Top Ten Back Then

I thought today we would go in to the vault and look at a top ten back then selection from May 1982.

35 years ago this month, Heaven Bound had a top ten hit with the Jeff Gibson penned, “Canaanland Is Just In Sight”.  From the 1981 recording, Thinkin’ ‘Bout Home, the, now classic, song found a home at #3 on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.

Other Memorable Moments from May 1982:

  • Gato Del Sol wins the 108th Kentucky Derby.
  • IBM releases PC-DOS version 1.1.
  • Pulitzer prize was awarded to John Updike.
  • Chicago Cubs won their 8,000th game.
  • Pope John Paul II was the first reigning pope to visit Great Britain since 1531.

And New Artist Of The Year Goes To…

Today, I wanted to pick up with the artists, in Southern Gospel’s history, that have won a new artist award.  Did the group go on to have a lengthy career?

We are currently looking at Singing News fan award winners for horizon group.  Last time we looked at the years 1988/1989/1990.  Today we pick up with 1991.

Another quartet was awarded horizon group in 1991; Perfect Heart.  JD Sumner labeled them the million dollar quartet in the article he used to write for Singing News.  The group was definitely a whose who of top-notch talent.

The Mullins were the first non-quartet to win the horizon group award, when they captured the prize in 1992.  Their energetic stage performances alongside great humor and a Southern/Edgy Country style endeared them to many fans.

We’ll close out today’s segment with the Kevin Spencer Family, who won horizon group in 1993.  Kevin spent many years with his parents/siblings as the Spencers.  Their success in the 1980’s allowed Kevin Spencer and his group to find an instant fan base.

Unlike the last segment where all three winners are still touring, none of today’s winners tour any longer.

And New Artist Of The Year Goes To…

If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you are probably aware there are times I will start what seems to be a feature and then never continue.  A direct result of too many ideas always floating around in my brain.

In April of 2016, I had a POST where 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 wanted to use both early Dove Award and Singing News Fan Award winners in this feature.  The post only featured early Dove Award winners.  I thought I would finally pick up this feature and continue with Singing News fan award winners for horizon group.

Singing News awarded the first horizon group in 1988.  Interesting enough, the Dixie Melody Boys won.  After a lengthy career leading up to 1988, the Dixie Melody Boys diverted to Christian country music in the mid 80s and eventually became the DMB Band.  Fans reacted when Ed put the traditional quartet back together and awarded him with horizon group in ’88.

Another quartet, which is now a staple among Southern Gospel listeners, the Kingdom Heirs, were handed horizon group in ’89.  Rick Strickland (tenor), David McGill (lead), Steve French (baritone) and Bob Caldwell (bass) was the vocal line-up at this time.

We’ll close today’s segment with yet another quartet win for horizon group.  1990 saw the award go to the Down East Boys.  After a string of strong recordings in the late 80’s, this win was no surprise.  Speaking of lengthy careers, all three award winners highlighted are still touring today!

Top Ten Back Then

#6 (176x200)Happy Monday! I thought today we would go in to the vault and look at a top ten back then selection from January 1988.

29 years ago this month, the Mid South Boys had a top ten hit with the Robby McGee penned, “City Lights”.  From the 1987 recording, City Lights, the song found a home at #6 on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.

1988Other Memorable Moments from January 1988:

  • Miami beat Oklahoma for the college football championship.
  • Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century.
  • Willie Stargell was elected to the baseball hall of fame.
  • Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the US Supreme Court.
  • The Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

Top Ten Back Then

#9I thought today we would go in to the vault and look at a top ten back then selection from September 1977.

39 years ago this month, the Speers had a top ten hit with the Harold Lane penned, “It Had To Be Love”.  From the 1976 recording, Between The Cross And Heaven, “It Had To Be Love” found a home at #9 on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.

1977Other Memorable Moments from September 1977:

  • The first TRS-80 model 1 computer sold.
  • Detroit Tigers rookies Lou Whitaker and Allan Trammell debut together.  They ultimately played 19 years together.
  • The first TV viewer discretion warning was issued.
  • GM introduces first US diesel vehicle.
  • The Love Boat premiered on television.

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

Top Ten Back Then

no8-desktoplogo (236x250)This week, I decided to step back 31 years to June 1985.  The biggest quartets of the era (Cathedrals, Florida Boys, Gold City, Inspirations, Singing Americans) had a song in the top ten in June 1985.  The Kingsmen, also part of that list, would find a home at #8 for the month.

The Felecia Shiflett penned, “Empty Vessel”, from the Kingsmen’s 1984 recording, The Game Of Life, spent the month of June 1985 at #8 on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.  This was the most successful single from this particular album.  The song would go on to peak out in the top five.

1985 (250x233)Other Happenings In June 1985:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics for the NBA championship.
  • After the disaster of New Coke, Coca Cola announced they would bring back their classic formula.
  • Earl Weaver came out of retirement to manage the Baltimore Orioles.
  • A bomb destroyed Air India flight 747 near Ireland, killing 329.

*Video Credit (herecalico)

Top Ten Back Then

2As we kick off a holiday weekend in the United States, I thought I would hop in the time machine and go back 41 years to May 1975.

As the Happy Goodmans, “What A Beautiful Day”, was dominating the #1 spot on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart; the Rambos spent quite a few months in the runner-up spot.  Never able to crack the #1 spot, “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City” did become a major hit nonetheless.  In May 1975, the song was camping out at the #2 spot on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.

1975This will go down as one of Dottie Rambo’s greatest compositions.

Other May 1975 Happenings:

  • Baseball’s one-millionth run was recorded by Houston Astros, Bob Watson.
  • President Ford declared end to the Vietnam Era.
  • Muhammad Ali won his 11th heavyweight boxing title.
  • The Golden State Warriors won the 29th NBA championship.
  • Bobby Unser wins the Indianapolis 500.

Top Ten Back Then

3 (250x250)It is time to step back in to Southern Gospel radio chart history; this time, forty-six years to May 1970.  The Singing News began publishing a radio singles chart in January of 1970, so this was only the fifth chart released for the publication.

A trio, by the name of the Orrells, would garner their highest charting radio single in May 1970 when, “Going Home” landed at #3.  This now classic Bill and Gloria Gaither penned tune was first being heard during this time.  The song was found on the Orrells 1969 album, Sings It Like It Is.

modsun-1970 (250x250)The Orrells was composed of Wayne Hilton (tenor), Gordon Jensen (lead) and Larry Orrell (baritone).

Other May 1970 Happenings:

  • The first female jockey participated in the Kentucky Derby.
  • The NY Knicks beat the LA Lakers in the NBA championship.
  • Long & Winding Road was the last Beatles release in America.
  • Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run while Hank Aaron earned his 3000th hit.
  • Al Unser won the Indianapolis 500.

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