The Best Lineup that Never Was: Gold City

The “best lineup that never was” series continues with this installment on Gold City.

  • Billy Hodges. Hodges’ voice is akin to Brian Free’s and Jay Parrack’s, and he is one of the first people that came to mind when I considered who to select for this lineup.
  • Josh Feemster. When Feemster was with Mercy’s Mark, the group, under former pianist Garry Jones’ leadership, sang numerous Gold City songs. By doing this as he developed his style and defined himself in the eyes of fans, Feemster showed his abilities at this style of Gospel singing.
  • Nick Trammell. Though his voice sounds more like his father Mark’s voice did during his early Cathedrals years than Mark’s Gold City-era fully matured voice, Nick Trammell can perform with the style and sound of a Gold City baritone.
  • Jeff Chapman. Chapman can do a Riley-style bass so well that some people thought (or hoped) he would join Gold City after Bill Lawrence left. He elected to stay with the Kingdom Heirs, but he is arguably the best Tim Riley / Gold City-style bass on the road today.

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14 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Wes, other than the tenor spot, you nailed it. When Bill left GC, I wanted so badly for Jeff Chapman to replace him. Nick is a great idea at baritone. The first time I heard Josh Feemster sing, he became my pick for lead if Jonathan ever left. The tenor….. no. I know Billy filled in one night when Steve Ladd was in the hospital, but still, NO. Please no. Off the top if my head, my pick would be the who you used for the Never Were Kingsmen, Eric Phillips.

  2. Duh! Sorry, Daniel!!! I was just checking out Wes Burke’s blog before reading this one. It is too early. So sorry, Daniel!

  3. Don’t worry about it. 🙂

    I agree, Eric Phillips would be my #1 choice. In fact, he’d be my #1 choice for almost any group, though I hope he stays with the Mark Trammell Trio for quite a while since something special happens when he’s blending with Trammell.

    But I made a commitment to try to pick different singers for each group, and Hodges was the second person who came to mind. Have you heard how much he’s improved with the Kingsmen?

  4. Did you mean how much Billy has improved with the Kingdom Heirs? It is too early.

    I agree that Billy is much better now than when he was with the Florida Boys and Dixie Echoes. He blends very well with Arthur and Steve. Like I mentioned in my review of “True To The Call”, I enjoy some songs Billy is featured on, but not all. I just do not think he would be a fit for Gold City, but you never know until you hear them together.

    I also agree that Eric Phillips would be a smart hire for any group in southern gospel music, but I also hope he stays with Mark for a long, long time.

    I have to compliment you again for the choices of Josh, Nick, and Jeff for the Never Were Gold City. They were the perfect choices.

  5. Thanks!

    While we’re on this conversation, suppose you were doing a post like mine and had to pick a Gold City-style tenor currently on the road and Eric was unavailable, who would you pick?

  6. Jerry Martin from the Dove Brothers. David Sutton from Triumphant would also be a consideration.

  7. Jerry Martin would be a great pick. I already had him spoken for in another yet-to-be-posted lineup, which is why I hadn’t put him here.

    I have a hard time picturing David Sutton singing the super-high Gold City songs with the Jay Parrack endings, but I’m sure he could.

  8. David Sutton, I think, lacks consistency. Even when he was with the Kingdom Heirs, he would sound great one night and awful a couple of weeks later. He is the same way with Triumphant. Some concerts, he is out of this world. Other concerts, he’s good, but not great.

    I was reaching a little with David. I wanted to give a couple of choices and with Eric unavailable, David was the only other one I could come up.

    Maybe Dan Keeton would have been a better idea. I haven’t heard him a lot, but he’s good from the little I’ve heard. He even filled in for Gold City the week before Steve Ladd started (Jay had a death in the family).

  9. Since I have been evoked in these comments, I might as well post my thoughts. 🙂 I agree with Brandon, you’ve hit every spot except tenor Daniel. I’ll also say Jerry Martin would most likely be the best fit. I don’t think David has the range to do it, but he is definitely a top notch tenor. Phillips is a good choice as well.

    Bryan Hutson would be another good choice as lead, but I think Feemster is probably the best fit here.

    David Hester would be a good second choice for the bass part.

  10. That’s a pretty good lineup Daniel.

    I’m not to familiar on too many of these voices but I agree with wes about David Hester.

    I’m trying to decide what I think about David Sutton. He can go pretty high sometimes but I’m not sure he has the consistancy for Gold City.

  11. Wow… what a thought. Although, I too think Jerry martin would have been a better pick.

  12. Chapman does indeed sound more like Tim Riley than anyone I can think of. I can only imagine what GC would/could still be like with Steve, Jon, Danny, Jeff Chapman and a full band….

  13. Brandon and I must share the same brain. (HaHa)
    Exactly what I was thinking, Dan Keeton with Gold City.
    I totally agree with his remarks about David Sutton. I’ll add this: I don’t think that David is as good of a tenor as he was, say, 10 years ago. time does play a role in voice quallity, no doubt about it.

  14. David Sutton is a favorite of mine, but not a GC-style tenor, IMO. He fits perfectly with Triumphant though.


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