Previews of Two Upcoming Releases

An all-ladies (or, at least, mostly-ladies) Homecoming taping will release in September. Gaither Studios posted a preview:

James Easter of The Easter Brothers and his son, Jeff Easter, of Jeff and Sheri Easter, were in the studio earlier this week to record tracks for an upcoming father/son duo release. I had the opportunity to film some highlights at the tracking session and record this video:

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45 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. We were amazed by the number of CCM artists. Mr. Gaither has his connections! We wonder for how many of them it was their first Homecoming taping, or if they are all regular participants.

    • I think that most of the CCM artists appearing were highlighted in the preview; the track listing indicates that most of the artists featured on a track but not on the preview are the usual Homecoming regulars.

      It was the first taping for Keith & Kristyn Getty (I believe you can see Keith at the piano) and, I believe, for Jamie Grace. It may also be the first for Natalie Grant. Sandi Patty has been there before. I’m not sure about Amy Grant.

      • Natalie Grant was on the New York City taping. She sang I’m Not Alone.

      • Thanks! She’s been around for long enough that I’m not terribly surprised. I don’t think I have both CDs that came out of the NYC taping, though I may have one of them.

  2. It has been said many times “it not what on the cover but what inside the package.”
    We have a tendency to leaned to our perceptions by what we see on the cover.
    For discussion purposes, let me use the name “old friends” comes way before the name we know as “Homecoming.” to Bill Gaither.
    You see it all the time in the Gaither’s projects as artist who we thought were long gone only to rise again in a Bill Gaither’s setting.
    So being in a “Homecoming” setting is only the cover to what is inside the friendship package.
    So maybe an artist who was never in a Homecoming’s setting. Going one step further, we will never know who is out there singing music or came back singing music because what happen inside the package.

    Case in point:

    In an article, it was pointed out, in the 1970’s, Grant was also a backup singer for Bill Gaither.

    In one of the books about Amy Grant told the story, in the early ’80’s, about one of Bill Gaither’s Springhouse Company promoting Amy’s first big time tour.

    In this thread, the topic at hand.

    • Just to double-check: Are you sure you’re talking about Amy Grant and not, say, Sandi Patty? I know Patty was a Gaither backup singer. If Amy Grant was a backup singer for Gaither, I do believe this is the first I’d ever heard of it.

  3. Being a fan of both SG and CCM, this is an exciting project. I didn’t expect to see some of those names.

    I hadn’t heard Natalie Grant in a while. I had forgotten that she really has a nice voice.

  4. Certainly a lot of songs and singers I’ve never heard of before! πŸ™‚

  5. As requested, the following is excerpted from the link below……
    “These were followed by a pair of live albums in 1981 (Amy Grant In Concert and In Concert Volume Two), both backed by an augmented edition of The DeGarmo & Key band. During the 1970s, Grant was also a backup singer for Bill Gaither.”

  6. Thanks for sharing! Really excited about the Homecoming release, that’s a lot of incredible singers in one project. It’s really neat to see how southern gospel has influenced some of the CCM artists with them making an appearance here.

    • It’s cool to see the influence going both directions. In the other direction, take “In Christ Alone”: It’s pretty clear that many of the SG singers in the room knew the song, and at least one (Lauren Talley) had recorded a version.

  7. After spending some time with many southern gospel artists, I’ve come to learn that the separation between what we call CCM and southern gospel music is often an audience-created separation, and not the artists. These artists are friends, use many of the same studio musicians, run in the same circles, etc. It is a very small world.

    • Agreed. One other thing I’d add is that they often listen to and love the music of their fellow singers in that parallel genre.

  8. We are wondering why Bill Gaither chose not to highlight the ladies who have devoted their lives and talents to Southern Gospel music, the true “women of Homecoming”. Granted, this teaser didn’t show all the artists featured, but why take the spotlight off of the singers who are Southern Gospel? Also, it seems to us CCM doesn’t feature Southern Gospel artists on their large-scale events (with the possible exception of Jason Crabb). We were saddened to see the current direction of the Homecoming videos.

    By the way, did we miss seeing the Collingsworth ladies in the group?


    • TGF, I remember thinking that too when it was recorded. Their Twitter never gave the indication they were going. I’m pretty sure they didn’t go.

