In what can safely be said to be one of Southern Gospel’s biggest stories in the last few years, Bill Gaither announced the departure of half the Gaither Vocal Band—lead singer Guy Penrod and baritone Marshall Hall—and the return of three alumni, David Phelps, Mark Lowry, and Michael English. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.] Penrod will be pursuing a solo career that will include recording a family-friendly positive country album; Hall’s plans are unknown at this point.
Yes, the Gaither Vocal Band will now be a quintet. And knowing their penchant for complex harmonies, I doubt that they will do simple doubling of the tenor part.
* * *
And now I think I can say: I’ve actually known since October that Penrod wouldn’t be returning—but the person who told me said it on the condition that I didn’t post it. But it was just as well, since that left him room to change his mind without public reaction if he had chosen to. So that’s why I beat around the bush the way I did when answering your questions here and elsewhere. Sorry about that!
I definitely didn’t see Hall’s departure coming imminently, though.