Saturday News Roundup #149

Worth Knowing

  • Dove Brothers tenor Keith Casstevens has been replaced by former Dove Brothers tenor Jonathan Price. Musicscribe interviews Casstevens and group manager McCray Dove, who explain that the change is amicable, and that Casstevens will continue to work for the Dove Brothers in booking. [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.]
  • David Heil, father of The Gospel Greats’ Paul Heil, passed away Tuesday morning. He was 93.

Worth Watching

Gaither Studios has released a preview of the upcoming Pure and Simple, Volumes 1 and 2 DVD set:

Also, don’t miss one of the funniest lip-sync videos you’ll ever see, here. It’s a video of four boys from Florence Baptist Temple in Florence, SC lip-syncing to a J.D. Sumner parody.

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. Daniel, do you work full time in the field of Southern Gospel Music, or do you also work a “regular” job? You have previously commented that you must get up very early for work, and I was wondering what is so pressing each morning in SG music?
    By the way, I check your blog daily and appreciate your approach.

    • Guy – yes, I work for a Southern Gospel record company, Crossroads. I had to get up quite early for a previous job, several years ago; now I get up early because I want to. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words and for reading daily! 🙂

  2. We attended the Gaither Homecoming Christmas Concert last night in Hershey, PA. It was a wonderful night. The stage was set up with Christmas decorations, trees and lights. A local choir performed prior to the show and they were excellent. We stayed for the first 2.5 hours, from 7:00 to 9:20 PM. Bill then said we would have a 20 minute intermission and they would come back and do an hour of Christmas music, Homecoming style. With 2 children and a 1.25 hour drive home we left at intermission, fully satisfied. I am sure the last hour was excellent as the singers were really having fun and giving it thier all for the crowd of 8,000 (announced). What is interesting is the BB, L5, GV Christmas Jubilee was last Saturday in nearby Lancaster and it sold out with 2,500 people; alot of SG music fans in East/Central PA.
    Bill walked out singing Old Friends and shaking hands in the audience. He then introduced Charlotte Ritchie who sang a nice holiday song. Budy Greene, The Martins, Gene McDonald and then the Isaccs all sang 2-3 songs each. We really enjoyed a song by the Martins, maybe called “The Promise”. it was heart touching.
    At this point it was 8:15 and the lights went down after the Isaccs last song. The Gaither Vocal Band opened up with One Voice, then Alpha and Omega, and then I Catch Them, God Cleans Them. The crowd loves the GVB! The normal comedy banter between Bill and Mark, songs from thier new album such as Glorius Freedom, I Don’t Want to get Adjusted, Love of God and standards such as Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored, Nesum Dorma and a few others. The closed their 65 minute powerful set with Mark Lowrey and Buddy Greene singing Mary Did You Know and then The King is Coming. UNBELIEVABLE!!! What a great night.

    • Thanks for the review! It is neat to hear how the Homecoming experience translates on the local level.

  3. Going to make my two hour drive to Pittsburgh Pa tonight to see the Gaither Homeconing Concert. Sounded like a great concert in Hershey. I know this will be a great concert also.

  4. This item came this morning via email;
    “The Taylors have been invited to sing on Main Stage at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY in 2013! Specific dates have not yet been released, but concert appearances for NQC will be posted online shortly.

    The Taylors had the special privilege of ministering at Dr. Charles Stanley’s church at First Baptist Church in Atlanta in November. Footage from that concert will be televised on several “In Touch” episodes that will be broadcast in 2013! “

  5. I wanted to add a comment specific to the Hershey, PA Gaither Concert last night.
    My wife pointed out how special it was to be seated just a few feet away from Mark Lowrey and Buddy Greene when they sang Mary Did you Know. Mark actually wrote the lyrics and Buddy wrote the music to this song 20 years ago. It has been recorded by many, many big name singers but there is something special about Mark and Buddy performing “thier” song.
    Mark sang while Buddy played acoustic guitar, both front and center stage. Of course the Vocal band comes in several times during the second half and at the end of the song, which helps to make it such a powerful perfromance.
    Though it was a great night with many wonderful moments, Mary Did You Know was the highlight for us.
    Ultimatley, it is the message of this song that moves so many to rejoice, praise and respond….not the singers.

    Enogh said about the Gaither concert….because tomorrow we are back in Hershey for TobyMac! (what a diverse family we are…..)

  6. Hey anyone know is Dove Brothers Band still with Crossroads music and also when is TBN going to start airing the NQC Concerts?

  7. Most departures in SG are amicable, so I’m not sure why the Doves felt the need to point it out. I’m sure several are not, but nobody would assume otherwise, I would think.

    Of course, I once mistakenly assumed two guys who used to be in the same group were still friends, and found out the hard way that they weren’t.

    • More departures are non-amicable than you might think, but you’re doubtless right. I think McCray is aware of the types of rumors that go around and just wanted to set the record straight. I for one really appreciate it when group owners do that (MTQ is also a class act in this respect).

  8. I would also like to use this opportunity of an open thread to express how much I enjoy reading this fantastic blog! This blog gives me an inside view into the world of southern gospel, and because I don’t live in the USA where it all happens, I really do appreciate this blog.

    My love for Southern Gospel started way back in the mid nineties, when I was just a boy (I was born in 1991). My Seventh-Day Adventist parents listened to a lot of quartet music by Adventist singers such as the King’s Heralds, and all my life I have enjoyed southern gospel because of that. I don’t know how they got hold of those cassettes, but somehow they did! And when my dad bought a VCR the first video he bought was A New Name In Glory, which was part of a series of music videos known as The Voice Of Prophecy Family Reunion. The videos featured a large group comprised of veterans and young Adventist singers and they sang southern gospel in a Gaither Homecoming style. That really got me hooked on SG such that when I saw a Gaither video, I immediately loved fell in love with this other group of non Adventists, singing the already familiar songs. To cut a long story short, I’m a SG fan!

    I found this video taken from a Voice Of Prophecy Family Reunion video entitled A Voice Of Prophecy Family Reunion At The Tivoli, taped in 1999 at the Tivoli theater in (Chattanuga? Not sure of spelling), Tennessee. This Old House, a great classic popularised by the legendary Cathedrals, here it is sung by one of the Adventist groups that took part in my introduction to American Southern Gospel, the Heritage Singers. The bass singer, Dave Bell is great!

  9. TBN aired their Christmas concert last night hosted by Jason Crabb with SG artists like KPNR, Greater Vision, Tribute, LeFevre Quartet, and others.

    LeFevre Quartet had Mike Allen on bass, just wondering if that’s on a fill-in basis, or if it was a hire I hadn’t heard about?

    • That might have been a re-airing of last year’s Christmas special. Harold Reed was present but hadn’t been hired yet, and Mike Allen was filling in for an ill Brandon Barry.

      • Good call, guess I’m not really sure.

  10. I can’t watch the embedded Youtube video. It’s refusing to play unless I actually go to Youtube. Is anyone else experiencing this?

    • Hmm. It is working correctly for me.

      • It’s happening on other websites too. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought maybe it had something to do with Youtube’s new format. This problem started around the same time.

      • Oh, okay, I just realized it’s a Firefox issue. Something about flash code… :/

      • Ah, OK! Glad it’s figured out!

  11. Dustin Sweatman siting on the 2nd row of the Gaither video at the 23 second mark. Kids from Mckenzie and Lee were invited (via Holt) to fill up the first few rows. Dustin called and asked me how to get on a Gaither video from the audience since I am a professional. LOL!

    • Now THAT is FUNNY! 🙂

    • Aha!

      You guys just pop up everywhere. You’d think Bill would know your name at this point. 🙂