Andrew Goldman joins The Perrys

The Perrys announced this morning that Andrew Goldman will replace departing lead singer David Ragan. Libbi Perry Stuffle commented, “The Perrys are very excited about Andrew coming on board as a part of our team and family. He’s such an incredible singer!”

Goldman comments, “It’s such an honor to be a part of the great ministry The Perrys have. I have always been a fan, and I love their passion to see people’s lives changed.”

Goldman joins The Perrys after spending two years as the baritone for Ryan Seaton’s quartet, Union Street. We featured him in an interview, here.

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Upcoming Southern Gospel Releases: April 2014

This list aims to be inclusive of Daywind, Crossroads, Horizon, Sonlite, Gaither Music Group, Stow Town, New Haven, Difference Media, Song Garden, Mansion, and major independent group releases where known.

April 2014

  • 4/1: Because He Lives: Favorite Easter Songs, Gaither Homecoming Friends (Gaither Music Group / Capitol)
  • 4/8: Into His Presence, The Perrys (Stow Town / Provident)
  • 4/21Unashamed, Brian Free & Assurance (Daywind / New Day)

May 2014

  • 5/20: This Is What It’s All About, Mark Bishop (Sonlite / Crossroads)
  • 5/20: Decade, The Old Paths (Sonlite / Crossroads)

Is this list missing anything significant, especially among major independent releases? Let us know!

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CD Review: Into His Presence (The Perrys)


perrysThe Perrys’ upcoming April 8th StowTown release, Into His Presence, is one of the year’s most highly-anticipated releases. This was a day that many in the Southern Gospel community feared would never come. Over the last fifteen months, during Tracy Stuffle’s protracted, roller-coaster recovery from a January 2013 stroke, there were many points it seemed doubtful he would survive, let alone return to the stage. But he is back, albeit in a limited capacity as his recovery continues, and appears on this CD.

Into His Presence also features the Perrys debut of two new vocalists, lead singer David Ragan, already a young star in his own right, and rookie bass singer Jared Stuffle. Jared Stuffle is the son of alto Libbi Perry Stuffle and bass singer Tracy Stuffle. Last year, the group announced that he would be filling in on bass until his father was able to fully return. He sings a bass harmony part on most songs on the CD, and does an adequate job. His tone has a baritone warmth and clarity, even on bass notes (and make no mistake, that’s intended as a compliment.) Picture what former Florida Boys baritone Glen Allred would have sounded like filling in on bass (and make no mistake, that’s intended as a second compliment.)

When a group has to replace a superstar, as the Perrys did after Joseph Habedank’s departure, they faced a dilemma many groups face. Should they hire the replacement singer who sounds most like his predecessor, or the overall best singer available? The Perrys chose the latter course.

Into His Presence doesn’t have any anthems as gigantic as “Calvary Answers For Me” or “If You Knew Him,” no shouting songs in the vein of “Did I Mention,” and no hard-driving toe-tappers like “I Wish I Could’ve Been There.” When a group hires the overall best singer available, sometimes they keep picking songs that would have been perfect for their old lineup. The Perrys wisely eschewed that approach in favor of a more straight-ahead and subdued repertoire.

Perhaps the crown jewel of this approach is the opening track, “Into His Presence.” This Cathedrals cover is a peaceful, pretty arrangement anchored by David Ragan. Perhaps it’s understated—understated magnificence. It’s hard to imagine it fitting any previous Perrys lineup, but it is perfect for this one.

In a similar manner, Libbi Perry Stuffle’s strongest feature on the project is “Reminders.” It’s more subdued than many of the Kyla Rowland songs that the group has previously recorded; it doesn’t have the drive of “Until I Start Looking Ahead,” “Did I Mention,” or “I Rest My Case At The Cross.” But it’s a perfect fit both musically and lyrically for where the group is at this point in their career.

“Three Men On a Mountain” features Tracy Stuffle. Granted, his voice may be only around 30% of the way back, but a comeback to even this point was so improbable that few Southern Gospel fans will listen to this track with dry eyes.

Two other highlights are a 6/8 song called “Lord, I’m Thankful” and “Sooner Than Later,” a song featuring baritone Bryan Walker that would have sounded at home on a Steeles record in the late ’90s. 

