Friday News Roundup #219

Worth Knowing

  • Songwriter Arthur Smith, who wrote songs like “I’ve Been With Jesus,” “The Fourth Man,” and “I Saw A Man,” passed away on April 3. He was 93.
  • Carolyn Reese, wife of Kingsmen Quartet bass singer Ray Dean Reese, has had several medical concerns over the last few months. Earlier this week, she was in ICU, with tests being run; the Kingsmen posted earlier this week that she has been doing well enough to be moved to a regular room. They will post the latest updates at their Facebook page.

Worth Reading

This week’s Letter to the Editor: Among the many responses to Pat Barker’s decision to come off the road, this one stood out:

I still recall my disappointment following Tracy Crouch’s departure from the Dixie Echoes. I thought no one could ever fill his shoes. By the time Pat Barker left, I realized that he had left them larger than he found them. Throughout his time with the Mark Trammell Quartet, Pat Barker has not only been my favorite bass singer, but also my favorite artist in the genre. While I will greatly miss him, I admire his willingness to put his family first. – Michael Mount

Worth Watching

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Pat Barker leaves Mark Trammell Quartet

Pat Barker exciting the audienceIn a statement posted on Singing News, Mark Trammell has announced that bass singer Pat Barker is leaving the group.

There are some things in life that you just can’t imagine ever having to do. What I’m about to say is one of them. After much prayer, fasting, and seeking the mind of God, our beloved bass singer Pat Barker has tendered his resignation. He is much in need of being at home with his precious family. While it grieves our hearts, we must honor his decision and begin the process of moving on with God.

We are once again reminded that the only thing that doesn’t change is Jesus. A new chapter in the life of MTQ. And, a new chapter in the life of the finest, most Christlike man to ever travel on a quartet bus. Pat has stated that he will be with us until early May and then will be going home. I would ask that you not only pray for us as we begin the process of looking forward, but also pray for Pat, Kesha, and their three sweet children. Pray that God will give them direction, peace, and spiritual strength.

Bass singers interested in auditioning for the open position can email a resume, recent photo, and two songs to

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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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A Change in Posting Schedule

When this site launched, I decided to put up a post every weekday (and some Saturdays). Early in this site’s history, I missed a day or two—once when the Eastern power grid went down and power was out for more than twenty-four hours! I think it has been five or six years since I missed a day.

That’s good, to a point. But there’s a downside: There are days when I’ve written a post just to keep the streak going. That’s not the most effective use of your time, and I apologize.

Some posts—like last Tuesday’s—could have just as easily been one line in a News Roundup. If something can be communicated just as effectively with one sentence, then it probably should be.

From this point forward, I plan to post only when I have something to say. That should still come out to several posts per week most weeks, and certainly, there will be weeks when every day will have a post. But I won’t waste your time just to keep a streak running.

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