The Williamsons

Songfest

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

October 2014 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 11, 2014 – 9:38 am -

October 2014 SGNScoops Magazine

October 2014 SGNScoops Magazine

The air is cooler and the leaves are changing color, so it’s a great time to fall into a new issue of SGN Scoops. This month we have lots of great reading for you!

There are only a few days left before we enter Pigeon Forge Tennessee to begin the 2014 edition of Creekside Gospel Music Convention. We can’t wait to see all of you and hear all of the great music from our wonderful artists. Monday night we are planning a great bash with Little Willie Wynn and all of his friends. He is our cover artist for the October edition of Scoops. We hope you enjoy his story written by Dixie Phillips.
Dixie also features the great family ministry of the McKameys. The Mark Dubbeld Family is featured by Paige Givens. We also feature Gold City Quartet and the East Ridge Boys, Joseph Habedank, Josh Parker, Eric Dunson and Reynold Rutledge.
Dan Duncan tells us about the  Christian country artist Mike Manuel. Dean Atkins has some great anecdotes about The Product Table.
We feature pictures and scoops from past events like the Gospel Music Picnic at Silver Dollar City and the National Quartet Convention. New music for October is presented by Sandi Duncan Clark, as well as a new fitness feature by Laurette Willis.
Be sure to catch the DJ Spotlight as well as the Creekside Update. Don’t miss our regular columns by writers Lou Hildreth, David Staton,Jeff Steele, Sherry Anne, and Kelly Nelon Clark.
All this and so much more in the October edition of SGN Scoops! Do not miss the 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention and the  2014 Diamond Awards, November 3 to 6, at Pigeon Forge. See you there!


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Williamsons Release New Album – Tell Somebody

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 24, 2014 – 10:41 pm -

williamsons

williamsons

Weleetka, OK (October 24, 2014) Talented mixed quartet, The Williamsons, have just released another great album titled Tell Somebody. The album consists of material that is written by some of the most talented songwriters available today, including four songs penned by Lisa Williamson, group member and featured soloist on many of the songs. Closing the CD out is a great classic written by Mosie Lister.
To make a great album you must have great songs and that task wasn’t taken lightly. No less than 200 songs were listened to in the deciding process. Choosing 50 would have been difficult, but narrowing it down to eleven was nearly impossible.

The project was produced by award winning producer, Donna King, known for stretching artists and pulling things out of them they didn’t think possible. Donna was present in every step of the process down to the final mix. She was going for the best ever from the Williamsons. One thing about making a great record, besides great songs and well-recorded vocals, is making the little details matter too, from every background vocal, to every note played, and every overdub, and all the mix sounds, the Williamsons covered all the bases to produce the best album of their career.

Donna King commented “Every album I produce is as important to me as my own (if not more important).  To have the opportunity to produce music that affects God’s kingdom, because of the ministry that will come from the songs, is not something I take lightly.  Working with the Williamsons was an amazing experience.  They were FULLY engaged and willing to go places no man “or woman” had gone before  (as far as things they had done in the past).  They understood the importance of great songs and they worked with me diligently on those choices.  They gave me 110% from day one (and there were many days).  That is a producer’s dream.  They are so talented, but they are also pliable and that is a GREAT attribute to ending up with a superb album.  And, most importantly, their hearts are in this for ALL the right reasons!  I LOVE this group and I am SO excited about this album and honored to have been blessed to produce it.”

Donnie Williamson. Baritone singer and group manager stated “I believe this is the most powerful music we have ever recorded. The music is filled with the message of Christ that will uplift those who listen and touch them no matter where they are in life.”

Lisa Williamson also said “Some of the best songwriters in Gospel Music are represented on this project and I am honored to have four of my songs included.”

The first song released to radio is “It Was The Word” written by Lisa, and it is already being accepted well by DJs across the country.

Songs include:
It Was The Word
That’s What I’m Talking About
All Our Hope
Shout
Monday
He Lived To Tell It
No Umbrellas
I Laid It All Down
Healing For The Hurting
I’ve Got To Tell Somebody
While the Ages Roll

You can learn more about the Williamsons by going to http://www.williamsonsmusic.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Williamsons .

To book the Williamsons contact scheduling@thedominionagency.com .


