Booth Brothers Essential 25: Nominations

This post commences a new series, inspired by and discussed in our Southern Gospel 101 posts. The Essential 25 is a group-by-group series of the 25 YouTube videos we would choose to introduce someone to a group.

As we discussed in the SG 101 comments, videos on YouTube are both a plus and a minus for a group. On the positive side, there is publicity; YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, second only to Google (its parent company) and larger than Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask. But on the negative side, whether the footage is ripped from a DVD or taken from a live concert performance, it can be in violation of copyright laws (unless necessary permissions are secured) and can detract from artist sales.

For that reason, with the possible exception of long-retired groups, this series will only feature artists whom has contacted and who have sanctioned the idea.

Let’s start with the Booth Brothers.

Daniel: Are you comfortable with fans posting handheld camera live concert videos?

Michael Booth: As a fan I love YouTube clips of songs. I have spent hours on Michael English, Elvis, Blackwood Brothers, Gold City, and on and on and on.Β Concerning hand held recorders: As an artist, I’m uncomfortable for one reason. It may be a bad night…and once it’s out it’s out.

Daniel: Are you comfortable with this list including songs posted from your professionally produced videos? And does it make a difference if it’s current or out of print?

Michael Booth: At this point I don’t think video sales have been affected by ripping segments from a video. But I’m sure at some point and to some degree it will and has.Β I don’t mind at all having segments of our videos used by you.Β As far as YouTube clips having value of exposure, I think they do.

I doubt you will find 25 good clips!!

Daniel: Thank you!

While we appreciate his humility, naturally, I wouldn’t have selected the Booth Brothers to kick the series off unless I was confident that there are at least 25 good ones out there.

Since, for this particular entry, we have clearance to link to both live concert videos and the polished, professional DVDs, I’m aiming for a ratio of half and half, or perhaps 2/3 professional and 1/3 amateur.

Which videos would you include?

UPDATE (3/22/11): You’ve nominated, you’ve voted, and now, the results are in!

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65 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. As I said in the previous list, they pretty much “stole the show” here. This is the song and performance that introduce me to the group. Although technically not the original group, this is the first many heard.
    Still Feelin’ Fine

    It’s also fun to see the other artists getting into this performance and see Michael mug into the camera.

    I haven’t seen every performance of this song, but it deserves to be included here:

    Tears are a Language

    This song deserves inclusion too:

    Look For Me At Jesus’ Feet

    Of course any list of theirs has to include this one:

    He Saw It All

  2. This is a good one too:

    Thank Him For the Miracle

  3. Humph. From Michael Booth’s mouth himself.

    Well, but you never know. I mean yes, professional DVD rips haven’t caused significant damage to the Booth Brothers according to Michael himself, but posting something from an OOP Cathedrals VHS? WHO KNOWS?? <—sarcasm


    • You’re trying to get in trouble, aren’t you? πŸ˜€

      • I never get in any real trouble because I use lots πŸ™‚ of πŸ™‚ emoticons. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

      • :D, I understand and agree to a large degree. (Gosh, I am a poet). But, Daniel is trying to honor the owners of said material. So, even though we think it is fine and not harmful, I also understand and agree to a large degree that the owners should have some say whether we think it is harmful or not.

      • That’s fine. But it’s the OOP stuff I’m really pulling the Den Meister’s leg over. πŸ˜‰

        Hey, we haven’t heard from Gerald yet. Oh boy… πŸ˜€

      • I understand, and yet they are still owned by someone and perhaps they desire to re-release them to DVD someday. (Wouldn’t that be great!!!) I know I should have used a question mark inside the parenthesis, but I am excited!!! πŸ˜€

      • Exactly – even OOP material is still owned by someone – though evidently someone who doesn’t see ongoing commercial value in it!

  4. Okay, well one handheld video that I think should be included here INSTEAD of the pro one is “His Grace is Sufficient,” because I haven’t been able to find the pro vid with the acapella encore on Youtube:

    • Thanks for posting my clip! Man, I haven’t watched it in over a year… it’s actually a lot better than I remembered it. lol. The acapella encore really makes it πŸ˜‰

      • I know. They also did the acapella encore on An Evening With, but that video was posted on Youtube with the encore left off. πŸ™

  5. Boy, you couldn’t have picked a better topic to lure me out of lurkerdom. The best introduction anyone could have to the Booths are cuts from the Gaither videos “Live From Toronto” (“Testify” and “He Saw It All” ) and “Canadian Homecoming” (“Through It all” ), but Youtube is crammed full of good BB videos. Here are a few of my favorites:

    A cover of “Where No One Stands Alone” – not original to the Booths by any means, but one of the best versions I’ve ever heard:

    And one of my favorite Youtubes of “Over The Moon” from the 2007 GOGR:

    And “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus” from a concert in Norway:

    And a double-header from Norway (in fact, I wish I had a DVD of all those Norway videos) – “Castles In The Seashore” and “Livin’ For The Moment”:

    I might be the only one to consider these essential Booth Brother videos, but they’re some of the ones I go to time and time again.

