Gaither Vocal Band Personnel Changes
Since the Gaither Vocal Band’s genesis in the early 1980s, the group has been a proverbial incubator of great talent. Names like Steve Green, Larnelle Harris, Mark Lowry, Guy Penrod and Michael English have become beloved favorites to listeners all over the world. Today, we announce a coming transition that continues the legacy of the Gaither Vocal Band, not only as a Grammy-winning vocal group but also a launching opportunity and nurturer of rising talent.
Throughout the past 20 years, David Phelps has become a defining influence in the Gaither Vocal Band. His powerful tenor voice and gift for artfully communicating the heart of a song has won the hearts of listeners across the globe. Because the demand on David’s time has exploded during recent years, he is departing from the Gaither Vocal Band to concentrate on his solo career full-time.
Gaither Music will release David’s newest recording, Hymnal, on March 22, and we are incredibly proud of what he is doing and will continue an ongoing relationship with him for years to come. David will sing selections from that recording during our upcoming big events, including Texas Homecoming Spectacular, Family Fest in the Smokies, the 2017 Alaskan Homecoming Cruise, and undoubtedly many other gatherings in the future.
David reflects, “It has literally been a dream-come-true to be a part of the GVB. I remember the first time I was standing behind Bill in the group as he began ‘There’s a line that’s been drawn though the ages…’ I knew I’d finally made it. Now the journey that’s been filled with deep-conversations-over-morning-coffee, not-always-appropriate-belly-laughs, sad tears, happy tears, and always-great music has led us to a fork in the road. I’ve been in school for 20 years. It still shocks (and scares) Bill a little bit when I quote, word for word, something he said years ago. I’ve been soaking it all in. He is my teacher, mentor, friend, and a welcome critic. We are family. As things change and evolve over this transition, that will remain the same. Lori and I are excited about the wonderful future that God has in store for all of us as we embark on this new chapter. We are so grateful for the invaluable love and support of all our fans, friends and family!’
“David is a rare talent and we are so grateful for his presence in the Gaither Vocal Band for all these years,” Bill states. “We will continue to include him on the program for our special weekend events as he is available.”
Beginning April 1, Reggie Smith will become the newest member of the Gaither Vocal Band, joining Bill Gaither, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb and Todd Suttles. Reggie is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a vocal emphasis; and where he has also completed work toward his Master’s degree in vocal performance. Reggie, along with his wife Ladye Love, has been a featured artist on the Gaither Homecoming stage for more than fifteen years. Reggie has performed in more than 25 countries and in such prestigious venues as the Super Bowl, New York’s famed Carnegie Hall, and the Kremlin in Moscow. His voice can be heard on countless recordings, including the original The Lion King movie soundtrack. Reggie is also an accomplished music producer who has worked with country music’s finest, including Josh Turner and Michael Martin Murphy.
Reggie is honored to join the ranks of the Gaither Vocal Band and states, “I consider this a great honor. Bill has been a great coach to me for many years, and I am thrilled to be able to work with these talented men who are already dear friends.”
Bill Gaither is ecstatic about the future, stating, “I love working with so many great singers, and I am thrilled about all that Reggie Smith brings to the Gaither Vocal Band. His voice folds in beautifully with the other group members, as does his genuinely sweet spirit. Great days are ahead!”
Visit Gaither.com for a complete list of tour dates, plus information on the latest releases featuring the Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps, and the Gaither Homecoming family.
Left to right: Todd Suttles, Reggie Smith, Bill Gaither, Adam Crabb, Wes Hampton