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Cowboy Roy Goes To Creekside

Written by Staff on October 24, 2014 – 1:03 pm -

image (1)By Roy Hall

September 4th, 2013 is a day I will not ever forget. My mom suffered a massive stroke and heart attack at the same time, the day before I was to leave to go on vacation to the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. All the way there on the bus from California I asked everyone to pray for her. When I finally heard the news what was wrong, I was halfway there. The news was that part of her brain was dead; there was heart damage, no speech and no movement. It was just devastating as you can imagine.

Well, prayers went up and around 1:00pm during the afternoon showcase, the hospital called and said, “We were standing by your mom’s bed side and we said her name and she opened her eyes and could make a fist!” After four days of NOTHING! That was a miracle!

They told me how grim the situation was and that I had to make decisions that were going to be very hard. They took her off the ventilator and put her on oxygen, because that was her wish, not to be revived. I was then told to either put her in hospice or a feeding tube and I did not feel comfortable about the feeding tube because of all the other surgeries. No matter how small a procedure that would be, I couldn’t do that to her.

So I went to one of my friends at NQC who was a nurse and she prayed with me and talked to me and told me that the hospice was the better choice. Then I ran into two other ladies and they were nurses and they also said hospice was better. So I began to look for someone to gather around me and pray for me as I made the phone call for hospice and they did.

I felt a peace about it, but deep inside I knew my mom was going to die. It took me two days to get to California on the bus, and another two days to recuperate from the trip, but I finally went to see Mom in the nursing home. She looked horrible! I took her hand and looked into her eyes and talked to her but there was no squeezing of the hand, no indication she knew who I was. I left the room in tears and cried out, “Oh Lord if she’s not going to be the same, please just take her.” Four days later it’s exactly what happened. There was no funeral, no memorial service, no nothing. They treated her as a homeless person and I had to make the choice to have her cremated.

I had to give away everything, sell everything and move. I even had to shut down my Internet station as well. It was a very hard time for me. In November, I moved back to Missouri and went back to the radio station I was at before. I was there till March of this year. I got my Internet station back again, but had technical problems and physical challenges. With no one checking on me by phone or in person, it was hurting me emotionally and all the way around. So the Lord opened the door for me to leave Missouri at the end of May to go to live in Alton, Illinois. Thanks to my dear friends Earl and Theresa Young, and Cindy Hughlett, I live in the best apartment I’ve had in years. The rent is even less than I was paying in Missouri!

This year, I was nominated for the Eyes of Mercy Servant Award in June and the Radio DJ of the Year in the Gospel Post Fan Awards in July. My friends from Florida, The Reflections, nominated me for that. I also got my Internet station up and running again. I have done over 300 interviews with many Southern Gospel and Christian Country singers. They have all become like family to me and I love each and every one.

Then I heard about Creekside Gospel Music Convention and I wanted to go! Christy Hinson told me about www.gofundme.com so I set up a page there and donations came there and by mail. I was overwhelmed by all the support and it is really exciting to me to know that I will be able to be there for the four days, to get to do more interviews and get more music for my internet station. I’m so excited!

 

My heartfelt thanks,

“Cowboy Roy”

Roy Hall

http://www.cowboyroysgospel.com/

 

Update from SGN Scoops: Cowboy Roy has now called to say his driver was hospitalized and isn’t able to go to Creekside. Roy can take the bus to Knoxville, but he needs a ride from Knoxville to Pigeon Forge and then back to Knoxville when it’s over. We are asking for any of our Creekside friends who will be going through Knoxville to consider making plans to assist Cowboy Roy. If you can help, please contact Vonda Easley at vondaeasley@gmail.com

Don’t forget…Creekside Gospel Music Convention is Nov. 3-6 at Pigeon Forge, TN.  Join Cowboy Roy and all your favorite artists at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/

 


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Harmony Road to Present Special Program Featuring Les Butler and Friends

