2008 in Review: News Stories
What were the highlights of 2008 in Southern Gospel? We’ve looked at the year’s best albums and songs; now let’s look at the year’s biggest news stories.
I’ll treat a group personnel change (one member leaves, another joins) as a single story.
Here’s my top ten list
- Dottie Rambo passes away in bus crash. If she had died of natural causes, I might not have ranked it as the year’s top story. But the suddenness of the crash sent shock waves through the SG community.
- Jacob Kitson replaces Jason Waldroup as Greater Vision tenor.
- Bruce Taliaferro replaces Jonathan Wilburn as Gold City lead singer.
- Guy Penrod takes sabbatical from Gaither Vocal Band. This would be higher on the list if the story was complete. But the bigger half of the story—whether Penrod will return—belongs to 2009.
- Shane Dunlap brings N’Harmony back.
- Greg & Charlotte Ritchie leave Jeff & Sheri Easter. Charlotte had been with the group for twelve years and Greg had been with them about fourteen years.
- Bryan Elliott replaces Matthew Holt as Perrys pianist.
- Wesley Smith (formerly of Palmetto State Quartet) replaces Dallas Rogers as Dixie Echoes tenor.
- Matt Dibler leaves the Inspirations. The only reason I didn’t rank this higher is that his replacement has not yet been named, so half the story belongs to next year.
- Former Florida Boys / Dixie Echoes bass Billy Todd passes away.