Gold City is an American southern gospel quartet, based in Gadsden, Alabama.
The Mississippi-based Christianairs were renamed Gold City in Dahlonega, Georgia at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to begin the year 1980 with bass Dallas Gilliland, tenor Bob Oliver, lead singer Jerry Ritchie, and baritone Ken Trussell. The group's owner was initially Floyd Beck, who sold the quartet to Tim Riley, Ivan Parker, Brian Free, and Gary Jones. Bass Tim Riley would replace Gilliland as the permanent bass singer in July of that same year. The group was an instant success in the industry, appearing on the main stage of the National Quartet Convention in October 1981. Pianist Garry Jones joined the group one month prior to the convention. In 1982, tenor Brian Free came on board and lead Ivan Parker joined in 1983. These men had joined Riley to form a consistent nucleus that remained together until the end of 1993. Jeff Hullender joined the group in 1984 as the groups bass guitar player. Mike LeFevre joined in 1985 to sing the baritone part, replacing Jerry Ritchie.
Steve Lacey took over for LeFevre in 1992 and after the departure of Free, Jones and Parker in 1993, Steve Lacey (baritone) took over lead duties while Mark Trammell became baritone and Jay Parrack was named the new tenor. Lacey left to join The Kingdom Heirs. David Hill became lead singer for a while; his departure led to the next consistent lineup for the group, which included Jonathan Wilburn singing lead, Mark Trammell singing baritone, and Jay Parrack as tenor. Over the years, the group developed a trademark style that relied on heavy brass arrangements for their more driving songs, and moving lyrics for their inspirational anthems.
The last few years have brought a period of change and transition to this legendary quartet. Many personnel changes in the front line, as well as the breakup of the Band of Gold, have given a new look as well as a new sound to the group. The most notable and tragic change occurred in 2006, when Doug Riley, who co-managed Gold City in addition to playing drums (before taking over running the sound when the group streamlined their operations), was killed in an auto accident on the way to the recording studio early on the morning of January 31, 2006 to continue work on a recording.
In March 2006, bass singer Bill Lawrence (who had been handpicked by former bass Tim Riley) left the group. Tim filled in for several months while the search for a replacement was underway. Aaron McCune, who was bass singer with the Palmetto State Quartet at the time, joined Gold City in May 2006. McCune brought to Gold City the trademark smoothness and deep range that had long been a standard for this quartet.
In February 2007, it was announced that the group had returned to The Beckie Simmons Agency (from The Harper Agency). Beckie Simmons, while at Century II and her own agency, has handled the quartet's bookings for the majority of its existence.
In March 2008, lead singer Jonathan Wilburn left the group. Bruce Taliaferro, a Gadsden native who had filled in for Wilburn and Daniel Riley in the past, stepped in to fill the empty position. Gold City released their first recording with Mr. Taliaferro in July 2008. Also, August 2008 saw the Band of Gold return to the scene on a limited basis. The band consisted of pianist Josh Simpson, drummer Kevin Albertson, bass guitarist Taylor Barnes, and lead guitarist Daniel Addison.
On April 28, 2009, tenor, Steve Ladd, announced that he would be leaving Gold City. On June 17, 2009, it was announced that Chris Cooper would be filling the tenor position. It was announced in July 2009 that Josh Simpson would be leaving Gold City in August to go to college. His temporary replacement was Curtis Broadway who played on Band of Gold dates. Gold City Bus driver Jim Korn filled in on keys after the Band of Gold quit traveling with the group. It was announced on August 11. 2009 that Aaron McCune had departed Gold City and a replacement was being sought.
Later in December, it was announced that Chris Cooper left Gold City and a replacement would be found by the end of Christmas break. Over the Christmas break, it was announced that former Legacy Five tenor Josh Cobb would be joining the group, and former Ernie Haase & Signature Sound pianist Roy Webb would join as the pianist. It was also announced that Tim Riley would be committed to full-time traveling with Gold City.
