Open thread

I gather from all the commenters wanting to hijack threads with off-topic comments lately that it’s time for an open thread. So here we go.

  • It’s hard for me to tell if Amber Nelon Thompson is going to Hollywood for American Idol or not (I mean, I wasn’t aware there was even a new season of AI underway and this post, from whence things seems to have started, doesn’t identify or link to the original source), but if she is and her affiliation with Vine records presents any kind of potential obstacle to her television appearance, Vine records’ Wayne Haun wrote in an email last night that “I haven’t talked to Amber to get any details, but we’d never stand in her way of broadening her career.”
  • With apologies to AS, a facebook friend of mine posted this a few days ago and though he was talking about music in general and not just southern gospel, I thought it might be interesting to use it here and see what happens: “what do people think are truly great songs, important songs that accomplish big/honest/great things both lyrically and musically.” Please show your work. No throwing out a song title and walking away as if your choice is self-evident or obvious. And no you’re not restricted to just sg.

What else have I forgotten or left out? Consider the floor yours.

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  1. KC wrote:

    A Best of David Phelps Homecoming DVD would still rock!

  2. Andrew S. wrote:

    #1- There actually is going to be one released in January 2010.

    Does anyone know the name of the bass player for the Dove Brothers band? I saw them in concert last night and heard his name, but I can’t place a name w/the face.

  3. Andrew S. wrote:

    ** Excuse me, in January 2011.

  4. Brett wrote:

    Also a best of Hoppers

  5. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #2: Marc Peele, I believe.

    Speaking of the Dove Brothers band, I’ve been listening to their new project, “Unshakeable,” for the past few days. I’ll be posting a review some time next week, but maybe some of you others that have heard it can weigh in on this: I’ve noticed that the arrangements on their new project are somewhat geared more toward something a three-piece band can reproduce live. At least, more so than their previous material has been.


  6. Rev. Ed Robinson wrote:

    I have never particularly cared for Sue Dodge’s style of singing / music. But having said that, if I am reading the comment correctly about an upcoming video, I think that is a pretty cheap shot against a lady who appears to be a godly woman and for whom her music is truly a ministry. Again, I would ask the question, is Jesus glorified and honored by that comment?

  7. Sarah wrote:

    I am confused by the info on Amber Thompson. American Idol’s season just ended in May and audition dates for next season haven’t even been announced yet. So I don’t know how she could have already been given a golden ticket.

  8. Nate Stainbrook wrote:

    5. I have also been listening to the new Doves project the last few days as well… I do tend to thin,k that the arrangements on this album are geared for their new band… I too will be posting a review in the next couple of weeks.

  9. RR wrote:

    I agree with Rev. Ed. Sue Dodge is a precious lady, and most undeserving of the cheap shot.

  10. Andrew S. wrote:

    #5- Aaron, If you notice, several songs on the project were chosen from the 1970s when 3-piece bands or larger dominated the music accompaniment. It helped having songs that were already shifted in that direction while remaining fresh and able to be updated. I went to a Dove Bros. concert last night & was amazed by the intensity a live band can bring on the stage. I really enjoyed watching Eric’s son, David, put his heart into playing those drums. It’s nice to see a young artist be a full-time part of the industry, but not as a singer. I plan to post a full review of the concert on my blog, Southern Gospel Review.

  11. wow... wrote:

    Ya’ll, AMBER lives in FLORIDA, she went to DISNEY and competed in the AMERICAN IDOL EXPERIENCE!!!!!!

    This is an attraction at the park.

    GeeWhiz - we all jump straight to conclusions don’t we?!

  12. Wade wrote:

    I have met the NEW lowest Bass Singer. When you stand and talk to him it HURTS your FACE!! He is a great guy and came to most of the SANGINGS I went to when I lived in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

    After meeting him and knowing he wasn’t singing with any groups I just put it out of my mind… but after hearing some of them lately who knows!!

    Congrats to Roger!!!

  13. Jeremy wrote:

    Speaking of great songs, I would have to say that one of my personal favorites is Queen Bohemian Rhapsody.

  14. Out of Touch wrote:

    Yah, Amber was at Disney and participated in that attraction. You can see a picture on her facebook. The winner or whatever gets a “dream ticket” which reserves you a spot in the auditions.

  15. joe wrote:

    Even if Sue Dodge’s singing isn’t exactly your cup of tea, the “bottom of the Best-Of Barrel” comment was uncalled for.

  16. NG wrote:

    Disney World site clarifies what an Idol dream ticket means:

    “If your audience votes you the best singer of the day at The American Idol Experience finale show, you will receive a Dream Ticket. If you are eligible to use the Dream Ticket, you will have an opportunity to make a reservation to sing in front of an American Idol representative at an actual regional audition of the American Idol TV show.”
    Ticket does not cover any expenses for the daily winners (travel, lodging, etc.).

