Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Ernie Phillips With The Kingsmen…. 2012?

January 29, 2012 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Kingsmen, Youtube

Ever wonder how some of the legends of yesterday that are no longer “in the spotlight” sound today on a more modern song? Here’s one of those legends: Ernie Phillips. One of the more famous tenors to come along in the history of the Kingsmen, and Southern Gospel in general (remember his big ending on “Love Lifted Me” on Live… Naturally?), and the father of Mark Trammell Quartet tenor Eric Phillips. Since the departure of Harold Reed for the LeFevre Quartet, Phillips has been filling in for The Kingsmen. Here he is taking one of Reed’s signature songs while with the group, “God Saw A Cross.”

If this doesn’t make the case for why The Kingsmen should try their hardest to get Phillips out there with them full-time, I don’t know what does. (Well, this and the fact that, from what I hear, he can still do those sky-high endings!)

Update: Daniel Mount informed me this morning that there had been more videos from this concert uploaded since this post went up. I’ll post a few more, some of which also highlight new lead singer Bob Sellers. Even if Ernie Phillips doesn’t turn out to be the man for the job, this is still an interesting look at one of the legends still toting the mail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

36 Comments to “Ernie Phillips With The Kingsmen…. 2012?”


  1. Ruth Voorhees says:

    Ernie has not lost anything in the singing department. Hoping he comes to my area soon while filling the tenor position. Great job Ernie.

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  2. Cool. So who’s that singing baritone?

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  3. Watching that a second time… if he does join full-time, I’m going to think that this song will have a lot to do with it. Chills.

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  4. I think Ernie sounds better now than he did during his tenure with the group. His tone is more pleasing to the ear on this song than anything else that I’ve ever heard him sing. Of course, that may have something to do with singing a song that was keyed for Harold Reed and not having Hamill making him scream. lol

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  5. This is great! Ernie is easily my all time favorite Kingsmen tenor. While he was known for those super high endings, I always thought he sounded great on songs such as “I’ve Dropped My Anchor” and “Over the Moon”. He sounds really great on “God Saw A Cross”. I would love to see the Kingsmen while he is filling in, and I would really love for him to rejoin the group.

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  6. Nate Stainbrook says:

    Ernie still has IT!!! I would love to see more of this for sure!

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  7. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM REJOIN THE GROUP. HE STILL HAS IT. THINK OF SOME OF THE SONGS THEY COULD DUST OFF AND START SINGING AGAIN. (GO AND TELL SOMEBODY, I’LL LIVE AGAIN, I’M SO GLAD JESUS SAVED MY SOUL, I’D RATHER BE AN OLD TIME CHRISTIAN, I’VE MADE A COVENANT, WOW THE LIST YOU COULD COMPILE. ERNIE YOU HAVE MY VOTE, HEY RAY-HIRE HIM.

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  8. The baritone is Ron Bright. He is filling in for Randy.

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  9. quartet-man says:

    I agree, Ernie sounds great. His tone is fuller and although I loved the freaky stuff he did with them before, I wouldn’t have guessed he could sound so good on a more modern song like this. Go, Ernie! For that matter, all of the guys sound great here.

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  10. Ernie is one of the greatest tenors of our time, and a great guy. Seems that he has always been the pinch hitter for the Kingsmen anytime they are looking for a tenor. Naturally all of us would want him to stay on with the group, but he’s been on the road, and he’s enjoyed his years off the road. I predict he’ll stick with the latter.

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  11. These performances aren’t as polished as the Hutson/Reed/Crawford line-up, but there’s a familiarity and a confidence and an automated audience response when Ernie is on one end and Ray is on the other.

    The Kingsmen could possibly reduce their tour schedule, do fewer far-flung dates, hire Ernie, and watch the demand go up by a margin that would offset the reduction in quantity of appearances.

    I certainly wouldn’t mind a future version of the Kingsmen that features four well-seasoned voices like this.

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  12. Ernie is one of the all time great tenors. He is a hero of mine on and off stage. There are several great voices that are often forgotten when the tenure is over. This will remind people of just how great is really is. I hope people will take the chance to go and see the Kingsmen while he is there. Bob Sellers is a tremendous fit. I think they will recapture the classic Kingsmen sound. Thanks for posting these Aaron. Keep up the great work!

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  13. I just wanted to take a minute to say “Thanks” for all the positive comments and kind words. The support I’ve received since joining The Kingsmen has been nothing short of overwhelming, and I can’t express what a thrill and honor it is to stand on stage and travel with Ray, Brandon, Randy & Ernie. I also agree with all the comments posted here regarding Ernie. I’m not sure where these videos originated, but I’m glad that people everywhere are getting the chance to see and appreciate what a talent he truly still is. Not only is he a great singer, but he exudes class and character and is a great man of God. He and I are the “earliest birds” on the bus and I’m enjoying our time of fellowship just as much as I am singing with him. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing each of you out on the road. God bless!

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  14. I could tell that Ernie had a beautiful tone to his voice, it’s just that in the “old days,” he didn’t sing in a normal range. This really shows just how rich and impressive his voice is.

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  15. Matt Felts says:

    Yes, I released a solo project a couple years back. It is mostly favorite songs with a little twist such as In The Garden, One Earthly Reason and No More Night. There is also a fun version of Walk With Me with a quartet made up of Mike Allen, Ed Hill, Ben Speer and myself. You can email me through the Dixie Melody Boys website and you can order one from me. Thanks for the interest. God bless.

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  16. I wasn’t exactly a fan of the Kingsmen or Ernie back then, despite the obvious talent, but I definitely would be if they kept the lineup in the videos. What a tenor!!!

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  17. Hey I have a question for you. I believe it was Ernie that sang a song that the lyrics went like this: “Walk with me, Talk with me, Lest mine eyes no longer see all the beauty, show me the beauty of your love. Take my hand take my hand.” That is all I can remember. Do you know this song and the name of it?

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  18. willis climer says:

    i have enjoyed the kingsmen they are a great i like earnie phillps he is a great tenor singer keep on singing earnie

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  19. Ernie Phillips did indeed sing “Walk With Me” while with the Kingsmen several years ago. And I must say he was simply fantastic doing it.

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  20. kathy wooten says:

    Where is Ernie now? Is he singing with a group or by himself. I use to go to church with his wife and we grew up in the same neighborhood. He use to sing in our church with Wayne and Larry Gunnoe and Rod McComas. I would love to hear him if he comes back to the Beckley WV area. Ernie Phillips could make the crowd stand up and PTL!

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  21. Ernie still lives in Asheville, NC and as far as I know he still sings as often as he can. What a great tenor that loves singing about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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  22. Marvin Pack says:

    While living in Beckley Wv I had the priviledge of singing with Ernie in a group called The Crossmen. We just celebrated a 40th year anniversary in May 18 2013 and we just had a blest time and I call Ernie Phillips one of the finest men I have been around in his love for Jesus,Family and friends. I still regret that The Kingsmen STOLE him from us thank to Archie Watkins LOL He was always a blessing to me and I hope I was one to him too. May God continue to bless his Little Giant….

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