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P.Plainsmen


Plainsmen (1958)
l-r Howard Welborn (tenor), Jack Mainord (lead), Easmon Napier (piano), Rusty Goodman (baritone) and Joe Davis (bass)

Group Members

Tenor
Howard Welborn (1956-1959?,1967, 1968, 1990) also sang baritone
Thurman Bunch (1959-1965; 1968-1969; 1971-1975)
Jerry Redd (1965-1966?)
Bobby Edwards(1966)
Sherrill Nielsen (1967)
Jerry Venable (1967-1968)
Laddie Cain (1975-197?)
Tank Tackett (1978-1980)
Jim Romine (1981) also sang baritone
Mike LoPrinzi (1981, 1990)
William Pippin (1982-1983)
Steve Warren (1990)
Phil Romine (1984-1985)
Jack Mainord (1988-1989) also sang lead
Brad Harris (1990-1992)

Lead
Jack Mainord (1956-1967; 1968-1986, 1990-1991) also sang tenor
Jerry Minshall (1967-1968)
Jon Briggs (1988) also sang baritone
Newman Miller (1991-1992) also played piano

Baritone
Bill Randall (1956-1957)
Rusty Goodman (1957-1959) also sang bass
Erman Bunch (1959-1960?)
Howard Welborn (1960?-1966?) also sang tenor
L L Simmons (1967) also played piano
Dwight Hicks (1967?-1976)
Gerald Williams(1976-1977) also sang bass
Butch Sanders (1977-1979) also sang bass
Jon Briggs (1980) also sang lead
Dewayne Wheaton (1981) also played piano
Jerry Candler (1982-1983)
James Jacobs (1984-1985)
Jim Romine (1990-1991) also sang tenor
Gene McDonald (1991-1992)

Bass
Joe B Davis (1956-1959?)
Rusty Goodman (1959?-1963)
Seals Hilton (1963-1964)
Jay Simmons (1964-1966; 1967-1973)
Gerald Williams (1966; 1973-1976) also sang baritone
Tom Randall (1966-1967)
Hovie Walker (1980)
Butch Sanders (1981) also sang baritone
Ray Silver (1984-1985)
Nic Val (1989-1990)
Buck Clapp (1990-1992)

Piano
Easmon Napier (1956-1962?; 1968-1976?)
Larry Denham (1962-1964)
David Reece (1964))
Eddie Crook (1964-1966?)
L L Simmons (1967) also sang baritone
Charles Cruce (1968)
Jim Garstang (1976?-197?)
Nick Bruno (1980)
Dewayne Wheaton (1981)
Ernie Couch (1984-1985, 1988-1990)
Newman Miller (1990-1992)

Other Instruments
Jason Couch (1989-1990)
Barry Puckett (1989)
Steve Adams (1990)  


Plainsmen (1972)
l-r Jay Simmons, Thurman Bunch, Easmon Napier(seated), Dwight Hicks, and Jack Mainord

This is a photo of the Stamps Quartet shortly before they left the publishing company and changed their name to the Plainsmen. Don Randall was replaced by Jack Mainord before the transition.

 

  The Plainsmen Quartet (1956-1992)

In 1956, Howard Welborn (tenor), Jack Mainord (lead), Bill Randall (baritone), Joe B. Davis (bass) and Easmon Napier (pianist and emcee) parted ways with the Stamps organization and reorganized under a new name, the Plainsmen Quartet. A year later, Rusty Goodman joined the group to sing baritone. When Ermon Bunch and Thurman Bunch joined the group, Rusty moved to bass. They sometimes joked that they had the highest bass singer in gospel music. After Ermon Bunch left, the group's original tenor, Howard Welborn, returned to sing baritone. At this point, the group had a bass who was capable of singing into the high baritone range and a baritone who had experience singing tenor.

The quartet went on the campaign trail with Governor Jimmie Davis in 1958. Later, the Plainsmen were featured on Johnny Horton's hit song "North to Alaska."

