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May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on May 21, 2019 – 9:52 am -

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

We are happy to present the May edition of the SGNScoops Magazine. Filled with great features, front to back, we know you are going to enjoy it!

The Freemans are the cover story as Jennifer Campbell talks heart-to-heart with Chris and her family about the Lord, the group and their chart-topping music.
Be sure to read all about the faith of Sam Butler, Jessica Horton, Kristina Cornell, Jeff Tolbert of the Primitive Quartet, Sarah Reith of Southern Raised and so much more.
We have all of our radio charts, CD Reviews and event updates, plus the Publisher’s Point. Be sure to read all the way through to the Editor’s Last Word. Don’t miss the Contributors section, to read all about our fine writers, designers and creative artists that give of their time and talents to Lord and to SGNScoops.
If you have any comments  or concerns about the magazine, please let us know. We hope you have read about the love and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ within these pages. Please write to me if you have any questions about faith or if you would like to contribute your talents to SGNScoops. You can email me at
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Les Butler and Friends: Earl Wheeler of the Marksmen Quartet

Written by Staff on June 17, 2019 – 6:08 pm -

Earle Wheeler and the Marksmen Quartet

I’ve known Earl Wheeler, and his son Mark, for nearly 40 years. Earl has stood the test of time. Through decades of changing musical styles, he has planted a flag in the ground that says, “I ain’t changing!”


Earl Wheeler

Earl Wheeler

Earl still sings and teaches shaped notes, and has attended the same church for nearly 80 years. The Marksmen Quartet sounds like a Southern gospel quartet with bluegrass instrumentation. When you hear Earl and the Marksmen today, it’s like taking a time machine back 50, 60 or even 70 years. I’m proud to introduce you to my friend, Earl Wheeler.


Les Butler: What is your earliest musical memory?

Earl Wheeler:  In 1946, Wahoo Baptist church ran a bus to Lyman Hall School where they held the Stamps Baxter singing school. I went for two weeks. Wahoo Baptist also had singing schools from 1946 into the 60’s. They taught voice, theory, piano, etc.


Earl Wheeler of the Marksmen QuartetButler: Did you grow up in a musical family?

Wheeler: Yes, everybody in the family could sing and my granddaddy was Georgia’s champion banjo player two years in a row. My mom played guitar and sang alto, and my dad played guitar and French harp, and he pastored until he was 82. My other grandpa played a harmonica and all of my cousins sang and played.

Butler: How long have you been singing, and do you recall the first time your ever sang in public?

Wheeler: It would have been 1944 or 1945. Granddaddy sat me on a piano stool and said, “Sang, boy!” And I remember thinking I’m a singer now. I believe that’s what I was born to do…sing. The first group I ever sang with was in our church. We had a quartet and had a radio show in Gainesville, Georgia. I did some recording and traveling with a group called the Gospel Hearts Trio in the early 60’s. We were Southern gospel; three singers and a piano player.


Butler: Early on, were you more of a Southern gospel fan or a Bluegrass gospel fan?

Wheeler: Both, because I listened to the Blue Ridge Quartet on a radio station in Spartanburg, S.C. and Carl Story and the Ramblin’ Mountaineers on a Knoxville, Tenn. station. We didn’t have a TV when I was growing up, so I would go to my bedroom and listen to the radio and read. I ended up being friends with Carl. When the Marksmen recorded for K-Tel records, we recorded a Carl Story song. We sold tons of those albums and he liked getting those checks!


Earle Wheeler and the Marksmen QuartetButler: When did you start the Marksmen quartet, and were they originally a Southern gospel quartet or a Bluegrass quartet? If it started as a Southern gospel quartet, what happened to change your musical style?

Wheeler: I started the Marksmen in the fall of 1967. We were a Southern gospel quartet; four guys and a piano. Around 1977, our son Mark played guitar, and we had a piano player quit one weekend and we sang with just the guitar and bass. Our tenor singer said he used to play mandolin in a Bluegrass band, so we never went back to a piano


Butler: Your son Mark is a master musician. Do you play any instruments?  

Wheeler: I play a little guitar and bass.


Butler: Give me your all-star quartet, filled with your favorite singers on each vocal part.

Wheeler: My all-star quartet would be James Sego on lead, Steve Gulley on tenor, Jack Laws on baritone and Ray Dean Reese on bass. James Sego could really get to singing and it looked like he was riding a horse. We used to sing a lot with the Kingsmen.


