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. … Just think, all he ever wanted to do was sing a song.”