“You gotta’ be up and fresh the whole time!” exclaimed Gerald Wolfe, describing to the audience in the Mansion Theater how they should respond when the Jubilee 3 taping began. Taking a moment to gently reprimand the crowd, he pointed out that towards the end of “A Christmas Jubilee,” he was starting to lose us – so for this taping, we needed to act like it was very first time we had seen Greater Vision, Legacy Five and the Booth Brothers that day! LOL With the heavy curtain drawn back and the Christmas decorations safely packed away, the stage at the Mansion Theater looked like any normal Southern Gospel stage. Only those present for the taping that afternoon would have known that just a few short hours ago, the building glimmered with the festivities of Christmas! But now we were back in the Mansion for another live DVD taping – this one Jubilee 3! Gerald explained that they weren’t going to record laugh tracks or standing ovations because it was a different kind of video. The only thing they did was take one quick shot of the crowd. Gerald went on to inform the audience that when we hear the music – that is when they’ll begin taping…so we should clap very loud! As he was on stage, some other details were cleared up between Gerald and the sound man, Robert. One of those things was the need to signal the “truck” a full minute before they walked out on stage so they would be ready. Ready to skip back stage, Gerald asked if they had already done that – cause’ they were ready! Robert replied, “We can’t signal the truck until Landon gets out there with the headset – he’s on his way.” (So they had to wait a few minutes before the actual starting “minute” began) Well, always ready to entertain, Gerald said, “Oh, well, I’ll play you a ‘funeral’ song off that project I was telling ya’ll about earlier today.” Then he sat down at his keyboard and began playing a hymn. Before he could even start, Michael sauntered out on stage and laid down on the chairs with arms folded over his chest, playing the “other part” in the “funeral.”
Gerald began giggling until Chris Allman and Trey Ivey slowly ambled over to Michael, weeping and dabbing at their eyes with handkerchiefs. A moment later, Scott Fowler emerged from the other side of the stage with a broad grin and cheerful whoop. The audience was laughing and so was I. It truly was funny! Finally, the moment of humor ended when someone announced, “The truck is ready.” So the guys all scurried off the stage like cockroaches to their dark abode.
The smooth sound of I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen met our ears and the Jubilee Gang strolled out on stage. Everyone on stage was happy and full of smiles. Then, half way through the song, a perplexed look came over Gerald’s face and he suddenly said, “Hold on! We’re missing somebody…where’s Gus?” Poor Gus was still backstage trying to find his microphone! LOL So they had to stop, go back stage and start over. Gerald was very specific that all the singers would come on stage from the left side. Well, when they walked back to do their re-cut, Michael and Chris went to the wrong side. Gerald hollered at them, “Michael! You’re supposed to be over here!…and Chris!” So they scampered back stage and Gerald asked to signal the truck again. As they were waiting, the guys were talking in their mics backstage! Because the audience could hear, the humor made them giggle. When it became a little out of hand, the sound man broke in, “Quiet please in the audience and on stage.” LOL So they came out and did I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen and sailed through it with no more technical difficulties. The Happy Jubilee and There’s A Better Day followed. When the turn-around in There’s A Better Day came, Gerald used the time to ask the crowd, “Do you like that new song written by Rodney Griffin?” The song came to a close and Gerald took a few steps forward, but instead of introducing another song or greeting the crowd, he said this, “Well, we are three songs in and I already have a fix. That song wasn’t written by Rodney, it was written by Chris!” Chris grinned a knowing smile and shock came over the faces of Michael and Gus. They patted his shoulder in apology and gave him a sympathizing gaze. Back to the music, Gerald asked the sound man to begin the music at the turn-around for the fix. They did and this time when Gerald asked if we liked the new song written by Chris Allman, Gus and Michael shook his hand and slapped him on the back for the great song he penned. (I can’t help but think that they had a little fun over exaggerating their acknowledgement of Chris’s penmanship.) LOL They continued singing into the chorus until Gerald announced that they could stop. The track stopped…but the singers didn’t! A few of the guys just kept singing and singing. Though Gerald tried to get ‘em to quit – they kept on. Finally, Gerald exclaimed, “HUSH!” and they all looked at him as if to say, “Why?” Turning to the crowd, Gerald remarked, “We have a great and cooperative crew tonight.” And then he introduced the “Barely Tones” and their feature, Had It Not Been. Howie stepped up to sing the solo on the first verse and reached back to adjust something on his wireless monitor and as he began to sing, his suit jacket stayed caught on the monitor. Gerald jumped up and said, “We’re gonna’ fix this!” “This is going to take all night,” Howie interjected. Fowler added, “Then at midnight, we’re gonna’ film Jubilee 4!!!” Gerald re-introduced the song and Howie sang it with a BIG smile. (All the guys were laughing before the song started.) Afterwards, Gerald exclaimed, “Howard, I’m telling you man, you can sing that song, that is your song!” Setting up the next song, he went on to share how the Jubilee Gang recorded their first “convention song” on Jubilee 3. “Tonight we ain’t taking any chances,” said Gerald turning to pick up a red back hymnal off his chair, “We brought our red back hymnals!” On the other hand, Michael Booth kept looking at his with a funny face.
