Category Archives: News

Joseph Habedank Drops New Single

Take a listen to the first single from Joseph Habedank’s upcoming solo album! It’s called “Never, No Never.” I’m very tough on new songs, but I can say confidently that if this is representative of the rest of Joseph’s record, I need to get me a copy!

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Mark Trammell Quartet Hires Randy Byrd

Mark Trammell has just announced the hire of their new bass singer: Randy Byrd of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. Randy brings quite a back-story of God’s grace to share that some folks may not be familiar with. He touches on it in the official press release, but if you want more detail, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to check out this archived interview he did with Daniel J. Mount. It’s an amazing story of youthful pain and rebellion culminating in a beautiful display of God’s grace.

I also admire Byrd’s humble honesty in this press release, saying outright “I am not and cannot be Pat Barker.” This is particularly gracious considering that Barker is a good bit younger than Byrd, and it reflects the legacy Barker left behind him in his comparatively short tenure on the southern gospel stage.

Here is the full announcement:

After three months and 36 candidates for the position, Mark Trammell has announced today that Randy Byrd will be the new bass vocalist for the Mark Trammell Quartet. Mark shares, “We are thrilled with the overwhelming inquiry about this position. And after much prayer and consideration, the group collectively feels that Randy is the man for this season of our ministry.”

Many of you will remember Randy from his recent years with the prestigious Blackwood Brothers Quartet. He also logged some miles with our friends the Mike Lefevre Quartet and the Songfellows. Randy relates the following upon receiving confirmation from Mark.

“At 12 years of age, I heard The Cathedrals sing There is a Fountain and I was hooked!! I told my mother that night after hearing George Younce, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a bass singer.’ God has blessed me and allowed me to sing with some of the best in the business. Three years ago my dream started to fall apart. Between my flesh and Satan’s attacks it seemed my life was over. I am thankful today that in spite of my faults and failures, God never took His hand off of me. Everything that Satan robbed from me, God has restored! I am beyond excited to join The Mark Trammell Quartet! I am living proof that God IS faithful!! Pat Barker is a dear friend. I am not and cannot be Pat Barker. But I can work at being the best version of me that God can use and I gladly accept that challenge.”

Please join us in welcoming this wonderful man to the Mark Trammell Quartet!!!

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Announcing Two Weeks of Guest Posts

Work and study commitments are leaving me with less free time, so I have enlisted the capable aid of fellow young bloggers Brian Fuson (Fuson’s Findings) and Lauren of Southern Gospel Views From the Pew to fill in the gaps here for the next two weeks. I’m sure you will appreciate their passion for and knowledge of this music as much as I do!  There will still be a light video on Mondays (look for a vintage songwriting spoof next week), and then Brian and Lauren will each contribute one guest post per week, reviewing some music and offering concert reports. Lauren plans to catch both Brian Free & Assurance and the Whisnants. I will continue to moderate comments, so please feel free to leave your thoughts under their posts. I know they’ll appreciate it. Check out their own sites too while you’re at it!

Thanks for your continued readership. See you at the end of July!


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Old Paths Quartet Receives Two BMI Awards

Crossroads has just sent out this press release. Congrats to the Old Paths! This must be a nice encouragement as they’re still struggling to recoup their recent financial losses.


With two BMI® awards and three #1 hits, the Old Paths have exploded on the scene as a leading presence in Christian radio.

At the 2014 BMI® Christian Music Awards this month, two Old Paths singles, “Battle Stand” (written by Rodney Birch) and “The I Of the Storm” (written by Kenny Kuykendall), received Citations of Achievement for being among the most-played songs on U.S. Christian radio.

In the last two years, three of their singles have reached the #1 position on the Singing News Radio Airplay Chart: “Battle Stand” (December 2012), “God’s Great” (June 2013), and “Long Live the King” (July 2014).

Their success is poised to continue with their new single, “Love Them To Jesus,” already the #1 top add on the August 2014 Singing News New Releases chart. The song was inspired by Old Paths baritone/manager Doug Roark’s testimony. “Over 20 years ago,” he shares, “I was a drug dealer/addict outside of Atlanta Georgia when an old preacher man loved me to Jesus. He didn’t condemn me or judge me; he just took me in and showed me the love of Christ. The songwriter Rodney Birch came to hear us one night, and after hearing my testimony, came back to us with this great song.”

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Who Should StowTown Records Add Next?

