So far, 2013 has been a year of changes in Southern Gospel music, and the trend continued this evening when Dan Keeton posted this to his Facebook page:
An open letter to the friends and fans of the Gold City Quartet,
In march of 2011, I was afforded a dream come true, to sing tenor with Gold City. Most of you know my testimony of child abuse, the divorce of my parents and my daddy’s alcoholism. I have recently been given an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for quite some time. I have wanted to start a non profit organization using music and the arts to inspire child victims of abuse. That opportunity has presented itself and I am so excited, but also heavy hearted. Opening this door means I will have to leave Gold City. I can honestly say, I love the Rileys so much. Tim and Danny are like family to me. Chuck, Bryan and Jerry are so easy going and fun to be around that I will dearly miss being on the bus with such fine Christian gentlemen. I will always be greatful for my time here.
As friends and fans of Gold City, please know, I love you all. I have never felt so much love as I have from you. Please pray that Gold City finds the best replacement and the transition is as smooth as possible.
Daniel Riley later added:
“We support Dan 100 percent in this new chapter of his life. We believe God has given him this opportunity to go into this new ministry. Dan has personally dealt with child abuse, and we believe his passion is for helping others in this area. He has our blessing and prayers as he leaves to encourage and enrich the lives of others in this special calling. Dan has agreed to stay on with Gold City and continue his role as our tenor until a replacement can be found.”
For those interested in applying for the tenor position with Gold City, demos and resumes will be accepted via email form to email@example.com.
While this news is a surprise, I can respect the reasoning behind it. It is certainly not a common reason given for departure, and I wish Dan the best of luck!
The tenor position for Gold City is a demanding role that requires an ability to consistently sing a part that often is pitched higher than many other groups. It will be interesting to see who the group gets, as it is a tough part to fill.
In tribute to Dan’s time with the group, here is one of my favorite clips of Gold City during his tenure: