Friday News Roundup #208


Worth Knowing

  • Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of Tracy Stuffle’s stroke. The Perrys posted a note of thanks here.
  • We learned earlier in the month that Jared Stuffle would be singing bass for the Perrys until his father was able to return full-time. A press release with a few more details has now been posted.
  • AbsolutelyGospel has announced the nominees for their annual awards.
  • The Mark Trammell Quartet held a blog tour to promote their new release, featuring four simultaneously posted interviews with group members here, here, here and here. There’s also a contest open to win a copy of the new CD here.

Worth Watching

Here’s a personal testimony song that Joseph Habedank wrote and has been singing in his solo concerts:

Worth Discussing

Were there any other significant Southern Gospel news stories this week?

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26 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. GVB announced their first guest vocalist last night a guy named Todd Stuffles who is a studio singer in Nashville

    • Is it this guy?

      It says he’s from Murfreesboro, but his work sounds like Nashville to me.

      • I’ll answer my own question. Yes, that’s him. The Facebook page “Friends of Gaither Music” has photos from the concert, and there he is, in the BARITONE role. A commenter who was there said that Gaither said he was the “baritone” for the evening or words to that effect.

  2. Hey Daniel, I saw a picture on GVB facebook of the vocal band in Lubbock, Texas concert and they had a guest singer named Todd Suttles singing baritone, do you know anything about him?

    • I don’t.

      • Could you try to find out about Todd Suttles for me? I’d appreciate it.

      • If they hire him.

  3. Hey Daniel, just out of curiosity, who do you think is being considered for the permanent baritone position for GVB?, here’s who I think

    1. Joseph Habedank
    2. Todd Suttles
    3. Travis Cottrell
    4. Shane McConnell
    5. Andrew Goldman
    6. Reggie Smith

    • I haven’t devoted enough thought to the topic to have an opinion.

    • I’m not meaning to shoot you down, Adam, but let me start by saying that all of those guys would be awesome (Well, I don’t know Suttles, but I can’t wait to hear him).

      Shane McConnell and Andrew Goldman are unlikely, as both men have jobs already. Yes, they could jump ship, but Gaither rarely does that. He generally hires soloists or unknowns. I don’t even think Michael English leaped directly from the Singing Americans to the GVB.

      Reggie Smith has filled in so many times with the GVB that it makes me think if they haven’t hired him already, they’re not going to. Maybe Reggie was offered a position once and turned it down, which means he could accept it now. Who knows. All I can say for sure is that I know of at least four times that he’s clocked road hours with them for a few weeks or even months at a time, and at no point did that result in a hire.

      Cottrell is a possibility, but I’m starting to think it won’t be him. After all, he already had his fill-in period with them and he’s friends with Wes Hampton, leading me to believe that his trial period is over and they decided it’s a no.

      Habedank would, of course, be a good option, but I still don’t know that he’s even up for consideration, as the only place he’s even been mentioned in connection with the GVB is here on this site.

      Finally, I gotta say, if he’s already had Wes Pritchard, Reggie Smith, Travis Cottrell and a returning Buddy Mullins fill in, and yet he’s now moved on to an unknown studio singer, I like Suttles’ chances the best on this list.

      • Josh, I agree with your post. But time will tell of course. Only one thing…I’m pretty sure Michael did jump from Singing Americans to GVB according to Michael’s book. Seems I vaguely remember him talking about being up for some award in the so gospel field when Bill came knocking. I would have to look at my book to refresh myself again with the details. In the grand scheme of things, of course, it does not matter, but Bill did it that time.

      • Yeah, I don’t really know, except that as far as I know he left the SA’s in 84 and it wasn’t until the fall of 85 that he joined the GVB. Then again, he might not have officially left, or it might have been that it was an award for something from the previous year.

      • I understand Josh, but do you think that Buddy Mullins chances for baritone position are high or not so much? or do you think that Todd Suttles chances are higher?

      • I don’t think Buddy Mullins has put himself in the running. I’m Facebook friends with him, and he has a lot of other things happening, like singing with his wife and daughter(s), and other stuff. Nothing I’ve heard suggests he even wants the job, let alone that his chances of being hired are high.

