Friday News Roundup #219

Worth Knowing

  • Freedom has a new pianist, Cody McCreary.
  • Joe Kitson has left Paul’s Journey and plans to finish his college education. He will be replaced by Dennis King.
  • Marshall Hall’s younger brother, Matt Hall, passed away. He had cancer.

Worth Reading

From the “take it from someone who knows” department, this week’s Letter to the Editor is from legendary tenor Ernie Phillips, reflecting on Pat Barker’s decision to come off of the road:

I got acquainted with Pat while Eric was singing with the quartet. A great talent and sweet spirited man. I know how hard it is to have to come to a crossroads in life, and having to leave a ministry that you love and have a passion for. I also know that there are priorities in life that the Lord expects us to be aware of, that being immediate family. Been there, done that. The Lord always opens other doors of opportunity. Although he will be missed no doubt, I’m sure Pat has prayed about his decision and will be at peace. Let’s just pray for him during this transition. God Bless you Pat, and hope to see ya down the “Glory Road.”

Ernie Phillips

This was particularly neat, because Phillips and Barker made very similar impacts on the genre in a very similar period of time (around 7/8 years). They are two of a very small handful of individuals who will still be mentioned as legends decades from now despite spending less than a decade in the genre’s leading quartets.

Worth Watching

It’s Good Friday. Southern Gospel is filled with songs perfect for the day, but this old Mosie Lister song is one of the best:

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30 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. Daniel, the last several pictures posted by the Perrys on their Twitter account have not included David Ragan. I saw them on 3/26 at the Harmony Honors, and he was with them then. He was not at their CD release party last week. Do you have any news regarding a sickness, vacation, or leave of absense for David?

    • I have been waiting for an official announcement before posting any news items. To at least partially answer your question, I can comment that I’ve noticed that they have had several people filling in for the last two (or so) weekends, including former Perrys lead singer Loren Harris and their producer, Wayne Haun.

      • In, I think, their most recent stage picture, it appears to be Jerry Pelfrey filling in, though the picture is blurry, and I could be wrong.

    • For what it’s worth, I don’t see David on the group’s “Bio” page on their website.

      • I’m not 100% sure if they ever got it updated with him, though.

      • David’s picture is still on, don’t know if that is the bio page you’re
        speaking of, though. It’s the one I always go to, however.

      • Daniel, that’s what I had noticed. Also, JK Stuffle is still listed as the product manager and not as the group’s for-the-time-being bass singer. Sara, I was talking about a subpage on the website, but I did see David on the page you’re speaking of… I believe Daniel is correct in that that aspect of the website just has not been updated with David at any point.

  2. This may have already been posted, but here is a You Tube channel that has a bunch of GVB songs with the newest group. Apparently, they are selling a new album entitled “The New Edition” as a table project, but don’t plan to release it in stores. It has a bunch of GVB classics on it. As previously discussed, sounds like Todd Suttles is doing a bunch of the bass vocals and I hear David Phelps on Baritone on some of the songs. I LOVE Adam Crabb’s version of “Please Forgive Me”!

    Overall, I think the harmonies sound much cleaner and tighter, back to the sound of the Hampton/Hall/Penrod group, which was my favorite line-up.


  3. I understand that groups don’t like rumors and speculation concerning personel changes, but when they don’t get out in front of the rumors and at least acknowledge the fact that a member has left, then it helps fuel the speculation. To me it is always better to get out on the front side of things. I have no idea the reason David left. He has removed his presence from social media as well. He was quickly becoming one of my favorite singers and characters in Southern Gospel music. It is a loss for us the fans as well as Southern Gospel music.

    • Are you speaking of David as in Ragan? You make it sound like he’s dead, for land sakes!

      • I noticed that Mr. Ragen was not in the photos taken at Lifeway, but instead of assuming he’d flown the coop, I thought maybe he had a family event that day. Say a birthday or an anniversary, or maybe even a family medical issue. A new cd release is pretty big, but a family event is even bigger. And, did anyone ask the question, why they would make a big deal of the new release if one of the vocalists, lead singer at that, was no longer with the group? Maybe he is no longer with them, but let’s not jump to conclusions when there are plenty more that have a more positive spin. And let’s be honest, is it really any of our business?

      • If indeed DR has left The Perrys, it is a is very unfortunate turn of events for Libbi. Poor Libbi, this is a blow she did not need now. Especially now. I feel deeply for her and prayers are already going up just in case the rumors are true. Bless her precious little heart. I love her so. I know that God works everything for our good, but oh this is a shame if true.

