Multi-Group Reunions

Any readers in the Nashville area, you have an opportunity tonight and tomorrow to check out some mini-reunions of several groups, including the Singing Americans (Danny Funderburk, Scott Whitener, Ed Hill, and Dewayne Burke), and the Stamps (Bill Baize, Donnie Sumner, Ed HIll, with Gene McDonald filling JD’s part) tonight.  Then tomorrow afternoon there is a matinee headlined by a Prophets reunion with Ed Hill, Chico Nix, Carl Sanders, Butch Sanders, Gary Scott, and Nick Bruno.  Tomorrow night is headlined by an Imperials reunion featuring Armond Morales, Jim Murray, David Will, and Jeff Walker (who sounded like a young Russ Taff when he was with the group in the mid 90s).

All this is happening in Goodlettsville, TN.  You can find more information at  It definitely sounds intriguing!

Update On The 100 Year Celebration Of SG DVD

On his latest open thread, AVFL asks why there hasn’t been a DVD release of the big 100 Year Celebration showcase from NQC last year that featured reunions of many popular groups (Gold City, Singing Americans, Downings, Nelons, etc.).  I’ve been wondering the same thing myself, so I asked Daywind about it, as they were the label that had rights to release the video.

In response, I have learned that the DVD is due to be released at NQC this year, and will be titled 100 Years: A Celebration of Southern Gospel Music.  So there you have it.  Be looking for the DVD at convention this year, and of course if anything changes, I’ll keep you updated as best I can.

NQC ’10: Wrap Up

I was able to listen for quite a while Friday night on enLighten.  Here are more thoughts, summaries, etc.:

  • Janet Paschal’s female quartet was quite the talk of the Twitter/Facebook/Blogs.  If not hitting the road, those four ladies should definitely consider doing a CD together.
  • EHSS did their whole set previewing their Cathedrals Tribute project and it was very solid.  “We Shall See Jesus” was great.
  • The GVB was also very well received.
  • The 100 Years Showcase on Saturday was the big event, and will be released on DVD by Daywind.
  • Gold City was the star of the show, and did 3 full songs: “When I Get Carried Away”, “I Think I’ll Read It Again”, and “Midnight Cry.”
  • The Singing Americans were next up in terms of popularity.  Michael English still isn’t totally recovered from neck surgery, he had said Friday night his voice was about 50%, so Clayton Inman joined in on the reunion.
  • The Nelons reunion set was also very strong, with Katy Peach and Karen Peck Gooch especially “stealing the show.”

What are your memorable moments from the convention this year?  Who really stands out to you as the noteworthy artists from this year’s NQC that should see a nice bump in popularity?  Who impressed you?

The Top 5 SG Albums Of All Time – #3

Singing Americans – Live And Alive

“Live and Alive is one of the best live albums ever in my opinion in SG music.  At that point in my life it just hit on all cylinders with me. The Cathedrals were the only quartet I had ever heard and here came some young guys, particularly Micheal English, who were getting it done. Micheal emerged as one of the best lead singers this industry has ever had. He had taken what he learned from Glen, Jake, and Russ, and put a spin on it that a lot of guys have tried to imitate. Rick Strickland singing tenor, Ed Hill on Baritone and Dwayne Burke on Bass made for a great sound. The project started with the classic intro by Jerry Goff, which I can repeat word for word and still tease him about, into a wonderful energetic performance. Bowed on My knees became a classic song once again.”
— Doug Anderson, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

The Top 5 SG Albums of All Time – #4 (tie)

Singing Americans – Black and White
“Black And White was way ahead of its time in terms of production and performance style. Twenty-five years later, this album still sounds like it could have been recorded recently. Michael English had emerged as a dominant and unique lead singer by this point and the song selection couldn’t be better. Black And White has the perfect balance of variety ranging from toe-tappers like “Jesus Got Ahold Of Me” and “Victory Side” to ballads like “Welcome To Heaven” and “I’d Still Want To Go.” The a cappella closer “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” is the icing on the cake.”
— David Bruce Murray,
Cathedrals – Something Special
“After spending two decades laying the foundation for their future success, Something Special was the first of a string of landmark albums that would make the Cathedrals a mega-group. From the radio hit “Step Into the Water” – the biggest radio hit the Cathedrals ever had – to the novelty song “Mexico,” several songs from this project would stay in the Cathedrals’ repertoire for the remaining seventeen years they spent on the road.”
— Daniel Mount,

100 Years Of SG At NQC

I’m going to take a break from the top 5 listing for something that is well worth bringing up. I received this press release yesterday from the NQC:

On Saturday afternoon, September 18th during the National Quartet Convention, an event celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Southern Gospel Music will prove to be one of the most historic events ever offered at the National Quartet Convention. The showcase, produced by Norman Holland of Daywind Music Group, will pay tribute to many of the artists that shaped the genre of Southern Gospel Music down through the decades.

