Troy Ramey, Popular Quartet Lead Singer, Passes Away

By Bob Marovich

The Journal of Gospel Music learned that Troy Ramey, longtime lead singer for the Soul Searchers of Atlanta, Georgia, has passed away. More details will be forthcoming as they are made available.

Formerly a house painter, Troy Ramey was first lead for the Soul Searchers since the early 1960s, when they would appear at Bro. Esmond Patterson’s WAOK Gospel Caravan programs. The group first recorded for the local Atlanta label Ziontone and later signed with Musicor, where their 1972 hit, “Great Change,” put the quartet on the national map.

By 1976, the group was recording albums and singles for Nashboro and stayed there until the mid-1980s, when they began a longstanding relationship with Atlanta International Records.

Ramey sang like a preacher preaches, with shouts, scoops, squalls, and raspy inhales known as “preacher’s breath.” In addition to “Great Change,” Soul Searchers’ radio hits included “Save a Soul in Every Town (Pickin’ ‘em Up and Layin’ ‘em Down)” and “Ninety-Nine and One-Half Won’t Do.”

JGM expresses its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and many fans of Troy Ramey. May he rest in quartet heaven.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.


  1. You’re going to be miss because your songs have catcher many people heart rest your work have is done on this Earth but not in heaven

  2. Thanks so much for your article on Troy Ramey who is our first cousin. Our dads were brothers and we always had a close relationship with Troy. We would love to be a part and or organize some other tributes to him and the Soul Searchers. Thanks again, Tabbie Ramey Reese

  3. Sleep in peace you will surely be missed may the Lord bless your family and make them strong during their time of sorrow

  4. My prayers are for the family. We will truly miss Mr Troy Ramey Sr. My friend Judy Hayes remember y’all while growing up. Remember the conversation with your mom in the neighborhood with Troy’s brother.

  5. U will be truly missed rest on Troy ur music touch allot of hearts

  6. Just found out Another Legend is gone.He will be missed.In North Carolina also.

  7. Rest easy Troy you will be missed .

  8. Rest easy Troy Ramey your work down here is done.

  9. Miriam Jiggetts

    7/12/20. Just discovering Brother Troy Ramey’s amazing voice listening to his lead on “Leaning”. In this time of COVID-19, Brother Troy knew what we needed down here to lift us UP-HIS AMAZING VOICE!!!AMEN

  10. Each Sunday evening me and my Mama listen to A Charge To Keep. I just Google Mr Troy and see that he’s gone on …. his voice is still blessing us. God Bless, Peace & Love.

  11. He did not enter the narrow path that leads to life. Anyone can have a gift to sing.

  12. Found out last year that Mr. Troy had passed away was a very sad shock. My parents & I would call the group Troy, we would have movie night & watch videos of the great quartet singers. Troy & the Soul Searchers & the Daughter of Troy were my favorite, I purchased my very 1st albums in 1974, it was of the group & I still have it & anything thing else I could find of the group. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Troy on the wedding day of one of the group members. I shared with him how I made more than 5 trips to a mall to get his poster. Yes I still have that poster. His music could lift a heavy burden & give you another way of looking at life. Troy was a phenomenal singer. Will keep family in prayers.