Saturday News Roundup #184

Worth Knowing

  • The Diplomats’ Corey Pearson was taken to the emergency room after a bad accident yesterday. He had injuries to his face, his knuckles, and his ankle; the ankle injury was “a separated bone from the ligaments in my ankle.” Yet, after a night at the emergency room, he was released in time to appear at the remainder of the weekend’s concerts.
  • Former Florida Boys tenor Rick Busby announced on Facebook that he has accepted the pastorate of McBean Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia.
  • Former Cathedrals baritone/pianist George Amon Webster has been battling cancer (updates here and here). Bryan Hutson, who traveled with him in the Heartland Boys, posted on Facebook that the cancer has taken a turn for the worse, and Webster has been taken to hospice.
  • Beyond the Ashes baritone Tyler Vestal has moved over to play keyboards full-time, to make room for new baritone Casey Shepherd. Here’s a video of Shepherd imitating Vestal Goodman
  • Friends of Tracy Stuffle are launching a website,, to offer various ways to help with medical expenses of his stroke recovery.
  • Meanwhile, Tracy Stuffle’s ability to speak and even sing is returning. Here’s a video of him thanking friends for their prayers and support, and a video of him singing “God is So Good.”
  • UPDATE, 12 noon: John Rulapaugh offered his comments on Josh Garner’s departure from Freedom:

    “To quell the rumors and speculation concerning my future and that of Freedom – Josh Garner is and always will be one of my very best friends. It is with great sadness that I have to accept that he will be moving on to sing with the Dixie Melody Boys. Quite simply, Freedom does not keep a heavy enough touring schedule to allow us to make a living from it. The Lord has blessed Jennifer and I in our business, but anyone in business knows that you either run your business or your business will run away from you. For this reason my touring schedule has been and must remain limited. That does not mean that I am going to have to stop singing, or that this is the end of Freedom. I have been overwhelmed with the response and interest from those interested in coming to sing with Freedom! I am blessed and encouraged by those who have encouraged me to “keep on keeping on” and that is exactly what I intend to do.

    I am not one for hasty decisions, nor am I compelled to issue a press release for the purpose of reporting that there is nothing to tell you. As I continue the search for someone to sing in Josh’s absence I recognize the fact that there can truly be no replacement. I appreciate your continued support and covet your prayers as I carefully consider and look forward the future.”

Worth Watching

There will always be a contingent of Kingsmen fans who think it’s not really, fully the classic Kingsmen sound unless there’s live piano being played. Especially in that light, it’s interesting to note that tenor Chris Jenkins has started playing piano on several songs in the Kingsmen programs. Baritone Randy Crawford adds a bass guitar.

Playing piano and doing the incredibly high tenor vocal runs on “Glory Road”—now that takes some serious talent and multi-tasking ability!

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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20 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I believe Bryan Walker of the Perry’s is getting married today. Wonder who is filling in while he is out?

    • When I talked to Libbi at the hospital she mentioned Loren Harris would be filling in.

  2. Does anyone know where I can find sheet music to ‘Boundless Love’?

  3. Tyler Vestal still has a mic in all the still shots I’ve seen…I think he might be their bass now. Their website says he sang bass before.

    • Yes, he sang bass before, but I believe it was with his mother’s all-ladies trio. So it might not have been all that low. When he was with Freedom, he sang baritone.

    • Tyler has pulled double duty singing and playing piano since joining Beyond The Ashes. Unless he has stopped singing entirely, this is not a change.

      • He’s not the day-to-day baritone any longer, though, so that aspect is a change. But I’ll edit the story to make it a little more clear.

      • They did a few shows with Tyler singing baritone, but that was before he knew he had a job with the group for certain. I saw them shortly before Casey joined, and the decision was still up in the air at that point.

        Then, just a couple of weeks later, Anthony posted the photo of the four-man group.

      • OK. Well, though I had not seen press releases, I’m not sure I saw them at any point in the process for any of the hires. And I did see Facebook discussion mentioning Tyler as the new baritone. Those doing the discussing must not have known that it was on an interim basis.

        I also thought Beyond the Ashes posted a three-person group photo of him to their Facebook page.

      • Yes, but singing what? Just additional harmonies? Is he the bass or not? I asked Anthony on Facebook but got no answer!

      • Based on having heard him live with Freedom, his voice is low enough that he certainly can sing a bass part. SO I’m sure that’s the part he’s singing. But, even if he can go a couple of notes lower than Bill Gaither (and he may well be able to), his tone is more like Gaither’s than it is like Tim Riley or George Younce or J.D. Sumner or Pat Barker. So they may not officially term him a “bass singer.”

        The Beyond the Ashes website bios don’t shed any additional light on the question.

      • Thanks! Their sound and style doesn’t lend itself naturally to a bass on every song, so I rather suspected that he would just be playing some of the time.

      • I’m looking forward to how it will affect their music on future projects. Meaning, will Tyler’s vocals be incorporated on every song or just a “guest” spot? Like Josh mentioned, Anthony did cite the GVB and 4Him as groups with four-part harmonies. I’d imagine that the current personnel would do well with something like that.

      • Thanks. That’s more or less what I thought. I keep a list of groups and what part they sing/play, so I wanted to know.

  4. In a Socialcam video from BTA introducing Tyler they didn’t mention what part Tyler would be singing, but they mentioned having a group sound like 4Him and the early Gaither Vocal Band with their harmonies.

  5. Some time ago Palmetto State had a contest to find a new name for he group. Anyone know why the name has not been announced?

    • I don’t know but I submitted three names. They need to announce soon. The suspense is killing me.

  6. Sorry Josh but I submitted the winning entry because I kept the tree reference. New name: Palms of Victory.

  7. Just watched the video of the Kingsmen with Chris. He is doing an amazing job. He’s brought a breath of fresh air to them, with his vocal ability and humble personality. I’m a huge fan, and glad he is carrying on the high tenor tradition of the Kingsmen sound!