Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Archive for the ‘The Toney Brothers’

The Blackwood Quartet and The Toney Brothers Merge

October 04, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Blackwood Quartet, SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Toney Brothers

When a change hit the Toney Brothers earlier this year that left bass singer and group owner Terry Toney as the sole full-time member, many wondered what the future held for the long-standing quartet. Over the past couple of months, I’ve observed some movements taking place in that regard, but tonight, an official statement was released from Mark Blackwood and Terry Toney about the situation:

Blackwood Quartet and Toney Brothers have joined forces!

The history of the Blackwood family and the Toney family goes all the way back to the 1940’s, when Alden Toney joined the Blackwood Brothers to sing tenor when the group was based in Shenandoah, IA. He stayed as tenor through the move to Memphis, TN in 1951 and together they introduced great songs such as, “Lead me to that rock”.

Some 30¬†years ago, Mark Blackwood and Terry Toney became friends and for many years have had a close working relationship. They have filled in for each other’s group in times of need, helped each other in scheduling, and have lended moral support to each other. Mark and Terry have often discussed the possibility of merging these two groups. The timing just was not right, until recently.

Effective immediately, the Toney Brothers and the Blackwood Quartet have merged. Mark Blackwood and Terry Toney will now bring their collective talents together as the Blackwood Quartet. Terry Toney says “Mark is a good businessman, strong vocalist, and great stage manager. I am really excited to join forces with him.” Mark says “Terry brings not only his strong bass voice, but 39 years of experience to the stage. Terry has a winning personality and provides great comic relief”.

A new project is underway. Be sure to check the group’s schedule so you can come see them soon.

As expected, the group is filling both dates that the Blackwood Quartet had already scheduled and dates from the Toney Brothers’ calendar. The current lineup is: tenor Derrick Boyd, lead/baritone Mark Blackwood, baritone Roger Robinson, and bass Terry Toney. This sounds like a strong enough group that I am looking forward to hearing the new project.

I wonder if Toney will bring over some songs from his group’s repertoire to sing. I, for one, would like to hear this quartet cover “Just As He Is,” a song recorded by the Toney Brothers that was never released on a project but is a strong enough song that it would provide good radio presence to the group if they singled it. You can still hear it at the Toney Brothers webpage, and interestingly enough, it features Blackwood Quartet members Derrick Boyd and Terry Toney, giving a preview of sorts for the new Blackwood Quartet sound.

News & More: 2/23

April 23, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Mark Trammell Quartet, SG Artists, SG Music, The Cathedrals, The Toney Brothers, Youtube

The Dove Awards were held earlier this week, and Southern Gospel had quite a showing in the results. Song of the Year went to “Sometimes I Cry,” written by Gerald Crabb and sung by Jason Crabb. Two of the Bluegrass winners also had Southern Gospel connections: “Mountain Top” by Little Roy and Lizzie Long won Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year (you may remember Little Roy from his years with the Lewis Family), and Bluegrass Album of the Year was Singing From The Heart by Dailey and Vincent, who was on the NQC mainstage last year and will also be featured this year, and has Christian Davis of Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet & Mercy’s Mark fame singing bass.

There’s been a whirlwind of hires in the Southern Gospel world that are under the 30-years old mark. Tribute Quartet has made two of those hires, with tenor Riley Clark at 19 years old and bass Anthony Davis at 28 years old, and Legacy Five’s most recent hire qualifies, with pianist Trey Ivey being 21. Now, the Toney Brothers are continuing the trend after the departure of tenor Derrick Boyd. Joshua Horrell, of Teachey, NC, is 19 years old and began singing tenor for the group this week. There are no clips of him with the group yet, but Terry Toney has put some great lineups on stage in the past several years, and I’m sure this will be no exception.

Youtube Finds: I had a couple intriguing videos crop up on Youtube this week, the first being this one from the Mark Trammell Quartet:

I’m not sure how long the group has been staging this song, but this is the first instance in which I have heard them sing it. I’ve always thought that Pat Barker’s voice was similar to that of George Younce’s, and hearing him sing a Younce feature only solidifies the comparison. In fact, on his solo, I had changed tabs to do some work on another webpage after listening to the video multiple times, and completely forgot that I wasn’t listening to The Cathedrals’ Travelin’ Live project. Difference in audio quality aside, that speaks volumes about the hire that Mark Trammell made in Barker. The whole group does an excellent job resurrecting this often overlooked Cathedrals tune.

The second video I found was, coincidentally, some Cathedrals footage, singing another song from Travelin’ Live. This was taken in January of 1999, the group’s final year on the road, at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL. For those that are interested in hearing a fully orchestrated version of “Boundless Love” as sung by the final lineup of the original group to record it, take a look:

What is even more interesting is, in addition to have a full orchestra and choir backing them, the arrangement of the song is basically lifted from the original recording of it. Take note especially of the drum licks in each part; if I’m not mistaken, they follow the exact pattern found on the original. I love tidbits like that!

This & That

January 16, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Mark Trammell Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Dixie Echoes, The Toney Brothers

Here are a couple of news items from the week:

1. Devin McGlamery’s first concert with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound was last night, and here’s the first video clip from the night. The song is “Climbing Higher & Higher.”

2. In case you’ve been under a rock, the Dixie Echoes are seeking a new bass singer after Pat Barker’s departure to join the Mark Trammell Quartet. Here is the official press release from the Dixie Echoes at the Singing News:

Pensacola, FL – This year marks a milestone in the Dixie Echoes career. We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary in Gospel music. Through the years, many great quartet men have carried a suitcase on the Dixie Echoes bus. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the departure of our bass singer, Pat Barker. Pat joined the Dixie Echoes in September 2007 and has been a vital part of the groups’ sound.
Pat shares, “My years with the Dixie Echoes have been some of the greatest years I’ve known in ministry. I have met some of the most wonderful people on the Planet. No one has shown me more kindness than Randy, Scoot, Stewart, Wesley, and the Gospel Music family as a whole. I am very sad to be leaving, but excited about the new ministry opportunities that await me. My prayer is that God will bless the Dixie Echoes more this coming year than He has in all 50 years combined. I never imagined my time with the Dixie Echoes would have been so short, but I also never imagined almost 3 years ago that I would get back on the road, leave my hometown, and start a new life in Pensacola, Florida. The Lord moves in mysterious ways. I love you all. Continue to lift up the Dixie Echoes in your prayers. And please say a prayer for me and my family as we continue to follow God wherever He leads.”
“Members come and go in every group. This was an unexpected change for us, but I know Pat’s heart, and if there’s one thing that I can tell anyone about him, it is that he lives what he sings about,” shares Stewart. “We will miss Pat, his wife Kesha, son Andy, and daughter Breelyn. They have become our extended family, and I wish him the best. Mark Trammell and I have been friends for many years and I know that Pat will be working with a great guy.”
We appreciate your prayers for both the Dixie Echoes and Pat Barker. We invite serious parties to send their information to auditions@dixieechoes.com or mail to: Dixie Echoes, 481 Ronda Street, Pensacola, FL 32534.

3. This may be old news to some, but speaking of open singing positions, the Toney Brothers are currently seeking a new vocalist as well, following the departure of lead singer Joe Kitson. All serious applicants can send submissions to toneybrothersbooking@gmail.com. The position is open to either lead singers or tenors, because their current tenor, Daniel Childs, can sing either part, and it is a full-time position.