Meet the Primitive Quartet


I was born on June 30, 1946, to Glenn and Lois Riddle. I have three younger brothers, Larry, Mike and Darren. I have one sister, Geneva. For the first six years of my life, we lived on Foster Creek in the Big Laurel section of Madison County. My first school was the Foster Creek School, a two -room school with no indoor plumbing. Because Foster Creek was such a remote area, at age six, we moved to Candler to be closer to my dad's work which was brick laying. Dad bought a farm and we raised a few cattle, hogs and had a workhorse to tend the crops. Church was very important and we went every service. I thank God for the values that were instilled in me during my younger years. Dad and Mom taught us to work. Dad taught me the bricklaying trade and taught me well. I taught bricklaying in one of our local high schools for a number of years. Our family sang together while we were growing up. At age fourteen, Dad bought me a brand new Gibson Factory left handed guitar, and I'll never forget how thrilled I was with it! As I look back and reflect on the monthly singings that my parents took me to, I realize God was preparing me for what He had in store. I never dreamed I would be singing and doing what I love so much. Two of my favorite songs are: It Is Well with My Soul and If We Never Meet Again. God knows the future, and He does all things well. I thank Him for the privilege of singing with the Primitive Quartet for the past thirty-three years. As a child, I knew Jesus was the virgin born Son of God. I knew He died for my sins and that He arose from the grave. At the age of twelve, I spent the night with one of my classmates. His church, Glady Missionary Baptist, was having a revival and I went to church with him. It was on that night that the precious Holy Spirit knocked upon my heart's door. I don't remember the exact date and I don't remember what I prayed, other than asking Jesus to save me. I do know that Christ moved into my heart and started a fire within me that has never gone out. Perhaps you're reading this and you've never accepted Christ as your Savoir. At some point in your life, the Holy Spirit will knock upon your heart's door. You'll know His voice when He speaks, but you must invite Him in. I married Joyce Scruggs from Candler and God blessed our union with two daughters, Tracey and Tammy and six precious grandchildren. We still live in Candler, and when I'm not singing, I love to do yard work and grow flowers. I belong to a fitness center and I enjoy the benefits that come from regular physical exercise. Once in a while, I get in a little trout fishing at my mountain home in Madison County.

Reagan


I was born on June 26, 1962, in Richmond, Indiana, to Paul and Dessie Fox. I have one older brother, Steve, and one younger brother, Matthew. I grew up in Williamsburg, Indiana and my days were filled with playing sports on our five acres with the neighbor's children. We played various kinds of sports and games and enjoyed shooting my BB-gun (sometimes at things I shouldn't). When I got older, Dad took me bird hunting. My favorite pastime was baseball. On November 4, 1974, my eternal destiny was changed. Jesus came into my heart and saved me forever. I remember the date probably because my mother wrote it down, but more important than that, I remember what took place that blessed day. The burden of knowing I was lost without hope was lifted and Jesus became my Lord. Thank God, for His saving grace. I want people to see Him in my life, not only when I'm singing, but also in everything I say or do. My prayer is that I will be faithful in service to Him, whatever the task may be. I want to share the love He has bestowed upon me with my loved ones and friends so that they might know the joy of knowing Jesus Shortly after I was saved at age twelve, I developed a love for music. Since before I was born, my father was part of a quartet, and some of my fondest memories are the times I got to go with them to sing. Dad gave me my first guitar, under one condition. I had to always play and sing for the Lord. I accepted his terms and have been trying to do just that ever since. My dad and I sang together for five years in a group called The Gospel Fishermen. From 1983 to 1986, I traveled with The Sacred Bluegrass, better known today as The Isaacs. God led me to North Carolina in 1986, and the first weekend in November of that year, I was introduced as a member of The Primitive Quartet. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work with such a great group of men. I have the utmost respect and love for them. God has blessed our quartet and He has blessed me beyond measure. He gave me a wonderful wife, Tammy Riddle, whom I married in 1988. On September 26, 1995, we had a daughter, Cessali. On September 26, 1996, our son, Carson was born. When I'm not singing or spending time with my family, some of my favorite hobbies are fishing, hunting, golfing and reading. Whatever the future holds for our group and my family, I pray that God's hand will be upon us.

Randy


I was born on April 15, 1952 to Glen and Lois Riddle in Marshall, North Carolina. My older brother is Reagan, and I have two younger brothers, Michael and Darrin. I have one older sister and her name is Geneva. My dad bought a forty-acre farm in Candler when I was five years old. I had a wonderful childhood, roaming the mountains, playing and fishing in the creek, swinging on grapevines and climbing jack pines. Reagan and I made a homemade wagon with our neighbors, the Burrell boys, and had a great time riding it down the mountain. It's a miracle that we're still alive. My Uncle Hilliard taught me how to make roosters fight, and I dearly paid for that. Every time I went to gather the eggs, a rooster would flog me. Finally, the Lord called it home, with a little help from me. We had a workhorse, named Bob, but Reagan rode him more than we worked him. He thought he was a real cowboy. I attended Pisgah Elementary School, and it was near enough for me to ride my bike part of the time. I graduated from Enka High in 1971. Most of my life, I had helped my dad who was a brick mason. He taught us how to make mud and then taught us how to lay bricks and blocks. By the time I graduated from school, I was also ready to graduate from being a mud man to a brick mason, so Dad gave me a job. I was raised by Godly parents who never stopped praying for me. I knew the right way, but did not get saved until I was almost nineteen years old. It was in a revival meeting at Maple Ridge Baptist Church where I am still a member and serve as a deacon. I'm thankful for a church and a mom and dad who did not give up on me. After I was saved, there were some dear friends at church who took me in and nurtured me while I was still a babe in Christ. Many of my classmates were saved about the same time, and we spent many nights in the mountains singing and praying. I still have fond memories of this special time in my life. Soon after I was saved, Norman and Furman Wilson became some of my best buddies and I began singing with their family. This eventually led to the formation of the Primitive Quartet. It's amazing to look back and see God's hand in my life, even when I didn't know He was leading me. On May31, 1975, I married Mitzi Keever from Dillsboro, North Carolina. We have two daughters, Kelly and Kendall. When I'm not singing or spending time with my best buddy, Mitzi, you may find me working at the sawmill or in the woods hunting or on the lake fishing.

