27 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Well I hate to hear that. Trent is a great bass singer. Pat did such a great job with them and I hated to see him leave but he is great with MTQ. Maybe Trent will go with someone else and not come off the road. He is too good of a bass singer to not be singing somewhere.

    • Pat was easily one of the hardest acts to follow in Dixie Echoes history (though Dale Shelnut may have been the hardest).

      Yet Trent did an able enough job that I continued to thoroughly enjoy the group’s sound.

      Here’s to a successor that blows us all away! 🙂

      • Amen on all accounts brother!!!

    • He’s going to prison, I believe.

      I mean, to work there.

  2. I guess this change means that the Smith/Barker lineup remains the only one in the last 8 or 9 years to have more than one recording with the same lineup. They did three together, if you count Pensacola live – and I do.

    That 3 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 etc. ratio and the fact that I saw that lineup more often live than any other will leave that to be the first one to come to mind when I think if the 2000s-decade Dixie Echoes.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the 2010s holds for the group!

  3. That Pensacola Live DVD was the first southern gospel DVD that my little girl watched and she was 2 years old and watched it every morning and every night! She loved the “Dicky Echoes.” She still calls them that even though I have tried and tried to correct her! LOL! Looking forward to the future as well!

  4. Tim Duncan, anyone?

    • Now that, though incredibly unlikely, is quite intriguing.

      • Somehow, I just don’t think that’s quite the right fit for Tim!! I am wondering when we’ll be hearing about Tim joining another group though.

      • The thing is, pretty much anywhere besides the GVB (which I think Gene McDonald has in the can, if they’re hiring) is a step down from where he was with EHSS. I just don’t see him hitting the road with another standard SG quartet in the near future at least.

      • I definitely see what you are saying about it being a step down. However, if that was the basis for joining a group, we would never have EHSS, Legacy Five, Greater Vision, or the Mark Trammell Quartet because all of these groups were a step down from where each guy was with The Cathedrals.

      • There’s actually a fair amount of difference between starting your own group and joining someone else’s group. The equivalent here would be Ernie Haase or Roger Bennett joining the Dixie Echoes in 1999. 🙂

      • Yeah, I don’t see it. Sure, J.D. went from the Blackwoods to the Stamps, but he owned it. There are times where someone is either not satisfied with a group they are in or quits / retires and wants to get back into singing or perhaps a lighter schedule (think Tim Riley and the Southmen). But in this case it is hard to think of what they could offer than was even the same of what he had in EHSS.

      • Good point on the lighter schedule; yes, that does happen, e.g. with Jeremy Peace’s move from the Kingsmen to the Old Paths (which would have been odd otherwise).

        The Dixie Echoes work significantly more dates than EHSS.

      • I figured they probably did. I was just thinking of ways that it does happen. 🙂

  5. “perpetual torture”? No way! We’re leaving in a few days for five weeks in the mountains of North Carolina. LOL

  6. Tim Duncan would be intriguing indeed. I wonder if they get a bass singer that has never traveled like Trent or if they will go with someone who knows the ropes and has traveled previously?? It is going to be interesting to see who they choose.

    • Trent also traveled with Ron Blackwood when his group was on the road. Also the Old Paths (which has already been mentioned.)

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an unknown.

    Now the other night, there was a concert in Jacksonville, Florida and Bill Lawrence was in attendance. At the end of the concert, they asked bill to get up there with everyone and sing. He still has an amazing bass voice! But just to clarify, he was just there visiting and he has been working in the jax area for quite some time! 🙂

    And Trent did have some experience before hand, He sang with the Old Paths for a short while.

    • Trent may have sang with The Old Paths but he was not known in SG very well like an Aaron McCune or Harold Gilley that have been mentioned. It will be interesting to see who they get.

  8. I know of two guys who could possibly fit the bill. What ever happened to Harold Gilley and Aaron McCune?

    Anybody remember Jim Stewart of the Pine Ridge Boys? (BTW, he still sings with them.) He had a bass singing son who was with the Singing Americans quite soom time ago. I would think he could be a Dixie Echo…

    • I keep looking for Aaron and Ryan Seaton to get a quartet going. I think Harold is singing with the Songfellows Quartet but he might have left them. Not sure?

      • I still think and hope they should too!

      • Brad Smith is now singing bass with the Songfellows. Not sure where Harold is these days.

  9. I would love to see Ken Turner return to the Echoes. Coming back after being gone 41 years would be unusual to say the least…

    • That would be unique; this is the most intriguing idea in the thread so far.

      Of all the past bass singers they’ve had prior to ~2000 and their two-mike era, Turner would have to be about the absolute best at being a perfect fit for their current sound.

  10. I almost want to send a demo to see if they would even consider me; but Pensacola is so far away, I’d be afraid the distance would be a major detractor and so I don’t wanna waste their time.


    Either way, I love the Dixie Echoes. I’m a big fan of their style.