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 24, 2014 – 12:54 pm -

les butler and friends On Harmony Road

les butler and friends On Harmony Road

Artists include Randy and Sherri Miller, Ben Rochester,

High Road III and Matt Butler from Dugger Mountain Music Hall

Signal Mountain, TN October 24, 2014   Harmony Road is presenting a special program “Les Butler and Friends, Live from Dugger Mountain Music Hall” this week.  The program includes music from Les Butler, High Road III and Ben Rochester.  The all star band also includes Randy Miller, Anna Grace Kimbrough and Matt Butler.   Songs on the program include “Two Coats” from High Road III with Butler on the Mandolin, “In My Father’s Eyes” featuring Ben Rochester along with High Road III and classic hymns.
This episode includes music from the DVD “Les Butler and Friends, Live from Dugger Mountain Music Hall” which is now available at www.harmonyroadtv.com and other outlets.  The entire DVD consists of 15 great songs featuring these talented artists.  Harmony Road TV will feature more of these performances on an upcoming episode.
Dugger Mountain Music Hall is a part of “Our Father’s Arms”, a ministry based in the area.  The venue hosts regular concerts which are featured on the Dugger Mountain Music Hall television program, seen on several networks across the country.  More information on this important ministry can be found at www.ourfathersarms.org.
Now available to over 80 million television homes across the country in addition to online streaming, ROKU, mobile app and more, Harmony Road is a weekly southern gospel television program hosted by Singing News, Butler Music Group and Solid Gospel Radio veteran Les Butler.
Information on Harmony Road, Its affiliates and time slots can be found at www.harmonyroadtv.com.  Viewers can also interact with the program on Facebook at Harmony Road TV and on twitter @harmonyroadtv.
Harmony Road is produced and distributed by Harmony Road Productions and features the best in Southern Gospel music and video. It can be found each week on The Heartland NetworkThe NRB Network (including DirecTV, streaming and mobile app), WATC57 in Atlanta, WGNM-TV in Macon, WYBU-TV in Columbus, GA/Phoenix City, AL.  Also find the program on the WALKtv network (including ROKU), Harmony Gospel in Greeneville, SC,  DCT3in Middle Tennessee, TV24 in Anniston/Gadsden, Charter Cable in Clarksville, Cookeville/Crossville, Sevier County, Lebanon and Jackson, TN and  WMJN29 in Decatur/Athens/Cullman, AL.

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The Seat in the Middle by Kelly Nelon Clark

Written by Staff on October 24, 2014 – 12:45 pm -

Kelly Nelon Clark and The Nelons (Jason Clark not in picture)

Kelly Nelon Clark and The Nelons (Jason Clark not in picture)

I’m sitting here on my first leg of two flights today. This flight is from Jacksonville to Las Vegas and to say the least, it is a full flight. Jason, Amber and Autumn are all sitting somewhere else in the plane.

I am seated in the middle seat between two elderly ladies. The one on my right is very petite and very kind. The one to my left is very tall and slender and, well, I don’t know if I can explain her. She is very eccentric and has her one leg on my side of the seat and is continually elbowing me in the side as she is half way in my seat and can’t seem to get settled.

On take-off she asked the lady on my right (we will call her P-lady) to raise the shade because she is claustrophobic. The lady looks at her and slowly raises up the blind. She whispers to me, “Wouldn’t it be terrible to be that way?” I nod in agreement. 

I am desperately trying to keep both arms in my lap but it is a three-and-a-half hour flight. I think I am going to go crazy. The eccentric lady (we will call her E-lady) is dressed to a tee in a navy blue suit and her jewelry is very expensive. It seems as if she is very well off and used to everything being her way. She stands up in the aisle every chance she gets, until a voice comes on the speaker telling her to sit down. Reluctantly she plops down in the seat, flips open her magazine and continues on with poking me in the side. I wait for every opportunity for her to stand up as it is my only time to relax.

We’ve been on the plane now for 20 minutes. Only three hours and 10 minutes left. It’s snack time and she gets out her banana nut bread and something else that looks and smells disgusting. I put my jacket over my nose and say my nose is cold so not to hurt her feelings but I think I’m going to gag. She also gets some cookies from the flight attendant and crumbs are everywhere. I’ll finish this note later; maybe I can close my eyes and the time will fly by.

Oh no, now she is sneezing uncontrollably. I wish I had earplugs. Her husband or companion is seated in the seat across from her and I guess she doesn’t hear well because he speaks on volume 10 to her. I’m going to try and sleep now. 

Well that was short lived. The air is bumpy and I guess it is scaring her or making her nervous. She is hopping around in her seat. I’m starting to feel a little sorry for her; she is on my side and flings the arm of my jacket toward me as if it is in her way. I want to laugh but holding it in. The poor petite lady on my right tries to sleep. Wish I could.

