Weekend roundup

Happy Friday! Here’s some stuff I’ve missed in the past few days.

  • There are some Aaron Crisler photos of the SGMG concert at GMA week up over at Judy Nelon’s GospelMusicUpdate site.
  • I normally don’t do death-and-dying  items here, since the Singing News and Daniel Mount pretty much have the market cornered in this regard, but I would like to note the death of Priscilla McGruder, who died yesterday after a very long ordeal with cancer that almost anyone who listened to them for any amount of time probably knows about. The McGruders are from Kennett, Mo., not too far from some of the places I grew up, and so I have a particular fondness for them as fellow southern Missouri folk. They were also some of the first hard-driving, fast moving, emotionally sock-it-to-you gospel groups I was exposed to as a kid in my formative years as a gospel music fanboy, and though the spirit can move them to places in performances I’d rather not go sometimes, I’ve always loved the warmblooded immediacy of their style, the way they make you know how urgent the song has been and always will be for people with gospel in their bones. Priscilla McGruder was 61.
  • Wow. Somebody went a little overboard with the photoshopping here, nes cafe? But then again, I guess this is just the visual equivalent of the conspicuously piped in applause tracks on their last live album.
  • David Bruce Murray says “My Name is Lazarus” is/was the song of the 1990s.
  • Really, the two Blackwood groups out there right now remind me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry dates the girl who looks good (or at least presentable) in some lights and not so good in others. It’s weird, and kinda confusing to boot.

Consider this an open thread.

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  1. Aaron Swain wrote:

    The Blackwood Gospel Quartet that is featured in DBM’s review isn’t even the current lineup, and they have taken on the Blackwood Quartet name. The lineup now is tenor Dan Keeton, lead Mark Blackwood, baritone David Mann, and bass Chris West.

    Here’s the only videos I could find of the current group. http://www.youtube.com/user/KeetonMusic#p/u/4/a0V5WytRUSE

  2. onemadeupmind wrote:

    Glory Road by the BGQ. Dan Keeton is such a great tenor, as you can hear in this very raw footage.


    I know he was with DMB, and others, but why he isn’t with a Top Tier group is beyond me. Best tenor in the business, imho.

  3. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #2: The Blackwood Quartet that he’s in now has a recording contract with Homeland Records that Ron Blackwood garnered when he ran the group (as far as I know, they still have it). If this lineup can stay together and record some new material, they’d be getting some well-deserved attention.

  4. Irishlad wrote:

    I acknowledge Dan Keeton’s recent videos of the current Mark Blackwood version of the BB’s were of poor quality,notwithstanding, Mr Keeton absolutely destroyed “How Great Thou Art”.What he was trying to prove with that effort is beyond me.Perhaps this showcases why he is not with a top tier group.Anyone, no matter what part they sing who sing out of their range show lack of musical judgement.Imho.

  5. littlemimi wrote:

    I tell you what, I love Priscilla Mcgruder. She sang with more passion, authority, and anointing than most folks on the road today. It was like the portals of glory were opened every time she sang. She will be missed.

  6. Jim2 wrote:

    Trevin Wax has a fantastic article http://trevinwax.com/2010/04/26/jennifer-knapp-larry-king-why-we-always-lose-this-debate/ that delves into the concept that “we’re all sinners” is not the issue that needs to be addressed, but rather “we all need to repent”. It’s all about who defines the debate.

  7. Wade wrote:

    I wrote the following note and was posted on Kelly Nelon Clarke’s Facebook Profile as a comment about a note she wrote about Priscilla McGruder. Besides what I wrote below I will tell you that as Godly as She was she never seemed to be judgmental and was a REAL shinning light with just her presence!!!

    The BEST CONCERT I ever promoted as far as easy ppl to work with, a GREAT CROWD and just jamming GOOD OLE GOSPEL SONGS was in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

    Ponders Sykes & Wright with the McGruders. PS& W came out and just WOWed the crowd..SOLD OUT with their SINGING, STYLE & PRODUCTION!!

    Then the McGruders with their full band came in called the SPIRIT DOWN and HAD CHURCH. I remember standing in the back with my arms raised and felt like I was about TO FLY into HEAVEN any second!!.

    The McGruders were PURE CLASS!!! PS& W were fun and I am blessed to have been able to be just a part of the event!!

    God Bless Her and the Family!!

  8. Weber wrote:

    I woudnt expect any new recordings from the BGQ, they have doing the same program, pushing the same table products for the last five or six years. If history is any predictor of the future, members of the BGQ rairly get promoted to the upper tier groups primarily because of the reputation and confusion of five or six groups traveling under the name.

