Saturday News Roundup #151

Worth Knowing

  • Recently departed Inspirations tenor Jodi Hosterman has joined the Holy City Quartet.
  • Stow Town executive Ernie Haase tweeted that J. Mark McVey, a Broadway tenor who sings some inspirational material, will be doing a record with Stow Town.
  • Rodney Birch, author of the #1 December 2012 Singing News hit “Battle Stand” (Old Paths), has signed with Crossroads’ Asheville Music Publishing. He is the son-in-law of legendary writer Sandy Knight, and performs with her in the Roy Knight Singers.

Worth Watching


Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturdayβ€”you decide!

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27 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. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

  2. You can see Jodi Hosterman and Holy City at

  3. yEA, but who is the new tenor for the Inspirations?

    • They don’t have one yet. Tim Owens has been filling in.

      • Daniel , why don’t you take it! πŸ™‚

      • This brings up a good point. Daniel, when are you going to move from the fan and reporting and producing side of the SG world to the performing side?

      • I’ve heard him sing. They’ll call him when Jon Epley needs some time off. Plus he’ll have to shave (lol).

      • πŸ™‚ While I love quartet music, about the only way I’d ever get on the road is if I did it with family members in a mixed or all-male family group setting. πŸ™‚

      • Josh – I actually can’t sing the lowest 3-4 notes that baritones need to be able to sing. That leaves me pretty much limited to second tenor/lead, whenever I’ve been singing informally with friends.

      • *Insert “Boundless Love” by the Bloggers Quartet flashback* πŸ™‚

      • πŸ™‚

      • Hey, since NQC 2013 is the last one in Louisville… our parting gift should be a reunion performance. In front of Brian Free this time instead of behind him! πŸ™‚

        (TOTALLY kidding!!)

  4. Daniel, what do you consider the “lowest 3-4 notes that baritones need to be able to sing”? I think part depends on the group. I personally think a quartet baritone should have approximately an A up to around an E or F over middle C. Ideally they might have an extra high note or two and a few lower ones as well. Some baritone soloists would typically have around a low D. Southern gospel baritones are more like choir tenors. Mark Trammell seems to have around a low E to about a Bb over middle C. Daniel Riley might not get quite that high, but probably has a similar low range or maybe an extra note or two. Mark Lowry probably has around a Low F to a G or maybe A over middle C. Other baritones like Jeff Steele (maybe), Scott Howard, and Mark Lanier seemed to be more of the lower variety of baritones (what I would call more of a true baritone) who probably don’t have the high notes many male quartets might require.

    • It’s handy starting with the official classical definitions: A classical operatic baritone needs to be able to sing three Gs in full voice: The G above middle C to the G 1.5 octaves below.

      A classical operatic tenor needs to be able to sing three B-flats in full voice: The B-flat above middle C to the B-flat just over an octave below.

      Even though those definitions are from classical music, they seem to be fair representations of what many modern-day arrangements call for from SG quartet baritones and lead singers.

      Most of our genre’s strongest lead singers will go as high as a B-flat, with tenors singing a full third or fourth above them. Classically speaking, the voice singing a third or fourth above a tenor is either a countertenor (Brian Free, Eric Phillips, Jay Parrack, Jeremy Peace) or a tenor on the fast track to burning his voice out!

      Meanwhile, on the lower end, I think that using the classical standard for a baritone’s range is a good rule of thumb. Most baritones sing comfortably down to the G an octave and a half below middle C. With the right placement and vocal style, many of the best can push it down an extra note or two if the arrangement needs it. (Think Glen Payne, Glen Allred, Gerald Wolfe.)

      In reference to my range, I can only sing down to around that B-flat before flipping into vocal fry territory. That’s why I say that I don’t have the bottom 3-4 notes that a good, solid baritone ought to have.

      • Except for possibly solos, although lower notes are better, usually a baritone part probably wouldn’t go much past the A I mentioned. Once you get past that, it sort of muddies up. In a D chord, you might have the bass on a D and baritone on the fifth above (A). Put that in Db or C and they would probably revoice the harmonies putting the tenor on the fifth an octave above and the baritone on the third below that. Ideally they would have Fs or even down to Ds, but I’m not sure how much that part of the range would be used in SG.

      • Well, I hear that low G in harmonies often enough. In the comparable C-chord scenario, a G would fit nicely. πŸ™‚ But I think you’re right – these days, with how high tenors and leads are, we don’t hear it as often as we used to.

  5. Southern gospel music version of the game called “Where’s Waldo?”

    Play the new version called “Where’s Daniel J. Mount?” here at this Facebook link:!/photo.php?fbid=4130572424512&set=a.3320045281840.2133270.1289539410&type=1&theater

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks for sharing that Kingsmen song. Powerful version for sure. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore, with Hamill, and Fox….. I must say I enjoy Parker Jonathan as well. He certainly seemed to enjoy it!

  7. Daniel, I was thinking the other day about so many groups changing singers with their group, seems like a lot of personel changes over the last year. You may have already done this and I missed it, but wondering if you would post groups that have had the longest run with with the same singers. One I can think of is Triumphant Quartet.

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    • I think we’ve had discussions that have ended up going in this direction before, but I don’t remember what the original post prompting them was. Other long-running current examples that come to mind would be the Hoppers and the Primitive Quartet. Paid in Full was a fairly recent example up until about 5 years ago (~15-year run with the same personnel before that).

      • Heavenbound had the same lineup (Ken Eubanks, Jeff Gibson, Alan Ham, and Lawrence Taylor) for 13 years, from 1975-1988 .

  8. your note about Jodi hosterman makes it sound like he died and went to heaven. Too funny!

    • Oh, dear. I hadn’t realized that!

  9. SG gets some exposure outside of the normal SG media:

    I know, I know some of you don’t consider a true SG singer, you don’t have to remind me. Just pretty shocked to see his face on Breitbart.

    • Well, whatever Phelps is, he is most certainly a singer with the most prominent SG group in existence right now. And, by definition, I would suppose that makes him an SG singer. πŸ™‚

  10. Here’s a clip of Jodi with Holy City:

  11. Archie Watkins was with the Inspirations for 45 years,i think that’s very long.