Gold City Announces Departure

chip-pullen-leaves-gold-city-1

Gadsden, AL – Chip Pullen, lead singer for Gold City announced his resignation on the group’s Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday evening, April 28, 2016. Chip, who has been called to preach the gospel, stated that at this time in his life he wants to continue his Bible studies. He’s taking a position with a local landscaping company that will allow him to pursue his education an afford him the opportunity to preach more. He leaves with Gold City’s blessing.

Daniel Riley, manager for the group, says, “We love Chip, and we hate to see him go, but we certainly understand that God has a great plan for his life in the ministry. Chip is like a brother to us, so we are certainly going to miss him and his powerful voice in the lead position. As much as we know God has a wonderful plan for Chip’s future, we also know that He has the right person out there for Gold City, too. God has never failed us and has always sent the right man for the right season. We know He won’t fail us now.”

 

Advertisements

Front Porch Interview: Steve Ladd

steve ladd

As early as five years old while growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Steve Ladd felt the call of God to minister through song. The son of an evangelist, the youngster would mature to become one of the most well-liked and respected group member for some of America’s most award-winning Christian music ensembles like Gold City and The Anchormen. Although still considered a young artist, Ladd has spent the last four years traveling extensively both domestically and internationally. Performing inspirational songs like “Preach the Word” has become a personal anthem of encouragement Ladd takes wherever he goes and he reports “God moves and lives that are broken and hurting are leaving changed and encouraged at my services.”

SGM- You have sang with premiere groups in the industry like the Anchormen and Gold City quartet. You have also toured and sang with Gaither artist Michael English, featured with the legendary Stamps quartet and had 5 top 40 radio singles. That is tremendous success so far in your career. Can you tell us a little about how you got started in the southern gospel industry and was singing southern gospel something you aspired to do at an early age?

SL- I’ve been so blessed! All I’ve ever wanted to do is travel and sing.  Started with my family’s evangelistic team when I was about 5 years old.  We traveled around and did the music in my Dad’s revivals. That’s where I learned to love music.  It’s all we had. 
I fell in love with quartet music and Gold City in particular.  My childhood dream was to be their tenor singer.  When I turned 20 I started full-time with The Anchormen and spent 8 great years there.  When the opportunity came up to join Gold City, I jumped at the chance
and loved every minute of my 5 years with one of the best groups on the
road.

SGM- Your latest project, On My Own, which was produced by Michael Sykes and Michael English, was a combination of various styles. There was literally something for all music fans on the project. Is this type of musical diversity something you plan to do on each project?

SL- I’ve always had a diverse musical taste. It was definitely the goal for the album to have something for everyone.  I sing mostly in churches with all different styles of worship.  I love the fact that my music can appeal to audiences of every age.  I love Southern Gospel and I’ll always do SG. My next project will probably have a little different sound than the last.  I’m always wanting to push myself.

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

SL- Growing up it was Brian Free.  I would sit in my room for hours and sing along to Gold City CD’s. As I got older, Michael English was a big influence as well.

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

SL- I’m honored to be doing some dates with The Heritage Of Gold Tour this year!  It’s always a fun night standing on stage with those great groups honoring the music and Legacy of Gold City!  I also do a cruise each year in January with some great singers and speakers!  If people are interested, they can send me a message on Facebook or my site and I’ll send out a brochure.

SGM- Can you tell us a little about the decision you made in going solo for your ministry and was that a difficult decision for you?

SL- It was a decision I didn’t make hastily.  My wife and I prayed for about a year before truly feeling it was God’s plan.  At the time we (GC) were gone a lot. Seemed that we were gone more than home.  I wanted to be with my family more.  But, also felt a desire growing in me to share my heart more on a personal level.  God has truly been so good to me. I love what I’m doing!

SGM- Of the hit songs you have sang over the years, which song really touched you the most?

SL- Preach The Word has truly opened a lot of doors for me.  It’s a powerful song that encourages everyone to share the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.  Not Guilty and Jesus Saves, from my current album, are incredible songs that speak to me. I try to pick songs that minister to me. I want to be authentic when I’m singing.  If I believe
what I’m singing, hopefully the listeners will as well.

SGM- For those interested in bringing Steve Ladd to their venue, who do they contact for booking information?

SL- They can go to my website at Steve Ladd Website and leave me a msg or call the office at 256-492-1166.  I’d love to come and share my heart and music with anyone who’s willing to have me!

