Beyond the Song with Jantina Baksteen
This edition of Beyond the Song highlights GloryWay Quartet, who has released the song, “Nobody,” to radio. It was the sound and title of the song, “Nobody,” which got me curious to find out who was behind this song. I got in touch with GloryWay Quartet. The group is made up of Justin Crank (Lead), Bryan Langley (Tenor), John Cole (Baritone), and Justin Sayger (Bass). I interviewed Justin Crank for this feature. I hope you enjoy reading more about GloryWay Quartet!
Jantina Baksteen: Please give us a short introduction about GloryWay Quartet?
Justin Crank: We are a full-time Southern gospel male quartet based out of Mansfield, Ohio. The group is made up of four strong and unique individual vocalists that take great pride in combining to form a smooth blend. We travel over 60,000 miles a year throughout a large part of the U.S. and occasionally into Canada to minister at over 200 concerts, events, and church services. We perform a mix of traditional, new, and original songs with the hopes of being a blessing to both young and seasoned audiences. We are honored to share Jesus where ever the Lord opens up a door for us to do so whether that happens to be in a church, a theater, or a flat-bed trailer in a field. As our current radio single says, we truly are a “nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody.”
JB: What was your vision to form this group 18 years ago in 2002?
JC: To spread the Gospel through song to a lost and dying world.
JB: Does each group member have a Southern gospel background?
JC: Yes, we have all been rooted in Southern gospel. We all started singing at church and in family groups.
JB: Did you know each other before launching GloryWay? How did you get together?
JC: Three of us are from Ohio. John, our baritone, is from West Virginia. Justin Crank started the group in 2002 and the configuration we have now has been together for the past three years.
JB: You have an awesome album out called, “God, You’re Amazing.” Could you share how this album came together?
JC: We had been wanting to put out a new project for a while. With our busy schedule, we just couldn’t find the opportunity to do it. We took the time we had off due to Covid-19 regulations and were able to get in the studio and put the time we needed into it.
JB: Are any of you songwriters?
JC: Yes, John Cole. He wrote two songs on this new album, “Just A Little While,” and “Welcome Home.”
JB: What message does this album convey, and how did you pick the songs that are on there? Is there a special theme you had in mind for this album?
JC: We had over 400 original songs sent to us from many writers, that we listened to and narrowed down to the 12 that are on this album. While we didn’t necessarily have a theme in mind, we wanted to pick songs that ministered to us and fit us musically, that we felt we could put our all into, to be a blessing to our listeners. We looked for songs that had lyrics that reach out and grab you, and we feel that the songs on this recording do just that. Some very well-known songwriters contributed to this album, such as: Matthew West, Kenna Turner-West, Marcia Henry, Rebecca Peck, Diane Wilkinson, and Lee Black. We have some close friends that also happen to be artists themselves that are writers of some of the songs, such as Diane Needham, Philip Kolb, Paul Bolen, and our own baritone, John Cole. A few of the songs that seem to really be resonating with our audiences already, with incredibly strong lyrics, are: “Nobody,” “God, You’re Amazing,” “End of the Story,” “Nothing He Cannot Do,” “They Still Know His Voice,” and, “I’m In Good Hands.” Justin Sayger is featured on a little different, upbeat tune called “Jailbreak,” which is quickly becoming a crowd favorite as is the patriotic ballad, “I Still Love the Flag.” We have performed all 12 songs at some point in our concerts and church services and each one seems to be able to stand on its own to minister to folks.
JB: “Nobody” is the song you’ve put out to radio. Who’s the songwriter?
JC: The songwriters for “Nobody,” are Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, Matthew West, and Bernie Herms.
JB: What is the message of this song?
JC: This song has such a tremendous message to both the Christian and the non-believer. To the Christian, it is a reminder that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things in furthering the Kingdom. You don’t have to be the most talented, smartest, or best, for God to use you. As a child of his, he has a purpose for you! For the non-believer, the message is that God can save anybody, and no matter how far you may think you are from him, he can still reach you, change you, and make you a fit vessel for Heaven.
JB: How does your audience respond to this song?
JC: The crowd response to “Nobody” has been amazing. Nearly everywhere we have performed it, we end up having to encore it. We have noticed folks of all ages singing along immediately as we start getting into the first chorus. We have also noticed a worshipful response with many hands being raised and some folks standing and clapping along as they sing with us.
JB: What does this song mean personally to you?
JC: This song is a reminder that God has a purpose for me and GWQ to share Jesus on whatever stage of opportunity that He sets before us. It’s humbling that God would choose us and use us, doing something that we absolutely love to do, to be a blessing to others, and reach the lost for Him. I’m glad to be a “Nobody.”
JB: What makes the bass singer, Justin Sayger, the fan favorite?
JC: Justin is a fan favorite for several reasons. One, he has a phenomenal voice, both in his bass range and in his upper tones which allows him to sing in a lead range at times. Additionally, his small frame (we tease that he only weighs 99 ½ pounds), and his kid-like demeanor on-stage, seems to resonate with both kids and adults. Justin truly has one of the best bass voices in Southern gospel music.
JB: GloryWay has achieved a lot over the past 18 years. Could you share something about that?
JC: We are humbled for any accolades or achievements we have earned along the way. The most important thing to us is getting the message out in song that Jesus Christ is still the King of Kings!
JB: What is your personal favorite song on this album and why?
JC: “God, You’re Amazing,” is my favorite. To think, he was thinking of me as his son died that day. Wow! How amazing he is!
Please enjoy the song, “Nobody,” as sung by GloryWay Quartet:
The way to reach GloryWay Qt is through the website glorywayquartet.com
On Facebook gloryway20quartet
https://youtu.be/fIKqAdM-O1k link to Nobody
Thank you Justin for sharing the in and outs of GloryWay Quartet with SGNScoops.
By Jantina Baksteen
Jantina Baksteen is a gospel music writer and regular contributor to SGNScoops magazine and website.
Jantina Baksteen – biography:
I live all the way overseas in the Netherlands. I’m married and I have three adult children.
I grew up in a Christian home and knew in my early years that I wanted to belong to Him. I surrendered my life to Christ was baptized one day before I turned 11 years old.
Somehow, the seed of loving gospel music was planted by the style of music my parents played at home. Around 2006/2007, I was listening to Gaither homecoming music that I found on the internet. The song, “Oh, What A Savior,” by Ernie Haase hit me with the so-called Southern gospel bug.
From there, I’ve been reading /studying all I can find. I found the digital SGNScoops Magazine.
As I was spending so much time reading and listening about this industry, I started praying for God to please give me a job in the Southern gospel industry. Sometimes, I commented to Lorraine Walker on her posts. How could she know the longing of my heart?
But last year she asked me if I wanted to do something for SGNScoops: the Wacky Wednesday posts online. Now I do the “Beyond the Song” article that really has my heart as I am reaching out to artists, asking about a current song and having a sneak peak behind the scenes.
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