Welcome to the Fifth Anniversary edition of SGN Scoops digital magazine. We have a lot of great stories to share with you this month and we are thrilled to have Jeff and Sheri Easter as our cover artists for September. Their story is told by Dixie Phillips who also tells the story of Kenna Turner West and the Write About Jesus seminars.
In celebration of our Fifth Anniversary we have a special feature written by Sandy Duncan Clark about five years of SGN Scoops history. New staff members Chris Clay and Dean Adkins have special features for us on the Steeles and the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion.
Rob Patz tells us what America Wants To Know About Donna King and Vonda Easley shines the DJ Spotlight on Rodney Baucom. Melissa Wright shares about the filming of the Cathedral Family Reunion and the DVD just released.
Lorraine Walker addresses the subject of Christians and Addictions with guests Rusty Golden and Joseph Habedank. Marketing Gospel Music features Dusty Wells of Word Records. Other great features by Lynn Mills, David Staton, Erin Stevens and Laurette Willis will keep you glued to our pages.
Our brand-new News Makers section this month includes the Crabb Platinum Tour by Angela Griffin, the Music and Madness Tour by Candace Combs and much more.
We know you love the monthly devotions by our writers; Dr. Jeff Steele, Sherry Anne, Kelly Nelon Clark and Jennifer Campbell. We hope their words will encourage you and strengthen your heart.
All this and so much more as you look inside the September 2014 edition of SGNScoops! Read it and share it today!
Tags: Crabb Platinum Tour, Donna King, Dusty Wells, Grand Ole Gospel Reunion, jeff and sheri easter, Joseph Habedank, Kelly Nelon Clark, Rodney Baucom, Rusty Golden, Write About Jesus
Posted in sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—September 17th, 2014–The all-new Cathedrals Family Reunion, Past Members Reunite LIVE in Concert video debuted at #1 on this past week’s Christian Music Video chart and at #2 on the Billboard Music Video chart according to Nielsen SoundScan. The audio version of the recording topped the Southern Gospel chart and landed at #25 on the Contemporary Christian chart.
Sept. 24, 2014 – Pigeon Forge, TN (Matinee preview performance)
Nov. 7-8, 2014 – Akron, OH
Nov. 14-15, 2014 – Fort Worth, TX
Jan. 15-16, 2015 – Orlando, FL
Apr. 24-25, 2015 – Denver, CO
Jul. 17-18, 2015 – Lancaster, PA
Oct. 9-10, 2015 – Branson, MO
Tags: Cathedrals Family Reunion, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Greater Vision, legacy five, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News, The Mark Trammel Quartet
Posted in announcements | Comments Off
Born in Double Springs, Alabama, on June 13, 1925, Mary Tom Speer-Reid is the youngest daughter of GT “Dad” Speer and Lena Darling Brock “Mom” Speer. Mary Tom spent many years performing with the Speer Family prior marrying the Reverend Robert “Bob” Reid in 1954. She left the group to support her husband’s ministry and raise her family of three children: Teresa Ann Reid Fontaine (1955), Cynthia Lee Reid (1958), and Timothy Scott Reid (1960). They moved to Ohio in 1961 where they lived and pastored until Bob’s death in December of 1968. After the untimely death of her husband, Mary Tom and children moved back to Nashville in 1969. She returned to the Speer Family on a limited basis for special concert appearances in the early 1980’s and continued to appear with the Speers until the retirement of the group. Mary Tom has also been a staff member of the Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter School of Music, secretary for Ben Speer Music, and quite active in the Gaither Homecoming Series.
Led by family patriarch George Thomas Speer (1891-1966), the Singing Speer Family was a well-known gospel group with its origins in Alabama. George Thomas “Dad” Speer, Lena Brock “Mom” Speer, and their children, Brock, Rosa Nell, Mary Tom, and Ben, were all part of the family group at some point. With the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the G. T. Speer Family moved to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Speer made a living as an insurance salesman and a singing-school teacher. In 1934, Speer took a job with the James D. Vaughan Music Publishing Company of Lawrenceburg and blossomed as a music teacher and songwriter. He co-wrote many of his songs at that time with Adger Pace, who wrote the lyrics for Speer’s compositions as well as for many other gospel writers who published songs for the Vaughan Company. G. T. Speer wrote or co-wrote more than 600 songs.