Don’t approach Into His Presence hoping for a lead singer trying to be the second-best Joseph Habedank in the world and a bass singer trying to be the second-best Tracy Stuffle in the world. This Perrys lineup is comfortable in its own skin. 

Song list (songwriters in parentheses): Into His Presence (Mack Taunton); When He Comes Walking On The Water (Wayne Haun, Jeff Bumgardner); I Can Trust Him (Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey); How Long (Johnny Minick); Reminders (Kyla Rowland, Melissa Dawn Kennedy); Lord, I’m Thankful (Joel Lindsey); Sooner Than Later (Rachel McCutcheon, Adina Bowman); Three Men On A Mountain (Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey); I Owe Him Everything (Lyn Rowell); Just Stand Still (Rodney Birch); Privilege of Prayer (Rachel McCutcheon). Review copy provided.

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Friday News Roundup #208


Worth Knowing

  • Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of Tracy Stuffle’s stroke. The Perrys posted a note of thanks here.
  • We learned earlier in the month that Jared Stuffle would be singing bass for the Perrys until his father was able to return full-time. A press release with a few more details has now been posted.
  • AbsolutelyGospel has announced the nominees for their annual awards.
  • The Mark Trammell Quartet held a blog tour to promote their new release, featuring four simultaneously posted interviews with group members here, here, here and here. There’s also a contest open to win a copy of the new CD here.

Worth Watching

Here’s a personal testimony song that Joseph Habedank wrote and has been singing in his solo concerts:

Worth Discussing

Were there any other significant Southern Gospel news stories this week?

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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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Friday News Roundup #207

Worth Knowing

  • Legacy Five has signed a long-term recording contract with Daywind Records. Daywind will release their Kickstarter-funded project, Great Day, on March 25. Legacy Five is holding a contest, asking fans to pick the cover photo for the CD, here.
  • Rebels Quartet bass singer Rick Fair will be leaving the group due to demands of his day job. The group is seeking a replacement, asking interested bass singers to contact them at

Worth Watching

Worth Discussing

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

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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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Friday News Roundup #205

Worth Knowing

  • Last weekend, Jared Stuffle sang bass with The Perrys for the first time. He will be the Perrys’ regular bass vocalist as his father, Tracy Stuffle, continues to recover from a stroke. Tracy sings selected features on programs where he is healthy enough to make the trip.
  • Congratulations to Rodney Griffin, who just passed the twenty-year mark with Greater Vision.
  • Tim Lovelace’s mother Louise has passed away.
  • Songwriter Marty Millikin has passed away.
  • Colbert Croft has passed away. He had been married to Joyce Croft for 49 years. They wrote songs like “I Can’t Even Walk (Without You Holding My Hand),” “I Believe When He Died He Died For Me,” and “Is That Footsteps That I Hear?”

Worth Watching

Here’s a video of The Old Paths’ debut performance of their new radio single, “Long Live The King”:

Greater Vision sings the Booth Brothers’ signature song:

Probably the best part is the reaction from the Booth Brothers. Michael: “Never sounded better!” Ronnie: “We’re doing ‘Lazarus’!”

Worth Discussing

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

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Joseph Habedank launches solo career

An attentive reader noticed that Joseph Habedank has launched a solo website, here. It lists a number of solo concerts scheduled for this month.

Habedank’s ten-year run with the Perrys ended in May. During that time, he moved from being completely unknown to being heralded as one of the genre’s most promising young talents—both for his voice and his songwriting. After a couple of months off of the genre’s radar, so to speak, it’s encouraging to see him back on the road.

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Saturday News Roundup #195

Worth Knowing

  • Tracy Stuffle reached another milestone in his stroke recovery: The pulmonary doctor was able to take his trach out. His voice is already sounding stronger after just a couple of days.
  • Freedom Quartet (John Rulapaugh, Dale Shipley, Preston Garner, and Burman Porter) have signed a booking agreement with the Beckie Simmons Agency.
  • The Ball Brothers announced that they will be giving away four Christmas songs.

Worth Watching

Gold City lead singers are measured by how well they sing the group’s signature song, “Midnight Cry.” Here’s a look at new lead singer Chip Pullen’s take on the song:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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