Open thread

Some items that didn’t warrant a separate post but may be of interest all the same.

  • Karen Peck has evidently been cast in a bit part in an upcoming Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah movie about “two women (Parton and Latifah) who are both trying to direct a small town choir after the choir’s director dies.” Oh my.
  • Looks like Wayne Haun has been finding time to get some work done outside of sg. On his facebook page, Joel Lindsey recently posted that “My BFF Wayne Haun, arranged the strings for the Jessica Simpson Christmas record….I’m proud of him. So, if you can bring yourself to buy her Christmas record without vomiting on your kitchen floor, buy it and know that Wayne really is a great arranger!” Hehe.
  • By now you may have already heard about or glimpsed some of the comments contretemps over at Daniel Mount’s site about this post. Most folks seem to be dinging Daniel - justifiably - for his kneejerk reaction to shut off comments the moment people started disagreeing with something he felt strongly about (he eventually reversed himself on the comments shutdown). But the whole thing stands out to me most for the rare glimpse of Daniel expressing a strongly held, non-plastic, unsugarcoated view about something. Good on ya, Daniel. I hope the fact that he was wrong on the substance (isn’t the point of the lyric in question to simply note that a belief in an eternal home of the soul doesn’t vitiate love for this life?) and wrong in his response to others’ reaction doesn’t discourage him from committing future acts of actual commentary.
  • Grammy nominations are out. Mount rounds up the sg nominations and has the best line of the day regarding Grammies: “it is a good thing that Grammy and Dove nominations are not announced on a daily basis, for if they were, I would surely be scratching my head so much that I would have to find a toupee.” I’ve given up on caring much about these, I confess, but it is interesting that the Gaither Vocal Band is nowhere in the mix of nominations. I’m sure if the Gaither mothership cared about awards at all, this would be a point of consternation. But of course they long ago stopped counting these sorts of things, right?
  • If there’s anyone left who cares, Kyle floats a post raising the possibility that Chris West is joining the quartet that still calls itself Gold City. Yawn.

Consider this an open thread.

Email this Post


  1. Brett wrote:

    Tired of all SG fans going goo goo over GCQ. Yawn is right! I have Jessica Simpson’s album. Her new Christmas single “My Only Wish” is a carbon copy of Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You”.
    I prefer Carey’s latest Christmas album “Merry Christmas 2 You”.

  2. Rob wrote:

    It appears that the board of directors of the National Quartet Convention have decided to cut the number of groups on main stage this year. They want the board members and stockholder groups to have more time on stage for themselves. Seems like the years when NQC was first formed and only those that was in the group was on main stage. Also in a cost cutting effort they are attempting to end the evening session no later than 11:00 each night. This is to cut down on the cost that they have to pay Freedom Hall for all the security, ushers, etc.

  3. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Remember what Jesus did with the feeding of the five thousand.
    Jesus divide and multiply.
    Cutting down on the number of groups on the main stage could have the ‘divide and multiply” effect in southern gospel music.
    It might multiple into other events by creative promoters for the displaced groups and artists.
    It might make the displaced groups and artists think twice about space in the exhibition hall.

    Hope it is not case as the commentator #2 used the word “appears’ to make the comment.

  4. Hopper38 wrote:

    If less groups mean better quality, it is a move in the right direction.

  5. matt wrote:

    My favourite thing about the Gold City web site is their “Cobb-Webb” corner……..appropriately named.

    I do wish GC well. I do not think that their new tenor is cutting the muster. Based on what I’ve heard so far, on youtube, he isn’t even close to what Cobb was.

  6. NG wrote:

    #2 Can you please explain what you meant when you wrote: “Seems like the years when NQC was first formed and only those that was in the group was on main stage.”
    To which group are you referring? As far I know Blackwood Brothers originally organized the NQC. At the first one in 1957 there were at least 16 acts from around the country including quartets, mixed groups and at least one soloist at the two-day event in Memphis.

  7. irishlad wrote:

    if Daniel dares to occasionally get out of his comfort zone he’ll have to borrow Avery’s wheelbarrow… the one he carries his stones in.

  8. Irishlad wrote:

    KP in a movie speaking part,is an actors equity card not needed for that?…just curious.

  9. Irishlad wrote:

    I note that Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry also get a nod (as composers) on JS’s new cd.

  10. Wade wrote:

    Irishladdy… Dr. DH’s wheel barrow is getting smaller. One who pounds political topicz on one hand and on the other hand limits even LIGHT weight commentary to contrast the POUNDED views may not be as brave as they appear!!!

    What may appear as brave acceptance of personal criticism about personal issues may be just be a sly way to gain favor through what seems to be self crucifixion.

    Dr. DH should NEVER criticize another blogger for any exercise in MODERATION in comments because he is just slicker and way less honest about it!!!

    Least Daniel HAD the stones to reverse himself!!! Dr. DH may in fact need to borrow HIS Wheelbarrow!!!

  11. Wade wrote:

    Pray for Gold City!!!

  12. weber wrote:

    The “many” Blackwood Brothers had nothing to do with the origin of NQC. It was all J.D. Sumner.

  13. irishlad wrote:

    hey wadey what’s with GC Chris West on board or what?..not that it will make any difference long term,fine bass that he is, 6-9 mnths should do him.

  14. HT wrote:

    While the National Quartet Convention was J. D. Sumner’s idea, the partners in the business were J. D. Sumner, James Blackwood, and Cecil Blackwood.

  15. Butch wrote:

    Got a question. Dustin Sweatman of MTQ wrote the song “One Drop” recorded on their latest album. The message of the song is that it just took one drop of blood to wash me clean of my sin. I can’t imagine this song to pass the doctrine test. A cut on Jesus’ finger enough to wash me clean of my sins? I hardly doubt it. My sin required nothing short of giving his life. Am I missing something here?

  16. Wade wrote:

    Irishladdy… if it walks like a duck ya know!!!???? Let’s say they had Jonathan Wilburn to come run sound… do you think that Bruce would be long for the world??? Kinda like when Daniel started running the board and was a FEATURED Vocalist… how much longer did you think that Mark was going to be around???

    Tim is not in the best health and has actually put himself in jeopardy coming back to do what he has done. He is Ta Man and I think Bill G should hire Tim to go on THAT Tour!! They fly mostly unless it is less than 2-3 hours and then it is on the BEST Motor Coaches. If he could keep Howard & Vestal alive as long as he did all Tim needs is a routine and less stress!!!

    As much as it pains me to say it because, although I give them hell & I love GCQ… it is truly sad to witness their demise.