  9. Irishlad wrote:

    #8 really the BB’s have been whittled down to two quartets now with Jimmy and Billy adding a certain air of legitimacy to their version.Perhaps it’s Jimmy’s growing likeness to his pop both in looks and demeanour that is setting the standard for class and integrity.Surely his group could be classed as “top tier”.

  10. Joe wrote:

    Doug- here goes another “dissent of the day”. Not sure how many read your linked article. I did. Totally sad. If you will, let me dissect just one paragraph.

    >>Openly gay and Christian, Tonéx and Knapp insist on the right to “come out from among them,” as the apostle Paul put it in his letter to the early church at Corinth, and “be ye separate,” in ways that are true to the totality of who they are. In this way they actively resist being inscribed into evangelicalism’s punitive discourse of the self-embattled homosexual. <<

    1. Being “gay” and Christian, is, as the Bible so clearly states, mutually exclusive. A “Christian” who practices homosexuality is one, but not both. Being both is spiritually impossible.

    2. They insist on their “rights”?! Whoever may have given them these “rights”, please rest assured it was NOT the Lord.

    3.”Come out from among them and be separate”? You are applying this to homosexuals publicly declaring, with pride, their open sin? Doug- c’mon. You can do better than this. Even you know that this is using a Scripture taken horribly out of context. You forgot to include the rest. I’ll do it for you.

    4. “…says THE LORD…” You are wresting HIS words for your own purposes. Please be fair. What DOES the Lord Himself say about homosexuality?

    5. “…and touch not the unclean…” Over and over, this sin is called, by the Lord, uncleanness. It is also called unnatural, an abomination, a dishonoring of the human body, vile affection, unrighteousness, and worthy of death. Doug- please be fair. If you are going to use Scripture, use it in context, for what it says and means, and use ALL of it; not just a catch-phrase that you can wordsmith for your own purposes.

    7. “true to the totality of who they are..”?? Apparently, they are not willing to take their position before the Lordas to the totality of who they really are…as sinner.

    8. “…evangelicalism’s punitive discourse…”?? Doug- where do think we evangelicals get the groundwork for our “discourse”? From the Koran? Aesop’s fables? The Canterbury Tales? All we are doing, when we write and you let us post, is reciting Scripture. HIS discourse. And any punishment to be meted out will not be from us. That will be His as well.

    Doug- please be fair. It is so sad to know how much you know, and how little you will bow to it. Misquoting and mis-applying Scripture to further your agenda is about as low as you have gone.

  11. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    Does anyone have an update as to the status of 2 groups —- “The Prophets” and “The Imperials?” I know that about 2 - 3 years ago, Ed Hill reorganized the Prophets and Eddie Crook was hired to be the pianist. But I have noticed that he has joined another group, and I was just wondering if the Prophets are still in business.
    Also, I know about the problems dealing with the name of “The Imperials” and the very sad lawsuit that came about as a result. But are the Imperials (with Jason Morales) still in business? They have a website, but there is nothing there to access in terms of schedule, bio, store, etc.

  12. steven wrote:

    I’m not sure about the Prophets but according to the sn website and musicscribe blog…that Shannon Smith and Jeremie Hudson from the imperials have joined Three Bridges

  13. Glenn wrote:

    Joe, I think you are sad, but you probably already knew that since you seem to think that you know everything.

  14. Wade wrote:

    Was at a concert this weekend in Chattanooga and can confirm the NEW Three Bridges!! They were not together THAT NIGHT JC Groves was filling in on Tenor and you would have NEVER KNOWN it if they did not say and ya did not know.

    That was the first time I have ever seen 3B in an indoor concert setting and I can say I have never seen anybody work harder than Elliot and it was not a HUGE Crowd but you would have thought the place was full!!

  15. art wrote:

    I’m not familiar with the McGruders, but I looked them up on YouTube last night. Wow. Such energy. They really worked hard to put a song over to the audience. I wish some of today’s groups would wake up a few minutes before they take the stage and put on a spirited performance like that.

  16. Andrew S. wrote:

    Peg McKamey Bean can’t hold a candle to the energy of Priscilla McGruder in those YouTube videos. :)

  17. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #12: Smith and Hudson had come off the road years ago. The Imperials had/have Scott Allen singing lead, and they had Perry Jones on tenor, but he left and I’m not sure if there was anyone hired after that.

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