Open thread

Some writing projects and Other Stuff That Has Gotten Out of Hand will require a brief hiatus. Accordingly, here’s a long overdue open thread (justafan, here’s your opening). A few items that have piled up for a while:

  • Closer to home, David Bruce Murray proposes to eliminate (sort of) the southern gospel table project.
  • It’s a few weeks (ok, more than that) old, but over at the forums, there’s an interesting thread going about group finances and how much rank and file singing grunts employees ought to know about the economic stability of an outfit while/before going to work for it (again, h/t, NG).

Finally, a week or so ago, I heard a big whoop and holler from the recesses of the interns’ cellar. I was concerned, of course, naturally, but in the end it was not actually the beginnings of a hostile work stoppage and instead turned out to signal the celebrated arrival of a trove of Goodman LPs from a Dear Friend of Avery. Here’s one of the consensus favorites:

Ok, just one more:

If you can see past the cloud of Aqua Net and avoid a collision with all those Feathered Bangs, the floor is yours.

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  1. JLL wrote:

    I have that “99/100″ LP. Some of the earlier Happy Goodman LP’s have some hilarious artwork!

  2. Scott wrote:

    My favorite one is “refreshing” where they’re having a picnic in the snow with kentucky friend chicken and tab….

  3. Tom Gervat wrote:

    Back before recordings were “projects”, when liner notes meant something, when album graphics were fun instead of self-concious “personal statements” - there were great innovative pioneers, like Bob MacKenzie of Heartwarming and a wonderful man by the name of Marvin Norcross, who some of you remember -whose
    early Canaan LPs had the most glorious artwork along with great songs. Maybe someday when everyone is bored to tears with the status-quo, all of that will come around again & the simplicity and sheer joy of the Gospel will come shining through for yet another generation.

  4. Bryant Jones wrote:

    I was wondering what was causing the strain on Gerald’s voice. I could really notice it on the “Welcome Back” project. His voice really sounded “old” on “Without Jesus”, imho.

  5. joe wrote:

    I was always curious: Exactly what does “99 44/100%” mean? I’ve never understood why it was an album title. Can anyone enlighten me?

  6. irishlad wrote:

    I remember talking to GW quite a few years back and he was having “issues” with his voice then. He told me he was subconciously using a different range when speaking to singing which was posing a strain on his vocal cords,this i believe was rectified without surgery,but at the time there were all sorts of crazy rumours floating round about the imagined state of his vocal cords ranging from the benign it’s just a throat infection to the more sinister the poor blighter’s only three weeks to live…somethings never change.

  7. scott wrote:

    I would imagine that it’s because of Tanya, being a neice/daughter and all and not a brother or sister of the boys.

  8. JM wrote:

    #5 - Joe / I believe it’s a rederence to the old Ivory Soap commercials. The tag line on the commercial campaign suggested that Ivory Soap was “99 and 44/100% pure.” It must have served their purposes pretty well, because I believe Ivory Soap was a very predominate brand product in the 50’s and 60’s. Excuse me for showing my age!

  9. JM wrote:


    I meant reference, not rederence. Too quick on the send button this morning. My bad.

  10. Mr. BIg wrote:

    I’ve heard rumors that when Ronnie Milsap recorded “Pure Love” he gave some consideration to changing the lyric to “99 and 11/25ths percent pure love” but at the last minute went with the Ivory original.

  11. JD wrote:

    I have Chosen. Some good songs,. “look For Me” has become a tradition at the closing of any of our family members funerals. Miss ole Rusty, had some great conversations. Well, I guess when you come down to it I miss them all. All were entirely different people but were good friends. Wish God had come up with some other way of getting rid of us….death is a train wreck. I have reached the age that it seems like I miss a lot of people anymore.

  12. Observor wrote:

    Is it just me or is there an announcement of the formation of a new Southern Gospel group at least twice every day. It is really getting out of hand. I can no longer keep up… I guess everybody is a karaoke singer…

  13. Ode wrote:

    3,falling for “good ol’days” delusion,Tom, ha? :) Bet if I live, 55 years from now,I am croaking : “back in the begin. of the century in early 2000’s music was great,and now you kids…”

    Modern songs aren’t worse; just as today, there was plenty of dreck as well as some masterpieces being made. And yes,old vinyl covers were excellent. My much older siblings didn’t accept any other wall art then posters of albums

    Now “glorious artwork” esp in SG is harder to achieve, because canvas shrunk, but artists’commodious butts -extra chins-egos-addiction to posting the entire bodyshot on the cover have, on average, expanded.

