Posted by: coomercove | July 1, 2008

Rare, maybe non-existent, recordings

Wes has a post with several comments that is well worth checking out.  During the course of the comments, Gold City’s First Class project was brought up.  The project was released as Steve Ladd’s debut Gold City CD, but was started while Jay Parrack was still with the group.  NateSings commented that he heard that Gold City gave Jay a copy of the CD with his vocal on it when he left.  As I commented there, I have always wondered if Gold City had any copies of the CD with Jay’s voice.

The exchange got me thinking about other rare recordings, some that may not even actually exist, that I’d love to get my hands on.  The first, of course, is a copy of First Class with Jay’s vocal.  Another that I know was made is one I posted about a couple of weeks ago.  I’d love to hear the trio (with Amber) version of Lordsong’s Classics.  The final one at the top of my list is a copy of Mercy’s Mark’s Something’s Happening with the original lineup.  The project was close enough to completion that ads were sent out with artwork featuring the original members.  I remember seeing an ad for the project in the SGMA Hall Of Fame in Dollywood.

What other recordings would fit in with the ones I mentioned?



  1. I don’t think this fits the bill, but may interest you.
    My father found an album in a department store above 35years ago. It was by the Statesmen and titled Message In The Sky.
    He asked them to sing the title cut one time when they were in our home town. Hovie Lister asked where he had heard the song. He told him that he had it on an album. It turns out that the masters burned up when RCA Victor(?) burned years ago. The album was not released to market, but somehow this one got by.
    Later recordings had at least one of the songs off the album on them. The one that I know of is the song “Terrible Time Down There.” The title cut has never been released, that I know of.
    Perhaps someone else could fill us in more on this existent, but phantom recording…

  2. How about the Dove Brothers’ “You Can’t Stop God from Blessing Me,” originally with John Rulapaugh? I would especially love to hear his voice on “Just Another Hill.”

    Another that comes to mind is the Cathedrals’ “Keep on Singing,” originally with Roy Tremble and George Amon Webster’s vocals. I’ve heard a sound clip from the original Tremble / Webster pressing, and I’d love to hear the whole thing some time.

  3. Great additions, guys. Maybe Dean or John can jump in with more info on the Statesmen recording.

  4. I also would love to have a copy of Something’s Happening with the original lineup of Mercy’s Mark. I was listened to Southern Selections Vol. 2 the other day and thinking how great they sounded and how much they improved since Vol. 1 and their self titled Daywind release.

    Another one I’d like to have is Gold City’s Preparing the Way (Jonathan Wilburn’s debut) with David Hill’s vocals on it. Wes can probably add more to it but I believe David Hill recorded most if not all of it before his departure. You can still hear him in some of the songs actually. The one that stood out the most to me was “Every Moment.”

  5. When Willie Wynn left the Oaks in 1973, the majority of their self-titled debut album on Columbia Records was complete. Joe Bonsall told me once that the first thing he did was to go into the studio and recut some of those vocals (and a couple new songs). You can hear how timid he sounds on “What A Time We Will Have Over There” (he said that was his first session with them).

    If you listen to that whole album, you can hear Willie (faintly) in the mixes, especially on “Loves Me Like A Rock” and “Put Your Arms Around Me Blessed Jesus.”

    I know that Signature Sound’s first two table projects had Shane Dunlap singing lead on all the songs, but the copies available now have Wesley Prichard on “Had It Not Been” and Ryan Seaton on “Going Home,” even though Shane’s voice is still on the rest of the cuts.

    What I would REALLY like to hear (if it exists) is The Cathedrals’ “Climbing Higher and Higher” album with Kurt Young. I’m sure he had to be on at least SOME of that project….

  6. How about Michael English and/or Terry Franklin with the Gaither Vocal Band on _Testify_?

  7. DBM, I didn’t know that they had worked on the “Testify” project. Of course, I didn’t really get into professional SGM until that project had been out a few years. I would love to hear that. The Franklin/English/Lowry group is my favorite GVB lineup.

  8. Brandon,
    Michael English sang with the GVB until April 1994. I saw them in concert in Greenville, SC. That night, Gaither announced from the stage that Buddy Mullins would be replacing English. I’m fairly certain that was his last appearance as a member of the GVB. Of course, it was a couple of weeks later after the Dove Awards before we learned why he was leaving. At the time, we thought he was getting out of the group to focus on his solo career.

    _Testify_ was released in the fall of 1994. What leads me to believe there’s an un-mixed multi-track with his voice on it somewhere in the Spring Hill vaults is due to the fact that he’s listed as a co-producer along with Bill Gaither and Michael Sykes. His typical role whenever he co-produced with Sykes was vocal arrangements. It’s very likely…

    As for Franklin, it’s more difficult to say. The GVB typically takes a break from touring each summer. In the fall of 1994, Jonathan Pierce had taken Terry Franklin’s place. There’s nothing tangible to show he was involved with _Testify_, but it’s possible, since his departure was not mentioned on the same night in April 1994 that English’s departure was announced from the stage.

  9. Good pick Kyle. The linear notes do say something about rescue work (or something like that) being performed in studio shortly before it came out.
    I’d love to hear that. But even more so, I’d like to hear a copy of the recording with Danny Funderburk, that is, assuming the project was began when he was still in the group. I’d give about anything to hear that possably non-existant recording of him singing “Oh What A Savior”.

  10. DBM, I am almost 100% certain that I hear English’s voice on the title track for “Testify,” although according to his autobiography, he stated that Bill offered him the co-producer job after everything happened as a good-will gesture.

    I actually used to have a video of the GVB with Franklin, Mullins, and Lowry singing “Satisfied” on “The Tammy Wynette Show.” I wonder if if Terry Franklin was originally part of “Testify”….

  11. I’d love to hear a copy of “Moment Of Truth” with Jonathon.

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