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February 2015 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on February 5, 2015 – 7:06 pm -

February 2015 SGNScoops Magazine

February 2015 SGNScoops Magazine

It’s February and time to grab your coffee, snuggle up by the fire and read all the great stories in this edition of SGNScoops Magazine. We know we have enough captivating features to keep you reading until you are warm and toasty!

Our cover feature celebrates the life of Lari Goss. If you didn’t know the extent of Goss’ accomplishments, I know that this feature by Jennifer Campbell will enlighten you. If you knew and loved this gentleman, we hope that we have done his life justice.
Some of the other artists and Gospel music notables highlighted this month include Matt Felts and the Lesters, Austin Whisnant, the Revelation Trio, the Hall Sisters, Higher Hope and Les Butler. Our feature writers have done a wonderful job! I hope you will find these great folks on Facebook and show them some love (but not in a creepy way!)…
I had a good interview with Wilburn and Wilburn and talked with them about their music and their family lives. We talked about love and relationships, in honor of Valentine’s Day. You will also find interesting features from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church and from Lynn Mills our Event Planner. Dean Adkins highlights Church Quartets. Visiting with us in our Pastors Corner is Ed Smith, with a great article on the purpose of music in the life of a Christian.
The Southern Gospel DJ’s play such a large part in our music, that we are happy to salute a new one every month. Vonda Easley shines the spotlight on ReJeana Leeth, who has a great story that you need to read.
Thanks to all of you who read SGN Scoops and pass it along to others. The best way to let us know you like us is to share this issue with five of your social media friends. You can download the February SGN Scoops
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A Visit with Vonda Easley of Hope’s Journey

Written by Staff on February 27, 2015 – 11:27 am -

Hope's Journey

Hope’s Journey

VONDA ON THE RUN by Robert York

I decided to dust off my passport and travel across the state line to visit a friend in Alabama. After getting everything clear they let me in. I visited with a great friend while I was there and would like to let you know exactly what she does. Most everyone knows her as the “HEY Y’ALL” lady, while I know her as Vonda and Friend.
 
Vonda Easley doing her show "Strictly Southern with Vonda Easley"

Vonda Easley doing her show “Strictly Southern with Vonda Easley”

Vonda Easley is involved in numerous things that go on in Southern Gospel Music. In her early life she was brought up loving Gospel, Bluegrass and Country music. Around 10 years ago she and her daughter Ashley Easley formed a group to share God’s word and message in Southern Gospel music. She named the group “Hope’s Journey” and has been going strong ever since. She works with Morris Music Group and has a promotion company, Hey Y’all Media. You can also find her working as a dental hygienist.  Ashley married Josh Franks and left Hope’s Journey to sing with her husband.  Tracy Byrd is now singing with Vonda and image2Chris Clay in Hope’s Journey. Vonda is also deeply involved with SGN Scoops and has developed a relationship with them that is carried all around the world.

Well, that’s just to say a little about Vonda.  I when to Heflin, AL to see what she was up to.  First off, there was a concert that Josh and Ashley hosted called ‘Battle of the Quartets’.  It featured Mark Trammell Quartet and The Perrys along with Josh and Ashley.  Well guess who was also there:

Ashley Easley Franks

Ashley Easley Franks

Grandma Vonda keeping her grandchildren and spending time with her family.  The next morning she was up bright and early for her live radio program at  WPIL-FM called Strictly Southern with Vonda Easley.  She had Charlie Sexton as a guest on the program talking about a benefit concert that was happening that evening.  I then joined her on the program where we chatted about Gospel music and concerts. The final 30 minutes of the program is usually devoted to a phone call with Rob Patz talking about events that are going on and just really having a good fun time.  Rob loves to call that portion of the show the Rob and Vonda Show, but Vonda has a different idea about it.

 
One of the upcoming events that Vonda is heavily involved in, that will prove to be very successful and enjoyable is Southern Gospel Weekend, March 26-28 at the image4Oxford, AL Civic Center. Vonda and Rob have put together a great weekend of Southern Gospel Music which will feature around 30 artists. This one of the many events sponsored by SGN Scoops which also host the Diamond Awards Program in the fall at the Creekside Gospel Music Convention.
 
