Southern Gospel Perspective

My thoughts and opinions about Southern Gospel Music, both past and present. Feel free to comment and criticize...

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Location: United States

10/02/2007

This groups best ... The Kingdom Heirs

Here is a group that while stationed at Dollywood has had great success and has been able to attract and retain some great vocalists down through the years.

At piano, I would have to place Jeff Stice at the top of the list. Jeff can go a little "overboard" sometimes, but his talent really speaks for itself. There are very few piano players who are the equal of Jeff. A future HoF'er, no doubt.

At baritone, who else could there be but Steve French? Long time baritone and owner of The Kingdom Heirs, Steve's greatest talent is his business sense. He has placed this group in a nearly perfect situation both with the NQC and especially at Dollywood.

The KH's have had some really good lead singers over the years. To me it as close decision between Clayton Inman and Arthur Rice. They are both exceptional vocalists and quartet men. I would have to go with Rice mainly due to his long tenure with the group. Arthur Rice is a real phenomenon in SG music.

Tenor is another spot where the KH's have had some turnover, but with great success. Another tribute to the French's business sense. Since this is my blog, I'm going with my personal favorite. He was the tenor with them when I first saw them at Dollywood. Mr. Rick Strickland. Rick has been with some great groups over the years (Singing Americans, KH's, JD & Stamps) and has added value to every one.

The bass singer I would choose for the Kingdom Heirs is Bob Caldwell. Bob is one smooth bass singer (where is he now?). When Bill Gaither reformed the Statesmen several years back, Bob was the choice at bass. There is a good reason why. Bob is certainly not the only great bass that the KH's have had though. I am a huge fan of Eric Bennett and Jeff Chapman both, they are probably the 2 best "traveling" bass singers right now.

Here are the Kingdom Heirs:

Bass: Bob Caldwell
Baritone: Steve French
Lead: Arthur Rice
Tenor: Rick Strickland
Piano: Jeff Stice

A really great quartet there, but really what would you expect from The Kingdom Heirs?

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