Bev McCann

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

April 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 7, 2018 – 9:27 am -

April 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

April 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

This is the April 2018 edition of SGNScoops Magazine and we are thrilled to present the legendary Larnelle Harris as our cover feature. Craig Harris brings us this singer’s thoughts on his earliest influences, performing with the Gaither Vocal Band, and a life-changing time of crisis. This is a must-read.

 

Other unique features this month include Danielle Allen of the Allen Family, the Peyton Sisters from the Gaither series, teenage phenom Sam Cox, and a tribute to the late Hubert Cooke of the Singing Cookes by his friend, ReJeana Leethe. Don’t miss the Christian Country special on newcomer Taylon Hope by new writer, Jade Harrison.

 

All of this plus SGNScoops’ Top 100 and Christian Country Top 40, music and movie reviews, DJ Spotlight, special monthly articles and more.

 

Thanks so much for reading SGNScoops every month, making us one of the top-read magazines in Gospel music. If you want to read us in print form, you can subscribe to our monthly newspaper digest. Please ask for more information.

 

Happy Easter! Christ is risen. If He is not alive in your heart, write to me to find out more about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Write to lorraine@sgnscoops.com

 

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Michael Combs Makes Fan’s Dream Come True

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 20, 2018 – 5:59 pm -

Michael Combs Makes Fan’s Dream Come True

Michael Combs Makes Fan’s Dream Come True

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (April 20, 2018)  Michael Combs got the chance to make a dream come true for a fan. The talented singer/songwriter wanted to share the story with his fans:

“On Feb. 12, 2018, Michael received an unusual message left on his office answering machine. The message was from Robert Smith of Calhoun, Georgia. Robert wanted to surprise his wife Kim. Kim Smith has been singing for 20 years. She enjoys singing at a rehab close to home and other places when asked. Kim’s favorite Southern Gospel singer is Michael Combs. Her favorite Michael Combs song is ‘Carry Me Jesus.’

On March 26, 2018, Kim was going to Daywind Studios in Nashville,Tennessee to record an album. In honor of Michael she wanted to not only record ‘Carry Me Jesus’ on her album, but she wanted to title her album Carry Me Jesus.

Weeks before her recording date in conversation with Robert, she said, ‘Boy it would be like a dream come true if Michael Combs and I could sing ‘Carry Me Jesus’ together.’ Nothing else was said about it. However, Robert just couldn’t get that out of his mind. He figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. So on February 12, 2018, he made that call to Michael’s office.

Denise, Michael’s wife of course returned Robert’s call. Robert was so surprised. He said, ‘I thought I would never even get a call back.’

Robert shared his and Kim’s conversation with Denise.  Denise was so touched by Robert’s excitement of wanting to surprise Kim. She knew Michael’s traveling schedule wouldn’t allow him to be in Nashville on that date, but she couldn’t get it off her mind. So she went to Michael and shared the whole story. Needless to say, he was very touched. He thought a moment. Then he said, ‘Denise, I don’t have to be there. Kim can have a duet with me because Daywind has my tracks to ‘Carry Me Jesus’.’

Denise called Robert and advised that Michael could not come into the studio on March 26.  She told him since Michael had recorded his last album with Daywind that they had his tracks, and they could add Michael to her album as if he was in the studio and singing with her.

Robert said, ‘That’s even better because I think Kim would be too nervous to sing with Michael Combs in the room.’ He was thrilled! So Denise got to work and made all the necessary calls and arrangements.

On March 26, 2018 while Kim was in the studio with Rick & Micah Schweinsberg, she asked, ‘Have you ever met Michael Combs?’ They said, ‘Yes.’  She asked, ‘Is he really nice? You know down to earth kinda guy?’ Rick told Denise later that they had quite a conversation about Michael.

It wasn’t till the next day when Kim had completed her album that they told her about her surprise.