Rusty Goodman returned to the Happy Goodmans in 1963. Seals "Low Note" Hilton joined the group briefly, but was soon replaced by Jay Simmons at the bass position. Eddie Crook played piano for the Plainsmen when they were based on Baton Rouge, LA. For a while around 1966, several former members of the Plainsmen sang as the Marksmen in Wichita, working for radio station owner Mack Sanders. Sanders secured the Plainsmen name from original member Jack Mainord, and members of the two groups were reunited in 1967 as the Plainsmen.

The group worked regularly singing both secular and gospel music in Las Vegas, NV and in concert events promoting radio stations owned by Sanders. Melody Boys bass singer Gerald Williams was with the Plainsmen on two occasions singing bass and also switched to baritone when the group was singing in Las Vegas in a trio format. Mack Sanders moved the group to Nashville in 1977.

In the 1980s, ownership of the Plainsmen was transferred back to Jack Mainord, and they operated on-again/off-again in various configurations. When Jack Mainord left the Plainsmen in 1991, he turned over the management to their pianist Newman Miller. One of their last lineups included future Florida Boys bass Gene McDonald in the baritone slot. The Plainsmen disbanded in 1992.

Other Plainsmen groups

Original Plainsmen member Howard Welborn organized a Plainsmen quartet in 1981 along with Roy McNeal and Charles Cruce. He organized another Plainsmen group in the mid-1990s.

Mack Sanders organized a group called the Proud Country Plainsmen in the late 1980s which included Gerald Williams, Jonathan Sawrie, and Newman Miller.

Discography

hi res
1957 Plainsmen Quartet (Word Records/W-3016-LP): Touch Of His Hand; Somebody Up There Likes Me; He's Not Disappointed In Me; Dry Bones; Lord, Keep Your Mighty Hand On Me; I've Got News; Sing Brother Sing; Hide Me Rock Of Ages; Peace In The Valley; Inside The Gate; Going Home; Whispering Hope. (Howard Welborn, Jack Mainord, Bill Randall, Joe B. Davis, Easmon Napier).

hi res
1958 Plainsmen Quartet (Word Records/W-3035-LP): How Great Thou Art; If We Never Meet Again; When They All Get Together With The Lord; Just Across The Border; Leaning On The Everlasting Arms; Can He Depend On You; Every Hour And Every Day; I've Been Waitin'; When You Travel Along; Talk, Talk About Jesus; Lead Me Guide Me; This Heart Of Mine; Pray For The Light To Shine Through; The Lily Of The Valley. (Howard Welborn, Jack Mainord, Rusty Goodman, Joe B. Davis, Easmon Napier).

hi res
1960 Songs And Hymns By The Plainsmen Quartet (Inspiration Records/ILP-151): Do You Know My Jesus; Cowboy Camp Meeting; What A Day That Will Be; Help Me Lord To Stand; Invisible Hands; How About YouPass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior; I'll Walk Dem Golden Stairs When I Die; Standing By The RiverHe Cares For You/Long, Long Journey; This Little Light Of Mine. (Thurman Bunch,Jack Mainord, Erman Bunch, Rusty Goodman, Easmon Napier).

hi res
1961 Someone's Watching Over You (Mercury Records/MG 20656/SR 60625): Someone's Watching Over You; I'm Working On A Building; His Eye Is On The SparrowDry Bones/Cowboy Campmeeting; Long Long Journey; This Little Light Of Mine; On The Cross; I Want To Do What He Wants Me To Do; He Knows What I Need; How About You; Don't Wait For The Hearse To Take You To Church. (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Rusty Goodman, Easmon Napier).

1962  The World's Greatest Gospel Songs (Mercury Records/MG 20699/SR 60699): Old Rugged Cross; How Great Thou Art; Amazing Grace; Whispering Hope; Pass Me Not; Battle Hymn Of The Republic; Rock Of Ages; Beyond The Sunset; Abide With Me; What A Friend; In The Garden; Sweet Hour Of Prayer. (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Rusty Goodman, Easmon Napier).

