HolyCoast: 35 Years

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

35 Years

Thirty-five years ago this morning a nervous 18-year old high school senior walked up onto the stage at Garden Grove Nazarene Church, picked up a bass guitar, and for the first time played as a member of a gospel quartet. The group was The Watchmen Quartet and the kid was me. I played for that group through the end of 1982 when my dad, who was singing bass, retired. I then sang bass and played bass guitar with them through the end of 1990.

Here's the first publicity shot I took with the group. As you can guess, I'm the long-haired kid with the bad jacket on the left. I don't have as many pictures as I would like of the Watchmen years, but I did pull up a couple of other publicity shots. This one from 1976. How about those shirts and photogray glasses.
This one's from 1985.

After leaving The Watchmen I spent 18 months out of the business, just doing some fill-in work for another quartet in the fall of 1991. In 1992 Greg Brandt and I started The Crimson River Quartet. Here's our first publicity shot:
Over the years I've had the chance to travel to some neat places with this group. Here are some random shots. First, on stage at Pasadena Nazarene in 1996 during the recording of our first live video:Later in 1996 we made our first trip to Colorado Springs. Here we're singing at an outdoor event in a local park:For nine years we did a Halloween night event at a church in Bellflower. That's our old bus in the background.
From 1997 through 2003, and again in 2005, we sang at the Great Western Quartet Convention (later known as the Great Western Fan Festival). Here are some shot from those years:During the conventions in 2001-2003 we hosted a Riverboat Cruise on the Sacramento River. Here we are singing in front of the bar aboard the ship:We've been to some unusual spots over the years. Here we are singing along the bank of the Tuolumne River in Waterford, CA:In 1999 we made our first of now 11 trips to Rockport, Texas for the Rockport Gospel Music Festival. Our hosts were members of the Rockport Police Department:
We recorded our 2nd live video in 2001 at Lake Hills Church in Laguna Hills, CA:
In 2002 we had a 10 year celebration which was recorded for a CD:
We decided to go for the crazy patriotic look for a quartet convention in Orange County. I found those shirts at Disneyland:In 2005 we did a weekend in Front Royal, Virgina. During the day we made a couple of stops. First, a Civil War battlefield in New Market, VA:We also stopped by a friend's house in Washington D.C.:
This is the current shot we're using, taken in Rockport, TX. We'll be getting a new one soon since we're going to be adding a new lead singer:
It's been quite a ride and it's not done yet. Tonight we'll be getting together to work with a new member and in July we'll be singing with him in Long Beach. We don't work as hard as we used to, but it's still fun.

I don't know how many people I've sung to in over 1,400 concerts in 15 states (all as a part-time group), but it's a bunch. What's funny is that in January of 2008 I put about 60 of our videos on YouTube and to date they've been viewed over 320,000 times. I could have saved myself a lot of driving if I'd just gone on YouTube a long time ago.
For information on Crimson River Quartet CDs and DVDs, go here.

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