Just when you think you’ve exhausted all the ten on ten options, additional requests open up another feature. This week we’ll take a look at the recording career of the Palmetto State Quartet. A group that started in 1946, still sings today and working on 60 years in Southern Gospel music.
The group found their greatest success after 1990. The group remained under the leadership of the two Jacks (Bagwell and Pittman) for over forty years until they retired in the mid 1990′s. The current group is under the leadership of Larry Strickland.
- When He Blessed My Soul (2001)
- Grace (2011)
- There’s Something Going On (2002)
- It’s Settled (2004)
- Rock Solid (1994)
- Sweet Land Of Rest (2006)
- When It Pours God Reigns (2005)
- Born To Royalty (1996)
- Forefront (1999)
- Close To The Heart (1990)
- All of the Palmetto State Quartet’s best albums came after the year 1990. The pinnacle in the group’s discography is the 2001 specialty recording When He Blessed My Soul. The vocal line-up of Brion Carter (tenor), Kerry Beatty (lead), Tony Peace (baritone) and Jeff Pearls (bass) recorded a classic quartet recording that competes with some of the best quartet albums recorded in Southern Gospel music.
- The listener was treated to classics such as “I’m Going There”, “Moving Up To Heaven”, “One Of These Mornings”, “Our Debts Will Be Paid”, “Tell My Friends” and “When He Blessed My Soul”.
- The album ranked #2 among the group’s ten best is a total 180 on the style spectrum from When He Blessed My Soul. The 2011 album Grace took a country-style and I named this album one of the top ten albums released in all of Southern Gospel music for 2011.
- With songs “A Moment Of Grace”, “All Hail The Power”, “The Debt Has Been Paid”, “Don’t That Sound Like Heaven”, “There’ll Be No Dying” and “There’s No Place Too Far From Grace” make this an album every collector should own.
- The same vocal line-up of Carter, Beatty, Peace and Pearls had two more albums among the group’s ten best. They include There’s Something Going On (#3) and Forefront (#9).
- The highest ranked album that still had the two Jacks (singing lead and baritone) was the 1994 recording Rock Solid. I would consider this album the Palmetto State Quartet’s break through album in terms of hit songs. The first two top five songs of the group’s career came from Rock Solid. They included “Jubilee’s Comin’” and “Rainbow Avenue”. Brion Carter (tenor) and Harold Gilley (bass) held down the high and low notes on this album.
- Hovie Lister spent a couple of years with the Palmetto State Quartet recording two albums with the group. The 1990 album Close To The Heart was strong enough to rank #10 among the group’s ten best. You could hear Hovie Lister’s touch on both of those albums.
- In addition to those members already mentioned the Palmetto State Quartet alumni include: Woody Beatty, Eddie Broome, Joel Duncan, Rick Fair, Jerry Hovis, Andrew Ishee, Aaron McCune, Burman Porter, John Rulapaugh, Wesley Smith and Ken Turner.
- In addition to the songs already listed the Palmetto State Quartet introduced the following songs to the Southern Gospel listener: ”Angels Will Stand”, “Born To Royalty”, “Good Morning”, “He’s Real”, “Knock Knock Knock”, “No Doubt Salvation”, “There’s Something Going On” and “We’ll Meet Again”.
- The Palmetto State Quartet of 2013 is composed of Jeremy Easley (tenor), David Staton (lead), Paul Lancaster (baritone), Mike Allen (bass), Casey Martin (pianist) with Larry Strickland at the helm. I look forward to what this line-up will bring on their next recording.
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