    If I were a promoter right now there is no way I would agree to a nice flat for GCQ cause you never know WHO you are going to GET!!!

    Strong Management & Leadership are always required to run any business, especially 6-8 men in a Tube!!!

  17. Michael H. McIlwain wrote:

    #15, You are correct to be concerned about the weak doctrine bring expressed n the song you mentioned. When the Bible speaks of the blood of Jesus it is speaking if His death as a substiutionary sacrifice. Some folks speak of the blood of Jesus in such a way that would treat the blood if Jesus as something magical.

  18. Wade wrote:

    Butch… do you often not have enough to do so you over anal ize things????

  19. Irishlad wrote:

    yea, i get you..its like this, Aaron McC was as good as they come, he was maintenance free as far as travelling was concerned like Mark Trammel, a great singer as close to Tim as you would get just a pity the way things worked out.

  20. irishlad wrote:

    Rebecca Ferguson is thro’ to the X factor final held next week …wow what a singer she’ll surely crack the US with a voice like that she’s also from Liverpool just like the Beatles and a more down to earth and unassuming person you’ll never meet.A wonderful original talent.

  21. Irishlad wrote:

    #15Today’s Christian writers are simply displaying their thoughts against a background of a modern 21st century outlook.Gone are the social,economical.
    ,theological etc etc restraints of an18th.c John Westlian world.Ok,you may say correctly that Jesus is the same yesterday,today,forever and that his word never changes, but people do.In this wicked world we live in we’re lucky people are writing anything at all of Christian nature,and really so what if they go over board with their imaginations they’re only human after all and i believe their hearts in the right place.

  22. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 15, you’re dead on, but I will say that theological accuracy isn’t really a goal of southern gospel music. This isn’t a criticism so much as a statement of fact.

    No. 18, you have to be joking. You pollute this thread with information about a quartet that hasn’t been relevant in years, and you have the audacity to accuse another of over analysis and not having enough to do? Really, Wade? Really?

    Fixing southern gospel theology, or at least calling out theological bullcrap, is never a complete waste of time. Fixing Gold City, however, seems more and more an impossible and irrelevant task.

    And No. 21, please. It’s not creativity it’s just lazy writing. The real culpability belongs to the artist who would agree to record such junk. Is there no vetting process at all for these songs? Wow.

  23. Michael H. McIlwain wrote:

    I agree with your assessment. I think that good songs can be written and also have correct theology. I’m working on a solo project with will include recovering some ancient hymns and writing new melodies as well as writing some songs about the Story of Christ. I want to write some songs about the crucifixion (plenty of those), the resurrection(there’s a good many of those), and then write some about the ascension(not many of those). I’m spending some time reading solid theology about these doctrines and then will work on stating them in a modern, creative way. It won’t be an easy task.

  24. Catoe wrote:

    Soli, you’re on it, and you’re not alone in your line of thinking.

  25. irishlad wrote:

    #22 Ok then if sg artists didn’t record ’such junk’would there be a singing news top 80? . Think about who was churning out a large bulk of songs in the so called golden years of gospel music ie when the statestmen/blackwoods ruled the roost,well you had big chief and JD to name two,hardly theological giants,was there complaints then? No, simpler days,people went outside to get entertained nothing too deep a bit of escapism in a good livin’family friendly environment. Have things change much?i think the average sg fan is looking for much of the same today.

  26. Wade wrote:

    22… How have I polluted??? Every thing I have said or predicted has happened!! REALLY!!!

    If Tim Riley Sings with them they are relevant!!

    VERY few songs pass muster concerning the theological analysis of purity for EVERY ONE!! Because there are SOO many different TAKES on the same book. So it is almost impossible to make a song that meets EVERY ONES theology!!!

    To anal -lize that song and not under stand or grasp the concept of the metaphor clearly shows that person does need more to do!!!

    You even said it yourself, “…I will say that theological accuracy isn’t really a goal of southern gospel music…” But then you contradict your own self a few paragraphs later.

    But we do agree for sure on the fact it will be an almost impossible task to fix GCQ… don’t let that skeer ya!!! :-))

  27. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 22: You’ve missed the point entirely. If you want to record some easy-listening, fun-for-the-whole-family, weak-sauce song, by all means do it. However, if you attempt to tackle a song with some real theological depth, don’t be surprised when you get called out if the song is, in fact, a theological dumpster fire.

    Additionally, what passed as accepable in the “so called golden years of gospel music” isn’t dispositive of anything. JD Sumner was a train wreck theologically and personally, as well as a freakazoid musically. Today’s younger, disposable income Christian audience demands more than platitudes and cliches belched out by one of four old men in matching suits. Golden years, indeed.

  28. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Um, make that “No. 25, you’ve missed the point entirely.” Clearly, I didn’t miss my own point.

  29. Mixer wrote:

    I think it might be time to “retire” Gold City and Danny and Bruce start a spin off group. Maybe just a trio with a new name and new start. No shame in that. It’s worked well for Legacy 5 and SS. He’d still have access to the richer GC song libraries from time to time.

  30. Ron F wrote:

    Wade , I have said for years that Bill Gaither should bring Tim Riley on Board. He is the Best of the Best.

  31. irishlad wrote:

    22/25 The point is today’s sg fan is much the same as the ones in the 50’s and 60’s same socio-economic demograph and 4 old todgers in matching suits IS precisely what’they want.

  32. irishlad wrote:

    To continue 22/25 The bright young things with plenty of money you mention listen to CCM or P&W not sg..maybe some ‘progressive sg’ such as Valor but where’s the viable market for that?. No, there always will be a market for sg (albeit a shrinking one) with all it’s naff groups singing watered down crappy songs.

  33. Hector Luna wrote:

    It’s a shame so many people like bad songs. There are some good Southern Gospel writers who probably figured there would be a market for “good” songs when they got in the biz and have forced themselves to write cheaper, shallow songs. I mean I’m not expecting to hear The Dixie Melody Boys diagram a thesis of Calvinism or Soteriology or where Jesus’ soul went for 3 days between death and resurrection in a song.

  34. DD wrote:

    So, if these groups are singing “watered down” and theologically incorrect songs, would it be safe to say this is Christian entertainment and not ministry? Just curious.

  35. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Well said, Hector! I’m quite sure I don’t even want to hear the Dixie Melody Boys’ take on Calvinism. Serious theology in the hands of a quartet would probably be worse (and make me far angrier) than the fluff they do put out!

  36. Odeliya wrote:

    @33, yes, pretty much,any successful marketing campaign means appealing to masses, that are, as ex- Presidential Advisor Karl Rove wisely said, are asses.