1962 Softly And Tenderly (Songs Of Faith Records/SOF 109): I've Got That Feeling; I Would Not Be Denied; There Will Be No Disappointments In Heaven; Will The Lord Be With Me; I'm On The Battlefield For My Lord; I'll Tell It Wherever I Go; Softly And Tenderly; Love Like The Love Of God; Tell My Friends; Lord, I'm Coming Home; Sorry I Never Knew You; Gloryland. (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Rusty Goodman, Larry Denham).

hi res
1963 Lonely Street (Sims Records/104): (This was an album of secular songs popular at the time).

1963 Touch The Hand Of The Lord (Sims Records/106): Touch The Hand Of The Lord; Wings Of A Dove; Wasted Years; When I Stand With God; No Place To Hide; Crown Of Thorns; I See Jesus; There's A Light Guiding Me; Follow Me; Wonderful; There's Room At The Cross; When The Saints Go Marching In. (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Rusty Goodman , Larry Denham) Re-released (minus one song) as When I Stand With God ( Hilltop Gospel/G-7003).

hi res
1964 The Plainsmen Go Heartwarming (Heartwarming Records/Benson Records/Stereo Version LPS 1760/High Fidelity Version LPHF 1761): There's Coming A Day; He's The Savior Of The World; A Beautiful Life; Do You Need A Friend; Let Us Break Bread Together; You Gotta' Say No; You Can Have Him/Each Step I Take; Jesus Holds The Keys; He Cared That Much For Me; Standing By The River; The Last Mile Of The Way. ( Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord,  Howard Welborn, Seals “Low Note” Hilton,  Larry Denham).

hi-res
1964 When I Stand With God (Hilltop Gospel/G-7003): Wings Of A Dove; Wasted Years; When I Stand With God; No Place To Hide; I See Jesus; There's A Light Guiding Me; Follow Me; Wonderful; There's Room At The Cross; When The Saints Go Marching In (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Rusty Goodman,  Larry Denham) (Some album covers have Jay Simmons and Eddie Crook pictured, but they are not on the recording. This is a re-issue of (Sims Records/106 Touch The Hand Of The Lord minus one song).

hi res
1964 New And Old Gospel Songs (Heartwarming Records/Benson Records/Stereo Version LPS 1792/High Fidelity Version LPHF 1793): Come Along With Me; Close To The Master; It Will Be Worth It; The Mockingbird; Life's Railway To Heaven; Jesus, My Friend; He's A Personal Savior; Jesus Is His Name; When We Sing Around The Throne Eternal; Lonely Road Up Calvary's Way; A Resting Place; This Old House. ( Thurman Bunch,Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Jay Simmons, Eddie Crook)

hi res
1965 Songs Of Inspiration (Heartwarming Records/Benson Records/Stereo Version LPS 1798/High Fidelity Version LPHF 1799): When We All Get To Heaven; How Beautiful Heaven Must Be; Precious Memories; When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder; Near The Cross; Love Lifted Me; I Am Bound For The Promised Land; Let The Lower Lights Be Burning; Farther Along; When I Make My Last Move; Kneel At The Cross; O Why Not Tonight. (Thurman Bunch,Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Jay Simmons, Eddie Crook).

hi res
1965 Wonderful Time Up There (Canaan Records/CA-4600/CAS-9600): Wonderful Time Up There; I'm Free Again; Family Bible/Hand In Hand; He Cares For You; My Journey To The Sky; God Made A Way; I've Been With Jesus; Wait Upon The Lord; Born To Serve The Lord/Jesus Use Me; I've Got A New Born Feeling. ( Thurman Bunch,  Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Jay Simmons, Eddie Crook).

