NQC 2007: Saturday: Evening Concert
After songs from the winners of the solo and group talent contests, Kim Collingsworth got the final night of the convention under way with a rendition of what appears to be becoming her signature song, “How Great Thou Art.” She received a standing ovation.
The Perrys came on a little later, starting their set with “He Will Hide Me.” They sang the Rodney Griffin / Chris Binion song “Every Question Will Be Answered,” getting an enthusiastic response even before they said (after the song) that Griffin had co-written it. Their rendition of the Mosie Lister convention song “Come and Get Me” prompted me to look at the friend I was sitting with and say, “Find another mixed group that can do that.” They slowed the pace down a bit for the mid-tempo ballad “The Potter Knows the Clay,” before closing with the power anthem “Look No Further.” They dedicated that song to Mike Holcomb, who was in the audience, since he had apparently preached the sermon that prompted Kyla Rowland to write the song.
The Chuck Wagon Gang turned in a nice no-soundtrack set, singing “Church in the Wildwood,” “The Son Hath Made Me Free,” “I’ll Meet you in the Morning” (featuring a guest performance by former member Shaye Truax), “Heaven’s Really Gonna Shine,” “Gettin’ Ready to Leave This World,” “On the Jericho Road,” and “Echoes From the Burning Bush.”
The Inspirations sang “Overwhelming Joy,” “Two Shoes,” “My Lord is Walking on the Troubled Sea,” “If You Only Knew,” and “I Have Not Forgotten.” Matt Dibler introduced “I Have Not Forgotten” with a thought provoking line, “The price of freedom has always been blood.”
The Florida Boys came on stage to a prolonged standing ovation. They sang “When He Was On the Cross (I Was On His Mind)” with the lineup that introduced the song–tenor Terry Davis, lead Les Beasley, baritone Glenn Allred, bass Buddy Liles, pianist Darrell Stewart, and possibly instrumentalist Tim Lovelace. I couldn’t see Lovelace on stage, but I heard that he was supposed to be on stage from members of his family who had come in where I was sitting (near the back) to catch his appearance.
Les Beasley then surprised most of the audience by asking whether they wanted the Florida Boys name to go on. Some of the audience–I’d guess about one-fourth–clapped. Then he announced that Charlie Waller had bought the name, and that Waller, Buddy Burton, Joshua Pope, and others yet to be announced were going to carry on the name. Darrell Stewart pulled out a pair of red socks and gave them to Pope, who put them on.
Oddly enough, when the old Florida Boys and the presumptive Florida Boys left the stage, there was only light applause, and no standing ovation. It shocked me; my reaction was, “This isn’t the way things are supposed to be.” I suppose the audience was just so shocked at the turn of events that they didn’t know exactly what to do. It was announced on the program as a “Florida Boys Tribute and Farewell,” and when it turned out to not be a farewell the audience was too confused to do anything.
I left to browse the vendor’s hall for a while, ducking back in to catch the end of the Dixie Melody Boys set and the complete Dixie Echoes set. Dixie Melody Boys tenor Dan Keeton sang “Oh, What a Savior” before the group closed their set with a rousing rendition of “When I Cross to the Other Side of Jordan.” The Dixie Echoes joined for a final encore of the song before starting their own set. Their set featured “Praise the Name of God,” “Roll Away Troubled River,” “Longing for Home,” “Last Mile of the Way,” “Little is Much,” and “An Old-Fashioned Meeting.” After one encore (with the audience on its feet), the Dixie Melody Boys came back up on stage for a joint encore of the song. Then, as they started to leave the stage, Michael Booth, who had played drums for both groups’ sets, resumed playing the song’s rhythm pattern on the snare drum. After the audience joined in clapping the rhythm, the groups did a final encore of the song.
I went back to the Vendors’ Hall for my final conversations and purchases of the convention, heading back in time for the Triumphant Quartet’s set. They sang “My God Will Deliver Again and Again,” “Terrible Time Down There / Wonderful Time Up There,” “The Great I Am Still Is,” and “Someday I’m Going Home.” If I recall correctly, the Booth Brothers joined for an encore of the final song.
The Booth Brothers then stayed on stage for their own set, “Thank Him for the Miracle,” “Crucified with Christ,” “The River Keeps Rolling,” and “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet.” Their rendition of “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet” was performed with Roy Webb playing piano as the sole accompaniment; Michael Booth introduced the song by mentioning Webb’s new solo career and telling some of what had happened in Webb’s life over the last several months.
The Talley Trio sang “Mountain Mover,” “I Don’t Understand it (But it Does),” “Orphans of God,” “Too Much to Gain to Lose,” and “That’s Enough.” Michael Booth was supposed to join them for “Too Much to Gain to Lose,” but only arrived in time to run up to the stage as the song was finishing and to take a bow at the end.
The Dove Brothers started their set with their current radio hit, “I’m Gonna Make it.” They sang several other songs, including their previous hit (“I Can Pray”), before closing their set with “Get Away Jordan” and “Didn’t it Rain.” After each song, McCray Dove said that the audience surely didn’t want any more of that song. After one encore of “Didn’t it Rain,” he acted as though he was genuinely done, and about to leave the stage. Then Tracy Stuffle, who was sitting near the stage in preparation for the finale, stood up and threw a $20 bill on stage in Dove’s direction. Dove noticed and said (approximately) “Okay, for $20 I’ll sing it again.” The crowd erupted with one of the most enthusiastic cheers of the night, and the Dove Brothers did the encore. Stuffle offered another $20 for another encore, but Dove said that the NQC board would fine him far more for over-running his time than the $20 would cover, and so the Dove Brothers left the stage.
Needless to say, they were a tough act to follow. So Legacy Five probably chose the right course by starting with one of the slowest songs in their repertoire, “Something About That Name,” before moving back into mid-tempo / up-tempo territory with “I Have Been Changed” (which, to my disappointment, they did not encore.) They sang “His Name is Wonderful” before bring Jim Brady of the Booth Brothers on stage to join them for their rendition of a song Brady co-wrote, “Truth is Marching On.”
The finale featured Legacy Five singing “Strike Up the Band,” the Booth Brothers singing “He Saw it All,” the Perrys singing “I Wish I Could Have Been There,” Greater Vision singing “My Name is Lazarus,” and the Talley Trio singing “Testify.” All the groups who took part in the finale came on stage to join the Talleys for a final encore.