The Fab Five – May 2016

I’m back; revived, refreshed and ready to start May.  Free music Monday will continue next week.  I will start May as I do each month; provide my readers the five most played Southern Gospel radio songs in my musical playlists over the preceding month.  Enjoy!

Bowlings

11th Hour

LeFevre Qt

English

JPVE

Public Service Announcement

To all my readers, I wanted to let you know that I will be away on vacation for the next week.  So look for new posts when I get back.  Have a wonderful week.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  Did you know the word celestial means an inhabitant of Heaven.  Did you know there was a group in Southern Gospel music that started with the name, the Celestials.  Because of a mis-print of the name Celestial to Telestial, another group was born.  The group became known as the Telestials and it held and still remains the name of the group to this day.

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

Southern Gospel’s Best Songs: Anchormen

Last week I began a new series highlighting the ten best songs recorded during an artist’s career.  Today I shine the spotlight on the Anchormen.  The Anchormen started in 1979, but didn’t rise to prominence until the late 1980’s with Benny Blackburn (tenor), Biney English (lead) and Terry Carter (baritone).  Here is what I consider to be the ten best songs recorded by the Anchormen during their career thus far.

  1. Behold The King” (David Hill; In Concert, 1992)
  2. “It’s A Wonderful Day” (Biney English; Heart Of The Matter, 1989)

*Video Credit (Dean Adkins)

3. “Borrowed And Barely Used Tomb” (Charles Isbell/Zane King; Believe, 2012)

*Video Credit (GreatAmericanGospel)

4. “Second Time Around” (William Pippin; Adoration, 1995)

5. “I’ve Been Touched” (Biney English; On The Threshold, 1991)

*Video Credit (herecalico)

6. “Giver Of Life” (Craig Hodges/Brian Hord/Shuana Hord; Anticipation, 1997)

7. “I Feel Like Running” (Kenneth Tanner; In Concert, 1992)

8. “The Cross Was Built To Last” (Angelia McKeithen; Nothing Less Than All, 2003)

9. “Where The Milk And Honey Flows” (Terry Howard/Tommy Nelson; Livin’ Our Dream, 2005)

10. “He’s Still Working Miracles” (Jason Runnels; Reflections Of Life, 1999)

And New Artist Of The Year Goes To……

I decided to go back through Southern Gospel awards history to determine how many new artist of the year award winners went on to have lengthy careers.  I used both early Dove Award and Singing News Fan Award winners in this feature.  The first Dove Awards program occurred in 1969 and the Singing News didn’t start awarding new groups until 1988.

The Dove Awards gave away their first most promising new Gospel talent in 1970.  Picking up the trophy was the Galileans.  The Galileans were based out of Texas and had a good run during the 1970’s.  They were the first artist to record songs in Spanish alongside other songs on their recording.  The group would be remembered for songs such as “A Way To Cross Over”, “Born Again Children”, “Born In The Spirit”, “He’s Coming Back Again”, “I’m On Tour”, “Let The World Go By”, “Light On The Shore”, “Me And Jesus”, “Plan Of Salvation”, “Plenty Of Time” and “Redemption Draweth Nigh”.

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

The Dove Awards had no program in 1971 due to controversy but returned in 1972 when London Paris and the Apostles nabbed most promising new Gospel talent.  London is most remembered for his time spent with the Rebels Quartet in the 1960’s.  After a stint with the Blackwood Brothers, London formed the Apostles in 1972.  In the four short years the group performed together, they would release a staggering 16 recordings.  The group never had a signature song or one to chart.

*Video Credit (Garrison’s Vinyl LP Collection)

Another Rebels Quartet alumni would pick up most promising new Gospel talent at the 1973 edition of the Dove Awards.  The John Mathews Family started after John left the Rebels Quartet in 1969.  Another fun fact is that John was JD Sumner’s brother-in-law.  The group would garner their biggest chart song in 1974 with the title track from the album, “The Gospel According To Ole John”.  The group would pick up a couple more hits with “Hallelujah Celebration” and “The Sound Of His Name”.

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

They happened to be the only three new artist awards handed out at the Dove Awards during its Southern Gospel heyday.  Next week we’ll pick up with the Singing News Fan Awards and their first horizon group award winner in 1988.

The Light: Barry Rowland & Deliverance

deliverance2016thelightGRADE:  B

  • Album – The Light
  • Artist – Barry Rowland & Deliverance
  • Label – Horizon Records
  • Style – Traditional, Appalachian
  • Release Date – 03/18/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Barry Rowland and Deliverance release their sixth recording to Southern Gospel listeners with, The Light.  This is the first recording to be released under the Horizon Records label.

Barry keeps the Rowland family tradition alive with the sound/style of the group.  You go back and listen to older recordings from the Rowlands and you hear that signature sound in the current group (Deliverance).

