UPDATE: Blackwood Gospel Quartet evidently not disbanding

UPDATE (10/10/08, 9:59 AM): Jennifer Blackwood, Mark’s wife, comments below:

Mark and Ron have done concerts together recently and there are plans to do more in the future. However, Mark has no plans to discontinue HIS group. It is funny how there is so much ditscussion here, yet no one has even asked the folks involved.

ORIGINAL POST: SoGospelNews recently posted a feature interview with Ron Blackwood of the Blackwood Singers / Blackwood Quartet. It’s a fascinating read, and has one particularly newsworthy item. [EDIT, 2/22/13: Broken link removed.] Ron was asked to list the three Blackwood Groups in existence today, and in the process of so doing mentioned that there would soon be two:

There are 3 Blackwood Groups The Blackwood Quartet which is ME! and then My Cousin Jimmy Blackwood & The Blackwood Brothers and Mark Blackwood. Mark is joining me after the first of the year and will no longer have his group. We are all Family and work well together. I do all I can to help Jimmy and Mark. They are my Cousins and I love them.

Mark Blackwood has run the Blackwood Gospel Quartet for several years and sings baritone. Since Ron and R.W. Blackwood hold down the lead and baritone positions, with John Rulapaugh on tenor and Rick Fair on bass, it’s not immediately clear what part he will be singing. But it will be a little less confusing to have just two Blackwood groups.

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71 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. If I remember correctly, didn’t Dave Mann just join them on lead? Guess Mark got tired of the turnover (and I can’t blame him!!).

  2. Honestly, I don’t know. I kept track for a while, but it got to where I couldn’t.

  3. I am a friend of Mark’s and have followed the group for quite some time…I have not heard of Dave Mann…who is he and when do you think he sang with Mark?

  4. Kyle seems to indicate that Dave just joined.

  5. The last I heard Derrick was on tenor (of course he just left to sing with the Woodsman Qt), Mark was on lead, Mark’s nephew Daniel was on Baritone, and the bass singer’s name escapes me.

  6. Paul, the picture on the site had Brad Smith at bass.
    (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed)

  7. Hi friends

    Do anybody knows where I can get the words of George Younce`s song Row Your Boat ??


  8. Thanks for posting here, but due to copyright laws, I would appreciate it if the lyrics were not posted online.

    Claudio, you might try an internet forum like forums.singingnews.com.

  9. Could you send it to my personal e-mail ? claudio.cardinali@mausergroup.com


  10. If any readers want to do that, that would be fine.

  11. Does any one can do it for me ??

  12. Well, someone might read this and happen to know. But most people will be coming to this thread expecting comments on the Blackwood Gospel Quartet; this discussion is off-topic in this context.

    I’ll return to my earlier suggestion: The best place for you to look, probably, is a Southern Gospel forum like forums.singingnews.com.

  13. We kind of strayed from the Blackwood post, didn’t we?

  14. Yes. Well, I did try to get it back on topic. 🙂

  15. Deon, has now posted a comment after the article that basically says Mark will only be doing select dates with Ron. He will still continue to have his Quartet and fulfill all the dates. Are we all now even more confused?

  16. Gayla –

    Yes. 😕

  17. Howdy, sorry to get off topic again, how about a post about Harold gilley. Last time i heard of the him was with southern gold. have 2 of there tapes. what’s the latest?

  18. I’ve made serious efforts to track him down, but to no avail. At one point I did find his hometown, but the party that told me that was uncomfortable passing along his phone number.

  19. Does anybody know where Parker Jonathan is now?

  20. Daniel,
    So is it true that Mark is breaking up his quartet or not? I have not heard back from Mark yet.

  21. I initially took Ron Blackwood’s word for it, but now I’m not sure. Let us know if you find out!

  22. It is my understanding that a press release will be released soon concerning this issue. Up until now, I don’t believe that anything has been released from Mark, so I wouldn’t go carving anything into stone just yet.

  23. As far as I know, Mark Blackwood has not given a press release to anyone as of yet. I wouldn’t go carving anything into stone. Let’s wait and see what he has to say about things before we start barking up any trees.