    • TGF, are you assuming that the preview is representative? It’s actually not exactly representative. Here’s a complete list of featured soloists, by genre:

      Natalie Grant
      Evie Karlsson
      Amy Grant
      Sandi Patty (though her launch was to SG audiences)
      Kristyn Getty
      Jamie Grace
      Bonnie Keen

      Southern Gospel
      Amber Thompson
      TaRanda Greene
      Kim Hopper
      Kelly Bowling
      Joy Gardner
      Destiny McGuire
      Joyce Martin Sanders
      Sonya Isaacs Yeary
      Becky Isaacs Bowman
      Charlotte Ritchie
      Solveig Leithaug
      Reba Rambo-McGuire
      Kim Ruppe Lord
      Valerie Ruppe Medkiff
      Heather Ruppe Day
      Judy Martin Hess
      Melissa Brady (This is the one appearance I am most excited about. She has humbly stayed in the shadows during Jim’s Booth Brothers run despite having unbelievable talent.)
      Christy Sutherland
      Tanya Goodman Sykes
      Lauren Talley Alvey
      Amy Lambert
      Allison Durham Speer
      Karen Peck Gooch
      Ladye Love Smith
      Sue Dodge
      Lynda Randle
      Sheri Easter
      Janet Paschal

      Black Gospel
      Babbie Mason (but she’s somewhat of a Homecoming tapings regular)
      Angela Primm (but she’s somewhat of a Homecoming tapings regular)

      Not Sure
      Lisa Daggs-Charette
      Faith Charette
      Cynthia Clawson (but she’s somewhat of a Homecoming tapings regular)
      Dionne Dismuke
      Gale Mayes
      Amy Rouse

      And looking around the choir, I think that just about everyone if not everyone in the choir but with no solos is a Southern Gospel singer.

      This adds some significant perspective, I think.

      • Yeah, Mellisa Brady, I’m also looking forward to hearing her sing. I heard there were about 80 or so women, most of whom are SG.

      • Just FYI. Gale Mayes and Angela Primm are both popular session vocalists in Nashville. I have been privileged to sing with them on a bunch of projects and I can tell you they are both wonderful vocalists and great Christian ladies! On top of that, Gale is one of the funniest ladies you will ever meet!

      • Based on everything I’ve seen so far, I would guess that 80 sounds about right, broken down about like this: 60 hard-core SG, 10 around our genre’s fringes (like Babbie Mason, who loves SG, appears on SG cruises often, and has appeared on many Gaither videos), and 10 from other genres. That doesn’t strike me as a particularly newsworthy ratio for a Gaither taping.

        I’ll grant that the preview might lead you to other conclusions, but that’s what I get from looking beyond the featured faces in the preview and from the track listing. πŸ™‚

      • @Gus – Thanks! Well, in that event, there are at least three or four ladies who mostly stay behind the scenes – Melissa Brady, Christy Sutherland, Gale Mayes, and maybe Angela Primm – who get solos here. It’s nice to see this sort of thing.

      • Lisa Daggs has appeared on earlier Homecoming videos

      • Don’t Forget Kelly Nelon Clark dabbled in Contemporary Christian & Southern Gospel. πŸ™‚

      • And speaking of Gale, she has been attending tapings quite regularly. She was there for the tent revival, thanks giving and hymns (2007) tapings. If you spot Angie Primm on a homecoming then you can spot her because Bill makes them sit close to each other so that they share a mike to add their expert black vocals into the mix. Also if you have the Freedom Band video recorded in 2001 then you can remember her singing Surely Our God Is Able in a trio with Angie Primm and Reggie Smith.

  9. I’m excited to hear more from Melissa Brady, but no matter how good this video is, it won’t be as good as it could be good without the Collingsworth ladies.

    • I’d have a hard time arguing with that!

  10. Guess the Collingsworth women had their own reasons as they must have been busy. Or they would have attended. Still, but will miss them on here. As would have loved to see them. As well as most people.

  11. Did you note that this was the first Homecoming Taping for a few “regulars” homecoming ladies in a long time?

    Cynthia Clawson: her last homecoming appearance was on the Hymns/ Nashville project (2007). Same case for Ernie Hase (by the way, does anyone of you know if they are still part of the Gaither Group?)

    Babbie Mason: I don’t remember founding her on a recent Homecoming DVD (of course she was part of the first Homecoming tapings). She was part of the Songwriting intensive last year.

    Sarah Delane: same case of Babbie Mason.

