Recently fridaynightrevival put up a post highlighting a forgotten gem from Gold City’s Standing in the Gap called “All That I Am.” Written by Terry Franklin with his wife Barbi, it’s a quietly majestic piece with powerful lyrics and a melody reminiscent of Danny Boy:
FNR said he believed somebody should bring it back, and I agreed. However, instead of coming up with my own idea of who should revive it, I decided to ask Terry himself. He actually had a couple of suggestions. First he said that he thought Wes Hampton could do a great job on it. This hadn’t even occurred to me because it was originally carried by a lead singer (David Hill). However, I immediately saw that he was completely right. Wes could infuse a lot of expression into the lyric. Raise the key by a step or two, and he’d bring the house down.
But Terry’s other suggestion was even more intriguing: Debra Talley. I could absolutely hear this working as well, although the arrangement would probably be a little quieter and more nuanced. Debra has a very rich voice that would also capture the song’s essence quite beautifully.
Do I hear more ideas from my readers?
Hilariously, this is only my second survey/open thread in the life of the blog. I guess I’m generally too lazy to go around collecting newsy tidbits, especially since everybody else is so good at it. But a few things caught my eye this week. In no particular order:
* Former Tribute tenor Brian Alvey has joined the Talleys. As I’ve said elsewhere, this thrills me to no end. Brian is a fabulous and (IMO) underrated singer, and I can’t wait to see what Roger cooks up for the new sound. Some of us were wondering where Lauren would take her career when she and Brian got married last month, but this is certainly a pleasant surprise. Expect some impressive vocal interplay between Brian and Lauren in the group’s future.
* It came out in the comments section of this blog post of mine that Terry Franklin won’t be participating in this year’s live Gaither Vocal Band Reunion at NQC due to various scheduling conflicts. He will definitely be missed. I don’t know how many other GVB tenors will make an appearance, but I sure hope Steve Green makes it.
* Yet another SG blogger has launched, at frontporchsingin.wordpress.com. His latest post is a convicting message to southern gospel groups about paying songwriter royalties.
* Chris Allman’s son Dustin proposed to his sweetheart, and she said yes. Way to go, D! You’re a great guy, and I’m confident you and Amanda will have a sweet marriage.
* Photo of the week: This priceless shot of Brian Free with his new grandson, born July 20. Isn’t that beautiful? Of course, the newsworthy aspect of this photo is that it appears Brian has grown a goatee. And here we were laying bets on when he would shave his soul patch. Who’da thunk it? Personally, I think his sharp, classic features have always lent themselves best to the clean-shaven look, but that’s just my .02.
* Video of the week: Hat tip to Josh for posting this video of the Garms family’s “Little Adventurers” performing an acapella number (with a little last-minute backup from big brother Ben). Little Caleb is singing lead, sister Jayme is singing high harmony, and Sam is singing low harmony while providing a few comedic movements with Caleb. Sammy is turning into a miniature Michael Booth—look out world! He even plays drums! (Not shown in this video.)
The thread is yours.
Terry Franklin may not be a household name, but because he was only in the southern gospel spotlight for a brief period of time with the Gaither Vocal Band, perhaps that’s natural. Most of his career has been spent in full-time evangelistic ministry with his family, traveling around the country and the world. He is also in hot demand as a studio vocalist. It’s a pretty safe bet that if you were to ask folks in the SG industry who’s on their short list for most technically gifted tenors, Terry would be at or near the top. Glen Payne said he was the best tenor he had ever heard (having sung with him for a few dates when he was filling in with the Cathedrals), and Ernie Haase has named him as one of his all-time favorites. Interestingly, Wes Hampton has often prompted vocal comparisons to Terry today, and indeed, the resemblance is at times quite striking. This is a good thing. A very good thing.
Today I’m featuring a brief and powerful clip from his Gaither Vocal Band days, singing the classic “What a Day That Will Be.” You’ll never hear a better version. (And yes, all the David Phelps Phans can sit down and stop making indignant noises in the back row.)
I will refrain from saying anything about Terry’s mullet/pseudo-mullet, because he might be reading this, and I know he’d probably like to put it behind him. Far be it from me to bring back painful memories.