Bryan Elliott joins Gold City

Gold City announced last night that Bryan Elliott will be filling the piano bench left vacant by Roy Webb’s recent departure. Elliott got his start in Southern Gospel playing for the Anchormen from when he was 16 until he was in his mid-twenties, and spent the last several years playing piano for the Perrys.

Elliott will be starting immediately. Gold City baritone/manager Danny Riley states: “We’ve known Bryan for many years, so this is more than bringing a pianist on board – we’re adding a long-time friend. Bryan will be with us as we head out for this weekend.”

He leaves the Perrys on good terms. Bass singer Tracy Stuffle states: “Bryan is a fine young man. We have enjoyed having him as a part of our group and all of us in the Perrys sincerely wish him the absolute best as he joins Gold City. He will always be a member of our family and this group.”

For the time being, the Perrys will not be bringing a live pianist on the road, due to the unexpected financial pressure of Tracy Stuffle’s recent heart attack and diabetes diagnosis. For those who would like to see them fill that position, be sure to support them now so that, on the other side of this storm, they can fill the position again!

UPDATE: Good news from the Perrys’ camp! From their latest online newsletter: “The Perrys will not be filling the piano position at this time. Our former piano player, Matthew Holt will be filling in from time to time.” Holt won numerous fans, receiving several top 5 Fan Awards nominations, and many will be thrilled to see him at those concerts he can fit into his schedule!


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23 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. I am hesitant to say this – but this reminds me a little of the tenor (can’t remember his name) leaving L5 for “solo” work just as Roger Bennett was going into a difficult phase of treatment in Houston. He eventually wound up with the Old Time Gospel Hour QT – and I think now is on staff at Liberty Univ.

    When people leave top groups like L5 or the Perrys – it is a stressful situation to replace and work the new personnel into the group dynamics etc. Just seems a little unkind to me.

    JEB

    • JEB-I think alot of times when these things happen we don’t always hear the whole story and frankly, it’s really none of our business as that’s between the two parties. The people in these groups come and go for many different reasons and we should just appreciate them and be thankful that they chose to share their talents with us – whereever they are. I don’t think Bryan Elliott would ever be “unkind” to anyone and I look forward to seeing him with Gold City as well as whoever joins The Perrys when they decide to fill that spot. Let’s remember that God needs to place these people with their groups – not us. 🙂

      • Well said, SJC! Thank you!

  2. Jeb, as far as know, we don’t know what happened. Now, the scenarios I present are only possibilities. I have no way of knowing which way it happened. It COULD have been the Perrys had to cut costs to pay for the medical bills and keep things going. Or, the opportunity happened now and I think the Gold City job is a dream job for a lot of pianists out there who might have followed them in their heyday. I really don’t think in this case that he is bailing because of what happened to Tracy. I could be wrong.

    Nonetheless, it sounds like at least in a sense it is a blessing or at least a mixed blessing to the Perrys in that they can save the money to cover the medical bills, lost wages (perhaps) or at least paying others to fill in so they could be off. Perhaps this change was God’s will. If not, He certainly can use it.

    However, even IF it were due to Tracy’s health (and I don’t think so), one can’t really fault him for thinking of his future if he fears that he either might be let go, wages go down, the group might dissolve etc. I don’t think any of this will happen and of course it would be nice had he stuck around to help if that is what the Perrys wanted, but how many of us would stick around a company in danger of closing its doors? We would probably have to think of our futures, families etc. and go. Not all of us, but many. I repeat, I don’t think that is the case here, but only pointing out IF it were, it would still be hard to totally blame him.

  3. Well, I wasn’t going to elaborate on what I was told, but that may be better than the alternative now. With the Perrys’ medical bills, and with Gold City looking for a pianist, it was best for all involved for Bryan to fill GC’s vacant piano spot, and for the time being to just have the four vocalists on the Perrys’ bus.

    • Daniel,

      Do you know when they will announce the song titles on the Perry’s new album?

