The Southern Gospel Pink Slip, Blackwood style

It’s  neither a slip nor pink, as Dan Keeton, very lately of one of the gazillion Blackwood groups, says he discovered along with the rest of us today:

An Open Letter from Dan Keeton,

I should have known something was up when Mr. Blackwood didn’t make my direct deposit last week. This morning, he never spoke one word to me all the way to Nashville. Then as we pulled into the Home depot to get my van, he says, We’ll just say it was the blend or something, I won’t need you anymore”. He handed me $70 and told me he’d make my deposit tomorrow.

I just now got home and on the facebook page there is already a new picture! And since Chris is in Alabama and David is in Memphis, this picture was taken before this weekend.

I just figured I’d be open and honest with my friends.

So, please pray for Nancy and I as we try to figure out what to do now.

Thank You Mr. Blackwood, I appreciate it.

And people say sg types aren’t taking full advantage of the internet!

Update: Cecil Blackwood responds to this Keeton bidness in a comment. Money quote:

Dan and I apparently disagree with what should take place on stage. That is not to say one of us is right or wrong, we just don’t see it the same way. I don’t like anyone being comical on stage, I don’t like fat jokes on stage, etc. Dan wanted to be comical. I asked him not to do that numerous times, but he still continued. That’s it. There is nothing else to this. No need to read between the lines. I was not happy with what he was doing and he obviously had no intention of quitting. To me, when the person paying you asks you repeatedly to stop doing something, and you continue, this should be expected. If any of you were in my shoes, you would have done the same thing. Be assured, Dan has been paid 100% of his money and Dan will only be spoken highly of by the Blackwood Quartet.

Full comment is here.

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  1. MusicScribe BLOG » Blog Archive » Dan Keeton out of Blackwood Qt? on 17 May 2010 at 5:02 pm

    […] UPDATE: Looks like this answered my question…. […]


  1. KDM wrote:

    Wow. That’s just…wow. Cold.

  2. BB wrote:

    I think i won’t be surprised by things, but, once again, I’m wrong. I guess it’s just a business and nothing more when things like that happen.

    On a sidenote, anyone know if the Kingsmen have hired anyone yet?

  3. Not buying it wrote:

    I’m wondering if this isn’t just another case in which the truth is somewhere in the middle…
    I noticed earlier that a Blackwood relative commented on Dan’s status that said the same thing, and told him not to go down this route of putting it all over the Internet, because he knew exactly why it had happened. I also noticed that comment was later deleted, along with other comments telling him things to that effect.
    I suppose we’ll never know the whole truth. All I know is, it’s a mess.

  4. Rob wrote:

    You never know the real truth when any SG member is let go from the group. It’s usually they want to spend more time at home, yet they are back on the road in a couple of months. This time according to Mr. Keaton it was his blend with the group and not spending more time at home. He had a good thing going with DMB but it was his decision to leave them.

  5. weber wrote:

    Ahh cut throat Blackwood strikes again LOL well cant say I feel sorry for Dan, Blackwood has done this to several in the business and should have done his homework before putting a paycheck before a background check. On a side note, worthy of mention, Blackwood and the fellow from memphis both have small children at home for the’re wives to take care of..interesting.

  6. Fact-finder wrote:

    #3 - that was Jennifer Blackwood that posted. Kind-of an “in-your-face” post, if you ask me. Makes me wonder who’s in charge of the group, her or her husband!

    I’ve always seen Mr. Keeton as a guy who is honest with his “post” and postitions over the past few years. So I’m leaning more on his side.

    The Blackwoods don’t really hold to the old legacy, they seem to be forming a new one! Makes me wonder if the old Blackwoods are rolling in their graves!

    I think that this is all in bad taste, and makes me wonder how the other group member could be a part. Especially if a photo was already planned and shot! D they realize that they could be in Dan’s shoes?

    Kinda seems like a stab in the back, and not a professional way of handling things either! They will loose all respect from others in the industry! They’ve pretty much lost mine.

    Sad, sad, sad……

  7. cynical one wrote:

    Yesterday, their facebook post said, “Lot’s of news coming out tomorrow. Stay tuned.”

    Things that make you go “hmmmmmmmmm.”

  8. Randy wrote:

    Who cares? Blackwood fans are either dead or a few feet from the grave, anyway. Why is this even blog worthy?

  9. Irishlad wrote:

    Srikes me Mark’s as capricious as his pop(RIP)was.

  10. Irishlad wrote:

    Looks like Mark’s as capricious as his pop(RIP)was.Who next Chris?.

  11. RR wrote:

    Isn’t there an ongoing pattern that this group never has the same personnel for as long as six months? At least that’s how it seems.

  12. Not buying it wrote:

    #6: I’m noticing that he’s picking and choosing which comments to keep on his Facebook. Funny thing is, all the ones being deleted are in favor of his former employer. I read them before they were taken off, and didn’t see anything biased or out of line. In fact, one was trying to tell him to take it down and follow the Biblical mandate for handling offenses as found in Matthew 18:15.
    Not sure who to believe at this point.

