RIP Lorenzen Wright: 1975-2010

Longtime readers will know that I am a huge sports nut, especially of my local Memphis teams, the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, and my alma mater, the University of Memphis.  The Memphis community suffered a tragedy yesterday when the body of Lorenzen Wright, who had been missing for over a week, was discovered.  “Ren”, as he was affectionately known, was about 2 years older than me, and he was a standout high school basketball player here in Memphis before attending Memphis State, as it was known at the time.  I remember his college days well, he wore #55 and played two years with the Tigers before entering the NBA draft after his sophomore year.  He was a lottery pick by the LA Clippers, played afterwards with the Atlanta Hawks, and then in 2001 was traded to his hometown Memphis Grizzlies, in their first year here.  Lorenzen actually modeled the jersey (#42) that was revealed before the start of the season.  He played for the Grizzlies until 2006, when he was traded again.

I wish I could find the digital version, but I’ve got a picture at my office of my first Grizzlies game that I attended, it’s an action shot, right after a free throw, and there is Lorenzen boxing out his man preparing to grab a rebound.  Wright played at all levels with a level of desire and determination that couldn’t be matched, and gave back immensely to his community.  He still had a home here, and frequently communicated with and visited his 6 kids.  He also lost an infant daughter to SIDS back in 2003, while playing with the Grizzlies, and it was touching to see how the entire community rallied around Ren and his family.

Rest in Peace, Lorenzen Wright.  Thoughts and prayers go out to his family in their time of grief.

New Blogger: Steve Eaton

Those of you readers who frequent SG message board sites will know the username Seaton.  Steve has now thrown his hat into the blogging ring.  His first couple of posts are very promising, and he already has the sharpest looking blog around.  You can find his thoughts here.  Welcome to blogging, Steve!

Great American Gospel

Daystar has had a new show the past couple weeks or so following their Gospel Music Showcase with Tammy Underwood. It’s called Great American Gospel, and is hosted by Ed O’Neal. It’s a very well produced show, and O’Neal does a pretty good job as the host. He has the charm and outgoing personality that pulls such a task off fairly well. As far as talent goes, I’ve seen the now defunct Blackwood Quartet with Ron Blackwood, the Dixie Melody Boys, and the Dixie Echoes, among others. Does anyone know about this show? Where and when is it taped? It’s at least fairly recent, as the copyright date is 2010, but Pat Barker was with the Dixie Echoes, so the performances are at least several months old by now. It really is a well done show, I’ve enjoyed watching it, so whoever is responsible, keep up the good work, and hopefully some of the more upper-tier groups will participate.

The Modern Day Larnelle and Sandi

We were watching Gaither’s “Classic Gospel” PBS special last Saturday night, and one of the featured performances was Natalie Grant singing “I Am Not Alone” from 2002, I believe. I really don’t listen to much CCM, especially since the days of vocal group prominence like 4Him, Point of Grace, FFH, and Avalon seem to be dwindling. So I had heard of Natalie, and heard a few songs when I’ve listened to K-LOVE on occasion, but I wasn’t all that familiar with her. That being said, I was impressed with her performance. She has a huge, powerful voice with great range.

I turned to my wife and said, “You know, she would sound incredible doing a duet with David Phelps.” I don’t know, maybe they’ve even done one before, but I can’t help but think that those two would give Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty a run for their money…

Lauren Talley Offering Free Download

Lauren Talley recently released her fourth solo project, entitled Songs In The Night.  Her current, and freshly released, single from the CD is “In Christ Alone.”  You can download the song for free here.  This is only available for a limited time, so you have to download it by the end of the day on Monday, July 26. THIS PROMOTION HAS ENDED.

Additionally, there is a live video performance of this song available on Lauren’s website here.  By signing up for her newsletter, you can also receive a free download of the title track to her new project.  It’s a very solid CD, and is on my list of projects waiting for me to review.

It’s good to see more artists doing this as a way to create interest in their work.

Doug Oldham Passes Away

Mark Lowry is reporting on his Twitter page that Doug Oldham has passed away.  Prayers and sympathy to his family as the SG world mourns the passing of another legend.

Two SG Legends In Need Of Prayer

Daniel Mount has the scoop on both of these.  George Amon Webster, formerly of the Cathedrals and now with the Toney Brothers, fell down some stairs and has a crushed elbow that is requiring surgery.  Also, Doug Oldham also fell recently and is requiring surgery for a broken back.  In his case, the surgery is particularly risky due to Oldham’s advanced age and health.  For those unfamiliar with Doug Oldham, he is a soloist who spent a lot of time and recordings alongside the Speer Family, and he was also the first person to record the Gaither classic, “He Touched Me.”

Please pray for both of these men and their families as they recover from their injuries.

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