  17. cynical one wrote:

    Just because auditions have not been announced, that doesn’t mean there aren’t behind-the-scenes wranglings. I can see that #14 makes sense. There are tens of thousands of people who show up for those cattle calls. It appears this just means she is guaranteed face time with the judges, in the first round, not a spot in the tv show.

  18. Johnny wrote:

    #6 Rev. Ed Robinson - Thank you Reverend for your comment and stand for uplifting conversation. Unfortunately averyfineline seems too feed those who like trash talk, possess a bitter spirit, or exalt bad things over the good. If any one knows of a less gossip driven SG site, please post a link.

  19. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 6- I interpreted the swipe as being at Gaither, not at Sue Dodge. Not everyone’s “best” needs memorialized on DVD.

  20. cdguy wrote:

    Bill must have thought there was a market for Sue’s songs, or he would not have put this product through the pipeline. He has released some “best of” product that he thought he could sell through his own direct channels, and those of some of the artists, like Ben Speer, but not sent them to TV or retail.

    He must have higher hopes for this one.

    Just curious (as a topic of discussion), on what other artists, who’ve appeared repeatedly on Gaither Homecoming videos, would you like to see “best of” releases? Phelps and Hoppers were already mentioned above.

  21. art wrote:

    Re Sue Dodge: I usually defend Avery’s comments, but he did cross the snark line this time — not by too much, but a little bit. There may have been a more “uplifting” way to express the view, but the point would’ve been the same nonetheless.

    On the whole, Avery does a good job.

  22. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    As a pastor, but much more as a Christian, I am learning more and more each day the danger that can be done through the tongue. Sometimes the damage is intentional. Sometimes it’s not. But if the damage is done, it’s done, regardless of the intent. Again, both in personal and pastoral experience, I constantly see that if there’s a question about whether to say something that may needlessly hurt someone, it’s usually a good thing not to say it. But again, the ultimate point is that if we could literally see Jesus looking over our shoulders as we hurl insults or derogatory comments, would we be comfortable in doing so? That principle applies to many issues — gossip, slandering, filthiness, and insults. None of those practices bring glory to God. And none of them do anything to point others to the glory of God. And that is our calling as believers.

  23. Odeliya wrote:

    @ 22 sure,.. its just, brother Ed, we should watch out for proper balance, you know.

    My sister likes to say” the difference between poison and medication is in the dosage”
    Too much of holding back created a toothless, politically correct all the way total lack of salt, useless in a lot of ways, christless, empty religious state of many, many churches in modern, esp western christianity.

    So, while its always good to maintian proper balance, Jesus did openly slander those that deserved it. We are not Jesus, and yeah, Avery is a bad boy and rebel at times, but i’d rather read his blog and learn something then read contentless perpetual asskissing of some sg lovers.

    I do agree that, considering Sue is a lady, his comment was a tad harsh, but who’s perfect, dear, who is ? You will be when Mrs Robinson becomes a widow, not before that ;))

  24. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    # 23 — thank you for your response. I agree that there are times in which we should take stands, and I also agree that there are times in which we don’t take stands as we should. I preached yesterday about the importance of the body of Christ taking firm stands against the sins of abortion and homosexuality, and I have preached about the importance of the body of Christ modeling the love and grace of Christ in dealing with those who are living in sin. And remember, the love of Christ was / is oftentimes “tough love.” It was Christ Himself who said, “Go and sin no more.”

    However, in the case of the comments made about Sue Dodge, we’re not talking about sin, nor are we even talking about the need for “balance” per se. I prefaced my earlier remarks by saying that I have never particularly enjoyed the type of music / performance that Sue Dodge offers. It has nothing to do with sin. She has always impressed me as a godly lady who has a heart for God and a desire to worship Him. My concern is when we use terms like “bottom of the barrel” to either directly or indirectly refer to individuals, be they Christians or not. I would also respectfully disagree with your statement that Jesus at times did “openly slander those that deserved it.” Jesus spoke the truth about their sin and about their need for a Savior. This case has nothing to do with that. It’s about degrading an individual simply because her style of music may not be our “preferred style.” As a pastor, it would break my heart if someone referred to me as the “bottom of the barrel” because they didn’t like my preaching (and believe me, plenty do not.) It breaks my heart to think that if Sue Dodge were to look at this series of discussions, she found people who, either directly or indirectly, referred to her as the “bottom of the barrel.” That cannot be justified. Because the bottomline is that it does not honor the Lord.