Butler: What is your favorite song and why?

Wheeler: “Oh, Happy Day” (the page 86 in the red book version) because it says it was a happy day when Jesus washed my sins away…and it was.


Earl WheelerButler: You teach shape note singing. When and where did you learn and how is it going today?

Wheeler: (I learned at) Stamps Baxter singing schools. It does well when you can get people to listen long enough to learn it. We are teaching it at our Marksmen Mountain Music camps and a lot of young people are catching on.


Butler: When you’re not singing, what are you doing?

Wheeler: (I’m working) with my cows and my VW beetles, and eating my wife Shirley’s cooking. She cooks the best biscuits I know of.


Butler: How much longer do you see yourself traveling?

Wheeler: (Until) I can’t do it any longer.


Butler: Give us a brief testimony…

Wheeler: I had struggled with my salvation for about eight years (until) finally on August 10th, 1956 the Lord saved me in the morning service of a revival meeting, in the choir at Wahoo Baptist Church.

Les Butler

By Les Butler

First published by SGNScoops Magazine April 2019.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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3 Heath Brothers sign with Horizon Records

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 17, 2019 – 11:51 am -

3 Heath Brothers sign with Horizon Records

3 Heath Brothers sign with Horizon Records

Arden, North Carolina  – With tight harmonies, powerful vocals and a cappella arrangements, the 3 Heath Brothers have quickly become rising artists within gospel music, sharing the stage with artists like The Talleys, The Collingsworth Family, The Booth Brothers, The Hoppers, Greater Vision, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Karen Peck and New River.

Now, the trio has signed with Horizon Records and will begin recording their next album with Roger Talley as producer.

“We are so honored to be invited to join such a respected and successful recording label,” say the 3 Heath Brothers. “We look forward to a bright future with God’s help and the incredible Horizon/Crossroads team.”

Roger Talley adds, “When I first met the 3 Heath Brothers, I was impressed with their youthful excitement, their vocal ability, their creativity, and their great personalities. I’ve enjoyed working with them and getting to know their family. Their dad, Jonathan, and mom, Emily, have given them a great spiritual and musical foundation. Their appeal spans every generation from children to grandparents. I wanted to bring them to Crossroads to expose their unique talents and appeal to as many people as possible. This is the kind of music the world needs to hear!”

Greg Bentley with Horizon Records says the label is excited about what the future holds for these young, energetic and talented men.

“I’ve been keeping my eyes on the 3 Heath Brothers for a couple years now. I first heard of them through Roger Talley from a concert in Florida. Since then, they’ve been doing everything right in what we as a label look for,” says Bentley. “So when Roger asked me to step into a production meeting with them here at Crossroads one day, I realized just how talented and determined they are, and what a wonderful family they have been raised in. I knew it was time to invite them into our family of artists.”

Look for new music from the 3 Heath Brothers later this year.

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Former NBC and CBS Actor and Entertainer Randall Franks joins the cast of “The Crickets Dance”

Written by Staff on June 17, 2019 – 8:06 am -

Randall Franks will appear in "The Crickets Dance." (Photo: Randall Franks Media/Anna Ritch)

Randall Franks will appear in “The Crickets Dance.” (Photo: Randall Franks Media/Anna Ritch)


Randall Franks, former NBC, CBS and UPtv star, becomes the latest star to take on a role in the upcoming drama “The Crickets Dance.”

The film is based on the novel by author Deborah Robillard. Director Veronica Robledo, who wrote the screenplay, will shoot the film later this year.

Franks will appear in the 19th-century period role as “Dr. J.A. Anderson.”

“This is such an amazing story that blends the past and the present in a momentum that solidifies that love reaches far beyond the bonds that restrain us,” Franks said. “With love the wounds of our experience may be bound.”

The actor (, best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” starred in two other TV series and numerous films.

Franks is also a country music starknown for appearing for the Grand Ole Opry, CMA Fan Fair, the National Folk Festival, bluegrass festivals, fairs and as part of the National Quartet Convention All-Star Band.

His latest CD “Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia” including Americana, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel featuring 30 youth alongside him for charity catapulted to #1 on the APD Top 50 Albums Daily Chart June 11 and by 8 p.m. had solidified in the top spot on the June APD Top 50 Global Americana Charts.