  13. Diana wrote:

    I’ve been laid off from two jobs in my career, and it’s a pretty upsetting thing. I think we should cut Dan some slack and let him get his equilibrium back. All of us have said or done things when we were upset that we wish we hadn’t done by the time we calm down and think things through.

  14. Fact-finder wrote:

    #12: I agree that it does look suspicious. But I still think the whole matter was done without taste. Perhaps Dan shouldn’t have posted so hastily, but I would have probably done the same if I was in his shoes.

    The new legacy of turnarounds that the “Blackwoods” are forming is not doing any good for their image.

    We can pretty much agree that it’s a fact that Dan got let go in a wrong way! Seriously! Pictures done beforehand, behind his back! YUCK! What a bad idea!

    By the way, if you were let go by your employer like that, how would you react? Quartet singing is both a ministry and business, and needs to be handled properly in both ways. Dan’s initial post was probably out of frustration, but I think it was dead on.

    You want to know what has me wondering??? By Mrs. Blackwood’s earlier comment, it sounds almost like they have something that they are using to keep him quiet. Sure sounds suspicious.

    I’m wanting to keep a level head, but I also feel for Dan. It’s got to hurt for sure!
    I honestly hope that Dan will find something.

    Again: Sad, sad, sad!

  15. Sandy wrote:


  16. onemadeupmind wrote:

    I have known Dan Keeton for 15+ years and have known him to be a stand up guy. Does what he says he’ll do.

    I have known Mark Blackwood for 15 years and wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him…really.

    I have known some of his (MB) business associates as well. Let’s just say he’s a piece of work.

    I hope Dan gets his money!

  17. 4Given wrote:

    I was always taught to do your research and learn some things about your future employer… Dan should have done just that… It sounds like to me he was just used as a fill in without him knowing it… I could see this coming the day he was hired… I also don’t trust Mark Blackwood any further than I could throw him…

  18. techguy wrote:

    Nothing surprises me out of the Blackwood name. I remember very well some years ago when a promoter buddy of mine had the Blackwoods cancel on him. . . the reason? Mr. Blackwood had been arrested!

    Also, the Blackwoods have seen their prime, and it appears to me that some of them are only trying to cash in on the family name. Oh well!

  19. oldtimer wrote:

    I have known Dan for years. I have had Mark Blackwood’s group in my church once. His group remains the only one of numerous professional groups that I vowed not to have back because of things I saw and heard. I applaud Dan for not going down the usual road of trying to cover things up with a stale excuse. Tell the truth - and maybe save some future singer some heartache. There are some remarkably good people in the Blackwood organization. I pray they find more honorable groups with whom to serve the Lord before they get done dirty. If I find out I have misstated anything I will publicly apologize. But if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck… Let’s just say we have heard this song before.

    I pray for Mark Blackwood and group and their families. May they be all that their songs proclaim them to be. I pray for Dan Keeton that he will find an upright and honest person to work for who will pay him what he needs to support his family and give him an honorable platform from which to use his immense God-given talent. I know it sounds trite, but God has truly blessed Dan by allowing this separation. Dan - you are much better off.

  20. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    I have never met Mr. Mark Blackwood, and I have never heard any of his music. However, I do believe that it’s worth stating that there have been / are several Blackwood organizations involved in the ministry of southern gospel music. Mark Blackwood’s group is one of those groups. It is not the only group. Regardless of what happened in this particular situation or in situations past, it would be very wrong to assume that all of the groups are not conducting themselves and their business as they should.

    I had the opportunity last year to spend a good portion of a weekend with Jimmy Blackwood and the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. I was blessed by the excellence in their music. I was also even more encouraged by the manner in which they conducted themselves, not only on the stage, but before and after the concerts. My dealings with their office as I helped to secure them engagements in my area were all handled in a Christlike way on their part. It was obvious that they had a passion to be faithful in leading in worship and in presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who came to hear it. Never once did I even get a hint that they were concerned about money or “the things of the world.”

    In many respects, it was through the ministry of the Blackwood Brothers that I came to Christ in 1983. I had the opportunity to have dinner with James Blackwood and Mim at the National Quartet Convention, just a few short years before he went on to be with the Lord. I have the deepest respect for him and for the ministry that he passed on to his sons, Jimmy and Billy.

    As a pastor, I know that nothing means any more to me than when those in my congregation tell me that they’re praying for me. I wonder how different the ministry of southern gospel music would be as a whole if the time in which we spent speculating about the latest gossip concerning groups and their business were spent instead on our knees as we lift these singers, their ministries, and their families before the Lord in prayer. If we were more faithful in praying for them, maybe we would find that we have less about which to criticize and gossip.

  21. Brian Fuson wrote:

    Mark Blackwood is a hack, he is just like his dad, Cecil, who was the weakest link in the Blackwoods even in their prime. The only Blackwood Quartet I listen to is Jimmy Blackwoods group, and they are excellent, and truly more credible, being they are James children. They sound more authentic, and I believe are one of the best kept secrets in Southern Gospel.