For more information on Steve Ladd:

 

Tim Riley’s Wife Passes Away

tim-and-barbara-riley

Glencoe, AL – Gold City is heartbroken to report the unexpected passing of Daniel Riley’s mother, Barbara (Mrs. Tim) Riley earlier this evening. Please be in prayer for Daniel and the Riley family at this time. Daniel especially requests that you remember his father, Tim, when you pray. On behalf of the Riley family, we respectfully request the family be allowed some time together without phone calls. More information will be shared as it becomes available about funeral arrangements and the group’s tour schedule for this weekend. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Arrangements for Barbara Riley are as follows:

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 23, 2016 at North Glencoe Baptist Church. Burial will be at Crestwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday, April 22, 2016 from 5:00-8:00 p.m., at the church. Online condolences may be made at Collier Butler

Talley’s Announce Video Release

the_talley_trio

The Talleys are excited to announce the release of a brand-new short concept film featuring their latest single, “The People In The Line.” The song is the first release from their highly acclaimed recording, “After All This Time.”

Starring Jedda Nastasi Meyers and Lauren Talley along with Mahé Meyers, the short film depicts a woman (Talley) going about everyday routines when a stranger’s (Meyers) suddenly tragic circumstances cause her to be aware of the struggles of others. The film was shot on location at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, MS, the Kelley Marie Boutique and Manley Baptist Church in Morristown, TN, and was produced and directed by Jared Meyers of Meyers Media, LLC. / The Talleys.

The Talleys premiered “The People In The Line” short film at the Absolutely Gospel Awards April 12, 2016, and the film is being released online and to various media outlets April 13, 2016. The song and film are both now available at The Talley’s Website.

For more information:

Music Video:

New Concept Video:

Down East Boys CD Review

rsz_1rsz_downeastboysransomedbigcov

The Down East Boys new project entitled Ransomed, was released March 18, 2016 through Springside Marketing.

Album Highlights:

The project kicks off with a song titled A Reason To Sing and this tune features lead singer Ricky Carden. This is an update number with a traditional quartet feel and good harmonies. The song describes how as a Christian, we have a reason to sing and be happy.

Somebody Left The Door Wide Open is another feature for  lead singer Ricky Carden. This is a upbeat, soulful tune with a choir backup. This one will have you tapping your feet and singing along.

I Still Remember is a mid-tempo number that features classic quartet harmony. This is a catchy tune that’s  radio ready.

The Song Of The Ransomed features lead singer Ricky Carden and is an emotionally charged, moving ballad. Excellent harmonies, full orchestration and a choir for backup make this a sure bet to be a radio single. This one may be the best cut from the album.

A Thieves Paradise features tenor Steve Lixey.  This is a soft, simple ballad that showcases just Lixey’s voice on the tune. It is a standout number on the project.

Now A Witness I Am is another solid upbeat traditional quartet style tune that fans will enjoy. It has close harmonies and really has a radio ready sound overall.

The Cross Speaks Louder is a ballad thats a baritone feature for Daryl Paschal. This is another really moving ballad that showcases nice harmonies.

Overall, this is a solid effort from the Down East Boys and there’s certainly no shortage of radio single tunes to choose from. Fans of traditional quartet style music will want to pick this one up!

Song List:

A Reason To Sing
Somebody Left The Door Wide Open
I Still Remember
The Song Of The Ransomed
That’s What You Get For Loving Him
A Thieves’ Paradise
One Way One Name One Door
That Wonderful Land
The Cross Speaks Louder
Now A Witness Am I
Pray

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information on the Down East Boys:

Down East Boys Website

The Steeles CD Review

rsz_steeles

The Steeles are a Tennessee-based Southern gospel group. Husband and wife, Jeff and Sherry Steele, make up the core of the trio. Jeff, a former pastor, has been the group’s leader and songwriting voice throughout its existence. The group has had success charting especially with their hit song from 1996 We Want America Back.  Jeff was named BMI’s Southern Gospel Songwriter of the Year in 1995 and 1996. The latest offering from the group is titled Without A Sound and was released in December 2015.

Album Highlights:

Without A Sound was the initial radio release. The song currently sits in the top 30 of a couple of charts. Jeff takes the lead on this ballad. Typical of a Jeff Steele penned ballad, this song has emotional lyrics that culminates in a solid chorus. The song describes “we are not going down without a sound“. It talks about our responsibilities as Christians to stand up and proclaim the gospel truth.  This is radio polished song with tight harmonies and a solid message.

We’re All Human features Sherry on lead. This is another worship style ballad that the Steeles are known for. The song describes all of us are human and broken and we all need grace.

Who’s At The Door is an upbeat tune that’s a little more country flavored and quiet catchy. This radio ready tune talks about the resurrected savior taking the keys of death and the grave. This one features Jeff and is a tune you cant help but sing along with.

Say So is another country infused upbeat number that features Jeff. The song talks about speaking up and testifying when we’ve been saved.

