One day the show was just gone. Florida Boy alumnus Jerry Trammell recently told me the shows end actually came when preaching ministries became willing to buy that Sunday morning TV air time for more than the television stations were paying the Florida Boys for The Gospel Singing Jubilee. That was a sad day because from that point until the success of Bill Gaither, a generation of Americans missed these great performers in their routines.
One of the individuals that helped carry the Florida Boys sound for more than 20 years is the legendary bass and baritone singer Buddy Liles. A member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Liles continues with a solo ministry he began almost a decade ago traveling throughout the country ministering to thousands each year.
In a telephone interview while traveling in New York, Liles said he enjoys the closeness of communication created with the audience as a soloist.
There really is a lot of variety to my program, he said.
The previous Singing News Favorite Bass Award winners songs vary from the popular Florida Boys request number How Great Thou Art to songs such as It Is No Secret.
I still do middle of road songs like What a Wonderful World, he said.
He said his shows are music infused; he figures folks come to hear the singing not the talking.
Through his career, he said he has seen many improvements in the gospel industry but some setbacks as well.
There have been so many improvements in equipment, he said. True four-part quartet singing is not as true as it use to be. You dont see that much anymore.
He said he still fondly remembers those days of filming The Gospel Singing Jubilee.
We filmed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, he said. We were there in Nashville once a month and filmed several shows.
It was a great advertising tool for not only for Florida Boys but for traditional music all across the country, he said. It was strong in California, the Northeast and Southern states.
I have people even now tell me they would watch the show when get up, get ready for church, he said.
Liles credits his parents for giving him the inspiration for his musical career. Perhaps that is one of the reasons he is so supportive of youth in the industry.
I am 100 percent about helping the young people, he said. There have been many people that have helped me over the years.
He said some of those are his heroes Bill Gaither, Jake Hess, and J.D. Sumner.
Liles said he has no worries about the future of Southern gospel music.
I think its here to stay, he said. People appreciate people who sing by note and go after pretty harmony.
Buddy Liles will bring his outstanding solo performance to the Ringgold Depot at Depot Street and U.S. 41 Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. in a special concert for the Share America Foundation, Inc. Myself, Randall Franks, Officer Randy Goode from TVs In the Heat of the Night will emcee. The Boynton Baptist Youth Choir will make a special appearance. The Boynton Lions Club will sell soft drinks and snacks.
Donations for tickets are $5 for adults, children 5 and under free with adult. Seating is limited to 300. Tickets may be purchased in advance during business hours at The Catoosa County News (706) 935-2621 in Ringgold and SonShine Christian Books (706) 861-7675 in Fort Oglethorpe. The event is a fundraiser for the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship Fund. The Share America Foundation, Inc., a Georgia non-profit, presents scholarships to talented musicians who excel in the Appalachian musical arts. For more information, Share America Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 42 Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755.
Randall Franks is an award-winning musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as Officer Randy Goode on TVs In the Heat of the Night, now on Turner South. His latest CD release, Gods Children, is by etrecordshop.com. He is a member of the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame. He is a columnist and staff writer for The Catoosa County News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLICK ON THESE LINKS