  24. Daniel, Why would you post this without talking to me first? You know my e-mail as we have talked many times before. Ron did not ask permission to say that and I don’t know why he did. Mark and Ron have done concerts together recently and there are plans to do more in the future. However, Mark has no plans to discontinue HIS group. It is funny how there is so much discussion here, yet no one has even asked the folks involved.

  25. Jennifer – can I admit this? Don’t know if I should, but…

    I did remember that I’d been in contact with Mark’s wife, but I couldn’t remember your name!

    Sorry! 😳

    And thanks for the clarification.

  26. It is almost amusing…I had a feeling that this would end this way. It is true, there have been rumor after rumor about blackwood groups, and very infrequently do the true facts come out till the rumor has a good run.

  27. Ron Blackwoods quote, ” Mark is joining me after the first of the year and will no longer have his group.”
    It would seem like Ron Blackwood was pretty definitive with that statemen ,so Jennifer, I can understand why Daniel wouldn’t even have thought to ask you about this until other questions came up… So, who is Mark going to use to replace Derrick Boyd? (surprised he lasted this long with ya’ll, lol)

  28. Phil is right – I did assume that with that definitive of a statement, and with being Mark’s cousin and all that, he would know.

  29. Excuse me Jennifer Blackwood, but Mark Blackwood SAW the article and APPROVED it before SoGospelNews printed it. WE (SoGospelNews) received confirmation from both Ron and Mark before print about the future of the group.

    Apparently once the article was printed Mark had reconsiderations. We stand by the article and Ron’s words as they were confirmed at that time.

  30. Thanks for the confirmation.

  31. Susan, can you find out the truth and print a retraction?

  32. With John Rulapaugh singing tenor I think he can just about make any group sound better.It would be like adding Larry Bird to basketball team.

  33. One cannot print a retraction to the truth. The truth was printed as it was at the time. Apparently Mark has has second thoughts and until Mark decides further, the truth is as printed on SoGospelNews’ article and Editors Note in the comments.

  34. Obviously, assuming what you say about Mark is true, the past statement is no longer the truth. A news reporter, in my opinion, should seek out the truth, and not simply let a past statement be the “truth.” Sorry…that is my feeling.

  35. We haven’t let a past statement be regarded as truth. We left a past INTERVIEW (not a news report) stand as truth because it was/is truth at the time of the interview.

    We did issue an editor’s note with Mark’s response. When an if Mark or Ron gives more detailed information we will print it. But seriously, everything is pretty easy to read.

    1. At the time of Ron’s interview he and Mark were planning on combining to one group.

    2. After the interview was printed Mark had second thoughts and has decided to keep his group as well as do selective dates with Ron.

    If there is anymore that comes out, it will be printed. But, right now, that’s all there is.

    You can ASSUME more if you wish, but we all know where assuming gets us.

  36. Hmm, Paul, have you read all the posts here? Did you miss the STATEMENT from Ron, ” Mark is joining me after the first of the year and will no longer have his group.” And did you miss this from Susan stating, “but Mark Blackwood SAW the article and APPROVED it before SoGospelNews printed it. WE (SoGospelNews) received confirmation from both Ron AND MARK before print about the future of the group.”
    To my knowledge, (no mention is made anywhere of Mark directly contacting Susan or Daniel since the article) the only one to say anything was Jennifer in a post here, and she hasn’t been back since…
    SO, unless MARK says something different, the comments are true as Ron stated and not the responsibility of anyone else to chase down some sort of “new truth”. THAT should be a statement directly from Mark if it is not true.
    Perhaps with the loss of a tenor, Mark was deciding or may still decide to end his group. Group turnover HAS to be a frustrating thing to deal with! And those are my feelings… lol

  37. DJPhil, Did you miss the statement by Mark’s wife??? Mark has dealt with loss before, and he will survive. If he decides to fold and join Ron on a permanent basis, then God bless him. My feeling is stop reporting on things, and commenting on things, that we don’t know the truth about. It feels like the Bush-Gore election. Not to start any comments on politics.

  38. Sorry, I see you mentioned Jen’s comments. I still think we should find out the truth before stating we know “the truth.”