The group was popular for much of the latter half of the twentieth century, appearing on radio and television shows in Alabama and Tennessee and making more than 60 recordings. The Speer Family was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 1998. Mary Tom Speer-Reid was inducted into the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mrs. Speer-Reid is survived by sister, Rosa Nell Speer Powell; brother, Ben Lacy Speer; daughters Teri Reid Fontaine and her husband Shannon and Cynthia Lee Reid, son Timothy Scott Reid and wife Pamela; grandchildren Megan Louise Reid Layne, Meredith Lindsey Reid, Marissa Lee Reid, Allyson Rose Fontaine, John Robert Fontaine and Anna Lee Reid; great-grandsons Gavin Scott Layne and Liam Matthew Reid.
Posted in announcements | Comments Off
SGN Scoops is continuing with the ongoing Fast Five feature and this week we talk with Kody Erwin of The Erwins. This quartet of three brothers and one sister is taking the Gospel music world by storm, having recently signed with StowTown Records and watching their latest single, “When Justice Called, Mercy Answered” heading up the charts. Kody, Keith, Kris and Katie are capturing hearts of audiences far and wide with their distinct harmonies and new release, Back To The Basics.
SGN Scoops asked Kody Erwin, “What are your five favorite things to do when not traveling and singing?”
1. Just relax and spend time with family and my fiancé . (Editor’s note: Sorry girls!)
2. Try to play golf everyday, if possible!
3. Hanging out with friends from our hometown we don’t get to see all the time when we’re on the road.
4. I like to play basketball at the house with some friends and family.
5. This could be the best: eating HOME COOKED MEALS! The best food you’ll eat comes from my house I believe!
For more information on The Erwins and their tour schedule, visit http://www.erwinministries.com
By Vonda Easley and Lorraine Walker
Tags: Christian artists, Christian Music, gospel music, Kody Erwin, Lorraine Walker, sgn scoops, SGN Scoops digital magazine, SGN Scoops Fast Five, The Erwins, Vonda Easley
Posted in announcements, artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off
By Marcie Gray
We celebrate such a rich musical heritage and the legacy lives on through those working hard to keep it alive. I can just picture heaven lined with Cracker Barrel rocking chairs filled with the legendary folks who gave us these memories, sipping sweet tea and telling stories. It’s up to this generation to carry on that sweet Southern musical legacy, and to leave our children with unforgettable stories to tell of the music that moved their hearts and the groups that brought it to them.
The Chuck Wagon Gang is one of the legendary groups still carrying on and making more memories. With 78 years of ministry behind them, they are honored to be a part of keeping the rich heritage alive.
The Chuck Wagon Gang was formed in 1935 by D.P. Carter and son, Jim (Ernest), along with daughters, Rose (Lola) and Anna (Effie). The Carters were cotton farmers, who migrated from place to place to harvest, so they were no strangers to travel. They found themselves in Lubbock, Texas with a very sick child and no means to pay for medicine. Dave Carter and two of his children, Lola and Ernest went to KFYO radio station seeking employment on radio, hoping to buy medicine for Effie. They were hired, Effie recovered quickly and joined them and the Carter Quartet radio career was born.
After receiving overwhelming radio response, Mr. Carter decided to move the family to Fort Worth, Texas, where they were hired by WBAP and instantly became Bewley’s Chuck Wagon Gang. Bewley Mills flour company sent the group on location advertising flour. Hot biscuits were served at each venue. For simplicity’s sake, their individual names were changed, as well, to D.P. (Dad), Anna (Effie), Rose (Lola) and Jim (Ernest). Their repertoire consisted of ballads, folk, western, popular songs of the day and one hymn or gospel song each day. After recording a combination of gospel and country music, the decision was made to record only gospel music, because of the popularity of the gospel songs. Before long, The Chuck Wagon Gang was under contract with Columbia Records, fostering a thirty nine-year relationship during which they recorded 408 known masters.
