On Removing Singers from Covers (Part 1 of 2)
Occasionally, some member of a message board will express surprise upon hearing that someone whose voice is heard on a recording has been removed from the cover photo, or that vocals have been re-recorded so as to feature the new member’s voice.
If you think about it, this sort of thing is not uncommon in Southern Gospel.
Jay Parrack’s voice originally appeared on Gold City’s First Class album, but GC redid the vocals before releasing it so that the album now features Steve Ladd’s voice.
Although John Rulapaugh was the original first tenor to appear on the original release of the Dove Brothers’ You Can’t Stop God From Blessing Me (now a collector’s item, I am sure), his vocals were replaced with Jerry Martin’s after Martin joined the group.
Signature Sound re-did some of the vocals on their first two B-label productions (Glory to His Name and Building a Bridge) after Ryan Seaton replaced original lead singer Shane Dunlap. The vocals were re-recorded on those songs that featured the lead singer and the new pressings of the albums came with new cover art. The only song from the two albums on which I’ve unmistakably identified Ryan’s voice is on “Going Home” from Glory to His Name; I’ve been told that his voice appears in the harmony parts on other songs as well.
Legacy Five re-recorded their Heritage Volume 3 vocals to feature Frank Seamans instead of Tony Jarman. The original album cover art was released, but I do not know whether any of the Jarman versions of Volume 3 came out.
Gold City’s Preparing the Way originally featured the lead vocals of David Hill, but Jonathan Wilburn was airbrushed into the cover. (I forget whether the album features his voice.)
These are a few of the examples I know about. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at why these sort of things take place in Southern Gospel, and what it is about our genre that makes this a relatively common occurrence.
In the meantime, if you know of any other groups that have removed singers from album covers, or have replaced their vocals with those of the incoming member, feel free to post them in the comments.