    I’ll leave y’all with one that’s not exactly a must-have, but does provide a glimpse into a past version of the Booth Brothers version, and gives a sneak peek into the next generation:

    Thanks! This was fun!

    • >>I’ll leave y’all with one that’s not exactly a must-have, but does provide a glimpse into a past version of the Booth Brothers version…<<

      Take out that last 'version' and you'll have what I intended to say. Now you know why I stay in lurker mode!

      • …And it’s “Castles in the SAND”, not “Castles on the Seashore”. This is what I get for trying to do this while multitasking at work. NOT a good idea.

      • Hey, you’ll get better at it with time. Take my word for it! πŸ™‚

    • Melissa – very cool, and thank you!

      • Thank you, Daniel! You’ll see me again if it looks like you won’t reach that Magic 25. I have a whole Favorites list of BB Youtubes on my laptop at home. πŸ™‚

      • Thanks!

        I am sure we’ll reach 25, but still I’d love to receive as many submissions as possible. The more we see/find, the better the final list!

  6. Well, in that case…:D

    Here’s some from the Booth Brothers “Declaration” CD!

    “I See Grace” from the Mexican Riviera cruise in November 2010:

    And a few concert clips from Mobile, Alabama, earlier this year:

    “In Christ Alone”

    “Then I Met The Master”

    And “All Over The World”, preceded by “Crown Him King/He’s My King”, the acapella number from “Jubilee 2”:

    And from a concert in California last year, “God Did It All”:

    And to close it out, here’s “We Believe”, from an unidentified venue:

    My own personal thanks to the wonderful folks who made the effort to catch these performances on video and took the time to post them to Youtube. You guys ROCK!


    Haven of Rest from back in the early years w/ Ron Sr.

    • Oh, I LOVE that one. Forgot about that. πŸ˜›

  8. I always come up late in these polls.:) But, my all time, uncontested favorite of the Booth Brothers has to be “He Saw it All.” Actually, anything these guys chooses to do suits me fine. I’ve heard qauartets, duos, and trios that may have as good a harmony as they have, but definitely none better.

    • “He Saw It All” did it for me as well. I heard a local soloist sing it at a gospel singing, did a Youtube search, heard those beautiful Booth Brothers harmonies, and was hooked for life. For me, Ronnie’s The Man, but they’re all pretty awesome. For instance…

      Ronnie singing one of his best, “What Salvation’s Done For Me”

      My favorite Jim Brady-penned song for all time, “Stand”, beautifully performed, with special appearance by the Crists:

      Michael is known for his ability to bring real emotion to his solos, but he does up-beat very well, too, as evidenced by my favorite Michael song, a cover of the Imperials’ “Sail On”:

      Sorry, Daniel, I didn’t mean to high-jack your blog. I just love these guys so much, I’ll take any opportunity to spread the word on how great they are!

  9. Welcome to the Family

    wasn’t Welcome to the Family a pretty big hit for them? Or am I mistaken?

    • If I recall correctly, it went #1 for the Booths, and was also Jim Brady’s first #1 song as a writer.

  10. All right, here are some more I thought of:

    “Beyond the Cross”

    “All of Me”

    “I’m Feeling Fine”

    “Look For Me At Jesus’ Feet”

    “The Secret Place”

    “River Keeps a’ Rollin”

    “I’m Going Back” (for some reason, this has the end of an L5 song at the beginning)

    “Love Was In the Room” (great performance)

    “If We Never Meet Again”

    “Blow Your Trumpet”

    “Under God”

  11. this is an excellent version of Castles in the Sand:

  12. Love this one

    He Came TO Me from Live at Oaktree

    • I wish someone would upload “Crucified With Christ” from Live At Oaktree. It’s my favorite Jim Brady song that’s not self-penned.

  13. One final offering, and then I’ll head back to my cave. πŸ™‚

    A perennial concert favorite, “Trading This Old Cross”:

    This one is sort of cheating, since you see a lot of the Dixie Echoes too, but it really shows how well the Booths can handle traditional gospel as well as they do the progressive stuff — “I’ve Been Changed” from the 2007 GOGR:

    But they’re still fun to watch doing the more modern stuff, especially after Michael does his stuff — “I’m Forgiven”:

    (Personal note here: In his younger, more secular days, Ronnie Booth must have been something else on a dance floor. Ahem, back to the business at hand…)

    More acapella Booth Brothers, in this hymn medley:

    And as a bonus, not as a serious suggestion for inclusion in the Top 25, is some more Michael Booth humor, this time unintentional. It’s yet another version of “He Saw It All”, and the picture isn’t all that great, but it’s worth hanging in there:

    Thanks so much for giving me a reason to revisit some of my favorite videos; they remind me why I like this group so much. I’ve enjoyed this immensely!

