Well, the results in my Gold City tenors and leads polls have been very interesting. (And by the way, if you haven’t voted yet, it’s never too late! I’d like to get 100 in each, if possible.)
Anyway, so far there are nearly 80 per, and like I said, the results are fascinating. In the tenors poll, Jay Parrack has carried nearly half of the votes. And Brian Free is a very distant second—interestingly, separated by only a few votes from Steve Ladd.
The leads poll seemed tougher. One way I could tell is that there were a few people who voted in the tenors poll but couldn’t seem to make up their minds among the leads. Still, once again there’s a clear front-runner, and that’s Jonathan Wilburn. Similarly to Parrack, he carries nearly half of the votes. Ivan Parker is a slightly closer second than Free to Parrack, but there are still roughly fifteen votes between them.
As a side note of interest, support for some of Gold City’s more recent lead singers seems strong, with Bruce Taliaferro and Craig West each having snagged five votes as of yesterday evening.
My question today is this: If, as it seems, Jay Parrack is predominantly Gold City’s best loved tenor, and Jonathan Wilburn predominantly their best loved lead singer, then why is it that the lineup with Brian Free and Ivan Parker is widely considered The Classic lineup, the benchmark? It surely can’t be because of the other members—Tim Riley obviously has been a constant from day one, and Mike Lefevre has never had a particularly remarkable voice. He’s certainly not the baritone Mark Trammell is, and Mark came after Lefevre during the Parrack years.
Is it because that happened to be the lineup when they made their best music? Even there I’m still confused, because if I’m not mistaken albums like Pillars of Faith and Acapella Gold both featured Steve Lacey and not Lefevre, yet it’s always Mike and not Steve who is featured in any kind of “classic” reunion. However, I know that a lot of their early hits were first performed by the Free/Parker/Lefevre lineup.
What do you think?