NQC 2012, Day 4: Live Blog

Our NQC live blog posts take shape through the evenings.


Greater Vision. Rodney Griffin kicked off the set with “No Longer Chained.” By the discussion in the webcast’s live chat, it appears that the video feed cut out for most or all users for a good portion of the song. It had returned (for me, at least) by the second song, “When They Ring the Bells of Heaven.”

Gerald Wolfe introduced song three by saying that Jack Campbell’s widow was in the audience, and she came all the way from Mississippi or Louisiana to hear a song her husband wrote. He apologized to the team in the TV truck for changing the program on them, but he said he simply had to have Chris Allman sing “I Know a Man Who Can.”

Gerald Wolfe bought up a trio of a brother, sister, and another young lady who sang up sang a unbelievably amazing rendition of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow”—an arrangement at least inspired by the Martins.

Wolfe took his time setting up the final song, “Faces,” telling stories of people who had inspired him and helped him in his life.

Jason Crabb. Jason started his set with a classic, “Who Am I,” before launching into the first Crabb Family single that featured him, “Still Holdin’ On.” He kept the Crabb Family theme going with “The Lamb, The Lion, and the King.” He switched to his solo repertoire on his fourth song, “Sometimes I Cry.”

National Quartet Convention or not, it’s not NQC unless Jason and his sisters break out “Through the Fire” at least once! Talk about ending a set on a high note!

Whisnants. Susan Whisnant introduced “I’ll Trust The Potter’s Hand” by talking about how much she loves the Lesters’ song “He Doesn’t Throw the Clay Away,” and how this song is in a similar vein. They launch into their second song, “I’m in the Gloryland Way,” by noting that Gerald Wolfe is filling in on piano.

The Whisnants have been through an incredibly tough year! Jeff’s father is in his fourth week of chemo, and they got a call this week that his brother has been hospitalized. She introduced their third song, “All is Well,” by sharing how her mother was facing a cancer diagnosis last year.

They wrapped up their set on an uptempo note, with “New Day Dawning.” Members of the Mark Trammell Quartet came up on stage to join them for an encore.

Tribute Quartet started with two up-tempo to mid-tempo songs, “Thank the Lord” and “Homesick Angel,” both from their new album, Our Anthem. Tenor Riley Clark was featured on a passionately powerful rendition of “Homecoming Day.” They wrapped up their set with “Good News From Jerusalem, featuring Josh Singletary. This is the most animated and enthusiastic I’ve ever seen Singletary during a vocal solo; he has come into his own as a quartet vocalist.

Booth Brothers. They lined up a special treat for the audience, getting legendary pianist and producer Nick Bruno to fill in on piano. Song 1: I’m Free.  Turns out that wasn’t the only special treat they’d lined up; they brought Bill Gaither on stage as a guest bass vocalist for their second song, “Joy in the Camp.” He introduced their third song, “Let the Healing Begin,” before walking off stage. He came back onstage for the third and fourth encores of their closing song, “Played in the Band.”

Live Blog

10:41: Kingdom Heirs. Song 1: “Ever Since That Wonderful Day.” Song 2: “Hit the Ground Running.” Song 3: “He Locked the Gates.” Strong response from a tired but enthusiastic crowd. Song 4: Jerry Martin sang his signature song, “I Can Pray.” Song 5: “I Never Shall Forget the Day.” This late at night, it makes sense to end the set on an uptempo note. The ending on the encore is classic Kingdom Heirs—exactly what Southern Gospel is supposed to be. 

Sorry the notes are cursory at this point. I’m heading for Louisville early tomorrow morning, and I’ll have to call it a night within a few minutes. I had to stay up late enough to catch the Kingdom Heirs’ set, even with how far behind schedule I am. After all, I’ll be at their booth for the signing tomorrow—4:30, right after the NQC Music Awards—and I dare not tell the host group that I slept through their set! That would be like apologizing to a preacher for sleeping through his sermon!

10:19: Talleys. Song 1: “Surely.” Brian Alvey is back on stage with the group tonight. Song 2: “Broken World,” their current radio single. Strong, strong, strong song. Alvey introduced the third song, “That’s Why I Love Him So,” by talking about his time of running away from God, and how Gerald Wolfe’s witness was part of what brought him back to God. Song 4: “Great Love,” featuring Debra and Lauren. They close with a quick chorus of “He’s Alive.”