    Rules of harmony in art, just as in music, can’t be circumvented. One can crowd 4.9 sq inch of space with only so much abundant human flesh, before you turn potential photo gem into kitsch. Add to this deliberate posing and starring straight into the camera(a big no for quality artistic photography) and the resulting cd cover has all the artistry of a driver’s license.

    But as with songs, there are some awful and some GREAT cd covers.

  14. Ode wrote:

    6, Irishlad, LOL, you so right.But dear Gerald ,I bet, remembers that in showbiz “the only bad publicity is no publicity at all”

    Shyster promoters should be fueling this trick with exaggerating every suspicious sneeze an artist makes. Drama and gossip is the “love language” of a typical fan

  15. quartet-man wrote:

    “I was always curious: Exactly what does “99 44/100%” mean? ”

    It means it is .56% less than 100%. ;)
    In the Goodman’s case, one of them had a blood transfusion and that took the percentage down. ;)

  16. Alan wrote:

    Joe - As JM stated, it was a spin on the Ivory soap ads that caused the Goodmans to use that title. But, added to that was that when they wore those white tuxes and the ladies wore coordinating white gowns, some friends told them they looked like bars of Ivory soap standing in the lights. Both of those LP’s had some amazing music on them. Some won’t agree, but the Happy Goodmans created a magic that may never be realized again.

  17. irishlad wrote:

    Hi Ode,our long distance love affair still on track then ?xx :)

  18. irishlad wrote:

    CVH, if you’re on Fb send me a friend’s request to Philip Elwood (not Phil Elwood), i’d look forward to that.

  19. irishlad wrote:

    Last night a friend of mine pulled out a DVD re-release of a 1985 film called “The Trip to Bountiful” i’d never seen it before,never even heard of it,but what caught my attention was the opening song Softly and Tenderly sung by someone whose voice i knew but couldn’t place..right through the film i was convinced it was Kim Hopper although a few things niggled me that it couldnt’ve been her(’85 still with the Greenes and relatively unknown for one)….well after a fidgety wait whilst fighting the urge to google it i found out it was none other than Cyintha Clawson! I must say she sounded really good.

  20. Gospel Has Been wrote:

    I noticed a picture of The Inspirations in the Singing News and Milton Campbell is gone. Anybody know how long he has been gone and whats up with that?

  21. gina wrote:

    Melton Campbell left the Inspirations in December of 2010 and Jon Epley joined at that time. As for the “what’s up with that?”, I will leave that for someone else to answer.

  22. joe wrote:

    19 irishlad, “The Trip to Bountiful” was indeed a wonderful movie. In fact, Geraldine Page took home the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in it. Cynthia Clawson’s haunting version of Softly and Tenderly from the film has stayed with me to this day. Beautiful.

  23. irishlad wrote:

    Hate to boast(golfers won’t mind)but..first there was McDowell then there was McIlroy and now there’s Darren Clarke what a hat trick! Hip hip hooray X 3. ;)

  24. NG wrote:

    #23 London Times story says part of the success of the Northern Irish golfers is the quality of the courses in both the North and South. This year no Canadian golfer qualified for the open. I could blame the winter weather but then again many of our best ones play in the U.S. south in the winter. Oh well, we can still beat you at ice hockey and probably lacrosse.

  25. irishlad wrote:

    NG,i don’t know if i mentioned this or not,but, my one and only older brother Harry has lived in Srucre Grove Alberta for the past 33yrs, his son Mark is a police officer in Alberta Beach, married with 2 lovely girls annd well settled in so, it’s a small world really isn’t it?

  26. NG wrote:

    Irishlad: Not that small. I’m about 3,500 miles from Belfast and 2,050 from Spruce Grove.

