Group Consistency

Kyle Boering’s post a few days back on lineup consistency in Gold City and Gaither Vocal Band recordings got me thinking. If we looked at the ten most recent recordings (counting table releases but not compilations) by a number of Southern Gospel’s most prominent groups, what would we find? For each group, how many of the ten CDs were recorded by the same lineup that recorded the group’s previous project? For the sake of the discussion, how many of the ten were recorded by the same lineup with at most one change?

I counted table releases but not compilations. I counted group members if they were pictured on the cover and/or otherwise clearly identified as group members. I did not count projects slated for release later this year.

Nomenclature key: After the group name, I put the years covered by the ten most recent recordings in parentheses. After that, I identify how many albums came out with the same lineup as on the previous album, and how many with at most one change.

  • Talley Trio (1999-2007). Same: 10. At most one change: 10.
  • Greater Vision (2002-08). Same: 10. At most one change: 10. (This will change to 9 and 10 when their new project releases.)
  • Triumphant Quartet (2003-08). Same: 10. At most one change: 10.
  • Booth Brothers (2000-08). Same: 9. At most one change: 10.
  • Cathedral Quartet (1990-1999). Same: 9. At most one change: 10.
  • Mark Trammell Trio (2003-08). Same: 6 (of 7). At most one change: 6 (of 7).
  • Florida Boys (2000-07). Same: 8. At most one change: 10.
  • Hoppers (1998-2006). Same: 8. At most one change: 10.
  • Inspirations (1999-2008). Same: 8. At most one change: 10.
  • Legacy Five (2003-08). Same: 8. At most one change: 10.
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (2003-08). Same: 8. At most one change: 9.
  • Gaither Vocal Band (1997-2008). Same: 7. At most one change: 9.
  • Dixie Echoes (1996-2006). Same: 6. At most one change: 9.
  • Dove Brothers (2000-08). Same: 5. At most one change: 10.
  • Gold City (2000-2008). Same: 4. At most one change: 10.
  • Brian Free & Assurance (1997-2007). Same: 4. At most one change: 9.
  • Kingsmen / Carolina Boys (2000-2008). Same: 2. At most one change: 5.

Granted, if this analysis included figures for groups with particularly high turnover–Dixie Melody Boys, Melody Boys Quartet, Chuck Wagon Gang, and Palmetto State Quartet come to mind–their numbers would be significantly lower. But whether it’s a cause or result, groups with that level of turnover often aren’t quite as popular as the top-tier groups.


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7 Letters to the Editor

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  1. What would the numbers look like for the Kingodm Heirs?

  2. They are currently 9 CDs out from the post-Triumphant split, so that will take their numbers down. Let me check…

  3. Kingdom Heirs (2002-08): Same: 7. At most one change: 9.

    (Unless I missed something in my quick skim.)

  4. How about the Primitives…..from what I understand…..Norman Wilson, Michael Riddle, Reagan Riddle and Larry Riddle have been with the group for 35 years. Randy Fox has been with the group 22 years. And the newest member….Jeff Tolbert….has only been with the group about 15 years. That must be some kind of record.

  5. B-O-R-E-I-N-G…. 🙂

  6. How can you forget the Freemans? 😉 Same primary lineup since 1997 and the only change was they added Misty.
    Or what about Karen Peck and New River? How would they compare?

  7. Out of curiosity, what do you mean by “primary lineup”?

    Pianist / band member changes did factor into my count.