“Uh, Gerald, I’m not sure that’s gonna’ help,” said Michael. Moving over to Michael to see what the matter was, Gerald sighed, “It’s up-side down.” LOL The convention number was Leave Your Sorrows, this one was sung back to back with Still Trusting In The Blood. With a smile, Gerald announced, “This is a new song written by Rodney Griffin.”
After the song, Gerald continued to talk about the song and Scott Fowler randomly said, “Everyone is seated but me,” and then he sat down. Gerald laughed, “We don’t have to keep this on the tape, but working with these guys is like herding cats.” Then, as if on cue, all the guys crossed their legs the same way. When Gerald noticed, he mentioned that they all had their legs crossed the same way and asked if they did that on purpose. When Gerald wasn’t looking, they crossed them the other way, making the crowd laugh. “They’re doing it again, aren’t they?” asked Gerald.
Howie explained, “Landon told us to do it.” Gerald explained to the audience that Landon was the concert promoter. Howie interjected, “And the leg crossing engineer.” Then, Gerald noticed that Michael didn’t have his legs crossed anymore, instead, his knees were together and he had a funny look on his face. Gerald asked him, “Michael, do you need to take a break?” Michael replied, “No, I just don’t know what to do with myself.” LOL Anyway, Mr. Wolfe was telling us about the live music on the next song and asked Rodney to play bass and Michael the drums. In the midst of this, Howie shouts, “I have an idea! Trey plays piano!” Well, Trey was already sitting at the piano, but Gerald wasn’t convinced, “Wait a minute. What year were you born?” – he asked Trey. Trey answered ’89. “You weren’t even born when this song was written!” Gerald said aghast, “Move over!” So, they get half way through Wedding Music and the piano player begins running glissandos up and down the keys. Surprised, everyone stopped and Gerald explained that he was bothered by the buzzing in one of the monitors. Another re-cut!
After the “Tin-Ears” sang their feature, Treasures In Heaven, they announced that they have a new singer in the group and how he is doing such a wonderful job. Gerald went on to tell the audience that when they decided to do a Jubilee 3 DVD, Scott only sent Matt the songs he thought they would sing. Well, the bass feature that Gerald wanted Matt to sing was not one of those songs! Poor Matt found that out the previous night too! So Gerald teased Matt about it – he went on and on how he loves this song and how he loved hearing Rusty Goodman sing it, and oh, how Rusty had such impeccable phrasing when he sang it…and on and on Gerald went until Matt was almost laughing. The song was the ballad How Much More, and when Matt finished the tune without one flaw, Gerald shared with the audience, “I have not known Matt long, but I have fallen in love with his spirit. Fantastic job, Matt, fantastic job.”
By this time, everyone was a little silly (both on stage and off stage,) and our emcee was one of them! He asked Trey to sing Getting Ready Today with them, and in true Gerald fashion, he gave Trey a hard time. At one point, Gerald asked Trey if he wasn’t going to answer his question and Trey replied, “That wasn’t on the teleprompter.” Gerald answered that they could stray away from it for a moment and Trey begged, “Can we please stick with the teleprompter?” LOL So they sang Getting Ready Today and Trey sang the second verse. The audience loved him!!! Afterwards, Gerald looked at the teleprompter and said, “Ben, just put on the teleprompter, ‘Trey can carry a tune.’ And when he misspelled the word ‘carry,’” he smiled and added, “That’s my boy.” LOL
A song that Jim Brady wrote followed, Every Cry Is Heard By The Father. Gus, Gerald and Jim sang this one and asked the crowd to sing it with them accapella twice. Another ballad, The Gallileean, came next. “How ‘bout that?” Gerald asked when the ballad closed, “So the question is, have you met the man of Galilee?” He went into the Gospel message of salvation and prayed – giving anyone and everyone the opportunity to accept Christ that night. When we heard “amen,” Gerald asked, “Did you enjoy yourself? Wanna’ hear one more?” Very loudly, the crowd answered with one word, “YEAH!” Gerald smiled and the night ended with Beautiful Home.
Conclusion: DVD tapings are a blast! Who knew I’d come to a Jubilee 3 concert and see Michael Booth play dead while Gerald Wolfe played “funeral songs” on the piano? It was a great night of music and fun. Legacy Five, Greater Vision and the Booth Brothers kept the crowd laughing all night – sometimes on purpose, sometimes by sheer accident. But every minute was enjoyable! I can’t wait to see the DVD when it comes out and I can’t wait to see what they “edited” and what they kept in!