Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  John Stemberg sang baritone with the Anchormen for a couple of years between 1998 and 2000.  I believe the only album John recorded with the Anchormen was Reflections Of Life (1999).

John left the Anchormen to try his hand at acting.  He wrote the screenplay and acted in a 2006 crime drama film, Legit.  John also did some theater, acting in a stage production of The Beverly Hillbillies.


Ten On Ten (Redux) – Anchormen

anchormen2008foundationsThis week the ten on ten (redux) will re-visit the Anchormen.  On April 24, 2012, I presented the original ten on ten feature for the Anchormen highlighting the group’s ten best albums.  Since that time the group released Journey (2013), Tapestry (2015) and Strength Renewed (2016).  None of the three changed the original top ten list.  This redux feature will now shine the spotlight on the three lowest ranking albums of the group’s career.  First, the original list highlighting the Anchormen’s ten best recordings.

  1. Adoration (1995)
  2. Believe (2012)
  3. Nothing Less Than All (2003)
  4. In Concert (1992)
  5. On The Threshold (1991)
  6. Reflections Of Life (1999)
  7. Glory Ahead (2006)
  8. Come To The Fountain (1994)
  9. Heart Of The Matter (1989)
  10. Livin’ Our Dream (2005)

The lowest ranked albums in the Anchormen discography are as follows:

  1. Foundations (2008)
  2. Inspired (1984)
  3. Journey  (2013)

Strength Renewed: Anchormen

anchormen2016strengthrenewedGRADE:  B

  • Album – Strength Renewed
  • Artist – Anchormen
  • Label – Custom
  • Style – Traditional
  • Release Date – 07/08/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)


The Anchormen may very well have the best vocal line-up in over twenty years.  The 2016 edition of the Anchormen is composed of Chris Jenkins (tenor), Phillip Hughes (lead), Terry Carter (baritone) and Will Lane (bass).

For all you traditional quartet music lovers who think traditional Southern Gospel music is being overlooked need to look no further than this newest recording from the Anchormen.

Strength Renewed is a ten song collection of mostly song covers, but many done in a way that they sound new.


  • The Anchormen are at the best on the song, “The Hand Of The Lord”.  Chris takes the second verse and knocks it out of the park.  I was impressed with Chris in his time spent with the Kingsmen.  The Anchormen have picked up one of the best tenors in the industry.  Send this song to radio now!
  • Chris takes command of another stand out track, “I Heard About A Man”.  Fans have taken notice as Chris was among the top ten contenders in this year’s Singing News Fan Awards.  He keeps singing like this it won’t be his last.
  • I am a sucker for a nice up-tempo traditional Southern Gospel quartet song.  There have been plenty throughout the genre’s history.  The Anchormen go back and cover a classic, classic.  One song old enough that it sounds brand new.  You have to hear, “I’m Ready” and good luck if you don’t end up repeating this song several times before finishing the recording.
  • It was good to see Terry Carter, an original member of the group, return several years ago.  He defines the Anchormen, in my opinion.  My first memories of the Anchormen in the late 1980’s was Terry’s emcee work and commanding baritone vocal.  Terry is featured on the album’s opening number, “Walking On”.  Another fun up-tempo song that will have you singing along.
  • Congrats to the Anchormen on producing/releasing a recording they can be proud of.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this newest effort.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “The Hand Of The Lord”, “I’m Ready”, “Walking On”, “I Heard About A Man”, “I’m Gonna Run” and “Wherever I Am”.
  • Will Lane is a very talented bass singer.  He is featured on three classics; “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings”, “Run On” and “The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power”.  How many times have these songs already been recorded, especially “Run On”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Run On” and “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings”.


There have been some decent Southern Gospel quartet recordings released thus far in 2016.  You can add the Anchormen’s, Strength Renewed to that list.  Give it a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Walking On”/Ensemble; Terry – Michael Wayne Smith  2. “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings“/Will – James Easter  3. “Hand On The Plow”/Phillip – Shane Roark  4. “I Heard About A Man”/Chris – Paul Rhoden  5. “Run On”/Will – Traditional  6. “I’m Ready”/Ensemble – David Hill  7. “Wherever I Am”/Phillip – Shara McKee  8. “The Hand Of The Lord“/Ensemble; Chris – John Mathis, Rebecca Peck  9. “I’m Gonna Run”/Phillip – Traditional  10. “The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power”/Will – Andrae Crouch

*Video Credit (The Anchormen – Topic)

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)

The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 2003

legacyfive2003londonmaxHave you ever wondered what the best Southern Gospel albums were, by year?  I have attempted to come up with a list of the 20 definitive albums released by year.  Look back over this category to see the years already covered.  Today I want to go back ten years to the year 2003.

goldcity2003walkthetalk1502003 was one of the best years in the modern era of Southern Gospel music for albums released.  I weeded through a list of over 60 albums to come up with what I consider to be the 20 best.

Gold City (quartet), Hoppers (mixed group) and Greater Vision (trio) won their respective categories at the Singing News fan awards in 2003.  Album of the year was Quartets (Greater Vision) and song of the year went to “We Need To Thank God” (Jeff Steele) performed by the Inspirations.

