Saturday, February 26, 2011


Southern Plainsmen Assist Tinney Chapel In Campaign To “Imagine No Malaria”

Click on any image above to view it in larger format or click on arrow elsewhere (at bottom of this post) to view a video of part of the Southern Plainsmen Quartet performance.

Southern Plainsmen Assist Tinney Chapel
In Campaign To “Imagine No Malaria”

The touring Southern Plainsmen Quartet, Marcelle Slaughter, Jordan Mothershed, Allen Doyle and Mike Burkhalter, in their second appearance at Tinney Chapel in as many months, sang to a mixed-church congregation today, Saturday, Feb. 26, at a United Methodist Chili Cookoff, organized to benefit “Imagine No Malaria,” a worldwide campaign to end this dreaded disease once and for all.

The Cookoff featured chili cooked by six pastors from as many churches, and each brought a following to encourage and, hopefully, help them win the title of best chili cook. See separate entry on this Weblog for the results of that competition.

Meanwhile, the Southern Plainsmen brought this diverse crowd to its feet with their patented, jazzed-up, syncopated version of "Love Lifted Me," a unique number they used to warm up the quintessential country church at our Christmas concert a few weeks ago.

As the concert program began to unfold, with Allen Doyle leading his memorable version of “Sweet Beulah Land” and Jordan Mothershed leading “Headed Home,” tonight’s congregation was firmly under the musical spell of this enthusiastic example of Southern sacred group harmony, which has now made its third appearance here.

Once again, many in this United Methodist congregation had ample reason to think of John Wesley, Methodism's founder, when the Plainsmen sang its distinctive version of "It Is Well With My Soul."

This time, let’s just say that their rousing version of “O What A Savior”—a song which could function as the Plainsmen’s group testimony--compensated for any lack of direct reference to the Original Methodist, John Wesley.

Two key people also contributed to the outstanding performance, neither of whom actually sang in the quartet: soundman Aaron Allen and all-around roadie Spencer Fisher, each receiving high praise for his efforts from group leader Slaughter.

Other memorable performances on this evening: “Jesus Has Risen,” “Say A Little Prayer,” “A Personal Savior,” and, one of their special numbers “Come And Get Me Lord And Carry Me Home.”

Marcelle Slaughter, a veteran of 32 years with this group, and the only remaining member of the original aggregation, is the Plainsmen's first tenor, or as they used to say in the old days of gospel quartets, the "high tenor," reminiscent of the sound once championed by "Sister" Loy Hooker, a much earlier exponent. In a post concert conversation two years ago, Slaughter admitted to remembering Hooker, but added: "That really was a LONG time ago!" And, indeed it was.

In a humorous introduction of Slaughter tonight, Plainsmen bass singer Mike Burkhalter said, among other things, that “Marcelle sings the little girl’s part real well.” But this was said not only as humor but also with a great deal of musical respect, as vocalists with Slaughter’s range are few and far between, and his fellow quartet members appear to understand this very well and also to respect him as the group’s business manager.

Group leader Slaughter later told the congregation how to follow the Plainsmen on the Internet:
“If you are on Facebook, we now have a Facebook page called, Southern Plainsmen,” he added.

But, as always with this group, no report of their concert would be complete without mention of the marvelous, unforgettable song, led by Allen Doyle, called “Faces,” which tells us that when we all see Jesus, one of the things He has in store for us is a kind of PowerPoint collage of all the faces each of us have influenced in some Christ-like manner during our Christian walks on this earth.

As if saving the best for last, the final song was a truly over-the-top and very fast-moving song, “Getting Ready To Leave This World,” that highlighted all four harmonic parts of the group.

It was indeed a concert to remember, and you can view a small part of it via the video provided elsewhere, immediately below, on this Weblog post.

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