    Its a shame that Dan was treated disrespectfully, and but Mark’s group has not given anyone a reason to listen to them, and this definitely hurts their credibility. Not that I would listen to the son of Cecil before, I definitely will not listen to them now.

    May all SG groups remember their testimony in how they treat the members of their group.

  22. Aachen1720 wrote:

    Unfortunately, this is how discharges happen in the real world. Many times when a decision is made to let someone go, a plan is already in place for replacement. With that plan, some co-workers are in on what is happening. It sounds this way with the Blackwoods. It does seem a bit odd to be necessary with a quartet.

    Many circumstances can drive replacing someone in a quartet and most of the time it is not sinister. Speaking from experience, sometimes philosophies really don’t mix. Differences can be ministry over entertainment, old vs new material, “sing a song I wrote”, too many slow songs vs too many fast songs, arrogance, personality, not enough features, arrangements, money, etc. I think you get it. These are examples and may have zero relevance to this particular situation. Mark is the boss. He calls the songs, does the routing and such. Too many chiefs and not enough indians can ruin a business and even a quartet. Perhaps neither Mark or Dan is completely to blame. It just happens. As opposed to other similiar group changes, this one went public.

  23. Cecil Mark Blackwood wrote:

    I see I found my fan club, lol. I don’t normally read this blog, but was directed to this post by a friend. Dan Keeton is a fantastic singer. I wish Dan nothing but the absolute best in whatever door God opens for him. I will pray for him and encourage others to do the same. Since so many of you are interested in what “really” happened, I will tell you. Dan and I apparently disagree with what should take place on stage. That is not to say one of us is right or wrong, we just don’t see it the same way. I don’t like anyone being comical on stage, I don’t like fat jokes on stage, etc. Dan wanted to be comical. I asked him not to do that numerous times, but he still continued. That’s it. There is nothing else to this. No need to read between the lines. I was not happy with what he was doing and he obviously had no intention of quitting. To me, when the person paying you asks you repeatedly to stop doing something, and you continue, this should be expected. If any of you were in my shoes, you would have done the same thing. Be assured, Dan has been paid 100% of his money and Dan will only be spoken highly of by the Blackwood Quartet.

    While I have your attention, I hope that many of you realize that some of the posters here are the same people just posting under different names to agree with themselves. I know who posted several of the negative postings here and it is sadly people involved in the industry in regional groups. They are just making up things to post, sadly. There is no need to call names, because God knows the face behind the posts and I have no doubts it will be taken care of on his end.

    I do want to give a shout out to Eric Stephens of the Tennessean Qt. Eric I assume posts on here regularly. I went to his group’s web site to contact him, but I don’t see any contact information on there. He has e-mailed my wife a few times to be highly critical of me. It is getting to the point of harassing as today my wife had to block him from her Facebook because he sent her a message that said “I was right about your husband, he is a looser, you should go to averyfineline and see who your married too.” Yes, he wrote looser, but that is beside the point. So, Eric, this is my public plea to stop contacting my wife. It makes it look more than suspicious that you could be one of the fictitious people posting negative things about me on this site. I welcome you to call me, my brother, and have a conversation man to man about whatever it is that is causing you to send such mean messages about me to my wife. Luckily she loves me and has for nearly 15 years.

    I love what several of you have posted about Jimmy’s quartet. They are doing so fabulous and I am so happy for them. Please, if any of you get a chance, go see them. I understand they do some of the old-fashion singing around the microphone type things in their program, which I know they are awesome at.

    Mark Blackwood
    Blackwood Quartet

  24. Irishlad wrote:

    Truth be told told the only reason i listened to the MBQ was because they carried a decent tenor and a very decent bass(brad smith)and they had a nice blend coupled with a good stage presence.When brad left, the piano player started singing bass..i lost interest.Along came a new decent tenor and another very decent bass(chris west) my interest peaked again. The common denominator? a good bass and tenor.Now call me fickle,not interested in the ministry blah blah only the sound of the qt etc,but that’s the way it was for me.I wonder how many are like me..if the truth be told.

  25. Fact-finder wrote:

    Well, it’s good to hear from Mark (I was thinking Jennifer might comment first). I’m sad to hear it was because of comedy. And I still think it was done in poor taste. But I’m glad to hear that Mark is publicly saying Dan is a fine singer. Now Mark, will you post it on Dan’s wall so that all know your high regard for him? Addressing it here is mute.

  26. Techguy wrote:

    I regards to The Tennesseean Quartet not having any contact info listed, I went to their website and found it right away. It’s at this link:

  27. DRL wrote:

    Why do self-aggrandized industry types always have to precede their comments on this blog with “I don’t normally read this blog, but …” ??? LOL!

  28. Irishlad wrote:

    Had a quick look at the Tennesseans’ page, i’ve heard worse,a lot worse and they’re booked up to oct ‘10…not bad for a regional quartet! Bet they’ve no trouble making payroll. Which begs the question what’s the difference between a “national” quartet that can’t make payroll and a “regional” quartet that can? Ans.A happy one.

