Dan Gilbert leaves Liberty Quartet (again)

In April, Liberty Quartet announced that long-time lead singer Dan Gilbert was leaving the road. He changed his mind in May. Six months later, it seems he has changed his mind again. Liberty Quartet just distributed the following press release:

After nine years, Dan Gilbert, lead singer, has resigned from Liberty Quartet. He made the decision based on his feeling that he needs to invest in some business and personal matters at this time in his life. Dan is the longest tenured member of Liberty Quartet other than Royce Mitchell, founder of the group. Dan was not only an incredible lead singer, but he also was our #1 bus driver. Through his down- to-earth, friendly personality, Dan has become like family to so many across the U.S. and Canada and he will be greatly missed. He leaves with our blessing and we wish him nothing but God’s best! We will be announcing our new lead singer in the near future and we ask that you continue to pray for Dan and Liberty as God guides and directs us into the future.

The wording suggests that Gilbert’s replacement has already been selected.

Here’s a video recorded and originally posted in April, the first time Dan left:

Click “more” for a transcript.”

Transcript

Keith: Well, it’s good to be back with Daniel Mount again, Royce. Every time we’re here at Crossroads, we get to see Daniel, and really about the only other time we get a chance to sit down and chat’s at National Quartet Convention. He always has that video camera rolling.

Royce: This is a new camera.

Keith: Yeah, it’s a little bit newer.

Royce: Does it make my face look puffy?

Keith: Well, you’ve lost a lot of weight—

Royce: —thank you for mentioning that—

Keith: Anyway, well, this is a big week for Liberty Quartet. And as some of you will find out—I know we’re not as well known back East as we are in the West—but just this past weekend, we got word that our lead singer, Dan Gilbert, who has been with our group for, what is it, Royce, eight and a half, nine years?

Royce: Yep.

Keith: Going on nine years. Dan is stepping down. Man, we hate to see that happen! You know, we all read the press releases—people coming off the road for this reason and that reason—and here’s the deal: We’re like brothers with the Liberty Quartet, and losing Dan is just like—

Royce: Losing a family member.

Keith: Yeah, losing a family member. So it’s going to be a big loss. He’s been such a big part of our ministry. He has a huge voice, and he’s been great to work with. He’s an expert when it comes to bus repair, when it comes to driving the bus. He did a lot of driving for us. And then he was our sound man. And so, that’s gonna leave a huge void.

Royce: Is that why he was back by the mixer all the time?

Keith: What’s that?

Royce: Is that why he was back by the mixer all the time?

Keith: Yeah. You didn’t realize that? [Laughs] Royce normally does all the emcee work, and some of these details, on and off the stage, kinda escape my buddy here.

Royce: Just the little things, like sound, who’s driving the bus!

Keith: So this is a new area for us. Fifteen years this year – this is going to be fifteen years for Liberty Quartet. For nearly two-thirds of that time, Dan was part of our ministry. So we’re going into a new phase, and we know that just like God led us up to that point, God’s gonna be with us in the future. And so, now, finding a new guy, finding a new guy. What are some qualifications you’re looking for, Royce?

Royce: We’re actually here at Crossroads working on our next recording. The new lead singer would be a part of that project.

Keith: Right.

Royce: So we can’t wait too long before we [find someone]. Nobody can take Dan’s place, but we’ve gotta find someone to sing that lead part.

Keith: Yeah. And I’ve heard Royce say this: “With Liberty Quartet, nobody really takes a guy’s place. You just get a new guy that has his own personality, his own skill set, and he brings what he has to the table.” But I would say, for a lead singer for Liberty Quartet, they’ve gotta be a good lead singer.

Royce: And good looking.

Keith: Good looking—is that what you’re looking for?

Royce: Yeah.

Keith: Well, look at us—we have kind of set the bar high!

Royce: That’s right.

Keith: That’s gonna be tough for you guys to live up to, for anyone that’s looking to audition for the group. Also, he needs to be able to interact with the crowd, have a good personality. That’s something else we’re looking for.

Royce: Right.

Keith: And I’d like to be the only bald guy in the group, so he has to have hair! Has to drive the bus, right?

Royce: Right. And it’d be nice to get somebody who’s older than me.

Keith: Who’s older than Royce, and so if there’s any 82-year-old lead singers out there, we would love for you to audition to Liberty Quartet!

Royce: I heard that! I heard that!

Keith: So anyway, in all seriousness, if there are people out there, we don’t know right now where’s God’s directing, where He’s leading, but if you are interested in trying out, we are setting up an [email], auditions@libertyquartet.com. And send in your resume, a demo CD/mp3, give us a picture—you and your family; if you’re married, we’d like to see your family—and then just a testimony of what God’s done in your life.

But hey, it’s gonna be an exciting time for us. Our hearts are a little heavy right now, but God’s not through with Liberty Quartet. Just like He’s always done, He’ll send the right person at the right time, and it’ll be good.


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

3 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. What a shame. Dan was a great singer and even better person. Got to run into him multiple times on a cruise to Mexico and he was every bit the person off stage as he was on – fun and crazy! He’ll be missed. I pray he can get back to “normal”.

  2. It should probably be mentioned that the instructions at the end of the article talk about sending in resumes and CD’s for an audition. This article was written 6 months ago and this is no longer the case. I believe the group already has a Lead selected and is probably not taking new applications. I’d hate to see a young singer trying to send in an application or contacting Royce if the process is already over. That group is really missing Keith Waggoner. He was the one who made things work over there.I love Liberty, but their communication on this has been lackluster. I’m praying for them.

    • As I did indicate in the article, this is an old video, taped earlier this year. I re-posted it here, since I think it helps convey how much Liberty will miss him.