#NewsNuggets: 3-2-17

by | Mar 2, 2017 | News

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…

Monday-Wednesday Happenings

  • 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:

Upcoming Releases
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.

  • March 10 – Guy Penrod – Classics (CD)

  • March 10 – Jordan Family Band – Joshua 24:15 (CD)

  • March 10 – Joseph Habedank – Resurrection (CD)

  • March 21 – Chonda Pierce, Bone Hampton, Sandi Joy, Cleto Rodriguez & Nazareth – Stand-Up For Families (DVD)

  • March 24 – Selah – Unbreakable (CD)

  • March 24 – Stan Whitmire – We Give You Praise (CD)

  • March 24 – David Phelps – Hymnal (CD)

  • March 24 – Craig Duncan – Smoky Mountain Sixties (CD) (secular)

  • April 14 – The Kingsmen – They Don’t Know (CD) (Soundcloud Teaser)

  • April 7 – Joey Feek – If Not For You (Zinepak/CD)

  • April 7 – Elvis Presley – Crying In The Chapel (CD)

  • April 14 – Barry Rowland & Deliverance – It Is Time (CD)

  • April 21 – Triumphant – Thankful (CD)

  • April 25 – Chonda Pierce – Enough (In Theaters)

  • May 5 – The Little Roy And Lizzy Show – Going Home (CD)

  • May 5 – Southern Raised – Another World (CD)

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David Bruce Murray

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.


  1. Chris G

    David Phelps leaving the GVB will be a great loss. Does Bill G. really need to replace him with another high voice? Perhaps the group could return to being a quartet. The five person configuration has been confusing to me. IMO, the GVB has not been as good as when it was composed of David, Guy Penrod, Mark Lowrey and Bill G. Now that was a super group….Just my two cents worth.

    • David Bruce Murray

      At present, Bill sometimes steps back and lets Todd Suttles assume the bass role.

      I’d classify Reggie Smith as more of a mid-range tenor. They should have a better blend with him, because Phelps has a more distinctive tone. They’ll sound more like a group that has a clear defined lead singer in Adam Crabb combined with voices who go match his tone rather than contrasting it.

      Like you, my favorite line-up of the GVB is the Phelps/Penrod/Lowry combo. Not only did they sound great together, they also did a good bit of that “hard” country sound that I really like to hear from a modern male quartet.

      • Tad Kirkland

        They will continue to sound great. But I find Reggie’s voice similar to Wes’ (both are great) so I’m not sure what the point is except for them to trade off high notes so it’s not too taxing for either?

  2. Tad Kirkland

    I couldn’t figure out why they would rebrand Homecoming until I saw the FB post that the Gaithers are no longer part of the magazine but Salem will continue publishing it.


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