  29. larolf mccoin wrote:

    It troubles me to see such things as this on a public forum. Perhaps everyone involved needs to step back and ask “What would Jesus do?”. If “ministry” is of any importance, then we should not even be tredding down this road.

  30. Not Likely wrote:

    Hmm… maybe I should contact Mrs. Stevens and fill her in on what I know about her husband.

    But then, that would be very childish and quite hurtful to their marriage, I would assume.

  31. Eric Stephens wrote:

    My hats off to you for having the courage to come to this site and post the truth as to why you fired Dan. I assure you the negative feedback your recieving from other posters is not from the same person, that is mere wishfull thinking. I have friends that have worked for you, and to be honest you treated them like crap. In my opinion, the way you do business, you absolutely disgrace SGM. Food for thought, remember last year the singing at River of Life in Smyrna, TN, I made change for you out of my pocket, well you never paid me back. I dont care, it just speaks to your character issues that plague you and the Blackwood name.( Jimmy’s group excluded) Thanks for the Tennesseans plug, we are doing great.

  32. I Saw It All wrote:

    Mark..What about the time you guys were [edit]?

    Think real hard before you deny this.

    I also remember a time when your Daddy worked a gig for our radio station and [edit]

    What about Bibles for Russia?

    And no comedy in your group? What’s with the videos with the finger snapping and swaying like the Temptations. Aw, you’re right, that wasn’t comedy, although I LMAO when I saw it.

    What is in such poor taste is the fact that you went behind a brothers back. Did you severance him? Did you let him work out a notice? NOPE! Just, “We’ll say it was the blend or something,” again a lie.

    Dan has his issues I’m sure. We all do. But you have had “BOO-COOS” of singers with you over the last 4-5 years. Something in management is screwy when you go through talent as quickly as you do.

    By the way, when I hear you sing, I hear your father in your voice. You too, are the weak link in this set of Blackwoods.

  33. Wade wrote:

    how does C. Mark Blackwood know who is posting and under what names??? Me thinks only Dr. DH could tell that kinda info.. he may be WISHING & HOPING it was the same person.


    Right up there with I will not [edit] in your mouth!!

  34. Sandy wrote:

    In reference to a previous post…You can love someone and still not trust them.

  35. wanderer wrote:

    I don’t know Mark Blackwood, never met him and probably never will. But it is wrong to come on here and call him names…whether he is guilty of not. I don’t believe Dan should’ve went public either. I would think a group owner would think twice about hiring him for fear it wouldn’t work out. Look at the racket over Josh Cobb’s post ten years ago when GC hired him.

  36. Rob wrote:

    According to Dan’s fb post he is reforming The Dan Keeton Quartet. Quess he will be the boss now and he can do what he wants to do. I’ve had conversations with Mark Blackwood and I too am one that wouldn’t trust him. If I was promoting a concert don’t think I would want him as an artist based on remarks I’ve heard him make.

  37. Suzy Hall wrote:

    If Mark Blackwood commits suicide in the next few days, his blood will be on the hands of several of you. This is completely outrageous. He has been called a cut throat, hack, etc. You folks that wrote this need to get down on your knees and beg God for forgiveness for publically bashing this man. It’s too bad that you all make up weird names when you post so you can say what you want with no recourse. Several posts have even slammed on his deceased father. Do you not have a heart? Would you want to be judged based on what our relatives did? You have really went too far.
    To Eric Stephens, you pretty much gave away yourself that you are Irishlad.
    To Dan Keeton - Best wishes in whatever comes your way.
    To Mark Blackwood - Hopefully you know to ignore people on here that are rude and hopefully you will pay Eric Stephens back whatever you owe him. Whatever it is $5 or $10, $20 it is must be eating him alive.

  38. ashamed of fineline wrote:

    I cannot believe the way some of you are speaking of someone else’s dead father… how hurtful… definitely not something a Christian should be doing. I seriously cannot believe this is going on in a christian industry… SO UNBELIEVABLE ASHAMED and embarrassed. People get fired… get over it.

  39. Lovelife wrote:

    I just went to their website because I have no idea who these “blackwoods” are, and this comment is truly meant in fun….but, their individual pictures look like mug shots. Where are the smiles?? I still don’t know them, and I am not passing judgment on anything discussed here. I’m just sayin.

  40. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #37: I can promise you, Eric Stephens is not Irishlad. I’ve chatted with Irishlad numerous times, and that’s not him.

  41. Techguy wrote:

    # 37: Perhaps you should take a breather or a pill? lol

    Look, these kids of things go on and it doesn’t surprise me in the least. SG has had its corruption vein for years & years!

    Why do you think groups like Greater Vision, L5, Perrys, Booth Brothers, etc are succeeding in SG? I’ll tell you, it’s because the fans TRUST them! I mean, honestly, NONE of them are awesome singers. . . yes, I’m serious, but the fans feel they live above board and support their music.