Here are just a few of the segments that will be featured during this showcase:

  • Bluegrass segment featuring members of the legendary Lewis Family, Jeff & Sheri Easter, and the newly formed Lewis Tradition
  • A Gospel Caravan segment with the Lefevre Quartet, the Chuckwagon Gang, and the Blackwood Brothers Quartet
  • A Speer Reunion with members Diane Mayes, Ann Downing, Sue Dodge, Jeannie Johnson, Karen Apple, Ben Speer, Faye Speer, the Speer Sisters.
  • A Cathedral Reunion with Legacy Five, Greater Vision, and the Mark Trammell Quartet
  • A Hinson Reunion featuring Ronnie Hinson, Chris Freeman, Larry Hinson, Bo Hinson and many former band members such as Gary Prim
  • A Downings Reunion featuring Ann Downing, Joy Gardner, and Donnie McGuire
  • A Rambos Reunion featuring Reba Rambo McGuire, Buck Rambo and Reba’s daughter Chastity
  • A Singing Americans reunion with Michael English, Ed Hill, Rick Strickland, and Dewayne Burke
  • A reunion of 1980’s version of Gold City featuring: Tim Riley, Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Mike Lefevre, and Garry Jones

The event will take place at 12:00 noon in Freedom Hall and is part of the Saturday afternoon Showcase Spectaculars at the National Quartet Convention. Complete schedule and ticket information can be found at or by calling 800-846-8499. Those unable to attend in person may also watch this historic event live as it happens or on demand through October 31st on the NQC Webcast. Details also available at

Wow. Let that sink in for a minute. The Gold City reunion that was the rave last week was just the tip of the iceberg. A reunited Gospel Caravan? A Downings reunion? I’m not really a fan, but a Hinson reunion? A Speer reunion? The “Evening to Remember” Cathedrals guys? A Singing Americans reunion with Michael English and Rick Strickland? Are you kidding me??

When the SN Fan Awards announced they were leaving the NQC, the natural question was “What is the NQC going to do now?” Well, I think they have answered that question and gone above and beyond any expectations that we had. I do know that they are currently looking into recording this event for an eventual DVD release. They need to do everything humanly possible to make sure this is done, as this is really a rare opportunity indeed, to see a reunion of all these greats.

A Singing Americans Question

The album pictured to the right was the first Singing Americans album after Mike English and Rick Strickland left the group and were replaced by Clayton Inman and Phil Barker, respectively.  However, when listening to “God Is Greater” from this album, the tenor sounds very much like Strickland, with the exception of the solo tenor line “God is higher” which is obviously Barker.  I know Clayton Inman and Strickland were in the group together for a while, as they are the members in the concept video for “Welcome to Heaven” which is available on youtube.  (Volscot, a commenter here occasionally, has the video, maybe he can provide the link for us!)  Is this another case of a personnel change in the midst of recording an album and leaving some of the previous member’s vocals intact, or is it Barker all the way through the song, and he just happens to sound a lot like Strickland on this cut?

Why Cassettes Gave Way To CDs, Or Why Vinyl Rocks!

Aside from the fact that I seem to be subconsciously channelling Rocky and Bullwinkle with this post title, I have a rant to share.  Why is it that a nearly 50 year old LP can still be played to make a serviceable CD copy, but a cassette that is half that age, and has apparently been stowed away in a case, won’t play anymore?  My dad was cleaning out his garage and found a big box of cassettes, including his copy of the Singing Americans Live and Alive, which I had been after him to find for a while.  I took it home, stuck it in my tape deck connected to the PC, and tried to rip it down.  Yeah, that didn’t work.  Half the tape was so garbled you couldn’t make out anything intelligible.  However, my copy of the Blackwood Brothers Give Us This Day LP, which is quickly approaching 50 years old, ripped near perfectly, and with a little love and some basic filters applied, comes out nearly CD quality?  This is why I much prefer vinyl to cassettes.

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