    And how can you talk about

    • Oops, sorry. I didn’t even know that last bit was there. Amy, I appreciate your earlier encouragement, but I’m afraid with this blog stuff, I’m past praying for!

      • Melissa – no need to worry!

        If someone has something valuable to say, the community here is happy to overlook typos and assorted mistakes having to do simply with unfamiliarity with the blog format!

  14. This IMO is a “must include”. I feel this is Michael Booth’s best live performance (his verses) of any song he has been featured on (including “Look For Me”); he just puts so much passion into this song that it is infectious, and never fails to give me goosebumps!

    “The Night Before Easter”

    This is from a live video shot in 2005. It starts with the chorus of “Beyond The Cross”.

  15. Thanks, Nate, Naomi, Melissa, NSGFYGG, and everyone else who has posted links!

    With the SN Fan Awards nominations coming out this week, the week looks to be too full to fit the final post in and give it the full day it deserves. So unless absolutely nothing happens or comes up today, and I can fit it tomorrow, I’m inclined to leave nominations in over the weekend.

    Hmm . . . thinking further, if I can pull off a poll, would there be interest in voting here?

    • I wouldn’t mind a poll to choose the Top 25, but I think I’d prefer that they be ranked at random, rather than No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, etc. Sure as shooting, someone’s favorite song would end up ranked at the bottom of the list, and you’d end up with one or more Very Unhappy Campers. On the other hand, if the videos *were* going to be ranked, one of the versions of “In Christ Alone” would deserve to be way high on that list. I just watched the video Hannah uploaded, and I was struck once more with how unbelievably beautifully the Booths perform it. This song is fast beginning to rival “He Saw It All” as my favorite Booth Brothers song ever!

    • I don’t know exactly how you’d pull off a poll with this big of a pool. It’s different when you’re trying to narrow it down to a top five or something.

  16. I have to say this about the Booth Brothers, they can do the laid back country stuff as well as anyone. However, they also can cook on songs like Still Feelin’ Fine. Now the latter is more accented (and one of my very favorites), but might be an exception to what I am saying (by design) or at least a little less so. That is, they keep their trademark, smooth harmonies intact in most every style (and don’t intentionally I think on songs like “Still Feelin’ Fine”). They do the soft, smooth stuff well, and then can do some power harmonies and still maintain the blend and smooth vocals. They remind me a great deal of the Gatlins. That is not because they are a trio as trios like Greater Vision and the former Mark Trammell trio for instance didn’t remind me of the Gatlins at all.

    I tried to at least spot check the songs I am not familiar with, and at least some of the different versions of the same song. Other ones I discovered I heard before after starting them (I didn’t always know the titles). However, though there are a few that might have presented a slight challenge to the 5 I brought to the table, I chose those 5. Not only are they my favorites, but I think they show at least some of the different styles that they are capable of.

    With that said, I didn’t watch all of the versions of “He Saw It All” / “Blind Man”. I chose the one I brought because the Gaither ones are usually quality. I cannot say if one of the others had better performances or not. I did watch the one with the humor though.

    • What amazes me about these guys is that no matter who is singing the lead, who is singing tenor, and who is singing baritone, when the harmonies come together, they still sound like the Booth Brothers. All three of them can–and have–sung any given part at any given time, apparently without giving it a second thought and without losing that unique blend. A lot of people don’t realize that when the two Booth brothers were starting out with their father, it was Michael who originally sang baritone. And judging from the Timeline re-releases the BB brought out a few years ago, he did it very well indeed!

      • I think myself that it’s a “whole greater than the sum of the parts” case. And by saying that I don’t mean to downplay the individual talent of any member in the slightest. It’s just that it seems like there’s a special something about the blend when they’re all together that you might not quite expect just listening to each voice separately.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more. You’ve mentioned elsewhere that Jim and Ronnie seem to blend together better than Ronnie and Michael, and I occasionally have to pay careful attention so as to be sure just who is singing what part. (I wonder how many people realize that it’s Ronnie singing the first verse of “I Still Believe In The Church” from the “Declaration” CD; maybe it’s just my not-always-dependable ear, but on that song, he sounds rather eerily like Jim — albeit a bit on the restrained side — especially considering that it is definitely not Ronnie’s usual style of singing.) And it’s not just the blend that sets them apart; that video you submitted of “His Grace Is Sufficient” (which I, for some reason, had not come across before) just blew me away, because their note-to-note timing was significally different from the recorded version, yet they were in perfect sync with each other. Wow. You know, all three singers have the talent to go solo, and I think both Jim and Michael could go with other groups singing their relative parts. (Jim, in fact, could easily sing either lead or baritone in another group, but I think with Ronnie, it would have to be solo or nothing; his voice is just too distinctive to be easily integrated into an already established vocal group.) However, I don’t believe any of them would ever find a blend elsewhere that would come close to equalling what they have now, much less surpassing it. A true, honest-to-gosh, once-in-a-lifetime combination of absolutely distinct yet compatable voices just doesn’t happen every day.