  27. irishlad wrote:

    How can one of the top ten bass singers(in my opinion)out there be out of a job? Who?.. Burman Porter :(

  28. Tony Watson wrote:

    irishlad . . . keep in mind there is MUCH more to this world of southern gospel than what you sound like on the stage. There have been many talented singers over the years that sounded great on stage but, for one reason or another, just don’t “make it” in a group for an extended period. Some by their own choice and some by their own choices

  29. irishlad wrote:

    28 Yes Tony,i agree.

  30. irishlad wrote:

    28 Yea Tony,i know Burman didn’t stay very long with any groups he ever sang with,however he definitely is one of the more talented basses out there…shame really.I loved him on Gaither singing “Get Away Jordan” with the Dove Bros Qt..that was an electrifying performance, much more intense and believable than EH&SS.

  31. Ode wrote:

    16, yes,magnificent stage presence, based on the videos I saw. Powerfull stuff.She also used to dress very elegantly.

  32. Gospel Has Been wrote:

    # 21 Thanks Gina. I didnt mean anything by my question it is just I always thought he was a good fit there and would be there for a long time.

  33. Ode wrote:

    17,lol,Sure! What, have we already done something to kill it dead, like married each other?

    There is a small detail thou,Ilad.. Since Avery been declared the King his newly staffed Cabinet, contrary to his Majesty’s wishes,attempts to, no pun, straighten him and quell rumors, rationalizing that “a married man stops chasing women and engages in classical gay behaivor like shopping for nice furniture and carefully choosing drywall paint colors. Currently an odd eyesore for elderly constituents,when married, Avery will appear just average..”

    Chief of staff CVH and especially PastorGeneral SoliDeoGloria are very insistent.Latenight interns often hear HenryII-like screams: “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?!”

    So SG’s Atraxerxes summoned maidens,all rose of cheek and unmarred by great widening of hindquarters, so endemic to dames of the southern US region. Avery’s interest in this, using stylish SG word, “project”, is equal to null, so its stalled for now.

    But in case I win-if no gorgeous southern belles kick me out of the race- we’ll have to respect the sanctity, honor,etc. of the marriage in the best tradition of modern Christian “piety” - go discreet ;)

  34. Ode wrote:

    32,oh, “Get away Jordan”! Love it. what a pretty song, excellent dance piece. Slightly messed up lyrics, geographical and theological errors ( Jordan is neither “wide nor deep, ahh.. forget it, who cares. Artistic license ;)

    Lovely song, indeed.

  35. irishlad wrote:

    33..Let’s stay single, i’d hate to see your “hindquarters widen” :D

  36. irishlad wrote:

    Just heard that Ray Burdett has passed on.

  37. CVH wrote:

    33, Ode: Chief of Staff? Excellent. It is a pleasure to serve. Discretion is my middle name.

  38. BUICK wrote:

    Ode (#34), methinks you missed the point of the song. It is not the literal and geographical Jordan of which they sang. The metaphorical and eschatological Jordan is quite deep and wide (it has been called “a great gulf”. But it’s OK: we won’t have to cross it alone.

  39. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    ‘”PastorGeneral’ sounds like the leader of some horrible theocracy,” he said while Derek Webb’s King and a Kingdom played on his iPod in the background.

  40. Ron F wrote:

    Russ Taff and Ce Ce Winan are bringing Southern Gospel Music to the Casinos in Mississippi.

  41. Ode wrote:

    35amen! even some escape that fate-my mom is still euro-size 36, after 46 years in the business :D

    Rather warn me not to join (clinical branch of) SB and their invertebrate culture of sublimating everything into food. If I replace my evening glass of wine with a donut, church dance class with all-you-can-eat “prayer breakfasts”, and thought provoking music with religiously sounding mental bubblegum…. sizable butt, meet your new owner, in no time.

  42. Ode wrote:

    39, growing up in a ,passable for democratic, theocracy I am terrified of misguided, good-intentions-filled conservative souls that wish to establish one of a Christian stripe in USA, as, pardon for the dirty word, “media” provides evidence daily.

    But with progressive deep thinkers like you, CVH, the rest of handpicked Cabinet, and already unionized highly liberal interns, it’s not a real threat for Avery’s Kingdom…
    Appreciate mentioning the new(to me) song.