Robert texted this message to Denise: ‘Kim knows everything now; she wants to call and thank you and Michael. She has called all her family and friends and told them. By the way, I would have to say that you have not made Kim’s day; you have made her whole year. She has not stopped talking about it since she’s found out. I’m waiting for her to talk about it in her sleep.’

Denise says ‘The four of us have all talked, and we are looking forward to meeting face to face one day down the road. We can’t wait to hear Kim’s Carry Me Jesus album. No doubt God will use Kim and her album to bless many.”

Michael and Denise Combs invite you to visit their redesigned website to keep up with their Ministry schedule and new music.

To purchase Michael Combs music go to :

https://www.michaelcombs.com/stop-shop-store


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Autism Awareness Month: Faces of Autism

Written by Staff on April 20, 2018 – 8:40 am -

Autism Awareness Month: writer Angela Parker and her son, Christian

Autism Awareness Month: writer Angela Parker and her son, Christian

What Is Autism? 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability of great complexity; signs appear during early childhood typically and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys. The spotlight shining on autism as a result has opened opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve families facing a lifetime of supports for their children. In June 2014, researchers estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is as great as $2.4 million. The Autism Society estimates that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism. (http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/, April 20, 2018.)

Faces of Autism by Angela Parker

People often ask me, “What is Autism to you?”

Well, I’d have to say that Autism, to me, is a lot of different things. It’s been many things to me over the last 18 years. It has been tantrums, late nights, stimming (short for self-stimulatory behavior, behaviors that may include hand- flapping, rocking, spinning, or repetition of words and phrases), schedules, worried days, Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meetings, therapy sessions, repetition, behaviors, among many other things.

Autism Awareness Month: writer Angela Parker's niece, Kylie

Autism Awareness Month: writer Angela Parker’s niece, Kylie

However, it has also been big smiles, goofy jokes, huge laughs, unexpected hugs, reaching goals that we thought were unattainable, unimaginable pride and more love than any mother could ever hold in her heart. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

I never knew that my whole world would be surrounded by the most awesome kids, including my own son, niece and nephew.

I’ve been blessed to not only have a son with Autism, but also a niece and nephew. I believe that God only gives His most precious gifts to those He trusts the most. I keep asking God if He’s sure He trusts me so much.

The challenges began 18 years ago in January and haven’t stopped, but God has seen us through every step of the way. One of our latest struggles, for instance, was Algebra 1. Without it, my son, Christian, couldn’t graduate.

I worked as hard as I could with my son to get him through Algebra 1 so he could graduate, and now he’ll be graduating in December. I couldn’t be more pleased. This will be the most exciting moment of my life. Words can’t describe it.

Autism Awareness Month: writer Angela Parker's nephew, Zach

Autism Awareness Month: writer Angela Parker’s nephew, Zach

My niece, Kylie, and nephew, Zach, also have an amazing mom that is an awesome Autism advocate for them. I love her for that. They have such a supporting mom. Not all Autism Spectral Disorder (ASD) kids have that luxury, unfortunately.

Two years ago I was blessed again to be able to start working with Developmentally Delayed children at a place called Early Autism Project. God blessed me with the ability to learn quickly on the job. Before I knew it, I was a Behavior Therapist working with some of the most amazing kids ever. The kids and the families loved having us there because they knew we were there to help.

So, when someone says “What is Autism?” I have to ask them if they mean scientifically or personally. Because the meanings are so different for me and a lot of other Autism caregivers.

 

By Angela Parker, special to SGNScoops website.

 

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Suzanne Mason reviews “The Riot and the Dance” film

Written by Staff on April 18, 2018 – 5:42 pm -

THE RIOT AND THE DANCE

THE RIOT AND THE DANCE

There’s a good chance you’ve seen a nature documentary or two in your life. Whether exploring the desert, tundra, forest, or ocean, these films give their viewers an up close and personal look at the handiwork of God. However, narrators make scant mention of our Creator and His part in the creation. Not so with “THE RIOT AND THE DANCE.”

