AP Wire: “Kenny Bishop Makes Comeback as Gospel Singer”

The Associated Press wire recently put out a feature story on Kenny Bishop. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.] This story can be found online in Lexington, Kentucky’s Herald-Leader. Kenny Bishop was fairly open with the story’s writer (Roger Alford) about his journey as a prodigal – and what prompted him to come back home.

While visiting a Lexington nightclub, a young man walked over to him and started talking.

“He told me ‘you sang in my church the night that I accepted Christ,'” Bishop said. “And at that moment I realized where I was. It was like cold water in the face.”

Those piercing words, Bishop said, allowed him to see that he was in the prodigal’s pigpen and that he needed to return home.

The story contains several items of interest to Southern Gospel trivia buffs (such as Bishop’s current salary, of all things). It’s worth checking out.

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Terah and Adam Crabb to start new group

A member of the Providence Gospel Trio posted on the Singing News forums a review of a Crabb Family last night in Oklahoma. [EDIT, 11/7/10: Regrettably, the link is broken, so it has been removed.] At the concert, it was announced that Terah and Adam Crabb are planning to start a new group. Aaron and Jason still plan to expand their preaching ministries. (Although it was not mentioned in the post, Kelly Crabb Bowling’s last announced intentions were to join her husband Mike in his mixed quartet, the Mike Bowling Group.)

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Ernie Haase thanks fans for awards

Ernie Haase made a post on the Signature Sound message board today thanking the fans for nominating and voting for Signature Sound in the Fan Awards. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.] It’s worth joining the message board to read it. (The first link only works for registered members.)

He tells the story of how, on one of his first concerts in a full-time group (with Squire Parsons), he met Archie Watkins for the first time. He says that he has stayed in touch with Archie over the years, and was personally honored to have shared the Group of the Award with the Inspirations.

There was a big surprise in the post, too. Ernie revealed which tenor he voted for this year. But I’ll let you read that one in his own words.

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American Gospel Music: Not Dead on Arrival

The National Quartet Convention, Christian Music Presenters, and Lifeway Worship Group have been working for several months to prepare a roster of top-notch Southern Gospel groups and market them as “American Gospel” artists. This attempt to re-think Southern Gospel was immediately declared dead on arrival by some observers, who said that it was all talk and no substance.

But if you ask me, I’d tell you that there’s some substance to an invitation to appear in Carnegie Hall. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]

For those who do not have access to the Singing News website: The article states that the National Quartet Convention, Christian Music Presenters, and MidAmerica Productions will be partnering together to launch an American Gospel Music Festival. MidAmerica Productions promotes concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues in New York City.

This festival is scheduled to be held in November 2007, during Thanksgiving weekend.

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GVB Baritone has Daughter (update)

Since a commenter on this blog commented that she liked to read about family happenings in Southern Gospel, I prepared this post about Gaither Vocal Band baritone Marshall Hall and his wife Lori having their first child, daughter Presley Hall, recently.

Gaither.com has posted the story of Marshall’s hurried trip back from South Africa, as well as several photos of Presley. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]

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Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet to record new album

In an email update mailed yesterday, Jerry Pilgrim of the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet announced that the quartet would be going into the studio in November and December to record what will be their first new project in about two years. (For those who care about such things, their project will be recorded at GAT3 Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina.)

This recording is an interesting case study in personnel turnover. Lead singer Wyatt Wilson is now the only group member who also appeared on the previous recording. The Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet that recorded Restoration in 2005 (a fine project, by the way), was tenor Robbie Hiner, lead Wyatt Wilson, baritone Jeff Stanley, and bass Jeff Pearles. Robbie Hiner is now an executive with Song Garden Music Group; Jeff Stanley has (according to the quartet’s most recent email update) accepted a position with Liberty University, and Jeff Pearles is now bass with the King’s Heralds Quartet, a group whose schedule is nearly entirely filled with Seventh-Day Adventist venues.

Two years later, as the quartet prepares for their sixth album, their lineup consists of former Legacy Five tenor Tony Jarman, lead singer Wyatt Wilson, newly joined baritone Ron Grimes, and bass Jerry Pilgrim.

Although the lead singer has still stayed the same, a group with this much personnel change has to effectively start over with every album, winning (or retaining) fans of previous versions of the quartet. But the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet has assembled a lineup of extremely talented men, and I have no doubt that they will be able to re-establish themselves as a quartet with a smooth blend and a trademark sound.

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Booth Brothers launch new website

The Booth Brothers launched their new website during the National Quartet Convention. If the award wasn’t effectively determined by artist popularity, this website should be a serious contender for taking home the “Best Southern Gospel Website” award next year.

Of course, considering the rate with which the Booth Brothers are winning over new fans, their website might win the award anyhow.

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To end the speculation…

I contacted the Inspirations’ office and found out that the fifth man who sang on stage with the Inspirations at NQC was Mack Clark; either Clark or Darren Osborn fills in with the Inspirations when Archie Watkins has throat troubles.

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GVB Baritone has Daughter

The Gaither.com website is reporting that Gaither Vocal Band baritone Marshall Hall and his wife Lori had their first child last weekend. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.] Presley Hall was born earlier than expected; a C-section had been scheduled for September 25th.

Marshall was in South Africa with the Gaither Vocal Band for two concerts at the time. Wesley Pritchard, who had made the trip with the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase & Signature sound, filled Hall’s place with the Gaither Vocal Band for the remainder of the trip.

Incidentally, a member of the Ernie Haase & Signature Sound message board who attended one of the concerts in South Africa reported Guy Penrod fainted when hitting a high note in the final song of the concert. He was assisted off the stage and was doing fine. Members of the audience who knew about Anthony Burger’s homecoming were briefly concerned that they had seen something similar happen before their eyes.

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