Saturday News Roundup #158

Worth Knowing

  • Longtime Gaither Homecoming Tour sound technician and comedy sidekick Rory Rigdon recently came off the road to accept an Associate Pastor position at Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville, NC. Gaither Vocal Band members recorded a video congratulating him on his new position; this was played at his ordination service last Sunday.
  • Former Palmetto State Quartet bass singer Harold Gilley had a stroke in December and is on the mend.
  • Justin Morphis has left 11th Hour and joined Master’s Voice.

Worth Watching

Even if there were no other reason to live in the Asheville, NC area, it’s worth it to catch unforgettable moments when The Little Giant, Ernie Phillips himself, is in the audience and gets called up for a song or two! I caught Soul’d Out Quartet live in concert last weekend, and this happened:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturdayโ€”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. Is there any new update on Tracy Stuffle? I, unfortunately, have not been very good at keeping up recently.

    • I’ve been posting updates here:

    • Just posted…

      Libbi Perry Stuffle
      WELL GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tracy just opened his eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prettiest sight I’ve ever seen!!!!!!!!!! Thank You sweet Jesus for another miracle!!!!!! GO GOD GO!!!!!!!! About to have a shoutin fit right here in this ICU room!!!!!!!!

      • Thanks Landree! That is a huge praise!!

  2. Hi Daniel: I have a couple questions for you. Your posts about Canadian groups this week got me to wondering if you recall a group that was popular through the 1980’s here in Canada, The Nations. They were actually founded in Atlanta, but moved to London, Ontario and merged with The Chrystalaires in 1980. They eventually went from quartet to mixed trio and then disbanded. I loved this groups singing. They did at least one album on the Windchime label.
    There was another Canadian group back in the 1970’s that recorded for Word, the King James Version also known as The Churchmen (at least I think they were the same group).
    So my questions…Do you recall any of these groups…and did you ever finish reviewing all The Cathedral Quartets albums? If so can you point me to where I can find the reviews? Thanks.

    • nber, I wasn’t born until the later ’80s, and didn’t discover Southern Gospel until 2004! So, regrettably, I’m not familiar with those groups.

      Did I ever finish reviewing all the Cathedral Quartet albums? I wish! But each one takes 20-40 hours. I just can’t seem to find the time, with all the other writing projects I have going! If this were my full-time job, then I suppose I could crank out one per week! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I have the following LPs by the Nations:

      Nations Harvest Time Summit Sound SR 2013
      Nations It’s The Nations … Live Summitt Sound SS 1023
      Nations Mainstream WindChime WC 5016
      Nations Quartet Sing Good News Gospel Records GRLP 1001
      Nations Quartet Take A Moment and Live Summit Sound SS 1019

      Re King James Version: Ed Wideman left that group and was the second bass with the Stamps when JD was having some health problems. He recorded 1 LP with them – Leaning on the Arms of Jesus. I believe he died in a car wreck.

      • Dean: Was Parker Jonathon (spelling) on any of those Nations’ albums? I thought he sang with them when the group was based out of Hamilton, Ontario.

        Ed Wideman was killed in a car accident north of Toronto a year or two after leaving the Stamps.

  3. That actually should be Justin MORPHIS, not Morris. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Let me ask something..
    As a general rule of thumb, how early (before the singing is scheduled to start) do singing groups try to arrive at a concert venue?
    I saw the Blackwood Brothers in Shelby, Ohio, last September. We came in around 6:30, and the concert was supposed to start at 7. The sound system was set up and on, they had already done their sound check. The product table was set up and ready. No one was in a hurry to do anything at the last minute. (That I saw, maybe someone had to run out to the bus to get something, I don’t know. But anyway, everything, as far as the “public eye” could see, was done.
    In November, Gold City came to the same church. We, once again, arrived early… in the timeframe of 40-50 minutes before the concert starts. Once again, the system and product were set up.

    My dilemma is that, on the level of gospel music that I’m involved in, there’s not really much attention paid to “professionalism”, as far as adequately planning a group’s arrival and setup time. Far too often, it’s within a half hour before a sing is supposed to start, people are arriving, wanting to talk to you, and sound check is not completed. They, without trying, hinder you from getting things done as quick as possible. You’re feeling pressure to get ready in time, and when you’re pressured, that’s when mistakes can often be made, which set you back further. People have this grand idea of arriving an hour before a concerts starts… and the pressure’s on.

