Saturday News Roundup #128

Worth Knowing

  • The Dove Brothers have changed the branding and URL on their website from Dove Brothers Quartet to Dove Brothers Band. (Hat tip, Brandon.)
  • The Dixie Melody Boys are issuing a limited-edition pressing of what may be Ed O’Neal’s first-ever recording, a 1961 album Introducing the Gospel Harmony Quartet.

Worth Reading

  • Off-topic but worthwhile: By its very definition, “forgiveness” is giving up resentment or a claim to requital from someone who has done something wrong to you. Yet some preachers today claim a therapeutic value to “forgiving God” after something bad happens. This column tears that notion to shreds, calling anyone who has the audacity to tell someone to “forgive God” to repent for entertaining the notion that a holy and perfect God has done anything wrong!

Worth Watching

Here’s one of the first videos posted of the Blackwood Brothers with new bass singer Butch Owens:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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20 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. Just out of curiosity, of any given full time Southern Gospel group, what percentage of their weekly income is paid to each individual? Once all other group expenses get paid, what does a group member “take home”?
    Less than 5 %, 10 %, 15 % or more ?
    Generally speaking, how is this percentage varying throught the industry? Does someone with the Gaither tour get a higher percentage of pay, compared to a group that’s just getting started? Or, on the flipside, would a group with much national prominance have more overhead, so there’s less to give to each group member, once other expenses are met?
    I’ve heard talk before that full time SG artist, financially, would fall under the federal poverty limit, or whatever the proper title for that is. So, to give a group’s members a good income, by middle class America’s standards, how much do you think a group would need to make, yearly?
    We complain about the US economy, job losses, and rising costs of everyday purchases. Yet, how much more is the SG artist feeling the pinch? They are their own employers, running their own independent buisness, after all.
    Just some food for thought in a curious mind.

    • I think it’s not quite as simple as percentage of weekly income to each individual. For virtually every group, some weekends are better than others. But when a group manager hires a singer, the singer is generally offered a certain set weekly/monthly salary, which the group manager then has to pay no matter how well or poorly the weekend went.

  2. Groups have a different way of structuring pay. I’ve worked with groups who paid flat salary every 2 weeks while another one split offerings 5 different ways. National recognition doesn’t always play into what a group member will make. To give you a different side, secular music works alot on percentages. When the bass player for Metallica (yes I do listen to different styles ) was hired, he was given 1 million up front plus 5% of all sales of group product. Definitely not SG pay by any stretch of the imagination. You must have the desire to work for the Lord in spite of what you may get out of it.


    Don’t know if I put that link in correctly…..

    Great version of a Gold City song from the Movin’ Up album…sounds so much better live than the overdone recorded version. Great lineup……

    • I LOVE TIM RILEY!!!!
      There’s just a “rawness” to his voice at that time, especially on the slides, like at the the end of this song. That sound has never been matched by another bass singer I’ve heard.
      Speaking off that lineup of Gold City, what ever happend to bassist Jeff Hollander?

  4. Interesting item that Ed O’Neal is releasing. I’m thinking this isn’t his first recording. I could be mistaken, but I thought his first recording was the album “If You Know the Lord” with the Serenaders Quartet. I have both recordings, but there is no date on the Serenaders album.

    It’s also interesting that the label on the new CD identifies the group as the “Gospel Harmony Boys”, when the name of the group was actually the “Gospel Harmony Quartet”.

    • After reading Ed’s biography on the Dixie Melody Boys site: “Ed began singing in 1958 with the Gospel Harmony Boys and then went onto sing with another group called the Sernaders.” However, the backliner notes on the original Gospel Harmony Quartet album states that the group was formed in 1961. Anybody know for sure??

      • Well, I wasn’t there, but I have that Gospel Harmony Quartet, and it says the group was formed in 1961. Based on his SGMA Hall of Fame bio, I would assume that anything he recorded with the Serenaders would have come first.

