Rodney Griffin releases book

Greater Vision’s most recent e-letter contains an announcement of a book co-written by Rodney Griffin, God Wants to Hear You Sing, co-written with Ruthie Jacobson:

This new book features stories of how God has used some f Rodney’s most popular songs in the lives of people cross the country.  It takes the messages of the lyrics, as well as the stories of the people who have been changed by them, and puts them in a setting that shows God at work.  These are real stories of people who discovered they could trust the hand of God, even when they could not see His face.

It is available here. [EDIT, 6/4/12: Broken link removed.]

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“I have never laid claim to be a Southern Gospel artist…”

Doyle Lawson shares his views on bluegrass and Southern Gospel in this South Bend Tribune article. Of particular interest are his comments on Southern Gospel:

“I have never laid claim to be a Southern gospel artist,” Lawson says. “I am a person that loves to sing and play gospel music. I think that is a testament to the fact that gospel music in itself is universal. As far as trying to convey a message in song, I don’t think there are any boundaries. I don’t think there should be any boundaries.”

Lawson says the decision to release an occasional secular album is simply a matter of “supply and demand.”

“I have both a secular market and a gospel market,” he says. ” I guess the only difference in the two is, by and large, the people that listen to gospel music probably only want to have those recordings in their possession. Whereas, the people that support the bluegrass world, most of them, they love the music, they love the gospel music, and they love the bluegrass. They will tend to buy both.”

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Greater Vision Kids to Record CD

In Greater Vision’s most recent email newsletter, they announced that the Griffin, Waldroup, and Wolfe children would be recording a CD:

Over the next several months, the Greater Vision Kids will be recording their very first CD!  Rodney has written ten new songs for this “Journey Through The Bible” recording that will feature Ben, Avery, Reagan, Riley, Abbie, Casey, and Jonathon.  We are hoping to have the CD finished by late Spring 2008.  Keep watching our Email Updates for more information about this new recording for kids of ALL ages!

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Hometown Paper features Roger Bennett’s final Pianist win

The Batesville Daily Guard, a newspaper published in the vicinity of Roger Bennett’s hometown of Strawberry, Arkansas, featured Bennett’s final posthumous win of the Favorite Musician award here.

Bennett won the Favorite Southern Gospel Pianist award for the 15th consecutive time. His widow, Debbie Bennett, accepted the award along with Scott Fowler, who co-founded the gospel music group Legacy Five with Bennett.

Fowler and Bennett were both long-time members of the world-famous Cathedrals before that group disbanded in 1999, leading to the creation of Legacy Five.

I don’t recall seeing Scott Fowler on stage to accept that award, but my view was obstructed by the video boom, so I might just have missed him.

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Scott Allen hired by Mercy’s Mark

Kyle Boering mentioned on his blog that Scott Allen has been officially hired as Mercy’s Mark Quartet’s new lead singer. His regional group did a concert with the group over the weekend, and to say the least, he was quite impressed:

Scot[t] has a very modern sound to his voice. It’s extremely smooth, blends wonderfully with Garry and Brent, and has a great resonance, but I dare you to listen to “Sheltered In The Arms Of God” and not shed a tear. He also does a DEAD ON impression of Guy Penrod (close your eyes and you wont’ be able to tell the difference!).

With the addition of Scot[t] to the lineup, I can see a lot of good things in the future for MM. They have the power and ability right now to take SG by storm.

I couldn’t help but be amused by noticed that my term “Mercy’s Mark 2.0″ has caught on; David Bruce Murray used it at Musicscribe to describe the new lineup. (EDIT, 8/3/11: Broken link removed.) I used it here to express how impressed I was by the group with Shane Dunlap filling in. I don’t know if any readers heard them both with Dunlap and Allen, but I do know that those who have heard Allen have been extremely impressed. His rendition of “I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy” in a Saturday showcase was one of the things I heard the most buzz about at NQC, almost enough to make me wish I’d skipped the Hoppers’ 50th Anniversary Celebration to hear it.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they have any Ohio dates on their schedule for the rest of the year (though I note that they are touring, of all places, Norway at the end of the month). (EDIT, 8/3/11: Broken link removed.) So while it looks like it will be a while before I have a chance to see them, when I do I’ll post my thoughts here.