  12. For those who just canΒ΄t get enough, here’s the song list of the two DVD’s.

    Women of Homecoming Vol. 1

    Bread Upon The Water
    feat: Taranda Greene / Sandi Patty / Amber Thompson

    Jesus Saves
    feat: Natalie Grant / Kim Hopper

    You Brought Us Out
    feat: Kelly Bowling / Joy Gardner / Destiny McGuire

    Give Them All To Jesus
    feat: Evie Karlsson

    A Mother’s Prayer
    feat: Kristyn Getty

    I Will Fear No Evil
    feat: Joyce Martin-Sanders

    Time Is Illusion
    feat: Amy Grant

    Revive Us Again
    feat: Becky Isaacs Bowman / Sonya Isaacs Yeary

    Your Great Name
    feat: Natalie Grant

    Hold Me
    feat: Jamie Grace

    Grandpa (Tell Me `Bout The Good Old Days)
    feat: The Isaacs

    Down To The River To Pray
    feat: Charlotte Ritchie

    feat: Faith Charette / Lisa Daggs-Charette

    feat: Becky Isaacs Bowman / Solveig Leithaug / Sonya Isaacs Yeary

    In Good Hands
    feat: Taranda Greene / Angela Primm / Reba Rambo-McGuire

    Just What I Need
    feat: Sisters

    I Stand Amazed
    feat: Dionne Dismuke / Taranda Greene / Judy Martin Hess / Joyce Martin-Sanders

    My Chains Are Gone
    feat: Melissa Brady / Christy Sutherland

    Vol. 2

    Promises One By One
    feat: Joy Gardner / Tanya Goodman-Sykes / Gayle Mayes

    Nothing But The Blood
    feat: Cynthia Clawson / Lauren Talley

    feat: Amy Lambert

    I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
    feat: Karen Peck / Allison Durham Speer

    feat: Karen Peck

    O Happy Day
    feat: Sisters

    Don’t Try So Hard
    feat: Amy Grant

    The Women I Come From
    feat: Taranda Greene / Bonnie Keen / Babbie Mason

    God Will Open The Windows Of Heaven
    feat: Babbie Mason

    I Am Loved
    feat: Heather Ruppe Day / Joyce Martin-Sanders / Sandi Patty / Amy Rouse

    I Will Go On
    feat: Ladye Love Smith

    Standing In The Need Of Prayer
    feat: Sue Dodge / Tanya Goodman-Sykes / Angela Primm

    My Savior First Of All
    feat: Sue Dodge / Gloria Gaither

    She’s Better Now
    feat: Allison Durham Speer

    Hurt By Hurt
    feat: Sonya Isaacs Yeary

    In The In Between
    feat: Sandi Patty

    In Christ Alone
    feat: Kristyn Getty

    Hear My Heart
    feat: Sheri Easter

    Lord I’m Listening
    feat: Janet Paschal

    Burn Bright
    feat: Natalie Grant

    It Is Well With My Soul
    feat: Natalie Grant

    The Days Of Elijah
    feat: Jamie Grace / Angela Primm

  13. The song “Hold Me” by Jamie Grace doesn’t sound like a gospel song at all – sounds like something she is singing to her male friend. In my opinion it has no place at this event and will probably keep me from purchasing the CD’s.

    • If they wanted to pick a currently successful female CCM artist at random (which really seems like the way they picked Jamie Grace), why not have Laura Story sing “Blessings” or “Mighty to Save?” After all, she won the Song of the Year Dove while Grace was just nominated for it, if that’s the standard they’re using. It would make a lot more sense…

    • I’m pretty sure by singing “Lord, I love the way you hold me” that no one will think she’s singing about a male friend. *shrugs*

      • Not too many young ladies in today’s culture call their young male friends “Lord.” πŸ™‚

      • LOL. My thoughts exactly, Daniel!

      • I think I’d almost rather it was just a love song instead of sticking “Lord” into it…

      • Agreed….the swaying, or dancing, or whatever you call it doesn’t sit well with me either. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to it, since I’m not a CCM listener.

  14. A couple points I’d like to make which I don’t mean to offend anyone. I’m a little disappointed that at least so far because we aren’t getting a lot of the younger folks, again an easy way to connect with young people is show off the young people in music.

    Again Jamie Grace comes from a show that has a lot of teenagers who “do” Christian music on the show but then point to secular artists as influences. Also, should be noted that nobody from the show has gone into Christian music successfully. Just saying, not a great track record, plus the claim is TobyMac discovered her on youtube so he may not have seen the TV show either.

    • I’m confused. What TV show are you talking about?

      • She was/is (not sure) a part of the TBN kid’s show iShine. I saw it a couple of times because I read an article about one of the other performers on the show. Of course every time I look for youtube clips she’s really not in any of them.

  15. I would love to do “I will fear no evil” in my church however, I have searched and there is no sound track anywhere to be found for it. Anyone know where I might purchase it??

    • Have you found that sound track yet? I also would love to do that one. If you have please share with me where you found it. Blessings Kelly

  16. I would also love to do “I will fear no evil” but have been unsuccessful in finding a soundtrack. If anyone knows where I can get it, I would appeciate it.