    Yes, the solution is simple, arrive as early as possible. But sometimes, people don’t understand what’s required for groups to be able to give their best. Case in point, you arrive at a church early, but you have to wait on someone to open the building. And, if you’ve had a great day, you’ve had problems of being on time most of, if not all of, the day. Then you have fellow group members who have problems of comprehending how much time it REALLY takes to get somewhere and be ready in sufficient time. So, they plan on leaving late, which puts you behind from the “get-go”.
    Really, it’s unfair to the fans if you have to divert your attention from them, because you’re late. There are people who are very talkative, who would love to talk to you, and make sure to, no matter how much you have to do before you’re scheduled to start singing. They’d take 10-20 minutes of your time, if they could.
    Then there are fans who just want to come up and say “Hi, good to see you.” Either way, they decided to come out and hear you sing… they are giving you their time.
    It’s not ideal to put yourself in a position where you’re wearing your impatience on your face.. especially when you have people who came to see you sing and want to interact. Ours is a people-driven industry, if people don’t like you, because your behavior has turned them away, you’ll get to the point where no one will want you to come sing. You might as well go sing in a bean field then.

    • Quaid, first off let me applaud you for “getting it!!” You get it! It’s about being professional and it’s about people and relationships as much or more than the music. As with anything in life, the level of success and productivity you get out of something is usually determined by the level of planning and preparation you put into it–and that includes prayer and attitude checks. It sounds like you have two problems–1) failure to organize your process up front with the pastor or promoter of your events and 2) lack of discipline or management in your group. Most groups arrive around three hours prior to the concert in order carry in, set up and test equipment, sound check, assemble the product table, change into stage clothes and have a few minutes to catch their breath and relax or visit with the crowd assembling before time to sing. (I will also tell you that if you have a group member stationed at your product table before the concert as people are walking in, you will find your sales will increase regularly–amazing how many groups do not have someone at the table when the doors open–and then gripe at their lack of sales. LOL) Now your group may not need that much time to get your equipment and product in, but give yourself at least two hours. Let the pastor or promoter know what time you will be arriving and be on time–and have a number to call if you’re running late for some reason, which should be an exception and not the norm. Tell the promoter up front when you book the date that you need the doors opened by a certain time. They will normally accomdate you, the guests, without a question. As for your group members, someone needs to give them THE TALK about making a good impression, being a team player, sticking to the time agreed on to leave, and giving yourself enough time, should an unforeseen emergency arise–flat tire, road construction, traffic slow down due to a wreck, etc. You are right—fans don’t care about who had to work until 5:30 and couldn’t get there any earlier. They don’t care that the food took longer to arrive at Applebee’s than expected or that Mapquest took you on a wild goose chase. All they know is that they came in and you were still dinking around with the sound, which is unprofessional, and they tried to speak to you but you were in too much of a hurry to visit. People–they buy tickets and give in the love offerings. They purchse CDs and t-shirts. They tell others you were good–OR BAD–based on their experiences. And the most important thing you have to give people–the message you came to tell them in the first place–may never get past the stage if you’ve already turned them off before you ever sang a note or spoke a word. Every group should try to put their best foot forward and make the best impression they can because they’re hopefully singing for GOD and for His people–regardless if you’re a pro group or a part-timer. I’m glad you brought this up, because it obviously means you are concerned enough to know it matters. Hope you can inspire your group to a greater standard of excellence wherever you are ministering. You and your group are representing CHRIST! If for no other reason, HE deserves your very best.

      • Yes, He does deserve the best we have.
        Thank you for responding. Part of the time issue is, I like to do a more “intense” soundchek than what other groups do. Some will just “turn it on and turn it up”… that’s not the way to handle things. I prefer to take time to “pink” the main speakers & stage monitors, then (if needed) adjust the EQ’s to taste, then adjust each mic, and then set the mixes. Of course, someitmes you have to deal with feedback, and eliminate it before the performance starts. (Taking more time if you have to do it by ear and guess where the offending frequency is.)
        Yes, it is about doing whatever you do “…as to the Lord, and not unto men…” (Colossians 3:23).

  5. So the PR guy for 11th Hour says Morris and not Morphis? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’ve only met the group briefly, once, and I don’t even know if I got their names then.

      • For anybody that’s curious, the group was comprised of Amber Eppinette; Candice Jordan; and Justin Morphis. Amber is a tremendous songwriter, as well as an immensely-talented vocalist!

  6. Rory!!
    Another indication that comedians are smartest people on earth.
    You have to be a thinker to play dumb!
    It is not what on the outside but on the inside in your heart and up in your head that counts.

  7. Norm, Parker Jonathan was in a group called Royal City from the Hamilton, Ontario area before joining the Kingsmen. If he was ever with the Nations, I do not recall it from his history, although he very well could have been.

    • Royal City was a spin off of the Nations, Crystalaies, all out of London Ontario

    • Thanks Brady. I had forgotten about Royal City.