Once told he would never succeed as a scientist if he continued talking about the Creator/created relationship, Dr. Gordon Wilson, a biology professor and regular contributor at Answers in Genesis, quite happily guides viewers in “THE RIOT AND THE DANCE” (the title comes from his biology textbook of the same name). “Life is both a riot and a dance—we see riot because of the fall… and we watch it in morbid fascination,” Wilson explains. “The dance part is that we still see the glory of God in creation in spite of the fall—we see the beauty, the choreography, the balances” God has established throughout nature.

Presented as such, this film stands apart from others in its genre in other ways. Dr. Wilson’s narration urges us to consider how we should view nature, both as fallen and as created, and to see God’s fingerprint in the world. Additionally, his narration is not merely a voiceover: he appears throughout the documentary interacting with the animals, even picking up amphibians and reptiles, and yes, even getting bitten. “We have a different worldview—God created, and we were given dominion” over the Earth, and he wanted to be more interactive with the creatures than the traditional nature documentary.  

THE RIOT AND THE DANCEAnd Dr. Wilson is. From elephants and leopards to snakes and frogs, he takes viewers on a journey from Arizona to Sri Lanka, highlighting the creativity of our God and the wonder of His creation and our world. It’s a film unlike any other. “I really want people to see creation from another perspective, one that gives God the glory. It’s not just to be entertained—I want people to reflect on” the world and creatures God has created.  So much so, a second documentary, this time exploring sea life, is in the works for 2019.

“THE RIOT AND THE DANCE” released on March 19th and is still being shown at theatres nationwide. For more information, please visit http://riotandthedance.com/.

THE RIOT AND THE DANCEReview by Suzanne Mason

 

Suzanne Mason regularly reviews the latest Christian films in SGNScoops Magazine and on SGNScoops website.

 

Download The latest PDF Version Of SGNScoops Magazine HERE

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Prayers for The Bush Family

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 17, 2018 – 9:10 pm -

Prayers for The Bush Family

From George W Bush

My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.


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SGNScoops: This Changes Everything

Written by Staff on April 17, 2018 – 7:27 pm -

This changes everything. Sgnscoops.comSeattle, Washington. Nashville, Tennessee. Heflin, Alabama. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Atlanta, Georgia. Westmoreland,Tennessee. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Charlotte, North Carolina. SGNScoops is everywhere.

From these points in North America and many others, staff and associates of SGNScoops have been hard at work on a top secret mission that will change the face of Gospel Music Media as we know it.

On September 1, 2018, the website will announce a major development at SGNScoops and Coastal Media.

This news is big. In fact, it is bigger than big. It is massive.

We will shout it from the rooftops.

The question is: Will YOU be ready??

Buckle your seatbelts, folks, we are about to hit the “turbo” button.

Www.SGNScoops.com

 

Keep Updated On SGNScoops Facebook HERE


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April 2018 SGNScoops Top 100

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 17, 2018 – 11:12 am -

SGNScoops Top 100

SGNScoops Top 100

April 2018 (May Magazine)
1. Whisnants- He’s Never Moved
2. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound- Clear Skies
3. Greater Vision- God Doesn’t Care
4. Bowling Family-I Believe He’s Alive
5. Kingsmen- Cost Of The Cross
6. Lore Family- Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7. Mark Trammell Quartet-Go Show John
8. Karen Peck & New River- Gotta Be Saved
9. McKameys- Living For Eternity
10. 11 th Hour- Doin What’s Right
11. Brian Free & Assurance- He Can Take It
12. Gold City- If Church Pews Could Shout
13. Ivan Parker- A Little More Like You
14. Hyssongs – I’ve Seen Enough
15. Joseph Habedank – Just When You Thought
16. Kingdom Heirs-Heroes Of Faith
17. Hoppers- Song Of Moses
18. Canton Junction-When I Lift Up My Head
19. Jonathan Wilburn- Calvary’s Cross
20. Legacy Five- I Trust The Cross
21. Old Time Preacher’s Quartet- I’ll Ride This Ship To The Shore
22. The Steeles- Psalm 113
23. Sunday Drive- 11:59
24. Talleys- Look Up
25. Taylors- For What I Don’t Know
26. The Old Paths- Broken People Like Me
27. Triumphant Quartet-Thankful, So Thankful
28. Williamsons – Jesus, What A Wonderful Name
29. Wisecarvers- Somebody Here
30. Amber Nelon Thompson-Grateful
31. Exodus Behold The Lamb
32. Gaither Vocal Band-Hallelujah Band
33. Isaacs- If That’s What It Takes
34. Jason Crabb – Washed By The Water
35. Lauren Talley- Our Song Will Be Jesus