SGW logoWell after the radio program, Vonda went by to spend a little while with her mother and take her to lunch, but the day was not over for her. Hope’s Journey had a benefit concert to perform at that evening so it was off to the concert to sing. She was joined by several other groups and they raised over $3500 for a young child whose medical expenses had become more than the parents could afford. 
This is just a little about Vonda Easley and what she does to carry God’s message to hurting folks. Visiting with her and the staff at WPIL-FM is always an honor for me.  Keep up with Vonda and Hopes Journey.  www.hopesjourneyonline.com
For more on Southern Gospel Weekend visit http://www.southerngospelweekend.com/
For more on Creekside Gospel Music Convention visit  http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/
For more on Strictly Southern with Vonda Easley visit https://www.facebook.com/StrictlySouthernWithVondaEasley 

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Williamsons to be Featured Guests on The Gospel Greats Radio Program with Paul Heil

Written by Staff on February 27, 2015 – 10:31 am -

Williamsons

Williamsons

Weekend of February 28-March 1

Nashville, TN  February 23, 2015     Fast rising Southern Gospel group the Williamsons will be the featured guest on the nationally syndicated radio program “Gospel Greats” with Paul Heil.  Listeners will enjoy songs from their CD “Tell Somebody” including their current top ten hit “It was the Word”.

butlerCelebrating its 35th year of broadcasting Southern Gospel Music, “The Gospel Greats” is heard on radio stations across the United States, in Canada and through broadcasters worldwide.  The program is also heard on Sirius/XM Satellite and is streamed on the internet.

For information on the program and a list of stations  where it airs, visitwww.thegospelgreats.com.  To learn more about the Williamsons, go towww.williamsonsmusic.com.


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SGN Scoops TV: The LeFevre Quartet on Singing at Sea

Written by Staff on February 26, 2015 – 11:30 am -

Once again our SGN Scoops’ reporter, Marcie Gray, shares a video from the Singing at Sea cruise. We hope you enjoy the LeFevre Quartet as they perform “Jesus Saves.”

Click on the picture below for the amazing vocal ministry of the LeFevre Quartet.

LEFEVRE QUARTET PHOTO

LeFevre Quartet

 


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Beyond The Ashes Sign Booking Agreement With Beckie Simmons Agency

Written by Staff on February 26, 2015 – 11:01 am -

Beyond the Ashes

Beyond the Ashes

Nashville, Tenn (February 26, 2015) Beckie Simmons is announcing today that talented young Gospel trio, Beyond the Ashes has reached a booking agreement withBSA/Beckie Simmons Agency of Nashville, TN, effective immediately. Beyond The Ashes consists of  Anthony Facello, Dustin Doyle, and Tyler Vestal.

Known as a group who is ministry minded, yet having some of the smoothest sounds in Gospel music, Beyond The Ashes fits well in just about any setting from churches to large concert venues.

Concerning this new agreement Anthony Facello commented, “I have been fortunate enough to know Beckie for many years. Like I felt about working with Wayne Haun I feel the same about Beckie Simmons Agency.” Continuing he said, “I always wanted to work side-by-side with such talented and driven people. I am honored to be a part of BSA. We look forward to the future and what God has in store! Thank you Beckie for believing in BTA.”

Beckie Simmons adds, “I have loved Beyond The Ashes music since their inception and have admired their work ethics for quite some time. I have long been a fan and applaud their passion for God and Ministry. All of us at BSA are excited to be a part of their Team.”

If you would like to interview Beyond The Ashes contact

.
To learn more about Beyond The Ashes go to http://www.beyondtheashesonline.com or https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheashes . Twitter them at https://twitter.com/www.twitter.com/beyondtheashes1 .

To book Beyond The Ashes contact Beckie Simmons Agency at http://www.bsaworld.com or call 615-595-7500 .
                                                                                 ####
About Beyond The Ashes
Beyond our plans, beyond our own abilities, beyond our failures, beyond our own God-given talents, above and beyond anything we could ask or even imagine. God has a plan for each of us, to rise above the ashes and to live powerfully for Him.

