Gaither Vocal Band Loses Russ Taff

by: 

CA Staff
Mar 21, 2002

Life has been a whirlwind for Russ Taff since last fall when the contemporary Christian singer joined the Gaither Vocal Band. His first performance during their Red Rocks, CO, television taping, proved to be a bit of an adventure.

As the bus was pulling out of the venue, Bill Gaither answered his cell phone and heard, "Hey Bill, this is Russ."

"Well, Russ, aren't you on the bus with us?" Gaither asked.

"No, Bill, I'm under the bus," came Russ' reply. "I tried to call Guy, but he didn't answer his phone. So I had to call you."

"We'll be right out," Bill assured him. And so off the bus jumped Bill Gaither, Guy Penrod and David Phelps who found their five-time Grammy-winning fellow Band member in the bay of the bus.

It seems that Taff had wanted his bag, and when he realized it was on the other side of the bay he crawled in to get it rather than going around the bus. When he was ready to leave the bay, bag in hand, the doors slammed shut. His first thought was to call Guy Penrod, the group's lead vocalist, but Penrod was watching "The Patriot" and didn't hear his cell phone ring.

Taff continues to be an endearing addition to the prestigious Vocal Band, and his ability to laugh at himself is only part of the proof. His voice adds texture and his heart adds a warmth that fans across the country can hear and feel.

Taff has had the opportunity to sing in front of over one million people since beginning his Vocal Band days. Most recently, he joined the Gaither Vocal Band at the White House, where they performed their signature song, "Let Freedom Ring," for President and Mrs. Bush.

The Gaither Vocal Band will be performing in Hampton Coliseum, VA; Florence, SC; First Union Center, PA; and Patriot Center, VA., in the next few weeks.

In addition to their tour, fans can catch the Gaither Vocal Band in their most recent television special, taped at the majestic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, where they celebrated the musical heritage of the famed city. The result is two one-hour specials. New Orleans Homecoming and I'll Fly Away.