Welcome to our first-ever mid-week episode of #NewsNuggets. A slew of news items came out yesterday, so it might be best to get all the current information out to you right away rather than waiting until Monday. Dig in…
- Last night, Homecoming Magazine’s Facebook page was re-named “BackHome Magazine.” Their Twitter page name has also been changed to “BackHome Magazine.” There’s a brand new website at backhomemag.com as well. (homecomingmagazine.com was still actively displaying the old Homecoming Magazine branding as this article was being prepared.)
- The Inspirations announced that pianist, manager, emcee, and co-owner Martin Cook has retired from all of his roles with the group. Original tenor Archie Watkins is now the new owner and manager. (Watkins retired from traveling with the group eight years ago.)
- The Freemans announced the engagement of drummer Caylon Freeman to Valerie Crist. Crist sang with the Crist Family in their final year traveling before they retired from singing in 2914.
- The Gospel Music Association announced their 2017 Hall Of Fame inductees. These include original Gaither Vocal Band tenor Steve Green, Yolanda Adams, Gold City Quartet, and Reunion Records founders Michael Blanton and Dan Harrell. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 9, at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena.
- The Gospel Music Association also announced the following individuals and organizations will be honored during the ceremony for the positive impact they have made on our culture. This year’s honorees include Amy Grant/Helping Hands; Dr. Shirley Caesar/Shirley Caesar Outreach Ministries; Natalie Grant/Hope for Justice; and Compassion International.
- The Gaither Vocal Band announced that David Phelps is leaving the group to focus on his solo career and other projects. Phelps’ second stint with the GVB, like his first, lasted approximately eight years. He will continue to appear at select Gaither events in the future as his solo schedule permits.
- In a separate announcement, David Phelps revealed his future plans include production of a new live concert video, supporting his upcoming CD release Hymnal, writing a companion book for Hymnal, and appearing in the lead role of a Broadway-style musical titled Quanah.
- The Gaither Vocal Band also announced that long-time Gaither Homecoming feature artist Reggie Smith is joining the group to replace Phelps. Smith’s officially joins the group on April 1, but they’ve already got a photoshoot out of the way and done some rehearsing. Get a glimpse of the action in the promo video below:
Please let us know if any significant upcoming releases are missing from this list. Note, the dates listed here are distribution dates when music will officially be available through retail and/or large online outlets. Some titles may be available sooner direct from the artists.
David Bruce Murray
David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.