Josh Cobb leaves Gold City

Gold City tenor Josh Cobb just announced on his Facebook page (log-in required) that Gold City has let him go for “‘logistical’ reasons”:

I got a call from Danny’s friend Jason Maise yesterday informing me that Gold City was going to let me go because of “logistical” reasons. As most of you know, I live in Oklahoma City and my wife has worked in the field of genetic research for the past decade. There is not much of that going on in Gadsden, AL so it was impossible for us to move there.

Via Brandon Coomer, the announcement of a replacement is expected today.

The Cobb/Webb/Riley/Riley/Taliaferro lineup struck us as “too good to be true,” and regrettably, it proved to be too good to last. But if Gold City can keep Tim Riley on the road and find a top-notch tenor, they could still rebuild back to greatness. Yet today’s news, on top of the other lineup changes over the last 5 years, puts them back to the starting line in that endurance race.

UPDATE (10/29/10): Gold City hires Brent Mitchell.

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

85 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. Whoa! What a shock! And after all the gearing up they were doing… especially with bringing back “I Stand Redeemed!” This is a huge surprise… wow.

    Now what does Gadsden, AL have to do with it? Is that where Gold City is shifting headquarters or something?

    • Well, that’s where Gold City has been based for at least 25 years. πŸ™‚

      • In that case, why did Josh take the job in the first place? What’s suddenly changed for him now? Did Gold City suddenly want him to move to AL?

      • Josh accepted the job and made the decision to commute from OK to AL. The key fact here is that it wasn’t his decision to leave.

      • Then if he was willing to commute to AL, where are the “logistical reasons” coming in? Or is that just a thin cover for “We’ve decided we don’t want you anymore?”

        I know I sound like a crazed Josh fan, and really, I’m not, but this is one of the weirdest turnovers I’ve seen in recent months, so it’s just aroused my curiosity.

      • Be watching for an email.

  2. They couldn’t call him? This other guy did?

    • That also struck me as odd, unless the other guy was a business manager for the group or something to that effect. But I thought that Danny pretty much handled those duties.

      • Apparently Maise is not a business manager, just a friend of the Rileys.

      • Daniel, Josh said on FB that Maise was the BM

      • Ah, I see that now; Maise came and posted on Josh’s page that he is the business manager.

        Oddly, from the exchange, it seems that Josh had not been aware of that up until that time.

  3. As much as i understand the inevitable turnover in SG, as a fan and promoter, it does get tiring. Especially when a group gets a great core sound and then has to be rebuilt again. Best of luck to Josh, and Gold City and the New Tenor. Hope josh is singing again soon!

    • I would not hold my breath on that one.

  4. I have no inside information as some have alluded that they have but I’ve been around Southern Gospel long enough to put a few things together.

    1) Gold City holds off realeasing their CD, 2) Alabama and OK haven’t grown further apart logistically in a year, something changed and has been in the works for a little while at least…

    Let’s see, there has been “buzz” about a tenor in the last week or so that would be great with a quartet, also a “high profile” tenor just left a group…me thinks we are going to be familiar with the new tenor…whether it’s one of these 2 or not…

    • If you are referring to Jerry Martin or the tenor in the “Ryan Seaton QT”, I don’t THINK it is either of those. Don’t quote me, though.

      • Speaking of which – “Ryan Seaton Concert Quartet” – what is the story?

        Debuted at Evansville – Ernie Town – 3 weeks ago? Ryan we know and Aaron we know, but who are these???

        Take a EHSS core venue, and an ex-EHSS lead, mix in a EHSS bridge or two, meld the EHSS sound with a GVB sound and pour into 4 young guys in jackets ‘n jeans – and what have we got?

        A standing ovation on each song!

        Worth watching, in every sense…

  5. This doesn’t make sense. Why fire him if he’s willing to make the drive?

    • We’ll never know. Such is the nature of turnover… some turnover anyway. Fortunately not all turnover!

  6. I’ll ask the million dollar question. How come alot of groups aren’t the first ones to announce their changes? Why does it have to be hearsay or tweeted or facebooked (?) from the departing party or a “friend” of their Aunt Linda’s hair dresser.

    If Cobb knew approximately 24 hours ago, you’d think the powers that be in Gold City would have had a clue slightly before then at least. Why do these things seem to catch the groups by surprise? It takes just a few minutes to type up a short news note and put it on your web page and send it out to “Twitter” “Facebook” and the other social media sites with a “more details later” tag on it.

    Why can’t the Breaking News be from the group?

