NEWS OF THE WEEK
Citing his health and the challenges of keeping a group on the road over the past few years, Ed O’Neal announced the retirement of the Dixie Melody Boys name. The group had existed since the early 1960s mostly under O’Neal’s management.
The Ball Brothers announced the group will cease traveling at the end of July 2023 due to a combination of business factors and changing family obligations. The group had toured full-time since 2005.
Real Truth Revival announced the addition of tenor singer Doug Bass.
The Sharps announced the addition of pianist David Holt.
The Old Paths announced the group name has been changed to Anthem Edition. In a Facebook reply to a question from a fan, they stated that the name change does not reflect a change in musical style. They also mentioned that their existing music on streaming platforms will continue to be listed as The Old Paths. A website reflecting the group’s new brand is now online at: www.anthemedition.com
NEW RELEASES THIS WEEK
Click HERE to listen to March 2023 new releases on YouTube Music.
The dates listed here are distribution dates when music will officially be available through retail and online outlets. Some titles may be available sooner direct from the artists.
TBA – Lauren, Amber, & Kenna (streaming)
Do we know for sure if the Inspirations album is a released “greatest hits” album or is it the new lineup releasing the old songs?
Ed O’Neal and the Dixie Melody boys will be greatly missed! Thanks to him and the groups for the great quartet music over the decades.
Whether the collection will feature original recordings or vocals by the current lineup is not entirely clear from the press release issued by the record label. Given that there is a quote in the press release from current singer Roland Kesterson, my guess would be that it’s the current lineup singing, but that is purely a guess.
Read the full press release below and let us know your impression.
Arden, North Carolina (March 14, 2023) — Throughout the last few years, the latest generation of storied Southern Gospel quartet The Inspirations were a highlight of the National Quartet Convention, featured on the cover of Singing News magazine, and winners of the publication’s fan awards for favorite album and favorite young artist. As the group prepares to record new music, they are pausing to look back at decades of music with Ageless Treasures, a two-disc retrospective of fan-favorite songs set to be released April 14. It’s now available for pre-order, add or save.
Since forming in 1964, The Inspirations’ distinct sound has always been instantly recognizable and has changed little across 57 years of recordings — no matter who was singing. This sound carries through the 30 songs on Ageless Treasures, which features #1 songs “I’ll Not Turn My Back On Him Now,” ”If You Only Knew” and “I Have Not Forgotten”; fan favorites like “We Need To Thank God” and “In The Twinkle Of An Eye”; and classics such as “They’re Holding up The Ladder” and “I’ll Have A New Life.”
Says lead vocalist Roland Kesterson, “For the last 22 years, The Inspirations have been blessed to have been on the Horizon Records label. Over the span of two decades, we have recorded some songs that have become fan favorites, songs that we still stage today and have requests for each night. Every song we sing is special to us, however, only a few stand the test of time and become ageless, in other words songs that never get old.”
“As you listen to this collection,” he continues, “it’s our prayer that each song not only blesses your heart but fills your mind with memories of the first time you heard them and how God has used these songs to minister to you as well as us. We hope you can once again enjoy our Ageless Treasures.” Pre-order, add or save Ageless Treasures HERE.
About The Inspirations
The Inspirations first formed in 1964 in Bryson City, North Carolina and became full time in 1969 after hosting their first “Singing In The Smokies” event. With a number of hit songs through the 1970s, the group rose to national attention and joined the Gospel Singing Jubilee Television program. In January of 1970, they secured their first #1 song on the Singing News Chart, “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” marking just the beginning of their chart-topping success. In November of 1973, The Inspirations held the #1 spot for 12 months with “Touring That City.” It was followed with the success of “When I Wake Up To Sleep No More” in 1974 and “Jesus Is Mine” in 1976. In 2001, The Inspirations recorded their first album with Horizon Records, titled Pure Vintage. The album’s first song, “I’ll Not Turn My Back On Him Now,” returned the group to the top of the Singing News chart after 26 years. It was followed with more #1 tracks with “I Have Not Forgotten” and “If You Only Knew.” The Inspirations are Roland Kesterson, Luke Vaught, Wyatt Austin and Isaac Moore.
I too am sorry to see The Dixie Melody Boys retiring. They toured up here in Eastern Canada a lot through the 70’s, 80’s and into the 90’s. They made some great music over the years, but on the outside looking in it appeared they were struggling these past few years.