Franks joins Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Bill Oberst, Jr., Todd Maynor and Ashley Robillard in the “The Crickets Dance” in the fall of 2019 for filming. Like “The Crickets Dance” on Facebook.

For more information, about his latest CD, or find it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon or CDBaby.

Connect with Randall Franks on Social Media

Various Links:


The Crickets Dance by Deborah Robillard:

Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia PSA:

Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia Purchase Download Links:
Also Available on iTunes
Donate for CDs:

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Memphis Quartet Show Highlights

Written by scoopsnews on June 16, 2019 – 9:52 am -


A great time was had by all at the Memphis Quartet Show!

Here are a few photos and a video of the Dove Brothers during a “wow” moment on Thursday night.

If you have never been to the Memphis Quartet Show, make plans to be there in 2020.

More info HERE

Photo Credit:

Two Sisters Southern Gospel Gazette

Ex Nihilo Media

           Video Credit: Diana Brantley

What an amazing crowd!

Checking out the booths!


Hall of Famer, Randy Shelnut Photo Bomb by Josh Garner

The Mighty Kingsmen

Making Memphis, Tennessee Proud For many years, The Blackwood Brothers

Watch the Dove Brothers Below




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Rooted With Billy Huddleston

Written by scoopsnews on June 16, 2019 – 8:20 am -

Billy Huddleston

Billy Huddleston

“But my God shall supply all your need according to

His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)

It was my first year in full-time ministry…

During my first year as a full-time evangelist, I was scheduled at a church in Michigan, and to be honest, the pastor and I just didn’t click. (He probably thought the same about me!) On the last day, I was tearing my equipment down when the pastor gave me an envelope. I knew it was my pay and I knew it wasn’t something you rip open and look at in front of the pastor. Later, when I opened the envelope, there was a check there for something like $90. Now folks, it’s not about money, but it took more than $90 to drive up to that church and it would take more than that to get me home. For the first time in that first year of ministry, the words of the “encouragers” came back to me, “You’re going to starve to death.”

I was frustrated.

I began to drive home from that part of Michigan to Cincinnati and when I came into the city limits, my car started to act up. At home, I looked at my finances to see what I had to spare and all I had was $100… but I knew what needed to be done. I took it to the dealership and walked to a shopping mall while they looked at my vehicle until the call came that they were finished. On my walk back, I saw something shimmer in the sunlight. It was a quarter on the sidewalk. I’m cheap, so I reached down, picked it up and put it in my pocket. Walked a little bit further and there was a penny laying there… I’m really cheap! I reached down, picked it up and put it in my pocket. By the time I made it to where the car was, I found one quarter and four pennies. At the cashier’s counter, the gentleman looked at me and said, “Mr. Huddleston, the charge for the servicing of your Toyota today is $100.29.” 

God has been faithful…   

When I think about the life I’m living and look back on what He has done, I realize that the past is a promise for tomorrow. When I see how He’s worked in my life there’s no reason to doubt the same God who was faithful yesterday will be faithful today and bring me through my present circumstance. That’s our God! And that’s your God!



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The Lesters need prayer

Written by Staff on June 15, 2019 – 4:30 pm -

The Lesters

The Lesters

The Lesters have requested prayer for Brian’s wife, Sandra. See this partial note from their Lestergram:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  ⁃  Philippians 4:6-7

Dear Friends,  

Our family has never taken lightly the fact that so many of you pray for us daily. Brian has said so many times from stage, “if nothing else, please pray for us”. And once again we are coming to you, as our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, asking for your prayers. 

Brian’s wife, Sandra, has been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and is starting treatments this week to begin her fight against this terrible disease. We hear the stories all the time. We know so many of you have been where we are right now. With that in mind, we covet your prayers…


For more of the letter from the Lesters, go to their Facebook page HERE.

Please join us in prayer for Sandra Lester.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Weekend Word-With Vonda Armstrong “ Integrity”

Written by scoopsnews on June 15, 2019 – 9:05 am -

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. — Proverbs 22:1

In a business world where large profit seems to be the only objective, a commitment to having a good name is most commendable. 

The temptation to seek gold or silver (profit) as our top priority is the same today as it was in Solomon’s day. Greater profits may come by way of dishonest weights, selling a sick animal, falsifying records, and more. But when you get caught, your business will also be ruined.

Too often our testimony is negated by the way we do business. Too often we put a Christian symbol on our business card and yet deal dishonestly. Our good intentions and promises must be followed up with actions of integrity—in all we do. Christ’s name is at stake, not merely our reputation.

