Friday News Roundup #212


Worth Knowing

  • A fundraising campaign has been launched on Indiegogo (a site similar to Kickstarter) to fund a CD celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Stamps-Baxter Music & Printing Company. The CD should contain forgotten gems from the Stamps-Baxter catalog.
  • The Woodsmen Quartet announced that lead singer Jim Hutson will be rejoining the group, and Daniel Rivera (who has sung with Blackwood Legacy, Promise, and The Toney Brothers) will be coming on board as tenor.

Worth Reading

When discussing the possibility that the Gaither Vocal Band could be working on an album of classic songs with new vocals, reader Joseph submitted this Letter to the Editor:

That seems to be a pattern for Gaither. He introduces new groups singing the cornerstone GVB songs to let the fans compare the new to an established standard. Then, he pursues the new stuff and explores different direction that highlight the talent.

I for one love that approach. My wife doesn’t understand why I have so many GVB albums. “They’re all the same songs” she says. But I say that even though they may be the same songs, they are unique in that each iteration of the group has offered it’s own special sound to the songs.

Bottom line, Bill Gaither is a genius!!

Worth Watching

Worth Discussing

Are there any other significant Southern Gospel news stories from the week that we have yet to cover?

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Todd Suttles joins Gaither Vocal Band

Yesterday afternoon, the Gaither Vocal Band announced that their new baritone will be Todd Suttles.

Last week, we featured several videos of Suttles filling in with the Gaither Vocal Band. Here’s one more video, of Suttles joining Wes Hampton in 2010 to sing “It Is Well”:

(Yes, we know the audio is a little out of sync, but the performance comes closer than anything else online to showcasing Suttles’ potential.)

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Videos of Todd Suttles with the Gaither Vocal Band

The Gaither Vocal Band has not announced a final decision on their new fifth member yet, but it seems the decision is nearing. One finalist, David Staton, posted on Facebook earlier this week that he had not been selected, commenting: “Bill contacted me today and told me that he has decided to go in a different direction.”

Todd Suttles has been filling in at a number of recent Homecoming concerts. Here’s a video of the ensemble—Bill Gaither and David Phelps on the solos, with Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb, and Todd Suttles—singing “Child, You’re Forgiven”

Suttles doesn’t have a solo, but it’s nice to see the enthusiasm and energy he shows during David Phelps’ solo.

Here’s a shorter clip, from the same user, of “Rasslin’ Jacob”:

UPDATEVia reader Jamie, here are two more videos including Todd—a comedy moment, and Heaven’s Joy Awaits.

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2013 Awards: Best On-Stage Video: Voting

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, musician, singer at each vocal part, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

You’ve already selected the best concept video and the best behind-the-scenes video. You’ve also nominated and seconded the finalists for this final category, best on-stage single-song video, here. It’s time to vote!

[UPDATE, 1/27/2014] The results are in! Here are the final vote totals and percentages:

  1. 42% / 1,313 votes: From My Rags to His Riches – Devin McGlamery –
  2. 33% / 1,036 votes: He Broke The Chains – Inspirations –
  3. 8% / 239 votes: Long Live The King – Old Paths –
  4. 4% / 132 votes: Thanks To Calvary – Pat Barker at the Cathedrals Family Reunion –
  5. 3% / 83 votes: I Rest My Case At The Cross – The Perrys –
  6. 3% / 80 votes: While I Still Can – Devin McGlamery –
  7. 2% / 52 votes: Glorious Freedom – Gaither Vocal Band –
  8. 2% / 47 votes: Light a Candle – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound –
  9. 1% / 44 votes: He Loves Me – Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Pat Barker –
  10. 1% / 43 votes: All Bass Quartet at NQC –
  11. 1% / 28 votes: Something’s Happening – Hoppers with TaRanda Greene –
  12. 1% / 16 votes: All is Well – Whisnants with Melissa Brady –

Total votes: 3,115.

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2013 in Review: Southern Gospel’s Biggest News Stories

Site Statistics

In 2013, reached a significant milestone: It was our first year with more than 1 million unique visits (1,070,730). We’ve come close several previous years, but this was our first to actually pass that mark. Thank you for reading! For anyone interested, here a report with other interesting site statistics.

Top Posts of 2013

The top posts of 2013 included several from previous years, and several that were not news stories.

  1. Michael English and Mark Lowry to Leave the Gaither Vocal Band (October 29, 2013; 13,509 views)
  2. Updates on Tracy Stuffle [Update 5] (May 21, 2013; 8,982 views)
  3. Tim Duncan Joins Canton Junction (October 7, 2011; 5,886 views during 2013)
  4. Joseph Habedank Leaves The Perrys (May 22, 2013; 4,619 views)
  5. Tim Duncan leaves Ernie Haase & Signature Sound; Ian Owens Joins (January 19, 2011; 4,609 views during 2013)
  6. Where is Glenn Dustin Now? (April 25, 2013; 4,461 views)
  7. National Quartet Convention posts 2013 Schedule (January 18, 2013; 4,380 views)
  8. An Interview with Tim Duncan (October 27, 2011; 4,302 views during 2013)
  9. Tracy Stuffle Suffers Stroke [Update 1] (January 22, 2013; 4,004 views)
  10. Gaither Vocal Band to perform 2014 tour with Phelps/Hampton/English/Gaither Lineup (October 24, 2013; 3,606 views)

Due to the mixture of posts and topics, this list doesn’t really answer the question of what were the year’s top stories.

