Saturday News Roundup #153

Worth Knowing

  • Cathedrals alumnus George Amon Webster is battling throat cancer. His condition has taken a turn for the worse; the cancer is spreading. Kasey Kemp, who recently sang with Webster in the Toney Brothers, has created a Facebook event to offer prayer updates, here.
  • Journeymen Quartet lead singer and owner Big John Bledsoe has passed away.
  • Dallas Rogers’ trio Restored has a new lead singer, Robbie Moore, and a new baritone, Chris Walton. Chris sang lead with Gerald Williams’ Melody Boys Quartet until the group’s retirement earlier this week.

Worth Watching

Recently posted: Archival 1996 footage of The Couriers singing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”:


Worth Knowing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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20 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. Wow, a bad news day.

    I thought the Journeymen had disbanded.

    • Evidently not; a note on their website says that they’ll take the month off to mourn their leader’s passing, but the wording suggests that they will continue after that point.

  2. My comments are on the Tallys: I received an email from Lauren yesterday (I happen to be on the mailing list). She says her husband Brian has completed his college courses and will be working full-time as an investments, insurance, and annuity adviser, and will no longer perform with the Tally’s on stage. She said he could continue writing and recording. Any further information on this from anyone out there? How blessed to marry someone who loves to sing, has so many musical talents, greatly improves the group, and the couple can be on the same schedule. Giving all of that up, seems very strange to me. I think his presence made that group sound so much better. It is sad to see this change.

    • Living the life of a Southern Gospel singer, traveling four or five days per week, is unbelievably demanding. Not everyone wants to spend all their life on the road.

    • I’ll make an educated guess on this one. Money. When a group like the Talley’s is traveling, just because they add another singer doesn’t mean they can increase their asking price by a third to cover his salary. By staying at home and “working for pharoh”, it brings in income for his wife and himself, and maybe even providing good benefits, while not strapping the group financially. That’s just a guess, though. I could be completely wrong.

    • Good thing she explained he had a job lined up. Otherwise people might try linking him to a certain quartet opening…

  3. I had known John Bledsoe for severall years, just in passing… never became close friends.
    However, back in 2005, we were both singing at the same event, Singing Under The Stars in Sandusky, Ohio. That year was their 30th-something annual sing.
    He decided to invite me up to sing a song with them… it wasn’t pretty, as far as my singing was concerned. But it’s things like that that stick in your mind… he saw something in me, and wanted to give it a chance. Later, he offered to let me travel with them. I didn’t take him up on it, but still, it was kind of him to offer.

    I never personally met Jim Hamill, but from what I’ve heard and seen, John was from the same “mold”. John just didn’t have the notoriety that Jim had.
    As for a bit of trivia concerning the Journeymen, I once heard that they were the first group Aaron McCune sang with.

  4. Josh,

    There are two different groups of Journeymen. The group out of Shepherdsville, KY did disband about 7 years ago. This was the group managed by Stacey Murphy that had Anthony Facello at tenor and, later, Dallas Rogers at tenor and recorded “We Will Not Fail”. Mr. Bledsoe was with the other Journeymen, I believe they were out of West Virginia. Sorry to hear of his passing. I never met him, but I enjoyed watching him on youtube vidoes.

  5. We had just been wondering how George Amon Webster was doing, so this was a timely update. We’ll definitely be keeping him in our prayers. By the way, the link to the Facebook prayer page does not take us to the page, but rather to some sort of event page that has nothing to do with anything! 🙂 Is there a different link that would lead us to the actual page?


    • It is an event, with updates about his health. I’ve checked the link and it is still taking me to the “Pray for George Amon Webster” page. (Confusing!)

      • Who created the event (meaning, whose Facebook page has the event created)? Is it Kasey Kemp’s personal page? If it is someone’s or a group’s public page, then we could go directly to it to find and access the event.


      • Kasey Kemp created the event, and it is not part of his group’s page.

        Come to think of it, you probably have to have a personal Facebook account and click that you are joining the event to see the event’s updates.

  6. Has anyone seen any videos of Jay Simmons online? Regardless if it’s him by himself, or if it’s him with the Plainsmen, Harvesters, or Prophets. Anything?

  7. He (Jay Simmons) also sang with The Sego Brothers.

  8. Quaid: Didn’t realize until you mentioned it that finding Jay Simmons on video is difficult if not impossible. I think I’ve watched all those old videos of groups he sang with but don’t recall ever seeing him. Hope someone can direct us to something in which he appears.

    • The only videos I have seen were some from the Grand Old Gospel Reunion.

  9. I didn’t find anything of Jay Simmons yet, but here’s a video of the end of the 1991 Grand Ole Gospel Reunion.
    Howard Goodman is talking about the recent death of Sam Goodman, and Michael English is singing “I Bowed On My Knees”.
    Mike, Danny Funderburk, and Vestal Goodman are the ones “on mic”. Mike and Danny…. that’s some high male singing.

    Perfect Heart, Howard and Vestal, The Gaither Vocal Band, Glen Payne, Jake Hess, James Blackwood, Hovie Lister, Jack Pittman, Eva Ma Lefevre, Willie Wynn, Gold City, Roy Pauley, and others are on stage.

  10. I found this information about Jackie Marshall and his current buisness, Jack Marshall Foods, Inc.