Southern Gospel Tidbits

nqc-96DID YOU KNOW?:  We are just over a week away from the 2016 edition of the National Quartet Convention.  It seems as though the NQC becomes less and less buzz worthy each year.  Looking back 20 years to NQC 1996 and the fan awards program that year; these were the artists nominated.

  1. Booth Brothers
  2. Common Bond
  3. Crabb Family
  4. Men Of Music
  5. Ruppes

There are some fairly big names in that list of nominees.  Do you know who won?  Common Bond.  Some of you are probably scratching your head when you see names like Booth, Crabb and Ruppe, but tis true; Common Bond won horizon group at the 1996 fan awards.

*Video Credit (herecalico)


Southern Gospel Tidbits

Cloud-Predictions-2014-700Welcome to 2016!  First official new post of the new year is a little Southern Gospel tidbits.  I thought I would provide some Southern Gospel predictions for 2016.  What do you think?  What are some predictions you have for Southern Gospel music for 2016?

  • With the half-dozen albums coming out in January and those slated for first quarter 2016; I am going to go ahead and say 2016 will top 2015 in terms of Southern Gospel album releases.
  • Amber Nelon Thompson will finally win her first soprano vocalist award from Singing News readers (I’ll stuff the ballot box if I have to).
  • Brian Free & Assurance will call it quits.
  • Canton Junction will decide to do an actual tour (not just six dates).
  • Some artist will continue to cash in on the Cathedral name.
  • The Kingsboys will come together for a reunion tour only to realize they are all now retirement age.
  • The Collingsworth Family will still be Southern Gospel’s favorite group without a #1 song.  Leonardo DeCaprio knows how you feel (Oscar anyone).
  • The Singing Cookes will choose to record another song about mama.
  • The new Crabb Family tour will have limited tour dates, until they come together in two more years for another Crabb Family tour.
  • With the number of personnel changes each group experiences, the Dixie Echoes and Dixie Melody Boys will merge in to The Dixie Melody Echoes.
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will release another landmark album that Southern Gospel listeners will totally ignore.
  • Bill Gaither will remain with the Vocal Band, but only to provide his signature vocal, “boom”, “boom”, “boom”.
  • Gold City will finally realize they are not Gold City without Tim Riley and change the name of the current group.
  • Candy Christmas, Sheri Easter and Tanya Goodman Sykes will come together to record another Heirloom album.
  • The Inspirations announce their retirement.
  • Ivan Parker kicks off his 2016 tour by not wearing his signature hairpiece and everyone in the audience keeps asking each other who is on stage.
  • Karen Peck & New River will celebrate their 25th anniversary by opening and closing their set with “Four Days Late” every night.
  • Scott Fowler will find Benjamin Franklin’s book of secrets and sell it at NQC by providing quotes from everyone but Ben Franklin.
  • The Ruppes will record their first album in over a decade.
  • Tribute Quartet will finally pay Tribute to Tribute and release a greatest hits album.

*In all seriousness, I hope you all have a wonderful 2016 and I am going to leave you with this new song that is already promising to be a big hit for the Wisecarvers in 2016; “Just To Save Me”.

*Video Credit (#TheWisecarvers)

Ten On Ten (Redux) – Crabb Family

crabbfamily2007lettinggomaxThis week the ten on ten (redux) will re-visit the Crabb Family. On November 28th, 2011, I presented the original ten on ten feature for the Crabb Family highlighting the group’s ten best albums. Since that time, the group released Together Again (2012).  This redux feature will also shine the spotlight on the three lowest ranking albums of the group’s career thus far.  First, the original list highlighting the group’s ten best recordings.

  1. Pray (1999)
  2. Driven (2004)
  3. Yesterday, Today And Forever (1997)
  4. The Walk (2003)
  5. Living Out The Dream (2001)
  6. Prayer In Motion (1998)
  7. Alive And Kickin (1996)
  8. Still Holding On (1996)
  9. Live From Kentucky (2000)
  10. Crabb Grass (2000)


  1. Pray (1999)
  2. Driven (2004)
  3. Yesterday, Today And Forever (1997)
  4. crabbfamily2006blurthelinesmaxThe Walk (2003)
  5. Living Out The Dream (2001)
  6. Prayer In Motion (1998)
  7. Alive And Kickin (1996)
  8. Still Holding On (1996)
  9. Together Again (2012)**
  10. Live From Kentucky (2000)

The lowest ranked albums in the Crabb Family’s discography are as follows:

  1. Letting Go (2007)
  2. Blur The Lines (2006)
  3. The Locket (1999)

Enter To Win: Friday Fun Give Away

crabbfamily1996stillholdinonmaxWhen I ran Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row before I always enjoyed giving away free music.  I thought I would use the next couple Fridays to give my readers a few puzzles to solve in order to win some classic Southern Gospel music.

