Guy Penrod to miss Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Showcase?

The Gaither Vocal Band will be holding a live reunion at 1:15 PM Thursday, September 15, at the National Quartet Convention.

A press release just distributed by Deana Surles / Writer’s Ink announced attendees:

  • The current lineup: David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Michael English, Mark Lowry, Bill Gaither
  • The original lineup: Gaither, Steve Green, Gary McSpadden, Lee Young
  • Marshall Hall
  • Larnelle Harris
  • Jon Mohr
  • Buddy Mullins
  • Jim Murray
  • Russ Taff

Notably and shockingly absent: Guy Penrod.

Also absent: Jonathan Pierce, Terry Franklin.

Granted, the list does use the typical press release wording of “will include,” so there is still a chance that Penrod will be added at the last minute.


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

52 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. Wow! What a shocking new! I hope that Guy could be in the reunion!

  2. To further confirm the idea that Guy won’t be there, his schedule, http://guypenrod.com/index.htm?id=17930 does not show the date. Too bad.

  3. I’m just curious… Jonathan Pierce and Terry Franklin appear to miss most of the GVB reunion dates (well ok there really hasn’t been that many). Any ideas why?

    • They have both chosen to go different directions, for different reasons.

      (By the way, readers: if you don’t know the situations, this is not the place to speculate. And if you do know the situations, only post what is already public information.)

      • With Terry it has been all scheduling conflicts. This year he’ll just have returned from ministering in the Middle East, and he’ll be somewhere else again during the actual convention.

      • Thanks for checking that out; that’s helpful to know.

      • Somebody asked on my blog, and Terry responded in the comments—that’s how I knew.

      • Ah!

      • Yes, it was actually over a month ago. He said he was sorry he couldn’t make it but continued, “I can tell you, however, that the Tenor position will be well represented on that day by some great singers.”

        He’s a class act, but we all knew that already.

      • urmm I thought I posted but it looks like it didn’t show up? sorry if this is a double post. just wanted to say thanks for the info… I wasn’t implying or suggesting any; just thought that it would be awesome if ALL of them (especially the tenors) were there!

      • Sorry – we’ve been having some issues with a spam filter eating more than it ought to eat!

      • Well stated!

      • My reply was to tghe following comment:

        Daniel J. Mount says: September 1, 2011 at 10:25 am They have both chosen to go different directions, for different reasons.
        (By the way, readers: if you don’t know the situations, this is not the place to speculate. And if you do know the situations, only post what is already public information.)”

  4. ^ I was wondering the same thing. Pierce and Franklin were the only ex-GVB members absent from the Reunion videos, as well.

  5. Is Jon Pierce the interior decorator?

    • Yes

  6. I have a beef with this sensationalism. Guy has 8 kids and a wife and aging parents. Why do you all make this sound like some bad Karma going around w/Guy not attending this event. Are you all trying to target Guy in particular, The Vocal Band, or what, and why? This is how bad rumors get started. Same thing happened when Mark Lowry left. You all aren’t dinging Jonathan Pierce or Terry Franklin like you all are Guy. I’m really irritated with this post.

    • I disagree. I am not being sensationalistic. I do not know why Guy is not attending – whether it was his decision, Gaither’s, or simply logistics. If I was pointing fingers, then perhaps that would be sensationalistic.

      However, this is straightforward news reporting. I simply stated he wouldn’t be there, without speculating why. Penrod is easily the Gaither Vocal Band’s most noted past member, when noted is considered in the context of his GVB career (Steve Green’s and Larenelle Harris’s fame largely is due to their solo careers).

      It is possible to report a big news story without doing it in a sensationalistic way. I believe I have done that here.

      • Daniel, I’m curious. If you’re trying to NOT be sensationalistic and you’re NOT trying to speculate…then why did you do just that?

        ” I do not know why Guy is not attending – whether it was his decision, Gaither’s, or simply logistics.”

        All you had to say was, “Gee, folks – I have no idea why Guy is not attending the reunion.” And leave it at that. As it is, it sure looks like you’ve found a sly way to throw Bill under the bus. Very sneaky.

      • I have no idea how you’re getting out of it that Daniel is throwing anyone under the bus, or trying to sensationalize the story. Not even close.

      • Janet,

        I apologize if my response comes across as being too direct, but the charge of being sensationalistic is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the most grave accusations that could be made against my site. I strive hard to not be sensationalistic.

        There is a major difference between being sensationalistic and speculating. (Feel free to look up both words in the dictionary, if you don’t believe me.)

        As speculating goes, that’s about as straightforward as it gets. Either Guy didn’t want to go, Gaither didn’t want him there, or they both wanted him to be there but his schedule did not permit. Listing the three possible reasons for his absence is so straightforward that it’s barely speculating, if that.

      • “Either Guy didn’t want to go, Gaither didn’t want him there, or they both wanted him to be there but his schedule did not permit”

        Daniel, that encapsulates the options pretty neatly; which I would suggest is mild speculation with just a dash of the sensational in the original headline, which is hardly sensationalistic by any blogging standard.

        In fact, dear brother, if criticism was to be applied it would be that the Den Meister’s Blog is Un-Sensationalistic in extremis.

        The later speculation that Guy may show up by video link maybe spices it up a little :-)!

        Sensationalism?

        What about A Gaither Reunion without Bill? That might qualify!

