Dan Keeton leaves Gold City

dankeetonDan Keeton has issued an open letter announcing his departure from Gold City:

An open letter to the friends and fans of the Gold City Quartet,

In march of 2011, I was afforded a dream come true, to sing tenor with Gold City. Most of you know my testimony of child abuse, the divorce of my parents and my daddy’s alcoholism. I have recently been given an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for quite some time. I have wanted to start a non profit organization using music and the arts to inspire child victims of abuse. That opportunity has presented itself and I am so excited, but also heavy hearted. Opening this door means I will have to leave Gold City. I can honestly say, I love the Rileys so much. Tim and Danny are like family to me. Chuck, Bryan and Jerry are so easy going and fun to be around that I will dearly miss being on the bus with such fine Christian gentlemen. I will always be greatful for my time here.

As friends and fans of Gold City, please know, I love you all. I have never felt so much love as I have from you. Please pray that Gold City finds the best replacement and the transition is as smooth as possible.

Dan Keeton

Southern Gospel fans will hate to lose Dan, but that’s the kind of reason that nobody can argue with. Best wishes, Dan!

UPDATE, 10:27 PM: The official press release from Gold City confirms that Dan is leaving on friendly terms. It quotes group manager Danny Riley as saying: “We support Dan 100 percent in this new chapter of his life. We believe God has given him this opportunity to go into this new ministry. Dan has personally dealt with child abuse, and we believe his passion is for helping others in this area. He has our blessing and prayers as he leaves to encourage and enrich the lives of others in this special calling. Dan has agreed to stay on with Gold City and continue his role as our tenor until a replacement can be found.”

Tenors interested in the position can send demos and resumés to tenorauditions@me.com.

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53 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. I guess I got to see one of his last performances with Gold City. They were in Ringgold, GA on New Years Eve and Dan did a great job. I wish him the best in his new endeavor and praying God will bless it.

  2. My first reaction was surprise, but being its the beginning of the year, I really shouldn’t be.

    GC tenor is arguably one of the most recognizable, well-known, prestigious spots in SG, but also one of the most taxing on the voice IMO. It will be interesting to see who the Riley’s hire next!

    • It could be an opportunity for Harold Reed who recently left the Lefevres.

      • Just Facebooked him to let him know. He might know already, but I would love to see him get the opportunity.

  3. Sorry to see him go….almost didn’t recognize him in the pic. I thought he was completely bald.
    All the best to Gold City as they search out a new tenor.

    • Old picture; it’s all I had handy. He is naturally bald. He was wearing a hairpiece at the time.

  4. Oh, my word. Here we go again.

  5. I find it interesting that in gospel music no one is supposed to ever leave any group for any reason. LOL! The average number of jobs a person holds during their working years ranges from 7 to 11 jobs, according to various management courses I’ve had and research I’ve done on the subject. So, it should be no surprise when some gospel singer makes a move for whatever reason. Yeah, I know some changes are attached to unsavory stories or issues, but this one can certainly be admired. I’ve never been so attached to one person in a group that when they left, I ceased to be a fan of that group. I applaud Dan for making this move to follow his heart and dream, especially in such unstable economic times, and I ask God to bless his new position. Also, I pray God bless Gold City with a great new tenor so they can continue to make great music.

  6. All the brazilian quartet community is praying for Dan Keeton in this new moment of his life, and also praying for Gold City to get a good tenor singer to keep sharing the gospel! God bless them !

  7. Agree with the comment concerning Harold Reed! It would be a nice match I think. Not too many songs GC sings that Harold could not handle the duties.

  8. I think that Harold would make a great addition to GC but do we know the reasons why he left Lefevre? Harold may just want a break for a while. @Alaska Dave, I think Harold would be able to handle any song that GC does. He really surprised me with the Kingsmen and I really loved him with the Florida Boys. It will be interesting to see how everything lines up. Blessings to all!

  9. Well, I may be the lone dissenter here but while all these notable names are being tossed around, I personlly would like to see some new blood enter the industry. At one time or another, every singer that has rose to national prominence was an unknown that someone took a chance on. I personally would love to see the next Brian Free or Chris Allman or David Phelps rise to the top. No disrespect to Harold Reed or Jacob Kitson (whose name I saw on a Facebook post) or any other established singer, but these men have had their opportunity to make their mark, so to speak. And as much as I know folks would love to see a former member such as Jay Parrack or Steve Ladd come back, it’s not always the same the second time around, especially with a different lead singer in place than when they were in the group–although I think Jerry Pelfrey is a fine singer and doing a good job with Gold City. I just think that it’s time for the next great voice to be discovered and I hope the Rileys can find that voice.

    • What you said about it not being the same the second time around is very, very true.

      I loved the Phelps/Penrod/Lowry/Gaither version of the GVB, and when I heard that Phelps and Lowry were coming back, I figured this was an answered prayer.