    The Blackwoods are basically nothing but a bunch of original Blackwood wanna-bees who are trying desperately to cash in on the family name. . . have you heard them??? Check them out on you tube. . .wow, AWFUL stuff! Not only do they NOT have a good blend, but they don’t even have good stage presence. Then he comes on here and thinks we’re going to believe his line that he rarely visits this page! RIGHT!

  42. Not Likely wrote:

    #37 - Really? I always assumed Eric Stephens was weber and NashvillePhil.

  43. Nashville Phil wrote:

    Don’t know how you concluded that 42. Now you’ve brought me into this…Nah, like many of you, I have no facts on this issue. Please know, if I chime in…It’s gonna be regarding something I am privy to.

    42 when you ass-u-me, well certainly you understand.

  44. Not Likely wrote:

    #43 - I have to admit, except for the crude manner in which you ended your comment, the rest of it seemed to be at a higher level of literary education than that of weber. Perhaps I’m mistaken.

  45. Tommy wrote:

    This whole dibate is sad. While it is no secret in Southern Gospel the reputation of Mark Blackwood, this is not the place to bad mouth him. As Christians we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. A better approach would be allow the turnover to speak for itself. By jumping in feat first to a mudslinging match with him only hurts the integrity of all involved. There are a few wolves in sheeps clothing prostituting the Southern Gospel industry and mistreat other artists but I hope they are in the minority.

  46. X wrote:

    I have worked onstage with this group, as many others have, and Dan was a fine tenor and man. I didn’t think his comedy was a distraction, but that is just my opinion. I can’t help but comment on a few of the especially cutting posts about Mark being the “weak link.” For anyone who has met Mark, I think the description of “odd” is probably fitting, without going into detail. I would agree that there is something odd about his stage presence. However, I would agree that his vocals are just average. But it seems every group has one of these characters. There is often a guy who is the brains of the group who the listener would rather hear a little less of, example, Bill Gaither…

  47. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 45:

    The integrity of the faith, generally, and this genre, specifically, is far greater damaged by allowing “wolves in sheeps clothing” to go unchecked than by any alleged “mudslinging.” Those who are “prostituting the Southern Gospel industry” need called out, not protected by some post-modern, wussified Christianity that says it’s not ok take on the false teachers. Paul would be horrified.

    As Martin Luther put it, believers have an obligation to “shoot the wolves.” So, let’s stop pretending that anyone who picks up a wireless mic and buys someone else’s track is somehow untouchable.

    (NOTE: This post is not directed at anyone named Blackwood. Since I’m not 75-100 years old, I don’t know the first thing about anyone named Blackwood. My comments are general, not specific.)

  48. cynical one wrote:

    Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could use spelling and grammar check here? Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could use punctuation check here? Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could use fact check here? Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could use stupid check here?

    “Feat first”?

  49. DP wrote:

    Wow…. I will take a deep breath - and go get ready to see the Mark Trammel QUARTET tonight…. Hopefully all will go well and no one will be fired. And there better not be NO comedy!

    Carry on…

  50. Nate Stainbrook wrote:

    49. I was there at the Mark Trammel Quartet concert tonight… What did you think?

    About the whole Keeton/Blackwood thing, well lets say I am not surprised it ended that way… I wish both parties the best in life… For I never wish bad upon anyone…

  51. weber wrote:

    Well, I would dare to say with all the negative feedback that Mr. Blackwood has recieved, I would hope this would encourage him to maybe do business on the up and up in the future, of course I believe he should find a new line of work that would allow him to spend some time with his kids but I doubt that is going to happen.

  52. Mike Garner wrote:

    There is always speculation when there is a group change, but, if in fact what Mark has said, i would have let him go also. To be repeatedly asked to stop something and continue with it would get you fired from any job you had, whether it as singing or at McDonalds.. people do not fully understand what it takes to operate a successful group, but a main requirement is to bo of the same mind and structure. Im not necessarily taking up for Mark, but i do understand his position on this. Once you are told to do something, you need to do it or find another job… Dan is a great guy and a great singer, and sometimes things just do not work out. that doesnt mean anyone is right or wrong, its just a difference of opnion, but someone has to be boss and keep thins runnin, and that is simply what has happened. Doesnt seem so dishonest to me.. Dan said he was fired, and Mark told us why… Pretty cut and dried, but none the less, people have to read more into it as they always do and its stupid!!! but such is life

  53. Jennifer Blackwood wrote:

    Mark Blackwood is the spiritual leader of our household. He is the one that tells me I don’t read my Bible enough and he talks to our children about Jesus. He has prayed the sinners prayer with people across the country during his lifetime. Mark has been my best friend for almost 15 years. Mark is not perfect, but he certainly does not deserve the cruel comments made here. I ask that instead of beating Mark down, you lift him up in your prayers. Jesus knows Mark’s heart and He knows some of the things being said here are lies. I love Mark Blackwood with all my heart and so do our children. I am so thankful for the Christian example Mark is setting for our children and I look forward to spending the rest of my life loving Mark with all my heart.