  5. Thanks for the interest in this special album. To clear up some confusion, its was an error on my part labeling it Boys instead of Quartet. The final grpahics that went to the printer have the corrected title. As far as the history, I just spoke with Ed to get the correct order of events. He confirmed that this was indeed his first album. He joined the Gospel Harmony Quartet in 1961. He was with them until they broke up in late 62. He then was a member of the Serenaders. They recorded one album, If You Know The Lord, and broke up after only a year together. He had been in concerts with the guys who were in the Dixie Melody Boys. They asked him to fill in with the group at the end of 1963 and is still “filling in”. By 1965 Ed was managing the group. Through the years, the history has gotten a little twisted. I will try to work on getting that corrected. As a fan of great quartet music myself, I really enjoy this album. The were a good group and Ed really shines on this album.

    • Matt, you’re exactly right about it being a good album. I gave Ed a CD of this album last year at GOGR. Perhaps this may have stirred thoughts with him to produce this project!

  6. Actually it was Daniel. He sent me the audio the other day. Ive tried to presrve Eds history. When I approached Ed about releasing it, his humble spirit shined. He thought no one want it. I disagreed. I wish he would have shared the copy you gave him. We could have done this sooner.

  7. Matt,
    Speaking of old recordings that could be brought back, I found a candidate. When you get famous, like Ed, I’ll re-issue (with your permission, of course) your recording with GloryWay. I have at least 2 copies here. I can’t loose something with a big singer on it, now can I?
    Jim actually had black hair…….. first time I ever saw him, I thought he was a professor, or something like that. HAHA!
    Now seriously, has anyone else ever recorded the song you wrote that’s on there, “Master’s Plan” ?

    • No, no one else has cut that. Ive been thinking of pitching to a few groups. “As famous as Ed”…thats huge shoes to fill. I doubt that i’ll ever accomplish that. He’s a legend.

      • Indeed, he is a legend.
        If the Lord has that for you, then it will happen in His way and time. And if that’s not His plan, enjoy the ride anyway!

  8. Hello Daniel,

    This comment doesn’t have to be published. I just wanted to check and see if you are on Legacy Five’s email list – they just sent out an email saying that Glenn Dustin has left the group. I wanted to let you know so maybe you could be the first blogger to break the story. If you need me to forward you the email, I can. Thanks and have a great day!


    • Thank you, Charles! I was typing the story up when your comment came through. 🙂

  9. I really do want a accompaniment tape of “”I’ve Got Family There”. where can I get one? I heard you sing it at Willards Camp and it blessed me so . My son had just passed away two weeks before very suddenly with a massive heart attack. I sing in church and would like to sing it, I know it would bless many. Thanks

    • Sorry, I don’t know off the top of my head of where it might be available.

  10. After hearing the Blackwood Brothers last night in Shelby, Ohio, I thought I’d come by and brag a bit on Butch Owens.
    He’s different……. not the type of bass one would expect to follow Randy Byrd. (but, then again, I read yesterday that James Blackwood didn’t think at first that J.D. Sumner would be a good fit. Look at the sucess they had afterwards.)
    I sat up front most of the night, slightly to the left of their subwoofer and right main (Top In Sound custom designed speakers). He sang very confidently.
    At the end of “The Lighthouse” he hammered a low G. ( I had asked him later what the note was) Not just a G, but a good sounding G. He also said that on the new recording, there’s a song where he sings a low D. He asked Billy, the producer, if he wanted him to take it down an octave. Billy didn’t think Butch was serious, yet he was, so that’s what went on the CD.
    I couldn’t get over, watching Butch, the fact that he looked like Jeff Chapman. Next time you see them, look at him from the side.
    And, as far as the singing, if you like Jeff, you’ll like Butch. From what I’ve heard, I’d say Butch is better than Jeff.
    For those who don’t know, Butch is the father of Signature Sound’s Ian Owens. Butch says that Ian had a good teacher in his grandfather, but I’d venture to say that Ian still leaned some things from Butch.