  25. Bryce wrote:

    I’ve experienced Sue Chenault Dodge’s wonderfully sardonic sense of humor, and I doubt she’s deeply offended by any of this.

  26. Odeliya wrote:

    oh, no, I didnt imply that she deserved slander, i said about “slander” in general, at times its very justified.

    But , for the record, Avery didnt slander her either - unless the “Best of ” is not really the “best of”,but rather a code word for the sales pitch to push unsellable junk, i dont know the sg culture enough to say, i just hope it’s not - then being called the worse among the best is actually a compliment.

    Everybody can’t be “best”, as you know ;)

  27. Odeliya wrote:

    Also ….
    By homosexuality you mean lifestyle of sexual sin ?
    I, being old fashioned, firmly believe that sex( any kind, straight, gay) outside of marriage is sin.

    But by itself, homosexuality is not sin, its orientation,most often people cant choose it one way or another.

    Trust me, if he could, Kirk Talley would have chosen to be straight.

  28. Brian wrote:

    Odeliya, you need to re-read the first chapter of Romans if you think homosexuality is not a choice. The Bible is very clear on the subject.

  29. Wade wrote:

    OMG PLEASE Dr. DH Go put up a post and just call it HOMOSEXUALS & The Flat Bloody spot on your head to come…PLEASE!!! Then all you ppl can fight it out and leave the rest of us alone about it!!

    Odeliya— This may be a kiss of death to you … But I like your spirit!! and quote about meds vs. poison.

    Art- Good post!!

  30. Odeliya wrote:

    @ 28 - you clealry dont bother read my posts - why should I talk to you? If you did, you would learn the difference b/n sexual sin and sexual orientation.

    @29 Kiss of death, darling? ha! I am an israeli born jew, i eat such boys for breakfast. I wont be talking much here though ( all the bigoted idiots- exhale!) due to other obligations and outdoor summer plans.

  31. Brian wrote:

    Odeliya, I read your post. All sin is a choice by the sinner. Any sexual “orientation”, if you want to call it that, besides that toward a man for his wife, is a sin, thus it is a choice. A man or woman having any sexual “orientation” toward someone besides their spouse is actively committing a sin. That’s not my take…that’s God’s take, from his Holy Word.

  32. s.smith wrote:

    Here’s my take on the homosexual issue. We are all tempted by satan in whatever way he chooses. For some, it is same-sex attraction. The temptation is not the sin. How a person responds to the temptation is the crux of the matter. If I follow through with action on the temptation, then I am in sin. If I fight the temptation, I am not sinning. If I am in a store, and am tempted to steal something, what desides the sin is if I take the thing. If I turn and walk away, the temptation is still there, but I didn’t sin because I didn’t steal. Same principal to me.

  33. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    If I may, let me add a point here. I initially posted on this page because I was deeply concerned and, yes, I was angered because of what I perceived to be very rude comments made about the recording released by Bill Gaither in tribute to Sue Dodge. Regardless of the intent, those comments could easily be perceived as an insult to Sue Dodge herself. I believed that then and I believe now that those comments do not honor Jesus Christ. I stand by those comments.

    The following discussion that has ensued regarding the sin of homosexuality points to the same truth concerning the sins of abortion, lying, slander, gossip, etc. Very simply, it is this. Jesus Christ is Lord. We don’t “make Him Lord” as we are sometimes called to do during an invitation at the close of a worship service. He is Lord, and He is Lord over all. That includes what we think, what we say, what we do, and what we harbor in even the deepest corners of our hearts. The responsibility that we have is very simple. Will I submit to His Lordship? Will I choose to believe that His Word does not “contain truth,” but that rather It “is truth.” Will I choose to believe that how I conduct myself sexually is a matter of great concern to God, but that how I conduct myself in terms of what I say and what I say it is just as much of a matter of great concern to God. Thus, if I choose to speak or write in a crude, wicked, or bitter manner about a president with whom I rarely agree or about a southern gospel artist whom I admire and whose music I enoy or about a southern gospel artist whose music I don’t particularly care for, the issue is still the same. Am I submitting to the Lordship of Christ in this area of my lfie? Am I glorifying Him?What I harbor in my heart about any area of life is, at its core, a reflection of whether I am walking in obedience with my Lord.

  34. cdguy wrote:

    Rev Ed — We may be splitting hairs. Yes, Jesus is Lord of All. But whether we call it “surrendering to His lordship” or “makeing Him lord of our lives”, I think we’re talking about the same issue. He is Lord of the universe, but is He Lord of our individual lives?

  35. lovelife wrote:

    And here we go again…….