  54. musicman wrote:

    Jennifer, Your love and devotion are admirable. However, just because Mark loves you and the children does not translate into his being a good singer or a good manager. It would be better if you stayed out of this. You are not seeing things in an objective light.

  55. DP wrote:

    #50 - Nate - The Mark Trammell QT were awesome. A GREAT concert. I really liked the 1st set with mostly piano and bass. If they are anywhere close by, I will see them again!

    Re: The Blackwood saga: Folks - let it go. True - Marks wife cannot be objective, but you can’t blame her going to bat for her husband.

    Give it over to God and move on.

  56. Nate Stainbrook wrote:

    #55-DP- I could not agree more about the live music part of the Mark Trammel Quartet concert… I wish more groups would go that route… I would definitely go to see them again as well…

  57. Irishlad wrote:

    For the record, Irishlad is Philip Elwood Northern Irish born and bred.Aaron Swain was 100% correct.

  58. Mark Crary wrote:

    I feel that Mark Blackwood and Dan Keeton are both GOOD men, Mark and Dan just didn’t see eye to eye, that’s not a sin. This is Southern Gospel Music and singers coming and going are just part of it, it has been for a 100 years. I feel bad for both Mark and Dan and hope/pray the BEST for both.

  59. Donna Rodriguez wrote:

    I have known Mark Blackwood and Dan Keeton for years, neither are perfect. I know both of these guys are both doing great things for the kingdom of God. I know they are great men of God and I love them both very much. I hate that this has happened. The words spoken here need to be given to God and there needs to be some forgiveness. Let he who be without cast the first stone……For all have sin and fallen short of the glory of God….

  60. onemadeupmind wrote:

    #53. I’m touched.

    Prayed the sinners prayer with people all across the country? How many times has he gotten saved…….Oh wait.. you mean he led the sinners prayer. A sinner’s prayer led by a sinner…..but then again, aren’t we all, except for Christ?

  61. weber wrote:

    Some concern with your comments, how can Mark be the spiritual leader of the home if he is never there? How can he set a Christian example before your children if he is not there? How many Sunday’s in a year do you guys attend church together? Are you not a work during the week when he is home? Who is raising your children? I know, I know some tuff questions but you created a nice segway to this discussion.

  62. Donna Rodriguez wrote:

    Maybe your the one who needs to be looking in the mirror and stop throwing stones and hidding behind onemadeupmind!!!

  63. Donna Rodriguez wrote:

    I’ll be praying for you too my brother or sister. May God Bless You….

  64. Col. Harland Sanders wrote:

    A couple of things first: I’m not the real Col. Sanders; it is an alias. Also, I’m not all that informed on the facts surrounding this debacle…but ignorance has never been an excuse not to have an opinion, in my opinion! While I don’t know Mark Blackwood and have never even heard him sing as far as I know, I have heard Dan Keeton sing, and one thing’s for certain: Dan is very talented. However, one thing he’s not is funny, which is sad because Dan looks like he would be funny and could tell one heck of a fat joke! Dan also seems like the type who doesn’t like to be told what to do, and that doesn’t bode well when you have a boss. Mark Blackwood, like him or not, was the boss, and, when he told Dan not to tell fat jokes on stage, Dan should have listened and obeyed. God gives singing talent to a scant few of his children, as evidenced by the glut of touring SG groups and solo artists. Those who have this talent should not hinder it with their pride.

  65. Tommy wrote:

    Of course we should deal with “wolves” but i would disagree that it should be done publicly. This is a matter they should deal with one on one. From what is known of Mark Blackwood, your opinion doesnt matter to him. Only his matters. What Im saying is allow the daily turnover speak for itself. Here is a fun challege for all of you, try to name all of the singers that have beem with the Blackwood Gospel Quartet in the last five years.
    Heres a few that I know of…

    Bryan Hutson
    Burmon Porter
    Brad Smith
    Josh Garner
    Dan Keeton
    Daniel Childs
    Paul Sanders Martin
    Jonathan Sawry (sorry for the spelling)

  66. onemadeupmind wrote:

    #62. Lighten up! My post concerning Mark was meant as a joke. Purely tongue in cheek.

    However, we are all sinners, saved by grace…or do you think Mark came out saved?? LOL

    Lighten Up!

  67. onemadeupmind wrote:

    #65–Add Paul Lancaster to the list of former BGQ Members.

  68. DRL wrote:

    Here’s what I don’t understand. #65, that’s a pretty impressive list of guys who have sung with some fairly major groups and are well-connected in a pretty close-knit little industry. If MB were such a cad, and the BGQ such a dog & pony show like so many here suggest, why would those men agree to join the group and work for him in the first place? Everybody talks, and everybody knows everybody in this business. If Mark were such a horrible guy, then surely Keeton knew this from the outset and should never have agreed to work for him in the first place, or at the very least, shouldn’t have been surprised when he was fired.

