Friday News Roundup #225

Worth Knowing

  • Wilma Shaw, wife of former Blackwood Brothers tenor Bill Shaw, has passed away (link requires Facebook login).
  • Ellen Gerig’s Bass Singers Quartet video has passed 1,000,000 views on YouTube. That’s a milestone that very few Southern Gospel videos—and even fewer non-early-Gaither-Homecoming videos—have ever passed.
  • Chris Conover, an Assistant Professor of Theology at Campbellsville University-Louisville, is conducting a survey on the demographics of Southern Gospel, here.
  • Worth Reading: Tim Challies on why good doctrine leads to good songs.

One more thing, for those who have asked: I plan to post announcements of any new books or other writing projects at

Worth Watching

To come full circle: Here is the group and the song that made me a Southern Gospel fan:

Read More

Friday News Roundup #224

Worth Knowing

Worth Watching

Matt Fouch, known for both his On The Couch With Fouch series and for singing bass for Legacy Five, recently launched a podcast and video blog. In last week’s episode, here, he mentioned that he will include a news section each week. This provides one more option for fans wondering where to keep up with the latest news once this site retires.

Also worth watching: This the first video I’ve seen of the Down East Boys with new bass singer Joe Brinkley:

Read More

Bobby Clark passes away

Bobby Clark, original tenor for the Cathedral Quartet, passed away this afternoon at 12:10 P.M. He had suffered a stroke in February. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, May 31 at 11:00 AM at the Temple Baptist Church in Flower Mound, Texas.

Clark was the last surviving member of the original Cathedrals lineup; lead singer Glen Payne passed away in 1999, bass singer George Younce in 2005, and baritone/pianist Danny Koker in 2008. This is the 50th anniversary of the quartet’s 1964 start; he was the only alumnus to make live to see that fifty-year mark.

Here is a video of Clark at the Cathedrals Reunion videotaping:

That doesn’t quite do justice to the Cathedrals’ delightfully tight blend when Clark was with the group and in his vocal prime. Though this is audio only, it comes closer:

Read More

Friday News Roundup #223

Worth Knowing

  • The Old Paths announced that their current radio single, “Long Live the King,” written by Dianne Wilkinson and Chris Binion, is going to be a #1 hit on the Singing News charts.
  • The Collingsworth Family announced last Sunday (Mother’s Day) that Brooklyn Collingsworth Blair and her husband, Will, are expecting their first child in November.
  • Leslie Taylor Perkins of The Taylors gave birth to her first child—a son, Isaiah—on May 14. Leslie, her husband Aaron, and Isaiah will return to the road after several weeks of maternity leave.
  • Singing News announced the top five nominees for the 2014 Fan Awards.

Worth Watching

An early look at the Perrys with new lead singer Andrew Goldman:

Read More

The Garms Family signs off

Editor’s note: With this site’s final post coming soon, I asked if The Garms Family would like to write a final post. ~Daniel

What does one say in a final post?

Perhaps “thank you” a couple times.  Maybe some reflections on the “good old days”… and even, maybe, a few words about the future.  Yet, as simple as that formula sounds, to write a post that concludes a fond period in our family’s life is simply difficult.

But, we’ll try our best anyway. 🙂

Little did we know how much our lives would change the day Taylor stumbled upon  It was a fairly normal day in 2010 shortly after some fairly abnormal happenings.  In summary, Caleb had just sung “I’m Feeling Fine” with Legacy Five and the video was uploaded to YouTube, Dad had just lost his job as a small aircraft mechanic, and we had been suddenly thrown from singing part-time into full-time ministry, in an industry we hardly knew anything about.