  36. Irishlad wrote:

    #29 Hey Wade tell me more about Roger bass man.I just can’t picture anyone lower than JD! but i know what you mean about “hurt your face” one year at the convention i didn’t realise Tim Riley was standing behind me until he spoke.Holy crap i literally jumped 3feet in the air.Could Roger nail the double low C in “way down”?(yes i know Roger’s low F is 5 steps below that).Just wonderin’.

  37. Rick in southGeorgia wrote:

    If I’ve said this once on here, I’ve said it tow or three times before:

    #28, Brian. I believe I am in a better position than are you to know if I ever chose or not to be gay. I am 54 and I assure you, Brian, I never made a choice to be gay. It has been that way ever since I can remember.

  38. Rick in southGeorgia wrote:

    “two or three times” Sorry.

  39. Brian wrote:

    Well, now it’s just semantics I guess. I don’t consider being tempted the same thing as being a homosexual or having a homosexual “orientation”. But Jesus was very clear on the subject…if you lust after anyone or anything other than your spouse, you have committed a sin. You don’t have to “act” on it.

  40. Rick in southGeorgia wrote:

    Re;#39: I don’t think my life can be reduced to “just semantics.” I’ve been thinking for a while that I’m in the wrong place, as much as I love southern gospel music. In the wrong place on this board and in the church. So, as the saying goes, “Goodbye to all that.”

  41. Brian wrote:

    Rick, I’ll pray that you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, who will give you complete liberation from those chains of sin. That chain of homosexuality that binds you is no different from the chains that bound me and every other man since Adam. Jesus is in the chain-breaking business. He’s the only one that can do it…you will never be able to do it yourself.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    11 And such WERE some of you: but ye are WASHED, but ye are SANCTIFIED, but ye are JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    You can have that victory, Rick!

  42. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    It is my last post; I promise. I never intended to stir the hornet’s nest. But I can truthfully say that through experience (and even through several times in which it was due to my fault), it absolutely breaks my heart to see what is taking place in Christian ministry as a whole, and, for our purposes today, in southern gospel music specifically.
    I’ve always found it intriguing to imagine who will fill whose shoes whenever there is an opening in a group. I’ve always found it interesting to join in a discussion as to whether this bass singer would sound better with this group or that group, or whether groups sound better with tracks or with a live band. In many respects, that is why I started reading this website several years ago. Is there always the “human element” that is interested in why so-and-so left the group or whether he / she was fired or actually left to spend more time with his / her family. Absolutely. And yes, I have speculated once or twice about that question with particular groups. And for the times in which my specuilation drifted into gossip, I confess that to my Heavenly Father as sin.

    But for someone whose life was touched in a powerful way by the work of grace of Jesus, and for someonen who first heard the Gospel of Grace, not through a preacher, but through southern gospel music, it absolutely breaks my heart to hear what I’m hearing and to see what I am seeing every time that I turn around, especially on this website. It breaks my heart to see references to Jesus “slandering” (regardless of how you define “slander.”) It breaks my heart to see references to ministries, regardless of what you make of their style or success / lack thereof being at the bottom of the barrel. It breaks my heart to see mean-spirited references being made of people, many of whom, I’m sure, read this very website. It breaks my heart when, at times, WE in the body of Christ seem to neglect Paul’s admonition to the church at Phillipi to have the mind of Christ.

    I can’t imagine Jesus referring to Sue Dodge’s music or Bill Gaither’s music as being “the bottom of the barrel.”
    I can’t imagine Jesus watering down the Gospel in an attempt to be all things to people.
    I can’t imagine Jesus welcoming those who seek to water down the Gospel with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
    I’ve preached enough bad sermons in my life, and I’m sure that I have plenty more to preach. I’ve sung in a part-time gospel quartet, and I can assure you that I sang off-key many more times than I should have. I’ve had some bad days in the ministry in which I have stuck my foot in my mouth. But there is one thing that I have learned to value — that being the sweetness of godly men and women who may not be able to preach and who may not be able to sing and who may, at times, have hit the bottom of the barrel. But they know how to show the love of Christ. They know how to speak in a way that honors Jesus. And they know how to be silent in a way that honors Jesus.
    “Father, please enable this website to be a place in which You’re honored and glorified with every word that is spoken and the manner in which it’s spoken. Amen.”

  43. Irishlad wrote:

    Re:lowest note.Well i got a chance to watch the video…it was an admirable attempt,however, with the utmost respect to Mr Menees he hasn’t done anything that JD’s already done before.There is a live clip from a 1977 Elvis concert when JD performs a 26sec slide down to a G(0)which to all intent and purpose is the same note Roger cracked.JD then settles on an Eb1 which happens to be Richard Sterban’s lowest recorded note.

  44. Irishlad wrote:

    PS one can tell RM is an avid JD fan,from the speaking voice right down to the hairstyle.