  69. John wrote:

    #65 - others include Jeremy Calloway, Terry Mullins, Derrick Boyd, Randy Lewis, James Clark, Dustin Beardon

  70. Irishlad wrote:

    #53 Who does this guy think he is telling his wife she’s not reading her Bible enough? With a reputation like his,in tatters,stretching back years, someone should be instructing HIM in a bit of light reading of the Good Book.Talk about the “kettle calling the pot black”,perhaps he should go the whole hog and get her to walk two steps behind him down the street-when he’s at home that is.

  71. Irishlad wrote:

    #68 Initially i thought along the same lines but when you think it through they were warned(see Dan’s response) also they didn’t hang around too long either…speaks for itself.Most likely it was the ego thing singing for an iconic namesake,greener on the other side of the fence sort of malarkey.Plus the word was out Ron paid more than the going rate,maybe Mark waved the same carrot,who knows,and at post 70 odds who the hell cares.

  72. just thinking wrote:

    This is just sad. I can’t believe how hateful most of these posts sound. Makes me inclined to think that people are just trying to tear a man down, and to assume that the criticism of Mr. Blackwood is made up or exaggerated.

  73. something better to wrote:

    Sounds like to me you guys don’t have anything better to do than spend your time cutting people down. If you would spend as much time praying for Mark as his wife ask or for the sick and lost, just think how much better this world would be. God has given me a new ministry praying for you guys.

  74. musicman wrote:

    Irishlad, If memory serves me correctly, several of the former members were unemployed at the time they went to work for Mark–probably to get a paycheck for as long as they could to support themselves.

  75. Bones wrote:

    Some of you are jealous of the Blackwoods. Cecil Blackwood was a wonderful person.

  76. somethingbetterto wrote:

    musicman, Mark gave them a job and fed them and there familys too. Didn’t he? So what is your point? What are you trying to say? Mark is a man with a heart who helps men out when they need a job…….

  77. musicman wrote:

    I’m not sure he has a heart. Many of the hirings were self-serving—he needed a singer at that time. Why the turnover in talent that he was managing? My initial response was that Jennifer should defend her husband even though she cannot be objective. However, her defense, while admirable, does not make Mark a good singer nor a good manager of talent.

  78. knowstoomuch wrote:

    musicman, I believe the reason Paul Sanders Martin wasn’t paid as much as the other guys was because he wasn’t quite as talented as they were.

  79. Eric Stephens wrote:

    Let me begin this post by admitting that I have an evil twin, and his name is “weber”. Sometimes he speaks his mind and more often than not, he gets me into hot water. Let it also be known that I happen to agree with 99.9% of what he says. With that said, with respect to the Blackwood saga, I swear under oath that the many other negative views of Mr. Blackwood were not posted by weber or myself. I do not expect other posters to agree with my views and opinions. I did not realize that Mr. Blackwood had so many enemies. In reflecting back over all the post, I really didnt have to comment at all, my thoughts were said by everyone else. If anyone has any concerns or comments for me, please dont contact my family,feel free to email them to me @

  80. knowstoomuch wrote:

    Eric Stephens, I wasn’t going to say anything else here, but I simply cannot help being drawn by the irony. Based on your plea for folks not to contact your family, I can only assume it was your evil twin who saw no problem in contacting Mrs. Blackwood to denigrate her husband.

  81. Odeliya wrote:

    People, may i ask you in all seriousness - Do you think a poster number 53 under the name
    “Jennifer Blackwood” is real woman/wife of that man or a elaborate, sophisticated hoax?
    If anything, to me it appears as the latter :) I am not from the South, i live in the midwest and am not even american, actually, so please forgive my misunderstanding, but i showed it to a few people and everybody says its a hoax, but a good one.

    Making subtle fun of him for being so cocky and nasty, and ungodly pharisee who dares to insult his wife ?

    Or if she is real … does she beat her and children up? Wow.

    Sorry if mistaken, please do not be offended.

  82. Odeliya wrote:

    Oops, an error - does “he” beat her up i meant.

  83. Bones wrote:

    If his name wasn’t Blackwood there wouldn’t even be a discussion. If the Blackwwods have been going 60 years or more they’ll keep going no matter what you say.

  84. knowstoomuch wrote:

    Odeliya, “i showed it to a few people and everybody says its a hoax, but a good one.” Do you know anybody who is actually a follower of Christ, or who has even a rudimentary understanding of scripture?

  85. Chuck Peters wrote:

    I have talked with Jennifer many times.. via email.. She seems like a sweetheart.. plus she is a VOL fan.. that’s all I need to know. Life is too short to worry about much else.

  86. promochick wrote:

    is Paul Sanders now known as Paul Sanders Martin for real??? wow…

  87. Odeliya wrote:

    #84 Sure, i do. What does it have to do with the topic at hand?

  88. Eric Stephens wrote:

    #80, your absolutely right, I should have not emailed her that comment about her husband.
    I was on FB and her status came up, it was just too much of a temptation for me. I should have showed more restraint, but I didnt and for that I apologize to Mrs. Blackwood. But for all other comments I have made with regard to the drama, I fully stand behind as being “spot on” from my view but who cares like the one post said, they have been singing for lots of years, and will continue. As far as I know, Jimmy has had only one change since he began his group, just makes sense to me that his group seems to be doing a better job managing the family name. I dont have a dog in that fight, im just sayin…..

