Saturday News Roundup #155

Worth Knowing

  • Mansion Records is launching a bluegrass imprint, BlueGrass Valley Records. They will be working with the bluegrass artists Brad Davis, Detour, Nightflyer, Tammy Larson, and The Wilhites.
  • On Thursday, the Crist Family announced that Breana Crist was coming off the road. Here’s an in-depth farewell open letter to her fans.
  • Lynn’s Chronicles recently reviewed Dianne Wilkinson: The Life and Times of a Gospel Songwriter. (Thanks, Lynn!) The review is here; more information on the book is here.

Worth Watching

There are too many good videos worth watching this week to only feature one! Here’s a first look at Randy Byrd with the LeFevre Quartet.

(Here’s a second video featuring new tenor Thomas Nally.)

Here’s a video of the Kingdom Heirs in the studio, working on their spring release Redeeming the Time, and having fun in between takes.

Finally, this Perfect Heart video has been making the rounds this week. Tenor Garry Sheppard sings bass, bass singer Mike Presnell sings lead, and pianist Jeff Stice singing tenor with Perfect Heart. Even though the spotlight is on Garry, since Jeff is the one on the scene today, definitely don’t miss Jeff’s high ending! Another point of interest is that Joseph Smith, who would eventually move on to the Booth Brothers and then the Mark Trammell Trio, is singing baritone. 

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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43 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. Mike Presnell instead of Mike Bullock

    • Oh, dear. I did know that; can’t believe I made that typo!

  2. That bass singers name is Mike Presnell, not Mike Bullock. I was able to sing with him in a quartet on a couple of occasions.

  3. Not mentioned is that the lead singer is Darren Doyle, brother of Dustin Doyle of Beyond the Ashes.

    • Really? I didn’t actually know that.

  4. The piano player in that Perfect Heart video is Darren Doyle, older brother of Beyond The Ashes Lead Singer Dustin Doyle. Darren sang Baritone, then Lead for Perfect Heart.

  5. Do groups at NQC receive a paycheck for their appearances on main stage? I have always wondered. Thanks.

    • Yes, they receive monetary compensation. I’m not 100% sure if it’s in the form of a check or if it’s deposited electronically, but mainstage groups do get compensated.

  6. I know that Mike Presnell “revived” Perfect Heart a few years ago, but I’ve searched for the group this morning and I can’t find their website or anything. Are they still singing?

    • I haven’t heard anything from them in approximately two years, so I’m suspecting that they’re either inactive or only part-time right now.

    • Jimmy Dunn, the lead singer in Mike’s new Perfect Heart, began experiencing some vocal trouble and had to quit singing. I don’t believe they ever found a replacement.

  7. Sorry, I had not read the exchange from yesterday when I asked the previous question. Clearly, they are paid an appearance fee at NQC and it is negotiable (I suppose). Thanks!

  8. Nicw versatility by mike presnell.
    As for Jeff…..leave the tenor singing to Garry shepherd and David sutton 😀

    • I’d agree to leave it to David Sutton, but I think I might prefer Jeff on tenor and Garry on bass to Garry on tenor!

  9. Another video that’s worth watching is the Letting Go video by Madison and Shannon Easter which they recently posted on youtube. Wonderful.

    • Thanks, John! I did watch that video. I didn’t post it, though, because although one of the performers is a Southern Gospel performer, the song itself isn’t a Southern Gospel song.

      • I’d actually label them both as “Southern Gospel performers”, seeing as how Madison has been on stage with his parents for years & Shannon has become an integral part of Jeff & Sheri’s ministry, and has sung with them on multiple occasions. Now I need to watch the video!

  10. That Perfect Heart video was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a little while! 🙂

  11. Another question… have any SG groups or artists recorded the song ‘One Day’, written by J. Wilbur Chapman? I seem to recall that CC group Casting Crowns recorded a version of the song a few years ago, but I was just curious if it had ever been recorded in our genre.

    • I wonder if the song Wes Hampton recorded by that name was the same as the Casting Crowns song. It’s progressive enough that it may have been.