E-lady accidentally pushes the steward button instead of the light. The flight attendant comes and she tells him it was a mistake. “But since you are here will you tell me what time it is here and what time it will be in Vegas?”  He tries to explain but she doesn’t quite get it. P-lady looks up and asks, “What State are we flying over? Is it Arizona?”  “No Ma’am, it’s Oklahoma.” “Very interesting,” she says. Now both are reading with their lights on. Me – I’m giving you a play by play of my flight.

Five minutes later, I kid you not; E-lady is standing in the aisle again. You can’t make this stuff up. She is hopping from one leg to the other. She decides to make her second trip to the restroom. I may join her. Hoping my battery will last until we get off this flight. Twenty minutes later she has still not returned from the restroom. Maybe she is standing in the back. I knew I should have gone.

kelly 2Thirty minutes later she is back. She reaches down to get her purse and it’s huge. She can hardly maneuver it. She gets a snack out and then frantically tries to zip it and get it back under her seat. She tries from the inside but can’t get it through her legs. Finally she tries from the outside in and successfully gets it in. She proceeds to ring the flight attendant for a drink. Whew. I’m worn out! Crumbs from her cookie are everywhere.

As I sit here I think, “What would Jesus do?”  First thought in my head is, I am not Jesus. But I am supposed to be like Him. Jesus was in the middle one time too. It was while He was on the Cross. He was loving and forgiving in a very dark time in his life. So I try to think of something to connect with. She does not talk, at least to anyone but her husband and the flight attendant so I open my purse and I offer both the E-lady and the P-lady some gum. They both accept and smile. Ten more minutes and we will be on the ground. It really wasn’t so bad at all!

By Kelly Nelon Clark, monthly columnist for SGN Scoops

First published by SGN Scoops in September 2014

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

 


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An Evening With The Nelons And Friends

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 23, 2014 – 10:57 pm -

An Evening With The Nelons And Friends

An Evening With The Nelons And Friends

An Evening With The Nelons And Friends Saturday October 25th 6pm

River Church 2871 Cherokee St Kennesaw, Ga

For More Information Please Call 678.313.3828


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In Depth With Jonathan Wilburn

Written by Staff on October 23, 2014 – 1:40 pm -

wilburnandwilburntracksJonathan Wilburn has been around Southern Gospel for as long as he has been alive. Son of Elaine and Jackie Wilburn, Jonathan learned his craft at the knees of one of the best duos in Southern Gospel. He sang with his parents until the age of 16 and then moved on to anchor the lead position of the award-winning Gold City Quartet for several years. His powerful voice now blends well with his son, Jordan, as they sing together in Wilburn And Wilburn, carrying on the family tradition as they sing about their faith. [Editor's note: article first published December 2013]

Jonathan Wilburn has always been the friendly extravert who naturally falls into the position of group spokesperson. Just as he has had to answer the same questions from interviewers all his life, he must at times tire of giving the same answers. For our “In Depth” article, we tried to find out some different things about Jonathan that you may not know. We have tried to let Jonathan tell it in his own way.

Wilburn_cover72Jonathan began singing with his son Jordan in 2011, releasing their first CD, Family Ties. In 2012, they won the Singing News’ Horizon Group of the Year, with Jordan picking up the Horizon Individual Award. It seems like their group began at the top and stayed there, but Jonathan says it wasn’t as easy as it may have appeared.

“Getting started in a new business or venture is never easy but in our case was made some what easier due to the fact that I traveled singing Southern Gospel Music for most of my life up until 1996. That is when I took the lead position with Gold City. I stayed with Gold City for 12 years until 2008.

Jonathan continues, “That was a tough decision when I felt it was time to leave. Gold City had become like family to me. Tim Riley and Daniel Riley were great to live with and work with over those years. I could not have asked to be treated any better than I was with Gold City. My decision to leave was completely personal and all my decision.”

“During the time I was off the road, working at a local Ford dealership, I began to notice that my son was developing as a singer himself. I would come home and all he wanted to do was watch or listen to Southern Gospel music. That is when I began accepting some dates for us to sing from time to time. One day at work God spoke to my heart. He said all He needed was a father and son to tell folks about The Father and The Son! Now I know there are some who might say, “Yea we have heard this before.” I will tell you this: my position as one of the top sales people at Ronnie Watkins Ford brought home a good living! This was not for fame or money. It is what God laid on my heart, period. It makes no difference if anybody believes that or not as long as God and I have it worked out. I guess I learned that from my Dad, Mr. Jackie Wilburn.”

wilburn“Wilburn and Wilburn was not an over-night success, by no stretch of the imagination!” Jonathan continues, “I have been singing now since I was 12 years old. I remember our first National Quartet Convention in Nashville, Tennessee and hoping one day to be able to sing on that stage. Well after a lot of hard work over the years, God has blessed me with an opportunity to sing and travel with my son Jordan. We have had some great songs written by some of the best writers in Southern Gospel music. That is the key! Good songs with good music.”

