Blackwood Quartet Reorganizes
Members of the Blackwood Quartet issued several press releases over the night.
First off, group manager Ron Blackwood is retiring at the recommendation of his doctor, turning the group over to his cousin Mark Blackwood. Mark Blackwood—who is interestingly identified as Cecil Mark Blackwood in the press release, hinting at a possible shift in how he is identified, using the first name he shares with his late father instead of just his own middle name.
Up to this point, Mark Blackwood had led the Blackwood Gospel Quartet, a group known for having the highest-caliber talent, but typically on a fill-in basis. As of March 1, the Blackwood Gospel Quartet will evidently disband as Mark takes leadership of the new group.
Meanwhile, Blackwood Quartet tenor John Rulapaugh issued a separate one-sentence press release: “Josh Garner and John Rulapaugh have announced their departure from The Blackwood Quartet effective March 1, 2010.” Their future plans are not known.
While Mark has yet to issue a press release—which is not necessarily a bad thing, since three press releases on the same day might be a little much!—the two press releases seem to suggest that Mark will be bringing his own baritone (David Mann) and tenor to the lineup. The Blackwood Gospel Quartet tenor is listed on the group’s website as Daniel Blackwood Childs; however, his departure was announced several months ago, so it’s not clear who their current tenor is. (Mark didn’t have a bass, since Brad Smith announced his resignation several weeks ago. So presumably he will be keeping the Blackwood Quartet’s existing bass, Chris West, Harold Gilley, or Aaron McCune.)
Kudos to Ron Blackwood for keeping the name and the group in the family. Hopefully this merger will cause things to be a little less confusing for the fans.
UPDATE (9:34 A.M.): Via Ron Blackwood, the other members of the reorganized group will be tenor Dale Evans, baritone David Mann, and bass Chris West.