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.


  1. Willie McCoy December 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    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. Tabbie R Reese December 9, 2018 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    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

    • Bob Marovich December 9, 2018 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome. My condolences to the family.

    • Bob Marovich December 9, 2018 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      If you do any tributes to Mr. Ramey, let me know. I did a long set of his music on my radio show, “Gospel Memories,” yesterday morning.

    • Robert A. Mattox, Former Disc Jockey December 11, 2018 at 7:22 am - Reply

      Tabbie can you tell me what funeral home has Mr. Ramey remains?

    • Tony January 25, 2019 at 3:07 am - Reply

      Hi Tabbie please give me a call. Troy was my uncle and I would love to know my other relatives. (404) 516-0831.

      • Valerie Billings April 25, 2020 at 2:40 am - Reply

        I grew up listening to Troy Ramey. My grandmother loved his music. I know she’s enjoying his singing in heaven now. Heartfelt sympathy to Mr Ramey’s family, friends and colleagues. Rest in Heaven!

    • Tina Dolores Hamrick February 24, 2023 at 7:54 am - Reply

      I love the songs My Momlove the songs
      God bless you Miss You.
      Your Songs very Powerful
      1 Let It Be Real
      2 ,Mama, A Part of me went Along with you
      3Try Jesus

  3. Thomas Marshall December 10, 2018 at 11:00 pm - Reply

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

  4. John Stroman December 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    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. Sheneil December 19, 2018 at 3:05 am - Reply

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

  6. […] post Troy Ramey, Popular Quartet Lead Singer, Passes Away appeared first on The Journal of Gospel […]

  7. Ann January 2, 2019 at 8:03 pm - Reply

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

  8. Elaine January 26, 2019 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Rest easy Troy you will be missed .

  9. Elaine January 26, 2019 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Rest easy Troy Ramey your work down here is done.

  10. Miriam Jiggetts July 12, 2020 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    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

  11. Beverly August 9, 2021 at 12:59 am - Reply

    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.

  12. Kkkkk September 20, 2021 at 10:00 pm - Reply

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

  13. Joy October 10, 2021 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    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.

  14. […] Is A Part Of Man,” recorded by Troy Ramey & The Soul Searchers, […]

  15. Darry Neal September 28, 2023 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    I just starded hearing his songs and they really move me today. I can’t stop listening to his song Hold On it I can feel it inside.Rest in Peace.

  16. Winder M. Washington SR. December 4, 2023 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Didn’t know that he passed. I still sing some of his songs. Miss him already. Even though he’s been gone for a while.

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Written by : 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.