When three different people come from three completely different parts of the United States and share the same strong desire and sincere call to worship and minister, then those plans, which are beyond our own, begin to come to fruition.


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Road to the 2015 Diamond Awards: Dottie Rambo Songwriter of the Year

Written by Staff on February 26, 2015 – 9:20 am -

Jeff Steele, 2014 Dottie Rambo Songwriter Of The Year

Jeff Steele, 2014 Dottie Rambo Songwriter Of The Year

Dottie Rambo was a much-loved and awarded singer/songwriter of Christian music who was killed in a bus accident in May 2008. She is said to have written over 2500 songs, many of which are sung regularly in churches, recorded often by artists and loved by millions. Dottie wrote such songs as “He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs,” “In the Valley He Restoreth My Soul,” and “We Shall Behold Him.”

We are traveling the Road to the 2015 Diamond Awards during this nomination period, by highlighting the definition of each award category. The Dottie Rambo Songwriter of the Year is a nationally-charting songwriter in Southern, Country or Bluegrass Christian music whose songs are recorded by Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel artists.

Reba Rambo-McGuire and her mother, Dottie Rambo

Reba Rambo-McGuire and her mother, Dottie Rambo

On November 4th, 2014, the Diamond Awards were held at the 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge. The winner of the 2014 Diamond Award Dottie Rambo Songwriter of the Year was Jeff Steele. Jeff has written many songs that have touched hearts and his family group, The Steeles, have often charted his songs. These songs include, “But God,” “We Want America Back,” and “On The Road to Emmaus.” He is also an author, speaker and pastor. Jeff has had songs recorded by almost every group in Southern Gospel and is much loved by the fans who voted for him for the 2014 Diamond Award winner.

The 2015 Diamond Award Nominations are now open on the SGN Scoops website until March 31. Everyone is invited to the website to enter the Nominations area and list their top ten favorite picks for each Diamond Award category. You can vote today from the link below!

Who will you decide to nominate this year?

2015 Diamond Awards

2015 Diamond Awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to vote for your favorite nominees today.

The list of nominees will be posted on the site and fans will then nominate their favorites from this list, with a maximum of five names nominated per award. In
this way, the field of nominees will be narrowed to ten, voted on by fans once more and then narrowed to five. This final list of five will then be voted on by fans to find the one winner for each award.

Make plans now to join us for the 2015 Diamond Awards during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from November 2nd through 5th, 2015. For more information visit www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com

2015 Diamond Awards Nominations can be found at http://www.sgnscoops.com/2015-diamond-awards/

The Diamond Awards are hosted by SGN Scoops digital magazine and Coastal Media Group.


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SGN Scoops TV: Interviews from the Sea with the Erwins

Written by Staff on February 25, 2015 – 4:21 pm -

Marcie Gray, SGN Scoops intrepid roving reporter recently returned from the Singing at Sea Cruise where she was able to catch a few artists on the big boat.

Today, Marcie talks to popular young group, The Erwins. Click on the picture to watch! For more artist features, visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/

erwins cover


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The Sharps release new single, “His Love and Grace”

Written by Staff on February 25, 2015 – 3:05 pm -

thesharps0001Fort Payne, AL (February 25, 2015) LGMA multi-nominated quartet, The Sharps are proud to release their second single “His Love and Grace” from their latest project Someday I Will. This single is a follow up to the group’s last single “He Built a Bridge” that was released in August 2014. The single “His Love and Grace” reminds us that God’s love is faithful and everlasting. The single is set to be released this week with Adam Knight, owner of AOK Promotions.

“His Love and Grace” was written by one of the group’s longtime family friend, Dewayne Taylor, who suddenly passed away in 2011. This tragic event inspired The Sharps to take the song and shape it into what is heard today.