During their 15 years doing radio programs, The Chuck Wagon Gang was reluctant to travel far from home. They eventually accepted two dates, in Atlanta and Augusta, with the late promoter Wally Fowler, for his “All-Nite Singings.” Eventually, they would travel to Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, The Grand Ole Opry and many other notable locations.
Howard Gordon, Anna’s husband, joined The Gang playing acoustic guitar from 1930’s until 1954, then electric guitar until his death in 1967. Most of the groups like the LeFevres, Blackwoods and Statesmen used pianos, but The Gang kept the guitar. Harold Timmons played piano for The Gang in the 1980’s through early 90’s, for nine or 10 years. He was the first and last piano player and though he no longer travels with them, he is their Historian and Marketing Director.
With eight decades behind them, 49 members leaving a legacy and over 40 million records sold, The Chuck Wagon gang has certainly seen the changes in technology and the times, but the original style and sound and, most importantly, the message of their music remains unchanged.
The current Chuck Wagon Gang members are: Shaye Smith, granddaughter of the Gang’s original alto, Anna Carter Gordon Davis, who was married to Howard Gordon, the group’s guitarist for many years. Shaye sings alto and is the group’s owner/manager. She originally joined the group in 1993 as the soprano and sang until the Wagon was parked in 1996. In 1999, she helped get the group back on the road. Julie Hudson sings soprano for the Gang. Stan Hill sings tenor. Singing bass and playing guitar is Jeremy Stephens.
The Chuck Wagon Gang sings approximately 200 dates per year. They have recorded over 900 songs. When I asked Shaye if she knew most of them, she chuckled and replied, “Oh, no! We’ve got songbooks that have most of the songs in them. At our concerts, we take requests and even if we kind of know the song, we try it. Sometimes it’s a train wreck. I think the crowd loves it when we mess up. We probably know 150 that we can do well. Just to think that there’s another six or seven hundred left that we don’t know is mind-boggling.”
A little over a year ago, The Chuck Wagon Gang got involved with Marty Stuart. Marty is a champion of old Bluegrass, Western songs and old Gospel. He is a huge fan of The Gang and was thrilled to learn that they are still out on the road. They met in Nashville through a mutual friend, Eddie Stubbs. Marty wrote some songs for The Gang and produced an album that will be coming out in September. “We’re working with him and working on a documentary,” said Shaye. “This documentary and the Bear Family Box Sets bring back the complete works of Johnny Cash, Connie Smith, Jimmy Rogers, Ray Price, Earnest Tubb, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and The Gang.”
Shaye continued, “I was so excited when I found out about that and we have been digging and finding out all of these pictures and discovering that we were mistaken about certain facts. It’s been amazing as we’ve found all of these facts. It has taught us that The Gang has never really been a Southern Gospel group. In the 30’s they were on Columbia. Some of the legends who shared the Columbia label were Country legends Ray Price, Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash, Carl Smith and Hank Snow, just to name a few. When those people became stars in the 40’s and 50’s, The Gang had already been on the label for 20 years and these people looked up to The Gang.”
“They did what’s called package shows. The Gang would appear on The Grand Ole Opry with Roy Acuff and country stars of the time. They would do concerts with Statesmen, Blackwoods, The Speer Family, but they would be the Country Gospel act on these shows. Marty wants to educate people on who The Gang really is. The Gang has been influenced by Country stars such as Ronny Milsap, Bill Anderson and George Jones. It’s really humbling to me to know that those same stars listened to The Chuck Wagon Gang years ago.”
“We are hoping for a September release for this documentary. The Bear Set will be coming out almost simultaneously and will include seven CD’s with 25 years of songs going back to the 1930’s.”
The Chuck Wagon Gang recently had an incredible experience. They were booked in Quinnehock, Alaska. The Eskimos flew them out there for three days to sing. They arrived in a little tiny fishing village on the Bering Sea, 80 miles from Russia. There were no roads and the town had only had running water for six months. There were 600-800 Eskimos both nights. It was hard to imagine where they all came from! Bethel is the biggest next village, then Anchorage. “That was the first time The Gang has been to Alaska,” said Shaye.