      But I am not a big fan of the existing GVB. In part, it’s because I would love to see them go back to being a quartet. Also, Michael English’s current voice is not his old one, and I’ve always preferred the warm, smooth tones of Guy Penrod to English’s “southern rock-spel” style. Not to put him down at all; he’s a great singer, and I even liked his old tenure with the GVB, but somehow it sounds…not right, at this point. If Gaither were to announce that English (and even Phelps, I’m sorry to say) were leaving this year, I wouldn’t be upset, but instead eager to see who’d take their place.

      As for a new, untested singer, yeah, if there’s someone out there that fits the bill and we’ve never heard of him, I say go for it. But I wouldn’t be upset if it’s a known person, either.

  10. Josh, I do agree with your last paragraph. As long as the sound and stage presence are there and the group members like each other, I’m for whomever makes the group successful. But I would like to qualify it to include the disclaimer that if it’s someone already established, this person must be able to do the job vocally and have a personality that will fit in with the group. I think many times, well-meaning fans tend to brainstorm about who out there isn’t singing, and then just plug unemployed vocalists or those not currently on the road into open slots in a group’s roster without considering the dynamic of whether or not the sound will mesh and the personalities will gel. I think it’s a compliment to those singers to have the fans indicate they would like to once again see them with a group. However, it’s a lot more difficult than just “Hey, you’re a tenor not singing and that group just lost their tenor. Go forth and complete the group.”

  11. I totally disagree with the folks who would like to see Harold Reed with Gold City. Nothing against him, I have enjoyed his singing ever since he replaced Derrick Boyd with the DMB, but I don’t think he would blend well with their style and sound. My picks would be as follows 1- jay parrack 2 – Steve Ladd 3 – Eric Phillips 4 – Jeremy peace 5- josh Cobb . If none of these are available or aren’t willing to switch, I agree with the post that says being on someone brand new to the scene.

    • Its nice to be mentioned in this but im not high enough for that job, their tenors have always been freaky high..i love Gold City and they will find the right man, always do…Praying for Gold City

      God bless,

      • You have always been a class act Harold! Praying that we will all get to hear you again very soon!!

      • Harold,
        You have been one of my favorites since you DMB days. I hope to see you soon with another group.

      • I may say this…… I mean no disrespect to (harold reeds) comment, but if you can sing the tenor part with the kingsmen quartet… It should be a cake walk to sing in the tenor position with (gold city) …. If you will take time and look back through the past decades, the kingsmen have always been known for screaming , high tenor’s…. And then take a look back in to the past with gold city, they have always been known for more of the (2nd) tenor sound…. That’s just my opinion

      • Blaine, I will take Harold’s word for it. Bear in mind too that the Kingsmen tenors haven’t seemingly been as high in recent years as they were way back in the day. Also, bear in mind that I think many Gold City songs stay up there a lot whereas the Kingsmen ones had their moments, but probably weren’t up there as consistently.

      • Thank’s …… quartet man , for your reply I believe that after the quartet convention in 2012, there has been a lot of shake up in the southern gospel industry… With a large turn over of (Bass) and (tenor) singers, more so than in the past years. My opinion Harold reed is one of the best tenor singers in southern gospel music today….. When you have a bass singer like Tim Riley , the song your singing can be dropped down a key or so … To where any style tenor could sing with gold city…. I was in a concert with the kingsmen and the gold city both groups same night…. Early 2012 , Harold reed is awesome, Dan keeton is awesome….. I personally could tell no difference …….

      • I would like for you to know, that (nqc 2010) the song in titled (he’s all I need) you done an awesome job on that song that night… My opinion Gary Shepard would be proud of your quality and performance that night….. My hat’s off to you, in my opinion you’re one of the best (tenors) in southern gospel music today…. I hope to see you back in the quartet industry one day…. Maybe you will see this post, and let all of your fans know how you are doing, and if you are doing any (solo) work or not…. may [G]od bless you…. Your biggest fan .

  12. Brady, I agree. I might even be a little guilty. Personally, I thought (still think) that Harold Reed’s range was comparable to Dan Keeton, so it would make a seemless transition. I may have been wrong.

    Also, I think I would not like to see a former GC tenor come back. It falls into what I said earlier about how old favorites coming back don’t always work like people think. Who knows for sure if Jay and Jerry would sound right singing together? Eric Phillips and Jeremy Peace probably aren’t leaving their respective groups any time soon.

    So…I dunno. Maybe it will be an unknown.

  13. Actually, I’m gonna suggest that maybe we shouldn’t be worried about “the Gold City sound”.

    I have recently been listening quite a bit to “Somebody’s Coming”, and I gotta say, it sounds nothing like earlier GC releases. Don’t believe me? Listen to “In My Robe of White” and then listen to “Leave That Burden” and tell me the two sound like they come from the same group. Just as one example.

