Great news from a great Gospel group! The Gaither Vocal Band (GVB) has reinvented the direction of its singing career.
Gaither.com has announced the departure of long-time lead singer Guy Penrod.
He has been well-loved for his powerful vocals and extensive range as lead singer. One of the songs that he used to sing powerfully is “Because He Lives” during Gaither Homecomings, a song that usually starts with Bill Gaither (bass), followed by a baritone (Ben Speer, most of the time), and then Guy himself. Guy has been part of the group for 14 years. (BTW, you can scour Youtube for “Canadian Homecoming – Because He Lives” and “Israel Homecoming” as well for dramatic renditions!)
Guy Penrod will be replaced by Michael English, a former lead singer of the GVB in the 90’s.
Also, GVB’s baritone Marshall Hall since 2004 will also be leaving the group, to be replaced by Mark Lowry, also a former baritone of the group.
As part of the big former members’ comeback, David Phelps also is returning as the group’s tenor, to share the role with Wes Hampton. The two guys are really great tenors. But probably, David Phelps will be singing higher, which he is known to be able to do so.
What was notable of this transtion was the group having five members. Since its birth sometime in the late 70’s, it has always had four members: bass, baritone, lead tenor. Bill Gaither named the Gaither Vocal Band as so because he once said he didn’t want the group to be restricted to four people only.
Now that there are two tenors, I wonder how will they arrange their songs. But to the matchless wisdom of God and His blessing of musical artistry to His people, what could be difficult?
With a treasure chest of fresh comeback talents, this group teeming with well-loved Gospel music giftedness is surely going to capture the world once more of its unique voice. I look forward to their next album.
Funny, Bill Gaither used to lightly describe his group as “just four men having fun around a microphone.”