Video of Tracy Stuffle singing on stage

Over the weekend, the Perrys appeared at Dollywood, and Tracy Stuffle—who has been recovering from a stroke and five cerebral hemorrhages since January—was able to sing with the group on stage. Here’s a video of “I Rest My Case at the Cross”: (The video is set to public, so it should be viewable by readers without Facebook accounts.)

There have been so many days over the last ten months when it seemed like this day would never come, that I dare you to watch it with a dry eye! To God be the glory!

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Video: The Four Gospels

Last weekend, Inspirations lead singer Steve Srein had the weekend off. So, given Mike Holcomb’s departure last week, the Inspirations filled their dates for the weekend with a rather unusual vocal lineup: Former lead singer Matt Dibler filling in on lead, tenor Mark Clark, and utility instrumentalist Luke Vaught filling in on baritone to free regular baritone Jon Epley to fill in on bass. As someone observed, it was a four-Gospels sort of vocal lineup!

Perhaps the aspect that makes these videos most worthy of mention, though, is Jon Epley’s remarkable strength as a bass singer. It’s rare, though not completely unheard of, for baritones to make a temporary or permanent move to bass. It’s incredibly rare for a singer with enough upper-end range to be able to earn a baritone job to have this sort of cut, clarity, and all-around pleasing tone at bass.

Several more videos also included significant bass parts: I’m Bound For That City, Just a Little Talk with Jesus, When I Wake Up To Sleep No More, Overwhelming Joy, and a solo on If You Only Knew.

It seems that, if they so choose, the Inspirations might have to look no further than their current baritone singer for their next bass singer.

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Video (Audio): The Happy Goodmans in 1951

Howard and Vestal Goodman’s son Rick Goodman posted this video to Facebook:

The caption indicates that it is the Happy Goodman Family in 1951, a dozen years before the rest of the world would hear them. It’s a rare and unique piece of Southern Gospel history.

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If You Knew Him

When Joseph Habedank left the Perrys, one question on the mind of Perrys fans was this: Will Bryan Walker or the new lead singer (who turned out to be David Ragan) be the one to sing the song that is equally Habedank’s personal signature song and the Perrys’ signature song as a group, “If You Knew Him”?

It turns out both Walker and Ragan have sung it live, and both have nailed their respective performances. Here’s Walker:

And here’s Ragan:

Both bring something different to the song; Walker offers vocal runs and inflections that sound so much like Habedank’s version that a casual listener who had only heard the song on radio might not even realize a different singer was singing the song. Ragan, on the other hand, gives the song a distinctly different interpretation of his own.

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