Past the Press Release is an interview series featuring a new member of a professional Southern Gospel group. It’s a chance to look past the standard “excited to be here” press release comment and learn a little more about them. Meet Liberty Quartet’s new lead singer, Doug Wiley!
Daniel: Your parents introduced you to Southern Gospel; what groups did you grow up on?
Doug: I grew up listening to the Statesmen, the Hinsons, and the Happy Goodmans. I also remember loving to hear the Downings and Blackwood Brothers.
Daniel: Did you grow up hoping to be a singer? If not, at what age did that interest arise?
Doug: I wanted to sing as early as I can remember. Whenever I could, I would hold a concert in my living room and sing to the audience (the couch). I was the only one in the room at the time, but that didn’t stop me from giving it my all. I would try and mimic Ronny and Kenny Hinson, Rusty Goodman, and, of course, Jake!
Daniel: Did you have any voice training? What other preparations did you make for what you do today?
Doug: I have had no formal vocal training, although I would daily go through my father’s albums and listen to different people and try my best to sound like them. I would listen to Elvis, then switch to Ronnie or Kenny Hinson, then maybe try some EngleBert Humperdinck. I figured if I could get any of their qualities, then I could sing anything. The bottom line is that if I have any talent at all vocally……I owe thanks to God!
Daniel: How did you get involved in Southern Gospel?
Doug: When I was in my early 20s, I ran across the Southmen Quartet and met Gary Casto, who now has Tribute Quartet. We became friends and I later joined the quartet. I owe a lot of thanks to Gary for remembering me when they needed a lead singer.
Daniel: You have sung with several other groups – Southmen Quartet, Mercy Road Trio, and the California Melody Boys. What were some highlights from your time with those groups?
Doug: I loved traveling full time with the Southmen. I made a lot of friends and learned a lot about Southern Gospel and what makes it work.
One of my dear friends and wonderful soloist, Nathan Young, and I, along with Daymon Qualls, who I also sang with in the California Melody Boys, formed the Mercy Road Trio. It was like singing with my brothers, and I was blessed with my time with them. While still with Mercy Road, I went to a California Melody Boys concert and fell in love with their sound. Five months later, they called and I was quick to join them as their tenor. I have had so many wonderful times with all of them and will never forget all the good times.
Daniel: Any non-musical hobbies?
Doug: I love to golf! I used to be pretty good, but don’t have a lot of time now to play. I love sports and more sports and am very competitive. I’m also a big reader. I love a good book.
Daniel: Do you have other musical interests besides singing, like songwriting or playing a musical instrument?
Doug: I have written a few songs and am currently working on a few more. I plan in the future to set more time aside for it. I love to try and play the guitar and the piano…..but have no idea what I’m doing! I play a mean Ipod though!
Daniel: Neat! I’ve heard the “play the radio” line, but this is the first I’ve heard someone update it to the modern era! What is your favorite Liberty song? What are your favorite hymns and Southern Gospel classics?
Doug: At this point, I would have to say “God’s been Faithful” off our new album. Every direction I turn, God has answered a prayer and has provided what was needed. Along the same line….I love “Great is thy Faithfulness.” I love almost anything the Hinson’s did. I could hear the “Light House” 20 times a day and never get tired of it.
Daniel: I saw from the press release that your family is above average. 🙂 Could you tell us about your family?
Doug: I have a large wonderful family. My wife Angela and I have 5 children. Hannah – 6 years, Madison – 12 years, Alyssa – 12 years, Grayson – 15 years, and Mariah who is 19. They are all a blessing and I couldn’t have asked for better children.
We were scared earlier this year when Madison was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and was dangerously ill. Once again, our Faithful God stepped in and has had his hand on her. We ask for your prayers for healing.
My wife has been such a support and friend to me as we make this move to Idaho to join Liberty.
Daniel: Thank you!