    McDonalds, pop-music, junk movies and Budweiser beer will always bring in more sales then healthy food, complex, deep rock, “smart” movies that make one think,and good quality Spanish Rioja wine.

    Imho, I believe there still would be enough fans to support good quality stuff, if more SG singers dared to get out of their comfort zone, sing about relevant to times issues, create truly good, valuable songs, hire professional managers and imagemakers, and appeal to the right demographic.

    I’d gladly pay for decent CD a hefty price. I usually pay 35 now for my favorite style CDs that I order from Europe. I’d pay 50-60 for Gospel CD, let 30 go as donation to them ,if its a truly good quality stuff.

  37. irishlad wrote:

    Yes 34 that’s how it was when it started out, pure enternainment,. high tenor low bass JD joking Hovie preachin’ women swooning children crying all in all a good night out. Then other forms of music (Christian)came along and ate into their business so as a business they differentiated by going all holy and calling themselves a ministry thus retaining old fans and attracting new ones..JD found an other and more lucrative way To differentiate.

  38. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    While I agree that not all SG songs are theologically correct, at least the majority of them are very clearly Gospel songs. Case and point are the following lyrics to one of the top songs in CCM now. The song is “Light Up The Sky” by The Afters. Currently number 2. I’ll post the lyrics, you show me the Gospel message.

    When I’m feeling all alone
    With so far to go
    The signs are no where on this road
    Guiding me home
    When the night is closing in
    Is falling on my skin
    Oh God will You come close?

    Light light light up the sky
    You light up the sky to show me You are with me
    I I I can’t deny
    No I can’t deny that You are right here with me
    You’ve opened my eyes
    So I can see You all around me
    Light light light up the sky
    You light up the sky to show me
    That You are with me

    When stars are hiding in the clouds
    I don’t feel them shining
    When I can’t see You beyond my doubt
    The silver lining
    When I’ve almost reached the end
    Like a flood You’re rushing in
    Your love is rushing in


    So I run straight into Your arms
    You’re the bright and morning sun
    To show Your love there’s nothing You won’t do


    That You are with me
    That You are with me

  39. j wrote:

    Yep, “4 old todgers in matching suits IS precisely what’they want.” Like Signature Sound or Legacy Five who know what the word rehearsal means.

  40. rr wrote:

    #38: That’s on the same level as “You Light Up My Life”.

    Here are some lyrics that outdo that, however:

    He is jealous for me
    Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden, I am unaware
    of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
    and I realize just how beautiful You are
    and how great your affections are for me.

    Oh, how He loves us so
    Oh, how He loves us
    How He loves us so.

    Yeah, He loves us
    Woah, how He loves us
    Woah, how He loves us
    Woah, how He loves.

    So we are His portion and He is our prize,
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
    If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking

    So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
    and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
    I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
    when I think about the way

    That he loves us,
    Woah, how He loves us
    Woah, how He loves us
    Woah, how He loves

    He loves us,
    Woah, how He loves us
    Woah, how He loves us
    Woah, how He loves

  41. lovelife wrote:

    #40…Did you write that as you were typing or is this truly a song that someone wrote? ..”sloppy wet kiss”, are you kidding me..and the chorus must really have taken a long time to write.

  42. rr wrote:

    #41, No, I’m not that creative. Here’s a link.

  43. SS wrote:

    #41 - Oh, it is real. It popped up on the overhead a couple of weeks ago at a church I was visiting. By the time we were through I was thinking about getting a room!!! I wish I had a snapshot of some of the attendees when we go to the “sloppy wet kiss” line. Priceless. I think in our urgency to make God “seeker friendly” we have lost our common sense. (BTW our car ride was fun going home thinking of all the crazy things we could put in a P&W song in the name of worship.)

  44. Extra Ink wrote:

    Has anybody heard the Gaither Vocal Band song on their recent recording entitled “Clean”? I was just wondering what folks thought of it….The song is about being baptized (sung by Phelps) and says, “For the first time in my life I felt clean…” Thoughts?

  45. Sam wrote:

    Well here’s Steve Ladd doing his thing.

  46. William wrote:

    #41 It is for real:

  47. Wade wrote:

    #29 Mixer… He can’t do that he worked hard mowing the grass around the GCQ Office growing up he has a RIGHT!!!

    #30 Ron… Great Minds and Irish Ppl think a like!!!

  48. Andrew S. wrote:

    #41- The song is definitely real. I attended a Graduation baccalaureate (Idk/Idc about the sp.), and the worship “quartet” sang this song. Everyone seemed to find this normal.. Everyone besides me & my 4 friends.. :)

  49. matt wrote:

    Maybe nobody cares, but I’d like to hear first hand reports of how Gold City sounds now with their new tenor. In the mean time all I’ve got is youtube, and take a listen to their “one scarred hand” recently recorded on December 6/10……the word that comes to mind is pitch, or lack thereof.

  50. Sensible wrote:

    There’s something different about Steve Ladd also.

  51. Wade wrote:

    #45 — WoW he left Gold City to do that… at least he is honest and did not say he was leaving to do one thing and then end up singing with the Kingdom Heirs a few weeks later.

    But it did remind me some of the Dixie Melody Boys back in the 80’s when Ed tried to do, I guess what we would consider CCM now… back then it was just dreaded contemporary. Least THEY had some good songs and if you wanna call something fluff there ya go…

    Don’t pass out, but I went to a AM Worship at the CAMPUS of a very well know baptist church in the NW Ga Area close to Chattanooga and it was too contemporary for ME!!! All the songs where gospel words to rock songs. I was really surprised. If that is what some one likes cool with me and if it reaches ppl ok… but if it is too contemporary for me that means it’s gotta be out there!!!!

  52. SG_Obzerver wrote:

    #11 - Praying for Gold City is a good thing. However maybe those prayers are the ONLY thing keeping Gold City going at this point. It is akin to that dear family member who has long passed their prime and the family selfishly keeps them lingering on life support even though it is evident that their time is truly up. And so it goes…prolonging the inevitable and living on precious memories as if simply willing it will make it so. Now of course there are those wonderfully rare “comebacks” from the abyss but they truly are the exception and not the rule. But still… a sometimes well meaning other times greedy family member who happens to have the say-so cannot bring themselves to simply pull the plug. Perhaps when a group is in their prime they should set forth advance directives for such a time as this…for when they have reached a point when their decision making ability is too clouded by past successes (or bus payments) to accurately assess their need to exist. A DNR order would seem to be a solution for some such folks. We have all seen groups and soloists that warble on well past their sell-by dates and are just a sad shadow of their former selves.