  45. Wade wrote:

    Irish Laddy… Gawd this may stir up more of a hornets nest than the homo thing they got going… BUT I NEVER GOT JD!!!

    To me JD GROWLED more than sang. I heard him in concert too many times to count and I could rarely understand anything he said from the stage.

    I actually liked him more with Elvis than I did out with The Stamps or Masters 5.

    Even The Gaither things really needed subtitles when he spoke. It was like he had marbles in his mouth or some thing.

    I have stood in front of him, even stood behind him as he walked out on stage still exhaling cig smoke, Richard, Tim & George and it never HURT my face like when I stood in front of Roger to talk. My eye balls felt like they where being RATTLED.

    Roger’s speaking voice is very plain and I just always figured he would be like me and need some vocal training before he could GO, if you know what I mean.

    PLEASE do not get me wrong I LOVED JD’s Singing News Articles. I agreed with him on not being SOOO judgmental. I PAID many times to see him but to me IMHO I would way rather hear Tim or George than to hear JD. To ME Tim is Da Man and will always be Da Man to me!!

    George was the FIRST Bass singer I REALLY admired but it might have been because up ’til my voice changed I always liked the Tenor Singers and The Cat’s where really Hot at the time.

    All of these contest to me are funny. Both sides go off the scale and GET REAL FUZZY. I can get off the scale too if I TOTALLY OPEN my throat and drop my jaw and just let it come from WAY DEEP!! But even to me I am almost at a GROWL.

    Irish Laddy… tell me on the ORB’s video of Working on a Building… what did Richard hit there on the 2nd course??? To me that was clear and he nailed it with out the GROWL!!

    The NQC video on youtube now of the GCQ w/ Tim singing Cast My Bread on the Water, has got to be one of the MOST exciting pieces of BASS singing I have ever heard. Instead of like with Aaron who sang 2 LINES on the end of the second verse; Tim just sang the last line and just DROPPED THE BOTTOM out of it and the PLACE went Wild!!! To see THE PRO’s in the BACK ground really go crazy just put it over more.

    Clearly LESS was MORE in that instant. I also never liked a Bass Singer being MC… it was like TOO MUCH!! It did not seem to be as SPECIAL even though George was a Great MC. But never thought Tim should have MCed. I liked it more when Ivan preached or Brian cried about something. To me it is also a distraction when Brian MC’s. It is like the entire time you are setting there trying to figure out the voice and much of the message gets lost.

    To me the lead or Bari should be the MC!! But maybe that is because I think Hamill was the VERY BEST EVER!!

    Who knows… but just NEVER GOT JD!!

  46. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    Wade — you bring up a really great point about JD. But as you mentioned his working with Elvis, something came to my mind. I’ve been listening a lot lately to some of the Imperials’ older recordings (mid to late 60s primarily), and I’ve always enjoyed the Stamps’ music, especially from the late 60s to early / mid 70s. I was just wondering which group do you (and others) think was the better group — not singing with Elvis, but singing by themselves. I would have to choose the Imperials, especially with Sherman, Terry, Jim, Joe, and Armond. They did some magnificent singing, and their arrangements were awesome.

  47. Derek wrote:

    As far as the lowest bass note is concerned, I’m reminded what I heard Tim Riley once say. I was standing nearby when someone asked him what was the lowest note he coud hit. He answered the person, and unfortunately, I can’t remember what note he said…but Tim said he could “make noises lower than that” but that was about as low as he could sing.

  48. cdguy wrote:

    Rev Ed — I agree with you on Imps vs Stamps. The Imperials of the Andrus-Blackwood era was the best sg quartet of all time, imho. But even a year or 2 before Sherman joined, they were “it”. They had begun broadening their scope, from strictly southern, dabbling in contemporary. After Russ joined them, and another personel change or two, they pretty much left their sg roots, and were off my radar.

    Stamps, I thought, in many ways, were trying to mimic the Imperials. They did MANY of the same songs, nearly identical arrangements.

    And I agree with Wade’s assessment of JD’s growlings. He was an oddity, and not always pleasing to the ear. Armond Morales was smooth! He would probably get my vote for favorite bass singer of all time.

    But then, I’m old.

