Saturday News Roundup #124

Worth Knowing

  • Canton Junction bass singer Tim Duncan posted an update on his son Breck’s recovery: “He is doing great!! His recovery is amazing. He is able to get around the house with a walker and has even been able to ride into town a few times. He is going stir crazy not being able to get out and go- especially to work! He continues to get cards in the mail. He has read and kept every one of them. He wanted us to say thank you again for all the cards and prayers!”
  • Gordon Mote, who recently launched a solo career, signed with New Haven Records.

Worth Watching

One of the best Kingsmen songs nobody remembers is “Behold the Master Cometh”; it featured Eldridge Fox, and appeared on the 1995 Georgia Live project:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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15 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.

    Heres when they did that same song july 4, 1996 at the Inspirations , Inspiration Park , Singin’ in th Smokeys.

  2. Thanks for the memories! I believe I have seen that in concert sometime long ago……….but who’s memory is that good.
    Knew all the members and band members—–followed the Kingsmen closely back in those years. Hamill was the best
    quartet MC, and he made it fun and exciting!!
    Miss that old guy, too.

  3. That’s a great CD. The Surrett note on the end of that clip is the highlight of the entire thing! Thanks for the clip!

    • You’re welcome!

    • Andrew, I liked the Surrett note but that Chris Collins note threw my hat in the creek! 🙂 I wish he was still in SG!

  4. Open Thread- Group Changes

    We know that one of the constants in SG is change. My thought/question is: Do you follow a group because of the members, or the collective history of the group despite who is in the group?

    Also, how important to a group’s success is it to have a “star”? Someone in a comments about the Dixie Echoes mentioned how the Cathedrals went through a similar loss of personnel and went on to greater success with its new members. The key though with the Cat’s was that George and Glen were the main draw. They were the “stars”.

    Can a group go through too many changes for you to stick with them and continue to have an interest in their music?

    • I personally have stuck with a group through many changes. However, usually if not always, there are some who have remained in a group. The Cathedrals, Gold City, the Gaither Vocal Band, J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, and the Oak Ridge Boys are some of my favorite groups. However, initially with the Cathedrals and Oak Ridge Boys, I was drawn to them later in their careers. The Cathedrals was with Funderburk, Trammell and Bennett, the Stamps had Trammell and Toney and the Oaks with their current members (the first time). I have their back catalogs where different members were in the groups (I even have Oaks stuff with none of the current members). So, from a collector’s standpoint I pick up things with members or combos I don’t particularly care for. It is done for collecting sake and in the hopes that I will like things. I have gone back on Gold City too although I started with them on their first Live album on HeartWarming so I started practically at the beginning. On the Vocal Band I started with the New Point of View album (at least that was the one that got my attention), but I picked up the two prior ones either at the same time or pretty soon after.

      Generally I would be more apt to stick with a group that has a member change here or there if there is a constant in the group. When the Oaks lost Golden, I was concerned even though there are other members I would have hated to see go more. Steve changed their sound a lot on some songs for the better and some not (and that is no slam on either one’s talent), but they definitely still did some great music with him (as they had before and have since Golden has been back). They are such different types of singers that each allowed them to do things that they couldn’t with the other. If they lost a particular member, I would miss them, but would stick with them. However, if all four retired and a whole different group of singers took on the name, I would at least listen and give a chance, but the name alone wouldn’t do it for me I don’t think. However, I guess if each member retired at a different time over a certain time period, and they had good replacements, it would be easier to take even if somewhere along the line one of those members weren’t great because I had grown to like the other members.

      It is hard to imagine the Cathedrals without George or Glen. Even though I like Greater Vision, L5, Signature Sound, and Mark Trammell Quartet, and even when some (with Funderburk) combine to do the Cathedrals remembered thing, it isn’t the same without the “old men”. I still get their stuff, but I think retiring the Cathedrals name was the thing to do (even though I understand some wanting it to go on). I think it better a name be remembered fondly than to diminish. As far as the Stamps, Ed Enoch is one of my favorite singers, Ed Hill was a great baritone, Strickland a great tenor etc. but the loss of J.D. was felt big time. This wasn’t even just his voice, but his personality and I believe business acumen too. The Stamps name has lost some esteem I think. The group just doesn’t seem to stick together for long. I think the Imperials too was that way. Although there was some continuity, it just didn’t seem to be the same at the end (or I guess even before Armond left). The Kingsmen has also probably lost some of the name value even though they have had talented people in there for some time. Too many associate Hamil (and to a lesser degree Fox) as the Kingsmen. So, the loss of strong personalities and key members can affect a group and they can’t necessarily ride the coattails well at times. Some try, but generally they have to prove themselves (even if they create a new niche) although some stick with the (meaning generic) group as long as they have the name and do the same songs even if the members aren’t up to par.

  5. if the new members keep the quality of the group going with new singers then always going to be good and only one person has done that Bill Gaither you can not name a bad singer in the gaither vocal band the group is just to good plus a lot of personal changes can not be helped but as gaither would say you don’t replace anybody you do something different and a lot of groups should heed that advice some groups i have heard lately are trying to get sound alike guys so they can sing the same songs its aggravating

    • It depends on the group’s style. Doyle Lawson likes to keep a very consistent vocal sound to Quicksilver, and he does; you can hear any lineup of the group and immediately know that it’s Quicksilver. I really don’t think that’s a bad thing; not everyone needs to go that route, of course, but if a group has a sound that distinctive, it just makes sense to preserve it.

      Let me give another example: If one of the married sisters were to leave the Collingsworth family (so that no rumors get started: They’re not, as far as I know), Phil Sr. could hardly do better than to persuade one of their cousins to join the group – I’ve seen video clips of several of their cousins that have very similar vocal traits and would help preserve a consistent group sound. Compare that to, say, hiring TaRanda Greene to fill the spot. Sure, she’s an incredible vocalist, but given the vocal texture of the Collingsworth ensembles, that would be a little weird!

  6. Another treasure, Daniel.

    I was just watching the current line-up of Kingsmen on Gospel Music Showcase, so had them singing on tv and pc. Still enjoy watching Ray cover one ear to hit the low notes and point his finger in circles when looking at someone in the audience. I miss old Jim too!

    • Thanks – it is!

    • I saw the Gospel Music Showcase episode as well. They sounded good – however that is only 50% of the current vocal lineup. The tenor on that show, Harold Reed, is now with The LeFevre Quartet and the lead on that show, Bryan Hutson, is now with Soul’d Out Quartet.

  7. Hi Daniel! First of all I am excited that I ordered my NQC tickets today. Secondly I have a burning question. I just got Blue Skies Coming by the Perrys. I was reading the liner notes and it thanked Jeff Pearles for “finishing out the songs because of Tracys surgery and heart attack”. So is Jeff Pearles’ vocals on this cd or is it Tracy?

    • My review copy had no liner notes; that’s interesting. It’s Tracy on all the solos and on all harmony parts that are prominent in the mix. Probably Jeff did a few overdubs and fixes. He’s like the Terry Franklin of bass vocals – great at matching tones.

  8. I wasn’t sure if they meant finishing out the songs in the studio or in concerts. Either way its a great cd.