“Marty told us, ‘You take a camera out there and film those Eskimos.’ I asked them, ‘Why The Gang… why us?’ They told us that in the 50’s when the Meridian Missionaries made their way from Bethel across the tundra, they brought Chuck Wagon Gang records with them and introduced them to the Eskimos and now, they are Gang fanatics. We flew in on a little bitty plane and landed on a gravel airstrip in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by beautiful mountains and were just in awe. When we got off the plane, there were all these Eskimos there and every one of them had a cell phone filming us getting out of the plane. They made you feel like celebrities.”
“It was unseasonably warm and there was not much snow. It was in the 30’s and 40’s, so cold to us, but not to them. They are used to it being in the teens and 20’s. Some of them were singing Chuck Wagon Gang songs in Yipik (their native tongue). We recorded it on video so we could include it in the documentary. God is laying all of this in place. We couldn’t orchestrate all of this in the right timing. It was an incredible experience and we look forward to returning.”
The best selling CD for The Gang is called Timeless Hymns. The songs were chosen from a list emailed to them by their fans. Their Timeless Hymns – Volume 2 CD was recently released. In September, their newest project, The Chuck Wagon Gang Sings the Songs of Marty Stuart, will be released.
When asked what is the one song that moves their audience most powerfully, Shaye shared that the new project, Hymns Volume 2, has a song on it called “I Must Tell Jesus.” “Julie sings it and every time, you just watch the response and you can tell that it blesses people. She shares about singing it with her family… that was one that she sang with her mom and dad and she talks about all the things that go on in our lives and we think nobody understands, but you can always tell Jesus… you must tell Him.”
Shaye shared that she is still inspired by the sweet harmony of Rose and Anna, the foundational female voices of The Chuck Wagon Gang. Rose’s piercing soprano voice and Anna’s chocolaty alto voice were the distinction of The Gang. The strum of the guitar and those voices were two things set them apart.
The Chuck Wagon Gang currently records under the New Haven label and is booked by Jubilee Agency. You can read more about The Chuck Wagon Gang at: www.chuckwagongang.net.
The history of our Southern Gospel heritage is richer than most of us realize. It’s up to us to keep it alive, and groups like The Chuck Wagon Gang are doing a wonderful job of sharing the gospel using the same message their ancestors did over 70 years ago. That message remains steadfast, and so do those who are called to share it. Thank you, Shaye and Harold, for taking the time to share your memories with SGN Scoops, and for your dedication to keeping the legacy alive!
Written by Marcie Gray.
First published by SGN Scoops in August 2014.
For current SGN Scoops issues please visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/
Tags: Christian artists, Chuck Wagon Gang, gospel music, Marcie Gray, sgn scoops, southern gospel
Posted in artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off
Get Your Free Tickets For Creekside Gospel Music Convention Here
Tags: Creekside Goispel Music Convention, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News
Posted in announcements | Comments Off
The members of Beyond the Ashes and Adelaide Callaway are the guests on Gospel Music Today for the week of September 14. Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates, the Feature Group is The Alversons, and Jean reviews recordings by The Missourians, the Diplomats, Revelation and Faith’s Journey. An article about The Booth Brothers is the subject of this week’s Singing News Notes. The show features singing by Gold City Quartet from the 1980’s, exclusive video of New Road, recorded by Gospel Music Today’s cameras at Crossway Baptist Church, in Springfield, MO, and a visit to the Gospel Music Today Archives for an exclusive concert video of The Williamsons at The Creekside Gospel Music Convention, in Pigeon Forge, TN. In the news are The Goulds, Three Bridges and Ray Stevens.
Tags: Creekside Goispel Music Convention, Gospel Music Today, Ken & Jean Grady, Revelation, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News, The Diplomats, The Missourians, The Williamsons
Posted in video | Comments Off
Pigeon Forge, TN, noted for it’s beautiful Smoky Mountains, family entertainment, and wholesome environment, is beginning to be known as the center of Southern Gospel Music so it’s appropriate to
be the home for the ANNUAL PATTERSON PROMOTIONS HOMECOMING!
