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GCMA Southern Gospel Quartet Night
November 12, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
From its formation in 2003, Ernie Haase has built Signature Sound into one of the most popular and beloved quartets in all of Southern Gospel music. The group has traveled all over the world, offering energy, excitement and encouragement through its powerful brand of gospel music. EHSS continues to gain fans all around the globe with its unique performances and unmistakable four-part harmonies. EHSS is one of the most celebrated quartets in Southern Gospel History mentioned with the same “trailblazing” reverence as groups likes The Statesmen Quartet and The Cathedral Quartet.
EHSS has sung and sold to millions worldwide, a feat that has not been accomplished by any other Southern Gospel quartet. From concerts in Latvia and India to South Africa and New Zealand, events all around North America, TV appearances on ESPN with NASCAR, multiple NBA appearances singing our National Anthem, and even a specialty tour of historic American theaters in support of the EHSS Broadway project, Signature Sound is a world-renowned quartet that spans a wide variety of genres and cultures.
As group founder, Haase is a creative, hard-working tenor whose early roots with the unforgettable and legendary Southern Gospel quartet, The Cathedrals, helped begin his dream to form a powerhouse group of his own. Along with many appearances through the years on the widely regarded Gaither Homecoming Tour, his goal was soon accomplished and then some as EHSS quickly gained an international platform in gospel music.
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound is both GRAMMY(R)-nominated and GMA Dove Award-winning, a radio favorite in the United States and internationally, and a leader in CD sales and long form music video sales–with several RIAA(R)-certified Gold(R) and Platinum(R) DVDs.
For more than a half a century, no group has secured such a far reaching legacy like that of The Kingsmen Quartet. Since 1956, this group has risen from humble beginnings in the mountains of western North Carolina to one of the most beloved and innovative groups in Christian music. Countless renowned artists have been a part of this great lineage, eight of which have been inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame; such as Eldridge Fox, “Big” Jim Hamill, Ray Dean Reese, Squire Parsons, Anthony Burger, Martin Cook, Mark Trammell, & Ernie Phillips. The momentum has not stopped as this group continues to help define the Southern Gospel genre for a whole new generation of music lovers, perhaps more so than any other group.
In the mid-fifties, brothers Raymond, Reese, and Louis McKinney formed a gospel group, traveling locally throughout the western part of the Carolinas and completing dozens of recordings by the late 60’s. By the early 70’s, area natives Eldridge Fox and Ray Dean Reese joined this emerging quartet and in 1974 released their first live recording, “Big & Live” consisting of Fox, Reese, Jim Hamill, and Johnny Parrack. This Dove award winning album brought to gospel music, fresh arrangements and catchy melodies that would later become southern gospel classics, such as “Glory Road”, “Look for Me At Jesus Feet”, and “Love Lifted Me”. This would be the start of many legendary live albums for the Kingsmen. Traveling with a live band, the Kingsmen became one of few groups during this era to be able to perform with three to five musicians, granting them individuality and innovation in the industry.
Always seeking to have a creative edge, they began introducing themselves as, “The Ton of Fun”. Through the late 1970’s and 80’s, more hits were churning from albums such as “Chattanooga Live”, “Live Naturally”, & “Live at The University of Alabama”. These albums combined with high energy and up-tempo music brought music lovers an exciting brand of showmanship with the addition of personalities like Johnny Parrack, Garry Sheppard, & Wayne Maynard. Songs like, “Old Ship of Zion”, “Shake Hands with a Poor Boy”, “Beautiful Home”, “Saints Will Rise”, and “Child, Child” became gospel music staples. In 1981, “Excuses” became the Kingsmen’s biggest hit of that era; it was steady at number one for 18 months, making it the longest running number one song in Southern Gospel Music history.
The successes of The Kingsmen have led to many prestigious opportunities. In 1977, The Kingsmen performed on the south lawn of the White House for President Jimmy Carter and in 1982 they performed at the opening ceremony of the World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN which was broadcast on local and regional TV, with President Ronald Regan present to open the fair. The Kingsmen was also the first group to film and record a live performance at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and in 2000 they were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame followed by the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2008. They’ve garnered multiple dove awards and numerous Singing News Fan awards including favorite bass vocalist, tenor, baritone, lead, instrumentalist, video, the 1992 favorite song “Wish You Were Here” as well as favorite album by the same name featuring popular vocalist, Tim Surrett, male quartet of the year, and group of the year. The Kingsmen band was voted favorite band a record 17 times making this quartet one of the most awarded groups in Southern Gospel Music.
“The key is to never lose sight of what we are working towards” says Ray Reese, Kingsmen manager and bass singer. “We tour year in and year out to spread our music to people across the country. Our music has a message, the message of Christ. Every night we work to bring His message to our audience. Our goal is to see people saved through Jesus Christ whether we’re singing indoors, outdoors, in an auditorium, church or studio recordings.” Today the Kingsmen consist of 2008 hall of fame inductee, Ray Dean Reese, Brandon, Chris Jenkins, Chris Bryant, & Alan Kendall.
The Primitive Quartet will celebrate 50 years in gospel music in 2023. Members are Larry Riddle, Reagan Riddle, Mike Riddle, Randy Fox, and Jeff Tolbert. The quartet was formed as a result of a fishing trip when a few of the members, Furman and Norman Wilson, Reagan and Larry Riddle, sat around the campfire at night. They realized they had a four-part harmony and that was when they began singing at local churches. Their music is the traditional mountain shape note style singing accompanied by acoustic instruments including the mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitars and acoustic bass.
In 1978 Furman left the group to go into full time ministry and was replaced with Mike Riddle who played lead guitar and sang Baritone. Throughout the years the Primitive Quartet has recorded countless albums and video projects, as well as published five songbooks. Reagan Riddle wrote many of the songs recorded among their body of work.
In 1986 Randy Fox from Richmond, Indiana joined the group and graced the group with his talent as a musician and singer, who sang with Joe Isaacs and the Sacred Bluegrass. In 1997 Jeff Tolbert from Mt. Airy, North Carolina joined the group as well. Jeff’s talents come from playing with the Easter Brothers, The Lewis Family and the Isaacs.
In 1981 God blessed the Primitive Quartet with a tract of land in ‘Hominy Valley’ located in Chandler, North Carolina. They name it ‘Hominy Valley Singing Grounds’ and on July 4th as well as in October, the Primitive Quartet hosts a gospel singing.
Today the Primitive Quartet group travels fifty thousand miles a year and does about a hundred fifty dates annually. They count it a privilege to be able to spread the gospel through their songs and their ultimate goal is to lead souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
From an early age, Mickey has always been the one to stand out in a crowd. Not because of his awesome size but from his ability to lighten up any mood or situation. He is no stranger to the stage since he started standing in front of people since the age of 10.
Mickey proves that you don’t have to use vulgar language to get people to laugh. You simply have to look around around this world to find plenty of comedy material.
This is very important to Mickey because it allows him to entertain audiences from any stage, event, conference or concert. His passion for making people laugh stems from his troubled past that he is very forthcoming about in his shows. His testimony of second chances and redemption not only gives you a night of laughter but it also gives you an event that will encourage those who attend.
Mickey performs on stages all across the nation opening up for Gospel acts that include: Jason Crabb, David Phelps, Guy Penrod, The Martins and many others. He is also a regular “warm up” comedian for The Huckabee Show seen on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.