Singing Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Singing Americans
Origin Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Genres Southern Gospel
Years active 1968 (1968)–1994 (1994)
Associated acts Triumphant Quartet
Gold City

The Singing Americans was a Southern Gospel group based in Maiden, North Carolina. They are best known for being a stepping stone to popular singers, such as Mark Flaker (Florida Boys) Ivan Parker (Gold City), Danny Funderburk (The Cathedrals), Clayton Inman (Kingdom Heirs, Won By One, and Triumphant Quartet), David Sutton (Kingdom Heirs and Triumphant Quartet), Michael English (Gaither Vocal Band), Mark Fain (Gold City and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder), Taylor Barnes (Gold City), and Jeff Easter (Jeff and Sheri Easter). The group was popular throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

History[edit]

The Singing Americans were started in 1968 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (by Lemar and Sims) and was owned by Homer Wadford. In 1973 when the Oak Ridge Boys were beginning to make their transition from gospel to country, The Singing Americans were signed by the prestigious Lou Wills Hildreth Agency in Nashville. In an article announcing the signing, The Singing News predicted that based on their sound and popularity, that The Singing Americans would take the Oak Ridge Boys spot as the number one quartet in gospel music. Unfortunately, their owner, Homer Wadford had a different sound in mind, and wanted to see the group move in a different direction stylistically. In 1980, the group was sold to Charles Burke, who later went on to own the Kingsmen Quartet name for a few years, and obtained all new personnel with Mark Flaker singing tenor, Charles Surratt singing baritone, Ed Crawford singing Lead, and Charles Burke's son, Dwayne, singing bass. Mark Flaker left later that year and was replaced by Danny Funderburk. Ed Crwaford left and was replaced by Michael English, who would leave for a couple years and be replaced by Ivan Parker, and then Clayton Inman. Also, in 1982, Surrat would leave and be replaced by Southern Gospel legend, Ed Hill. When Michael English left for the second time in 1985, he was replaced again by Clayton Inman, who would replace Hill in 1987 in the baritone spot, leaving the lead open for Scott Whitener. The 1990s started a decline in the popularity of the Singing Americans, but it did not mean they still weren't capable of producing popular singers. David Sutton and Taylor Barnes passed through the group during this time. Finally, in 1993, the Singing Americans produced their final album, "Live from Chicago", before retiring in 1994. In August 1996, promoter/historian Charles Waller reunited English with Ed Hill, Rick Strickland, Dwayne Burke and Milton Smith as the Singing Americans, before an audience of over 4,000 gospel music fans at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. and in 2010 at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY at a showcase commemorating the 100th anniversary of Southern Gospel music.

Members[edit]

Line-ups[edit]

1968–1971

(Under the Name "Singing Americans")

1971-1972 1972-1973
1973-1974 1974-1979 1979-1980
  • Rodney Hoots – tenor
  • Ed Crawford – lead
  • Jerry Brown - bass
1980 1980-1981 1981-1982
  • Danny Funderburk – tenor
  • Ed Crawford – lead
  • Charles Surratt – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
1982-1983 1983 1983-1984
  • Danny Funderburk – tenor
  • Ivan Parker – lead
  • Ed Hill – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
  • Jerry Hatley - piano
  • Clayton Inman – lead
  • Ed Hill – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
  • Jerry Hatley - piano
  • Mike English – lead
  • Ed Hill – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
  • Jerry Hatley - piano
1984-1985 1985-1986 1986-1987
  • Rick Strickland – tenor
  • Clayton Inman – lead
  • Ed Hill – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
  • Milton Smith - piano
1987-1988 1988-1989 1989-1990
  • Greg Shockley – tenor
  • Scott Whitener – lead
  • Clayton Inman – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
  • James Rainey - piano
  • Greg Shockley – tenor
  • Scott Whitener – lead
  • David Jenkins – baritone
  • Dwayne Burke - bass
  • James Rainey - piano
1990-1992 1992 1992-1993
  • David Sutton – tenor
  • Scott Whitener – lead
  • Buddy Burton – baritone
  • Larry Stewart - bass
  • Joe Lane - piano
1993 1993-1994 1994
  • David Sutton – tenor
  • Scott Whitener – lead
  • Buddy Burton – baritone
  • Larry Stewart - bass
  • Randy Matthews - piano
  • David Sutton – tenor
  • Scott Whitener – lead
  • Buddy Burton – baritone
  • Larry Stewart - bass
  • Joe Lane - piano

Tenor

Lead

Baritone

Bass

Piano

Bass Guitar

Rhythm and Lead Guitar

Drums

Trumpet

Musicians Unknown Positions

Discography[edit]

  • 1973-Our Tribute To God And Country
  • 1975-Wanted Live
  • 1977-The Singing Americans
  • 1980-Tell the Angels
  • 1981-The Exciting Sounds of the Singing Americans
  • 1981-Hymntime
  • 1981-Gospel Favorites Vol. 2
  • 1982-Sensational Singing Americans
  • 1982-Sing Gospel Hits Volume 1
  • 1982-Sing Gospel Hits Volume 2
  • 1982-Sing Gospel Hits Volume 3
  • 1982-Sing Gospel Hits Volume 4
  • 1983-Everybody Ought to Praise His Name
  • 1984-Gospel Favorites
  • 1984-Something Old, Something New
  • 1984-Live and Alive
  • 1985-Black and White
  • 1986-Hearts of Praise, Songs of Majesty
  • 1987-Homecoming Live
  • 1988-Chartbreakers
  • 1988-Sing Out
  • 1988-We're Blessed
  • 1989-Angels on Board
  • 1989-Songs We Salute
  • 1990-Watch & Pray
  • 1990-Greatest Hits: 10th Anniversary Collection (Compilation)
  • 1991-Live & Well
  • 1991-Revival
  • 1992-On Stage
  • 1993-Live from Chicago
  • 1993-Golden Hits
  • 1993-Song of Praise
  • 1994-Sing the Old Songs
  • 1996-20 Favorites By The Singing Americans (Compilation)
  • 199?-The Devil Don’t Want Us to Have a Revival
  • 199?-Singing Americans Featuring Buddy Burton
  • 199?-Singing For America (Compilation)