  43. Ode wrote:

    38, o, thank you!
    Job hazard of IT, you start thinking in binary /reading all texts literally :D So they sing of crossing Yordan as in getting into heaven, symbolic of Luke’s “great gulf”.I ‘m still not very good with chistian metaphors.

    “Someday” is a musically very good song, too, to my taste

  44. Wade wrote:

    Ron F… you have to take it some place!!!

  45. Sam wrote:

    Does anyone know what Joy & Landy Gardner are doing since leaving Christ Church?

  46. Bones wrote:

    Some coments need to be edited.

  47. joe wrote:

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen CeCe Winan’s music classified as Southern Gospel. And Russ Taff is borderline at best. Nevertheless, I also found it intriguing that the casino is featuring a gospel act.

  48. irishlad wrote:

    Ha.. ‘PastorGeneral’ brought to mind that rocket from Florida Terry Jones he of the unfeasibley large moustache,really I ask you,how much egg can the human face contain?

  49. art wrote:

    #19 Irishlad: “Trip to Bountiful” remains one of my two favorite movies after all these years. “Tender Mercies” of that same era is the other. And yes, that song rendition was simply magnificent.

  50. ode wrote:

    46, Interns earn their upkeep by hard labor, and are currently busy vacuuming the royal bedroo… ,I mean, Avery’s coffin. They got no time to help atrocious abusers of English like you and I.

    Luckily,all readers here are gracious enough to not notice an occasional boner. But if you insist on editing - “comments” is spelled with two M.

  51. ode wrote:

    47, Those today are usually huge entertainment complexes billed as “casino,hotel and resort”, thus are family-friendly with separate performance venues, shopping malls, arcades and kids’ attractions.Christian bands sing in casinos, just saw a video of MercyMe in Vegas,outstanding.

    Oh, and extravagant Casino buffets, churches like holding events there, too,
    which reminds me an old joke about a sign on a synagogue : “Entry with your head uncovered is as big a sin as adultery” A handwritten addition made by someone with a pencil states “Not at all. I’ve tried both.Huge difference”

    -It can be reasonably argued that overindulgence and pleasing one’s flesh (-y gut) is a sin equal to gambling.. But I disagree ;)Christians that love eating themselves stupid get much more satisfaction and glorious, sweet sin for their dollar then those poor souls who throw that dollar away gambling.

  52. irishlad wrote:

    51..Hey Ode,fancy a trip to Vegas? Was there in ‘89 when i was 29,must say i had a ball…..i think i could summon the energy up for one more trip. ;)

  53. Bones wrote:

    Irish Lad, Ray Burdett did pass on.

  54. irishlad wrote:

    Yes Bones, and you were the only one to acknowledge the passing of a legendary bass singer…in between the bull i DO post relevant stuff,but one has to be awake !

  55. irishlad wrote:

    Anyone out there know what became of Dawyne Burke after he left the Singing Americans only to reappear again briefly in the mid nineties with a group called Jericho possibly?

  56. quartet-man wrote:

    #55 Laddie

  57. Bill Bailey wrote:

    Dwayne Burke is doing some solo work, along with his recording company endeavors. He recently made a guest appearance at our event in Marianna, FL. He actually did a nice job, and performed a very fitting patriotic tribute. My favorite recording that he was on is the “Live and Alive” album by the Singing Americans. That was the Americans at their best!

    It’s unfortunate that this version of the Goodmans from the “Chosen” record didn’t stick. There were so many great songs from this album that are still being sung today like “Look for Me” and “The Cloud He’s Coming Back on”.

    Has anyone heard Rusty’s song “Mizpah”? Absolutely incredible! I heard it on Enlighten and had to find it on Itunes.

  58. Tony Watson wrote:

    Irishlad - here is Dwayne’s website -

  59. irishlad wrote:

    Thanks Q-man & TW for’s a nice site plus an update on Harold Gilley to boot!

  60. Kevin wrote:

    Can anyone explain to me the “Rift” that is between the Kingdom Heirs and Triumphant. I know that most of Triumphant with the exception of the younger Inman sang or played with the Kingdom Heirs but why do they not like one another?