  39. Paul, it appears that “the truth” changed over the course of the thread. Under those circumstances, it can be pretty hard to find and print the truth.

    But I’m doing the best I can. 🙂

  40. Paul, SGN did not report on anything we didn’t know the truth about – we had confirmation and approval from BOTH Ron and Mark about the status of the group BEFORE printing. It is NOT our habit of printing things we have not confirmed.

    DJPhil, Mark did contact us AFTER print to say he had reconsidered abandoning his group all together. This is the reason for the Editor’s comments in the article. All truth as they have been given to us by both Ron and Mark have been printed. You are correct though, that is not our responsibility to check on a day to day basis on whether anyone involved has once again changed their minds about something.

  41. Susan, I understand that you reported what you thought the truth was…thank you for that. We now know that perhaps Mark has changed his mind. One confusion for me was that the editor’s comments did not say that you guys had talked to Mark (only that Mark was going to continue his group). Now I understand after reading #40. Thanks.

  42. Paul, you can rest assured that if we print something about a group it is only after we have confirmed it. We would never have printed the Editor’s note without confirmation from Mark.

  43. TO Jennifer Blackwood IF Mark Blackwood SAW the article and APPROVED it before SoGospelNews printed it, I see No, reason to be upset, & certainly Not at Daniel J. Mount.
    Maybe…………. Mark should send them a article & or post on his web page of his intent to clear the air?

  44. There you go…my thoughts exactly.

  45. Wow. There seems to be a lot of people losing sleep over this issue. Daniel simply posted an article that had been released on sogospelnews. That being said, I can see the reasoning behind why he wouldn’t check up on it. However, the day after the article was posted, Deon posted a comment stating Mark would not be abandoning his group. That happened to be the same day that Daniel posted his thread.

    Now, I can see that Daniel may have started this thread before the comment by Deon was posted, but only within hours at the most. What I can’t see is why the question about the Blackwood Gospel Quartet disbanding went on any farther than the 8th, seeing that commenter Gayla made us aware of the change.

    According to Susan, Mark did get in contact with them the day after they released the interview with Ron and they commented accordingly. So, I don’t see why anyone thinks Mark needs to “clear the air” for anybody… read for yourself.


  46. I posted my story before the facts changed.

  47. This has been a great post…Daniel, I am glad you posted this one. No one is losing sleep over it. I think It is great that so many have commented. It shows that the Blackwood name has not lost interest within the general public.

  48. Very true Paul
    We are very big fans of Jimmy’s group, If…. I was not seeing for my own eyes the post on there guestbook I would never belive there are sooo many fans from the 40’s still around & remmber there live radio broadcast in Shenandoah, Iowa like it was yesterday. We book 8 – 10 concerts a yr. at our church we average 75 – 100 most of the time, but when we book Blackwoods belive our lowest was 500 every year. I never met James Blackwood Sr but he must have been a real man to have so many fans 75 years later, even after he has been gone for 6 yrs. since 2002 that is amazing…

  49. Paul, you do realize that the phrase, “losing sleep over it” in this situation means that people cannot sleep because they are worried about whether or not the Blackwood Gospel Quartet is disbanding?

    I agree with your statement that this thread shows people have not lost interest in the Blackwood name, but disagreeing with my statement is contradictory to your own. Stop confusing yourself.

  50. Mark Blackwood did NOT see the southerngospelnews.com article before it was published. Deon said he sent it to Mark’s e-mail, which I 100% believe to be true, but that e-mail account is no longer valid, which explains why Mark never got the e-mail. Mark and Deon did talk about the article and talked about how it was going to mention that Ron and Mark were going to be doing dates together, but what Mark did not realize was the mention of his group not continuing. That was NEVER the plan and had Mark actually seen the article before hand, he would have cleared that up. So, this is all just a misunderstanding.

