Southern Gospel Perspective

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

Location: United States


This Groups Best ... Gaither Vocal Band

The Gaither Vocal Band has actually had pretty good stability over the years. They perhaps are not considered Southern Gospel for part or all of their history. However, for the sake of what I'm doing, I believe that most of their history qualifies.

Very difficult group to do because they really have some of the best vocalists ever to sing with this group.

For the bass part, the only choice I see is Bill Gaither. Perhaps he's not the greatest bass singer ever, but he does a more than adequate job and it is his group, so he's the bass.

For the baritone, there are many wonderful choices, it is very difficult to choose, but I would have to go with Russ Taff. A legend in his own right, he could sing the baritone part flawlessly. Perhaps not the greatest of soloists (not bad though), but a great member of the GVB.

The tenor. Well, to me this is a no brainer. The only one even close to David Phelps is Terry Franklin, but honestly David is way out in front.

The lead singer for the all-time GVB is Michael English. Guy Penrod is 1B, but Mike is one the best known, highest quality singers ever in SG music. Has to be Mike.

So here is your Vocal Band:

Lead: Michael English
Baritone: Russ Taff
Tenor: David Phelps
Bass: Bill Gaither

Piano would have to be Anthony Burger.


Where are they now? Vol. I

I'm an old-fashioned guy and I enjoy looking back at groups from yesteryear. One of the things I think about when I'm doing this is where are these folks now and what are they doing and why are so many of them seemingly not in SG anymore. Here are a few names that I would like to know more about and be able to hear again, if they were still singing:

David Hill. During his brief stint with Gold City, I thought he was incredible and had the best rendition of Midnight Cry that I've ever heard. He moved around a lot, but I haven't heard anything from him recently. Have you?

Dale Shipley. Back in the glory days of Perfect Heart, Dale was belting out lead lines like no one else. I miss those Perfect Heart days and I miss Dale's awesome voice. All I've heard is that he was in Memphis and perhaps a music minister? What do you know?

Jerry Thompson. I loved his voice with The Nelons. I know he's been with some other groups since then, like maybe one of the Blackwood Quartets. What's he doing these days?

Who are some SG artists that you would like to find again? Maybe I or another reader could help!


2009 National Quartet Convention, etc.

Well, the convention is over this year and unfortunately I was unable to make it for the 2nd year in a row. Hopefully next year I will get back into the routine.

Gold City has become afflicted with member changes, and it is really seeming to hurt their popularity and therefore likely their bottom dollar as well.

Greater Vision is sounding "greater" than ever. Jacob is a great addition to this group. He is a fantastic tenor.

Not sure why all the hating toward the Dixie Melody Boys? Ed still has a very good voice and he continues to surround himself with good talent. I thought their weekend set at NQC was one of the better ones of the weekend.

Overhyped seems to be the general feeling I get toward the whole Signature Sound / GVB hour. Seriously, both groups are super talented, but they are just not any better than 75% of the other groups performing.

That's it for now...

Boy do I miss JD Sumner and The Cathedrals.