  61. lovelife wrote:

    Kevin, how do you know they don’t like each other….?

  62. NG wrote:

    Former US attorney-general John Ashcroft will be speaking and singing (backed by Greater Vision) at this year’s National Quartet Convention.

    In other political-religious news, the Onion is reporting this:,20981/

  63. crazyjoe wrote:

    #60-You need to ask Steve French. It’s pretty much a one-sided feud.

  64. Wade wrote:

    Going to see Gold City tonight at Lee College in Cleveland, Tn… Will have a full report a little later tonight!!!

  65. irishlad wrote:

    64 get that cd yet buddy?

  66. Ode wrote:

    52, ilad, didn’t mama tell you not to play with fire? What she meant was “don’t flirt with hebrew girls!watch up boy, she’ll chew you up”

    :D On serious note-yes,sounds fun.You r only 6 years older then my brother- an absolute “ball of energy”. I don’t do entertainment travel alone, so will ask girlfriends, we do travel a lot. None of us gambles, if you do, unless there is someone in your party that does, we can keep you company at the tables, in exchange for going dancing :)

    - irish dont mind, right? Just thought of your compatriot’s “Moondance”. My mother plays an excellent piano cover of it ,very zesty and passionate for a mellow girl she is.. if only occasionally now (arthritis)

    Sorry for degressing, Avery.When your hiatus is too long the place slips into travel plans and gossip why artists hate each other ;)

  67. Ode wrote:

    54,( yawning) awake! how about alive? Lots of SG fans talk, think and post as if they been dead for 3 months.

    But,so am I right now.That job has been a killer. Worn out like a SG bass singer’s mattress(to make posts relevant to SG’s scandals;)

  68. irishlad wrote:

    67 Ha ha Ode funny one about the Sg bass’ appears that their vocal cords aren’t the only organs they put to fiendishly devastating use. :/

  69. Wade wrote:

    Went to see Gold City Thursday Night as part of Steve Hurst Singing School at Lee College in Cleveland!!!

    Before they came on I was please to see Channing Eleton playing a few numbers and was interrupted by Andrew Ishee, who has never met a camera or stage he did not try to mug for jump on any way he could. After being literally run off the stage he jumped on another piano to get in the way attempting for whatever reason to play the bass line. It was very irritating. But Channings Class out shined The Clown!!!

    Steve Hurst came out to introduce Gold City and had one of a million stories of how he COULDA SANG with Gold City!! I swear there must be 1000 ppl I have heard tell stories about how THEY could have went with Gold City if they wanted, but bless his heart it was the 20th year of his school and I guess if you do 20 years of SOMETHING and it is your school students you can be really long winded on your introduction!!! … FINALLY Gold City hit the Stage…

    They opened with SING ME A GOOD OLE GOSPEL SONG!

    Sorry but I am not a Nerd Reviewer who is gonna give you their complete run down song by song… but will tell you my takes on what I remember observing and hearing.

    To put in to some context also know I just finished my Summer Daddy Duty and while I live in Chattanooga my son lives in Nebraska with his rich Mommy and I am always a little blue because I miss him so much after he leaves…he LOVES going with me to SGM CONCERTS, so it does not take much to get me to cry and they got me 3 times during this night!!!

    You must also know that Tim Riley is a HUGE HERO to me. While I make a living with my voice and can do a pretty good JD Sumner plan landing, Tim is still so incredibly Gifted with his Vocal abilities but truly a CLASS ACT we could all earn something from.

    They sang a mix of hits from past to present!!! Of Course, Cast My Bread Up on the Water!!! Did good and got me the first time with the tears just hearing Tim do his line on the end of the 2nd Verse.

    I have been very critical of Daniel here in the past and rightfully so I still feel, but I have to give him some major props this night!! The first time I saw/heard Daniel sing was a live project he did her in Chattanooga when he sang with Tony Gore and I remember thinking that night was WOW the Kid can actually sing!!! The THEME this night was Daniel was in the VERY 1st Class of Steve Hurst School and it was mentioned SEVERAL times.