God has taken Wilburn and Wilburn along a path of rich blessing. “We were signed by Daywind Records with an awesome support staff there, then a very highly-sought-after booking agent, Michael Davis at The Dominion Agency. We have a great producer in Ben Isaacs. We also have wonderful support from pastors, promoters and many others that have become our friends over the years. God has truly blessed our efforts. It has not all been easy. This is hard work keeping a ministry on the road. I have a whole new respect for my dad and Tim Riley!”

Jonathan shares what it has been like over the last three years. “Traveling with my son Jordan has already been a great trip. We travel about 120 dates a year. Some may ask, “Is that healthy for a father and son to be together that much?” Well, Jordan and I have a unique relationship. We have always been able to just be very truthful with one another and get passed stuff. That means a lot when traveling. It’s putting disagreements and problems in the rear view mirror. He is my son who is also my best friend. He has even become more special since he and his wife, Lauren, are expecting my first grandchild. We know it is a little girl. My, my, my, I am done. Stick a fork in me because I am going to spoil that kid to death! 

For the time being, Jonathan and Jordan travel light. “Right now it is just two men and a truck,” Jonathan laughs. “I am going to try to add a utility picker one day, but for now economics won’t allow us to hire anybody. I will not hire a musician unless I can take care of him. From time to time we have a dear friend from Georgia, Jim Cox, who helps us drive on the longer runs we are required to make.”

WilburnIt is obvious that Jonathan loves his current career and singing with his son. However, there is a part of him that is still is a quartet-man. He says if he could sing with anyone for just one performance, it would be in one of the most beloved quartets of all time. “I have a wide selection of groups that I have loved and listened to over the years, but if I could just pick one that I have never sung with it would be The Cathedrals; the era with Danny Funderburk, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Glen Payne and George Younce!”

However, as this is a dream that won’t come to fruition until all the members reach Heaven, we had Jonathan pick out some singers that he would choose in order to increase his current duet into a quartet. His choices for bass vocalist would be either Gene McDonald or Aaron McCune. On tenor, he would pick Steve Ladd or Jay Parrack. “I believe these four guys to be some of the best artists not traveling with a group full-time in gospel music!”

Jonathan and Sandra Wilburn

Jonathan and Sandra Wilburn

With Christmas swiftly approaching, Wilburn and Wilburn turn their thoughts toward home and hearth. “Christmas is very special to all of my family,” says Jonathan. “This is going to be a very special one, though, because both of my children are married now and we will be together for the first time. We always go to my Mom’s, Elaine Wilburn’s, on Christmas Eve. It is a tradition that has been in our family for over 40 years. I have never missed a Christmas Eve night on Wilburn Lane in Carthage Tennessee. Family and friends from all walks of life gather at my Mom and Dad’s house to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes, we really celebrate. I ain’t talking people forced to be there. We get there early and stay late. Singing, testifying, eating, telling old stories and yes we love it! Just family and friends enjoying each other’s company. The love we share on this special night is awesome. It may be a little too “country” for some folks but we like it just the way it is. Sometimes there are just as many outside as there are inside!” Jonathan laughs. “We always have a tender Tennessee Christmas!”

With the end of the year in sight and a new one just around the corner, we asked Jonathan what his goals were for Wilburn and Wilburn in the coming months. “I hope and pray Wilburn and Wilburn will stay in the will of God in 2014. I am not sure where that will lead us, but we pray He gives us enough wisdom to pursue the things and set the goals that will bring Him honor and glory.”