All music comes from my personal collection.  The classic CDs being given away are used, but I have been the only owner.  Up for grabs today is the Crabb Family’s 1996 Zion Records album, Still Holdin’ On.  The hit songs from this recording included “Something Going On In The Graveyard”, “Still Holdin’ On” and “Where We’ll Never Die”.

The first person to accurately answer the series of puzzles/trivia will win this classic CD.  Be sure to email all responses to me (  Do not leave answers in the comments section as to ruin it for everyone else.  Once the prize has been won I will reveal the answers to everyone else.  I have no problem researching answers.  Enjoy!

  1. Which one of the following is not like the others?  (Karen Peck & New River, Kingdom Heirs, Kingsboys, Kellys)
  2. 1997 was the year, “Power In Prayer” was the song.  Who was the artist?
  3. Arrange the following artists chronologically in the order they were a part of Southern Gospel music. (Brian Free & Assurance, Lamar Sego Family, Roy Knight Singers, Sons Of Song, Triumphant Quartet)
  4. Finally, identify the five artists heard in this musical mash-up.


Congratulations to Cody for being the first to answer correctly.  He wins the Crabb Family’s, Still Holdin’ On recording.  Keep an eye out over the next couple Friday’s as I give more classic Southern Gospel music away.  The answers to this week’s puzzles/trivia are as follows:

  1. Karen Peck & New River (the only artist listed of the four that didn’t start with a ‘K’ and end with and ‘S’).
  2. Perrys
  3. Sons Of Song, Lamar Sego Family, Roy Knight Singers, Brian Free & Assurance, Triumphant Quartet
  4. Greenes (“Angels Everywhere”), Joseph Habedeank (“Never No Never”), Lanny Wolfe Trio (“Jesus Is Still The Answer”), Gold City (“I’m Losing My Mind”) and Dixie Melody Boys (“Giver Of Amazing Grace”)

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!

Most Influential – #14 – Crabb Family

Crabb FamilyThis week continues with the artist ranked 14th among the most influential in Southern Gospel history; the Crabb Family.

The Crabb Family burst on the scene in the late 1990’s.  The song “Please Forgive Me” immediately shot the group to superstar status in Southern Gospel music.  Then, “Through The Fire” took them even further.

The Crabb Family’s country-style Southern Gospel music put them in the same league as the Hinsons in terms of the influence that style group had in Southern Gospel.

The Crabb Family’s influence can be seen in the many groups born out of the original group.


  • crabbfamily1999praymaxA large portion of the influence generated by the Crabb Family can be attributed to the songwriting talents of patriarch, Gerald Crabb.  He penned the majority of the group’s biggest songs.
  • The Crabb Family’s influence can/could be seen in the following artists:  11th Hour, Akins, Arenos, Austins Bridge, Bowling Family, Browders, Aaron & Amanda Crabb, Jason Crabb, Crawford Crossing, Crystal River, Fresh Anointing, Chris Hester, Hoskins Family, McRaes, Red Roots, Shaffer Band, Sneed Family and Zach & Rodney.
  • One interesting tidbit about the Crabb Family is the fact they entered the NQC talent search and lost.  It was a few short years later that “Please Forgive Me” hit #1 and changed everything.
  • Hit Songs:  “Almost Home”, “The Cross”, “Good Day”, “Greater Is He”, “He Came Looking For Me”, “I Sure Miss You”, “If There Ever Was A Time”, “I’m Running On”, “Jesus In A Song”, “Lamb, Lion And The King”, “Please Come Down To Me”, “Please Forgive Me”, “Reason That I’m Standing”, “Shepherd’s Call”, “Something Going On In The Graveyard”, “Still Holdin’ On”, “That’s No Mountain”, “Through The Fire”, “Trail Of Tears”, “The Walk”, “When It’s My Time”, “Where We’ll Never Die”.
  • Best Album:  Pray (1999)


Here is a YouTube clip, published by  D L, of the group performing an early hit; “Still Holdin’ On”.  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!

VOTE – Best Southern Gospel Album Cover

Last week, the Rebels Quartet was given the dubious honor of having the worst Southern Gospel album cover for their 1961 album What Then.  This week will allow you to vote on the album you consider the best Southern Gospel album cover.  These were the eight highest ranked covers.  I have provided thumbnails (click for larger image).


Driven – Crabb Family (2004)


A Tribute To Mosie Lister – Dove Brothers Quartet (2004)


Places To Go, People To See – Hoskins Family (2003)


Pure Vintage – Inspirations (2001)


London – Legacy Five (2003)


I Love To Tell The Story – Mark Lowry (2007)


Simplicity Too – Old Paths (2011)


Here We Are Again – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (2012)