    But while Daniel was clearly not feeling 100%, he even called it the CRUD… boy can I feel his pain, but while he did slide off a few things most ppl would never have noticed and come on folks you know how difficult it is to NAIL EVERYTHING EVERYNIGHT but he fought through it like a trooper.

    I was MOST impressed with his MC work!!! While the themes were familiar the comments and stories were a FRESH perspective of what his Dad had taught him.

    They stopped about half way through their set & introduced Dad Keeton as he sang…OH WHAT A SAVIOR!! — REALLY???? Ernie made the song his own, I’d still rather hear Brian Free do it because he does it really better than any one who has covered it including IMO Rosie himself. Dan did it and it was fairly technically correct ( he did slide around LOOKING a couple of times but find another song Dan. They did this song RAW with no tracks which was ADMIRABLE!!!…but come on.

    While Dan is better than the last 3 guys, more suited and a better chance of making it than Brent and I am sure not near the diva Josh was or just plain better that the Cooper Kid. But he is still not a GOLD CITY TENOR!! He blended well but never really SKYED not even once unless you count sliding in to a falsetto on OH WHAT A SAVIOR!!! He did ok on GOD BUILDING A CHURCH but SOOOO???!?!?!

    But hey the Oaks had Willie Wynn an ALL TIME Great before they Hired Joe and the Oaks did ok!!! ;-)) I would still like to hear Willie sing Elvira and Joe to TOP on King Jesus, I KNOW or any other song he would SKY ON!!

    Isn’t Joe Bonsall the lowest tenor singer who really made DUE and is really nothing more than a HIGH Lead Singer to me. ANY WAY…

    Craig West is as Good as any lead singer jumping on a bus and sure is not lacking, or guess I am trying to say, Ivan does not have anything on Craig!! His Mid Night Cry is better than the last 3 times I have seen Ivan. Got me to tears for the 2nd time.

    They all LOOKED good it appears Daniel & Dan both have lost some lbs.

    Tim was in his GREAT form as always and anytime he wanted to remind every one he was the man he would grab the mic & drop an Octave… his UNDER CONTROL got me to tears the 3nd time

    Overall it was REALLY GOOD to see them and it is always Great to see my HERO!!

    They are going to be here again August 13 (you know that promoter is THRILLED) and will try to make it to see them again!!!

    Thanks Tim for coming back and being the class ROCK the guys needed to HOLD it all together!!! My you continue to be in GREAT HEALTH!!!

    Irish Lad the post office notified me their was a package waiting for me from Customs…. what was / is in it????

  70. Wade wrote:

    Sorry for all the typos it was LATE but wanted to get it down… Hope you can interpret the CODE and understand what I was saying.

  71. quartet-man wrote:

    Wade, Joe once compared himself to Jim Hill in that he would have his veins popping in his neck while hitting a G or Ab, but gave it everything he had. I prefer Joe to Willie. Now, Willie’s voice is clear and higher, but I think Joe gives them a more modern sound. Granted on the really high gospel stuff, Bonsall was a bit lacking, but I still prefer him and his sound.

  72. irishlad wrote:

    Wade it was the cd of Irish songs from the live album of the High Kings…remember??

  73. DMP wrote:

    I think this is the first Gaither album in a long time that I won’t be buying. It just leaves me confused…

  74. Wade wrote:

    Has anybody been over to the bogus and checked out WHY LOOK AT SONG TITLES thread and the serious entitlement issues this joker has??? Unbelievable!!!

  75. Wade wrote:

    Q-Man… I agree with you whole heartedly but I have often wondered what some of the songs the Oaks did while country would have sounded like with Willie Wynn and not Joe!!!

  76. quartet-man wrote:

    #75 Wade, Willie did sing Baptism of Jesse Taylor and a few from the Columbia sessions live and some on the recording. Willie did secular stuff with the Tennesseans and Sweetwater too. I think though his voice is better suited for gospel though as is Jimmy Fortune’s to a lesser degree.

  77. Wade wrote:

    Thanks Q-Man I will have to track that down… The Oaks made Gospel Music Cool while the Goodmans did to it what the Right Wing Christians are doing to the Republican Party… made it no fun & very judgmental!!!

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