Steve Ladd leaves Gold City

Yesterday, Gold City announced that Steve Ladd, who has sung tenor with the group for five years, will be leaving to become a music minister at a church near Gadsden, Alabama.

Ladd said the decision to leave was “especially difficult” since “being with Gold City has been a dream come true for me.”

All of Gold City’s tenors to date have had certain defining characteristics to their voice—a very high range and a fairly straight tones with few contemporary affectations. Ladd was an especially able contributor to Gold City’s sound since he was able to sing both the traditional Southern Gospel tenor, and then, once Tim and Doug Riley had left the group and the group started experimenting with more progressive sounds, adapt his vocal stylings to sing a more contemporary tenor part.

At this juncture, I would be surprised if Gold City hired another tenor like their last three (Free, Parrack, and Ladd)—I expect a tenor with a more contemporary edge to his voice. (Unless, of course, Jay Parrack wants to get back on the road, which is an outside possibility that would delight many fans of that era of the group, me included.) Outside of that possibility, I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see the job given to someone like Hissong’s Adam Elrod.

Information on how tenors can apply is here.

About Daniel J. Mount

Daniel Mount has written 3194 posts.

Daniel J. Mount is the founder and editor of Southern Gospel Journal.


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25 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Oh my goodness, I just went to see them on Sunday night. I will miss him, and I wish him all the best as he makes this change in direction.

  2. Does anyone know the name of the church he will be leading worship at?

  3. I honestly have not been a fan of the Gold City in the past years. I hope they don’t go to much further down the contemporary road…I still appreciate their traditional sounds.

  4. I’m not sure Adam Elrod is high enough. Or Dusty Barrett. Or most of the tenors out there looking for work–not that there are that many of them. Gold City’s tenor has always been high and they’ve always worked their tenor hard. Unless they reinvent themselves, not just any tenor can fill that spot. I will say this: there are probably a lot of quartet and group managers holding their breath right now hoping their tenor doesn’t defect to Gadsden, AL.

    I hate this for Gold City. I have always enjoyed the group and like both the old and the new stuff they are doing. I don’t mean to be a nay-sayer, but this can’t help but be a hard hit for the group to take. Without a stable nucleus in the group, it is hard to get any momentum going. With groups like The Florida Boys, Cathedrals, or Perrys, when they have had personnel changes, fans always knew there were two or three key people who you knew were still always going to be there, and that provided stability in the middle of change. When nearly every position in a group goes through changes, it’s like having to start all over, and I just feel for Daniel, who I think is a wonderful singer and person.

    I wish Daniel and Gold City the best and hope they find a great tenor who comes right in and doesn’t miss a beat–no pun intended! :)

  5. I think they will recover. Gold City will always be the best. I have been debating sending in a demo myself, but I sing more of the traditional tenor.

  6. Go for it, Noah!

  7. I don’t think I ever had the privilege of meeting Steve Ladd, but I admired his excellent singing. If he never sang another song with Gold City, his classic and interpretive rendition of “Preach The Word” justified his tenure with the group. What a song . . . what a singer!

  8. I have been a big fan of Steve Ladds for many years, back to when he and Jeff Chapman were the “bookends” for the Anchormen. My favorite song of Steve’s was “Preach the Word”, A song really needed for this day and time. I am with
    Paul the Concert Guy as to the direction of Gold City, as I was hoping with the project of Dougs songs they would lean back to a more traditional sound. It will be interesting to see which way they go. The first person I thought of though when I heard this news was Dusty Barrett.

  9. I’m actually thinking about sending a demo. My problem is that my tenor-singin’ voice is a mixture of Danny Funderburk and Kurt Young. In short, I can’t go that high. I’m going to record demos and ask my parents if I could send them. I have a DayBreak soundtrack. Plus, I have an unpublished song to my resume. Plus, I can play the guitar, a little piano, bass, some harmonica, and some mandolin(like they would need a mandolin).
    I think they would be happy to have a soundtrack done by formeer Gold City members. Tim Parton and Garry Jones both played the piano for DayBreak for their albums (the bass, Nathan Prisk, is the concert pianist.).

  10. Let’s leave dusty barrett out of this conversation, shall we please :) LOL thanks!!

  11. How about Chris Cooper, I think he would be a great fit for Gold City!!!!

  12. I saw in my inbox today a messgae saying that Steve Ladd left Gold City. Then a few e-mails later, I saw one from Dan Keeton that said “Dan Keeton and the Dove Brothers”. I thought, “OH MY WORD, Jerry Martin joined Gold City!”
    Naturally, my first thought for a replacement was Jerry Martin.
    But, it turned out that Dan was just filling in with the Dove Brothers while Jerry was off the road after a surgery.
    But seriously? Could that work? Or what about Dan Keeton, or Danny Funderburk ?

  13. I too vote for the more traditional quartet sound for GC! I miss that.

  14. Daniel, Adam Elrod is terrific right where he is!!! I love him with HisSong and I know that he’s really happy there. I’m sure it’s very nice for people to think that’s he capable of singing with Gold City (and he is more than capable), but let’s just leave it at that, OK?!?!?!?

    I also agree with hogfan, leave Dusty Barrett out of this discussion, too!!!

  15. Totally agrees with Diana! Adam Elrod is exactly where he should be and wants to be. For those thinking he’s not capable of filling in the position, you are definitely underestimating him. HisSong is one of the greatest groups out there and I feel that the Lord has great things in store for them! (Had to add that last part.)

    • and i totally agree w/Terri…do not underestimate Adam Elrod…he is definetly capable…his voice is amazing…and when he sings…he inspires!! Although Gold City would be LUCKY to have him, I also agree that he is right where he should be!! HisSong came to our church in Sep…and oh what a talented group they are…they compliment each other perfectly!! They ARE one of the greatest groups in southern gospel music today…and i can honestly say…each and every time they are in Louisiana…i will attend!!

  16. I also would love to see GC go for a traditional-sounding tenor, but I think that’s unlikely.

  17. Dan Keeton already tried out for GC and even filled in during the transition after Jay, but GC went with Steve, which was probably for a better, tighter blend. I did hear Dan with GC though and he could handle it.

  18. I’d like to see Jeremie Hudson or Jerry Martin.

  19. Eric Phillips sounds more like Jay Parrack than most I know…

    Just throwing it out there.

  20. I see Dan Keeton’s name mentioned here. I heard Gold City when Dan filled in for Jay. The blend was great and the tone was surprising! If Dan would go, I believe it would open a new future for him and Gold City.

    I saw where Dan filled in for The Dove Brothers this past week and they were at the Singing in the Sun with Gold City on Thursday night. Hmmmmm.

  21. #19: On Dan Keeton Live one night, he had the demo of him singing “When He Blessed My Soul” with Gold City and he played it. Very good sound.

  22. Anything Dan sings sounds very good.

    Honestly, I could see him with them IF they went back to a more traditional ” ’80′s or ’90′s Gold City” Quartet sound.

  23. I don’t know. Someone commented on another site that they heard Dan with The Dove Brothers and sounded great. The Doves are getting more progressive.

    I don’t see GC going back to that era, I love the GC now. Like the Doves, their bag of tricks is getting bigger, if ya know what I mean!

  24. What about gary sheppard? I think he could fit in maybe. He
    sing pretty high brian him used to go back forth on looking
    for a city. What do you think?

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