  49. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    What I’ve found so interesting about the Imperials’ music from that era is the emcee work, primarily by Joe, on their 2 live recordings that I have. He’s unlike any other emcee whom I have ever heard. He certainly was not “preachy.” It was almost as if he was having a conversation with the audience rather than talking “to them.” The other thing was their choice of music. Certainy, in terms of the music itself, there was a definite trend toward more contemporary arrangements. But also, you had songs like “Let It Be” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” which are certainly not gospel songs, and yet they were being incorporated into their sets and recordings in some rather unique ways. And finally, I find myself listening over and over (and over) again to “God Speaking to You,” especially from the 2 live recordings. Theologically, I am not quite on the same page as the lyrics of that song. However, having said that, the song itself is very intriguing. And once I heard it, I can’t get the tune out of my mind. Don’t think I’ll stand behind the pulpit this Sunday and sing it! (LOL)

  50. Aaron Swain wrote:

    Interesting note about the upcoming Gold City project: Daniel Mount just posted a clip of a conversation he had with Josh Cobb about the project, and Josh mentions two of the songs that will be on the project. The first one is the song that Josh is probably best known for, “I Stand Redeemed,” and he mentions that Gordon Mote did a terrific arrangement. The second song talked about is a Michael English tune from the early 90s called “Heaven,” which I’m looking forward to hearing:

    Here’s the interview, for anyone interested.

  51. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    JD Sumner was a castastrophe, both spiritually and musically.

    Spiritually, dude had no fruit, the most glaring example being his atrocious Singing News columns. And spare me the whole “he had fruit in his personal life” nonsense. That argument is completely without merit as he was (allegedly) a professional minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Musically, the guy was a freak show on his best day. Though I never witnessed it, I’m sure his “singing” through a 1970s PA system bore a striking resemblance to a fart through a bullhorn.

    JD Sumner’s entire career can be summed up in this Latin phrase: soli JD gloria. The fact that he built such a bullcrap career on the backs and money of Christians makes him disgusting, not heroic.

    P.S.- This is called shooting the wolves, Rev Ed. And Christ did it all the time, for the record.

  52. Odeliya wrote:

    @ 49 what happended with “this is ,my last post, i promise? ”
    :)))) you cant trust clergy with their word much, right?

    but really, thats much better! Talk about music, brother.

    All that other stuff you did was really out of place - like bringing up homosexuality,abortion,sanctimonious patronizing, ordering people around generally making an ass of yourself by excessive preacher-eze and lack of knowledge of Scriptures and true of English words (hint : dont google words if yo, consult a decent dictionary)

    reverends, shemeverends….. you have potential, kiddo, i must say. Just stick with the topics, forums are not your personal pulpit.

  53. Odeliya wrote:

    ( oops, rewind, darn hebrew keyboard): …true MEANING of English words.Dont google words, if you need TO KNOW THEM - invest in a good dictionary

  54. wanderer wrote:

    My vote too would be the Imperials. Both groups were good, but the Imperials had a smoothness in their sound that no one else had. I not a musician but I’m guessing Armond and Jim had a lot to with that. Neither one of them tried to sing out of the range. If you listen to some really old Blackwoods, J-D was incredible. But something happened to his voice and he seemed to lose all his upper range. His voice seemed to get thinner as well which is unusual for a bass.

  55. wanderer wrote:

    George Younce gets my vote for all time best bass. There have been a lot of good basses. But George had a warmness, he could sing real low or take a lead on a verse now and then and he seemd to know just when to put a little frog in his throat for some feeling

  56. quartet-man wrote:

    Wade, the note that Richard hit on the second verse of I’m Working On A Building is the lowest note Richard has hit and is the “double” low Eb. George also hit that note too (I think it was on the Johnny Cash Believe In Him lp), however George really knocked the bottom out of the E (half step higher) on his solo song “The Love of the Lord.”

    I talked with Richard in 2000 at their open house about low notes. He commented that he had to find another way to sing that line in “Working On A Building” live because he couldn’t always hit that low note on demand.

    My three favorite basses are Richard Sterban, George Younce, and Tim Riley. All three are different, but all good. All have good cut, all have pleasing voices. All have rich voices.

    J.D. was a freak of nature and it was fun waiting for the glissando (slide) that you knew was coming. Yes, he could sing typically lower than anyone else, but with nowhere near the cut or projection. He made the comment that George could project far better than he (but he added on that George sang through his nose. :) ) It is also interesting to note that George’s speaking voice was low, but not as difficult to understand as some of the others, but he could sure knock the bottom out of the low ones.

    As far as current SG basses (before Tim came back), Aaron McCune was one of my favorites (if not the favorite). There are some other pretty good ones out there, but other than Tim, it seems the golden age of basses is gone right now to me.

    As far as the Stamps, my favorite version was Bill Baize, Donnie Sumner, Ed Enoch and Richard Sterban. They all had very good voices, good solo voices, flexibility etc. If only Sterban had had the lower notes that he had even just very shortly after joining the Oaks, they would have been even better.

  57. quartet-man wrote:

    At risk of getting stoned here (just where is that barricade?) Armond is talented and smooth and sounds great on the solo stuff, but to me got lost in the mix a lot. He never had the cut like I prefer or he wasn’t miked / mixed properly.

