2017 Survey: Nomination Round

by | Jul 25, 2017 | History, Polls-Games-Contests

When a new face is added to an existing group, they typically sing or play for a few years, do their part well, expand the fanbase, and eventually move on. Most group members leave the group as well off as they found it, though there are some negative exceptions. MusicScribe’s 2017 survey will focus on those members from history who joined an existing group and made a lasting impact to the point that their name should forever be synonymous with the group’s best years.

In a short series of surveys this summer, we will determine the Most Significant Personnel Change in Southern Gospel music’s history.

Here are a few starters:
1988 – Mark Lowry joins the Gaither Vocal Band
1980 – Tim Riley joins Gold City
1964 – George Younce joins the Cathedral Trio, making them a quartet
1971 – Jim Hamill joins the Kingsmen
1965 – William Lee Golden joins the Oak Ridge Boys
1965 – J D Sumner joins the Stamps
1948 – Jake Hess joins the Statesmen
2002 – Jim Brady joins the Booth Brothers

Please make additional nominations by leaving a comment here on the MusicScribe website under this article. (Not on Facebook or Twitter, please.)

Nominations are open until midnight (EDT) July 31.

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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. comehomeforcomfort

    1995 – Arthur Rice joins the Kingdom Heirs
    2003 – Joseph Habedank joins The Perrys (all of their awards came during his tenure, I believe)

  2. Scotty Searan

    1963 – Sale Shelnut joining the Dixie Echoes

  3. mzsbg

    Michael English joins GVB in 1985 and again in 2009. He also made a lasting contribution to the Singing Americans before that even though his tenure was brief (both times).

  4. Sean G

    Rodney Griffin joining Greater Vision

  5. Daniel J. Mount

    Cathedrals: Roger Bennett, Mark Trammell
    LeFevres: Rex Nelon
    Hoppers: Kim Hopper, Connie Hopper
    Gold City: Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Mark Trammell
    Greater Vision: Rodney Griffin
    Happy Goodmans: Vestal Goodman
    Bill Gaither Trio: Gloria Gaither (she was not an original member)
    Blackwood Brothers: JD Sumner, Bill Shaw
    Inspirations: Mike Holcomb
    Kingsmen: Ray Dean Reese
    Couriers: Neil Enloe
    Weatherfords: Lily Fern Weatherford

  6. James Hales

    Kim Hopper joins the Hoppers
    Vestal Goodman joins the Happy Goodmans
    Jake Hess joins the Statesmen
    Michael English joining the GVB
    Jim Hamill joining the Kingsmen
    Ivan Parker/Tim Riley joining Gold City
    Dale Shelnut joins the Dixie Echoes
    JD Sumner joining the Stamps
    Ed O’Neal joining the DMB

  7. Jeff

    Karen Peck joins the Nelons
    Charlotte Ritchie joins Jeff & Sheri Easter (what a sound she had)
    Lauren Talley joins the Talleys

  8. Dean Adkins

    JD Sumner and Cecil Blackwood join Blackwood Brothers after the plane crash. This changed the direction of the BW Bros and (according to some sources) led to NQC.

  9. Tigrfan

    1965 was more about JD Sumner leaving the Blackwood Bros than it was about him joining the Stamps, though I realize that isn’t the focus of your survey. What a shocker that was to those of us around to experience it.

    • David Bruce Murray

      Yes, the focus of the survey is individuals who joined a group and proceeded to elevate that group far beyond what it had been in the immediate past.

  10. Joe Mannon

    I don’t suppose he elevated the group “far beyond” what it had been, but when Jay Berry joined the Rebels, it put them at another level.
    Connie Hopper was a member of the Hoppers from the beginning, by the way.

  11. Nathan Curtis

    Guy Penrod – Gaither Vocal Band
    Luke Vaught – Inspirations

  12. Stephanie Gwinn

    When Lauren Talley joined The Talley Trio.


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