Gaither Vocal Band to perform 2014 tour with Phelps/Hampton/English/Gaither lineup

UPDATE, 10/28/2013, 5 PM: It’s official: Michael English and Mark Lowry are both leaving the Gaither Vocal Band.

The Gaither Vocal Band’s concert schedule, posted here, lists the Gaither Vocal Band members and any guest artists performing at each concert venue. As anticipated, the remainder of the group’s 2013 schedule indicates that they will be performing as the familiar five-man vocal lineup of David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Michael English, Mark Lowry, and Bill Gaither. 

This changes for the 2014 season. They have now posted twenty dates for 2014, and each of these dates specifically lists a four-man Gaither Vocal Band lineup: David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Michael English, and Bill Gaither. Since Mark Lowry is not listed as appearing as a group member or as a soloist at any of these dates, this suggests that he will either be leaving the Gaither Vocal Band or taking an extended leave of absence at the end of the year. (Hat tip, Molly.)

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Cathedrals Alumnus Roger Horne returns to the road

Cathedrals alumnus Roger Horne has come out of retirement to join Mercy Road as their new tenor. Mercy Road is a part-time quartet based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Horne was a member of the Gospel Harmony Boys from 1969-1971. He joined the Cathedrals in 1971, after Mack Taunton’s departure. He recorded two albums with the group, Right On (1971) and Welcome To Our World (1972).

After Horne left the Cathedrals, baritone Roy Tremble moved to tenor to take his place. Horne would go on to perform with the Scenicland Boys, Jerry and the Singing Goffs, and his own group, the Roger Horne Trio. He eventually went into the insurance business, retiring earlier this year.

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Mike Holcomb leaves The Inspirations

Yesterday afternoon, The Inspirations announced that long-time bass singer Mike Holcomb has left the group.

Folks, we have an announcement to make. Today, October 1st, Mike Holcomb has announced that he is resigning from The Inspirations. Mike has been singing bass for 42 years with us, and is one of the greatest bass singers to ever step on the stage. However, not only is Mike an incredible singer, but he is an amazing preachers as well! He feels that it is time for him to begin a “new season” in his life, and will be hitting the road full time in preaching and singing evangelism. We know God will use he, and his sweet wife Bavaria, in a tremendous way, but we are devastated to lose him. We love Mike and Bavaria dearly.

If you would like to book Mike Holcomb at your church, conference, or camp meeting (and we HIGHLY recommend that you do) here is his contact info: Mike and Bavaria Holcomb / “Heart’s Desire Ministries” / PO Box 1007 / Bryson City, NC 28713 / (828) 488-2025 / heartsdesiremin@frontier.com

God bless you all, and keep us all in your prayers.

For decades, Holcomb and long-time tenor Archie Watkins were the vocal anchors of the group’s sound. Add in any lead singer and baritone, but keep Watkins and Holcomb in the mix, and it was still The Inspirations. Since Watkins’ departure, Holcomb has anchored the group’s sound.

It is a bittersweet moment for many of us who have observed The Inspirations for years. Holcomb’s heart for preaching—and skill at preaching—has been unmistakable for years. While we hoped Holcomb would stay on stage until the group sang its final notes and retired, I think we all knew, deep down, that there was a chance this day would come.

The preaching circuit has gained a great preacher, but the Southern Gospel quartet circuit has lost one of its finest bass singers.

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Chip Pullen replaces Jerry Pelfrey with Gold City

Gold City has announced that lead singer Jerry Pelfrey will be leaving the group in two weeks. His final day with Gold City will be Wednesday, October 16th. He will be reorganizing his family group, The Pelfreys. The new Pelfreys lineup will feature Jerry; his wife, Mikki Pelfrey; and his sister, Kim Pelfrey Van Hoozier.

Gold City manager Danny Riley commented: “Anyone who has heard Jerry sing knows he has been a great addition to Gold City vocally and behind the scenes as well. We could make this a sad occasion over losing a valued team member, but in reality, no one knows more the importance of traveling with family than my father (Tim Riley) and I. We respect Jerry for taking this opportunity to be with his family at this time in their lives. Gold City asks that you join us in praying for the Pelfreys that God would bless their ministry and allow them to do His work for many years to come.”

Jerry Pelfrey added: “I will be honest. I am scared to death, but ever since the song Lord of Life, I have had a burden to personally be more specific in asking people who Jesus is to them. Once I made the decision with my family to re-establish The Pelfreys, I have had a peace about it. We covet your prayers as we step out in faith to launch this new ministry.”

Gold City has hired Chip Pullen as their new lead singer; most recently, he sang with the Anchormen.

