The readers have spoken and the ten on ten feature continues with reader requests. I will continue this feature as long as there is an artist you want to see. This week I will try to list the ten best albums of one of Southern Gospel’s best quartets of the 1980′s; the Singing Americans.
Of all the personnel changes in the Singing Americans, the one mainstay seemed to be group owner Charles Burke who purchased the group around 1976. Charles Burke will be part of the 2012 class of inductees in the Southern Gospel music hall of fame.
The Singing Americans ten best albums are:
- Live And Alive (1984)
- Black And White (1985)
- On Stage (1992)
- Homecoming Live (1987)
- Sensational (1982)
- The Exciting Sounds (1981)
- Watch And Pray (1990)
- Wanted Live (1975)
- Everybody Ought To Praise His Name (1983)
- Hearts Of Praise, Songs Of Majesty (1986)
- I don’t stray from what the majority of Southern Gospel historians consider the Singing Americans two biggest albums; Live And Alive (1984) and Black And White (1985). While some may switch the two, I consider Live And Alive the Singing Americans biggest album.
- Live And Alive is a great live concert recording featuring one of the best versions of Michael English’s biggest song; “I Bowed On My Knees And Cried Holy”. ”Home”, “Something New”, “I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven For The World”, “Port In The Storm” and “Over There” also highlight this recording.
- Next in line for best album is Black And White. This album was no slouch in the song department offering the listener such greats as “Jesus Got A Hold Of Me”, “I’d Still Want To Go”, “Victory Side”, “Welcome To Heaven” and “I Want To Make Heaven My Home”.
- The group had some stellar line-ups, but none better than the combination of Rick Strickland (tenor), Michael English (lead), Ed Hill (baritone) and Dwayne Burke (bass). This line-up combined to record three albums in the Singing Americans discography, including the two biggest just mentioned.
- It is no surprise that seven of the top ten albums come from the 1980′s. The group was on top of their game during this decade. Next to Live And Alive and Black And White, Homecoming Live (1987) is the next ’80′s album to land in the top 10 at #4.
- This was another strong line-up of the group with Phil Barker (tenor), Clayton Inman (lead), Ed Hill (baritone) and Dwayne Burke (bass). Homecoming Live also had a slew of great songs including “Walk On The Water”, “More Than Enough”, “The Bridegroom Cometh” and “Past To Presence”.
- One can’t discount the other strong Singing Americans line-up from the early ’80′s. The line-up of Danny Funerburk (tenor), Ivan Parker (lead), Ed Hill (baritone) and Dwayne Burke (bass) recorded two of the group’s best albums in Sensational (1982) and The Exciting Sounds (1981). The albums ranked #5 and #6 respectively.
- The hidden gem in the Singing Americans discography is the album I ranked at #3 among the group’s ten best and the only ’90′s era recording to land in the top ten. The group’s On Stage live album from 1992 is a strong live album that is many times overlooked or forgotten. The line-up on this recording included David Sutton (tenor), Dale Forbes (lead), Buddy Burton (baritone) and Larry Stewart (bass). If you are able to still find this album, do yourself a favor, and pick it up.
- The pre Charles Burke era of the Singing Americans was able to also land a spot among the group’s ten best recordings. The Wanted Live album from 1975 is a treasure for anyone that is a Singing Americans aficionado.
- In addition to the line-ups already mentioned, the Singing Americans was also home to Greg Shockley, Scott Whitener and David Jenkins at one point in their careers. The Singing Americans have etched a place in Southern Gospel music history by releasing two of the biggest albums ever released in the entire genre.