Jonathan has always been open and vocal about his desire to see lost hearts come to know his Lord and Savior. His music with Jordan is all about ministry and reaching those who are hurting and alone. Therefore, it was no surprise to hear his favorite scripture and a little Wilburn preaching too. “Romans 10:13- For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!” Jonathan continues, “This scripture is not just speaking to the lost souls. When Jesus was on that boat, with His disciples, they thought everything was going to be fine as long as Jesus was just there. Well the storm came, the lightening flashed and the thunder rolled! They were in fear for their lives. Then one called out to the Master! Remember Romans 10:13. Jesus got up from his sleep, walked out on deck and just spoke: “Peace, be still” and the waves fell, the thunder and lightning ceased. We are seeking for Jesus and the peace He brings but very few are calling on His Name! I will tell you this: if you are not in a storm, you are headed for one or coming out of one. Remember Rom 10:13 and before you go under, just call on Him. He will see you through!”

jw-lIt’s good to see a family tradition of faith that lasts throughout generations. The kind of personal faith, like that of Jonathan Wilburn, is more than something inherited; it is the kind of spiritual change that is experienced deeply and daily. We are so thankful that Jonathan is continuing on the tradition of communicating that kind of faith to his generation and beyond.

By Lorraine Walker

First published by SGM Radio website  in December 2013

For current features on SGM Radio website, please visit http://www.sgmradio.com/

 


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The Isaacs To Perform For The Sixth Annual “Opry Goes Pink”

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 23, 2014 – 10:36 am -

The Isaacs

The Isaacs

The award winning Isaacs will join other great artists on The Grand Ole Opry® stage for the sixth annual “Opry Goes Pink Show” in the fight against breast cancer on Tuesday, October 28.

The Isaacs are joining The Grand Ole Opry® and Women Rock For The Cure™ in the fight against breast cancer. This cause is special to the group with Lily Isaacs being a breast cancer survivor.

Rascal Flatts will flip the switch on the Opry’s signature barn backdrop, turning it pink for the night as artists perform in support of breast cancer awareness.

The special show will also include Opry members Terri Clark and Montgomery Gentry with special guests Danielle Bradbery, Sara Evans and Nashville’s Will Chase.

When fans order tickets to the night’s 7 p.m. show, $5 from every ticket sold will be donated to Women Rock For The Cure™. Tickets are available at (615) 871-OPRY and opry.com.

Listen to the show live online at http://www.opry.com/wsm.

To learn more about the Isaacs got to http://www.theisaacs.com orhttps://www.facebook.com/ TheIsaacs or Twitter athttps://twitter.com/ IsaacsMusic .

If you are interested in booking the Isaacs go to the Harper Agency at www.harperagency.com or info@harperagency.com .


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Rob Patz Talking About Creekside 2014

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 23, 2014 – 8:41 am -

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

Ken Grady of Gospel Music Today talks with Rob Patz of Coastal Media Group about the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, November 3rd through 6th at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in this video recorded at the Ozark Gospel Music Convention.

Join Rob, Ken and all the artists at Creekside for a great event featuring Little Willie Wynn’s Big Bash, the 2014 Diamond Awards, the Red Back Hymn Book Choir, chapel services, concert matinees and so much more. Tickets are absolutely FREE for this event but must be reserved HERE. For more information visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/


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What America Wants To Know About Donna King

Written by Staff on October 22, 2014 – 9:30 am -

donna oneBy Rob Patz

Donna King is one of the most energetic, joyful, exuberant Christians in the Gospel music industry. She sings, produces, promotes, writes and has experience in just about every corner of the industry. Perhaps you know Donna from hearing her with her husband Zane on their singles, “Shine,” “Hallelujah, Jesus Saves” and “If There Was Any Other Way.” Or maybe you heard some of her solo music at Christmas, or your group has worked with her in her Vertical Sky promotions or the studio owned by the Kings. If you haven’t met Donna King, you should. She will “Shine” all over you and you will know that you’ve been in the presence of a child of God.

donna twoI have known Donna King for many years and have so appreciated her wonderful personality and generous spirit. I hope you can catch a bit of the Donna I know in this interview…

 

Rob Patz: Donna, you do so many things in Christian music and wear a lot of hats. In fact, you might be called the Hat Queen. Can you please tell us about all your hats?

Donna King: Whew. Okay, where do I begin?  First, I love my job/jobs and hat/hats! What a blessing to be a part of something that carries with it a message that can make a REAL difference in someone’s life. Every time I do anything in our genre, I am reminded that it’s all important. Speaking of all…Follow me to my imaginary hat closet!

Hat #1: The Family Hat. I am a wife and a mother of six children (between Zane and I) and three grandchildren! Other than my relationship with GOD, this hat is the most important and valuable hat I ever wear. Loving my family well has become my life pursuit. In early music ministry, I think I put that hat on then switched hats to “singer” and so on. Now I know that this is the hat that stays on at all times, even when I am changing the other hats from one to another.