  53. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    This group stopped being Gold City long ago. It’s like owning Abraham Lincoln’s ax, except it’s had three new ax heads and four new handles. At what point does it cease being Lincoln’s ax and become just another indistinguishable ax?

    This whole thread is Exhibit A regarding the case against southern gospel and its refusal to evolve…

  54. Beth wrote:

    #43 - The David Crowder version is “And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss”

    That’s how we sing it :-)

  55. apathetic wrote:

    “Additionally, what passed as accepable in the “so called golden years of gospel music” isn’t dispositive of anything. JD Sumner was a train wreck theologically and personally, as well as a freakazoid musically. Today’s younger, disposable income Christian audience demands more than platitudes and cliches belched out by one of four old men in matching suits. Golden years, indeed.” Soli Deo Gloria, I love you. LOL

  56. apathetic wrote:

    #38 - Wayne Kerr, you really can’t see the message in the lyrics you posted? Not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer are you?

  57. lovelife wrote:

    These comments are my point as to why I do NOT like or appreciate most contemporary praise and worship songs. We are trying to accommodate, fluff, and make people feel good without making them feel accountable or convicted…..I’m sorry, but, I will take hymns of the ages and SG any day of the week. Gods word NEVER changes, so why would we water down the message! This is not directed at anyone on here and to #43, I’m sure after you picked your jaw up off the floor, you really had a good time with it….

  58. Tim wrote:

    Do you think there will be a time when Southern Gospel and GMA will re-align itself? It seems to me both segments are struggling.

  59. quartet-man wrote:

    I saw Gold City before Josh left, and they were great. A friend of mine unfamiliar with them and most Southern Gospel said they never had a weak link (unlike most groups who do). Granted, I at times still think of Gold City as some of the past long-term group members, but nonetheless, they can still come back from this. They do, admittedly, need to find a good combo and stay there. They need to give it time to develop and keep it going consistently for a while.

  60. gina wrote:

    Anyone know if Melton Campbell is still with the Inspirations?

  61. apathetic wrote:

    #57 - Lovelife - what is watered down in a message that you can see God in all His creation? That’s Biblical. You are correct in that His word does not change, however, people change, times change, musical styles change. Don’t give me the stale response that you don’t have to change musical stylings to relate to changes of the times. Southern Gospel artists aren’t singing psalms with a harp in Hebrew. They changed musical styles to adapt to culture changes. They just stopped a few decades ago.

  62. JT wrote:

    It pisses me off when I see people change the lyric.. I LOVE the lyric.. “Sloppy wet kiss”… that is exactly what the love of God does.. it gets all over.. leaves nothing uncovered.. sorta like… a sloppy wet kiss.. AND YOU CANT WIPE IT OFF!

  63. Deron wrote:

    #49, that One Scarred Hand version is extremely rough. I never thought that Mitchell had quite the voice to be a GC tenor, and ever since I actually saw a video of him singing When I Get Carried Away with them, I knew I was right. He’s scarcely, if ever, on pitch, and you can almost hear the damage being done to his vocal cords as he forces the tones straight out of his throat.

  64. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    #56…I never claimed to be the smartest kid on the bus, but, the lyrics to the song which I posted have zero Gospel message in them. Yes, God is mentioned once, but the word God is used in Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love”, but I’m pretty sure that one isn’t Gospel either.

    Apathetic, since you possess a higher intellect than I do, please explain to me how this song presents the Gospel message. Don’t make me dig through the symbolism and metaphors, but show me how the words of this song (without any additional help) could bring a lost person to a relationship with Christ.

  65. Hector Luna wrote:

    As far as the “Oh How He Loves Us”, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a strong advocate of stronger theological driven songs in SG. I do believe there is a lack of it. The one thing CCM and P&W does is TRY to be relevant. I mean how much longer can “An Old Convention Song” be relevant? In SG, another fifty years probably. The hymns will stick around forever. Most hymns are solid songs that never weaken. I can just imagine in fifty years our cars will drive themselves in the air, robots for servants, and lasers to write with as “An Old Convention Song” is blasting on the stereo. But indeed, the David Crowder version changed the “sloppy wet kiss” line. Beyond that, how many times do we see the prophets of the OT give imagery to God’s love or God’s love wrath and “stop being a whore” concerning Israel? Writers wrote what they could relate with. I don’t think there’s a problem with poetic lisence in other genres of Christian music. Sure, they push the envelope a bit and are sometimes rather shallow. But SG could stand to be at least “marginally” relevant, right?

  66. j-mo wrote:


    I personally like the unforseen kiss line better, but either way “How He Loves” is a great song. People that think the lyrics to that song are lousy clearly don’t know much about great songwriting. And, to be blunt, I have to wonder if people that think the lyrics are spirtual fluff don’t know more about God than they know God. Read that first verse again and try to be just a little open minded to something that’s different than what you’re used to.

    He is jealous for me
    Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden, I am unaware
    of these afflictions…eclipsed by glory
    and I realize just how beautiful You are
    and how great your affections are for me

    Just because it isn’t filled with a bunch of overused cliches about being saved, the cross, the blood, or heaven doesn’t mean it lacks spiritual value. But, if you are looking for songs that lean more SG in topical nature, here’s another John Mark McMillan song that puts most SG songs on the same subject matter to shame:

    Though the Earth Cried out for blood
    Satisfied her hunger was
    Her billows calmed on raging seas
    for the souls on men she craved
    Sun and moon from balcony
    Turned their head in disbelief
    Their precious Love would taste the sting
    disfigured and disdained

    On Friday a thief
    On Sunday a King
    Laid down in grief
    But awoke with keys
    Of Hell on that day
    The first born of the slain
    The Man Jesus Christ
    Laid death in his grave

    So three days in darkness slept
    The Morning Sun of righteousness
    But rose to shame the throes of death
    And over turn his rule
    Now daughters and the sons of men
    Would pay not their dues again
    The debt of blood they owed was rent
    When the day rolled a new

    On Friday a thief
    On Sunday a King
    Laid down in grief
    But awoke holding keys
    To Hell on that day
    The first born of the slain
    The Man Jesus Christ
    Laid death in his grave

    On Friday a thief
    On Sunday a King
    Laid down in grief
    But awoke with keys
    Of Hell on that day
    The first born of the slain
    The Man Jesus Christ
    Laid death in his grave

    He has cheated
    Hell and seated
    Us above the fall
    In desperate places
    He paid our wages
    One time once and for all

  67. matt wrote:
    Mercy’s Mark reborn……..

