During the 1950’s and 60’s, Southern Gospel quartet music raced to the forefront with great groups like the Statesmen and the Blackwoods. Since those original roots, the art form we now call Southern Gospel Music has widened its scope to include strong influences from other music forms like country and bluegrass. Sadly, much of that truly golden era has been lost, as has the style and artistry that was the hallmark of that genre of Southern Gospel talent. The oft-heard comment is that there are very few true, traditional Southern Gospel male quartets to be found anymore.
I would like to introduce you to four men who are determined to revive that polished style of quartet singing. The real bonus is that they’re doing it for all the right reasons, serving Christ through a ministry of song and testimony. They sing great of course, but their testimony is also powerful and inspiring. They sing with what can only be described as excellence in music and exuberance in presentation. To get the full impact, you must hear and see them face-to-face. I can find no fault in either their testimony or their very talented presentation in song. I once believed the golden age of Southern Gospel to be an era gone by. But I am now rethinking that belief, for Southern Sound makes it all so fresh and vibrant. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Southern Sound Quartet ... and gospel music may never be the same again!
Ben Harris Lead singer for Southern Sound (or second tenor, if you prefer "old-school" titles), provides the unmistakable classic lead that Southern Gospel quartet music became so well-acquainted with during its golden age. He can be added to a distinguished list of fine lead singers such as Roy McNeal and Ben’s long-time friend, the legendary Jake Hess.
Ben’s stylistic approach to singing lead is very much his own, but still sounds familiar to those true fans of Southern Gospel quartet music. Ben has been a highly regarded recording engineer / producer and backup vocalist in Nashville for many years. As testament to his exceptional musical abilities, he has been awarded numerous gold and platinum albums.
Ben does much of SSQ’s vocal arrangements, and serves as the group’s emcee. Ben and his wife Delita attend a church in the Nashville area.
After a few years hiatus, we are proud to have Alan back with Southern Sound, singing the low notes. He is truly one of the smoothest bass singers you will hear in a long time, and brings great depth to Southern Sound. He and Pam reside in Ringgold, GA and have three grown children. Alan is also a business owner, and is valued even more for his integrity.
Shannon Burns joined Southern Sound in September 2014 and brings a smooth, sweet tenor to the group's blend.
He has been married to Jennifer since 2007, who is a pre-school teacher. They have 2 boys, who are active in school and sports activities.
Shannon is an Auburn grad and teaches High School in Albertville, AL. He also has his Masters from Alabama A & M in Huntsville.
The family are members of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Boaz, where he has served as deacon for several years.
He has sung all of his life in various church, school and professional groups, and spent more than 20 years with The Singing Ambassadors Quartet from Fayetteville, TN. He has also served as Music Minister in several area churches.
Most important is his testimony; he loves the Lord and loves to travel and sing the Gospel. Be sure to get to know Shannon when we are in your area."
Randy came to Southern Sound in September of 2013, but is no stranger to Gospel Music. He started traveling and singing with his family group when he was 5, and has sung and played in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Mexico, as well as around the US. He plays several insturments, including piano for some of Southern Sound's music. He has also been a Pastor & Worship Leader.
He has worked in Rescue Missions in L.A., Colorado Springs and Nashville over the last 19 years, and has been married to Karen for 37 years. They have two sons and 6 grandchildren, and reside just north of Nashville, TN.
This brief overview is simply a thumbnail sketch of what Southern Sound is really all about. In a word, Southern Sound Quartet is classy! They are deeply rooted in traditional Southern Gospel, four-part close harmony and in the testimony that Christ is Lord. I was fortunate to hear the group recently at a large church near my home, and they were indeed breathtaking. I lost count of the standing ovations they received that evening from a packed church, quite accustomed to hearing the finest Southern Gospel has to offer. The concert I attended will stay with me for quite some time, but even now, I hunger for more. Southern Sound’s attitude, infectious enthusiasm, stage presence, and fine sense of Spirit-filled music, makes a concert by Southern Sound one to be cherished for a very long while.
The guys have appeared on the National Quartet Convention, Southern Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame Inductance Ceremony, Gospel Music Television, Brush Arbor Jubilee, Grand Ole Gospel Reunion, Paul Heil’s Gospel Greats, Lake Country Jubilee, Southern Gospel Quartet Reunion, and countless personal appearances from Michigan to Florida and from Texas to Pennsylvania. They are refreshing, super talented, and simply a joy to listen to. These four great talents come together forming a truly magical work of musical art. Their sound is unique, tight harmonies telling of the joy in serving the Lord. Take my word, you really need to hear SOUTHERN SOUND. And, Southern Gospel music may well be in for a very thrilling ride.