Ben Sharp stated “His Love and Grace is a song that we hold close to our hearts. It’s a blessing each time we are able to sing this song because of the great picture that the song paints. Dewayne really must have had God’s touch when writing this great upbeat song. We believe God allows special people like Dewayne to be apart of your life for very special reasons, even if the effects are not seen until farther down the road. We are eager to see what God has planned for The Sharps and this song, we pray sincerely that it becomes as much as a blessing to those who hear it, as it is for us to sing it.”

The song “His Love and Grace” simply states that God’s love still amazes us each day. Encouraging others to find his grace that will last throughout eternity.

If you would like to interview The Sharps contact Adam Knight, AOK Promotions 1(423) 388-5459

To learn more about The Sharps go to www.thesharpsquartet.com or any of these social media sites: www.facebook.com/thesharpsquartet OR www.twitter.com/thesharpsqt

 

 


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SGN Scoops Top 100 for February 2015

Written by Staff on February 25, 2015 – 1:11 pm -

SGNScoops Top 100

SGNScoops Top 100

1 Kingdom Heirs Joys Of Heaven
2 Williamsons It Was The Word
3 Browders He Took The Nails
4 Legacy Five Christ Is Still The King
5 Hyssongs Still Blessed
6 Brian Free and Assurance Unashamed
7 Bowling Family That’s What I Miss The Most
8 Hoskins Family Land Of Endless Tomorrows
9 Tim Livingston I Just Miss You
10 Dunaways Church In The Kitchen
11 Shellem Cline Dinner With Jesus
12 Greater Vision The Blood Hasn’t Ever Changed
13 Ernie Haase and Signature Sound Water Walking God
14 Debra Perry and Jaidyn’s Call Bottom Of The Hill
15 Karen Peck and New River Everybody’s Going Through Something
16 Mark Bishop Pray On The Little Days
17 Lore Family It Shall Be Well
18 Kingsmen Oh Yes I Am
19 Steeles Eternally
20 Tribute Quartet Everything I Need
21 Joseph Habedank Never No Never
22 Isaacs I Wanna Be There
23 Jones Come On, Come On
24 Mylon Hayes Family There’s Still A Refuge
25 Zane and Donna King No One Like God
26 Mark Dubbeld Family Face Of The Captain
27 Shellem Cline That Saving Song
28 Tammy Jones Robinette I Like Life
29 Talleys Hidden Heroes
30 Porter Family It Won’t Be Today
31 Clyde Felton Jr. Lord Forgive Me
32 Kevin and Jennifer He’s Still Doing Miracles Today
33 Triumphant Quartet This Blood
34 Taylors Measure Of Grace
35 Beyond The Ashes Over For Good
36 Dennis Cook One Pair Of Hands
37 East Ridge Boys Pray Pray Pray
38 Poet Voices He Saw Me
39 Troy Burns Family By The Blood Of The Lamb
40 Gold City Part The Waters
41 Whisnants Glorybound
42 Josh and Ashley Franks He Promised Me
43 Caleb’s Crossing Isn’t The Love Of Jesus Something Wonderful
44 Mercy’s Well I Wanna Hear The Gospel
45 Guardians He’ll Welcome Me
46 Gaither Vocal Band Sometimes It Takes A Mountain
47 Keith Barkley and Family Tradition It Will Pass By
48 Wards Coming Out Of Bondage
49 Perrys I Can Trust Him
50 Primitive Quartet Empty Me
51 Mercy’s Reflection Oh What A Difference
52 Jason Crabb Love Is Stronger
53 Heavenly Sunrise He Died A Savior
54 Pauline Patterson One Prayer Away
55 Watts, Rowsey and Bean Don’t Give A Rock A Chance
56 Bev McCann Smile
57 Partons No More Chains
58 Mark Trammell Quartet Don’t Stop Running
59 Scotts I Won’t Let Go Of My Faith
60 James and Jeff Easter Jesus Is Living In Me
61 Martins If We Ever Needed The Lord Before
62 Clay Jacobs Tough As Nails
62 Greater Vision Don’t Try To Tell Me
64 11th Hour How Will You Plead
65 Brian and Angela Monehan I Talk To Him
66 LeFevre Quartet Put It Right There
67 TaRanda Greene That’s Where Amazing Happens
68 Barry Rowland and Deliverance Somebody Go Get God
69 Rick Webb Family Send Me
70 Doug Hudson Help Me Find My Way Home
71 Inmans Here Comes The Bride
72 Horn Family Rise Above The Fall
72 Wilbanks I’ll Be Praisin’ You
74 Crowe Lawson and Williams Insured Beyond The Grave
75 Down East Boys Holy All Over Again
76 Campbell and Rowley It’s Not About You
77 Tony Burchette Better Hurry Up
78 Conners I Need To Hear From Heaven
79 Amber Nelon Thompson What Do You Say
80 Rita Broyles Looking Through The Bars
81 Bradys My New Home
82 Rod Truman I’m Gonna Make It
83 Booth Brothers I Played In The Band
84 Hagees That’s What Love Looks Like
85 Page Trio I Wanna Go There
86 Gospel Truth Trio I’ve Been Born Again
87 Southern Raised Good News From The Graveyard
88 Charlie May One Last Stand
89 Akins Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
90 Gordon Mote Ain’t It Just Like The Lord
91 Rochesters My Savior’s Love
92 Sounds Of Victory How Good God’s Been To Me
93 Bledsoes I’m Glad I’m Saved
93 Chuck Day Back Page News
95 Undivided For Another Day
96 Greater Vision For All He’s Done
97 Exodus Tell Me Oh Tell Me Again
98 Heaven’s Mountain Band A Cross And Three Nails
99 John Penney Jesus Is Coming
100 Valor 3 Hallelujah He Has Risen