        (I feel like I ought to apologize for the length of my responses; I just never have been able to get my mind around the concept that ‘less is more’, so what you’ll always get from me is ‘more is more’. Sorry ’bout that!)

      • No problem. πŸ™‚

        I think myself that Jim and Ronnie could have fine solo careers, but Michael sort of belongs in a group. His tenor is perfect for trio or quartet singing, but all by itself it feels a little thin. He’s the thick layer of frosting on top that makes the cake everything it needs to be, but just the frosting won’t work without cake underneath it.

      • Melissa, great posts. BTW, I’m always a man of few words. πŸ˜‰

        YGG, I know lots of people who like just the frosting. :p

  17. I wish I’d known we could submit hymns, because I have yet to find a more perfect version of “Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus”:

    • Did I say you couldn’t, anywhere?

      • Say what, Daniel?

      • Say that we couldn’t submit hymns. Daniel didn’t expressly say we couldn’t, but I think I assumed that we were supposed to look for songs that weren’t. Later I saw the hymn medley and thought, “Oh [EDIT]!”

      • You spoiled it for me, YGG. I was going to have him answer that “you can’t post hymns here” and then I was going to say “you just did”. πŸ˜›

      • Aw, sorry about that. πŸ˜›

      • As well you should be. I had it set up real nicely. πŸ˜›

      • For pentance, I want you to type (not copy and paste) “Danny Funderburk and David Phelps are awesome tenors” 50 times. πŸ˜€

      • LOL!

        Well, actually, I will concede that David Phelps is a fantastic talent. He has a great voice, I just don’t like the way he uses it much of the time.

      • * Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been Catholic. πŸ˜›

      • In what way, YGG? Style? Attitude? Material? Technic?

      • Me either, though I would consider myself something of an Anglican. Actually though, I’m sort of a bad Anglican.

        Tell you what I am, I’m a High-Church Baptist. πŸ˜€

      • Yes, yes, yes, and yes.


        Actually, material-wise, he sang great stuff with the GVB of course. But his solo stuff is a major thumbs-down.

        I enjoy it when he gets down to business and just belts something out straight-forwardly. Take his Christmas performance of “O Holy Night” for example. That’s what I’m talking about. But the gestures, the affectations, the extra breaths and squeaks, I can’t get into all of that.

      • I agree that a lot of the GVB stuff is great. Some of the Homecoming stuff he did was great. I couldn’t really get into his solo material either (the stuff I heard).

        I think we are closer to the same opinions that we thought. I agree too when he gets down to it.
        The ” gestures, the affectations, the extra breaths and squeaks” aren’t usually (if ever) to my liking either. I think I can get past them easier than you because he is so talented. As time went on he got a bit more showy than my taste, but that might just be his way of communicating or changing things up to keep from getting bored stiff doing the same thing all of the time.

      • I’ve said before that even though innately David may be more gifted than, say, Wes Hampton, I prefer to watch and listen to Wes because his style is much more focused and less distracting. I don’t mean to say that David isn’t sincere at heart, but when he’s performing, he tends to look rather…mmmmm, pleased with himself, I guess? But Wes has that blue-eyed earnestness about him that could never for even a moment come off as egotistical. And vocally, he doesn’t add nearly as many frills (from what I’ve heard).

      • Of course, neither of us knows what is going through David’s mind or what his attitude is. I acknowledge that it comes across showy at times, but that might just be him really getting into and conveying the message with as much conviction as he can. Wes, does certainly come across as a “sweetheart” as Bill calls him (that is tough for me to say about another guy πŸ˜€ ). He still also seems to feel like he is blessed to be there and doesn’t belong there (sort of like a kid with his hand in a cookie jar, but not in the mischances way).

      • No. More like a kid who’s just been presented with a large dessert in his honor, then looks at Dad and says, “Is that really for _me_?”

      • An Arminian High Church Baptist? Brother. πŸ™‚

  18. Daniel, did you forget to turn the bold off at the end of your “update”? πŸ˜•

    • Haha thats funny


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