The Original Couriers Announce Retirement
Neil Enloe, Duane Nicholson, and Dave Kyllonen achieved nationwide fame as The Couriers in the 1960s and 1970s. They retired in 1980. Several years later, Duane and Neil joined Neil’s brother Phil Enloe and brought the name back. In 2000, they gave the name to a younger generation, who carried it forward for several years, before disbanding.
Meanwhile, also in 2000, Dave Kyllonen rejoined his old comrades Duane Nicholson and Neil Enloe, to begin singing together on a limited basis as “Dave, Duane, and Neil.” For the last thirteen years, their limited schedule has taken them across the United States and Canada, and to venues as prestigious as the mainstage of the National Quartet Convention. But early this afternoon, Couriers tenor Duane Nicholson distributed a press release announcing that this year will be their final year on the road:
Dear Friends: The Couriers have enjoyed a fulfilling time of ministry for almost 58 years. We left Central Bible School in Springfield, Missouri in the fall of 1958 and made our way to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to start our ministry in song full time. Don Baldwin, Eddie Reece, Neil Enloe, Dave Kyllonen and Duane Nicholson ventured into an unknown future. As time went by Eddie Reece left our group and after a few years our piano player, Little David Young and Don Baldwin left our group at the same time. Dave, Duane and Neil continued until Dave left the group and Phil Enloe rejoined our efforts. That group sang together until 1980, when the three of us retired. In early 2000 Dave Kyllonen , Neil Enloe and Duane Nicholson joined together for another few years of limited ministry culminating in singing now into 2013.
We are now announcing that after 58 years of ministry we will be retiring from full time ministry in song this year. Our final day of singing together except for perhaps cameo appearances in the coming years will be November 24th, 2013. No plans are being made for any formal concert as we did in 1980. We have felt that still being in good health our wives deserve some years of having healthy husbands and enjoy some good years together. We did not want to continue to sing when we should have quit before the quality of our singing voices deteriorated to point that we could not produce a decent blend and sound. Please pray for us, as you could well imagine we will experience heavy withdrawal pains from a life of joy, fulfillment and gratitude to the thousands of friends we have made over these incredible years. The gratitude will remain all the rest of our lives on this earth. People have poured into our lives, prayers, money and bought our music and kept us alive and well. Any rewards we might receive in heaven will be shared equally with all those who have kept us going with prayers and support. We love you all so very much.
The Couriers have maintained a standard of class and integrity that sets the standard for how a Southern Gospel group ought to be run. The genre is immeasurably greater for the legacy they leave behind. May Dave, Duane, and Neil enjoy a pleasant and fruitful retirement.