Saturday News Roundup #188

Worth Knowing

  • 11th Hour soprano Candice Jordan has announced her engagement to Daniel Rogers, and that she will leave 11th Hour to work alongside her future husband in youth ministry. “I always knew from the beginning God had a special hold on Candice,” manager/alto Amber Eppinette said. “She has been with me from 11th Hour’s beginning and has been and will always be my best friend. It has been a honor to have watched her grow in the Lord and in her talent. Candice has one of the best, most innocent, anointed voices around and it’s been Mine and the group’s pleasure to share the stage with her over the past 6 and a half years. It’s hard to watch her go but I know God has placed Candice and Daniel together and I am excited to see the blessings from the youth ministry God has placed them. Pray for them and pray for 11th Hour as we seek a replacement for Candice.” Jordan was the lead vocalist on the group’s recent chart-topping hit “Room With a View.”
  • Wayne Wallace, who hosted “The Dixie Gospel Caravan” for WDJC / WXJC for forty-five consecutive years, passed away.
  • Riley and Megan Clark are expecting their first child. Riley sings tenor with Tribute Quartet.
  • Aaron and Leslie (Taylor) Perkins are expecting their first child. Leslie sings with her family group, The Taylors.
  • Amber Nelon Thompson is now engaged to longtime boyfriend John Risk.
  • In Tracy Stuffle’s ongoing stroke recovery, he was able to stand this week, with the help of a frame. It was the first time in some time that he was able to stand up.
  • An off topic link, though somewhat related to church music: What the Hijabi Witnessed (and What She Didn’t). Like the churches of most readers, mine is not liturgical. I’ll admit that, like the story’s author, I have had a somewhat dim view of liturgical services. So this story was quite thought-provoking.

Worth Watching

The Cathedrals sing the other “Going Home”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEYEpWkUR5o

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #187

Worth Knowing

  • Phil Cross’s doctors have discovered that he has a mass on his right kidney. There is enough of a chance that it is cancer (85%) that they are skipping a biopsy and scheduling surgery in October to remove it. Prayer is requested!
  • Jack Laws passed away on Tuesday; his funeral is tomorrow. Here is a detailed obituary with funeral plans.
  • DISH is launching a 24/7 all-Gaither channel on Monday, September 16. It will be available on DISH Channel 255.
  • Mercy’s Well lead singer Kyle King is leaving in mid-September and will be replaced by Dustin Simmons.
  • Michael W. Smith announced that Jason Crabb will be joining him as a special guest for selected dates of the final leg of his “Worship Around the World” tour. It will be the first time the two have toured together.
  • In a Musicscribe interview, McCray Dove confirmed that, as had been hinted on Facebook, David Cable was the new Dove Brothers bass singer.
  • UPDATE, 9/2/13, 11 AM: Over the weekend, Libbi Perry Stuffle posted an update on her husband Tracy Stuffle’s stroke recovery: “Been a quiet few days. Tracy had a little bit of depression after going back to rehab on Monday evening. For about three days he wouldn’t do any of his therapy. I think he felt weaker and knew all the pneumonia stuff has set him back about 2 to 3 weeks. We have all talked to him and encouraged him that he is gonna get better. Friday, he had a great day. Did pretty much everything he was ask to. So, I think he’s beginning to pull out of it. Dr said this was all normal.”
  • UPDATE, 9/4: Last night, Libbi posted: “Pretty good day with exception of Tracy having a absent mild seizure. He’s been fine since. Praise God! They had cut his med half at hospital but had to up it a little after today. We napped this evening and then spent rest of evening talking! Love it!”

Worth Watching

Gene McDonald has become our genre’s de facto bass who is called up when a trio wants to make a special appearance as a quartet. With performances like this one, nobody is wondering why!

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #186

Worth Knowing

  • The Blackwood Quartet’s Facebook posts indicate that former Chuck Wagon Gang bass singer Dave Emery has sung with them for the last few weekends. There has been no announcement yet whether he is filling in or a permanent member. 

Worth Watching

This week’s must-see video is certainly a Socialcam video posted by Wes Hampton previewing a David Phelps solo on the upcoming Gaither Vocal Band CD.