The Crabb Family dominated the Dove awards winning Southern Gospel song (“Don’t You Wanna Go”) and Southern Gospel album (A Crabb Collection).

lordsong2003refusetobeafraid150The twenty best albums released in 2003 are:

  1. London – Legacy Five (Daywind)
  2. Great Day – Hoppers (SpringHill)
  3. Going On With The Song – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite)
  4. Quartets – Greater Vision (Daywind)
  5. Walk The Talk – Gold City (Cathedral)
  6. This Is The Day – Perrys (Daywind)
  7. rac2003betterland150Stand By Me – Signature Sound Quartet (Cathedral)
  8. Booth Brothers – Booth Brothers (SpringHill)
  9. The Walk – Crabb Family (Daywind)
  10. Places To Go, People To See – Hoskins Family (Daywind)
  11. Refuse To Be Afraid – LordSong (Daywind)
  12. Greater Still – Brian Free & Assurance (Daywind)
  13. Betterland – Ricky Atkinson & Compassion (Lamp Music Group)
  14. Nothing Less Than All – Anchormen (AMG)
  15. dunaways2003beautifulday150Born Again – Dove Brothers Quartet (Ambur)
  16. The Message – Talley Trio (Horizon)
  17. For His Glory – Karen Peck & New River (SpringHill)
  18. A Thing Called Love – Taranda Greene (ACA)
  19. Beautiful Day – Dunaways (Family Music Group)
  20. Remember The Time – Down East Boys (Crossroads)


Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best albums released in Southern Gospel music in 2003.  Enjoy!

The Fab Five – October 2013

Fall 2013 is upon us as we turn the page on another month.  October is here and it is time to look at the most played radio songs in my iPod over the preceding month.  It was dominated by quartets as the Anchormen, LeFevre Quartet and Old Paths all have songs in the top five.  The top five was rounded out by a current radio single by Devin McGlamery and Greater Vision.  Enjoy!







Devin McGlamery












LeFevre Qt






Old Paths






The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 1992

goldcity1992pillarsoffaith150This week I wanted to offer another definitive Southern Gospel collection feature.  The year is 1992 and I poured through 76 album releases to come up with the 20 albums that were the best released that year.

wilburns1992firstclass150Gold City was dominating the Singing News fan awards winning group of the year along with nearly all male vocal categories.  The Kingsmen won album and song of the year for Wish You Were Here.  The horizon group in 1992 was the Mullins.

Homecoming from the Gaither Vocal Band won the Dove award for Southern Gospel album of the year as Bruce Carroll picked up Southern Gospel album at the Grammy awards for Sometimes Miracles Hide.

The twenty definitive albums released in Southern Gospel music in 1992 are as follows:

  1. Pillars Of Faith – Gold City (RiverSong)
  2. Mention My Name – Hoppers (Sonlite)
  3. One More Hallelujah – Hinsons (Calvary)
  4. First Class – Wilburns (MorningStar)
  5. One Step Forward – Mullins (Canaan)kingdomheirs1992extraordinary150
  6. It’s Just Like Heaven – Greater Vision (RiverSong)
  7. Restoration – Karen Peck & New River (Pinnacle)
  8. Extraordinary – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite)
  9. Live In Atlanta – Isaacs (MorningStar)
  10. Revival – Statesmen (Canaan)
  11. Safe In Christ – Greenes (ACA)
  12. On Stage – Singing Americans (Dawn)
  13. Once Was Enough – Freemans (Calvary)
  14. Master Of The Wind – JD Sumner & Stamps (RiverSong)whiteriver1992rodeopreacher150
  15. No 2 Ways About It – Bishops (MorningStar)
  16. In Concert – Anchormen (Mark Five)
  17. Until He Comes – Ruppes (Summit)
  18. Livin Forever – Heaven Bound (Benson)
  19. Livin’ The Good Life – McGruders (Sonlite)
  20. Rodeo Preacher – White River (Homeland)


Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best albums of 1992.  Enjoy!

The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 1999

greatervision1999farbeyondthisplacemaxThis week, the definitive Southern Gospel collection series shines the spotlight on the year 1999.

The year 1999 will be forever remembered as the year the Cathedrals would retire from the road.  They won quartet of the year at the Singing News fan awards while the Hoppers (mixed group) and Greater Vision (trio) won their respective categories.  The Cathedrals won album of the year (Faithful) as Greater Vision picked up song of the year (“My Name Is Lazarus”).

The Gaither Vocal Band swept the Dove Awards winning Southern Gospel album (Still The Greatest Story Ever Told) and Southern Gospel recorded song of the year (“I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary”).  The Homecoming Series also captured the Grammy award in 1999 for the Kennedy Center Homecoming.

kingsmen1999shelter150The Twenty Best Albums Released in Southern Gospel in 1999:

  1. Far Beyond This Place – Greater Vision (Daywind)
  2. Pray – Crabb Family (Family Music Group)
  3. Shelter – Kingsmen (Horizon)
  4. God Is Good – Gaither Vocal Band (SpringHill)
  5. Signed Sealed Delivered – Gold City (Daywind)
  6. Walkin’ On The Good Side – Booth Brothers (Elim)
  7. Strong In The Strength – Legacy Five (Homeland)
  8. poetvoices1999pilgrimsongmaxTurn It Loose – Karen Peck & New River (SpringHill)
  9. The Final Sessions – JD Sumner & Stamps (New Haven)
  10. The Journey Home – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite)
  11. Forgiveness – Tony Gore & Majesty (Promised Land)
  12. Harbor Of Hope – Ruppes (SpringHill)
  13. Wonderful Story – Greenes (New Haven)
  14. Pilgrim Song – Poet Voices (Sonlite)
  15. Life Story – Talley Trio (Parable)
  16. A Brighter Day – Paid In Full (Custom)
  17. comptons1999liveinsavannah150Absolutely Positively Live – Perrys (Daywind)
  18. Windows – Martins (SpringHill)
  19. Reflections Of Life – Anchormen (Zion)
  20. Live In Savannah – Comptons (Galilee)

Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best Southern Gospel albums released in 1999.  Enjoy!