    We have this discussion everytime don’t we…

    • 2miles, you are 100% correct. Groups should be out in front of this stuff. Why aren’t they? I got no clue.

    • Well if, according to the statement, they didn’t even call the departing member directly and let him find out secondhand, then it’s not surprising that they didn’t have a press release ready.

      • …and what’s with calling someone to let them know they’re out? Whatever happened to the common courtesy of telling a person face-to-face? Not very professional, imho.

      • Sorry, that came out a little snarkier (is that a word?) than I meant it to be. I just don’t think a phone call is the right way to handle letting someone go.

      • They couldn’t tell him face to face for logistical reasons…

  7. You knew something wasn’t quite right when the new and highly anticipated album just kinda disappeared.

    I would love to see Gold City at the forefront of southern gospel music again. I now have 40 of their projects, and I treasure them. But it just seems like they can’t gain their footing the last few years.

    • Would it seem that there is a constant common denominator? Just asking….

      • I see it this way: the Riley/Wilburn/Trammell/Parrack lineup was so stable and so incredibly popular. When that lineup gradually went away, the quartet seems like they lost their musical direction. When you don’t have the strong musical footing, personnel issues logically follow. I really think they need to draw a line in the sand, get a clear vision of the music they want to make, and find someone who will excel at that style. Then stick with it.

      • I agree there. I have no idea if it ‘started’ when Danny came on the scene, but it seems that things have not been steady since he did.

      • I guess my point is that it is my belief that if their “decline” coincides with Danny’s leadership, it is coincidental. I think there are other more significant factors. Loss of stable and wildly popular personnel, including their signature voice, Tim Riley, and Doug’s untimely death are the big ones to me.

  8. All of this about a week before they come to our church!

  9. Here’s to Eric Philips returning to Southern Gospel

    • Eric Phillips would be awesome!! He is a great tenor!

      • He would probably be the best voice they could possibly get, but I think he’ll stick to what he is doing. I have been surprised before, though.

        My ear tells me if they were to get Eric, they would have to go back to more of a traditional style. He’s not really a fit for the kind of music they’ve been making the last few years.

  10. Here is my “wishful thinking” headline for the new tenor announcement…

    “Jay Parrack Returns to Gold City!”

    …and then I wake up from my dream. πŸ™‚

    • I would have to buy a new car and hit the road more if Jay returned to GC!!!!

  11. to be clearer… I’m wishing Eric Phillips would return… I’ve always thought he would be a good fit with Gold City…but I don’t know who is even “in the running”

  12. I have trust in Tim to do the right thing. Can’t say that about the rest, but Tim is “class”. I think the $ is there and they will find a quality well known person.

    • Blackstone, Danny is actually running things now. Tim turned over the reins to him a while ago. So I doubt Tim really had a big hand in this decision, if any.

      • Hence my question from above. I believe that there is a problem at the top and it has cost them dearly in the personnel department. I believe that Tim came back to help get Gold City back to where it was stage-wise, but it is Danny who is running the business side.

  13. I don’t care whether you have a business manager or not. If you’re the owner of quartet you speak to the guy yourself and do it face to face. Danny Riley has poor management skills. Period.

    • Agreed. Another example of why we have to discuss why our beloved SG doesn’t appeal to more people. It’s amateurish and unprofessional even at the top. I’m sure there’s more to this than logistics but no matter the reason, the way it’s handled is wrong.

      • GH, I agree that this particularly situation has no doubt been handled badly. However, I see no reason for you to draw some general, negative conclusion about southern gospel music as a result. It’s not like there haven’t been unfair firings in the realm of secular music either.

      • Er, this “particular” situation.

  14. This caught me by surprise, however a couple of things I do know. Jason has been the business manager for a while, not sure how long but I do know that Bryan Elliot met with Jason to fill out all his paperwork when he was hired by GC at NQC so Josh had to know this.

    I loved Josh with Gold City so what I’m about to say is hard but on several occasions of concerts we have attended Josh has literally been MIA until almost concert time because of issues with flights and/or traffic after he landed. As a manager in a business, there is no way I would deal with that over and over. Also as a manager if someone is let go here usually it is the manager not an owner that does it.

    I know at one time in general conversation Josh mentioned looking to move closer although not to Gadsden but I know know if that was really part of his plan or just something he thought about. But if it was it appears that even Nashville and/or Atlanta had no openings in Beth’s area.

    All of that being said I wish GC and Josh the best!

