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

Archive for June 18th, 2012

Dixie Melody Boys Begin Lead Singer Search

June 18, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Dixie Melody Boys, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Over the weekend, it was reported that Donald Morris, lead singer for the DMB for over three years, is coming off the road. As follow-up to that announcement, the group has sent out this press release about the audition process:

The Dixie Melody Boys announced on Saturday that lead singer Donald Morris has resigned. They are now beginning the process to find the next member of one of Gospel music’s legendary groups. “Through the years, Ed has developed some of Gospel’s finest singers including Ernie Haase, McCray Dove, Rodney Griffin and Derrick Selph. We are now looking for the next voice to add to that rich legacy.” said Matt Felts. The Dixie Melody Boys recently celebrated their 50th anniversary which included the historic album, The Call Is Still The Same. They are also seeing resurgence in popularity, being named Favorite Male Quartet in the SGM Fan Awards in May. The Dixie Melody Boys also host their own weekly television show, Great American Gospel, seen in over 200 countries.

“It is an exciting time for our group. God is blessing in so many ways. We have numerous things coming down the road that I am looking forward to. We know that God will send us the perfect fit to our group.” stated Hall of Fame member Ed O’Neal.

The group is now accepting demos. “We will narrow down the auditions to a few men who will then travel with the group. We will then announce the new member of our family on the main stage at this years National Quartet Convention.” added Matt Felts. Interested singers can contact the group by emailing them at dixiemelodyboys@yahoo.com.

This process for auditioning a new singer is very interesting. For one, it sets a deadline for both the group and the fans: for the group, in that they have a timeline for finding someone, and for the fans, in that they know when to expect to see a new face with the quartet. It’s not a restrictive timeline, either; this gives the Dixie Melody Boys a little under three months to find a new lead singer.

A move like this that promises the new singer’s “official” debut at an event like NQC also generates buzz for the group’s set. With the DMB, they already have a bit of buzz, since it’s their return to main stage, but this addition will add to that. Since the new vocalists will already have traveled with the group, they won’t be debuting at NQC completely cold to the group/material, which also helps.

All in all, this is a transition that I’m looking forward to seeing play out. Ed O’Neal is known for hiring “unknowns,” so it’s anyone guess as to who will get the job.