The Week in Review: Goodbye Gordon Mote, Ask R. C. Sproul, Rockelbel’s Canon and More…

On the southern gospel front:

*We are very sad to see Gordon Mote leave the Gaither tour. However, it sounds like only good news from Gordon’s point of view, since he’ll be able to focus on the session work for which he’s obviously in hot demand. He will be greatly missed, but we wish him the best of luck.

*Butch Owens (father of Ian) has joined the Blackwood Brothers. Aaron Swain found a couple clips of him singing with the Blackwood Quartet (not to be confused with the Brothers). The family resemblance is definitely there!

*Kelly Nelon got attacked by an ostrich this week. Not making this up. Proof. (The first part is goats—skip to the end for the ostrich.) HT, Lauren.

*Brian Free attempted an impromptu rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” this week. Not making this up either. Proof. (Skip to 1:40, where they first spot the bridge that inspires Brian. I hope he doesn’t kill me.)

*This is an older news item, but I just noticed it this week: Our blog friend Brian Fuson has joined a Michigan-based quartet called New Destiny as their baritone singer. This is a dream come true for Brian, and we wish him all the best!

On the faith/ culture/faith & culture front:

*Via Tim Challies, here’s a chance to submit any question you like for R. C. Sproul. Tim will be conducting the interview in a couple of weeks and is soliciting your contributions. Obviously there are far too many submissions for all of them to make the final cut, but you never know—yours might!

*Dear Digital Son: Also via Tim Challies, this letter from a father to a highschool graduate is chock-full of wise, hilarious nuggets. “As you prepare to graduate, I hope you’ll remember there’s more to life than the Kardashians, 46-pound cats and texting in incomplete sentences.” Here’s my favorite quote:

Despite the ongoing existence of “Transformers,” a movie is not the first layer of a multi-platform marketing scheme but rather a singular act of art to be experienced, debated with good friends over food, drinks and revisited years later. To see a film projected in a common, shared space is central to the experience; feeling the audience catch its breath when Peter O’Toole blows out the match in “Lawrence of Arabia” is a moment you will never forget. You will be hard-pressed to recall to your children the exact surroundings when you first enjoyed the serotonin-flooding epiphany that was “Charlie bit my finger” on YouTube.

On the entertainment front:

*Les Miserables has been adapted for the screen several times, but the Broadway musical has never been turned into a movie—until now. Coming this Christmas is a brand-new version starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. I just watched the new trailer via Denny Burk. The production looks sumptuous, and with the same guy who directed The King’s Speech at the helm it can’t be a bad bit of movie-making. I’m just a little wary of how the singing will work. As a singer, Hugh Jackman makes a good actor. It’s not that he’s bad, just overrated. Acting is his true calling. But we’ll see. Meanwhile, enjoy the sneak peek.

*If you haven’t heard of the Youtube phenomenon known as the Piano Guys by now, you should have. They are Jon Schmidt, master of the piano, and Steven Sharp Nelson, jack of all instruments but primarily cello. Nelson (or actually four Nelsons) stars in their latest video, a wedding that almost turns disastrous when one of the Nelsons falls asleep at the bow, but takes an exhilarating turn when he transforms the blunder into a rockin’ take on Pachelbel. (Just to make sure Steve doesn’t completely steal the show, Jon makes a cameo appearance disguised as a dancing old lady at 4:05. But his true identity is revealed at 4:49!)

Open thread…


7 thoughts on “The Week in Review: Goodbye Gordon Mote, Ask R. C. Sproul, Rockelbel’s Canon and More…

  1. The “found” clips Aaron posted of the Blackwood Quartet appear to be videod by… Aaron. 🙂

    Awesome that Dr. Sproul is making this opportunity available. I once took a class with him and we enjoyed sharing several orders of Olive Garden breadsticks together.

      1. Glad you liked the videos! =)

        That lineup that Mark Blackwood put together was one of the best quartets I’ve heard, period. For at least that part of their tour, they were using no tracks, just featuring Dean Haskins on the piano and doing mostly hymns and classics. That short-lived lineup featured, besides Haskins, Blackwood, and Owens, tenor Tim Williams (now with RSV Quartet out West) and lead MIchael Helwig (now tenor for the Dixie Echoes). Good stuff. I’m glad to see Butch Owens getting into a well-known group again. He can still tote the mail, and is a great guy to boot.

        I’m not sure what I would ask Dr. Sproul, but I would tell him how much I got out of his book The Holiness of God. Did a study through that with a small group this past fall semester; very thought-provoking, challenging subject matter.

      2. No tracks, no stacks! I like that. 🙂

        I recognized Michael Helwig, but I forgot he had sung lead before becoming a tenor. But that makes sense since he probably doesn’t have a tenor voice, speaking strictly technically. However, it means that he sings tenor with an unusually full-bodied tone, which makes it sound good!

      3. I think he sang tenor for The Torchmen out of Canada years ago. And I’ve seen least one video floating around of him singing tenor with The Stamps, in what I assume is a fill-in setting. The guy has a killer range. The first night I saw the Blackwood Quartet, it was right after Dale Evans and Chris West had left, and it was Helwig’s first time on stage with the group. He sang tenor and nailed it.

  2. Lydia

    The digital son column was cute. I can’t agree with him about everything, though. The daily newspapers, for example. Let’s face it: Only a liberal who writes for a paper like the LA Times could tell his son that the MSM is a reliable way to frame your world. In actual fact, we’re very lucky that digital news, especially blogs, have provided us with an alternative to the “four daily newspapers” with which the columnist starts his day. These other sources help to provide a corrective for the bias and fill in the chinks. Obviously the New York Times would like us all to think that it is the locus of wisdom and that we shouldn’t listen to those weirdos who tell us all the news it doesn’t see fit to print. But equally obviously, the New York Times is wrong. Of course, I have no doubt that his son has a shallow view of the world and that this has something to do with obsessive texting and social media. And no doubt the father has better taste. But that’s about as far as one can go. And to hit the real cynical bottom of the barrel, the father’s probable political co-religionists will find or have found the son all that much easier to manipulate this way when he studies what nowadays passes for the liberal arts.

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