  89. Bones wrote:

    Eric Stephens, How can you have an effective ministry and hold bad feelings toward Mark. In your life he is your stubbling block. Jennifer should not come into the discussion. You cannot go into the pulpit and be a blessing being eat up up this garbage. No one should bad mouth Cecil cause he’s dead. At least Cecil knew and remembered everyone.

  90. Doris Childress wrote:

    The jealousy exhibited by you guys on here is mind-bogging! Mark must be doing a terrific job for it to incite such hatred. His wife, Jennifer, is a college graduate for U.T
    She holds a very high position with a well known firm in Knoxville. Just because the Blackwood name opens doors of opportunity for singing, you should be thankful the originals paved the way and made the sacrifices that give you an opportunity to sing. I say
    start praising Mark. His parents helped design the Dove award and many other things which you will never know.

  91. onemadeupmind wrote:

    #90-Big FRICKIN’ Deal! that doesn’t change the fact of Cecil’s and Cecil Mark’s reputation!

  92. Irishlad wrote:

    #90 take your rose tinted glasses off and change that to “helped steal the Dove award”.Do you not remember the year and which particular Blackwood behind it? I rest my case.

  93. burt wrote:

    Doris, If your going to use your real name than use your REAL, other name. Go ahead tell everyone your name….come on….

  94. Question wrote:

    For which Blackwood did Jon Rulapaugh and Joseph Cox (formerly Kingdom Heirs) sing? And what’s with his group by now?

  95. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #94: They sang for Ron Blackwood, who owned the Blackwood Quartet and came off the road per his physician’s advice. Joe Cox had left the group long ago, and John Rulapaugh and Josh Garner announced their resignations when Ron announced his retirement. Ron handed the reins to Mark Blackwood, and his quartet, the Blackwood Gospel Quartet, became the new Blackwood Quartet.

    The only member left from Ron’s quartet is Chris West, who is singing bass for the group currently. The BGQ was still looking for a bass since Brad Smith had left, and had piano player Dean Haskins filling in that part. When the merge happened, Dean came off the road, but is returning as piano player/road manager for the group.

    Anybody else’s head spinning? =)

  96. Irishlad wrote:

    #94 It was the ron blackwood version john r sang with which was phased out when the doc told him(ron) to pack it in,not because his singing was bad,just his health.

  97. Wade wrote:

    Somebody help me get an audition with Mark’s Group!!! I can cover anything Ray Dean can do!! I just do not have a tape!! Anybody that has this many HATERS I wanna be with!!

  98. Bones wrote:

    Doris is using her real name. She knows more than you guys know. If you don;t like someone don’t listen to them. Cecil was a great guy. What one of us don’t have problems. None of you really knew him. Don’t talk bad about dead people.

  99. Bones wrote:

    You guys are creating slander. Cecil sang places you will never sing, they sang in a communist country, and sang gospel. DM

  100. Doris Childress wrote:

    First, there are no angels in the Blackwood Family. True, many mistakes have been made by most all of them. However, the Blackwoods paved the way for the complainers to have the opportunity to sing.
    You complainers do not know Mark’s heart. You are not his or anyone else’s judge. You do not know the hours spent in prayer and practise that made them the greatest ever. The dark threads have helped weave them into history for the better not the worst.

  101. Richard Tosh1 wrote:

    I feel like you are all , at least most of you, are like the pie that the filling shrunk away from the crust…you’re the filling and the crust has pulled away from you…you’re all getting smaller from these comments. Just reach out to a hard worker who is easily misunderstood but normally could care less.

  102. Michael wrote:

    I am a long time quartet fan, fairly new promoter. I have had Mark Blackwood’s group, and plan on having them again, already scheduled.

    From my point of view (over 20 years experience in retail sales and management and also pastoral ministry), Mark kept up his end of the bargain. Everything agreed upon was kept, and I was well pleased.

    I cannot speak to the original post in this thread, but I can say I was done right!

  103. Doris Childress wrote:

    What are you doing to promote the Cross of Christ? Prayer Mark. He is just a man ,
    Not a monster.

  104. Barbara Blackwood Ch wrote:

    Mark, dad would be proud. Carry on (despite your ‘fan club’ - ha)

    Mom - don’t worry about these posts - they are old (2010).

    And BTW…Thank God for Cecil Blackwood. The greatest man I ever knew!

    3 children (with the old woman above), 8 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren so far. I love his legacy of living life to the fullest. AND his giving & giving to everyone around him. He had a zest for life that I crave; with personality beyond belief. I smile whenever I see him in myself or Mark! I don’t care what others say about his character because like the old woman (above) said - “The dark threads helped weave him into history for better, not for worse”.

  105. Mathew Woods wrote:

    What is the best way to get into a quartet. A close relative if mine, is trying to break in. He does currently sing with a group , not well known but getting there. This group has questionable morrals , but where to go?

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