Hat #2: The Songwriter Hat. It’s decorated with words and melodies. I try to wear it at least a couple days a week. I love it but I don’t force it on my head… I wait until I feel inspired.

Zane and Donna King

Zane and Donna King

Hat #3: The Producer Hat: I wear it almost every day and I love this hat too! Helping artists make music that reaches people; now that is an honor and a blessing that is mega-special!  I love people and I try to help artists record quality albums. My most important objective is to help them paint a picture of the love of God and to convey that in their songs, both musically and vocally.

Hat #4: The Radio Promotion and Marketing Hat: This is the hat where I dial in which songs are right for radio and I get to share that wonderful music with my precious friends at Christian radio around the world. Love that hat because it is a hat that represents the core of what I do, which is reaching people with love and hope.

Hat #5: The Press/Public Relations Hat: This one gets the word out about an artist or company! It just works well in conjunction with my radio hat. I love letting people know about the wonderful gifts God is using in the lives of the artists He allows me to work with!

And last but definitely not least, #6: The Ministry Hat: This one is getting more use lately and I am so, so thankful. God is opening doors for Zane and I to go out and sing and share what God is teaching us with others. Our message is that God is Redeemer, Restorer, and Renewer. He loves us and He wants what’s best for us. We are striving to share an honest message of hope with those He puts in our path. I am beginning to do some ladies speaking engagements and solo ministry dates as well. And through all of that, my husband’s main ministry hat, Compassion International, is a major part of what we do and share. It’s a powerful ministry, helping children in extreme poverty to be fed, not just physically, but spiritually too!

 

donna dking song of noelRob: Of all your hats, which is your favorite one to wear and why?

Donna: My favorite hat is the family hat; for obvious reasons! If you have kids or grandkids, you know what I mean! But, from a career standpoint, my favorite may surprise you.  I love, love, love everything I do. Production is of course way up there, as is ministering with my husband, but my favorite is actually songwriting. There’s something about the quiet but consistent motion in the process of writing a song that makes me feel as close to God as I can get this side of heaven.

 

Rob: You and your husband Zane have been releasing singles for more than a year…what is your latest and can you tell us something about the song?

Donna: Yes…and one day we will finish the whole album! You see, in my studio (Flight Studio Nashville) my artists always come first, so it seems it may take us 20 years to finish one album of our own! Our current single is very special to me. This song, written by Zane, Charles Isbell, and myself is an honest message about pain and learning to trust that God knows what’s best for each of us.

The interesting thing is that I have been going through a personal season in pain over a family situation and so, this song, intended to minister to those who hear it at radio, turned around and ministered right back to me. It is entitled “If There Was Any Other Way.”

It talks about what Christ went through for us and how if the Father could have done it any other way, He would have. But, He knew the sacrifice for our sin had to be made and He did it all for us, out of His great love for us. And, though our life experiences cannot compare to what Christ endured on the cross for us, God still knows what’s best. He allows things in our lives, not to make us happy or sad, but to teach us to draw close to Him and trust in His plans for our lives.  I’m so thankful for His love.

 

donna fiveRob: When are you going to record a full length Z and D recording?

Donna: Well, though I said 20 years, we actually hope to have our first full length album ready for release by October of this year, 2014! It will include the singles folks have heard on the radio or seen on the Gospel music charts. Additionally, it will include a slew of brand new songs, all of which are written or co-written by Zane and I.

It’s been a process of writing our heart and creating music we feel paints a real picture of a real and loving God. We want to offer hope to people. We love people and we know that God loves people, all of us, with all of our flaws, even more. The album will be entitled Shine. I also completed a full length Christmas album late last year, which was a dream that God blessed me with the opportunity to fulfill! It’s called Song of Noel.

 

Rob: What is your favorite part about Vertical Sky?

Donna: My favorite thing about Vertical Sky is celebrating the gift of music in such a limitless way. My idea, when I formed the company, was that, with GOD, even the sky is not the limit.  We serve a limitless God, so, getting to help others grow in their music and ministry, exceed their own limited goals and reach for God’s dreams, and watch songs touch hearts over and over – that is what I love! I love music and I love how God uses it.