  68. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    “He is jealous for me
    Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden, I am unaware
    of these afflictions…eclipsed by glory
    and I realize just how beautiful You are
    and how great your affections are for me”

    Ok….so to someone who has never heard this song, how would they know who is being sung about? God? Darth Vader? Barack Obama? I’m sorry, but this sounds more like a line from a Twilight movie than it does a Gospel song.

    I know the author is referring to God, but how does an unconverted person get the message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection from this lyric?

  69. apathetic wrote:

    Wayne Kerr - you are a JPM monitor! These monitors are very common in SG music. Any song that doesn’t meet the minimum JPM (Jesus Per Minute) in the lyrics is automatically discounted as a gospel song. Given your criteria you must throw out Amazing Grace because it only mentions the word God once as well, and it takes 6 stanzas before you hear it. Oh, but it says the word Grace many times. Yes it does and if I play dumb like you have (with the lyrics you posted) I can argue that Grace is a womans name and the song is talking about returning to the love of a woman whom you had previously rejected. The song you posted is clearly talking about feeling distant from God but being reminded of how close He actually is by all of His creation surrounding us. No, the song doesn’t say “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth and the Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep” to get it’s point across. It doesn’t have to. It’s audience doesn’t have to be told their eating a steak to know it’s a steak.

    P.S. - Don’t be too upset over it, because, as one timeless theologically deep SG song once told us “Jesus will mend your heart, your achey breaky heart”

  70. Wayne Kerr wrote:

    Thanks for proving my point exactly. You were unable to answer my question so you attack me personally. Your Jesus must be very proud of you.

  71. Videoguy wrote:

    re: Mercy’s Mark video

    Not surprised to see a GCQ setlist, but not bad singin’. My guess is this mashup is mostly in chronological order; I can hear the stress getting the best of all three vocals by the time they got to “Midnight Cry”.

    Best parts: skip to about the 7:30 mark. Catch “I met the Master”, then stick around for the next song, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus”.

    There’s some possibilities with this trio, if Jones plays his cards right this time around.

  72. DMP wrote:

    Everybody sing together now…

    Refrain: Everybody’s worried ’bout the atomic bomb
    But nobody’s worried ’bout the day my Lord will come
    When he’ll hit, great God a-mighty, like an atom bomb
    When he comes, when he comes

    In nineteen-hundred and forty-five the atom bomb became alive
    In nineteen-hundred and forty-nine the USA got very wise
    It found a country had crossed the line, had an atom bomb of the very same kind
    The people got worried all over the land, just like folks got in Japan

    So, I say everybody’s worried (yeah) ’bout the atomic bomb
    But nobody’s worried (no) ’bout the day my Lord will come
    When he’ll hit, great God a-mighty, like an atom bomb
    When he comes, good Lord, when he comes


    Well now, God told Elijah, he would send down fire, send down fire from on high
    He told the brother Noah by the rainbow sign, there’ll be no water, but fire in the sky
    Now don’t get worried, just bear in mind, seek King Jesus and you shall find
    Peace, happiness, and joy divine, with my Jesus in your mind

    So, I say everybody’s worried (yeah) ’bout the atomic bomb
    But nobody’s worried (no) ’bout the day my Lord will come
    When he’ll hit, great God a-mighty, like an atom bomb
    When he comes, great God, when he comes


    Lowell Blanchard and the Valley Trio [1950]
    Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb
    (L. McCollum)
    Mercury 6260

  73. art wrote:

    I’d like Avery to put on his analytical professor hat and write an essay about exactly what he learns from the posts on this site.

  74. Irishlad wrote:

    A question for those people who would like to see Sg evolve.Evolve to what exactly? Has big band music,George Jones,The Easter Brothers and Blue grass in general changed much over the years?..yet they continue to be immensely popular.The planet some people live on…

  75. Wade wrote:

    Just watched the Mercies Mark video.

    Taco is still The Best Accompaniment Piano Player. Does not over play like Jeff Stice and has some soul that Stan, Brian and Jeff do not have…

    Wonder How Much they were able to rehearse???

    Ditch Bruce who seemingly tries to sign like he is from up north and the latest tenor and let Danny become the Featured Vocalist on a song, run the board and mow the grass back at the quartet office and add these guys and you might just have GCQ again… of course Time would have to sing bass but I was humming along and as jacked up as they had things it would not push hime much to do it.

    Funny thing I noticed on the NEW GCQ Video with mr mitchell is they seemed to have especially Tim JACKED to maybe draw some attention away from the weaker upper part!!! and mr mitchell was sometimes lost in the mix!!!

  76. apathetic wrote:

    Wayne Kerr - if you think post 69 is a personal attack you live a very sheltered little life.

  77. Ron F wrote:

    Hey Guys , I just got off the phone with Tim Greene.There are some exciting things going on. By February we could see the Greenes back on the road. Tim Greene and Amy Lambert. Not sure who the baritone will be. I will have Tim on my show this Sunday morning . I will know more then.

  78. j-mo wrote:


    The vast majority of people will know the song is about God simply because of the context in which they hear it (a church service, a christian concert, on christian radio, etc).

    Of course there will be some people who hear the song out of a Christian context. I think most of them will still know the song is about God because they have adult brains with the ability to reason. This is the same reason you knew the song was about God.

    For the sake of argument, let’s say there are a few unconverted people who hear the song out of a Christian context and don’t realize the song is about God. Why does that necessarily make the song bad? Do you believe that every single song has to hit home with every single person who hears it?

    Besides, if an unconverted person heard this song and didn’t think it was about God, don’t you think they would wonder who the song was about? Surely they would be curious to know who the author of this song is talking about that loves him so much he makes him bend beneath the weight of his mercy and causes him feel unaware of all afflictions. Or maybe they won’t wonder that. Maybe this unconverted person will assume, as you say they might, that the song is about Darth Vader. Even if that’s the case, it’s obviously a very high quality song about Darth Vader, so they will probably like it. They might even like the song about Darth Vader so much just decide to buy John Mark McMillan’s CD so they can hear more great songs about Darth Vader. Once they buy the CD this unconverted person will hear plenty of other songs that do talk more blatantly about God and salvation, at which point the listener will certainly realize that “How He Loves” never really was about Darth Vader at all. God certainly has moved in stranger ways.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think every song has to state the plan of salvation in overt terms in order to have spiritual merit. There are a ton of viable biblical reasons for a song to exist besides conveying the message of death, burial, and resurrection or causing a lost person to start a relationship with Christ. In fact, I don’t know of any examples in the bible of music being used for those reasons.

