Joel Wood leaves Mark Trammell Quartet

Joel WoodThe Mark Trammell Quartet  announced this morning that tenor Joel Wood will be leaving the group.

Mark Trammell said it was a bittersweet day for the ministry, calling Joel “one of the finest young men I’ve ever traveled with.” However, he said, “While he’s gained in popularity as a professional singer, his popularity and need at home are even greater. I applaud his wisdom in using Godly discernment to strive for the ‘Best Dad’ award from four sons and a nephew vs. the award for ‘Best Gospel Singer.'”

Joel added that his time with the Mark Trammell Quartet was a blessing, adding: “While I LOVE singing Gospel music, I also love being an active part of the lives of my boys. As they grow older, there is more opportunity for them to be involved in sports and other activities outside the home and it has become impossible for my wife, Melissa, to be at five different places at one time. I’m not saying that I won’t ever sing again. I just feel after much prayer and consideration that this is the right decision for this time in our lives. Also, I would like to thank Mark Trammell, Pat Barker, Dustin Sweatman, and Stan Olson for their desire to help me grow as both a Gospel singer AND a father. They truly are Godly men and I have enjoyed my time with them.”

Joel will stay with the group until they find a replacement. Interested tenors can submit a resumé and demo CD with two or three songs The Mark Trammell Quartet, PO Box 588, Gadsden, AL. 35907.

For more Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

39 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. Joel’s a great guy, and really worked hard at his craft. It’s amazing how much he improved over his time with MTQ. I wish you the best, Joel. And I pray for God’s man in MTQ’s tenor slot.

    • I agree, and I really appreciate how both sides handled this. The “to spend more time with family” excuse has often been mis-used, but they gave enough detail this time to show that it’s for real (without giving too much detail).

      • Agreed, plenty of detail was released this time. I knew with all those kids, it was just a matter of time.

      • Agreed – and I think it was the right amount, without being too much.

  2. The only thing constant is change …

    It’s tough in these top tier groups that have to deal with a lot of it.

    I guess this is what kept you busy for the last little while!

    • I’m not sure I follow?

      I’ve been in meetings all morning.

      If you’re talking about commenting on the other post this morning, I have a distinct suspicion that my views are in the minority. It would take more time than I have presently to offer counterpoints.

      • OK. I did mean that you usually are commenting more on active threads. So when this post came up, I figured you had been busy for a few minutes composing it. It is kind of big news. That’s all.

      • Ah, OK!

  3. I don’t know if i’ve seen his group with him on tenor.

  4. Just when I was getting to like the group…

    I wish Joel well! It will be interesting to see who the next man for the job is.

    • Look at Mark’s track record with previous hires; his last was Pat Barker! I think we have nothing to fear.

      • Mark’s only had five total people sing with him in almost 10 years of having a group. So he’s got a track record of picking good fits that stay a while.

      • Oh, absolutely! It’s just that I started to like them right before the change took place. Kinda like Tribute last year…

  5. Enter Jay Parrack!

    • Wow! How neat would that be?

      • Nice Josh! I really, really hope this is a sign of things to come!

    • Oh man, that would be so cool!. I know Mark and Jay are great friend. This has the potential of becoming a reality. Especially after seeing the video below 🙂

  6. It would stop a lot of rumor mongering if more groups issued joint statements like this with comments from both the group owner and the departing member. Of course, it’s not exactly a surprise to see Mark Trammell do things the right way.

  7. I will certainly miss Joel but I’m glad he will get to spend more time with his family.

  8. I have enjoyed my recordings of the
    group, and was fortunate to see them live 1 time.
    Tough decisions have to be made, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for anybody.
    From the perspective of the spouse/kids, I’m sure this is the right move!!
    We’ll look forward to the next tenor….

  9. The single greatest gift from God to me or any other manager during this process is that the truth is sufficient. 🙂 I must it kinda tickles me a bit to know that the naysayers and the armchair group managers will have to lie in order to have anything at all to say about this transition!

    Yay GOD!!!

    • That is great!

      I’ve heard compliments all over the place about how this was handled.

  10. Joel was a great tenor singer. I’m gonna miss hearing him. I tell u who I would love to see come out of retirement and that is Eric Phillips!

    • I suspect that most everyone who knew the initial group would, from the group standpoint, point to that as the perfect hire!

      And with the important caveat of “if it’s the right thing for his family,” I’d love to see it, too!

  11. Lots of good tenors out there doing other things or not in fulltime groups. My hope is that John Rulapaugh gets back in a quartet where he belongs. Trios are ok, but never a substitute for a good quartet sound. Please John apply.

  12. I doubt it would happen, but I would love to see josh Cobb with a group again.

  13. Jay Parrack would be a great fit…it would almost be a Gold City reunion. I think Mark and Jay blend well together.

  14. If Jay joined a S.G. quartet, especially MTQ, I’d do cartwheels. Srlsy.

  15. Does anyone know an estimate of how long it takes to find a suitable replacement? I love Joel Wood, and the Mark Trammell Quartet is my favorite quartet. I haven’t seen any new reports since the original announcement. Thanks for any help. 😀

    • Well, that varies from situation to situation. Sometimes someone of Pat Barker’s caliber just picks up the phone and calls. Other times, you have to actively look – and sometimes the first few who audition simply can’t tote the mail.

    • Someone named “JimC” on Absolutely Gospel Forums posted this. Seems legit.

      “MTQ has a temporary tenor until a permanent replacement has been hired.
      He’s Jim Cox, minister of music at Castleberry Road Baptist Church in Cumming, GA.
      I’m thrilled for him, and I think he’s bouncing off the walls right about now.

      Edit – this is effective Oct 1.”

  16. Thanks, and could post the link to that article? (@Brian)

    • It’s not an article, just a message board post. [EDIT, 2/21/13: Broken Link Removed.]

    • Jim has confirmed it on his personal Facebook page:

      Well, I just accepted another job today, to go along with my others. I’ll be climbing on a bus Oct. 1st, going to sing with The Mark Trammell Quartet! This is a temp. thing, until they find something or someone better. All I can say is a quote from my favorite movie ever, Sergeant York, “the Lord sure do work in mysterious ways”!

      • That’s probably accurate. He’s good friends with the MTQ. He has a good voice. His wife is a lovely person.

  17. Hmmmm, wonder if Danny Funderburk still has it in him? 🙂 BTW, to the post of trios being just “okay”…I have 2 words for you GREATER VISION…lol

    • And I have a song for you … check out how incredible they sound with a bass singer, Glenn Dustin, on “He Is To Me.” 😀

  18. If Greater Vision hired a bass singer that would be awesome! They would sound great! I love them as they are, but have wished since hearing them the first time that they would become a quartet…