  58. Al wrote:

    Wow! Is it a full moon or something????

  59. Rev. Edward Robinson wrote:

    Another interesting thing about the Imperials in the 60s / 70s is how their sound was so wonderful when it was performed either with just keyboards or even a capella. (”Sweet Sweet Spirit” is a prime example.) With the Morales, Blackwood, Andrus, Murray, Moscheo combo, I could listen to the keyboard / a capella arrangements all of the time.
    On the other hand, I think the Stamps sounded better when backed up by a band. I know that the Murray State live recording featured more musicians than would have usually been the case, but especially with a song like, “When I Cross to the Other Side of Jordan,” the sound is much stronger and more driving.
    My other comment would be that while I don’t think that J.D. Sumner’s or Ed Hill’s voices would have worked in the Imperials, I do think that Ed Enoch’s and Bill Baize’s voices probably would have. Both groups certainly enjoyed some progressive styles that would have made them interchangeable. I guess that came from having worked with Elvis!

  60. rr wrote:

    There were times when JD had several different voices on one song. “Now I Have Everything” comes to mind. I don’t have a recording of that, but in person he would use one placement on a phrase, and then completely use another voice on the next phrase, and so on. Does anybody else recall noticing that?

  61. QwertyJuan wrote:

    Everyone voting for favorite group of all time, gives me the liberty to say a few words….

    Brian Free
    Ivan Parker
    Mike LeFevre or Steve Lacey
    Tim Riley

    We do realize all of these guys are still singing(except for Steve… I don’t think he has his group anymore)…. AND singing SUCCESSFULLY…. Gold City during the late ’80’s and early ’90’s was like saying “I’m gonna take the best Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass and put them all together and see what we come up with.”

    Don’t agree?? Look at the Singing News Fan Awards between the years of 1988-1993….. Brian Free and Ivan Parker still frequent the awards even today.

  62. Michael McIlwain wrote:

    #57, Quartet-man, I think that Armond was pulled back in the mix when Russ Taff came on board. You could always hear Armond on solos, but not very much on ensemble work unless you have a good set of headphones.

    Armond has a beautiful bass voice. He and George Younce are my favorites. I also think that Billy Todd is often overlooked as a great bass. Billy had a great cut to his voice and actually had a nice sounding bass voice when he was singing in his upper register. It’s my understanding that Billy had a very powerful voice that did not require much amplification.

  63. Wade wrote:

    @61 I agree!!

  64. quartet-man wrote:

    #61 - That was a fine group and had some members who were among the top of their positions, but I still prefer the Cathedrals. Not only that, but when Gold City had great songs, they could hold their own, but to me I didn’t prefer as much of their material as I did the Cathedrals.

  65. Jim wrote:

    Gold City . . . z z z z z zzzzzzz….
    Cathedrals . . . Yawn. . . ..

  66. QwertyJuan wrote:

    Ok Jim, you can’t leave a comment like that without telling us WHO makes you wanna stand up and shout…. let me guess…. Jim Reeves and Ernie Ford??!?!

  67. quartet-man wrote:

    Okay Jim, #65 just who will wake you up?

  68. Wade wrote:

    Chuckwagin Gang does it for me!!! Get them the Inspo’s & Mckameys and it is a jammin’ good time…Ain’t that right Lady Mull!!???

  69. Jim wrote:

    Now that I have a cup of coffee . . . . I know I am old, but seems like all the authentic energy left quartet world in the seventies and early 80s. Where is the excitement that was felt when the Oaks took the stage with that great four piece band? Where is the charisma that was undeniable when the Downings struck a chord? Heck, even the Goodman family and the Hinsons brought some fire to the stage. The Gold City / Cathedral era started this 30 year slide into predictiblilty, contrived messages and arrangements, not to mention making Southern Gospel to become the music of older people. I know these groups are the sacred cows for so many folks, so I have my bullet-proof vest on . . . fire away!

  70. JL wrote:

    There’s a great moment on an old Homecoming DVD in which the Speer Family is singing “I Never Shall Forget The Day” and Sue Dodge is taking the chorus (as usual, from what I can tell from watching years upon years of these). Ben Speer keeps shouting “ONE MORE TIME!!!” and after what seems like the 1000th “ONE MORE TIME!” Sue soldiers on, perfectly in tune, powerful as ever, but the look on her face is priceless. She turns and walks toward Ben, looking as if she would like to push him right off the stage.