This year’s Homecoming included a Talent Search, Morning Devotions by Wanda Osborne, an Artist Seminar presented by Phil Cross, plus two days and nights of Gospel Music, Christian entertainment and fellowship featuring regional and nationally known Artists. The lineup included The Hoskins Family, Ann Downing, The Dunaways, Tim Livingston, The Pruitt Family, Sharron Kay King, Phil Cross, The Wilbanks, and many more. The emcees were the incredible and hilarious Tim Lovelace and Sue and Jeff Duffield.
Pauline Patterson, founder of the event, has a genuine love for people and a passion for spreading the Gospel through Southern Gospel music. In 2005, she ventured into the world of promoting Southern Gospel music to radio. Nine years later she is recognized as a leading promoter of the genre.
Pauline says, “What a time we had at our 2nd Annual Patterson Homecoming! The Spirit filled the auditorium! The artists that took part in this year’s event added so much to its success. I’m proud to say that we work with some of the best men and women of God in the Southern Gospel Industry! They are the cream of the crop. God has truly blessed Patterson Promotions through the years to work with some awesome ministries. If you didn’t make it this year, hopefully you can be with us next year. Lord willing, we will do it all over again!”
Make plans now to join us for the 3rd Annual Patterson Promotions Homecoming which will be held at the Music Road Hotel in Pigeon Forge, TN on Thursday and Friday, May 14-15, 2015. An afternoon showcase of artists will be added for next year. There is no admission charge; it is supported by contributions of individuals and sponsors.
www.pattersonpromotions.com or www.southerngospeltimes.com
Tags: Ann Downing, phil cross, sharron kay king, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News, The Dunaways, The Hoskins Family, The Pruitt Family, The Wilbanks, tim livingston
Posted in announcements | Comments Off
MORRISTOWN, TN – September 11, 2014 – Gerald Wolfe has announced the upcoming release of Gospel Music’s first-ever BluRay Disc. The “Gospel Music Hymn Sing” recording will be the first Gospel Music event to be released in the High-Definition, BluRay video format. The BluRay Disc will be released on Monday September 22, 2014 at the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Tags: Gerald Wolfe, Gospel Music Hymn Sing, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News
Posted in announcements | Comments Off
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN With the much anticipated 2014 National Quartet Convention coming up soon in Pigeon Forge, TN, Harmony Road is presenting a special program featuring performances from the final years in Louisville. The program includes “On the Banks of the Promised Land” from Karen Peck and New River, “Leaningon the Everlasting Arms” featuring pianist Channing Eleton, “Surely” from the Talleys and music fromThe Booth Brothers and Legacy Five.
“Once again Harmony Road is proud to partner with the National Quartet Convention to present this special program. They have also worked with Harmony Road to offer great prizes for our Facebook friends as well as providing encouragement since the inception of the program” said Roger Spears,
Harmony Road producer. “We appreciate Clarke Beasley and the folks at the NQC and wish them well as they begin a new era in Pigeon Forge”, he concluded. With an available reach of over 80 million homes, Harmony Road presents Southern Gospel music and video to viewers across the country, presenting the best the genre has to offer.
Hosted by “Singing News” veteran and Solid Gospel Radio host Les Butler. The program can be found each week on The Heartland Network Sunday mornings at 8:00 Eastern as well as Saturday afternoons on WATC57 in Atlanta. You can watch Harmony Road on the NRB Network each Saturday evening at 8:30 Eastern. The NRB Network is available over the air, on DirectTV, ROKU, online streaming and through their mobile app. Also find the program on the WALKtv network (including ROKU) and www.wmjn29.com as well as several local affiliates across the region. For more information on these and other affiliates you can visit www.harmonyroadtv.com, www.watc.tv, www.watchheartlandtv.com and www.nrbnetwork.tv.
In addition to Butler, other team members include Roger Spears, Producer and Allan Rhodes, Technical
Tags: harmony road, National Quartet Convetion, Southern Gospel News, Southern Gospel TV
Posted in announcements | Comments Off