    The job of leading lost people to a relationship with Christ is not just a job for gospel quartets and Christian bands to do while they’re in studio and on stage. It is a job assigned to you and me and every other Christian. And even though that is our job, I think we can both agree that you and I are not responsible to spend every single second of our lives blatantly talking about the death, burial, and ressurection or clearly stating the plan of salvation. I know if I did that I’d be wasting a lot of my time because most of the people I come in contact with are already Christians who have made those starting steps and now have different needs. By the same token that you and I don’t/shouldn’t spend every second talking only about those things; Christian artists are not responsible to spend every lyric of every song talking about those things. Just like it would be in my own life, it would be irresponsible if they did spend all their time on those topics considering that most of the people they play their music to are also Christians who are beyond that starting point and have different needs. In our lives and in music there numerous other ways we can and should glorify God besides talking about those two topics.

    For the record, none of this is a personal insult to you. I’m sure you are a very nice guy with good intentions. I’m just pointing out that you might want to consider broadening your definition of what a song needs to accomplish in order to be successful. And you might also try being just a little more open to the possibility that God is in some things that aren’t necessarily your cup of tea.

  79. Matt G. wrote:

    #78 Very well stated! It seems to me that not every gospel song states the birth, death, and resurrection either, but we don’t hear complaints about those songs do we?

  80. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 74- So long as we both agree that southern gospel is trending toward (or perhaps has already arrived at) big band and bluegrass-level irrelevance, i.e., a genre with a small, niche following of 100 year olds, we appear to be from the same planet.

  81. Me wrote:

    Wade, if I were to be honest with myself, I would have to agree.

    RENAME the group! Let the Gold City legacy go out on top when Tim retires again in (January?).

    Otherwise, merge Tim with the new Mercy’s Mark trio and revive GC.

    I normally would not want to pile on a group like this, but when they let Josh Cobb go, I finally had enough. There is no excuse for inept leadership. I’m sorry.

  82. Me wrote:

    I think an even better idea would be to do select dates (think Gaither) with Tim, Jay, Jonathan, Danny, and Taco or Channing and let the good times roll.

    It would preserve the legacy, and they would still make money.

  83. Hector Luna wrote:

    well stated J-Mo. but i would buy a SG cd about Darth Vader. oddly enough, there is a real church based on Star Trek.

  84. art wrote:

    #74 and #80: I was somewhat puzzled by Irishlad’s reference to the immense popularity of Big Band music, George Jones, etc. While these genres do have their following, it’s the rare radio station in the U.S. that plays George Jones or bluegrass regularly. And I don’t know any station that plays Big Band at all, except for maybe a public radio station that devotes an hour a week to it. Obviously George Jones and the Big Bands no longer have the hold they once had on the consumers of music. Nor does SG.

    Still, Irishlad’s question is pertinent and interesting. If SG needs to evolve, what should it become?

    A few weeks ago, I asked what SG must retain in order to remain SG. The only answer that came was tight harmonies. I also gather that SG groups should ditch the matching suits. Are tight harmonies and clothing styles the key to attracting young people to SG?

    So, Soli Deo Gloria, you’re young and I’m not. You seem to think that SG is irrelevant to young people because it refuses to evolve. I see your point. But what keeps you returning to a site about SG instead of occupying yourself with other genres of Christian music that have more appeal to your demographic?

    I ask this question without snark. I think it’s unsporting to be snarky with people you don’t know.

    Have a good day.

  85. pj wrote:

    wow! just heard the knew mercy’s mark trio on u tube now thats southern gospel singing at its best! considering that i know for a fact it was totaly unrehearsed just goes to show you you ether got or you dont ,and if garrie jones and jay parrick is in it well that speaks for itself if i were one of the gcq boys i would really be scratching my head …

  86. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 84: fair and excellent question.

    First, I like (some) southern gospel. When it’s good, it’s really good. Second, I see so much potential in southern gospel. It’s personal and relatable in ways ccm and praise and worship are not. Those genres can come off as arrogant, impersonal and even cold. Even bad southern gospel is rarely all three of those things.

    Look at country music. 30 years ago, country was a regional, old-fashioned genre with no mass appeal. It clung to tradition and hated change. However, country evolved, and now it’s as popular as any genre in America.

    I think it’s fair and necessary to ask why southern gospel patently refuses to explore new markets. Or put another way, how much would one need to hate southern gospel in order to speed up its demise by demanding strict adherence to tradition?

  87. Irishlad wrote:

    Art,maybe big band and it’s “popularity” was a bad example(it’s just we’re a bit behind in the UK,my examples are pretty good for here) i was thinking along the lines that SG doesn’t need to change ,improve, evolve because it has proved it’s “fitness”,as in survival of the fittest,by reaching the final stage of it’s evolutionary life so to speak. In other words musically,like bluegrass,it’s the finished product,the real deal,and the very reason why CCM & PW have morphed from it, not the other way round.

  88. Brandon Coomer wrote:

    I admit I am the world’s biggest drinker of the Gold City kool aid, but with all their troubles and turnover the past couple of years, hasn’t anyone gave thought to the possibility that there are reasons that they change personnel so fast? That for all the troubles the group has encountered, Tim Riley is still too classy to embarrass individuals and the industry as a whole by giving the real reasons more than a couple of people have left (or been asked to leave) the last couple of years.

    That said, I’m honest enough to realize that interviews and research of potential members by group management would help avoid some of these situations, but no one is perfect.

    Gold City was almost “left for dead” in 1993-1994, but they went on to be better than ever. If people give them a chance, why can’t that happen again?

    (And just thought I’d throw this out there…. The Old Paths Quartet ROCKS!)

  89. art wrote:

    #86 - I agree with everything you said. When SG is good, it’s really good. But excellence is hard in any field of music. Even on my favorite CDs, I’d guess that only half of the songs are real winners; the rest are just fillers.

    I’ve always thought a major key to excellence in SG is song selection, and the artists seem not to be able to distinguish between mediocrity and excellence in that regard.

    As far as evolution is concerned, I think SG is evolving like country and western did. It’s just that fossils like me cling to what they like. I think that country has morphed more into soft rock, hard rock and a subgenre I call “stupid country”. So country has evolved away from me, the same way that SG seems to be evolving — slowly — toward you.

    And the world keeps turning…

  90. Clay wrote:

    #88 So since you are the biggest goldcity cool aid drinking fan out there. What do really think of the new tenor and why was Josh Cobb really let go.

