A History Of The Plainsmen Quartet

As you regular readers well know, I’m very interested in the history and heritage of Southern Gospel music.  There’s a timeless quality to the music produced by our predecessors.  The Statesmen, the Blackwood Brothers, the Speers, and others will always have a special place in our genre.  One such group that is largely forgotten today is the Plainsmen Quartet.  The Plainsmen are probably most well known for a bass singer by the name of Rusty Goodman, but they were a top notch group that produced some great recordings.  Thurman Bunch was an outstanding tenor singer, and his twin brother Erman was a excellent singer as well.  I received an email about a week ago from Ernie and Jason Couch, of Ernie Couch and Revival, with a link to a fairly complete history of the Plainsmen Quartet, along with a discography.  It’s a very enlightening, informative, and fascinating read.  Ernie and Jason are both former Plainsmen members from the 1980s.  Here’s the text of the email and the link:

After a year and half of research and countless interviews with friends, family, and former members of the Plainsmen Quartet, Ernie Couch and Jason Couch, of Nashville-based Ernie Couch & Revival, have up-loaded their in depth history and discography of the group on the internet. The project was undertaken to preserve the heritage of one of the great quartets of the last half of the twentieth century. Both Ernie and Jason worked with the Plainsmen in the 1980s, and hope this lengthy endeavor will help keep this segment of southern gospel music history alive in the minds of future generations. If you are a fan of the Plainsmen, or just a fan of traditional quartet music, you will want to check out the link at…

History of the Plainsmen


About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

13 Responses to A History Of The Plainsmen Quartet

  1. Charlie Snider says:

    I am a Southern Gospel singer and fan of over 50 years and I saw the Blackwoods, Statesman and the Goodmans (and many, many others) on many occasions, and I learned something from your blog today; I didn’t know that Rusty Goodman sang with the Plainsmen (or any other group other than the Goodman’s) in his wonderful singing career. Of, course admittedly, I have never seen the Plainsmen in concert. I have definitely heard of them for many years. So I wasn’t aware of their history. Thank you for providing this information.

  2. Samuel says:

    It’s cool. I actually me Newman Miller last night when I was working at IHOP here in Oklahoma City.

  3. Barbara Howard says:

    I believe there was a member of the Plainsmen Quartet ,named Dwight Hicks,who sang with the group in the late 60’s and early 70’s or am I mistaken?

    • Sam Thompson says:

      That is correct. Dwight Hicks sang with the Plainsmen part of the time when they were based in Wichita, KS.

  4. Betty Thompson Loper says:

    In the late l950’s and early l960’s the Plainsmen came to San Antonio, Texas, every other month and our family didn’t miss a concert. They always brought another quartet with them that we enjoyed, but the Plainsmen were our favorite. I have one of the “red” albums. My dad was an Army photographer and took many pictures at the concerts–in fact, the “Inspired Melodies” 45 RPM album you show in the history has one of my dad’s photo’s on the cover! I was in a young gospel group who sang locally in and around San Antonio during that time and we were thrilled to sing on the program with the Plainsmen at least 2 times. We were known as “The Singing Witnesses.” I really enjoyed reading this history, as I lost contact with what they were doing for these many years since the times mentioned above. Thanks for taking the time to record this bit of history.

  5. Larry. Steckline says:

    I was the kfrm radio manager when plaismen worked for Mack sanders. I would like to talk to those still around

    • David Green says:

      Gerald Williams lives in Little Rock. You might be able to reach him at the Melody Boys Quartet website. Although they no longer travel, Gerald can be contacted there.

    • Kenneth Johnston says:

      It was a privilege to travel with the KFRM Proud Country show and hear the talents of the Plainsmen from the mid 70s to the mid 80s. I was the fiddle player for the Ranch Boys band and radio announcer for KFRM/KICT that traveled with Mack Sanders based out of Wichita, Kansas and then Nashville, Tennessee on stations WENO and WJRB, later KZ Country and WIZO Radio. Reading the history of the Plainsmen brings back many memories of the good old days…..Ken Johnston, still playing in Illinois.

  6. Cary Davis says:

    I am the nephew of Joe Bob Davis the bass singer for the plainsmen when he san with the band back in the late 50’s. I would love to talk to anyone or share my experiences about Mr. Davis with anyone interested.

    Cary G. Davis

  7. mary disilvestro says:

    newman miller the pianist and owner of the plainsmen in the 90’s is in the hospital. and needs prayers baddly sister mary 918-318-0651

  8. John Burns says:

    I don’t know if this will get back to anyone ahead in this thread. I just stumbled across this. In late 1972 I as still in the Air Force but working at High Fidelity Recoding Studio in Wichita. I got to engineer a few of the Proud Country show and of course visit the a lot of good people. I will also never forget the house band Wichita Linemen. They backed my brothers trio, The Revelations” on a gospel album. We were talking about them the other day: how good they really were. They were: Don Powell, Carl Hendricks, Greg Stevens and Robin Harris.

  9. Dana Thompson says:

    I just happened to run across this website and thought I would share this information. My cousin was one of the pianist for The Plainsmen, Newman Miller. He played for them for a short time in the late 50’s and again later in the 80’s or 90’s. I thought some might be interested in knowing that he passed away and went to be with the Lord this morning. He was one of the greatest piano players I ever knew and is playing in Heaven now I’m sure. What a glorious sound it must be!!! I remember as a child, I could listen to him play for hours. I wanted to learn to play just like him, though I tried I never accomplished that goal. We watched him with The Plainsmen many times and many other Gospel Quartets that he was with over the years. Newman Miller, you will be missed!!!

  10. Naomi Bunch Morgan says:

    I am Naomi Morgan, a sister of the Bunch twins who sang with the Plainsmen. They perfected their harmony while washing dishes in the family home. I sang with Thurman & Erman when we were teenagers. Their lifelong dream was to go to Texas & sing with a gospel quartet. I am glad they achieved their dream—they are probably singing together in heaven now.

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