 


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Open Letter From Jimmy Reno

Written by Staff on February 24, 2015 – 2:45 pm -

Jimmy and Christa Reno

Jimmy and Christa Reno

Birmingham, AL- Over the past few years I have had the privilege of traveling the U.S. and meeting many gospel music fans in my two tenures with Mark209. The support, love and encouragement I have encountered has been overwhelming during this period of time.

After a very successful Christmas tour with the group, I returned home to find some health issues with my daughter that required us to focus on her and her health. As my wife and I have dealt with these issues, we have earnestly sought through prayer the best decision for our family and the direction of my calling in fulltime music ministry.

As of February 2015, my wife, Christa and I have prayerfully reached the decision that I will retire from fulltime travel on the road. We have been seeking God and wise counsel about this decision and feel that this is the best option for our family moving forward.

I want to thank all of the gospel music fans who have embraced my family and lifted us up in prayer during this trying time. We ask for your continued support and prayers for my family and for Mark209 as they move forward. My wife and I look forward to the new doors the Lord opens for us and our family and we look forward to continuing sharing the gospel through those avenues.


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The Big Heart of Little Willie Wynn

Written by Staff on February 24, 2015 – 11:35 am -

Willie Wynn

Willie Wynn

By Dixie Phillips

Little Willie Wynn is commonly known in gospel music as the man with a million friends. After interviewing him on the telephone I can see why. His gentle warmth and down home personality makes you feel like you’ve known him your whole life.

Recording artist, Woody Wright, traveled and sang with Willie for several years. He had these kind words to say, “Willie is my mentor. My dad passed away in 1979. Willie broke the news to me while we were on the road. I consider him my ‘stand-in’ father. He is my absolute best friend. There is not a more influential figure in my life. I owe my career to him. I often tell him, if he had not given me my first road job in the music field, I would have probably gone to college and become a doctor or a lawyer.”

Willie Wynn and Woody Wright

Willie Wynn and Woody Wright

Southern gospel historians consider Willie a legend in gospel music. His story of humble beginnings and then achieving the pinnacle of success so few artists ever experience is the stuff movies are made of. It’s sheer inspiration and should encourage every child who has a dream of singing for the Lord.

Willie was born the seventh child of Cyrus Wynn and Allie Belle Lunsford Wynn in Moultrie, Georgia. He was raised by a single mother on 173-acre farm with his six brothers and one sister. Willie said, “When my father left, my dear mother poured her life into us kids. She loved us and we loved her. All of us helped with chores around the farm.”

