Friday News Roundup #206

Worth Knowing

  • 11th Hour has hired Courtney Parker as their new soprano.
  • The Dove Brothers have hired Marc McPherson as their new tenor.
  • Aaron and Amanda Crabb are leaving John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in Texas to start a church in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
  • The Booth Brothers group members are down with Type A Flu, leading them to cancel this weekend’s concert dates to avoid passing it along to their audiences.
  • The Pelfreys, Jerry Pelfrey’s family group, have sent their first single to radio. It’s the song “Glorious,” previously recorded by the LeFevre Quartet.
  • The Spin-In-Motion Southern Gospel radio promotion company, which had been run for the last fifteen years by Tony & Kim Hudgins, will now be run by Jimmy & Jennifer Layne of the group Back Home.

Worth Watching

Worth Discussing

Are there any other significant Southern Gospel news stories from the past week?

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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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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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Burman Porter leaves the Dove Brothers

Burman PorterLast night, bass singer Burman Porter announced his departure from the Dove Brothers. His Facebook status update indicated that this departure was due to health reasons. He said:

Today, with mixed emotions, I tendered my resignation to The Dove Brothers Band.

Many of you know that this past weekend during the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion I suffered chest pains that lead me to make a trip to the local emergency room on the night that I was to perform with the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion Quartet. After several rounds of blood tests, x-rays, and an EKG I was released with instructions to not be far from home and to see my family physician as quickly as possible.

I cannot thank my friends at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion enough for their kindness and understanding as I missed the evening performance that I had been looking forward to for a year. During my visit to the hospital I received numerous calls, text messages, and Facebook messages offering prayers and encouragement. I am very thankful that I have true friends who think enough of me to reach out like that.
Following the evening performances The Dove Brothers left Greenville, SC for an extended tour that I did not feel comfortable taking considering the warning from the ER doctors, so I remained in Greenville, 3 blocks from the hospital for the remainder of the weekend. We returned home Sunday morning and Robin went with me to see my doctor today. We were told that the source of my chest pain is stress…and that I should do anything within my ability to reduce my stress level in order to stop the pains and avoid future complications.

Following my doctor visit, and after talking with Robin, we informed McCray that we feel it best that I not return to the road with the group. McCray says he has found my replacement, so I’m sure you can look for his announcement sometime soon…but I wanted you to hear it from me first.

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Song Snapshots #17: Face to Face With Grace (Dove Brothers)

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.

Chris and Kim (Ryan) White are both respected leaders in the Southern Gospel industry; Chris leads Sonlite Records, a division of Crossroads, while Kim is a noted video producer.

Several years ago, after Kim’s father passed away, someone asked her how she was doing. She said, “Oh, I’m just face to face with grace.” The line stuck with her, and she mentioned it to her husband. Chris, in turn, mentioned it to Ray Scarbrough—a long-time friend, and one of the songwriters with his publishing company, Chris White Music Publishing.

“People call me and say, “Hey, I’ve got a song idea,” Ray recalls. “I can’t shake it out of my head when they do that!”

“I could sympathize totally with Kim, he continues, “because shortly before that, I had buried my dad. There’s that period of time shortly following the death of a loved one, we know what sustains us. We identify with grace.

“When we have gone through one of those situations, we can put our arms around somebody and say, ‘I know exactly how you feel.’”

Several years later, the song’s story would come full circle in an unexpected way. Two years before he married his wife, Candy Muncey Scarbrough, she had lost her three-year-old son. “Face to Face with Grace” ended up ministering deeply to her in her grieving process.

“It’s funny how God used it, in His foreknowledge,” Ray recalls. “He had Kim tell Chris, Chris tell me. God inspired me to write the song that was going to be a huge difference-maker in the life of my wife, when I didn’t even know she was going to be my wife.”

“We didn’t meet because of the song, either,” he continues. “That’s what’s so strange.” Today, Candy sings the song with Beautiful, a female Southern Gospel trio she performs with.

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Saturday News Roundup #149

Worth Knowing

  • Dove Brothers tenor Keith Casstevens has been replaced by former Dove Brothers tenor Jonathan Price. Musicscribe interviews Casstevens and group manager McCray Dove, who explain that the change is amicable, and that Casstevens will continue to work for the Dove Brothers in booking. [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.]
  • David Heil, father of The Gospel Greats’ Paul Heil, passed away Tuesday morning. He was 93.

Worth Watching

Gaither Studios has released a preview of the upcoming Pure and Simple, Volumes 1 and 2 DVD set:

Also, don’t miss one of the funniest lip-sync videos you’ll ever see, here. It’s a video of four boys from Florence Baptist Temple in Florence, SC lip-syncing to a J.D. Sumner parody.

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Andy King replaces Joe Lane with Dove Brothers Band

Andy KingDove Brothers pianist Joe Lane is coming off the road after persistent back problems forced him to schedule an upcoming back surgery. He will be replaced by Andy King of Wilmington, NC. The official announcement on the Dove Brothers’ website states:

We are sad to announce that Joe Lane will no longer be with the Dove Brothers Band. He will be having back surgury soon, and we will really miss him. Please keep Joe in your prayers for a quick recovery. 

We welcome Andy King as our new pianist. Andy plays several instruments well, and is a great singer and arranger. He is from Wilmington, NC, please click on Andy’s name under About Us and get aquainted with him. I know you will enjoy his talent the next time you see the Dove Brothers Band.

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Saturday News Roundup #133

Worth Knowing

  • Beyond the Ashes officially announced their new lead singer, Dustin Doyle, on Monday. Doyle is a graduate of Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee—the college where Matthew Holt is a current staff member and where Dustin Sweatman is heading this fall.
  • Palmetto State Quartet has signed with Song Garden Music Group. They have started work on a new project which will release this fall.
  • Mike Speck has accepted a staff position at First Baptist Church, Indian Trail, North Carolina. This is the church which hosted Tony Greene’s memorial service. (Hat tip to Greg Cook via Carl Holmander.)
  • According to this photo caption, Signature Sound taped a video in India last night.
  • Guitarist Jacob Danielly has left the Dove Brothers Band. He has been replaced by Bub White. 

Worth Watching

Here’s a recent video of Barry Rowland and Deliverance singing the song, “But He Did,” that won them such high praise here. (It seems my prediction, “If this song doesn’t get audiences shouting ‘Glory,’ nothing will!” was accurate!)

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #128

Worth Knowing

  • The Dove Brothers have changed the branding and URL on their website from Dove Brothers Quartet to Dove Brothers Band. (Hat tip, Brandon.)
  • The Dixie Melody Boys are issuing a limited-edition pressing of what may be Ed O’Neal’s first-ever recording, a 1961 album Introducing the Gospel Harmony Quartet.

Worth Reading

  • Off-topic but worthwhile: By its very definition, “forgiveness” is giving up resentment or a claim to requital from someone who has done something wrong to you. Yet some preachers today claim a therapeutic value to “forgiving God” after something bad happens. This column tears that notion to shreds, calling anyone who has the audacity to tell someone to “forgive God” to repent for entertaining the notion that a holy and perfect God has done anything wrong!

Worth Watching

Here’s one of the first videos posted of the Blackwood Brothers with new bass singer Butch Owens:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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