Later in 2010, however, Roy Webb opted to leave the group to fully pursue a solo career. Josh Simpson filled in on the piano while a new pianist was found. After the National Quartet Convention, it was announced that Perry's pianist, Bryan Elliott, would be filling the piano bench. Months later, tenor singer, Josh Cobb was released from the group for logistical reasons. On October 29, Brent Mitchell was announced as tenor, to start officially November 11, 2010. Bruce Taliaferro announced his resignation the next month on December 18, 2010. His replacement, Craig West, was announced December 19. Then, on March 30, 2011, it was announced that Brent Mitchell left Gold City to care for his daughter who has been experiencing health problems. Dan Keeton, former owner of the Keeton family group was named official tenor singer after a couple of weeks filling in. Craig West left the quartet in September 2011 and his replacement was Jerry Pelfrey.
In early 2013, Dan Keeton resigned from the group. After an audition period of several weeks, beginning February 3, former Palmetto State Quartet tenor Robert Fulton was named as his replacement. In October, Jerry Pelfrey announced that he was leaving the group to restart his family group "The Pelfreys". Anchormen lead singer Chip Pullen was announced as his replacement.
July 2014 would bring unexpected change to the group. While in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to perform at the James D. Vaughn Quartet Festival, Tim Riley was rushed to the hospital and suffered a stroke. After a lengthy absence to recover, Riley took the stage once again at the Memphis Quartet Show on June 20, 2015 along with Parrack, Wilburn and Trammell for a Gold City Reunion event.
Chris West, formerly of Mercy's Mark, and who also previously spent a short time with Gold City (after Riley's first retirement), has been singing the bass part since August 2014. Chris West is now full time bass following Tim Riley's third retirement.
Members (present and past):
Thomas Nalley, tenor (2015-),
Chip Pullen, lead (2013-),
Daniel Riley, baritone (2002-),
Chris West, bass (2014-),
Bryan Elliott, pianist (2010-),
Bob Oliver (1980-82),
Brian Free (1982-83; 1984-93),
Benny Blackburn (1983-84),
Jay Parrack (1994-2004),
Steve Ladd (2004-2009),
Chris Cooper (2009),
Josh Cobb (2009-2010),
Brent Mitchell (2010-2011),
Dan Keeton (2011-2013),
Robert Fulton (2013-2015),
Ken Trussell (1980-83),
Mike LeFevre (1985-92),
Steve Lacey (1992-93),
Mark Trammell (1994-2002),
Jerry Ritchie, lead (1980-83); baritone (1983-85),
Bill Crittenton (1983-84),
Ivan Parker (1983-93),
Steve Lacey (1993-94),
David Hill (1994-96),
Jonathan Wilburn (1996-2008),
Bruce Taliaferro (2008-2010),
Craig West (2010-2011),
Jerry Pelfrey (2011-2013),
Dallas Gilliland (1980),
Bill Lawrence (2004-2006),
Aaron McCune (2006-2009),
Tim Riley (1980-2004; 2006; 2009-2015),
Larry Goddard, pianist (1980); bassist (1980-82),
David Holloway, steel guitarist (1980-82),
Wayne Hussey, drummer (1980-82),
Cary Kirk, bassist (1980),
John Reinhart, Jr., pianist (1980-82),
Jeff Easter, bassist (1982-83),
Garry Jones, pianist (1982-94),
Jerry Lloyd, steel guitarist (1982-84,1985-87),
John Noski, drummer (1982,1985-89),
Ken Bennett, bassist (1982-84),
Daryll LeCroy, guitarist, steel guitarist (1984-85),
Kelly Back, guitarist (1984-85),
Olan Witt, drummer (1983-84),
Rodney LaShum, pianist (1983-85),
Jeff Hullender, bassist (1984-88),
Doug Riley, drummer (1989-2005); sound engineer (2005-06),
Barry Scott, bassist (1989),
Mark Fain, bassist (1989-95),
Daryll LeCroy, guitarist, steel guitarist (1987-93),
David Brooks, pianist (1994-95),
Adam Borden, bassist (1995-2005),
Shane Jenkins, pianist (1995-96),
Randy Matthews, pianist (1996-97),
Byron Steward, pianist (1997),
Tim Parton, pianist (1997-99),
Channing Eleton, pianist (1999-2005),
Josh Simpson, pianist (2005-2009),
Daniel Addison, guitarist/sound engineer (2008-2009),
Kevin Albertson, drummer (2008-2009),
Taylor Barnes, bassist (2008-2009),
Curtis Broadway, pianist (2009),
Roy Webb, pianist (2009-2010)