As the 61st National Quartet Convention is now underway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, let us look back 47 years ago to the October 1970 issue of Singing News.
- The 14th National Quartet Convention in 1970 fell a couple of weeks after the publication of the October issue of Singing News, but it still made the front headline.
- More than 100 quartets were expected to attend the five-day event October 14-18.
- The event was held in Memphis, Tennessee at the Ellis Auditorium, and co-hosted by James Blackwood and J D Sumner.
- The evening line-up was mostly male quartets as you might expect (Stamps, Blackwood Brothers, Statesmen, Oak Ridge Boys, Imperials, etc.), but there were a few mixed groups (Rambos, LeFevres, Downings, etc.), and at least one soloist (Steve Sanders).
- The event concluded on Sunday morning with a church service that included a sermon by Hovie Lister.
Other highlights from the October 1970 Singing News include:
- A full page ad introducing Coy Cook & The Senators. Mack Evans had been mentioned as the group’s lead singer, but he is missing from the photos in the ad which include Cook (tenor), Dave Rowland (baritone), Calvin Runion (bass), and Nick Bruno (piano).
- A letter to the editor from a 19-year-old college student, who concluded that Charity’s Children was a poor name for a group. “If they are truly children of God the KING, there should be no need of charity.” This was prefaced by the usual complaints about gospel groups sounding like a “rock festival” and long-haired singers. Other letters, including one from Willie Wynn’s daughter, took an opposing view about the hairstyle choices of singers.
- J G Whitfield reported on attending the Goodman Homecoming festivities at Life Temple in Madisonville, Kentucky. Sam, who was in charge of the barbecue, said his dog had gone missing and he hoped it hadn’t got processed in with the meat. Whitfield wrote, “…if I ate barbecued dog, it was best barbecued dog I ever had.”
- “Sheltered In The Arms Of God” by the Oak Ridge Boys and Downings was the number one song on the Top Twenty chart.
Below, I am listing the issues of Singing News I need to complete my collection. If you have any old issues stored and would like to see the history they contain shared with other fans via MusicScribe and SGHistory.com, leave a message for me in the comments. I’ll see your email address (though it won’t be displayed to the public on the site) and respond.
1969 May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1970 January, February, March, April, May, June, August, November
1972 May, September, November, December
1973 January, April, December
1974 February, March, August, December
1975 January, October
1976 February, September
1977 April, May, December
1978 January, May, June, August, December
1979 January, February, April, July
1980 August, December
1983 June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1988 February, March, April, June, December
1989 January, April, October, November