    • I understand what you’re saying, DeeAnn, but this is not the same as working for a company where you have middle-managers, etc. Nowhere else in business do you find an owner/part-owner standing next to his superiors on stage night after night singing about love, grace, etc.

      Sorry, but your argument doesn’t hold up here. If anything, Daniel and his business manager should have done it together, face to face.

      • This is just an administrator’s reminder to keep things courteous. Both perspectives have been expressed, light has been shed on the topic from both sides, and could we leave it at that?

  15. Jeff I understand where you are coming from and since I didn’t hear the conversations between any of them I can’t say who said or did what. And I agree with big companies on the middle manager however, before I worked for a large company I worked for a very small one where the owner worked side by side with everyone but still if fell on the manager’s shoulders to release and/or discipline. It may not with all but that has been my experience.

    I do agree that face to face is usually the ideal way to handle issues. I won’t disagree with you there. Now sometimes it doesn’t work out to do it that way for a variety of reasons, but that is the ideal.

    The thing is none of us know everything that happened. So hopefully we can pray that all involved will do what God directs them to do.

    My granddad used to tell me there were 3 sides to everything ‘your side, my side & the right side’ The right side usually contains parts from each of the other two.

    • “My granddad used to tell me there were 3 sides to everything β€˜your side, my side & the right side’ The right side usually contains parts from each of the other two.”

      The adult, mature Christain side of me agrees and I’ve said this dozens of times myself.

      The 30 year SG fanboy side of me that loved Gold City with Josh and was looking forward to a CD with a SG rendition of “Heaven”, a GC version of “I Stand Redeemed”, and other great music is completely peeved and thinks the whole situation stinks.

      Well, at least the guy with the bag on his head and his Merry Fellowship of the Miserable will be happy. This will give them fun for months.

  16. I’m with Daniel, I think we have exhausted the “whys” and “hows”. I say we move to widely speculating as to who the next tenor is… Just whoever pops in your head… post it. Extra points for hinting that you have an inside source… this is a bit tongue in cheek, but not much…

    • People who have an inside source have been told not to tell.


      • Ain’t that the truth, Daniel. LOL

        My inside sources say the press release may be delayed until tomorrow or some undetermined point in the future so the new tenor’s debut will be a surprise.

      • Quite interesting!

  17. Daniel,

    Sorry, I had typed the other and my screen frozen, when it started I submitted without looking to see if there had been other comments.

    • DeeAnn – no problem, apology accepted. Besides, it ended up being fine – it wasn’t any more heated. I only stepped in because I didn’t want things to get any more heated.

      • Whoa… I didn’t feel it was heated at all. Sorry if anyone took it that way.

      • Don’t worry – your comment and DeeAnn’s were both fine in and of themselves. But I knew we were right up to the point where one more comment could push things over the line.

  18. …that doesn’t seem fair…

    • It’s actually par for the course. Sometimes media people in SG are told of upcoming news stories in confidence, and the only way to get trusted (here or elsewhere) is to keep confidences.

      • That proves how far outside of the industry I am, then. I can only think of one secret I’ve known in advance for the past couple of years, and it wasn’t being protected too much. Within two hours of having the group owner swear me to secrecy, another blogger emailed me saying they’d heard the news (second hand) from a radio DJ. :o)

      • On the other hand, maybe it’s just that no one in the industry trusts me to keep a secret.

      • It’s only on occasion that I hear! πŸ™‚

  19. I know…just messing with you…I’ll be anxious t see who it is…wish Josh the best as well…

  20. See Jeff & I proved that you can discuss things at adults and not necessarily agree! πŸ™‚

    • Oh, you certainly did! When I post something like that, it’s generally the next person to jump into the conversation that I’m concerned about.

      • There is always a civilized way to discuss things and we as Christians should be able to do so! LOL! I enjoy reading the blog Daniel because there are so many different opinions and it is so interesting to hear others talk about the same things that I think some time! LOL! Thanks for the post!

      • No problem!

  21. I hate to hear that Josh has left. I do not know what has suddenly changed that caused the departure. I have the utmost respect for Gold City but I really do not think that this was handled properly. I had heard when Aaron McCune left him that he had asked Daniel for some time off and then found out through the Singing News that Gold City was looking for a bass singer. I did not really believe that then but now with this situation, I am not saying that the previous scenario was true but it sounds more true than a couple years ago. Again, I mean no disrespect to Tim Riley and Gold City. I have been a fan for so many years and will continue to be one as long as they continue to sing Southern Gospel!!! Preferably some old school Southern Gospel!! πŸ˜‰

  22. According to singingnews eric hinson and wife involved in car wreck. Eric has broken back, april has hurt neck.

    • Wow, we need to lift them up in prayer!! Thanks Jeremy!