Top News Stories of 2013

The two biggest stories of 2013 unfolded over multiple days and were covered in multiple posts. To determine the top stories, we combined the view counts on all posts in the unfolding story.

  1. Tracy Stuffle’s stroke (1 2 3 4 5) (18,653 total views)
  2. Michael English and Mark Lowry leave the Gaither Vocal Band (1 2) (17,115 total views)
  3. Joseph Habedank leaves The Perrys (4,619 views)
  4. Where is Glenn Dustin Now? (4,461 views)
  5. National Quartet Convention posts 2013 Schedule (4,380 views)
  6. Mike Holcomb Leaves The Inspirations (2,407 views)
  7. Dan Keeton Leaves Gold City (2,189 views)
  8. Shane McConnell Joins Canton Junction (2,157 views)
  9. David Ragan leaves The Inspirations (1,959 views)
  10. Debra Talley injured in fall (1,825 views)

Incidentally, these view counts do not count readers reading the post on the home page, via RSS, or via email. So they don’t measure a story’s full reach; however, home page, RSS, and email views stay steady enough that the numbers provide a valid apples-to-apples comparison, even if the numbers are similarly incomplete for each post.

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Adam Crabb joins the Gaither Vocal Band

In an email newsletter distributed this afternoon, the Gaither Vocal Band announced that Adam Crabb has officially joined the group. Crabb grew up singing with his family, The Crabb Family. After they disbanded in 2007, he launched Crabb Revival with his sister, Terah Crabb Penhollow, and toured with them until they disbanded in 2011.

Gaither Vocal Band bass singer and manager Bill Gaither commented, “For decades now, we have reinvented the Gaither Vocal Band again and again, and in the process we have found some of the most incredible male singers and wonderful human beings on the planet. Adam is a very exciting addition to this 30-year legacy of excellence.”

The Gaither Vocal Band will have several vocalists filling in the fifth vocal part over the next few weeks, and plans to announce the fifth vocalist later this year.

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Saturday News Roundup #202

Worth Knowing

Worth Watching

Here’s Wes Hampton singing a song introduced by Travis Cottrell, “Jesus Saves”:

Also worth watching: On The Couch with Fouch: Matt Fouch interviews Scott Fowler.

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday–you decide!

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Forgotten Verses #7: Till The Storm Passes By

The Statesmen introduced many of Mosie Lister’s great songs. The Statesmen’s timeless arrangements have been emulated by so many of the groups that have recorded those songs since that the Statesmen arrangement practically defines how we know these songs today.

An excellent case in point is “Till The Storm Passes By.” Mosie Lister originally wrote three verses; notable versions by the Statesmen and Greater Vision only used the first two. Here’s the third verse:

When the long night has ended and the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore;
In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

A distinct majority of arrangements through the years follow these groups’ leads. This third verse, however, did make an appearance at a Gaither Homecoming taping a few years ago:

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Michael English and Mark Lowry to leave the Gaither Vocal Band

Last week, news circulated that Mark Lowry was leaving the Gaither Vocal Band. Lowry confirmed the news in a video posted yesterday morning. Lowry indicated that a press release would be forthcoming. What Lowry didn’t add was that Michael English has also decided to leave the Gaither Vocal Band. 

In the official announcement, Bill Gaither commented:

I am grateful that we have had five bonus years with these incredibly talented artists. Thank you, thank you to Michael and Mark.  For those of you who have followed the Vocal Band for the past 25 years, you know that I have worked with some of the most talented male vocalists in our field, and I promise you we are not going to let that standard down in this transition. I am sad to see Michael and Mark leaving, yet I am so excited about the new possibilities we are considering.  So stay tuned for an exciting voyage in 2014!  We will update you when we have made final decisions.

While Lowry will fill all remaining 2013 dates, English’s departure is effective immediately. English’s departure comes as a surprise, and not just to the fans; in the Gaither tour’s concert schedule, posted last week, notes on each Gaither Vocal Band 2014 concert indicated that the 2014 dates would be filled by a four-man lineup of Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Michael English, and Bill Gaither.

While the replacement vocalist(s) have not yet been announced, there are evidently finalists in mind; the Gaither organization announced yesterday that there would be no open auditions.

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Mark Lowry confirms departure from Gaither Vocal Band

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

Last week, the Gaither website indicated that Lowry would leave the Gaither Vocal Band prior to their 2014 dates. In a video posted to Facebook this morning, Lowry confirmed his departure:


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