As of yesterday, Triumphant Quartet has joined the ever-growing ranks of old and new artists to fill out the StowTown Records roster. This particular choice makes sense given Wayne Haun’s involvement in arranging and writing for StowTown in the past. It seems like a win-win either way you slice it, given StowTown’s ground-breaking marketing and Triumphant’s enduring popularity with fans of the traditional male quartet.

With the Perrys and now Triumphant, StowTown has snagged two of the biggest ticket draws in the business, proving they’re more than just a launch-pad label for up and comers. They’re becoming a force to be reckoned with alongside other major distributors like Daywind. So, the question is—who will Ernie sign next? Who do you think he should sign next? I have a few thoughts, but I’ll let you speculate in comments.


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Andrew Goldman Ties the Knot

Wedding bells have been ringing with some frequency around StowTown Records lately, as Phil Jr. recently took himself a bride, Adam Brown did the same on the 20th, and this week young phenom Andrew Goldman has followed their example. Andrew shares:

What a whirlwind of a week! I finally got to marry my best friend. I have been in love with her since the day we met, and now that she is my wife, I love her even more. She’s my whole life, and I’m so glad to have her by my side. I know that life will throw us curveballs, but we will have each other to get through them. I have the best wife in the world, and she’s only been a wife for four days! I love you Baby!

Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

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Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Take Your Questions

The guys from EHSS are enjoying some summer time off right now, and Ernie has opened the floor for fans to send in questions for the group. Your question could even appear in a future newsletter! Here is how it will work:

For all of you who have had a question for one of the guys that you’ve been wanting to ask, but haven’t had the chance, well here’s your chance to do just that!
For the rest of the Summer we want you to send in your questions to us and we’ll compile them and send them on to the guys who will answer them as they’re able!
In future newsletters we’ll pluck some of the best questions/answers and let you see them … we promise to protect your privacy and won’t use real names…
So … here’s the deal … if you want your question to be considered please email and use either “Ernie Question” … “Doug Question” … “Devin Question” … “Paul Question” … “Wayne Question” or “David Question” as the subject line depending who you are asking the question of … this will allow us to manage the influx of questions ..
So … here’s your chance …. GO!

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Weekend Roundup (06/20): Fundraising Campaign For the Old Paths, the Isaacs in Israel, and More…

Since I didn’t have a long roundup last week, this will combine some items from this week and things from last week that other folks haven’t already noted.

*The biggest news item from the week, which has already been well covered, is the merger between StowTown Records and IMC Concerts. Landon Beene and Nate Goble have bought shares in StowTown and will lend their marketing services to promoting StowTown artists. You can read Wayne and Landon’s thoughts on the new venture here.

*Fans of the Old Paths Quartet have organized a fund-raising endeavor to help them recoup the costs of their stolen trailer and the equipment inside it. The Singing News reports that while some items have been recovered, much is still lost. The real tragedy is that there were some goofs in the paperwork with their insurance company, meaning it’s doubtful that they will be able to claim their policy. You can donate through a site called YouCaring. Here is the link.

*In upcoming release news, the Nelons are preparing to release a new acappella hymns album next week. You can read a little more about the song selection here.

*Devin McGlamery has a twitter giveaway of his new album for @ replying a favorite comment or question from this interview with Matt Fouch. But you guys can figure that out, ‘cuz I’ve never tried that tweeter-twitter thing. ;-)

*Glen Allred, considered one of the finest southern gospel baritones ever, celebrated his birthday this week. Happy Birthday Glen!

*I thought this was a cute Throwback Thursday picture of one of southern gospel’s favorite trios. Guess who!

Worth Watching: Last week, the Isaacs visited Israel and brought back a lovely video of them singing “I Will Praise Him” by the river Jordan, dressed all in white robes. This may be the first time I’ve seen Ben Isaacs minus his hat!


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Phil Jr. and Sharlenae Collingsworth’s Wedding Duet

Congrats to Phil Collingsworth Jr. on his marriage to Sharlenae! Here they are singing Newsong and Natalie Grant’s duet “When God Made You” to each other. I found it hard to catch the lyrics, so you can follow along here:

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Daughter of Kingdom Heirs’ Drummer Missing

[Update: McKenzie has been found safe.]

Sevier County, TN just issued a missing child alert for McKenzie Murphy, 15-year-old daughter of Kingdom Heirs drummer Dennis Murphy. The description indicates that she may have been abducted. Keep the whole family in your prayers!

McKenzie Murphy


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