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If you like to read church marquees, you'll love this show

The Glory Bugles put 'fun in fundamental'

By Fiona Soltes, for The Tennessean
Sunday, 2/20/05

        Go ahead and check your holier-that-thou baggage at the door.
        Inside, the Glory Bugles will be putting the ''fun in fundamental'' with their tongue-in-cheek First Annual 20th Anniversary Homecoming Reunion Concert Gathering this Friday and Saturday.
    The group made up of Beulah Byrd (Bonnie Keen); Farley T. Byrd III (Wayne Gurley), Harley E. Never, Ph.D. (Steve Pippin), and Queenie Delphine (Nan Gurley) hails from the fictitious Box Springs, Tenn. They'll be offering up their own special take on Southern gospel interestingly enough, at Brentwood Baptist's ''Deaf Chapel'' with tunes such as Heaven Yes, Hell No and If John the Baptist Used the King James Version (It's Good Enough for Me).
        ''Really, what we're spoofing is bad theology,'' said Nan Gurley, who was part of the group's first incarnation about 20 years ago. ''The whole concept is to help Christians be able to laugh at themselves, to have a good sense of humor when it's appropriate, to help us see ourselves for how silly we can really be.''
        To help do so, the group comes complete with sky-high hair and dramatic duds not to mention a true appreciation for the gospel and for Christ.
        ''It really is a fine line we walk here,'' Pippin said. ''It is a religious message at the core, yet these characters are so goofy and misguided that the jokes are always at their own expense. And in that way, it works.''
    At least, that's been the consensus so far. When the quartet decided to make a go of it once again including releasing an album called Get Right or Get Left in January they began holding small shows to gauge audience reaction. All four are industry professionals with impressive resumes, but none knew what to expect. ''And it's been surprising,'' Pippin said. ''We're not really sure how people are finding out about us, because it's just word of mouth, but they're clamoring for more.''
        It may be, Gurley said, because it's still easy to recognize the truth between all the laughs.  ''We've been getting our song titles off church marquees,'' she admitted. ''And we may get edgy with our humor. But we don't want people thinking we'd ever make fun of the real thing. This is just good medicine for us all. Who among us doesn't need a chance to laugh, relax and recover?''

Getting There...
        The Glory Bugles presents the First Annual 20th Anniversary Homecoming Reunion Concert Gathering at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Brentwood Baptist, 7777 Concord Road. Tickets ($12.50 plus tax) are available through www.glorybugles.com. For more information, call 373-3313.