  91. Andrew S. wrote:

    Hello!! In light of all the talk about Gold City and other random happenings, I would like for you to take the time to read my review of the Talley Trio’s new album, “Stories & Songs.”

    Here is the link:

    Feedback is appreciated!! Thanks! :)

  92. Me wrote:

    Brandon, I agree that some slack must be given to GC for some of the changes. McCune and Webb were probably unavoidable.

    Doug Riley’s death was unavoidable.

    But how in the world can you have 4 tenors in a 2 year span and land up with Brent Mitchell? And all the while Jay Parrack is singing the doors off with Garry Jones and Josh Feemster.

    I’m not saying this to be mean-spirited. I’m saying this because it is the truth, and it’s time somebody faced it.

  93. Irishlad wrote:

    Art and Soli, i kinda like you guys(your thinking anway).

  94. Irishlad wrote:

    You too Hector :)

  95. Wade wrote:

    #76 Apath… yes many people are really thinned skinned… it amazes me how people wear there poor hurt feelings on their sleeve. JPM = Jesus Per Minute… lol I LOVE IT!!!!

    #81 Me… That would be fun to have that group form… but don’t think you will see Garry Jones back with a group Tim is in!!! Nor will you see a group with Danny & Jonathan together. Strange things that happen with FAMILY Groups.

    Brandon… I drink the kool-aid too to a certain buzz, but having been in and around SGM and all other sorts of show business to know when NOT to expect things to COME BACK.

    Yes you are right about Tim is classy and might not call BS on things when they happen, but when it is your son I see how it is easier for him to stay shushed.

    Yes there were times especially before MIDNIGHT CRY the group did not know if they were going to be able to go the next week or not which was way before 92-93.

    Some of it goes back about the time Floyd Beck died and the hostile take over of the group from Jerry Ritchie by Tim, Brian, Ivan & Garry. But because they were so rich on talent, good looks and the Lords Blessings they made it. Not saying anything negatively mean about Jerry Ritchie he was probably doing the best he could coming from is back ground, but he sure left them with their pants down not having some of the service marks and the name of the group properly registered.

    But let’s think about it like this… While Tim was at the DAY to Day helm of the group sure they had turn over, but they had at least 3 long tenured groups that stayed together.

    Since that has not been the case has a group stayed together more than a year??? It is tough to keep a group together when the leader does not want any one more talented than he in the group!!!

    You have to be like Foxy & Hamill and want EVERY ONE in the GROUP to be better than they!!!

  96. copperhill wrote:

    Speaking of Gold City, has anyone been to their trainwreck of a website lately? It should be a source of embarassment to them. Roy Webb’s picture is still prominently featured. It has no mention of Josh Cobb’s departure or the new tenor’s arrival. . . hasn’t been updated in almost three months.

    I saw Gold City three times in 2010 but with the lineup changes, I have no desire whatsover to attend a Gold City concert in 2011, based on the YouTube video I’ve seen of the current lineup.

    The new CD that was being produced by Michael English . . . has ALL of that been scrapped?

  97. Wade wrote:

    Irish Laddy— WTH… you are on board with those 2… do I need to cut & paste when you inboxed me on FB??? Are you drink, getting weak or what???

    So there is a poster above ( do not want to give credit/mention to that uses IN LIGHT of the GCQ talk please comment and lick me because I just posted a review of The Talleys??????????? HUH???? How are those 2 related??? Put your pipe down and move away from the keyboard and make sure to put a cover over it so your keyboard so you does not get sticky!!!

  98. gina wrote:

    OK, I will answer my own question. Melton Campbell is no longer with the Inspirations.

  99. Andrew S. wrote:

    #97- I was not meaning to bash anyone for talking about Gold City or anyone else. I find the conversations interesting at times. My post was a request to draw attention to something on which I needed help. In no way was I trying to take away from the conversation. I know they’re not related, but I figured people might would jump at the opportunity to critique someone else’s decisions about a different topic, like several have of Gold City’s.

    But, then again, maybe not everyone wants to read Gold City on here all the time. Thanks for the insight, though!! Feedback is appreciated. :)

  100. Kyle wrote:

    Here’s a thought….how do you expand your audience without abandoning them? How do you keep the traditionalists happy while broadening your scope to include a newer crowd?

    If you ask fans of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, or George Jones what they think of Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Rascal Flatts, I’m willing to bed they wouldn’t be too thrilled with it. As a result, you have your traditionalists and contemporary fans.

    Now, one thing to consider is that the traditionalists will die off quicker than the younger contemporary crowd, which is why musical styles are constantly changing. Older folks like older music. Sure, some younger folks like it, too, but they are in the minority.

  101. art wrote:

    #100: My point exactly.

    Really, the market will decide how fast SG evolves. We geezers may be a little stingy — OK, a lot stingy — but apparently we spend enough at SG events to keep those buses limping from one locale to another. When we cut off the trickle of dollars, those buses will seek out another more generous demographic.

  102. art wrote:

    Another thought: I just wish that, for now, the evolution would be in the direction of excellence and less pandering — to whatever demographic.

  103. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #98: I was about to ask where you got that information, but I just checked The Inspirations’ Facebook page and noticed Melton is no longer listed as a member. No announcement has been made that I know of, so maybe we’ll know something come January, if not before.

  104. Kyle wrote:

    The big difference, however, is that when the newer style of country music starts becoming popular, and the traditionalists start crying foul, the new guys ignore them and keep doing what they are doing rather than bowing down to what the older crowd wants, and they reap the benefits.

  105. Andrew S. wrote:

    Aaron, I have to say that Melton’s departure is disappointing. I thoroughly enjoyed their latest cd, especially the songs, “The More I Think about Heaven” and “That’s Why I Call It Home”, on which Melton was featured. I was also planning to see them around New Year’s sometime. Anyway, Martin will do good with selecting a member. Here’s to great wishes for Melton & the Inspirations in future endeavors!

  106. apathetic wrote:

    100% correct Kyle.

  107. Irishlad wrote:

    you’re right Wade, Mr Smirnoff has a mellowing effect…i start getting too nice to possilbly the wrong people.Thanks for the reminder ;)

  108. noninsider wrote:

    As Wade would say and has said recently; “Pray for Gold City” It looks like Bruce is the latest to bite the dust (so to speak) I am not sure why they are even relevant anymore; but here I am posting about them…

  109. matt wrote:

    noninsider, they are still relevant because they used to be relevant. Alot of folks I believe still cling to an illusion of the greatness they were capable of. Their latest tenor choice has me absolutely baffled. Makes one wonder whose ears are doing the auditioning.
    I have to admit I will miss Bruce’s sound. It grew on me, and he had an edge/presence that is unlike anybody else I’ve seen. I wish him well.