      Anyhow, the Chapman lyric appeared in a very Southern Gospel quartet-ified arrangement on their 1966 album The Happy Sound of the Statesmen Quartet. The title there was “Lived and He Loved Me.” Palmetto State Quartet (2006) and The Inspirations (1989) both did this Statesmen arrangement.

      • No, no. Casting Crowns just put a progressive musical spin on the old lyric. The one Wes recorded is a new contemporary song.

    • The Telestials released a very good rendition of “One Day” back a number of years ago, and the Crabb family did it on their “Blur the lines” project.

    • The Inspirations did the old hymn “One Day” on a recording about twenty years ago.

  12. Triumphant ought to let Jeff sing once in a while like Roger Bennett did with Legacy Five. Even though he was definitely straining here, he sounds like he’s a decent singer!

    • Agreed. It really sounds like he’d be a more than competent high lead.

    • Over the years, Jeff Stice has filled in for singers like David Sutton, Clayton and Scotty Inman, and even Karen Peck, when one of them had to be out briefly.

      • Karen Peck? My word, I sure wish that had happened in the age of YouTube!

  13. Yup it was when he was with The Nelons. I can’t remember if it was when Karen got married or what but she was out for a few dates and several filled in on different songs I think it was. Of course when Karen left, she was replaced by another guy at first, Todd Nelon.

    • Surely Jeff & Todd were singing an octave down?

      • Yup

  14. Here’s a little history on Mike Presnell. He lives or lived years ago over in Elizabethton TN. Well thats the nearest town on the map I think. He actually lived in a community called Peter’s Holler. LOL and that was the outskirts of a place called Stoney Creek which is close to Elizabethton. None of that is really important. My brother and I Harold Coomer (Brandon’s Dad) and Wayne Little were all in a regional quartet together called the Brotherhood Qt. this was right at 30 yrs ago. We sang fairly high harmony structure because Wayne was singing lead. Mike is a very talented singer and has a pretty high range. The last time I saw that rascal which was 4 yrs ago Perfect Heart was still singing a few dates. They were really good last time I heard them but can’t remember all the line up.

    As far as Mike Bullock last time I spoke to him he was still a Dixie Echoe and that was in 91-92 I guess. Where is he or what is he doing? He could hurt you with a low G. I witnessed that on quite a few occasions.


    • Neat to know!

      • Thanks for posting the LeFevres video. Saw them last weekend in SC. They performed in a beautiful new church sanctuary out in the middle of nowhere to a very small crowd. Willie Wynn, who sang a song with them, commented that despite the tiny audience these guys gave it their all as if it were a huge crowd. The LeFevres are the quartet to watch this year. I do suggest that they add a piano player and go back to doing a retro set (not just one or two songs) with the two old fashioned microphones. A few convention style songs ending with a real barn burner…

      • There are a LOT of great songs that they could pull out of the old LeFevres repertoire.

        I think that they really like doing new songs with big arrangements; however, maybe they could at least go as far as Mark Trammell has the last few times I’ve seen MTQ, and do half the program with piano or piano/bass, and the other half with newer songs with tracks.

  15. Wow!!! I did not know Jeff Stice could sing ,always seen him just play piano that was a fun video thanks Daniel for sharing.

  16. Funny stuff by Perfect Heart. On a side note: I would have to say that Just A Little Talk With Jesus has got to be the Number 1 song that male quartets use for humor in regards to switching up parts. I know the Old Paths do a version of this song in which Jeremy sings bass.

    • I wonder what is the history of that gag. Can it be traced to an original source, whom everyone else is mimicking?

      • Good question. Maybe somewhere out there in cyberspace there is a really old video of a quartet doing this gag. I can’t see somebody like the Statesmen or Blackwoods doing it, but maybe they did.

  17. I remember seeing this perfect heart bit in concert years ago. It was great, not a dry eye in the place… lol

  18. What are the chances someone has a home movie of the Smitty Gatlin era Oak Ridge Boys doing “Go Out to the Program”. Now THAT was a classic bit!

  19. what about happened to adam Harmon who was with the dove brothers and kingdom heirs