10:11: Mark Bishop. Song 1: “Listening for the Call.” Song 2, after a well-spoken introduction, “God Builds Churches with Broken People.” He only did two songs; not sure if that was scheduled or if he gave up some time since the program is twenty-five minutes behind (after only two songs!).

9:27: Isaacs. They started with the energetic “It’s Gonna Rain.” Sound issues persisted through the first song or two. Song 2: “Why Can’t We.” Interestingly for a bluegrass group, they took the stage with a pianist (Matthew Holt) and drummer. Song 3: “Four Men Walking” (guess on title). Becky Isaacs Bowman testified before her solo on “Waiting in the Water.”

9:25: Sisters sang an incredible acapella rendition of “It is Well With My Soul.”

8:37: Producer Phil Brower introduced David Jeremiah by showing a video with photographs and discussion of Jeremiah’s little-known college basketball career. He mentioned that there was going to be a basketball challenge between a team led by Jeremiah and a team led by Gerald Wolfe next year. It’s not entirely clear if he was joking!

8:11: Collingsworth Family. It’s been a while since Phil Collingsworth has brought out the trumpet on the main stage! He kicked off the set with “O Magnify the Lord,” while Kim played piano. After one uptempo vocal song, “I Know,” the lights dimmed and Olivia Collingsworth recited the Christmas story before Phil Jr. launched into “Silent Night.” As that track ended, they did an immediate segue into “What Child is This?”

After a moving video about how Phil Sr.’s father won a Silver Star in the Korean War, and how many servicemen the extended family has sent into the military, they sang a stirring acapella rendition of “God Bless America.”

Kim Collingsworth followed with a piano solo, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” that got one of the biggest responses of the night.

7:50: Jeff & Sheri Easter. Jason Crabb brought Jeff & Sheri Easter on stage by starting into a chorus of “Thank You, Lord, For Your Blessings on Me.” They joined him on the chorus before launching into their own first song, “A Little Bit of Sunshine” (? on title). Jeff Easter said that their second song, “I’ll Take It,” was written by Joseph & Lindsay Habedank. Their third song was a sad love song, “Sitting On Top of the World.” Son Madison’s wife Shannon joined Madison and Morgan for “Does it Make Him Cry?” Jeff Easter brought another guest—his father, James Easter—onto stage for “I Won’t Have To Worry Anymore.”

7:04: McKameys. The McKameys are introduced with a classic two-decade-old clip of them singing “God On the Mountain.” When they walk on stage, though, they’re a little more subdued, singing the convention-style song “Some Morning I Shall Stand.” Song 2: “Nothing But Grace.” After a track mis-cue, they moved into their third song, “Unspoken Request.” Peg sets up the fourth song, “Finish Well,” by noting that it’s the first time there has ever been a McKameys male trio. They end on a high note—literally and figuratively—with “I’ve Won.”

6:22: Lesters. They begin with “Revive Us Again.” Second: “I’m One of His Redeemed” (guess at title). Their third song, “Rocks Dropping,” had a cool concept and was well executed (lyrically and vocally). The high point of the set was their signature song, “He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away.” They closed with style and class, with a simple arrangement of “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”

6:17: Kim, Brooklyn, and Courtney Collingsworth play “The Prayer.” They got a rousing standing ovation from the artist circle, and a partial standing ovation from the rest of the audience. (Worth noting: NQC audiences will almost never unanimously stand until later in the evening.)

5:58: Mark Bishop takes the stage as emcee. He’s off to a great start with some timely humor. He walks up as a choir walks off stage, commenting that he’s surrounded by Johnny Cash impersonators! He also wishes himself luck and mentions that he listened to rap music on the way over. He paused long enough for the crowd to gasp in horror—before clarifying that it was blaring from a jeep two blocks away!

5:44: The Hoppers come on stage to sing one song, “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About to Happen.”

5:39: Penny Loafers. This inimitable group offered a highlight of the showcase spotlight segment, singing their signature song—their a capella  take on the Mosie Lister classic “Goodbye, World, Goodbye.”