He Went All The Way is an emotionally charged ballad that features Sherry. This one talks about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. This is another radio polished ballad that should do well. It has the emotional lyrics that the Steeles are known for.

Over all this is a solid project. It leans to the ballads a little more than a typical balanced project, but ballads are what the Steeles have built their reputation on.

The project can be previewed on the MCM website below.The Steeles Facebook Page

This project is definitely a good choice to add to your southern gospel collection.

Album Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

New Ground Recording First Live DVD

ng

Scottsboro, Alabama – New Ground, of Scottsboro, Alabama, announces their very first LIVE DVD recording to take place on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 7:00pm.  This DVD will be filmed at the Grace Church Bessemer located in Bessemer, Alabama.  The filming will also include a personal look with the New Ground members with interviews and special stories about their 23 year span of singing Southern Gospel Music.

Known for their energetic powerful worship thru song, New Ground will be singing some of the old standards and mixing in new songs for this anticipated recording with expected release date of Summer 2016.

Join Dale & Robbie Maxwell, David Owens and Scott Brand for this great night of worship.   For additional information you can call (256) 574-0138 or visit them at New Ground Website

From: Absolutely Gospel News Feed

Best Versions Of Popular SG Groups Part 1

Quartet_Drawing

The southern gospel genre has produced some amazing talent over the past 70 years. Many popular groups have had numerous variations of themselves as industry turnover is a given for every group who sings for any length of time. Here we list some of our favorite versions of some popular groups in southern and country gospel, including a few current newcomers who have caught some attention. This is a 2 part series. Part 2 will be posted next month. This 1st edition features 10 groups from the past to the modern era. The rankings will go from very best lineup in slot A to other notable lineups on B and C. The final group listed on each edition will be a current group we feel has potential to make some noise in the industry. If we miss a lineup you like, please let us know in the comments!

1). The Statesmen Quartet- The Statesmen are one of the most prestigious quartets in the history of southern gospel music. Their hit song Get Away Jordan was one of the groups show stopping tunes. Elvis Presley loved the Statesmen and often cited lead singer Jake Hess as one of his biggest musical influences. Best Lineup:

A

  • Hovie Lister- Owner & Pianist
  • Rosie Rozell- Tenor
  • Jake Hess- Lead
  • Doy Ott- Baritone
  • Jim Wetherington- Bass

B

  • Hovie Lister- Owner & Pianist
  • Claris Freeman- Tenor
  • Jake Hess- Lead
  • Doy Ott- Baritone
  • Jim Wetherington- Bass

2).  Blackwood Brothers Quartet- The Blackwood Brothers are the other great prestigious quartet of the last 70 years. In the 1950’s the Blackwood Brothers and the Statesmen toured as a team and they were a formidable force in the music industry. They have recorded over 200 albums and sold over 50 million records. Best Lineup:

  • Bill Shaw- Tenor
  • James Blackwood- Lead
  • R.W. Blackwood- Baritone
  • JD Sumner- Bass

B

  • Bill Shaw- Tenor
  • James Blackwood- Lead
  • Cecil Blackwood- Baritone
  • JD Sumner- Bass

3).  Gold City Quartet- This legendary quartet really made their mark during the 1980’s. Their signature song, Midnight Cry, was one of the biggest hits of the modern era in the genre. After numerous hit singles and awards, the group has proven their staying power. Their current lineup ranks up there with the best. Best Lineup:

A

  • Brian Free- Tenor
  • Ivan Parker- Lead
  • Steve Lacey- Baritone
  • Tim Riley- Bass

B

  • Steve Ladd- Tenor
  • Jonathan Wilburn- Lead
  • Daniel Riley- Baritone
  • Aaron McCune- Bass

C

  • Thomas Nalley- Tenor
  • Chip Pullen- Lead
  • Daniel Riley- Baritone
  • Chris West- Bass

4). Kingsmen Quartet- The Kingsmen have produced some of the most notable talent in the industry over the years. They are one of the most awarded groups in southern gospel history with 14 top 40 number 1 songs, that ranks 2nd all time in the history of the chart. The current lineup ranks with the best.  Best Lineup:

  • Ernie Phillips- Tenor
  • Jim Hamill- Lead
  • Squire Parsons- Baritone
  • Ray Dean Reese- Bass

B

  • Harold Reed- Tenor
  • Bryan Hutson- Lead
  • Randall Crawford- Baritone
  • Ray Dean Reese- Bass

C

  • Chris Jenkins- Tenor
  • Bob Sellers- Lead
  • Randall Crawford- Baritone
  • Ray Dean Reese- Bass