Jesus calls us to honesty. Honor­ing him, we can sing, “Lord, I lift your name on high,” and mean it. Are you honoring God in all you do?


Lord Jesus, empower us with your Holy Spirit so that we may live lives of integrity in all our relationships. We ask this in your name. Amen.


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The King’s Heralds: Nine decades and going Strong

Written by Staff on June 14, 2019 – 4:24 pm -

King's Heralds

King’s Heralds

Way back in 1927, four young college men from Keene, Texas, including Ray Turner and brothers Lewis, Waldo and Wesley Crane, got together to form a quartet. All four of them were nursing students at Southwestern (University). During that time money was scarce, and they didn’t have enough funds to purchase any musical instruments, so they began singing a cappella.


Being from Texas, they used the name “Lone Star Four” and soon appeared on a radio program on KFPL from Waco, Texas. Later, they joined Voice of Prophecy, a radio ministry that stretches across the U. S. Rumor has it that the radio program promoted a renaming contest, from which was selected the name, the King’s Heralds. They now have the honor of being the longest gospel singing group still active on the road today.

King's HeraldsIn 1938, the King’s Heralds begin traveling overseas, and throughout the years they have performed in over 50 countries and recorded over 100 albums in 32 different languages. There have been a little over 30 men in the group at different times. They have a rich blend, harmony and balance in their a cappella style, and have added music to their sound, singing wherever God leads them. The members are now Don Scroggs on first tenor, Joel Borg on second tenor, John Watkins on baritone and Jeff Pearles on bass.

Scroggs began his career with the King’s Heralds in 1983. While he was in high school, a friend invited him to a concert. He knew Jerry Patton who was the lead tenor in the group and later this acquainted led him to become involved with the group. Scroggs has now been with the quartet for over 35 years and shows no sign of slowing down. After seeing all of the U.S. through travels with the group, Scroggs says he would love to live in Cozur d’Alene, Idaho, and vacations there when he can.


When asked what his favorite experience has been while singing with the King’s Heralds, the tenor recalls, “(I) loved (seeing) the faces of people in China, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Central America when we (would) sing in their language.”


Borg got involved in gospel music when he was three years old, while singing in church. He sang with Lone Star Four along with Scroggs and also with the group “Still Water.” The length of time he has been singing with Scroggs undoubtedly is one of the secrets behind the group’s beautifully smooth a cappella.


King's Heralds“My dad and my grandfather and their love for music and ministry influenced me most in music,” says Borg, but confesses, “I get embarrassed when I forget the words to a song.” The vocalist is married and loves his awesome wife and anything she cooks. He also is a video graphics editor and a photographer, and states Romans 8:28 is his favorite bible verse. Sadly, Borg will be leaving the group at the end of April 2019. His replacement will be Mike Ringwelski.


Smooth bass singer, Jeff Pearles, came from a musical family and he started singing gospel music because of their encouragement. Before joining the King’s Heralds, Pearles sang with the Fox Brothers, Palmetto State Quartet and Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet.   


“I got started with the King’s Heralds when out of the blue they called and asked if I would be interested in singing with them,” Pearles recalls. “At that time I was with the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet.”

Jeff Pearles of the King's Heralds

Jeff Pearles

Pearles looked up to another great bass vocalist. “Other than my dad, George Younce probably influenced me most. He was such a wonderful singer and great (communicator), he made it all look so easy.”


This quartet-man loves writing songs, and has written or co-written several throughout the years. The King’s Heralds and the Hoppers have recorded his tunes. He has seen a lot of stages, but he says a career highlight was singing in the Philippines to over 30,000 people.

King's HeraldsThe group’s baritone specialist, John Watkins, sang his first song, “In The Temple,” at age five at his church, but says he sang very little gospel music prior to joining the quartet.


“I was asked to fill in with the King’s Heralds last summer and sang my first concert in Colorado,” notes Watkins. “They were pleased and asked me to join the group. I was embarrassed when I forgot a line on the last song of my first tour.” Watkins no doubt endeavors to prevent that particular source of embarrassment from happening again.


The youngest man in the group loves to sing happy music that inspires those listening to worship. “My career has been pastoring and music mostly for teens, and God has been my biggest influence,” Watkins states. Perhaps as a result of being around teenagers, the baritone loves pizza but is not particular which restaurant he eats at. His smooth voice is often featured during a King’s Heralds’ set.