  71. quartet-man wrote:

    Jim, at least you have groups you like and named them. The Oaks is one of my favorites. The Gaither Vocal Band is one of the remaining best. The Hoppers are good. I loved the Singing Americans when Funderburk, English, Parker or Strickland were in it, there were some other good things after that. The Sound’s first lp was good and unique.
    The Stamps were good with Baize, Sumner, Enoch and Sterban. I did like some things other than that time.

    However, the Cathedrals and Gold City are two of my other favorites. I guess this was a list of some of my favorite things. ;-)

  72. QwertyJuan wrote:

    Why bullet-proof vest Jim?? Seriously… what’s wrong with liking someone else?? I don’t understand some people. We ALL have opinions and who cares if they don’t always match with each other? I like Gold City of that era…. first SoGo concert I ever went to was in 1993. It was GC… Tim Riley knocked my socks off and Brian Free was incredible! Steve and Ivan were just the frosting on the cake. Garry Jones, Doug Riley and Mark Fain all played incredibly…. memories… that is what makes music what it is for most people. At least that is what makes it for me…. music will take your mind back to a certain time or place, and depending on what kind of time we were experiencing at that time, is what we think/feel about music and the artists that sang that music.

    This is probably why that Michael English has been and always will be my favorite singer of all time…. “A few good men”, “Peace of the Rock”, as well as his first two solo albums…. what a WONDERFUL time in my life when I used to listen to all four of those albums…. it takes me back to my childhood whenever I listen to THIS song….

    Sorry for such a long post… just had to express myself. Have a wonderful day guys… :)

  73. NotAFan wrote:

    After enduring the “best of” Sue Dodge, I can definitively say that she sounded pretty good on one song many, many moons ago. To be fair, I thought that before this DVD, but the weekend telecasts just solidified my opinions. The cruelest part was any pairing of her with Joy Gardner. One is still a powerhouse vocalist while the other is most definitely not. I would buy a “Best of Joy Gardner” DVD, if you need a hint.

    That said, I agree Sue would probably be fun as a friend. She seems like a sweet lady with a good sense of humor and I’m sure is an awesome grandma.

  74. Andrew S. wrote:

    #73- Have you heard Joy’s performance on the latest “Joy in My Heart” performance?? It’s definitely not as good as a few years back..

    I didn’t know she sang that many solos on the Gaithers until I watched the special on the Gaithers’ website. It turned out that it was “The Best of Sue Dodge”…and Friends. “When He Blessed My Soul” certainly wasn’t Sue’s best, but Joy’s.

    I hope they do a better female Homecoming solo person..maybe Cynthia Clawson. She has a beautiful voice..

  75. Faith wrote:

    [sigh] I miss the Singing Americans. Not the last incarnation, but all of the other lineups were decent. They were such great singers…too bad they came and went so quickly!

    JD was…well, a freak of nature, I guess. He wasn’t a great singer, especially near the end. He just growled…actually, listening to him gave me the creeps. But I have to admit, his articles in SN were funny.

  76. Rob wrote:

    Got a question for all the bloggers. Why does a blogger rush to be the first to announce something on their blog? Then they claim they know something and want to hold it from everyone. If they know something why not post it and then they would be the first?

  77. cdguy wrote:

    #73 & #74 — Would all the songs on a “Best of Joy Gardner” have the word “JOY” in the title? It seems like that’s about all she sings. Intentional? I don’t know.

  78. Alex Jackson wrote:

    Actually, it may not be just the Disney thing. I have a friend on Amber’s Facebook, and there’s a comment there from Charlotte Ritchie that says “I say you decide YES on the Hollywood thing. You are so talented!!!! I’m so proud of you!!”

    She may really be considering it :P

  79. Johnny wrote:

    Bass singers…Rex had an awesome voice, not sure about how low his range was, but if his range was lacking, he made up for it with sincerity and honesty. I miss the Nelons!!!

    Sue vs Joy - I’m not sure - I bet Sue would surprise us. I bet she’s still has powerhouse high notes, she just chooses not to hit ‘em. Joy still has a pretty voice, but it might be time to pass the mantle, give “The Promise” to Jenny Pitchers of The Lesters, who is AWESOME.

    Most of our sopranos over 40 (Janet, Kim H, who else is there?) still kick, but their range is becoming more alto.

    Rocking sopranos that still have it IMO: Jeannie Cameron, Janet Pascal, Karen Peck, Charlotte Ritchie, Taranda Greene. ROCK ON LADIES!!

  80. cdguy wrote:

    I have been a fan of both Joy and Sue since they first burst onto the national sg scene, lo those many years ago. I always felt, of all the girl singers the Speers ever hired, Sue probably fit the “leather lung” persona better than just about any other.

    Ginger, Ann, Jeanne, Caroline, Karen, et al, were wonderful (and those I’ve heard lately still are), IMO, but Sue was always a favorite of mine.

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