    GC has become almost as progressive a quartet as EH&SS.

  14. Best wishes to Dan on his new endevour. I was glad to see Gold City get a little stabilty with Dan and Jerry, and I hope this change goes smoothly. “Somebody’s Coming” was my favorite album of 2011, and I’m hoping to get more great music like that from Gold City. If I could nominate the next Gold City tenor it would be Randall Garland (formerly of Paul’s Journey). I don’t know what he is doing now (solo perhaps), but I think he certainly has the range to sing tenor for Gold City.

  15. I have my thoughts for who I think would sound good with Gold City, or who I would like to see them hire.

    However, I’m going to keep them to myself. Why? In one previous SG personnel change (in fact, I think it was even at the GC tenor position), I mentioned a name either on this site or on SGForums who I thought would fit in. Somehow, others read that and thought it was actually happening, leading for this individual to have to make a Facebook post squashing the “rumors”, which weren’t really rumors, just my opinion of who I thought would fit in.

    So in light of that, I will not be offering my suggestions on who I think would fit well with the group’s sound.

    • I don’t recall that, Josh. Which group was it and who did you suggest?

      • It was at GC tenor. I’m not re-mentioning the name. Its not really important.

  16. I’m with Brady, and would really love to see the Riley’s get a new face in the tenor position. Dan did a great job with Gold City and I wish him all the best with his new ministry. I really like what they have, and pray for them to find the right guy.

  17. Great to hear from Harold! Blessings on all you do-hope its still singing.

  18. Is Steve Ladd currently with a group? I enjoyed his singing and personality. I wish GC the best with finding a new tenor and hope they will establish a solid, stable line-up.

    • Steve Ladd is doing solo work and I believe is very happy with it. He is currently working on a new solo project as well.

  19. It was good to see Dan get the hire, he’s had some rough dealings in-between his time with Ed (DMB) and the Rilies.
    He’s one of the few supreme tenors in the industry today. Although it’s Gold City’s loss, Dan has to be obedient to what God has put on his heart, and walk through the doors that have, and are going to, open.
    May God bless Dan and Nancy.

  20. Correction- I should have wrote “the Rileys”, not Rilies.

  21. Correction- “the Rileys”, not Rilies.

  22. Sorry I submitted twice.

  23. I personally think Jonathan Price would be a great fit. He is plenty high enough in range. Maybe they will call him.

    • I had considered Jonathan also. If he should join Gold City, that would be the second time that he was hired after Dan.

  24. Aww that is sooooo cool! I’m usually not all excited when a person leaves their position from a good quartet, but I love the idea of starting the non-profit organization! Best wishes for Dan and praying for Gold City that they can find a new tenor quickly! 🙂

  25. By the way, Daniel, was this picture taken at Cornerstone FreeWill Baptist Church in Mansfield? I know Dan has sang there as a soloist, and the background looks like the church’s inside.

    • I don’t remember, but I do know that I’ve never seen Dan as a soloist – only with Gold City, once with the Dixie Melody Boys, and once with the Dan Keeton quartet (but that was outside).

      • Humm… the lighting was too bright to be at the Memorial Theater in Mt.Vernon when the DMB came there, and this wasn’t outdoors with the Keetons. And Dan had stopped wearing the hairpeice by the time he joined Gold City. So, perhaps someone else took the picture at another time, and it was archived with your photo collection?

  26. I was just thinking the other day about how long the current Gold City lineup had been together and was wondering when the next change would come. So I wasnt really surprised to see this announcement. Had a chance to see them last summer and really enjoyed them. Sad to see Dan go, but I know the Lord will bless his efforts. As far as who GC should hire, as has been mentioned, I wouldnt mind seeing them find an unknown talent. How many of us had heard of Jerry before they hired him, and he is doing a fine job. In any case, may God lead them to the right man.

  27. I think that James Robinson of the Brother Redeemed Quartet of Hickory NC would be the perfect tenor to fill this position!!!!!! He’s 17, but man, He’s good!!!!

    • Are you James Robinson? I see that your email begins with a jrobinson.

  28. I think thtJmaes Robinson of the Brothersa ZRedeemed Quartet of Hickory NC would be the perfect tenor to fill this position!!!! He’s only 17, but man, He’s AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. I think that James Robinson of the Brothers Redeemed Quartet of Hickory NC would be the perfect tenor to fill this position!!!! He’s only 17, but man, He’s AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • “Adam,” are you James Robinson? I see that your email begins with a jrobinson.

      • He’s my son! I dont have an e-mail address!! haha

      • Ah, OK! I’m perfectly happy to see fathers bragging on their sons! You might imagine how it would have seemed a little awkward for him to say that about himself, though.

  30. I just hope he doesnt find out!…He’d be mad!!

  31. Has anyone heard Gold City’s new tenor?…I hear he is good!