Also worth noting is a disconcerting out-take from the upcoming Collingsworth Family Hymns From Home DVD, Brooklyn & the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Finally, interest never seems to wane in the rather rare peeks at the short-lived Cathedrals lineup with Kurt Young at tenor:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #185

Worth Knowing

  • The Kingdom Heirs’ current radio single—”Just Beyond the Sunset,” penned by Dianne Wilkinson—will be #1 on the October 2013 Singing News chart.
  • Perrys baritone Bryan Walker married Bethany Allred last Saturday. Perrys alumni Loren Harris filled in for Walker during his honeymoon.
  • Gaither Vocal Band lead singer Michael English’s father, Clifton Aubine English, passed away on Wednesday. Here’s an obituary.
  • Aaron Wilburn had gall bladder surgery on Tuesday. He is recovering well.
  • Bill Dykes, former baritone for The Cathedrals and for Jerry and the Singing Goffs, is recovering from major colon surgery.
  • Karen Peck & New River has renewed their recording contract with Daywind, signing a multi-album deal. Karen commented, “We are very honored to be a part of the Daywind family. We are excited about what The Lord has in store for our future together!”
  • Danny Funderburk, Ernie Haase (with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound), Scott Fowler (with Legacy Five), Mark Trammell (with the Mark Trammell Quartet), and Gerald Wolfe (with Greater Vision) were in the studio this week, recording vocals for a Cathedral Family Reunion CD, to be released this November. The album, announced in May, will at least be released in conjunction with Ernie Haase’s Stow Town Records. Stow Town is distributed by Provident/Sony. Provident/Sony releases a sales book marketing their new releases each quarter; Landon Beene, executive producer for the project, announced on Facebook this week that Provident will feature this CD on the cover of their 4th quarter book, and that this is the first time a Southern Gospel release is the cover feature.

Worth Watching

Thanks to MusicScribe’s Diana Brantley, here’s our first look at the new Dixie Echoes lineup:

Also worth watching:

Now this, my friends, is what a Kingsmen concert is supposed to sound like!

A third video worth watching: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound lead singer Devin McGlamery released a solo album several months ago. This week, he released his first concept video, based off of one of the songs from that album. It is posted here.

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #184

Worth Knowing

  • The Diplomats’ Corey Pearson was taken to the emergency room after a bad accident yesterday. He had injuries to his face, his knuckles, and his ankle; the ankle injury was “a separated bone from the ligaments in my ankle.” Yet, after a night at the emergency room, he was released in time to appear at the remainder of the weekend’s concerts.
  • Former Florida Boys tenor Rick Busby announced on Facebook that he has accepted the pastorate of McBean Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia.
  • Former Cathedrals baritone/pianist George Amon Webster has been battling cancer (updates here and here). Bryan Hutson, who traveled with him in the Heartland Boys, posted on Facebook that the cancer has taken a turn for the worse, and Webster has been taken to hospice.
  • Beyond the Ashes baritone Tyler Vestal has moved over to play keyboards full-time, to make room for new baritone Casey Shepherd. Here’s a video of Shepherd imitating Vestal Goodman
  • Friends of Tracy Stuffle are launching a website, www.southerngospelcares.com, to offer various ways to help with medical expenses of his stroke recovery.
  • Meanwhile, Tracy Stuffle’s ability to speak and even sing is returning. Here’s a video of him thanking friends for their prayers and support, and a video of him singing “God is So Good.”
  • UPDATE, 12 noon: John Rulapaugh offered his comments on Josh Garner’s departure from Freedom:

    “To quell the rumors and speculation concerning my future and that of Freedom – Josh Garner is and always will be one of my very best friends. It is with great sadness that I have to accept that he will be moving on to sing with the Dixie Melody Boys. Quite simply, Freedom does not keep a heavy enough touring schedule to allow us to make a living from it. The Lord has blessed Jennifer and I in our business, but anyone in business knows that you either run your business or your business will run away from you. For this reason my touring schedule has been and must remain limited. That does not mean that I am going to have to stop singing, or that this is the end of Freedom. I have been overwhelmed with the response and interest from those interested in coming to sing with Freedom! I am blessed and encouraged by those who have encouraged me to “keep on keeping on” and that is exactly what I intend to do.

    I am not one for hasty decisions, nor am I compelled to issue a press release for the purpose of reporting that there is nothing to tell you. As I continue the search for someone to sing in Josh’s absence I recognize the fact that there can truly be no replacement. I appreciate your continued support and covet your prayers as I carefully consider and look forward the future.”

Worth Watching

There will always be a contingent of Kingsmen fans who think it’s not really, fully the classic Kingsmen sound unless there’s live piano being played. Especially in that light, it’s interesting to note that tenor Chris Jenkins has started playing piano on several songs in the Kingsmen programs. Baritone Randy Crawford adds a bass guitar.

Playing piano and doing the incredibly high tenor vocal runs on “Glory Road”—now that takes some serious talent and multi-tasking ability!