 

Rob: Where do you and Zane like to go on vacation? Do you have any fun things you like to do while you are there?

Donna: We love the ocean, we love the beach and we love anywhere our kids are! We rarely steal away for a vacation, but when we do, give us a book and a lounge chair (and umbrella to save my husband from sunburn) and come get us when the sun goes down! To be honest, we enjoy so many aspects of our work in music and ministry that we have kind of adopted a song lyric we heard recently. I can’t remember the name of the song, but I do remember the lyric, “You don’t need a vacation when there’s nothing to escape from.” We feel very grateful. We do work hard, but we are passionate about our work.

 

Rob: Who does most of the cooking in your house? What is your favorite home-cooked meal?

Donna: Who does most of the cooking?  Well, she doesn’t live with us, but we sure love her cooking and we eat more of her meals than our own: Zane’s mom, Sue King.  She is the queen of fried chicken and chili and another 200 dishes that are yummy!  Zane and I take turns at cooking and to be honest, neither of us are amazing cooks. However, my husband grills a mean and magical hamburger!

 

Rob: What is the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

Donna: The last movie we saw is “Heaven Is For Real.” I was excited to see it. I have loved ones in heaven, as many reading this do, and I love stories about the realness of our heavenly home. But if I’m being honest, and I know that’s what you asked me to be, I wasn’t impressed with the movie. It was okay, but a bit of a biblical stretch in my honest opinion. I know it’s based on a true story. I hear the book is better than the movie. I’d recommend people read the book and not see the movie.

 

FavShoesRob: What is your favorite footwear? 

Donna: My favorite pair of shoes are teal blue stilettos! I guess I like pain!    No, actually they are more comfortable than they look and the reason I love them is I got them for 80% off; I paid seven bucks! The strap actually broke last year and I paid more for the repair than I did for the shoes!

 

Rob: Tell us one of your favorite Bible verses and why it is special to you.

Donna: My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” When I look over the last many years, at those times when I felt everything had fallen completely apart and life as I knew it was unraveling, God was on the scene moving and working, loving, and providing grace that was just enough for where I was and what I needed. I know, in retrospect, (and I should have known at the time) that God is never surprised and He is always able to take our circumstances and use them for good. He is so kind and so very for us! And, if God is for us, who can be against us? We have a hope and a future. His dreams for us are better than ours could ever begin to be. He is good. He is faithful. He is God. I am one grateful servant. My dependency on God increases daily, for I know without Him I can do nothing. And with Him, all things are possible!

 

My special thanks to Donna King for opening her heart and soul to us in this interview. I hope you will get to know Donna better by visiting her websites: http://www.zaneanddonnaking.com/ http://www.verticalskyonline.com/ https://www.facebook.com/FlightStudioNashville

By Rob Patz

First Published by SGN Scoops in September 2014

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

 


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Larry Stephenson Band Celebrates 25th Anniversary with New Album, Pull Your Savior In

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 21, 2014 – 11:12 pm -

Larry Stephenson Band

Larry Stephenson Band

First 25 Fans to Purchase Physical CD Today, Get A Free Gift

The Larry Stephenson Band is proud to announce today’s new release of PULL YOUR SAVIOR IN on Whysper Dream Music. The album is available for digital sale at iTunes, Amazon,and CD Baby. Physical copies include a special Bonus Track and can be purchased at larrystephensonband.com. In honor of the band’s 25th Anniversary, the first 25 fans to purchase the album today at the band’s website will receive a special gift.

 

“The title song, Pull Your Savior In, is distinctly Bluegrass with a gospel message. Fast and foot tapping arrangement with Mandolin and Banjo accents. A river of country influence runs in Come To Jesus Moment, asking for forgiveness and atonement, all self-inflicted. Overall the selections are traditional in feel and intention, a celebration marked by classic gospel blessings,” said Digital Journal in a recent album review.

 

PULL YOUR SAVIOR IN was produced by Ben Surratt and Larry Stephenson and includes the talents of Larry Stephenson, Kenny Ingram, Colby Laney, Danny Stewart with special guests Jimmy Fortune, Aubrey Haynie, David Parmley, and Dale Perry.

 

Gospel, Bluegrass, and Country music fans will certainly enjoy the songs written by Donna Ulisse & Rick Stanley, Larry Stephenson and more, plus traditional favorites by the Louvin Brothers, Earl Scruggs, and Randall Hylton.


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