        Plus, I’m not sure Bill is looking to re-hire any former members. Mullins filled in a couple of times after English left, as did Hall, but neither man as far as I can tell is actually being considered as a permanent hire.

      • I love Buddy Mullins but I think you’re right, he’s at a different place now. But now you have me picturing the sound with him back in my head!

  4. Remember I’m a fledgling when I ask: Why is there so much turnaround in SGM? It seems everyday I’m
    reading about so-in-so leaving such-and-such quartet or group and/or so-in-so is replacing what’s his name
    in xx quartet. It seems to be a constant. Please explain/expound. Thanks.

    • There are a lot of young people, a lot of medium to low salaries, and a very demanding travel schedule. Any of the three can result in high turnover in other industries, too.

    • Jobs “in the ministry” are often not as well-paid as other jobs. If you have a true heart for ministry, its probably easier to stay on the road longterm. Many times though, people find out that life on the road isn’t quite for them when they know they can get a bigger paycheck doing something else.

      It takes a special person to devote their life to the ministry. Sometimes, folks just don’t have it.

      (Note: This isn’t necessarily the case for everyone, sometimes there are things that come up that take a person off the road.)

      • One other thing I forgot: Marriage brings some young singers off the road—not wanting to be away from a spouse for 200 days a year. Another huge thing, perhaps even bigger, is first child. It’s hard to miss 2/3 of the first year or two of a baby’s life. Those who did make that sacrifice have given our genre a huge gift, but we need to be understanding of parents who want to stay home when the first child(ren) comes along.

  5. Josh, I checked my Michael English book as well as several places on line and Michael left SA in 1985 and joined GVB in 1985. Michael was up for the Singing News Fan award for Male Vocalist (and won with his brother Biney picking up his award for him as Michael was at Praise Gathering with GVB and was not able to make the ceremonies). Michael gives a description of the decision making process in deciding to leave SA and go with Gaithers in the book. Gary McSpadden made the initial call to Michael to come audition for the part. I just love all the back ground details of this kind of stuff…just a hobby of mine I guess.

    • Okay, well, I stand corrected. That all happened before I knew Gospel music at all. I knew who Bill Gaither was practically from birth, but all I knew was the Bill Gaither Trio until I happened to be looking through the music section at a Christian book store some time in or after 1991 (I saw One X-1 and Homecoming on the rack) and even then, didn’t know anything about them. I wish I had started listening to them earlier.

  6. Has Melton Campbell rejoined the inspirations at baritone? I have seen him recently in a few videos and pictures. Is so, this lineup of the inspirations is the best quarter on the road right now in my opinion. The u tube clip of them singing farther along accapella is fantastic.

  7. One that hasn’t been mentioned about Travis Cottrell is that he’s the worship leader who travels with Beth Moore. It’s my understanding that he’s been with her for a very long time. Gaither is a big name but can’t imagine him being able to handle Beth Moore’s schedule and Bill Gaither’s schedule at the same time. My guess is his loyalty to Beth Moore would win out if he had the opportunity to choose.

  8. I’ve been searching for a soundtrack to a song called “His Tomb Is Empty Now”, recorded by the Cathedrals on their 1985 “Especially For You” album.
    The chorus says…
    “He rose, He rose from Earth’s domain
    Upon Golgotha’s brow.
    He lives on high beyond the sky,
    His tomb is empty now. ”
    I heard audio of the following video’s performance on a radio program.
    (sang by the Sincere Quartet, and evangelists Mike Blanton and Brian Baer.)
    For a performance track, I tried Daywind, Christian World,,, Crossroads, and some group ‘s websites. Haven’t found it at this point.
    Anybody have suggestions?

  9. Thanks for bringing back the “Latest Discussion” feature. I missed it.

    • Thanks! I’m a little tentative on it still, but there hasn’t been much over the last week that I hesitate to present to the public as an example of what a Southern Gospel discussion ought to look like. So I’ll give the sidebar widget another chance.