Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 22, 2013

Gospel singing group to perform Sat. night

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens —

  The Perrys, one of Southern Gospel Music’s top groups will sing at the Texas Gospel Music Hall in Athens Saturday, despite a stroke that has left one of the members in a Nashville hospital for more than a month.

  The 6 p.m. concert that also features New Grace Trio and Hearts of Grace will feature the Perrys singing some of the songs that have made them longtime favorites and perennial award winners. Perrys booking agent Jeff Harper said the group has been continuing to travel and keep its dates each weekend despite the absence of bass singer Tracy Stuffle, who’s sung with the group since 1970.

  Stuffle’s wife LIbi Stuffle, also a popular singer with the group, has been off-the-road watching Tracy’s recovery  and giving regular updates on his condition via the group’s website. Harper said Katy Peach, a former member of the Nelons and the Mike Speck Trio has been singing Libi’s part, just as she did three years ago when Tracy was recovering from heart surgery. 

 “We are obviously taking Tracy's recovery day by day at this point, and the doctors are telling us that it may be a long-term process,” Harper said.

  Libi’s goal is to rejoin the group for dates that don’t require her to venture far Nashville and eventually rejoin the group full time with Tracy.

  Libbi is so thankful for the churches and promoters who have stood by their side during these trying times,” Harper said. “There is not a day that goes by that she does not want me to communicate her appreciation for your support of the group, and to remind everyone that her and Tracy will be back soon.”

  Fans at the Texas Gospel Music Hall Saturday will hear many of their Perrys’ favorites. Lead singer Joseph Habedank, known by many as “the Singing Cop” from season 9 of American Idol will be in town along with the newest member of the group, 27-year-old Bryan Walker. Walker sings the baritone part.