Larry


On May 1, 1957, I was born to Glen and Lois Riddle. Unlike the rest of my brothers and sister who were born in Madison or Buncombe County, I was born in Melbourne, Florida. Since Dad was a brick mason, and winters were cold in North Carolina, he usually took the family south every year to a warmer climate. There, he would work until it got warmer at home. Mother and Dad's farm was at the end of Israel Road in Candler. I married Diane Hicks in 1975 and we moved into a small mobile home down by the creek on the farm. Five years later, we built a house close by and that is still where I live. When I was growing up, I didn't play sports, but I did like to fish and play with the neighboring children in that creek that ran through Mom and Dad's property. I was about ten years old when Dad showed me the chords on the guitar. I would come in from school and play two to four hours every day. I loved to be around other guitar pickers and learn everything I could from them. I got discouraged and quit playing for about six months when I was fourteen years old. I thought I was never going to learn the pattern of playing lead. When I started picking again, it was like a light switch turned on in my head. Everything that I had learned started making sense. I knew that it was God that revealed it to me as clear as a crystal. When we say, "We can't", God says, "We can". I am so thankful for the opportunity of being a small part of the Primitive Quartet. To Randy, Larry, Reagan, Norman and Jeff, I love and appreciate you. I received Jesus into my heart when I was thirteen years old at my home church, Maple Ridge Baptist in Candler. I believe I was saved before I reached the alter. I was under conviction and no words can explain the peace and contentment that I felt in my heart. God has been so good to me, and I am blessed far beyond measure. Many times I have failed Him, but I do want to be a willing vessel to be used for His glory. To all of our dear friends across the country, thank you for your friendship and support. You have truly been a blessing to us.

Michael


I was born in Franklin, North Carolina to Radford and Virta Wilson on July 2, 1944. I have two brothers, Furman and Truman and two sisters, Judy and Jean. In 1955, we moved to Buncombe County and that is where I still call home. Dad was an old-time mountain preacher who preached for fifty seven years before graduating to Heaven. He not only preached, but he also knew his music quite well and taught his children how to sing. He taught us to sing the shape notes, and that is the traditional mountain style music that the Primitive Quartet still sings today. Being the music lover that he was, he encouraged us to sing for the Lord. For many years, Dad, Furman, Ronald Crane and I sang in a quartet and traveled many miles singing at monthly singings and revivals. It was in August, 1961, when God's spirit convicted me of my sins and showed me I was lost and needed to be born again. I accepted Him as my Savior and things have never been the same. What a blessed day! God has honored me to sing to Him since 1952, and I feel that I'm only getting started. Gardening, woodworking, hunting and fishing are a few of my hobbies, but they would all have to take second place to my singing. I married Kay Whitehead from Maryville, Tennessee and we live in Candler, also. My desire is to share with others what God has done for me. I will always try to tell of His great love and encourage those I meet along the way. To the world I would say, "Try Jesus, you will never be disappointed."

Norman


As long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. I was born on February 19, 1971 to Troy and Phyllis Tolbert in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. It was my dad who began teaching me at a very young age to listen to the notes so I could sing harmony and lead. I believe we sang in every church in the five surrounding counties. When I was about seven years old, I became interested in the guitar, mandolin and bass. Whatever the instrument, I wanted to play it. That is all I wanted to do. There was music talent on both sides of my family, but Mom and Dad were my greatest influence. What a blessing they have been to me! I first met the Primitive Quartet in Summersville, West Virginia. My dad and I sang in a group and we were on the same program. There was a man who returned a "Because He Loved Me" album because it was scratched. Mike Riddle tossed it in the trash, and at the age of thirteen, I pulled it out of the trash and took it home with me. I wore it out picking with the Primitives. I never found that scratch. Since that day, God has blessed me and made it possible for me to travel with some of the greatest musicians and singers in the world. I can remember fishing, hiking and playing ball during the day at a local campground and at night we would have worship service. It was 1979, and I remember the preacher asked, "If you die tonight, will you go to Heaven or Hell?" I learned from the songs that I had sung all my life that Hell was an awful place. At eight years old, I stepped out to go to the alter and accept Christ as my Savior. My sister went with me. She grabbed my hand, and together, we were saved. My sister, Linda, went home to be with Jesus in 1989. I thank God that she is only gone from our sight. I also have a brother, Billy, who died at birth. With the hope that I have in God, I know I'll see them again. In May, 2002, I married Shaytonya Morrow from Tennessee. We have one son, Briley. We call Candler home also. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing music, hunting and fishing, recording and spending time with my son. My favorite Bible verse is Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Thank God, I believed.

Jeff