It seems difficult for a gospel quartet group to move beyond the death of their lead singer. This is particularly true when the lead singer’s name and persona were so uniquely tied to the group. For instance, although members of The Gospel Keynotes have recorded since the death of Willie Neal Johnson, they have yet to reach the level of success experienced by Willie Neal Johnson & The New Gospel Keynotes. The same can be said for the members of Willie Banks & The Messengers. And, of course observers of this genre know full well what has happened to the group Tommy Ellison & The Singing Stars. It is just difficult for most quartet groups to move beyond the death of their lead singer who, to a great extent, was the group.
Contrast these examples to that of The Jackson Southernaires. Although, promoters and Radio Angles may refer to the group as Huey Williams and The Jackson Southernaires, that is not the group’s official name . It is The Jackson Southernaires. So, when the legendary Frank Williams died, the group was able to continue on with little, if any, interruption. Of course, Frank’s contributions to later recordings are missed. However, his death did not mean the end of The Jackson Southernaires. And, the same can be said for The Swanee Quintet. They have lost many lead singers, but the group continues on. This is just another example where the names of none of their lead singers have ever been incorporated into the name of the group.
That brings us to Slim & The Supreme Angels. You may recall that after the death of Rev. Hunt, the group reverted back to their original name – The Supreme Angels. And, they actually released a CD titled Reloaded. Now, the longest serving members of the group have decided to venture out with a new group – Slim’s Original Angels.
Michael (Big Mike) Kempson, Gregg Kelly, and Sugar Hightower have joined forces to bring back that style of gospel quartet music created by the original Supreme Angels. With the new name, the guys pay homage to their longtime leader (SLIM) and members (ORIGINAL ANGELS) that have been with the group for many, many years. According to Big Mike, the group will be ready to minister to their many fans by the end of the summer. Look for something new and exciting from this new amalgamation of The Supreme Angels.