hi res
1965 Gospel Songs For Country Folks (Mercury Wing Records/MGW 12301/SRW 16301) Working On A BuildingDry Bones; On The Cross; How About YouHe Knows What I NeedThis Little Light Of Mine; His Eye Is On The SparrowWhat A Friend; Rock Of Ages; Amazing Grace (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Rusty Goodman, Easmon Napier) Re-release of recordings from (Mercury Records/ MG 20656/SR 60625) and (Mercury Records/ 20699/SR 6099) listed above.

hi res
1965 Little Is Much (Heartwarming Records/Benson Records/Stereo Version LPS 1836/High Fidelity Version LPHF 1837): Little Is Much; I Wouldn't Take Nothin' For My Journey Now; I'm Poor As A Beggar; You Just Don't Know What Lonesome Is; I Am The Man; I'd Rather Live In The Valley; They Tore The Old Country Church Down; So Many Reasons; He Holds My Hand; Sittin' Around The Table Of The Lord; Sweet Jesus; Crying In The Chapel. (Jack Mainord,Jerry Redd, Howard Welborn, Jay Simmons, Eddie Crook).

hi res
1965 Singing Fresh And New (Heartwarming Records/Benson Records/Stereo Version LPS 1864/High Fidelity Version LPHF 1865): Forty Days And Forty Nights; Who Am I; He Will Make A Way For You; I Know Who Holds Tomorrow; Almighty God; It Is No Secret; The Great Speckled Bird; God Took The Hurt Out Of Loneliness; The Key To Heaven; I'm Not Ashamed; I'm Building A Bridge; I Wanna Rest. ( Bobby Edwards, Jack Mainord,Howard Welborn, Gerald Williams, Eddie Crook).

1966 Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Concert Records/CHF-1211): Will The Circle Be Unbroken; His Grace Is Sufficient For Me; Without Him; Lay Your Burdens At The Feet Of Jesus; There's A Land; Heart To Heart Talk With The Lord; Lord I Need You Again Today; It Took A Miracle; It's In Your Hands; May You Go With God; You'll Never Walk Alone; Glad Reunion Day. (Bobby Edwards, Jack Mainord, Howard Welborn, Tom Randall, Eddie Crook).

hi res
1966 Plainsmen Quartet, Volume 1 (Canaan Records/CA-4611) (See Word 3016): The Touch Of His Hand; Somebody Up There Likes Me; He's Not Disappointed In Me; Dry Bones; Lord, Keep Your Mighty Hand On Me; I've Got News; Sing, Brother Sing; Hide Me, Rock Of Ages; Peace In The Valley; Inside The Gate; Going Home; Whispering Hope.

hi res
1966 Plainsmen Quartet, Volume 2 (Canaan Records/CA-4612) (See Word 3035): How Great Thou Art; If We Never Meet Again; When They All Get Together With The Lord; Just Across The Border; Leaning On The Everlasting Arms; Can He Depend On You; Every Hour And Every Day; I've Been Waiting; When You Travel Along; Talk, Talk About Jesus; Lead Me, Guide Me; This Heart Of Mine; Pray For The Light To Shine Through; He's The Lily Of The Valley.

???? Just A Little Talk With Jesus (LeeMac Records/LP 003): Six Feet Of Earth; I Wouldn’t Take Nothin’ For My Journey Now; Standing By The River; Dry Bones; It Was Love; Cowboy Campmeeting; Tell The Lord; Streets Of Gold; He’s A Personal Savior; When I Make My Last Move; Time Has Made A Change; (Shown on cover-Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Jay Simmons, Easmon Napier. Some songs taken from previously released Marksmen recordings).

1969 Plainsmen Sing Country (LeeMac Records/LP 002): Tomorrow Never Comes; Daddy Sang Bass; You Gave Me A Mountain; Release Me; Green, Green Grass; Faded Love;  Remember Me; Nobody Till Somebody Loves You; Lonely Man; What A Wonderful World; Trouble In Mind; This Old House.(Jerry Venable, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Jay Simmons, Easmon Napier) Some back covers show Thurman Bunch) (Album consists of mostly secular songs with only a couple of gospel songs).

