Saturday News Roundup #115

Worth Knowing

  • The Dixie Melody Boys have launched a Hall of Fame page on their website highlighting notable members. [EDIT, 2/26/13: Broken link removed.] Of particular interest to Southern Gospel LP collectors who digitize their old albums: It includes cover art for many old DMB albums.
  • Remember the Jody Brown Indian Family? Here’s what Stephanie (Brown) Scragg is doing lately: A popcorn business with her husband, former Karen Peck and New River drummer Dale Scragg. (Hat tip, Dean A.)
  • This year’s AbsolutelyGospel Music Awards will be next Tuesday, April 10. The awards ceremony will be played on Sirius/XM’s enLighten nightly from April 13-15. [EDIT, 2/21/13: Broken Link Removed.]
  • Liberty Quartet has reissued God’s Been Faithful (reviewed here) with vocals from new lead singer Doug Wiley (interviewed here).

Worth Reading

Worth Watching

Here’s a 25-year-old video of the Celebration Quartet, featuring Mark Dubbeld (since of the Mark Dubbeld Family) on tenor, Dan Coy on lead, Jeff Keaton on baritone, Ray Cragun on bass, and, I have on good authority, an invisible Kim Keaton (Collingsworth) on piano. You may have read about the quartet in the Kim Collingsworth interview run here several years ago; this is the first time I have seen any footage of them.
Also worth watching: The Harper Family blew me away at NQC 2011; their showcase performance earned them an invitation to kick off the Tuesday evening mainstage program (live blog for the day is here.) I shot some footage of them in Crossroads Studios this week, cutting tracks for their next album. Here’s their Bluegrass Gospel take on the Kingsmen song “I’ll Live Again”:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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16 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. To start off the comments in this open thread, I thought that I’d list some trivia.
    Some of these might stump you guys.
    1) In 1990…..
    Dennis Murhpy started playing drums for what group?
    Tim Parton was the pianist for……?
    2) The Paynes’ drummer, JT Withrow, and The Skyline Boys’ baritone, Chris Litte, were with what group?

    3) Ernie Haase, Ernie Phillips, and Tim Surrett all sang with who?

    4) Who were the 4 bass singers the Statesmen had in 1994? (DON’T go to to get the answer. That’s too easy.)

    5) Doug Anderson and Mike Allen both sang with what northern Ohio group?

    6) Brian Hudson, Brad Smith, and Matt Felts all sang at the same time with?

    7) The Freemans used to be called……..?

    • Off the top of my head:

      1a) Kingdom Heirs
      1b) Lesters?
      3) Squire Parsons?
      5) I know Doug was with Lighthouse for a while. Was Mike also with them?
      6) Monument Quartet? Heartland Boys? Blackwood Quartet?

      7) is on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t pull it out without checking!

  2. I posted several clips of the Celebration Quartet at a Reunion concert last year. They can be found on my youtube channel:

    • Cool! I’ll head on over and take a look now! 🙂

    • Looks like Kim wasn’t there that night?

      • Yeah – wish Kim could’ve been there for that concert at ‘House of Prayer’ in Roanoke. They were/are still so good, but just not the same without Kim . . . and then of course, Kim could make anyone sound better! 🙂

        The Lead -Dan Coy was my roommate in school back in the dark ages, and I’ve known Mark Dubbeld since the 1970’s when his Dad pastored in Ann Arbor, MI.

        What was unique with THIS group is that they had the CHEMISTRY! It’s easy to get 4 guys together that can sing well, but not so easy to find 4 guys that can sing well AND get along well. Too many of today’s quartets sound too much like 4 guys singing solos.

