Front Porch Interview: Randy Byrd

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SGM- You’ve sang with notable groups such as The Rebels, the legendary Blackwood Brothers quartet and now one of the premiere industry groups in the Mark Trammell quartet. Can you tell us how you got your start in southern gospel?

RB- I got hooked after hearing George Younce when I was 12. I was offered my first job at 17 by the Bob Wills Family but through a series of things in life it fell through. I was a preachers son and rebelled and left home a few weeks before I was to start. It just wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t start singing again until I was about 22 and started singing in church groups. I did the weekend warrior thing for many years. In 1997 I was offered a part time job with Majesty Qt from Des Moines Iowa. I was 34 and figured if I was ever gonna fulfill my dream I had better take it. I sang with them til 2003 when it temporarily disbanded. In early 2004 we put it back together and had been touring again for about 2 months when I got the call from the Blackwood Gospel Qt. A few months after joining them, Jimmy Blackwood joined us and we brought the Blackwood Brothers name out of retirement. The rest is history!

SGM- Most artists have an individual or group that inspired them to sing. Who were your influences?

RB- I kinda answered that in the first question!:) But I sang my first duet at age 5. I got my love of music from my moms side. I had heard quartets but had never been to an actual singing til age 12…. Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock Ar, mid 70’s…. I heard George Younce sing “There is a fountain” and I was hooked. I told my mom that night I wanted to be a bass singer…but at that age I sounded like a tenor!:)

I’ve been fortunate to have been around a lot of great singers that most people may not know but our church was blessed with some great singers. I mentioned Bob Wills earlier. He and his family are some of my biggest Heroes! His son Donnie is as fine a bass as has ever graced a stage. A few years after I couldn’t go with them they hired a young Jeff Chapman!!! Every time I saw them I told him he had my job! My biggest influence though was George. Still the greatest bass singer ever!

SGM- Your Walk Talks was the 2014 release for the group. When can fans expect the next project featuring the current lineup?

RB- We released “Rewind” with this lineup around NQC in 2015. It was a collection of hits from the MT Trio days which obviously didn’t have a bass part. We are getting ready to do a new recording of original songs asap. Hoping to have it by NQC 2016.

SGM-  What has it been like for you being with MTQ so far?

RB- So far it has exceeded my dreams! I always wanted to sing with Mark but honestly it never crossed my mind that I would get too. From day one Mark and Nick have made me feel welcome and wanted. They are very thoughtful and encouraging. Now that being said we torment each other a LOT! Dustin Black was fun to travel with and is missed. Blake Buffin has came in and just fitting in really well. We truly get along great and laugh a lot!!

SGM- What upcoming events are you guys excited about that fans should be aware of?

RB- We have a lot of great things we get to be a part of like the Cathedral Family Reunions and the Second Half Quartet but for me Gerald Wolfe’s Gospel Music Hymn Sing tour are my favorites. I love the fellowship with the other artists but getting to inner act with the fans is priceless!

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SGM-  Most artist cite traveling on the road as the biggest challenge to singing professionally. How do you balance family time and traveling?

RB- We have a lot of fun on the road. I can honestly say I’ve not had a bad road day since being here other than a couple days where we were sick. I’m grateful for that because being away from my precious wife is hard enough. I couldn’t/wouldn’t do it if I were miserable on the road. I couldn’t do the job God has called me to do without her love and support. As far as balancing the time, I just try to spend every moment I can with her when I’m home. My dream and goal is for her to be able to either quit work or go part time so that when I’m home we are together. I don’t deserve her but I’m sure grateful God brought her into my life. She is my biggest fan and supporter.

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