    I’d love to know Tim Riley’s thoughts on all of this, having been so instrumental in driving GC’s past success, and seeing it now.

  110. Rob wrote:

    Could Melton Campbell be the replacement for Bruce? See he has left the Inspirations.

  111. LS wrote:

    #110…You know, I’d almost pay to see how that worked! Seriously, I do hope Melton gets with another group soon; he’s one of my favorites. Has anyone heard anything more about the re-vamped Greenes?

  112. Robert York wrote:

    Jeff Snyder is singing with ‘First Love’. Troy & Katy Peace has reformed the group and they are singing on a limited basis. Troy is still running sound for Sisters but they also do a limited schedule. From what I hear Taranda is still singing solo.

  113. quartet-man wrote:

    Funny how an open thread, leads to Gold City, leads to the Inspirations, which leads to what I came here to post.

    I just saw Phipps Gospel Sing and they played an old video from the Inspirations. I believe the date was 1987. I recognized the set as being the one the Cathedrals recorded a video at when Gerald was with them. So, I looked on You Tube and Dean says it was at PTL. I am sure it was the same set.

    What was strange is they credited the Inspirations as “Smokey Mountain Reunion”. Now, I understand why, I suppose, but disagree. I have not followed the Inspirations, and have only heard things in passing. But here is how I think it is. I believe the bass is still with the Inspirations, right? Archie is not. The pianist is not. I am not sure if the lead and baritone in Smokey Mountain gospel are the same who were on a video from 23 years ago. Nonetheless, even if most of the members of that version of Inspirations are now Smokey Mountain Gospel, I think they should be credited as who they were then. The host could have mentioned what they are called now if he wants to help them. He adds little blurbs like that sometimes. Anyhow, to me that would sort of be like showing an old Kingdom Heirs video and calling it Triumphant.

  114. Robert York wrote:

    The news is out. New lead singer for Gold City is Graig West from Jasper, AL. His first date with the group is Dec. 30 in Villa Rica, GA

  115. Observer wrote:

    Really excited about the possibility of a “revamped” Greenes with Tim Greene and Amy Lambert. Interested to see who the baritone will be.

  116. DeeAnn Bailey wrote:

    Hope to see First Love and the ‘new/old’
    Greenes sometime soon. Will be seeing Craig with GC on 12/30.

  117. Wade wrote:

    Continue to pray for Gold City!!!

  118. pj. wrote:

    the knew GCQ 2011, brent mitchell on tenor,danny riley baritone,craig west on lead, and his brother chris west singing bass when tim calls it quits sometime in jan. where is garry jones when you need em? PRAY FOR GCQ

  119. weber wrote:

    It appears since the Keaton debacle, Blackwood has canned two or three more singers. As the dog that returneth to his own vomit…. is there any credibility left to the Blackwood name?

  120. Wade wrote:

    Matt… don’t be surprised if the latest GCQ Tenor is a transition figure. Even if for some reason he is not meant to be I do not believe his voice will hold up!!! AND that is NO SLAM… very few ppl can sing as high as a GCQ tenor has been asked to do!!!

    To me GCQ to me has become like the sibling or cousin you wished you could FIX cause they USED to be COOL!! But has fell on tough times.

  121. noninsider wrote:

    Will do Wade…

  122. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    No. 120: Definitely, let’s pray for Gold City, that they will regain the prominence in southern gospel that is rightly theirs as an A-list, talented and fascinating quartet.

    Also, let’s continue to pray that NBC won’t cancel “Mad About You,” that OJ Simpson will receive a full and fair trial, and that tight-rolled jeans will never go out of style.

    Wait, what decade is this again?

  123. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #119: Dale Evans and Chris West left the Blackwood Quartet of their own accord. They weren’t “canned,” as you put it. They’re working out the details on a bass, but they do have a new tenor. I actually got to see the group on the first night that Mike Helwig (Stamps, Williamsons, Torchmen) sang tenor with them, and he’s really good.

  124. LS wrote:


    What group is this? Michael sings tenor? I always thought of him as a lead or baritone.

    Any word yet on Melton Campbell’s whereabouts?

  125. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #124: It’s the Blackwood Quartet (Mark Blackwood’s group.) He has sung lead or baritone with other groups before, but he took the tenor spot with this group. I was very impressed with how he sounded; he has quite a range.

  126. rebew wrote:

    David Mann is also gone from the Mark Blackwood Quartet. This is a joke. I’ve always heard that Blackwood pays pretty decent, when he pays, so there must be some common denominator in nobody wanting to stay with him.

    Their Facebook page says that Helwig is singing lead, Blackwood baritone and a “soon to be announced tenor.” I saw this group once with the Evans/Mann/West combination and it was the strongest the quartet has ever sounded, with the exception of Mann needing to be on the lead part, rather than Blackwood. That was Blackwood’s best chance yet to do anything more than simply exist as a group and it only lasted for a few months.

    I hope all the other guys land somewhere reputable this time. They are voices gospel music desperately need.

  127. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #126: Just saw that last night. Mann stayed for several years, so it’s not as if his tenure with the group was a flash in the pan. You’ll see where Mann ends up shortly.

    I agree with your statement about the Evans/Mann/West combo; that was a great sound, and I hope they can maintain one now. Helwig being in the mix now is a good thing, because as I’ve said, he has an incredible range. I’m interested to see who the new tenor is.

    As far as the other guys landing somewhere reputable, Daniel Riley has basically said in a comment on Southern Gospel Blog that Chris West is being prepped to take over when Tim Riley retires. He’s already running sound, and apparently singing a couple times a night.

    I’m not sure where Dale Evans is, but I wish he’d end up with someone prominent. He’s one of the best tenors I’ve heard in recent memory.

  128. rebew wrote:

    #126: So you’re saying Mann is already with someone else? Could it be the Inspirations or Statement of Faith? I believe either group would benefit greatly from that. That could also suggest that Mann left willingly. Though the alternative wouldn’t be a surprise coming from the Blackwood camp.

    I guess I did hear that about Chris West. He’s an incredible bass singer and would fit perfectly with GC, especially with the new lineup.

    I haven’t heard anything from Dale Evans either. Hopefully, as you said, he will end up with something deserving of his talents.

  129. SGfan wrote:

    Jon Epley is the new baritone for The Inspirations. I saw their new line up this weekend for the first time. Sounds good.
    Does anyone know if Melton is going to be with another group?

  130. Truth wrote:

    Doesn anyone know what happened to Bruce?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.