Archie Watkins to Retire

The word is being reported on enough different radio stations and websites (i.e., here) (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed) that I think it’s hit the point of being fairly certain: Legendary tenor Archie Watkins, who has sung with the Inspirations for the last 45 years, is retiring in two weeks. His last concert is to be the Feb. 28th Mull Singing Convention concert, a joint appearance with the McKameys.

The concert will also be one of 26-year veteran Carol Woodard’s last dates with the McKameys.

Although there have been other tenors who have put in years on the road, no other tenor has spent so long at the forefront of Southern Gospel music. Though his voice wasn’t for everyone, he was able to hold down the most challenging vocal part for nearly half a century. His many fans and friends will miss him.

New Inspirations tenor Dallas Rogers will have some massive shoes to fill. But having seen Dallas perform in person (with the Dixie Echoes) and heard him on several groups’ recordings, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Inspirations.


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13 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. Congratulations, Archie! 45 Years!

  2. Dallas Rogers? Wow…

  3. Well, Daniel, your dream has finally come true! Your man Dallas is now with the Inspirations…as you say, he’s got quite some shoes to fill, though.

    • I agree on all counts. He has some big shoes to fill, and it is a dream come true. I’m really looking forward to their next recording.

  4. Daniel, I may be wrong, but didn’t Archie’s late brother sing with the quartet at one time? His Name???

  5. @Paul: I believe he never sang with the group on a permanent basis, but maybe he filled in.

  6. Does Archie have a brother besides Donald, The Inspirations’ former bus driver?

    • No, Archie has only one brother, Donald.

  7. Archie watins is the Best tenor I’ve heard in my life outside of Rosie Rozelle of the Statesmen Quartet. He also is the finest Example of a Christian I’ve ever had the pleasure of being friends with. He will be sorely missed in The Inspirations but I understand the conditions of his retirement due to his voice problems and the need to slow downwn. I wish Archie all the best in his solo work too. I hope he puts out some great cd’s.

    God Bless Ya Archie We love Ya!!

  8. Archie Watkins is the Best tenor I’ve heard in my life outside of Rosie Rozelle of the Statesmen Quartet. He also is the finest Example of a Christian I’ve ever had the pleasure of being friends with. He will be sorely missed in The Inspirations but I understand the conditions of his retirement due to his voice problems and the need to slow down. I wish Archie all the best in his solo work too. I hope he puts out some great cd’s. We folks in South Geogia love and respect and admire him!!

    God Bless Ya Archie We love Ya!!

  9. Recently I have had the priveledge of working with Archie in my recording studio , recording his latest new release “Pouring Out Blessings”, and I must say that Archie is in his best form ever and never have I seen him happier. the old saying is “That for every accomplishment, a sacrifice has to be made” and certainly a lot of sacrifices have been made by all of the Inspirations. For Archie, the sacrifice of being away from his wife and family is certainly the most significant, and now that he has gone solo, he and his wife Cindy can spend more time together on the road doing what he loves to do best, “singing for the Lord”. The iconic, legendary voice of Archie will always stand out with the greatest and I know that the Lord is going to richly bless He and Cindy in the coming months and years !

  10. As an Inspirations since 1973, I have my own “take”, on Archie’s retirement. A friend of mine, (also a big fan) and myself. were riding in his car listening to the Inspirations sing. Archie began a solo, and my friend made a statement that has stuck with me, and I believe is solidly true. He said, “without Arche, the Inspitations would sound like just any other quartet”. Archie was, and is, no, “ordinary tenor”. He is not, perhaps, the highest, or smoothest in the world. However, his consistant vocal power was amazing, and his sound unique. He was the sound that set the Inspirations apart from the rest. It worked. Much like Johnney Parrack set the trend for the tenor sound of the Kingsmen, so, Archie Watkins began a legacy, and, set the sound for the future tenors of the Inspirations Quartet. He is missed.

  11. God has truly blessed you. What a talent. To God be the glory.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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