(Hat tip to DB for catching the misspelling of Scott‘s name.)

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Dove Brothers announce Song of the Month Club

The Dove Brothers recently announced a Song of the Month club for members of their website. They will record one song a month for mp3 download:

Soon we will be implementing a new service on our DBQ website. It is called the “Song Of The Month Club”. It will be exclusivley to the Song Of The Month Club members. There will be one song that will be added here per month. These songs will not be available on our merchandise table at concerts nor in any retail market such as Christian Bookstores, Wal-Mart etc. These songs will be in various styles and will only be offered through our website as a downloadable song. These songs have never been recorded by the Dove Brothers Quartet!

We have been getting great response from a lot of different people all across the country about our idea and we can’t hardly wait for it to come about. We will let everyone know all about this new club once everything is in place. So let us know if you are for this idea of ours! We would love to hear from you!

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Dan Keeton booking solo Dates

Dan Keeton, who recently announced he was leaving the Dixie Melody Boys, announced in a recent email update that he is booking solo dates for the rest of the year. He can be contacted at [EDIT, 6/18/12: Broken link removed.]

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Roy Webb annouces first solo concert

The first issue of Roy Webb’s new e-newsletter, Webbmail, contained this announcement of his first solo concert: [EDIT, 6/18/12: Broken link removed.]

And…….here it is………(insert drum roll)…………MY FIRST CONCERT!!!

It will be Saturday, October 20 at Jennings County High School Auditorium in North Vernon, Indiana! Tickets are only $5!! The concert will start at 6pm that night, and I CANT WAIT!!!! I’m both nervous and excited. So, please keep me in your prayers! I am praying that it is a blessed night and that everyone who attends will be glad they came to it!
Joining me will be the group Grafted. I think you will really enjoy them!

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Chip Cooper to join Waller’s New Florida Boys

A few weeks back, I posted that Dan Keeton was joining Charlie Waller’s New Florida Boys. This afternoon, Ed Crawford of the Mystery Men Quartet stopped by the post and commented. It’s worth promoting to the main page, since the Keeton post is old enough that few will notice it:

I have said both to his face and to anyone i talked to, Dan Keeton is the best tenor in southern gospel music. He and I sung together in the beginning of the mysterymen and he may be the best i have ever heard, including david phelps. I wish the very best for the new group. They also hired the long term bass singer from the mystery men Chip Cooper. He has without a doubt, one of the smoothest bass voices in the business and will be a trmendous asset to the new group. We hated to see him go but we wish him the very best. Good luck guys!

Here’s a bio on Cooper, and here’s are some sound clips that appear to feature him. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]

(There’s no word yet on what happened to Buddy Burton, the original intended bass singer.) [EDIT: John, below, points out that Buddy Burton was actually set to be the baritone. So with Ed Crawford's post yesterday, and John's post below, the complete lineup is now public.]

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Ernie Haase sings at Rex Humbard’s funeral

Pioneer televangelist Rex Humbard passed away about a week ago. Media coverage mentioned that the Gatlin Brothers provided music for Humbard’s funeral last Sunday. One thing they did not mention–but can be clearly seen in this AP photo–was that two other singers were also on stage, Bill Gaither singing bass and Ernie Haase singing tenor. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.]

Of course, Haase has the geographic advantage of being the only former Cathedrals member still living in Stowe. (Note: I think 1970s pianist Lorne Matthews might still live in northern Ohio as well.) But, geographic advantage or no geographic advantage, I find it interesting that he was apparently the only former Cathedral involved in the funeral service of the man who put the Cathedrals together in the first place.

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