Saturday News Roundup #134

Worth Knowing

  • Following the Melody Boys Quartet’s retirement at the end of the year, two to-be alumni, lead singer Jason Tapley and baritone singer Chris Walton, will be launching Next Chapter Quartet. [EDIT, 2/21/13. Broken link removed.] They will release two recordings in or around next January, a mainline project titled God’s Not Finished and a project called Tribute to Gerald Williams and the Melody Boys.
  • Pianist Mike Hammontree has returned to the Blackwood Brothers, after recovery from a quadruple-bypass heart surgery.

Worth Reading

Worth Watching

  • The Dills have a video taken underneath their bus, amidst an air valve repair.
  • Aaron Swain has videos of the new Blackwood Brothers lineup live in concert.
  • The Mark Trammell Quartet had a homecoming celebrating their 10th Anniversary on the road last weekend. Here’s a video of Mark, tenor Eric Phillips, and Eric’s daughter Carli; Carli is singing “I Love to Tell the Story.”
  • SGConcerts’ Diana Brantley posted a concert review with videos of a recent concert featuring the Old Paths, Gold City, and a new group called Resurrection. [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.] Resurrection is a trio consisting of Inspirations alumni Matt Dibler, Melton Campbell, and Mike Clark. (Clark filled in for Archie Watkins.) Here’s one of the Resurrection videos:
Also, here’s a video of the Old Paths delivering the classic Kingsmen arrangement of “Love Lifted Me”: (Don’t miss the big ending!) 

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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23 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. Thanks for mentioning my review site again, Daniel!! That really was a fun concert with The Old Paths, Gold City, and Resurrection and I’m pretty sure they’re going to have the same groups at this location next year.

    • You’re welcome! Is that a new pseudonym? 🙂

      • Nope – that was a typo!! Do you think I should change my name??? Maybe not!

      • Maybe not! 🙂

  2. I noticed the posting earlier in the week about the Booth Brothers appearing at the Memphis Quartet Show with Gene McDonald. I want be there but would love to hear it. Dies anyone know if there will be a recording that is commercially available for purchase of the Quartet show?

    • Unfortunately, it won’t be released. The only way to see it will be to attend. The event won’t be webcast.

  3. Thank you Daniel for the video link regarding J. D. Sumner. I was somewhat shocked at the revelation of his coming to faith so late in life, but I’m thankful that he did place his trust in Christ

    J. D. reminds me of Mark Tranmell’s testimony where he sang about Christ for years without truly knowing Him. I pray this will serve as an encouragement to all of us

    • You know, my surprise was actually in the other direction. I’d known for a few years that he had not been a Christian for years. I was so glad to see that he ultimately turned to Christ before it was too late.

      • AMEN to that!
        The January 1989 Singing News had an article about Gospel music veterans who had recently become saved. J.D., Mark Tramell, Garry Jones, Mike LeFevre, and Joel Hemphill were mentioned. J.D. said “For 63 years I used God to glorify J D Sumner. Now I want to use J D Sumner to glorify God.”
        To think, J.D would have been, at that point, singing professionally for 43 years.
        Wow, what grace God has. JD surley found that, what accomplishments he had made in his career, meant nothing complared to the glory of personally KNOWING the Lord. Every song would have been new! Every note would have been for HIM !
        S.N. later did an interview with Ed Hill, where he says that there had been a definite change in J.D.
        Thanks for posting this, that is quite a blessing to hear his story!

  4. Quaid, J.D’s wife passed away after that article was written. I seem to recall J.D. telling in either his book or in an interview that he had made sure everything was right between him and God after her death. While we are on the topic, According the Richard Sterban’s new book, J.D. was moved during the Three Nails play that the Stamps, Oak Ridge Boys, and Rambos and made up his mind he would live right. He put a sin jar on the bus and when certain offenses were done they would have to put money in it. Some of the guys on the bus said they couldn’t wait until those feelings passed so things could go back to the way they had been. Eventually they did. I did see J.D. in concert at least twice after Mary’s death. He shared from stage about God softening his heart, about how he used to hate Gloria Gaither among other things as I recall.

    • Humm…….. I had wondered about Ken mentioning Rick, cause Steve Warren was onboard in early 1989.
      Thanks for giving this bit of info.

  5. Brian Free is another one of those singers who came to know Christ after years of singing for HIM!

  6. I guess L5 hasn’t found a new bass yet. Is Stacy Bragg still filling in for them? I heard him with them a few weeks ago…rocked the house.

    • They have, but the news is not yet publicly available.

      • I read somewhere that Rick Fair filled in with them last weekend.

  7. Can someone help me identify a song that I heard in 1993-1994? The song is sung by a man and the lyrics speak of a knowing that death will come to everyone, but when he dies he doesn’t want people to sing a sad song at his funeral. The only lyrics that I remember are from the chorus as he sings, “Don’t sing me a sad song when I’m gone, when I’m gone.” Been trying to locate the song for nearly 20 years now, can you help?

  8. I had read yesterday, in the Sept. Singing News, where Martin Cook said that Mike Holecomb was an “….excellent rhythm singer…..”
    My question is, how exactly do you classify someone as a “rhythm singer”, what makes them different from other singers?
    I googled “rhythm bass singer”, and only got 7 results. Only 2 had any pertinance to singing, and both of them praised “Big Cheif” as being one of, if not the greatest rhythm bass singer in Southern Gospel.
    I remember seeing a Homecomming clip on YouTube where J.D. mentions that a certain bass singer (I believe it was A.D. Soward) was a good singer, but he wasn’t a good rhythm bass.
    So, what exactly IS a rhythm bass singer?

    • Traditionally, wouldn’t that have been a bass singer who sang bum-bums on what is essentially a bass guitar part, at points in a song’s arrangement? I don’t recall Mike Holcomb doing much of that, though.

  9. Hummm……. good question. If that’s not the entire definition of a rhythm singer, then is it something about a singer’s punctuation and timing?

    • I think that what I was describing is a rhythm bass part – singing a melodic/counterpoint rhythm instead of words – and that a good rhythm bass singer is a bass singer who can do that well. I believe that most of the old-school bass singers and students of the likes of Gerald Williams and Bill Lyles would define it in that fashion. That’s not to say that Cook may not be defining it differently.

      (Take another word: Smooth. That’s a word tossed around describing bass singers of whom that would be about the last word to come to my mind!)

      • I understood your difinition of a rhythm singer, and agree with you. Yes, when comparing Mike to Gerald Williams and Bill Lyles, it does appear that Martin might define a “rhythm singer” differently. Which is what I was saying, just with different words.
        I’ve been known not to explain things thoughly before, although it makes perfect sense in my mind what I’m trying to say before I say it.
        BTW, did that make sense ?? Haha!

      • This time through, it made sense – that Martin is probably just using the term in a different fashion, but one that neither you nor I can exactly make heads or tails of! 🙂

      • Whoops! I just realized tonight that I meant to say the October issue of Singing News, not September. Please excuse me.