    If anyone needs any furthur clarification, feel free to contact me at blackwoodgospel@aol.com

    Jennifer Blackwood

  51. Gospel Insider, I am NOT losing any sleep over this. Please don’t use comments such as “Stop confusing yourself.”

  52. Thank you for your comments Jennifer. This amazes me that there have been over 50 comments on this post!

  53. Paul, I never said that you were losing sleep over it. I said it seems that there was a lot losing sleep. That doesn’t name any one individual. Yet, for some reason you decided to speak for everyone and say that NO ONE was losing any sleep.

    I will no longer use comments such as “stop confusing yourself” as long as you stop speaking for everyone in the thread.

  54. I said “no one is losing sleep” because you said “There seems to be a lot of people losing sleep over this issue.” I mistakenly stated that no one was losing sleep when I should have said I. But at the same time I am not speaking for everyone in the thread, and I do not appreciate being told so. Final comment.

  55. Well, I appreciate you retracting your statement, because before you did so your comment suggested that you thought you could speak for everyone. Now we all know it was a mistake on your part and that you don’t believe that to be true. No harm done.

  56. I believe that what Paul said was appropriate, not over the line, and probably intended to speak for himself.

  57. Well, that’s obvious now Daniel. Seeing that he properly explained himself, I don’t see any reason why anyone would believe otherwise.

  58. Thank you.

  59. Jennifer Blackwood, It would be nice if Mark himself would post. All we are hearing is here say…..

  60. I agree.

  61. wondering if anyone really knows who is in Mark’s group today? Wondering if they have a zipper on the group photo? or just change it say 2 times a yr weather it needs it or not?
    I just found another web page (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed)
    I am a big Burman Porter fan, & there are several songs Burman is singing & Burman has not been with the group for sometime now belive? around 2 yrs.

  62. Does anyone know if Rick Fair is still with Ron Blackwood? I am not finding his photo on Ron’s web page. Unless I am not looking in the right places??

  63. I find it very strange why both Ron & Mark Blackwood cover up 2 great singers.

  64. #59, I wouldn’t call comments made by the man’s wife to be “here say”. Especially considering that Jennifer Blackwood is a longtime, if infrequent, poster to various SGM websites. By calling her comments hearsay, you are, by definition, saying that she is spreading rumors about her husband. Isn’t that a little rude?

    Besides, if anything, her comments are protected by spousal privilege and we, the JURY, should have to disregard her comments on those grounds, not that they are hearsay. (I watch way too much “Law & Order”.)

  65. Ron, Rick is all over the Blackwoods website…ckeck out: http://www.theblackwoods.com/index.php/about-the-blackwoods/

  66. Ron, as far as I know the group is Mark, his nephew Daniel, and Brad Smith…and of course they just lost Derrick Boyd…so I think the photo is pretty accurate. Good find when you found the new webiste: (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed)

  67. [edited] … Mark himself lets his wife handels everything……..

  68. RON, I do know that Jen does take care of some things for Mark, but how do you know that she handles everything?

  69. I normally do not post on these blogs and message boards. However, in respect for Deon Unthank and our friendship I will comment on this issue. I will be sending a press release to SoGospelNews as well.

    There has been a lot of confusion about what happened with Ron and I and what was said in the SoGospelNews article. What transpired was a meeting between the two of us where we came up with what we thought was a good idea. The result was Ron and I working together, changing some personnel and changing the name of my group. What looked really good at the outset started looking a little shaky and between the time I talked with Deon and the time the article had been published, we changed our minds about our plans. The article was correct at the time it was made, but in the interim, the situation changed causing a lot of confusion.

    My relationship with the Unthanks is strong. We talk on the phone once or twice a week. My relationship with my cousin Ron is still very solid. What looked like a good idea got changed in mid-stream and caused a lot of confusion. I am look forward to continuing working for the Lord with the Blackwood Gospel Quartet. We will be honoring all present and future dates.

    I am more thrilled and excited with our current group than I have ever been. Brad Smith, David Mann and Dustin Bearden are all three extraordinary singers. We just had our photo shoot Wednesday and will be updating the website shortly.

    Check back with sogospelnews.com and bgqmusic.com for further updates.

    Cecil Mark Blackwood

  70. Thanks Mark. I appreciate the update. Good luck with the group!

  71. Comments are closed. Let’s keep future discussions as productive as possible. Thanks!


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