After checking email that morning, Taylor went to our recently created YouTube channel to see how the “I’m Feeling Fine” video was doing, and was shocked to see a sharp increase in views. This spike immediately piqued her curiosity. Heading to Google, she began searching random queries to pinpoint the source of the increase.  After multiple failed searches, she struck gold with the phrase “seven year old boy sings with Legacy Five”.  At the top of the results page was a post — featuring the video — on a site called

Since the day she clicked on that link,, now Southern Gospel Journal, has been our family’s favorite website.  (Well, with the possible exception of 🙂 )

As fans in a northern land thirsty (yes, even in the land of 10,000 lakes!) for quartet music and that “Southern sound”, we eagerly pored over each commentary and news article.  We became acquainted with the names and faces of groups that constituted this genre called “Southern Gospel”.  The lively discussions in the comments often found their way into our mealtime conversations, and the names of fellow commenters came to be as familiar to us as our next-door neighbors (or more so!).

As a fledgling full-time music ministry, the insights about the industry gave us perspective as we grew.  For example, the online debate about live music versus soundtracks was highly discussed in our family — and that’s naming just one point of helpful analyses from this site!  We caught glimpses into the industry through comments and interviews, and paid attention to the perceptive critiques Daniel and many others offered.  And of course, Daniel’s incredible appreciation for the history of Southern Gospel helped us understand where this genre came from and who exactly George Younce was! (Don’t ask… 🙂 )

We were honored when Daniel invited us to join the contributor team of the Journal, and greatly enjoyed the assignments he gave us (the ones we actually finished, that is).  From interviewing Michael Booth with a toy microphone to pulling the 1,500 pennies prank on Scott Fowler, to dancing with Ernie Haase and actually interviewing Daniel himself, we have so many special memories.  One of our family’s favorite posts was the “What To Do When You Can’t Attend NQC” — we still laugh each time we watch it.  It was a challenge to pull everything together for the posts we did.  We marvel that Daniel could consistently come up with over 3,000 posts while eight people struggled to produce only 32!

Daniel, we cannot thank you enough for making this spot on the web such a blessing for our family and thousands of others to visit.  We appreciate the hard work and many hours you have invested in making this a quality, God-honoring website.  The things we have learned through you and Southern Gospel Journal are invaluable to our family (especially how to spell “y’all” properly — we’re glad you set us straight).  We also thank you for inviting us to join you on this journey; we wouldn’t trade the fun adventures we’ve had for anything!  We’re only sorry that we did not help you out by contributing more often.  You have become such a dear friend, and we are excited to see what God has in store for you!

To our fellow readers and commenters: Thank you for reading our posts and watching our videos.  We hope they have brought a smile to your day or introduced you to some wonderful groups and music.  And, thank you for your comments and interaction with our family as well — there were days even before breakfast our family surrounded the computer to see what y’all had said.  (And times we stayed up far too late with you as well!) 🙂

Friends, let us continue to be faithful, not to just one particular group, or even to this genre, but let us be faithful to Christ.  We are all unworthy servants (Luke 17:10), whether we hold a microphone in our hands, sit in the pew, or simply read this site.  Praise God for His marvelous salvation, and let’s keep proclaiming the Good News!

Oh, and, Daniel, we’ll miss Southern Gospel Journal.  A lot.  But we are convinced this is the right step for you to take, in response to where God is leading you at this time.  So long, (er, Southern Gospel Journal — we never did quite get used to the “Journal” 🙂 ).

By the way, one of these days we might make it NQC.  That is, if Caleb’s wheelbarrow doesn’t run out of gas.  🙂  Until then, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (2nd Corinthians 13:14)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!


(The Garms Family)

David & Kris, Ben, Taylor, Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb

Read More

Jeff Stice leaves Triumphant Quartet

Triumphant Quartet announced this afternoon that Jeff Stice has left the group. The press release states: “After taking a personal leave of absence to reflect on God’s best for his life and the life of his family, Jeff Stice has made a decision to end his tenure with the Triumphant Quartet.  He will be focusing his energies on joining his sisters in helping to care for their parents. While he may pursue other interests in the future, he feels his family and their needs must be the priority in this season of life.”

