Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  Roger Fortner, currently with the McKameys, has had a long career dating back to the early 1970’s with the Inspirations.  Roger also spent time with the Singing Americans, Hoppers and the Greenes at one time in his career.  Roger has only showed his singing prowess over the course of the last decade with the McKameys.

Best Album Openers: “Home”

Lets start a new week by taking a look at another of Southern Gospel’s best album openers.

That opening song on an album sets the tone for the entire recording.  It is even more important when the artist is recording a live album.

This week’s best album opener comes from the Singing Americans’s highly acclaimed 1984 live recording, Live And Alive.  Michael English first recorded this song when performing with the Goodmans.  They were the first to record the song in 1982 (Chosen).

“Home” sets the tone for the rest of the album, which many historians rank as one of the best Southern Gospel albums ever recorded.  The song was a collaboration from the pens of Rusty Goodman, Tanya Goodman Sykes and Aaron Wilburn.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

english-300x300DID YOU KNOW?:  Michael English began his singing career in the 1970’s with his parents and siblings as the Singing Samaritans.  He would sing with them until joining the Singing Americans in 1981.  Southern Gospel listeners know the rest of the story.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  Southern Gospel pianist James Rainey was with a half-dozen groups in the span of a decade, most notably the Singing Americans.  I dare my readers to try to name all of those groups that James was at one time a member.  Beyond his rotation on the piano bench, James was also a songwriter.  His biggest hit was the title track to the Singing Americans 1989 recording; Angels On Board.

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

Ten On Ten (Redux) – Singing Americans

singingamericans1981hymntime500This week the ten on ten (redux) will re-visit the Singing Americans.  On April 16, 2012, I presented the original ten on ten feature for the Singing Americans highlighting the group’s ten best albums.  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 Singing Americans ten best recordings.

  1. Live And Alive (1984)
  2. Black And White (1985)
  3. On Stage (1992)
  4. Homecoming Live (1987)
  5. Sensational (1982)
  6. The Exciting Sounds (1981)
  7. Watch And Pray (1990)
  8. Wanted Live (1975)
  9. Everybody Ought To Praise His Name (1983)
  10. Hearts Of Praise, Songs Of Majesty (1986)

The lowest ranked albums in the Singing Americans discography are as follows:

  1. Hymntime (1981)
  2. Song Of Praise (1993)
  3. Our Tribute To God And Country  (1973)

Smack Down!! – “Black And White”

thesingingamericans1985This week’s smack down feature highlights the recent cover by Triumphant Quartet of the Singing Americans, “Black And White”.

This Danny Bunnelle/Dave Clark penned tune was originally recorded by the Singing Americans in  1985.  Which version comes out on top.  You decide.

  • Artist – Singing Americans
  • Album – Black And White
  • Release Year – 1985
  • Featured Vocalists – Dwayne Burke (1st Verse)


  • triumphantqt2015harmonymaxArtist – Triumphant Quartet
  • Album – Living In Harmony
  • Release Year – 2015
  • Featured Vocalist – David Sutton (2nd Verse)

Enter To Win: Special Saturday Giveaway

Singing AmericansSince I missed yesterday’s giveaway, I decided why not do it today.  Quartet lovers may be happy about this week’s CD.  I went into the prize bag and pulled out the double CD of the Singing Americans 1984 and 1985 albums; Live And Alive and Black And White.

Most Southern Gospel music historians consider both albums among the top five ever released in the history of the genre.  In 2010, Ambur Records re-released both albums on to one packaged double CD.

Song List on Live And Alive:  (1) “Home”  (2) “Something New”  (3) “Glory Road”  (4) “In Gloryland”  (5) “I Bowed On My Knees And Cried Holy”  (6) “I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven For The World”  (7) “Port In The Storm”  (8) “When We All Get To Heaven”  (9) “Over There”  (10) “America, God Still Loves You”  (11) “God Bless America”.

Song List on Black And White:  (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”.

Remember all CDs given away are used (I have been the only owner).  The first person to email me ( the correct response will win this double CD.  This may be the hardest musical montage I have presented, but research is allowed to try to locate the answers.  Please identify the 12 artists in this musical montage.  Good luck.


I guess I wasn’t wrong when I mentioned this would be a hard one.  Of all the responses I received, the closest I got was 10 out of 12.  Therefore, I have crowned Andrew the winner for being able to garner 10 correct responses.  I know he did his research.  Remember, for future reference there is no rules against researching your answers.  Here are the correct responses:

  1. Plainsmen Quartet – “Wonderful Time Up There” (Wonderful Time Up There), 1965
  2. Jody Brown Indian Family – “Heavenly Honey” (A Tribute To The Songs Of Kyla Rowland), 2001
  3. Coy Cook & Senators – “When He Set Me Free” (Movin’ Up), 1971
  4. Wilburns – “He’ll Walk On The Water For Me” (First Class), 1992
  5. Heartland Boys/Quartet – “He’s Making Gold” (Makin’ Gold), 1992
  6. Nancy Harmon & Victory Voices – “Walking The Sea” (I Thank You Lord), 1974
  7. Freedom Quartet – “One Way Flight” (It Made News), 2014
  8. Reinhardts – “Raise Your Hand” (Breaking Out), 1989
  9. Blue Ridge Quartet – “I’ve Come Too Far” (Puts It Together), 1973
  10. Telestials – “Eternal Life” (Jesus Christ, More Than Just A Superstar), 1973
  11. Kingdom Heirs – “I Can See The Hand” (Pure Gold), 1988
  12. Dunaways – “Trial By Fire” (Revival), 2006

The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 1982

cathedrals1982somethingspecial150It is time to take a look at the year 1982 and the twenty best Southern Gospel albums released that year.

dixiemelodyboys1982unclejesse150The Cathedrals were enjoying their first wave of success winning group of the year at the Singing News fan awards.  Heaven Bound won song of the year in 1982 with “Canaanland Is Just In Sight”.  The Nelons also had a good year with Rex winning male vocalist and Kelly winning female vocalist.

“We Shall Behold Him won the song of the year at the Dove Awards for Dottie Rambo while the Rex Nelon Singers picked up Southern Gospel album of the year for One Step Closer.

The twenty best albums released in Southern Gospel music in 1982 are:

  1. Something Special – Cathedrals (Canaan)
  2. singingamericans1982sensational150Chosen – Goodmans (Canaan)
  3. Hinsongs – Hinsons (Calvary)
  4. Live – Gold City (Heart Warming)
  5. Antioch Church Choir (Uncle Jesse) – Dixie Melody Boys (Lifeline)
  6. It’s Out Of This World – Paynes (Windchime)
  7. Sensational – Singing Americans (Mark Five)
  8. Feeling At Home – Rex Nelon Singers (Canaan)
  9. wbs1982alltogethernow150The Broken Rose – Squire Parsons (Dawn)
  10. Your Ride’s On The Way – Kingsmen (Heart Warming)
  11. Genuine – Heaven Bound (Windchime)
  12. Someday – Inspirations (Canaan)
  13. Come To The Wedding – Hoppers (Lifeline)
  14. All Together Now – Wendy Bagwell & Sunliters (Canaan)
  15. Assurance – Dixie Echoes (MorningStar)
  16. And Friends Live – Dixie Melody Boys (Demco)
  17. mckameys1982byfaith150Presenting Opryland’s Gospel Quartet – Cumberland Boys (Opryland USA)
  18. Because He Loved Me – Primitive Quartet (Windchime)
  19. Ready Or Not – Paynes (Windchime)
  20. By Faith – McKameys (MorningStar)


Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best Southern Gospel albums released in 1982.  Enjoy!