It’s about time for me to ramble a little more about concerts. Sunday I had the opportunity to travel to Cartersville, GA for Debra Perry and Jaidyn’s Call. Debra Perry is no stranger to gospel music. She was the original soprano for the Perrys and twice nominated for Favorite Soprano of the Year by Singing News Fans. She left the group to care for her mother and then she and her husband Christopher formed the group Debra Perry and Jaidyn’s Call. This name was selected in honor of their disabled grandson, Jaidyn, who had a condition called Hydrocephalus. They were told that if he survived his birth, he would probably pass away the first day. What a miracle! He has survived and turned nine years old on August 27, 2014. Joining Chris and Debra is Zack Smith who sings the lead part for the group.
Debra Perry and Jaidyn’s Call did the entire 11:00am worship service at Church of the Covenant. They sang a lot of their old songs and are in the process of releasing a new cd in two or three months entitled Time To Walk on Water. They sang their radio
release from the new cd, “No One Loves You Like Jesus.” This is a great song. Due to having to help care for Debra’s mom, they are limited on their traveling; also, Chris has another job and he operates Gold Rush Music Group. You can check their schedule to see if they are in your area and other information about the group at www.jaidynscall.com.
After the concert, I had lunch with them and some other friends. What was supposed to be a short lunch lasted a couple of hours. Not as much eating as talking! You get Debra wound up and she rather talk than eat. Thought I might have time to take a brief Sunday afternoon nap, but as I said, talking was more fun and then it was off to get a good seat to see the Kingsmen who were also in Cartersville that evening.
Well we had a BIG surprise at The Kingsmen concert. Little Ernie Phillips was filling in the tenor position. They still haven’t made a decision on who the new
tenor for the group will be. As a group who has sung more than a half century, they want to be sure God sends them the right person for the job. Bass singer Ray Dean Reese joined the group in the early ’60’s. When Elridge Fox passed away and the group name was retired in 2002, Ray took the group and reformed the group that was known as The Carolina Boys. In 2004, the name was turned back over to Ray Dean and he has kept it going.
A tidbit of information was shared about the early days. Inspirations’ member, Martin Cook, played the piano for the Kingsmen in 1958-59 and Mr. Reese sang bass in his younger days with the Inspirations. Ray Dean is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and also in 2008 was inducted in the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Randy Crawford currently emcees the program and sings baritone since he rejoined the group in 2010. Previously Randy was with the group in 2001 and sang lead at that time. Bob Sellers sings lead and joined the group in 2011.
During the program they sang some of an older Kingsmen classic album, Big and Live, which was their first live recording and won a Dove Award, and which also
had Ernie singing tenor and Ray Dean on bass. I thought I saw a window open from Heaven and Eldridge ‘Foxy’ Fox and ‘Big’ Jim Hamill looking down and ‘Big’ Jim saying, “Foxy that’s our boys singing about Jesus the way we trained them!”
Chuck Pettyjohn who sang with the Old Paths before their retirement was in the audience, and Randy got him on stage to let Ernie rest. Chuck sang three songs with them, the first being ‘Glory Road.’ Two other great classics were from the first live recording “Love Lifted Me” and “Look For Me At Jesus Feet.” After about two hours, the mighty Kingsmen closed the concert with “The Old Ship Of Zion.” Keep up with The Kingsmen at www.kingsmenquartet.com
By Robert York
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