Bass singer and emcee Eric Bennett commented, “I speak for all the guys in the group when I say that we wish Jeff well in his future endeavors.  He and his family will definitely remain in our prayers.”
The press release added that “the decision to hire a piano player for the group remains uncertain at this time.”
Triumphant started twelve years ago and had a remarkable twelve-year run with the same lineup prior to this change.
Read More

Friday News Roundup #222

Worth Knowing

  • Former Brian Free & Assurance drummer Ricky Free, son of group skipper Brian Free, has accepted a position as drummer for Dove Award®-winning CCM artist Matthew West.
  • Songwriter Daryl Williams has announced the return of the Daryl Williams Trio. He will be joined by lead singer Shannon Knight and tenor Brent Mitchell. (This configuration has already been performing together for several months, so it’s not exactly new news, but an official announcement is at least worth a News Roundup mention.)
  • Songwriter Ricky Atkinson & Compassion announced that he will be going on tour with two different Ricky Atkinson & Compassion lineups this year. The official current lineup is Atkinson, Greg Cook, and Loren Harris. He will also do some dates with a second lineup, consisting of pianist Nathan Rogers and returning members Samuel & LaBreeska Atkinson.
  • The Allen Family will be the focus of a new reality TV series on TLC.
  • Worth Reading: Danny Jones’ column, If You Really Want To Do Something (Pray).

Worth Watching

This “Confused Quartet” features every member out of their usual position: Triumphant Quartet baritone Scott Inman on tenor, Legacy Five pianist Trey Ivey on lead, Greater Vision tenor Chris Allman on baritone, Legacy Five baritone Scott Howard on bass, Hoppers alto Connie Hopper on piano, Legacy Five lead singer Scott Fowler on bass, and Greater Vision lead/pianist Gerald Wolfe on drums.

Read More

Andrew Goldman joins The Perrys

The Perrys announced this morning that Andrew Goldman will replace departing lead singer David Ragan. Libbi Perry Stuffle commented, “The Perrys are very excited about Andrew coming on board as a part of our team and family. He’s such an incredible singer!”

Goldman comments, “It’s such an honor to be a part of the great ministry The Perrys have. I have always been a fan, and I love their passion to see people’s lives changed.”

Goldman joins The Perrys after spending two years as the baritone for Ryan Seaton’s quartet, Union Street. We featured him in an interview, here.

Read More

Joy O’Neal recovering from stroke

The Dixie Melody Boys are run by Ed O’Neal; his wife, Joy, who travels with the group, suffered a mild stroke on Saturday. She was taken to the hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thankfully, the stroke was mild, and she was released from the hospital and is recovering. In a statement sent out by group tenor and publicist Matt Felts, he commented:

As many of you know, Ed O’Neal’s wife, Joy, travels with the Dixie Melody Boys. We affectionately call her Mama Joy because she is like a mother to us. On Saturday, she suffered a mild stroke and was rushed to the hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ed O’Neal made the right decision and stayed with her at the hospital while she was treated and as a result had to miss the performance later that night at The Assembly in Broken Arrow. The guys all stepped up to fill Ed’s shoes the best we could and we had a great concert. We want to thank everyone last night including Peter Enns for their understanding and prayers for the O’Neal family. Miss Joy was released from the hospital and is recovering. She will receive additional treatment this week back in North Carolina. Ed was able to be back on stage with us on Sunday morning and does not expect to miss any future dates. We covet your prayers for Mama Joy and for Ed.

Read More

Friday News Roundup #221

Worth Knowing

  • Tribute Quartet bass singer Anthony Davis is graduating from Bethel University in Mckenzie, Tennessee, with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Notably, he maintained a 4.0 GPA through his baccalaureate studies.
  • The McKameys were scheduled to appear at Oak Bowery Baptist Church in Saltillo Community, Arkansas on Saturday, May 10th. That church’s sanctuary has suffered tornado damage so severe that the concert has been postponed to February.
  • Old Paths tenor Jeremy Peace and his wife Jennifer welcomed their third daughter, Elizabeth, yesterday morning. Mother and baby are both healthy and doing well.

Worth Watching

To commemorate Mark Trammell Quartet bass singer Pat Barker’s final weekend on the road:

Also worth watching: Matt Fouch interviews Ronnie Booth.

Read More