Riley Clark’s “Mary Did You Know?”: Then and Now

Almost three years ago, southern gospel fans were introduced to a young tenor named Riley Harrison Clark, who took Brian Alvey’s place in Tribute Quartet. A few things have changed since then. (For one thing, Brian married Lauren Talley and joined the Talleys!) But something else has changed—Riley’s voice. As a teenager, he already showed great promise. But he’s only gotten better since then. His technique has been polished. His range has expanded. At this time, I would say he legitimately deserves a place among the best tenor singers in the business.

As we wave goodbye to the Christmas season, let’s look at two performances of “Mary Did You Know?” by Riley—one from when he was 17, one from a recent concert. To watch his first performance on Godtube, click here. Here is the second. Thanks to Lynn’s Chronicles for posting it and to Josh at MN SG Fan for bringing it to my attention:

Notice that while he was singing the first cover in a baritone range (echoing Mark Lowry), this performance is more like a David Phelps key. I think that’s a high C he’s hitting. Somebody correct me if they think I’m wrong.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Riley Clark’s “Mary Did You Know?”: Then and Now

  1. If Riley keeps making that amount of progress every three years, he has the potential to end up in any of the top groups.

  2. Saved Girl

    Wow. I’ve never heard of this young man, but he sounds really great. It’s so nice to see younger people singing in SG. It nice to know that they will keep the music alive for another generation. BTW, am I the only one who thinks that in this recent video he looks like a mixture of Ernie Haase and Ryan Seaton?

  3. Crazy to think he’s only 21 yrs old. He makes me feel old. This kid’s gonna be good.

  4. Lydia

    The more recent one does demonstrate his vocal talent more and especially his impressive range, but I find it hard not to prefer the earlier one, because I like the arrangement so much better. The extreme slowness of the more recent arrangement, the showiness of his face and gestures, and the continual breaks in the sentences are all distracting to me. The performance where he was younger uses the ordinary background track and has better musical phrasing. It allows me to focus on the words and message on the song rather than on the singer.

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