    • I hadn’t noticed David’s absence from social media… As I commented on the announcement of Pat Barker’s resignation from MTQ, I am glad that we live in the “digital” age and that fans can still connect and interact with SG singers and personalities even after that person has left the road… if David is, in fact, no longer with the Perrys, I am doubly sad that we will not have that opportunity to continue to interact with him.

    • When someone leaves a group and there is not a press release our first tendency is to think that there may have been some kind of sin by the departed group member. What if the departed member has left because of something they do not agree with and chooses to be discreet. They have done nothing wrong, and no one in the group has done anything wrong, there is just a difference in philosophy and a change was the only solution. I too have no idea why David left, if in fact he is no longer part of the Perry’s. Maybe his departure and his deleting of social media is in an effort to not bring any shame to the cause of Christ?

    • This seems a little judgmental to me, we don’t know if anything is finalized yet. Maybe they’re waiting to be sure…

  4. In the Crist Family, is the “i” a long “i?”

  5. I didn’t appreciate your little thingie ambushing me amd informing me in a very scary manner that I had not entered
    a valid email address! Do I have to fill that in every time? You know who I am already, Mr. Editor, sir.

  6. Can I be the grammar/spelling police? Personnel, you know.

  7. Am I missing something here? David Ragan is still in the perrysministries pic with the group.
    I’m going to see them next Saturday, and I’ll find out for myself then. I will report my findings
    the next day unless there has been an announcement in the meantime.

  8. I was looking at the lyrics of “The Old Rugged Cross” today and noticed how the words “Shame” and “Slain” in the first verse seem not to rhyme. I’m definitely no expert in English, but I think they don’t rhyme, or do they? A psychopath I am not (though I’m afraid I may just be presenting myself as one right about now for posting this) but I can’t help but wonder how this old gem (bless its writer’s heart, and the name of the Lord for His great act which inspired the songwriter) could possess this (microscopic and totally harmless, but nonetheless noticeable) flaw, if at all the said words don’t rhyme, that is. This could be the first time I’m seeing a standard hymn from that quality hymn writing era with a non rhyme, very surprising.

    The song is a personal favourite, the page on which it is located in my hymnal is even noticeably worn out due to constant and regular use, as many mornings I have lifted my voice singing the beautious song. It is for this reason that great surprise has overwhelmed me upon spotting the non rhyme just now, that I have decided to ask the English speakers here, do the words rhyme?

    • They nearly rhyme, but not precisely. There are actually a fair number of hymns from that era that have near-rhymes, though nowhere near as many as you will find today.

    • It’s an imperfect rhyme that works great. I would venture to say that imperfect rhymes are much more common in songwriting then a perfect rhyme.

      • I’m still old-school enough, and deeply rooted enough in the English language hymn tradition, to hold that perfect rhymes are superior to imperfect rhymes.

      • Sure, if you can come up with one. Using imperfect rhymes gives you a multitude of more options when writing.

  9. Any idea what Jacob Kitson is doing these days?

  10. I totally agree that the imperfect rhyme works great in that verse of “The Old Rugged Cross.” I’m sure that the songwriter also thought it was so good that re-writing the whole sentence for the sake of finding a different rhyme was out of the question.

    I must mention that I noticed the imperfect rhyme because my rhyme detection sensor was somewhat super charged upon reading a review of the Perrys’ latest CD over at Southern Gospel Yankee, where she pointed out an imperfect rhyme on one of the songs (I must further mention that that happens whenever I read a CD review there, sister YGG sure can detect imperfect rhymes with great skill and it’s starting to rub off on me). It kind of caused me to wonder how tolerable hymn lovers and southern gospel fans are of imperfect rhymes in new songs. To me it seems we are more readily prone to criticise new songs for imperfect rhymes than we are to older ones. Is it, as it has already been mentioned, because imperfect rhymes abound in today’s songs that we are caused to lament “alas! the standard is low!” ? But then again, shouldn’t the rise of the improper rhyme cause us to just take no notice, since it’s so common?

    • Personally, I can’t remember ever thinking about whether or not lines rhyme when listening to gospel music. I mean, I’m sure if the rhyme scheme were obviously irregular, I would notice it, but it’s not something that really matters much to me.

      • I do notice them; in fact, they tend to jump out to me as much as a note that’s so far flat that it’s 50% of the way to the next note sticks out.

      • ITA, Brian. Great comment.