Cody McVey leaves Kingsmen

The Kingsmen announced this morning that pianist Cody McVey will be coming off the road. He will be attending Lee College in Cleveland, Tennessee to pursue a college education in music. The Kingsmen are seeking a replacement and invite those interested to submit demos to

On the brighter side, Randy Crawford’s doctors have cleared him to go back on the road. He had a heart infection several weeks ago that forced him to take a leave of absence. He will have testing and may have surgery later in the year.

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13 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. Why is there so much turn over in SG? It seems there is always someone leaving. I believe it hurts the genre. I have a friend who recently started getting into SG via YouTube. He really got into EHSS w/Tim Duncan…only to find out that group doesn’t exist anymore. Anyway, is there a good explanation or logical reason for the turnover?

    • It’s always been that way.

      It’s very simple, actually: In other genres, people leave after a year or two – and the band breaks up and calls it quits. In our genre, the group manager is typically in for the long haul, and hires someone new.

      It happens in all genres. There might be a few at the top in every genre making nice money, but most could make as much or more in other professions. So most genres have a lot of turnover, except in the groups at the very top.

      • Some in popular music keep going on. Chicago and Journey are but two instances where the front men were replaced. However, it probably happens more in SG as they work their way to better paying jobs, better benefits, closer to home etc. In pop music it seems that people who do quit go into solo careers or maybe just get off the road. I can’t think of any offhand who quit and join other bands.

      • How about the Temptations. First they replaced their Original lead singer with David Ruffin, he got the big head and other issues, and was fired and replaced with Dennis Edwards, who got an ego and was replaced by Ali Woodson who was replaced by Edwards then 3 other singers later. Paul Williams got sick and was replaced by Richard Street, who was later replaced by someone else, Eddie Kendricks left, was replaced then replaced again by their current tenor. Finally bass singer Melvin Franklin passed and was replaced with the last 2 bass singers. Now there’s only 1 original Temptation left, and the group is still going strong.

      • Some would argue its not right to still call them The Temptations, but using that logic in SG…are they still the Dixie Melody Boys? Is it still Gold City?

      • By our genre’s standards: As long as Ed O’Neal’s there, there’s no question it’s still the Dixie Melody Boys. And as long as Tim Riley’s there, there’s no question it’s still Gold City.

  2. I’m happy for Cody. I’m sure he will enjoy his time at Lee and will improve his already fantastic skills.

  3. Another thought on the issue:

    Most secular, and a lot of non SG gospel groups, are solo artists. When they replace a guitar player no one really notices or cares. The solo artists keep going forever and ever. SG have almost no big solo artists, therefore when there is a change it affects the sound of the music. It stands out more when 25% of the vocal sound changes…solo artists don’t have to worry about that. They can take a break, move to another state, etc. and it doesn’t really affect their product.

    Ok, I rambled, hope I made some sense.

    • Is this why so many try to make it “solo” in SGM? Just an interesting point you bring up. (and true) If we could take all the solo acts, and put them with other solo acts, you could put a pretty good group together.

  4. I know Cody is doing what is right for him, but i will still miss him with the Kingsmen. He was really a good asset to the group. Huh, i was still getting over Nick Succi leaving, and now Cody is leaving! lol

    • I think you may be getting to emotionally attached to the Kingsmen piano players if it took you this long to get over Nick leaving! 🙂

  5. Well, I am one who doesn’t like turnover in groups. However, this is a difficult job to have and maintain a “normal life.”
    WAIT…I typed it..NORMAL! There is no normal life.

    Ok- If I worked as a coal miner, I’d expect to go home everyday covered in coal dust. If I were a plumber, I’d expect to get wet. So since I am southern gospel singer/musician I expect to be gone from home.

    Most groups perform 180-200 dates a year. Some more. In 2009, The Kingsmen were gone 228 days. In 2010-218 and this year it will be around 218-220.

    Other forms of music; rock, country etc..normally tours 3 months, then off for a month, then back to it. Southern Gospel groups tour YEAR round.

    We generally work Thursday-Sunday every week. We have vacation for a week in the summer and 2 1/2 weeks for Christmas.

    Knowing we will be gone, still doesn’t make it any easier. I have been home 4 Sundays since January 1st.

    I will miss Cody. He is a great player and a fine Christian young man, However I believe he is doing the right thing. I support him 100%.

    God will send the piano player that we need. We always does.

  6. Just a correction. Since 1997, it’s “Lee University.”