1969 Plainsmen Sing Inspirational Songs (Altair Records/AKC-S108): Jesus Is Coming Soon; Someone Died And Left You A Fortune; No One Cared So Much; He'll Be There; Don't Quit; The Great Speckled Bird; Sho Do Need Him Now; Lord I Thank You Today; Oh My Lord What A Time; Prettiest Flowers; How Great Thou Art; Do You Know (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Jay Simmons, Easmon Napier). Also released as (USR?/ 4899) in 1971.

1971 He's The Lilly Of The Valley (Rimrock Records/RLP-476): Lord I'm Coming Home; A Beautiful Life; God Bless America; Lily Of The ValleyAmazing Grace; Stand By Me; This Little Light Of Mine; How Beautiful Heaven Must Be; Near The Cross; Wasted Years; Swing Down Chariot; The Old Rugged Cross. ( Jerry Venable, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Jay Simmons, Easmon Napier).

1972 In Gospel Country (Hickory Records/LPS-161): Follow Me; I'm Gonna Walk And Talk With My Lord; Lord Stand By Me; Life Anew; Mockin' Bird; His Eye Is On The Sparrow; Invisible Hands; Satisfied; Lord Build Me A Cabin In Glory; Practice What You Preach; King Of Kings; Gentle Hands. (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Jay Simmons, Easmon Napier).

hi res
1974 Both Sides Of The Plainsmen (Hickory Records/H3G-4513): Joplin-Dallas Turn Around; Your Cheatin' Heart; Kaw-Liga; I Can't Stop Loving You; Jambalaya (On The Bayou); When I Stop Dreaming; He Touched Me; Let's All Go Down To The River; I Can Tell You The Time; I Saw The Light; He Knows What I Need (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Jay Simmons, Easmon Napier) Gerald Williams on cover but not singing. (This album is a combination of country and gospel songs)

1974 Plainsmen Sing Your Requests (LeeMac Records/LP-005): Take Me home Country Roads; Nobody's Darlin'; Cab Driver; Burning Bridges; The Fight Yearn; Will The Lord Be With Me; He Cares For You; Jericho Road; Precious Memories; When They Call My Name; Why Me Lord  (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Gerald Williams, Easmon Napier) (This album is a combination of country and gospel songs).

1974 The Plainsmen Sing All Time Hits (Three LP set): Hymn Album (LeeMac Records/LP-006): Beyond The Sunset; Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere; Abide With Me; Farther Along; When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder; What A Friend; The Last Mile Of The Way; No Tears In Heaven; Peace In The Valley; I'll Meet You In The Morning: Gospel Album (LeeMac Records/LP-007): One Day At A Time; Who Am I; The Dearest Friend I Ever Had; Because He Lives; A Wonderful Time Up There; Let Me Live; The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference; Do Lord; Suppertime; Redemption Draweth Nigh: Country Album (LeeMac Records/LP-008): Today I Started Loving You Again; North To Alaska; There Goes My Everything; You Can Have Her; Okie From Muskogee; Yellow Ribbon; Don't Worry; Pass Me By; Silver Wings; Ole Man River (Thurman Bunch, Jack Mainord, Dwight Hicks, Gerald Williams, Easmon Napier). (This album is a combination of country and gospel songs

1976 The Plainsmen (LeeMac Records/NR 7226): Medley; Crazy Arms; I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry; Behind Closed Doors; I'm Movin' On; Every Time I Feel The Spirit; His Hand In Mine; Scars In The Hands Of Jesus; Till The Last Leaf Shall Fall; Sunrise  (Laddie Cain, Jack Mainord, Gerald Williams, Jim Garstang ) (This album is a combination of country and gospel songs).
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