Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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The Melody Boys Ending The Song

January 24, 2012 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Melody Boys

I came across this surprising news article on the Singing News website this morning: the Melody Boys Quartet is retiring at the end of this year. The press release from the group:

The Melody Boys Quartet (TMBQ), one of America’s longest operating male quartets in gospel music, makes their official retirement announcement, effective New Year’s Eve, 2012.

Says Gerald Williams, who began his position as bass singer for TMBQ in 1949 at the age of 16, “We know there is a time and a season for all things. This is the right time. 63 years is a good season.”

TMBQ’s heritage goes all the way back to the late 1930’s when they performed three live radio programs daily as well as a healthy concert schedule. They were gospel music pioneers when they were the first gospel music group in Arkansas to move into the, then young, television market. They were among the groups that performed at the first National Quartet convention in 1957. At the death of owner, manager and bass vocalist, Herschel Foshee in 1949, pianist and song writer, ‘Smilin’ Joe Roper reorganized the group as The Melody Boys Quartet and introduced a new. young bass singer to the nation. Gerald Williams a Southern Gospel Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole’ Gospel Living Legend now his 63rd year as a professional vocalist.

Generation after generation of fans that love quartet music have labeled TMBQ’s sound as a touch of the past and a taste of the future. Quality sound and ministry integrity, tastefully mixed with family entertainment, is TMBQ’s trademark.

Beginning in March, TMBQ will embark on their ‘Exit 63’ Tour, which will run through the end of 2012. Mike Franklin, first tenor with TMBQ for over 19 years says, “We are still booking dates for this, our final year. If you’ve ever considered having The Melody Boys Quartet at your gospel sing or your church, NOW is the time to schedule.”

While it is saddening to see a long-time name end its run, I’m glad that Mr. Williams decided to do so before the TMBQ name became a caricature of its former self. I would like to see the group get some kind of nod at NQC this year, but since they haven’t been on main stage in a couple years, I’m not counting on it. I am interested to see what the other members of the group will do after the group shuts its doors; Gerald has surrounded himself with very capable vocalists that could either start another group together or be picked up by other groups separately, whatever the case may be.

Join me in saluting Gerald Williams and The Melody Boys Quartet for 63 years of great gospel music!

Afterthought: I got to thinking about it after I posted this, and somebody should really organize a Melody Boys Quartet reunion concert, possibly as a grand finale, and definitely taped. I’d personally love to see all the different lineups (that could be there) together again one last time, particularly that of Mike Franklin, Jonathan Sawrie, Jeremy Raines, and Gerald Williams. What say ye?

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6 Comments to “The Melody Boys Ending The Song”


  1. Wow! What a surprise! As far as NQC goes, I see on the site today that the Dixie Melody Boys are scheduled to be on the Main Stage on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

    1
  2. This past weekend their lead singer,told me there was some big news coming. And Boy was he right. Wonder what the rest of the guys will do.

    5


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