      Thanks!
      Adam

      • Blue Skies Coming
        Grace Doesn’t Remember
        His Love Lights The Way
        Celebrate Me Home
        Nothing Was Burned
        Rejoice, Children, Rejoice
        Sounds Good To Me
        He Loves To Save
        Every Time I Need Him
        I Know What I’m Singing About
        The End of the Aisle

  4. From the looks of it, Bryan’s choice to try for Gold City may have been something as simple as the commute. I think it’d be easier to commute from the LaGrange, GA, area to the Alabama area than to Nashville, TN.

    And if they were to want to have a piano as part of their music, they could utilize the piano accompaniment of Troy Peach. He played for the Wilburns & some for the Steeles. It wouldn’t be a full concert thing, but sort of like the Garry Jones/Mercy’s Mark or Josh Singletary/Tribute Quartet workings. This is only an idea, by the way!!

    • Exactly what I thought…as long as Troy’s around, they have a pianist.

  5. Maybe I’m reading too much into this story, but I think the Perrys may have essentially encouraged him to make the move right now because of financial strain. I don’t think he bailed out on the Perrys. I think it was a mutual decision for Brian and the Perrys that now might be a good time to take the GC job. Maybe I’m wrong, but that is my hunch…

  6. Sounds like a mutual decision for all involved to me. Gold City is still one of the top paying groups in the business.

  7. I believe it was a mutual decision, beneficial to all parties.

  8. Let’s face it everyone, the southern gospel industry is a business with working class people who don’t really make a lot of money. These performers have to make their living somehow. A singer/musician will leave Group A and join Group B if there is a better future and more convenience. Preachers do the same thing with churches if necessary. Everyday workers do the same thing as well. End of story.

  9. Why don’t we all just accept it for what it is and wish all parties involved the best? What these people do is their business and not up to us to scrutinize. God is in it all and it will all end up for the ultimate good.

  10. How about another take on this subject of moving. At least he is going to another group, instead of saying how much he loves southern gospel, than just gets up a leaves for another job not even in southern gospel. This has happen more than once during the past several years. The question should be do you love southern gospel or is there money to be made outside. Just a thought.

  11. Whether you love southern gospel or not has literally nothing to do with a singer finding his or her living outside of this industry.

  12. Sorry abk it does make a difference, when they get up on the stage and say I dreamed all my life to sing with this group or that group. Than they leave the whole industry. Yes I do understand that riding in a bus all weekend is not easy. Yes it is true we don’t know why singers leave and singers stay. I think sometimes the person who goes to the concerts and gives there support should know more why people move on and yes we do not need to know everything sometimes. Just some thoughts.

  13. If you were traveling 150-200 days out of your year, away from your family, earning a meager blue-collar paycheck, receiving no insurance or retirement, and missing your wife/children and church, you might think a little different on that. And my hat’s off to the guys that do it all the time…it’s very difficult for about 95% of these artists to make a living in this industry. Dreams can be shattered quite quickly and quite easily in this business, and it’s not over how much they love this music.

    • …and there’s the heart of the issue.

      Artists do indeed have a dream of performing with a certain group, but when that dream conflicts with their dream of spending time with their children as they grow up, sometimes they have to choose one or the other.

  14. Exactly…just one of the issues.

  15. OR, why not go ask the parties involved instead of speculating?? It wasn’t a secret at convention.

    And, I believe I know ABK well enough to agree with him on the issue of whether or not a person loves SG music enough to stay in the business when they’re not making jack for income… I’ve seen it. It happens daily. And for a man to not provide sufficiently for his family just because he wants to “live his dream” is ridiculous. If both can be done, then that’s great. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case.

    🙂

  16. Through all this, we should all wish Tracy well so that the Perrys can become “whole” again. They pay their people well and treat them well. I am concerned for the Perrys as they are going through a struggle now. I am hopefull that Joe stays with them for awhile (no rumor intended) as he is an incredible talent with a great future as a songwriter and/or singer/or quartet manager.

    • Based on an exchange on Twitter, it sounds like Joseph will be around for a good while yet. 🙂