5).  The Hinsons- This family group took the industry by storm. The Hinsons were recognized by both the Dove Awards and the Singing News Fan Awards for the 1972 Song of the year, “The Lighthouse“. In 1973, they again won the SNFA Song of the Year for “He Pilots My Ship.” In 1979, they were the SNFA choice for favorite group. Best Lineup:

  • Chris Hawkins Freeman- Tenor/Alto
  • Kenny Hinson- Lead
  • Larry Hinson- Baritone
  • Ronny Hinson- Bass

B

  • Yvonne Hinson- Tenor/Alto
  • Kenny Hinson- Lead
  • Bo Hinson- Baritone
  • Ronny Hinson- Bass

6). Three Bridges- Three Bridges music is rooted in traditional “southern gospel” and “black gospel” music.  This blended style has made Three Bridges one of the prominent internationally-acclaimed Gospel groups in Christian music today. The groups last 12 radio releases have been in the top 40 charts.  Best Lineup:

A

  • Jeremie Hudson- Tenor
  • Shannon Smith- Lead
  • Elliot McCoy- Baritone

7). The Florida Boys Quartet- This legendary quartet has been going since 1946. They have won numerous awards and had a number of top charting songs. Their signature song, When He Was On The Cross, remained on the top 40 charts for over a year. Their current lineup is the best they have had in ages. Best Lineup:

A

  • Tommy Atwood- Tenor
  • Les Beasley- Lead
  • Glen Allred- Baritone
  • Billy Todd- Bass

B

  • Harold Reed- Tenor
  • Josh Garner- Lead
  • Glen Allred- Baritone
  • Gene McDonald- Bass

C

  • Nathan Parrish- Tenor
  • Charlie Waller- Lead
  • Jimmy Reno- Baritone
  • Joe Armstrong- Bass

8). Cathedral Quartet- The Cathedrals were one of the most beloved and decorated groups in southern gospel music history. They went from 1964 until their retirement in December 1999. They enjoyed numerous charting singles and awards. Best Lineup:  

A

  • Kirk Talley- Tenor
  • Glenn Payne- Lead
  • Mark Trammell- Baritone
  • George Younce- Bass

B

  • Ernie Haase- Tenor
  • Glenn Payne- Lead
  • Scott Fowler- Baritone
  • George Younce- Bass

9).  The Nelons- The Nelons was started by founding member Rex Nelon and started out as The Rex Nelon Singers in 1977. The group was a spin-off of the family group the Lefevres. They became known as the Rex Nelon Singers in 1976 because the Lefevre family members had left the group. The group’s first number-one song was “Come Morning” on the Singing News Chart, and was awarded the Southern Gospel Song of the Decade for the 1980s. The current edition of the Nelons ranks as one of the groups best. Best Lineup:

A

  • Karen Peck- Soprano
  • Kelly Nelon- Alto
  • Jerry Thompson- Tenor/Lead
  • Rex Nelon- Bass

B

  • Amber Nelon Thompson- Soprano
  • Kelly Nelon Clark- Alto
  • Jason Clark- Tenor/Lead

Our newer group spotlight: 

10). Mark209- In 2011, the Mystery Men quartet announced a name change at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY. The new name, a reference to Mile Marker 209 in Nashville, was Mark209.   The group’s initial radio release, My Home In Heaven, remains their most notable release to date staying on the Singing News top 80 charts for 10 consecutive months. The group has earned several awards and has a loyal following. The groups original lineup remains its strongest ensemble of talent. With a tenor and baritone who could take country features and a traditional vocal on lead to tie the group to their roots, along with a powerful bass, they were a force vocally. It would have been interesting to see where this group would be today had the original cast stayed in place. Best Lineup:

A

  • Nathaniel Justice- Tenor
  • Jym Howe- Lead
  • Jimmy Reno- Baritone
  • Joe Armstrong- Bass

  • Nathaniel Justice- Tenor
  • Jym Howe- Lead
  • Jimmy Reno- Baritone
  • Ray Woconish- Bass

C

  • Nathaniel Justice- Tenor
  • Jym Howe- Lead
  • Josh Arnett- Baritone
  • Ray Woconish- Bass

 

 

Merle Haggard Dies At 79

haggard

Merle Haggard, the grizzled country music legend whose songs such as “Okie from Muskogee” and “Fightin’ Side of Me” made him a voice for the workingman and the outsider, has died. He was 79.

Haggard died Wednesday April 6, 2016,  his birthday, of complications from pneumonia at his home in Northern California.

While not known for gospel music, the hall of fame country legend recorded numerous gospel albums including the popular Award Winning Gospel Hits which featured such songs as Life’s Railway To Heaven, Precious Lord Take My Hand, Farther Along and others.

Merle Haggard Life’s Railway To Heaven- YouTube