Dave Kyllonen Passed Away

  • Posted on March 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm

I found out today that Dave Kyllonen, formerly of the Couriers, has gone Home to be with Jesus. Growing up in Maryland, the Couriers were popular on the one southern gospel station I could get but I only saw them one time outside of NQC, and that was a number of years ago in my current state of Michigan. I appreciated how the group never lost their focus.

My heart goes out to Dave’s friends and family. Please keep them in your prayers.

Les Beasley Passes Away

  • Posted on November 18, 2018 at 2:41 pm

This morning, I awoke to the news that another southern gospel icon has gone on to Heaven. Although I’ve seen Les at the National Quartet Convention, I didn’t really know him. My impression of him was a man who loved people and always took time for them no matter how busy he probably was. He always seemed to be smiling. My heart goes out to those who were close to him. Please pray for the Beasley family and all those who knew and loved him.

Another Death in the Brady Family

  • Posted on December 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm

The last couple years have been rough for Jim Brady and his family. Last year, Jim’s dad and sister went on to Heaven within a short time of each other. The other night, Jim’s older brother Chuck was killed in a car accident. Please keep the Brady Family in your prayers once again. May God grant them comfort like only He can.

47th Annual Singing News Fan Award Winners

  • Posted on September 30, 2016 at 11:24 am

The Singing News Fan Awards program occurred Wednesday afternoon. For those who haven’t heard who the winners were, I’ll list them below.

Soloist: Ivan Parker

New Artist: Goodman Revival
They sang the Happy Goodman’s hit song, “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.”

Band: Kingdom Heirs
Dennis Murphy thanked everyone for their prayers. He mentioned that they’ve had a rough few years and commented on how God underestimates how much they can handle. The fact that they are still going, though, is proof that God is giving them strength in spite of the storms. It was a reminder to me to keep them in my prayers.

Mixed Group: The Collingsworth Family

Soprano: Kim Hopper

Tenor: Michael Booth

Radio Station: WJBX (Knoxville)

Pianist: Kim Collingsworth

Songwriter: Rodney Griffin

Alto: Connie Hopper

Lead: Ronnie Booth

Trio: The Booth Brothers

Young Artist: Riley Harrison Clark
Tribute sang “Nothing Stops the Savior’s Love,” which features Riley.

Bass: Eric Bennett

Baritone: Mark Trammell
Mark quoted Psalm 1:1 in his acceptance speech. He also commented about his ministry: “While it’s the joy of my life, it’s also the greatest responsibility other than providing for my family.”

Quartet: Triumphant
They then sang their popular song, “Saved By Grace.”

Song: Amazing God (Triumphant)

Album: Living in Harmony (Triumphant)

Artist: Booth Brothers

Gerald Wolfe and Jason Crabb hosted the evening. They began and ended the awards show with the song, “Bye and Bye.” At one point, Gerald talked about how, whether you like it or not, people are watching you. He told the audience, “I know you’re human so you’re not perfect but do your best not to disappoint those who look up to you.” This applies to all Christians.

Each group that had a song nominated for song of the year sang those songs. They are as follows:

Greater Vision: “Put Out the Fire”
Triumphant: “Amazing God”
Karen Peck and New River: “Pray Now”
Wilburn & Wilburn: “You Asked Him to Leave”The Whisnants: “Worry Ends Where Faith Begins”

Loren Harris Joins the Kingdom Heirs

  • Posted on September 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm

The Kingdom Heirs announced yesterday that Loren Harris will be their new baritone, replacing Brian Alvey who recently left the group. It’s been a while since I have been excited about a group change, but I am very happy that Loren will be back on the NQC main stage this year. I won’t be attending the convention, but I plan to watch it online, and I’ll be making a point especially to see the Kingdom Heirs set.

Barbara Riley Passes Away

  • Posted on April 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I was saddened to hear about the sudden death of Barbara Riley, wife to Tim Riley and mother of Daniel Riley (Gold City), Amy Riley Strickland, and the late Doug Riley. I used to wish I could meet her, as I thought she must have been a strong woman. I was also impressed with the fact that her husband and sons seemed to think the world of her. In an age where so many marriages don’t last, she and Tim remained faithful to God and to each other.  Please keep the Riley family in your prayers during this time.

The LeFevre Quartet Has a New Bass Singer

  • Posted on January 27, 2016 at 6:51 pm

And the winner is … Jonathan Epley! Jonathan previously sang with the Inspirations and, more recently, the Ball Brothers. I’ve no doubt that he will be a good addition to The LeFevre Quartet. Besides Jon, the quartet consists of Mike LeFevre, Jordan LeFevre, and Jeremy Peace. I will be watching their schedule and hope to see them the next time they come to my area.

The Statesmen Are Back!

  • Posted on January 21, 2016 at 7:35 pm

Back in the 1960s, I don’t think there was a quartet as lively as The Statesmen Quartet with Hovie Lister.  They were before my time, but I love watching the old videos of Jake ‘s expressions and Hovie’s exciting piano playing. They took Southern Gospel Music to a whole new level and left quite a legacy.

AG Publicity announced today that The Statesmen Quartet is making a come back.  The members of the original group are no longer around; however, Hovie Walker (who was named after Hovie Lister) is putting together a group, which he says will have the “same class and quality of sound” as the old Statesmen that everyone loved.

The group will consist of Hovie Walker singing bass, Deon Unthank singing baritone, and Wallace Nelms singing tenor. They are currently taking auditions for a lead. If you are interested in auditioning, you may email Hovie at

Thinking of LaBreeska Hemphill

  • Posted on December 11, 2015 at 11:39 am

Probably the second song I ever sang in public was “He’s Still Working on Me,” made popular by The Hemphills back in the 1980s. This group (consisting of Joel and LaBreeska Hemphill and their children: Joey, Trent, and Candy) became one of my favorites but, unfortunately, they disbanded before I had the opportunity to see them in person.

I was sad to hear of LaBreeska’s Homegoing this week, but I’ve no doubt she is with the Savior she sang about for a lot of years. LaBreeska was one of the classy ladies of our genre, as well as a great singer. Her song, “An Unfinished Task,” is one I sing from time to time as a prayer to the Lord. I share it here to give you something to ponder the next several weeks. Is there something God has called you to do which you are procrastinating about? Tomorrow is not promised. Today is the day to serve God wholeheartedly so that, when He calls you Home, you know you have run the race and kept the faith and are now ready to see Him.

Tribute to Carroll McGruder

  • Posted on September 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I am saddened to hear of Carroll McGruder’s Homegoing this past week. I never had the opportunity of seeing The McGruders in concert but their songs have blessed me for the past 30 years. I remember in the mid-1980s listening to “Special,” “I’m Going Home With Jesus,” “Saved By Grace,” and many other hits penned by Mr. McGruder.

In the 1980s or ’90s, The Singing News published an article telling how Carroll and Priscilla met and married. It was such an inspiring story, made even more special by the fact that they remained married for 34 years when God took Priscilla Home.

On January 26, 2013, Carroll married again. I am sure this must be a difficult time for his relatively new bride, as well as His children, but God’s timing is always perfect, and I know Mr. McGruder would not like to return to this world. He is finally Home with Jesus and is now one of the “special” that calls Heaven his Home.