        In truth, a Gaither Reunion without Guy would have been rated as “Highly Improbable” my most of us in advance of this revelation.

    • Wow!!! I think you might want to re-read the story and the intent behind it. Nowhere do I see anything but reporting on who is listed to attend and who is not. How in the world is that any form of sensationalism?

    • Daniel did a great job of clearly and accurately stating the facts. We didn’t perceive any negative connotations in the report!

      It seems to us that Daniel desires to avoid sensationalism in his reporting, and we are grateful for his straight-forward news.

      -TGF

      • Thank you for the encouragement!

        Any time someone accuses me of sensationalism, or something of that nature, I know that wasn’t my intent, but sometimes I wonder, “Did I say something I didn’t catch that could have been taken that way?” So I’m glad to see comments from others who didn’t take it that way.

      • There’s a difference between “sensationalism” and “sensational.” I believe this falls (albeit just barely) into the latter category, at least among diehard GVB/Guy Penrod fans.

        (I know you know what I just said; I was just stating it. 🙂 ) By “barely,” I don’t mean that’s it’s close to sensationalistic; just that for the non-GVB fans it’s not quite that big news anyway.

      • Especially for those not attending NQC!

  7. Thats really a bummer about Guy, Terry Jonathan. I really wish Terry could be there because he was in the group when I first heard them. It would be great to hear him sing “Little Is Much” again.

  8. Uh, this is not sensationalism, it is quite a surprise that Guy, being maybe the most popular GVB member of all time not being there, especially when his schedule has nothing on it within 3 days of the NQC showcase.

    • Right….that would be like Jonathan Wilburn not being at a Gold City Reunion or Pat Barker not being at a Dixie Echoes reunion….

      • Thanks for the backup, there!

        It would be like Tim Riley not showing up at a Gold City reunion, or Kim Hopper being absent from a Hoppers reunion.

      • I don’t know if I would quite go that far with the comparisons, but he was a major member. Nonetheless, McSpadden had several years, English really put his mark on it, Lowry and Phelps were to others that are really identified with the group and each member contributed. I only mentioned some of the longer-tenured people who made their mark. I hate not only that Franklin, Pierce and Guy aren’t going to be there, but even Lemuel Miller. I would have liked to have heard him do some songs to see what the sound was like.

  9. Does anyone else remember when the NQC first posted a schedule on their website, I think Feb or March, it had Guy Penrod listed to be in the main stage on a couple nights? It wasn’t up for long but then was changed. I believe it was for Wednesday and Thursday.

  10. It will be pretty boring if no guy is there, since all the members of the Gaither Vocal Band have been guys.

    (Sorry…I had to do it before quartet-man…and also, this discussion needs some levity.)

    • I never even thought of that. 🙂

  11. I wonder how Gaither will handle this.

    1: He might make no mention.

    2: He might say, “Guy wanted to be here, but [insert reason], and sends his regrets.”

    It’s the third possibility that intrigues me:

    3: He might bring him back via video, just like he does with George, Jake, and Vestal! 😛 😀

    (And while that was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I could actually see that happening!)

    • or maybe all or none of the above.
      So back to where it all began.

  12. Man, it’s tough to be a blogger…

    • Tough or not, on the balance, I enjoy it!

      This beats last week, when someone called me a Nazi after I deleted their (highly inappropriate) comment!

      ‘Tis an honor as always for you to stop by. 🙂

      • Mr. Franklin, I sure hate that you will not be able to be there. My wife is upset that Guy will not be there because that is her favorite member of GVB past or present. I myself think that Guy is one of the most recognizable members of the GVB and he will be missed! Oh and Daniel, as far as being sensationalistic, give me a break! You are always straightforward and do a great job reporting the facts! Keep up the great work!

  13. I’ll be there! I’ve been looking forward to this particular Showcase all year!

    • Awesome! Can’t wait to see you there!

    • I’ll be there, too! In fact, if nobody else but Bill Gaither and Steve Green were there, I’d be there!

      In fact, with that lineup, Bill Gaither could skip it and I’d still be there. 🙂

      I could say the same for Bill Gaither and David Phelps, or Larnelle Harris, or a number of the others. 🙂

  14. Daniel..the only thing that’s really disappointing is that i won’t be able to make the reunion. You’re not sensationalistic…in anyway shape or form. It is a shame Guy/Jon and Terry can’t make it…for whatever reason..

  15. Wonder how the person behind An Artist’s Perspective feels about the fans right to know relative to the privacy of the artists.
    .

  16. Remember Lemuel Miller. He won’t be there too.

  17. I have heard about this Lemuel Miller, but his being a part of the Vocal Band’s history is rarely acknowledged. Was he even really a part of the group? I think he may have been, because while watching the GVB Reunion videos, I noticed an old Vocal Band picture with a conspicuous blond tenor I’d never seen before. The rest of the group in the picture was B. Gaither, G. McSpadden, and M. English.

  18. I would like to know why Guy Penrod is no longer singing with the Gailther Band… I used to watch him every Sunday and I really miss him on the Gaither Band.
    Thank you.

    • He now pursues a solo career.

      • Daniel,

        You do a GREAT job with this site. You could probably use the line I use with my wife when we have…….a lively discussion……..”How did you get THAT out of what I said?” LOL

      • Thank you, sir! 🙂