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Palmetto State Quartet ends, Glass Temple begins

In May, the Palmetto State Quartet announced that they would be retiring the Palmetto State Quartet name and holding a contest to find a new name. According to a press release distributed this morning, plans have changed slightly; bass singer and manager Larry Strickland will join the group name in retirement. Lead singer David Staton states: “I have never met anyone who loves to sing and has a passion for this music like Larry does. We are going to miss having him on the road, but if it’s at all possible, you may just see Larry show up at some of our dates. Larry is one of the few true living legends in gospel music and we have been honored to stand next to him and sing.”

Existing Palmetto State Quartet members Jeremy Easley, David Staton and DaRon Maughon will continue performing under the group name Glass Temple. This new group name will take effect on October 1st; Glass Temple’s debut recording will come out later this year.

Glass Temple dates can be scheduled by contacting David Staton at david@songgardenmusicgroup.com or 615-385-4166. Ext. 22.

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John Rulapaugh announces Freedom Quartet

Freedom QuartetThis evening, John Rulapaugh announced that the next chapter for Freedom is as a quartet. He will be joined by baritone Preston Garner, lead singer Dale Shipley, and bass singer Burman Porter. Rulapaugh and Porter have sung together in two previous groups, serving concurrently in the original Dove Brothers lineup and in the ca. 2006 Palmetto State Quartet.

The departure of my friend Josh Garner from Freedom’s lineup left a great void, one that could not easily be filled. Since the inception of Freedom, it was always our desire to have a great quartet. There have been several opportunities to make that move, but the timing was never right. Over the past few weeks the Lord has really made His plans evident in our lives and we are thrilled with the new starting place He has set for us. I couldn’t be more happy than with the addition of my old friend, Burman Porter, to the lineup of Freedom. Many will remember that Burman and I worked together on two previous occasions; First with The Dove Brothers Quartet and, then, with Palmetto State Quartet. There’s so much to tell about how this decision and direction unfolded…and not nearly enough space here to tell it all. Over the coming days and weeks I will share the details of how this all came to be.

They will begin their debut recording shortly. They will be booked by Mountain Top Talent, a division of Michael Davis & Associates. For more information, visit their website or their Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Jodi Hosterman, Brian Alvey join Skyline Boys

Skyline Boys: Jodi Hosterman, Brian Alvey, Chris Little, Dennis Powers

The Skyline Boys made two major personnel announcements this afternoon. First, Jodi Hosterman, who sang with the group several years ago, has returned. He sang with the Kingdom Heirs from 2002 through 2005. His first Skyline Boys stint was after that point; he left them to join the Inspirations in March 2010. He stayed with the Inspirations for nearly three years, leaving in November 2012. He rejoins the Skyline Boys after spending several months with the Holy City Quartet.

Second, Brian Alvey is joining as lead singer. In recent years, he has sung baritone for Beyond the Ashes, tenor for Tribute Quartet, and mostly recently male harmony with the Talleys. Alvey confirmed the move on Twitter a few minutes ago:

 

 

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Harold Reed joins The Diplomats

2013-08-28_0643Yesterday afternoon, the Diplomats announced that Harold Reed has joined their group. Reed is best known for his years with the Dixie Melody Boys, the Florida Boys, and The Kingsmen; he has also been a member of Squire Parsons’ touring ministry, the Melodyaires, and the LeFevre Quartet.

The Diplomats are a mixed group based in Carrollton, Georgia. At a number of points over the last few years, they have had enough group members to also stage a full male quartet for a portion of the program. With the addition of Reed, the announce indicates, this will return to their live programs.

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Eli Johnson joins Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

In comments made to Bluegrass Today, Doyle Lawson announced today that his new bass player/vocalist will be Eli Johnson. He said: “Eli Johnston will be coming aboard singing harmony and some lead. Eli is a multi-instrumentalist but will primarily be playing bass. And so another chapter is added to the ongoing saga of DL&Q!”

Johnson had been a member of the bluegrass band Monroeville. Interestingly, he played in that band alongside Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver alumnus Carl White, who joined Monroeville in October 2012 after spending six years as a Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver bass player, vocalist, and even drummer.

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Corey Hensley leaves Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver tenor and bass player Corey Hensley announced his departure from the group yesterday. He had been with the group for four years. In a statement made to Bluegrass Today, he expressed gratitude for his years in the band: “I’ve been privileged to tour for the past 4 years with a true legend of our music, and will be forever grateful for the experience of being in Doyle Lawson’s band and for the innumerable great friends I’ve made along the way. … Although I’m not exactly sure what is in my immediate future, I have absolute faith that God will guide me as I launch a new phase in my life and career apart from this great band.”

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