Monday, May 14, 2012

Melody Boys Quartet Spring Concert Recap

Mike Franklin (tenor), Chris Walton (lead), Jason
Tapley (baritone) and Gerald Williams (bass)
Friday night I went to the Melody Boys Annual Spring Concert at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church in Little Rock. The church is Gerald Williams' home church, and it's always a fun concert. The audience is full of not only fans, but also family members and former group members. The group's current lineup is Mike Franklin (tenor), Chris Walton (lead), Jason Tapley (baritone) and Gerald Williams (bass).

Former lead singer Jonathan Sawrie was the emcee for the night. He did a great job as always, providing comedic relief throughout the night. The night started with a video put together by Gerald's daughter and grandson on the history of the group.

The first song of the night was "Put Your Hand in the Hand," which featured Gerald. The next song was "Keep Walking," another song from the group's most recent project American Christian. The song featured Chris, who really showed off his strong lead vocals. 

Jason has been with the group only two months. He was featured on "Is Anybody Talkin' 'Bout Jesus Anymore?" They sang the classic "Working on a Building" next.

Mike introduced Gerald next. He has been with Gerald in the Melody Boys for 20 years. Gerald has been the bass singer for the group for 63 years, since he was 17 years old. He was featured on "Love So Divine." At 80 years old, he's still one of the best in the business! His voice is just as strong as it's been for decades! 

The group had Jonathan come up to play the piano and said they were going to do two of the most common quartet songs. The Melody Boys sang "I'm Winging My Way" and "Just a Little Talk With Jesus." The group has been known for its tight harmonies, and these two classic songs really showed that off.

Right before the half, the group sang "American Christian" which had the entire crowd on its feet!

After intermission, the group brought up former members to sing. The first one up was Gary Bullock who was featured on "Hide Thou Me." This is one of my favorite hymns, and his tenor voice on this song was outstanding.

The next lineup was Mike Franklin (tenor), Terry Robertson (lead), Caleb Matheny (baritone) and Gerald (bass). Terry was featured on "Same Old Story."

They called Chris up to sing lead and sang "You Sho Do Need Him Now," and Mike nailed the tenor part on this song! Caleb was featured on the next song "The Lamb He Died to Save."

Before the last lineup of former members took the stage, they announced there were a few birthdays in the audience. The current group came up to sing "Happy Birthday." It was the best rendition of "Happy Birthday" I've ever heard, I didn't realize I could be so impressed by hearing "Happy Birthday!"

Jonathan Sawrie brought up Doug Kramer to sing baritone with Mike and Gerald rounding out the quartet. Jonathan mentioned that these four had been through a lot together, bought the first bus, sold the first bus, and had their first bus wreck. He joked that in the video earlier he remembered every time they showed them working on the bus or having to tow the bus. He remembers riding in the wrecker and even in the back of the bus while it was being towed!

Mike Franklin (tenor), Jonathan Sawrie (lead),
Doug Kramer (baritone) and Gerald Williams (bass) 
Those four sang a number of songs, including: "Milky White Way," "Peace in the Valley," "Pray," "Shadrach" and "This Old House.""Shadrach" was definitely a highlight! Jonathan asked if the lady who requested it last year was there again this year. No one said anything. Last year he said they weren't prepared to sing this song, but he promised her they would sing it the next year. He said that since they practiced it they were just going to do it anyway!

Gerald then was featured on "How Great Thou Art." I thought this was a great song choice since Gerald quoted the song in the opening video as being one of his favorite lyrics. I expected it to close the show, but they sang one more.

With Jonathan taking a seat behind the piano and with just the piano accompaniment, they sang "I'll Meet You in the Morning."

It was such a great night, and maybe my last time to see the Melody Boys Quartet. I hope the other current group members find a place in Southern Gospel and continue singing. After several years of coming to their annual Spring Concert, this event will definitely be missed next year!


  1. Thank you so much for the Great review... You mentioned at the end about some of us might be going somewhere else in Southern Gospel... I thought I would let you know that Me and Jason will be starting a group and we will hit the road full time in January... The group will be The Next Chapter Quartet and will consist of Jason Tapley, Chris Walton, Thomas Griffin, and Zac Barham... We have a facebook page right now,, our website will be up this fall... Thanks again for the Great Concert review...
    God Bless,
    Chris Walton

    1. Thanks so much Chris! Look forward to hearing more from you and Jason with the Next Chapter Quartet!


Thanks for visiting the site and for commenting!