Swapping Parts

With the return of Perfect Heart, I was reminded of a routine they did when I saw them in concert once.  The personnel was tenor Garry Sheppard, lead Dale Shipley, baritone Darren (?), bass Mike Presnell, and pianist Jeff Stice.  Garry starts out saying he always wanted to be a bass singer or how singing bass was easy and he wanted to do it so they all swapped around.  Garry moved to bass, Presnell moved to lead, Dale moved to baritone, Darren moved to piano (had a funny joke asking if the sustain pedal was a gas pedal) and Stice moved to tenor.  They sang “Have a Little Talk with Jesus.”  Instead of singing the low bass notes, Shep would blow a raspberry.  It was pretty hilarious!

The Perrys did something similar when they first went to the 3 male/1 female lineup.  They did a male quartet where their lead singer Loren Harris went to bass, bass singer Tracy Stuffle went to tenor, baritone Curt Davis went to the piano, pianist Dennis Horton sang lead, and the bass player Jamie Bramlett sang baritone and played bass.

I’ve seen on some Statesmen videos where Doy Ott would go to the piano and Hovie would join the other vocalists mid song.

Does anyone else have any examples?

7 Responses to Swapping Parts

  1. Aaron Swain says:

    Legacy Five has a routine where they swap parts on “Winging My Way Back Home.” Scott Fowler says he and Scott Howard are underappreciated because they’re not “freaks of nature” (meaning tenor and bass) so they trade up and have Scott Fowler on tenor, Frank Seamans on lead, Glenn Dustin on baritone, and Scott Howard on bass.

  2. John says:

    Perfect Heart actually did a version of this back when Danny was with them. Danny would growl out a bass part, Stice would sing a part, Shipley went to tenor (I think) and Mark Lanier went to the piano. He called the pedal a clutch.

  3. Aaron mentioned the one I was thinking of.

    The Old Paths also did an impressive one with Jeremy Peace (tenor) and Brandon Barry (bass), and later briefly with Trent Adams (bass). What made it impressive was that Jeremy actually sang a pretty solid, pretty low bass.

  4. Charlie Waller put together a quartet of bass singers one year at NQC. He started with Mike Holcomb on tenor and had three false starts. He kept rotating whoever was at bass around to tenor until Holcomb finally ended up at bass.

    Gene McDonald sang tenor, Eric Bennett was the lead, and Jeff Chapman was the baritone in the final version of the quartet that sang the full song.

    And yes, McDonald handled the key change…he’s no Jerry Martin, of course, but he’s good enough get by at tenor.

    Here’s the YouTube link:

  5. Kyle says:

    There is a clip of Greater Vision and Scott Fowler singing “Winging My Way Back Home” with Gerald on bass. At the end of the song, Glenn Dustin came up and took over the bass, and Gerald switched to tenor.

    It’s a fun novelty for quartets, something that not a lot of other genres do (although there are some country singers who will play a variety of instruments on stage).

  6. burkesbrainwork says:

    Won By One did this when Nic Holland was singing tenor on “King Jesus”. Normally David Jenkins would make some kind of remark about Clayton Inman being a wannabe bass singer, so they would reprise the second verse and following with Inman singing bass (including a bass lead on the 2nd verse), Jenkins singing tenor, Holland singing lead, and Bob Caldwell singing baritone. The crazy thing was that they actually sounded pretty good with this configuration!

  7. Kyle says:

    By the way, does Mark Lowry’s “I Wanna Go To Heaven” count?

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