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #183

Worth Knowing

  • The Down East Boys suffered a devastating bus fire on Thursday. A Facebook update from baritone Daryl Paschal indicates that, apart from the totaled bus, the fire also destroyed $12,000-$15,000 of sound equipment. This forced a cancellation of Thursday’s date, but they were able to arrange alternate transportation for the remainder of their weekend’s dates.
  • The Daryl Williams Trio was in the studio this week. A Facebook status update from Shannon Knight, who sang with the trio in the past and recently released a solo project through Crossroads’ Skyland imprint, indicates that he will be on the project, as will recent Gold City tenor Brent Mitchell.
  • Beyond the Ashes had a bus fire last Saturday, July 27th. The fire, which was started by a stuck brake, was resolved without much damage thanks to a prompt response by the Atlanta Fire Department. In an eery coincidence, this fire came two years, almost to the date, after a major July 31st, 2011 bus fire that severely damaged their bus.
  • Kingsmen bass singer/emcee Ray Dean Reese’s wife Carolyn suffered a fall last Thursday that resulted in surgery last Friday to repair a fractured elbow. She is expected to recover, but complications including arthritis will make the recovery longer and more difficult than usual.
  • Tracy Stuffle continues to improve in his stroke recovery; he is speaking more clearly and eating more puréed food.

Worth Watching

Here’s an all-star lineup of the Rebels Quartet—founding Booth Brothers member Ronnie Booth Sr. on tenor, Jim Hamill on lead, John Matthews on baritone, legend-in-the-making London Parris on bass, and and Little Jimmy Taylor on piano:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #182

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Worth Knowing

  • If you follow our Upcoming Releases column, this might not exactly be news, but Daywind has officially announced the signing of The Browders. Their debut Daywind release, Time Machine, comes out August 6th.
  • Charlotte Mull, co-owner of Knoxville, TN’s WJBZ-FM, passed away this week. She was the daughter of noted promoters J. Bazzel Mull and Elizabeth “Lady” Mull.
  • Tracy Stuffle Stroke Recovery update: He is now able to whisper Libbi’s and Jared’s names. On Thursday, he was able to stand four times. He had a test to determine his ability to eat without a feeding tube; he showed good progress, but not enough for the tube to be removed yet.

Worth Watching

Apropos of Thursday’s Statesmen/Blackwood Brothers discussion, here’s a video of the Statesmen’s golden Denver Crumpler era:

For those of us whose only exposure to this era has been dusty LPs and the occasional YouTube video, it’s a fun humanizing moment to see Big Chief crack up at about the 1:20 mark and miss a line or two!

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #181

Worth Knowing

  • As Tracy Stuffle’s stroke recovery continues, he was able to stand this week for the first time since January. Libbi Perry Stuffle posted a picture here.
  • David Phelps’ Classic video will be featured on PBS next Friday, July 26th.

Worth Watching

Here’s a video of Soul’d Out Quartet singing the Singing Americans song “Over There.”

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #180

Worth Knowing

  • NQC sent out the first round ballot for the 2013 NQC Music Awards yesterday night. First-round voting will end on July 20th.
  • Worth Reading: Danny Jones’ thought-provoking column on founding Primitive Quartet member Furman Wilson’s last night on this earth.
  • The latest update from Libbi Perry Stuffle on Tracy Stuffle’s stroke recovery: “We are at a new for real “Rehab Center!!” Tracy was moved here this evening. It’s very aggressive therapy 6 days a week! He will be off on Sundays. It’s in Lebanon, but it’s not a nursing home, but a real rehab facility! Please pray he will be able to tolerate at least 3 hours or more of therapy per day! I really feel this is a total God thing! He can have visitors of close friends and family, but only after 5pm til 9pm daily. We ask that it remain close friends and family only. He’s gonna be so tired after working hard everyday. Please pray that the pneumonia will totally be destroyed and never come back!!! Pray for Tracy’s strength and endurance!! Pray he has no more seizures!”

Worth Watching

One of the songs on the Booth Brothers’ recently released quartet album with bass vocalist Gene McDonald is a Mosie Lister song that, to their knowledge, has only been recorded once before:

Also worth watching: A Wayne Haun photo shoot blooper.

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #179

Worth Knowing

  • David Mann is leaving the group he founded, Promise, to rejoin Mark Blackwood’s Blackwood Quartet. In an open letter, Mann cited the financial pressures of raising a family with three young children as his reason for the move. Promise tenor T.J. Evans, who was practically a founding member—joining just a couple of weeks after the group’s launch—will be carrying Promise forward.
  • Leslie Taylor will be rejoining The Taylors, marking a return to the sibling foursome’s founding lineup.
  • Tracy Stuffle has been making significant progress in therapy this week, as he recovers from his stroke and multiple brain hemorrhages. This week, he has been able to kick a ball, fist-pump with his left hand, and take a shower.

Worth Watching

Few videos have surfaced of the Blackwood Brothers since Michael Helwig replaced the retiring Jimmy Blackwood at lead. But this video from the Memphis Quartet Show demonstrates just what this lineup can achieve:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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