Wisconsin native Mark Ringwelski will be joining the group in May. Mark is retiring from Bellin Health where he has served as medical director, and is married to Susan Slikkers. He is no stranger to music as he has been involved with Doctors in Recital, as a vocalist and instrumentalist. He will be singing second tenor for the group. Once Ringwelski is on board, the King’s Heralds plan to begin working on a new recording, sharing the new sound with their audience.


King's Heralds King’s Heralds fans and friends certainly have a lot to look forward to with the revised lineup and album. After 90 years, the quartet has gained a significant following of music lovers across the globe. The group’s fresh look will enable them to reach even more with their message of love for the King of Kings. For a concert information, visit their website at or to book, contact Don Scroggs at (805) 907- 6016.

By Robert York

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in April 2019.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

Download SGNScoops Magazine On PDF HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To Todays Gospel Music HERE



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Diamond Awards Count Down to Top Five

Written by Staff on June 12, 2019 – 4:57 pm -

Three Days Left to vote on the 2019 Diamond Awards Top 10

Three Days Left to vote on the 2019 Diamond Awards Top 10

The 2019 Diamond Award Top 10 voting is nearing completion. Vote HERE The journey for this year began in February with the call for nominees for each Southern, Country, and Bluegrass gospel category. Those nominees were compiled to create the top 10 and voters have been streaming toward the site to make their preferences known. Thank you to everyone who has recorded there favorites for each award.

Rob Patz and Jean Grady discuss the 2017 Diamond Awards.

Rob Patz and Jean Grady discuss the 2019 Diamond Awards.

Voting for the Diamond Awards top 10 will be coming to a completion in only three days. To those who have not voted yet, we are urged you to head right over to the Diamond Awards site so you can be a part of the voting process. These awards represent who you believe to be the best at what they do. Be sure your vote is cast today.

Creekside 2019The 2019 Diamond Awards will be presented during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, on October 29, 2019, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Hosted by Dr. Jerry and Jan Goff, this gala awards presentation will be attended by the top nominees in each category. Special performances and surprise guests are always a part of this celebration of the best in gospel music.

Diamond AwardsTo ensure your seat at the 2019 Diamond Awards, as well as for more information on the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, accommodations, and VIP tickets, contact Rob Patz at 360 – 933 – 0741.

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Tribute Quartet: Uniting the past, present and future of Southern gospel

Written by Staff on June 12, 2019 – 11:37 am -

Tribute Heritage and tradition is incredibly important in the Southern gospel music field. The quartets of today often look to groups of old for inspiration, while putting their own spin on their style of music. One of the groups leading the way is fittingly named Tribute Quartet. This dynamic quartet, founded in 2006 by Gary Casto and Josh Singletary, honors those who have come before and is dedicated to sharing the Gospel through their music. Their mission statement is simple: “preserving the heritage and promoting the future of gospel music.”


Gary Casto of Tribute

Gary Casto

Tribute Quartet will be celebrating their 13th year in full time Southern gospel music this year. Over the years, this powerhouse group has been delighting fans with their energetic style, humor, courtesy of Josh Singletary, and the message of the Gospel via incredible songs. The current lineup is comprised of lead singer and founder Gary Casto, baritone and pianist Josh Singletary, bass singer Anthony Davis, and the newest member, tenor Gus Gaches.


Casto has been singing full time in gospel music for 36 years and his classic lead voice has captivated audiences all over the country. He also serves as the group’s emcee at their concerts.

Josh Singletary of Tribute

Josh Singletary

Josh Singletary has been singing in gospel music for 18 years. His unique, crooner- style voice adds a great dynamic to the group, as does his crazy sense of humor. Anthony Davis has been with the group since 2011, for eight years of experience in Southern gospel music. His smooth bass voice has cemented him as one of the most popular bass singers on the road today. Gus Gaches is no stranger to Southern gospel music, having traveled with both the LeFevre Quartet and Legacy Five. Gaches, who joined the group in January, has 19 years of experience and has become a fan favorite tenor.


Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

These talented vocalists are inspired by many of Southern gospel music’s finest. Casto states, “To name them all would take a novel. We all have a vast variety of musical influences. But the group as a whole has influences from the Cathedrals, Wilburns, and Statesmen, to the Imperials, Oak Ridge Boys, and a plethora of others.”

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