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

26 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. In my opinion Tribute has delivered the best opening group performance this week. KP and New River was strong on Monday, but I would have to put my vote to Tribute for a great, upbeat true-t0-their-roots southern gospel with great arranging. And I totally agree this song has brought Josh into his own vocally! Off to church—will look forward to your continued updates.

    • Enjoy your church service! I’m inclined to agree.

  2. Please forgive my ignorance, but are the groups, themselves, in charge of playing soundtracks during their set, or is this done by the sound crew who controls volume, etc?

    • I think it varies. There is a team in charge of live sound. If the group carries a sound engineer who knows exactly what the group needs, and when, then that engineer will be down with the formal sound team, and help hit the tracks at all the right moments.

      • Thanks, Daniel! So in the case of the McKameys’ soundtracks, the sound team would be in control? I was just curious if Mr. Fortner was in charge of tracks along with providing lead vocals.

      • Even if he normally would be, he doesn’t have a track machine with him on stage here, so he can’t control it here.

  3. Who is the steel player for J&S Easter?

  4. I’ve read on various sites that the sound problems of recent years have been eliminated. What about other concerns that we’re raised in the past. Are there Compassion commercials? Are there videos that have nothing to do with SGM? Are introductions shorter? (should be with one MC instead of two)

    • There have still been a number of the pointless YouTube videos, but I think I’ve only seen one Compassion video which no one asked for pledges/donations,

  5. I’ve been away from the computer for most of the evening. How did the Collingsworths doing Christmas music go over with the audience?!

    • They liked it – and loved their patriotic music.

  6. This is going to sound weird, but I think my favorite moment of the night was actually the way Gerald Wolfe set up Faces

    • No, that’s not weird! It was a powerful moment.

  7. Musically for me the highlight has been the Isaacs Waiting In the Water

  8. Daniel, the Issacs have had a drummer in their band for the last 3-4 years. Even before they hired their own drummer, Greg Richie would play drums with the Isaacs on their main stage appearances.

    Also, since Gordon Mote began traveling with Gaither, the Isaacs have had Gaither’s piano player play with them. Matthew Holt played keys with them tonight.

    On a most interesting note, a man sitting across the aisle from me stopped Isaacs’ drummer, Nathan “Spicket” Faucet, and asked if “that guy” was going to be playing piano with them permanently now. Spicket replied, “no, he’s going to start playing with the Gaither tour.” This should end speculation about whether Holt plans to travel with the Gaither tour. Faucet and the group for which he plays is a fixture of the Gaither tour–I’m certain he would know.

    Tonight was one of the greatest NQC evening concerts I have ever attended, and I have been coming to the NQC for over a decade. I agree with Daniel in that the Whisnants’ set was one of the best of the night. Great evening. I will be back in attendance tomorrow night.

    • Jordan – neat! Yes, I’ve known they had a drummer for a while – it was drums plus piano that stood out.

  9. Matthew Holt is now “officially” the Gaithers’ piano player. The Perry’s are so proud of him and for him.

  10. Daniel:
    Can we watch any of these live on the computer? Hope you all are having a good one!

    • We believe you can still buy video access. As far as we know, it has on demand access for a time after the convention. Check http://natqc.com/ and click webcast for details. Hope that helps!

      • One quick point to mention on Phil Sr.’s silver star medal………soldiers don’t “win” medals; they are awarded. “Winning” would indicate a concious effort to try on the part of the individual. Being “awarded” the honor means being recoginized for a selfless act(s) by the person. There is a BIG difference in the military community. They will tell you, “We were just doing our job”.
        God Bless them all!

      • Correct! I’m sure if they said winning, it was just a grammatical mis-speak. I’m sure they didn’t mean anything more by the choice of the words. I will add, though, that I’m pretty sure I’ve heard military veterans themselves use “won” in casual conversation.

      • Correct!

  11. where to obtain the following scores of music . . .

    1. He didn’t throw the clay away
    2. Land of Living
    3. I Know A Man Who Can

    • I don’t know of anywhere that these are available; it’s almost impossible to find sheet music these days. Most places have stopped selling it.

      • Southern Gospel CSI garage sale page on facebook. A gentleman there is selling the sheetmusic to 500 songs