Smack Down!! – Singing Americans – Round 1

This week’s artist album smack down finds another classic albums match up; the Singing Americans.  Listen to sound bytes of each recording and then vote for the album you think should win.

  • thesingingamericans1985Album – Black And White
  • Release Year – 1985
  • Vocal Line Up – Rick Strickland (tenor), Michael English (lead), Ed Hill (baritone), Dwayne Burke (bass)
  • Song List – (1) “Black And White” (2) “Jesus Got A Hold Of Me” (3) “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (4) “I’d Still Want To Go” (5) “Victory Side” (6) “Welcome To Heaven” (7) “Great Day” (8) “I Want To Make Heaven My Home” (9) “After Awhile” (10) “God Be With You, Till We Meet Again”


  • singingamericans1983Album – Everybody Ought To Praise His Name
  • Release Year – 1983
  • Vocal Line Up – Danny Funderburk (tenor), Clayton Inman (lead), Ed Hill (baritone), Dwayne Burke (bass)
  • Song List – (1) “Pearly Gates” (2) “Thank You Lord” (3) “The Galilean” (4) “He’s The God Of The Living” (5) “Long Winding Road” (6) “I’m Happy In The Lord Anyway” (7) “What Will You Do With Jesus” (8) “Brand New Dawning” (9) “I Met My Savior There” (10) “Everybody Ought To Praise His Name”

10 thoughts on “Smack Down!! – Singing Americans – Round 1

  1. I was excited to see this. I then thought you might give me a tougher choice between “Black and White” and say “Live and Alive” or even a couple of other entries. This one was a piece of cake. “Black and White” it is.

  2. I’m surprised this one isn’t a shutout. “Black and White” was a defining album in SG music. Artists who were singing then or were fans then as kids STILL talk about that album as one of their all-time favorites.

    1. “Black and White” is often mentioned (or at least pretty close) in the same breath as “Symphony of Praise” and “Pillars of Faith” I think.

      1. I would actually put “Black and White” and “Pillars of Faith” way ahead of “Symphony of Praise.” When the Singing News did the “Youth In Gospel” feature, the three most mentioned favorite projects were “B & W”, “Pillars”, and “Live And Alive.” My take on “Symphony” is that it didn’t begin receiving the reverence it does now until Greater Vision went to Budapest to record with an orchestra and started dominating the industry.

      2. They are all quality projects. Symphony might be the first to invest the money and effort on such a scale (although the Cathedrals maybe sort of did that with “With Brass” and “With Strings”some twenty years earlier and the Oaks did a year or two before that with “Folk Songs for Spiritual Minded Folk” and “With Sounds of Nashville”).

        Pillars sort of stepped Gold City up to a new level too, but I think “Black and White” might have done more to inspire the young ones at the time .

      3. I agree with Brandon – “Symphony of Praise” was a standout album and had several “firsts” for gospel music, but over the years the albums I’ve heard mentioned more often than any other are the same 3 that Brandon mentioned – “Black and White”, “Pillars of Faith” and “Live and Alive”. What does that say about where the SG recording industry is now that the most recent of these was recorded in 1992? There are some good recordings produced now for sure, but hardly anybody seems to quote them by their titles and people say “yeah, THAT’S a good one!” anymore.

  3. “Black and White” was an obvious choice for me, although I like the lineup on both versions of the SingAms that are represented here. I’ve had both of these albums since I was a teenager and they were new and like both very much, but as others have said, “Black and White” is an iconic album in this genre’s history.

    As a matter of fact, my two favorite groups during this era of southern gospel were the Singing Americans and the Cathedrals with probably the SingAms being a little ahead. Unfortunately, I never got to see them live with Micheal English. They came to my town for a Christmas banquet concert about 2 weeks after he left to go with Gaither.

      1. It was sometime in late Nov or early Dec of 1985. Ed Hill was there, but Mike Lefevre was also traveling with them. I know Mike filled in for Ed after the bus wreck, but don’t recall Mike singing at this event. I don’t know when the bus wreck occurred. The vocal lineup that night was Strickland-Inman-Hill-Burke.

  4. Tony…. I’m afraid referring to projects by titles and thinking of them as complete works is almost a thing of the past. That is just the way it is with so many people buying and listening to music digitally. Even if someone buys a CD or a full project of mp3s, they will only leave their favorite songs on their iPod or phone after they listen to the project a couple of times.

    A little bit of a tangent (not that this isn’t already on a tangent from the original post), but I’d be very curious to see the percentages of entire project purchases vs. individual tracks from somewhere like Crossroads or even from a group that offers their music digitally.

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