Willie learned a tremendous work ethic in the cotton fields of south Georgia with his close-knit family, but he also learned he loved music. “My brothers and I would work in the fields and we always had a dinner break. While we ate I listened to the beautiful music of the Statesmen, Blackwood Brothers, and the LeFevres. Nobody ever taught me parts, but I could hear them all. They came easy to me. It was a gift from God.”

image003God had His hand on Willie and when he was 14 at Hopewell Baptist Church, he gave his heart to the Lord and was baptized. The young man also knew he was supposed to sing gospel music. “From as far back as I can remember, I felt a call from God to sing for Him. I can’t really explain it. I just knew I was to sing tenor in a gospel male quartet.”

Willie joined a quartet when he was still a teenager and sang with the Happy Four regularly on a local radio station. The group was well received and their fan base kept growing around Georgia. When he got in high school, he sang with the FFA quartet. “I just knew I had to continue pursuing my dream. In my heart I believed I would one day sing with the Statesmen.”

07-SandiWillieHallOfFameWhile Willie was honing his musical talent, a man moved to Moultrie from Atlanta. He shared Willie’s dream and wanted to start a gospel quartet of his own. “We tried to round up a few singers, but then the guy moved back to Atlanta. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve my goal, but then the same fellow kept calling me and inviting me to move to Atlanta. When the time was right, I moved there and got a job in a bookbindery. After working for about a year Denver Crumpler, the Statesmen’s tenor singer, passed away. They were looking for someone to fill his position. I went to the Briarcliff Hotel in Atlanta to audition. I knew all their songs and had a great time singing for them. There was one more fellow after me to try out—Rosie Rozell. Even though they hired him, I still felt in my heart I would one day sing with the Statesmen.”

Even though Willie didn’t get the tenor position, Jake Hess recognized the young man’s talent. When some of the members of Wally Fowler’s backup quartet for his All Night Singing asked if anyone knew of a good tenor singer, Jake Hess suggested they contact Willie. The group didn’t waste a minute. They drove to Willie’s house around 11:00 p.m. and convinced him to come down to Atlanta’s Municipal Auditorium. “Even though I wasn’t feeling the best, I threw on my coat and went with them. I sang all the songs and was hired on the spot. Eventually the group was named The Oak Ridge Quartet.”

Lou Hildreth Award Presented to Willie Wynn by Jonathan Edwards

Lou Hildreth Award Presented to Willie Wynn by Jonathan Edwards

Warner Brothers was the Quartet’s record label. They suggested the group change their name to the Oak Ridge Boys. The guys all agreed. At this time the group consisted of Willie Wynn, tenor singer; Smitty Gatlin, lead singer; Ron Page, baritone singer; Herman Harper, bass singer; and Tommy Fairchild, pianist. They were noted for being on the cutting edge of gospel music with a progressive country sound.

It was during this time the fans fell in love with the skinny Georgia boy with his smooth tenor voice. At every concert the Oaks introduced him, “Make welcome Little Willie Wynn!” The crowd went wild and the nickname stuck. All 116 pounds of “Little Willie Wynn” sang his way into the hearts of his fans with songs like: “Jesus is Coming Soon,” “Mama’s Last Amen,” “King Jesus,” “After All,” “My God Is Real,” “Mama’s Teaching Angels How to Sing,” “The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side,” “After Calvary,” and “Little Is Much.”

Willie Wynn Bash at Creekside 204

Willie Wynn Bash at Creekside 204

The Oaks’ popularity skyrocketed. Invitations came for them to sing on the Porter Wagoner Show, the Johnny Carson Show, the Merv Griffin Show, and they regularly appeared on the Johnny Cash Show. They were invited to make a guest appearance in the movie ‘Sing a Song for Heaven’s Sake’. The Oaks received international invitations and performed two tours in Sweden. During this time they gained even broader audience appeal and recognition. They received several Dove Awards and even a Grammy Award. They were in more demand for television appearances than ever before. Willie and the Oaks were rated as one of the top gospel groups in the business.