  23. I really want to see Gold City get it together

    • Yeah, some funny things going on lately!

  24. WOW – interesting conversation. Sometimes things are not always as they appear to the outsider. I’m sure that some of you may personally know the members of Gold City and some may be fans – nevertheless it’s always easier to say what we think we would have done if we had been in that situation, etc but unless we have been there we really don’t know how we would have handled the situation. I hope my comments don’t come across as inappropriate, just making an observation. Best wishes to Josh and best wishes to Gold City in finding a replacement. God always has a purpose and plan even when we with our finite minds don’t understand.

  25. I will always be a BIG Gold City fan and they have had a couple of “golden” line ups…but have to admit I thought this was another of “the” line ups for a while. What a shame but the last several years have been tough for them. I do agree that maybe Daniel should have have had a sit down since Tim has mostly entrusted him with the quartet. That aside they will always do fine but really wish they would settle down for a while. They are a large reason among others that this music lives. In the Lords time I know they will have another “it” line up. I do wish it would happen some time soon! Good luck gentlemen and pick another great tenor. Josh best of luck you’ve breathed new life into the group if even for a short time.

  26. As a long time Gold City fan, I’m not as much concerned about the “whys” as I am about the fact that this once mega-quartet seems to be unable to find a way to achieve any stability.

    The excitement of the annuoncement of Roy Webb and Josh Cobb joining the quartet is now replaced with the gut wrenching feeling of “here we go again.”

  27. Any chance of a Steve Ladd return??

  28. Regardless of the ‘good’ or ‘bad’…. all of this has garnished quite a bit of free publicity and interest for GC.

    • Now there’s a cynical comment! πŸ˜‰

      • Well, I’m not really meaning that….

        It’s a fact that this news got the talk going. I’m sure that this isn’t the best publicity they want. The “broken toe” incident from earlier is more like what they need! (just not at the expense of more medical expenses I’m sure!)

        It’s too bad that all this has to happen on their 30th Anniversary year. To finish this time with a stable line-up and everything would be ideal. But, things happen. I can understand that.

        Just like with any business, or ministry, things change. It can’t always be helped, circumstances change, and no matter how much you try and keep things running smooth, there’s always something at times. That’s life.

      • Gold City always brings Matt out of the woodwork. πŸ˜‰

  29. God has all things under control. God bless Gold City and Josh Cobb, too.

  30. I’m praying for Gold City but especially for Josh Cobb. He is a fine young man and has mountains of talent. I wish him the best of everything and hope that he will find another group to become a part of. His talent needs to be used for God’s glory somewhere in SG music.

    Gold City needs to get it back together. Their frequent changes have made it so that I don’t really care to hear them because they don’t ever get to the point where they have jelled as a group. I wish them well.

  31. I’m kinda late to this conversation, but there seems to be a lot of things being said about Danny and the BM. For all we know, they may have tried to have the conversation with Josh. Frankly, as far as GC tenors go, Steve and Chris brought a wide range and awesome high notes that even Johnny couldn’t hit. Don’t get me wrong, both Johnny and his dad have incredible talent and saw them last month using it for the Lord. Josh, while having a beautiful tenor voice just couldn’t hit those notes. Some of the performances at NQC this year…I don’t know if Josh was ill…but I just felt bad for him. Not sure about Brent being the “right choice”. Again, don’t know if he has the range that I would be looking for. Both Josh and Brent have great voices, but I like the really high notes, and I hope Brent can hit them. And pray that God blesses GC, Josh, and all other former and present members.

    • Ummm…. by Johnny, I assume you mean Jay?? And if so, are you trying to tell us that Chris Cooper had more high notes than Jay??

  32. Having been in and around the music industry myself for 30+ years, I can fully understand the reasoning of the “logistics” statement. The office, the recording studio and the bus are in Gadsen. Josh is a family man living in Oklahoma. In order for him to spend a normal amount of time at home (like the other 4 members) it creates work delays. Instead of being able to hit the studio a few hours a day during off times, Josh would have to have foregone some family time. He’d have to spend his “family” time traveling back and forth, or reduce his work time to keep his family time. I would venture to guess that when he hired in, he and his wife were given time to find her a job near Gadsen. Since, that didn’t pan out, the next logical step, for the sake of the group, would be to replace him. This, of course, is all just an experienced guess, but to me, it seems to be strictly a business decision.