Health Updates: Ed O’Neal, Rick Francis, Ray Dean Reese, Shaye Smith

Normally, multi-artist stories are reserved for Saturdays, but so much has happened in the last few days to necessitate an exception.

  • The Kingsmen announced yesterday that Ray Dean Reese has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He expects to be able to stay on the bus and keep singing with the Kingsmen each weekend.
  • Singing News radio chart editor Rick Francis has been hospitalized with a stroke.
  • Andy and Shaye Smith welcomed a baby girl, Chloe Victoria Marie Smith, Tuesday morning. Shaye sings alto for and manages the Chuck Wagon Gang.
  • On Sunday morning, Dixie Melody Boys bass singer/manager Ed O’Neal fell six feet, stepping out a door where the steps had been removed. He broke his leg and needed eight stitches in his hand. Nevertheless, once he returned from the hospital, he insisted on coming out on stage to sing with the group. An unidentified fellow group member who wrote a newsletter update recounted: “When he arrived back, Matt told him he should stay in the bus and rest and that we could do the concert without him, the church understood. Ed refused and came in and did a full concert sitting on a stool, leg in a brace. It was inspirational and moving to the crowd and the group. Ed reminded everyone there that no matter the cost, the Gospel of Jesus must be told. He expects a quick recovery and will not miss any scheduled dates. …┬áJust think, all he ever wanted to do was sing a song.”

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5 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. Falling six feet is nothing to sneeze out. Walking away from that with a broken leg and stitches is a blessing – it could have been his hip or his neck!

    • You aren’t kidding, that’s for sure!

  2. Ray Reese is a legend in this industry. I hate to hear that he was diagnosed with cancer. However, I look forward to hearing him belt out that booming bass voice for many, many years to come!

  3. Hate to hear that Ed fell. It must be uncomfortable to have a broken leg and still continue to travel by bus. We love you, Ed! Hang in there, partner.

  4. O’Neal travels in a Sprinter…