Willie sang with the Oaks for 15 years and came off the road in 1973, to pursue a business venture and be closer to home. “I was offered a deal too good to refuse—an airplane business. What I didn’t see on the horizon was the severe fuel crunch. It didn’t go as I had hoped.”

The next year, Hovie Lister called and invited him to sing with the Statesmen. “I knew God had put that dream in my heart. I saw the prayers of that little boy from the cotton fields of Georgia come true that day.”

Creekside 2014

Creekside 2014

After recording a few albums and singing with the Statesmen, Willie formed another group—Willie Wynn and the Tennesseans. Group members included Elmer Cole, Dave Maddox, Woody Wright, and Michael Sykes. Willie said, “Even though we had great talent and recorded several records, we were never quite able to get the group off the ground.”

The Georgia farm boy wasn’t afraid of hard work. He decided to start another group—Sweetwater. Once again the roster was jam-packed with some talented singers: Darrell Holt, J.T. Hicks, Gary Clark, and later with Woody Wright and Michael Sykes. “Once again, we were blessed with great songs, arrangements, and talent, but we just couldn’t make it to the level we hoped to.”

Willie married the love of his life on Valentine’s Day 1991. He said, “My wife, Sandi, is a beautiful person and singer. She is the highlight of my life.”

Sandi and Willie received a phone call from Bill Gaither, inviting them to come to Alexandria, Indiana, and be part of a videotaping. Willie stated, “I cannot say enough good about Bill and Gloria. They have done more for the gospel music field than anyone I know. They have resurrected careers that have been dead longer than Hitler.”

Another important phone call came to the Wynn house in 2013. “Woody Wright called and insisted I record a new project—Willie Wynn & Friends. He actually wrote a song “The Oak Ridge Boys and Me,” especially for this project. If that wasn’t enough of a blessing, then the Oaks came to the studio and sang backup on that song with me.”

Not only did the Oaks come out to support Willie, but Bill Gaither and Ben Speer also sang backup. It’s plain to see Willie loves people and they love him back. His new project is proof of just how much folks treasure “the big heart of little Willie Wynn.”

WW Bash 3Willie Wynn & Friends also includes 11 new recordings of popular songs from Willie’s days with the Oak Ridge Boys and new versions of great hymns and classics. Ponder Sykes & Wright (who first sang together as members of Willie’s group, The Tennesseans) are featured on several songs, along with other former Tennesseans Elmer Cole and Dave Maddox. Bill Gaither, Ben Speer and Gene McDonald provide support vocals, as well as Willie’s great friends Darrell Holt, J.T. Hicks, and Gary Clark from the group Sweetwater. The musician crew is a ‘who’s who’ of some of Nashville finest players.

Woody Wright is quick to honor the man who helped him get his start in gospel music. “The November 3rd 2014, “Willie Wynn and Friends Bash” will be our fourth annual event. The first was the evening that Willie was inducted as an individual to the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame. So every year since, we have assembled the former members of Willie’s groups (The Tennesseans and Sweetwater) to keep honoring Willie, who made it possible for dozens of wannabe Gospel singers get started.  Among those names are myself, Michael Sykes, David Ponder, Elmer Cole, and many other players and singers.”

Fans will love hearing Willie’s signature voice again. His huge heart shines through every song and his music guarantees to inspire his million friends and fans.

October 2014 SGNScoops Magazine

October 2014 SGNScoops Magazine

Willie also participated in a DVD/CD made in 2012 and 2013 with Scott Kramer and Woody Wright, Good News Music Radio. Willie said, “We are getting incredible number of inquiries about these projects. We are all very excited about them. Fans can purchase them at www.williewynn.com.”

Fans can connect on FaceBook with Willie and Sandi at www.facebook.com/WillieNSandiWynn or write them at LittleWillieWynn@aol.com.

 

Editor’s note: The November 3rd  2014 “Willie Wynn and Friends Bash” was part of the annual Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. For more information, visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/

Written by Dixie Phillips

Published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in October 2014

For current issues of SGN Scoops digital magazine visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/

 

 


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