad on the other end. He’s right about some of the things he writes about homosexuality but he’s a little hypocritical seeing his choir sings songs written and recorded by the groups he’s against.

  53. JLL wrote:

    Oh that crazy church’s site is a hoot! I think my favorite line is, “You can visit this page by going to the ‘Perversion’ tab. Please enjoy.”

    Please enjoy?

  54. Yeah... wrote:

    Even if you happened to agree with some (even much) of what that pastor writes, he does a great disservice to his cause. Little of what he’s written has been researched well, as has been noted, his spelling shows a real lack of education at times. His KJV-Only treatise is rife with errors too. Sad, really. People like that seem to need, and demand, followers, who adhere only to their set of beliefs. And that is a form of control, isn’t it? And not necessarily control by God, which is a good thing; but his control, which may not be so good.

  55. apathetic wrote:

    Goofy Baptist KJV only website gets the following error…

    Bandwidth Limit Exceeded
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

    Too funny.

  56. GINNIE wrote:

    Do NOT deceive yourselves. HOMOSEXUALITY is not as any other sin . In fact God did not call it a sin. GOD said that it was an Abomination… Extremely vile and bad ! . The church should not go soft on this demonic act that comes from the pits of hell. YES, we love people , but we should not accept or overlook this vileness!.. Do not count it among you and do not listen to it sing !!

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