  3. Dan,
    Yes, I agree that toom many of today’s groups sound like 4 singers doing 4 solos. Blend isn’t emphasized as much these days. And then, you have to get along with each other (blend in another way) on the “bus”, or through whatever mode of travel you have
    I was just talking about this with our chruch’s pianist this morning.
    He’s quite a character. Went to college in Alexandria, Indiana. (seminary, I beleive, at a Church of God school. He actually met Bill Gaither there. Bill was either a fellow classmate, or an instructor. Though I’m thinking Bill was a classmate.)
    He (my friend, not Bill. I’ll call my friend “Joe” for the rest of the article) went to the Stamps Baxter school of music, and has been playing the “old-timey”, as he says, Southern Gospel arrangements for 50 or more years.
    My mother used to sing with a mixed quartet that “Joe” used to play for, and I’d tag along. Every group needs roadies, right?
    Anyway, “Joe” left, and the group had to start using tracks. One time, on a trip to sing somewhere, we were listening to “Live In Concert”, by the Cathedral Quartet (1974). During one of the songs, as Haskell is tearing into the piano, another member mentioned that “Joe” used to play just like that.
    Now, in reality, “Joe” is not as young as he used to be, and doesn’t hear as good as before. But he’s still good. I’ve never heard an 80 year old play piano like he does. In no way has he lost his love for quartet music, and he’ll most likly play the Stamps Baxter type arrangemnets till the rapture, or till he dies, whichever the Lord allows to happen first. I’d say that he’s the only pianist that I personally know that keeps that style alive.
    Getting back to what you mentioned, Dan, he commonly says is “to sing this type of music, you have to feel it”.
    CHEMISTRY, for sure.

    • I’m blessed to know quite a few pianists who still play that style. 🙂

  4. No other guesses on the trivia?
    I’ll not give all the answers right now, but I’ll say for sure that Daniel guessed #3 correct.
    Ernie Haase, Ernie Phillips, and Tim Surrett all used to travel with Squire Parsons.
    I have a either a 1987, or early 1988, issue of Singing News, that has both Tim Surrett and Ernie Haase pictured with Squire.

    As far as Dennis Murphy goes, he joined a mixed family trio. I’m thinking that it was announced in the groups’ monthly SN ad in April 1990.

    And as for the Doug Anderson and Mike Allen, no, it wasn’t Lighthouse. This group is still active, and is based out of Clyde, Ohio.
    Mike came up to a sing in Canton, Ohio, a few years back, ( 2009, I beleive?) and this group was there also. Mike made mention of singing with them from the platform. Would have been neat if they did something together, but they didn’t.

    And, concerning J.T. Withrow and Chris Little, If someone searched the archives of this website, they’d find the group name. Daniel saw this group preform at a concert where both him and I were in attendence. (a commenter, LeviSamJuno, was with them, and had replaced Chris Little by the time this concert happened.)

    And, as for Brian Hudson, Brad Smith, and Matt Felts, the group wasn’t Monument.
    Some others who have been with this group include, Chris West, Michael Helwig, Paul Lancaster, and Burman Porter.

    • I think having so many trivia questions scared some people off! 🙂 What if you saved trivia questions and posted one per week? 🙂

      Note that on #6, I did guess more than one group, and now I rather suspect one of my later guesses is correct. 🙂

      • Well, I could, but then I might run out of ideas.
        No, not really…..
        On #6, I did notice that you guessed more than one. But I can’t tell you yet if one of the others are correct, or if it’s a totally different group.
        I’ll see if anyone else comes along before I give out the answers.
        Seeing that this is an open thread, I have a question.
        Is there a particular season, or month, or even a week, where you get more traffic here, compared to other times? A hot spot, per say? (more traffic in winter, for example?)

      • Oh, OK!

        NQC is always a predictable traffic peak. The only thing that predictably surpasses it is unpredictable—the death of a noted singer. In fact, the day I had the all-time greatest number of visits (around 18,000 unique visits) was the day Tony Greene died; as I recall, the Singing News server crashed under the load, the Greenes’ own website crashed under the load, and mine held up, so people checked back here for updates.

  5. Without further delaly……….
    1) In 1990, Dennis Murphy joined The Greenes.
    Tim Parton played piano for The Lesters.
    2) J.T. Withrow and Chris Little were both, at the same time, with The Prophets/Mountain State Quartet.
    3) Ernie Haase, Ernie Phillips, and Tim Surrett all sang with Squire Parsons.
    4) The Statesmen’s 4 bass singers in 1994 were,
    Bob Caldwell
    Nick Vai
    Roy Pauley
    Doug Young
    5) Doug Anderson and Mike Allen both sang with The Fishermen.
    6) Brian Hudson, Brad Smith, and Matt Felts all sang with The Blackwood Gospel Quartet
    7) The Freemans used to be called The Pathways.

  6. Daniel, I can’t watch the Celebration video. It sends to an error message on Facebook.

    • You may need to be logged into a Facebook account, even if you aren’t friends with the person who posted it.