If you are being introduced to the music of Barry Rowland and Deliverance, Barry is the son of noted songwriter Kyla Rowland.  The group is composed of Barry (baritone), Tammy Rowland (lead/alto) and Shawn Rupert (tenor/lead).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Having Kyla Rowland as your mother surely helps in the song department.  The Light is filled with eight Kyla Compositions.  One of my all time favorite Kyla Rowland songs is covered on this newest effort from Deliverance; “He’s Still On The Throne”.  Gold City originally recorded this now classic.  Shawn Rupert turns in a solid performance to make for a must listen.
  • One of the strongest songs on the album happens to be one of the two not penned by Kyla.  “That Tomb Is Still Empty” is a power house number also featuring Shawn that should be considered for future radio single possibilities.
  • The group come together on one of the few mid to up tempo numbers on the album, “Holy, Glory To The Lamb”.  I did have to hit repeat on this song.
  • The album’s opening track happens to be the first radio single from The Light; “God Delivered Me”.  This is the type of song a listener would immediately recognize as a Kyla Rowland song.  I can already see her singing this particular number as only she can.
  • Another Kyla Rowland cover that deserves a mention here is “The Light”.  The first time I heard this song was in 1991 when the Greenes released Carolina Live.  Shawn Rupert takes the song to another level on the second verse.
  • Shawn Rupert shows the versatility of his vocal ability on the song, “So, I’ll Tell Jesus”.  This song departs slightly from the style of the rest of the album to add a bit of variation to the recording.
  • Danny Crawford can be credited with producing The Light.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “That Tomb Is Still Empty”, “Holy, Glory To The Lamb”, “He’s Still On The Throne”, “God Delivered Me”, “So, I’ll Tell Jesus”, “The Light” and “God Understands”.
CRITIQUE:
  • This is the third review in a row where the album is dominated by slow tempo songs.  Artists, please answer this question.  Are there no good up-tempo songs being written at the moment?  You’re making it hard on the listener when the album is dominated by the same tempo.  Pacing is important.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “God’s Word Will Stand” and “Looking At A Risen Lamb”.

WRAP UP:

If you are a fan of Kyla Rowland’s songs, then you definitely want to give The Light a listen.  Hearing the group cover “He’s Still On The Throne”, “The Light” and “Marching In Victory” make for an enjoyable listen.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “God Delivered Me”/Ensemble; Shawn – Kyla Rowland  2. “Looking At A Risen Lamb“/Tammy – Kyla Rowland  3. “The Light”/Ensemble; Shawn – Kyla Rowland  4. “That Tomb Is Still Empty”/Ensemble; Shawn; Tammy – Harvey Gene Smith  5. “God’s Word Will Stand”/Barry – Kyla Rowland  6. “So I’ll Tell Jesus”/Shawn; Tammy – Kyla Rowland  7. “He’s Still On The Throne”/Shawn – Kyla Rowland  8. “God Understands”/Ensemble; Tammy – Claude Ely  9. “Holy Glory To The Lamb”/Ensemble – Kyla Rowland  10. “Marching In Victory”/Shawn; Tammy – Kyla Rowland

*Video Credit (Barry Rowland & Deliverance – Topic)

!!Free Music Monday!!

whisnants2015walkoffaithGot the Monday morning blues?  How about I give away some free music to help ease you back in to another work week.  Let me first take this time to congratulate Phillip for winning the 2016 Southern Gospel March madness competition that concluded last week.  He chose the Kingdom Heirs and they ended up beating Karen Peck and New River in the championship round.  Thanks to everyone who participated and made this year’s contest fun.

Today, in the free give-away, we have the Whisnants 2015 release, Walk Of Faith.  Song listing as follows:

  1. “Joy In The House”
  2. “Worry Ends Where Faith Begins”
  3. “I’m Holding On To Grace”
  4. “Go Out Singing”
  5. “I Love You This Much”
  6. “My God Is So Good To Me”
  7. “Do You Know The Savior”
  8. “A Grave Mistake”
  9. “There Is A Fountain”
  10. “Walk Of Faith”
  11. “Saved Is All You Have To Be”
  12. “Healing Stream”

The first person to email me (sogospelbackrow@gmail.com) the correct answer to the following trivia question will win Walk Of Faith by the Whisnants.

**The Whisnants started as the John Whisnant Family in the early 1970’s.  The group began getting recognized on a national level in the late 1980’s when their songs began charting.  What was the Whisnants first #1 song on the radio singles chart?

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

***CONTEST NOW CLOSED***

Congratulations to Wayne for being the first to correctly guess “Is Anything Too Hard For God” as the Whisnants first #1 radio single.

Southern Gospel’s Best Songs: Steeles

Now that the least remarkable song series has concluded, it is time to get back to looking at the best Southern Gospel music has to offer.  The ten on ten was one of the most popular features when I first started this blog; highlighting an artist’s ten best recordings.

I knew I wanted to then look at the ten best songs an artist recorded in their career.  So, now starts Southern Gospel’s best songs series.  Since I labeled “We Want America Back” by the Steeles the least remarkable recorded in the history of Southern Gospel music, I thought I would include the Steeles in the first feature highlighting the group’s ten best songs.

1. “God Kept His Promise” (Jeff Steele; Southern Steele, 1995)

*Video Credit (gospelvideohub)

2. “On The Road To Emmaus” (Jeff Steele; For The Sake Of The Children, 1999)

3. “I Wanna Go Home” (Jeff Steele; Heaven City Limits, 1991)

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

4. “I Must Tell Somebody” (Jeff Steele; Stirrin’ It Up, 1994)

5. “He Went All The Way” (Ricky Atkinson, Jeff Steele; By Grace, Through Faith, 2002)

6. “But God” (Jeff Steele; Without A Sound, 2015)

7. “Oh What A Mighty God” (Jeff Steele; Southern Steele, 1995)

8. “Another Way Out” (Jeff Steele; It’s By Love, 1998)

9. “Jesus Buried My Past” (Wayne Haun, Jeff Steele; Left Behind, 2000)

10. “I Got Up And Went” (Jeff Steele; Southern Steele, 1995)

*Video Credit (gospelvideohub)

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