36. Mark Bishop- The Refrigerator Door
37. Surrendered- His Tomb Is Empty Now
38. Sweetwater Revival- Shoutin’ In The Clouds
39. Tim Livingston- Waiting At The Top
40. Triumphant Quartet-The Cross Is All The Proof I Need
41. Ferguson Family- Living For The Call
42. Covered By Love- I’ll Lay My Crown
43. Austin & Ethan Whisnant – Should Have Been Three
44. Bibletones- That’s Why His Grace Is Amazing
45. Cana’s Voice- Same Hands
46. Jordan Family Band-Our Time To Shine
47. Browders- The Man I Am Today
48. Down East Boys- Pray
49. Dunaways- Somewhere Around The Throne
50. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver-He’s Everywhere
51. Greesons- I’ll Put On A Crown
52. Georgia- I’m Getting Restless
53. Chronicle- I’ll See Him
54. The Bakers- Why Should I Worry
55. Collingsworth Family- That Day Is Coming
56. Day Three- I’m Not A Failure
57. Curtis Hyler & Jubilation-When God’s All You’ve Got
58. Greenes – The Blood Stained Side Of The Cross
59. MARK209- I Can Call Jesus
60. High Road- Christ My Hope, My Glory
61. Mylon Hayes Family- What An Anchor
62. Hazel Parker Stanley-I’d Do It All Again
63. Blackwood Brothers Quartet- If That Isn’t Love
64. Ben Mcgalliar- Clouds
65. Guardians- Woke Up This Morning
66. Brothers 4- Leave Your Sorrows
67. Troy Burns Family- When He Laid His Hammer Down
68. Battle Cry-You’re All I need
69. Ricky Atkinson & Compassion-The Harvest
70. Mark Dubbeld Family- This Joy Is Mine
71. Porter Family- When I Lay My Isaac Down
72. Judith Montgomery & Family-There Is A Remedy
73. Mercy’s Well-When We Make It To The Other Side
74. Sharps- Standing In The Storm
75. Michael Combs- How Do They Do It
76. The Songsmiths – The Best Is Yet To Come
77. Jason Davidson- It Was The Cross That Got To Me
78. Millers-Going Where He Lives
79. 3rd Row Boys- Do It All

80. Adams Family-Looking Forward To Looking Back
81. Blake and Jenna Bolerjack – He Lived To Tell It All
82. Beyond The Ashes- I’m Too Near Home
83. Poet Voices- Extraordinary
84. Three Bridges- Jesus Saves
85. Aaron and Amanda Crabb – Restore Me
86. Barry Rowland and Deliverance- Help Me Make It
87. Burchfield Family-I Rejoice
88. Billy Huddleston- Miracle
89. Dean- At The Foot Of The Cross
90. Eagle’s Wings- A Rugged Cross & An Empty Grave
91. Wilbanks- You Are Good
92. Common Bond-Don’t Let The Devil Go To Church With You
93. Encouragers- Royal Blood
94. The Frosts- That Which Costs Me Nothing
95. Heaven’s Mountain Band- When The Savior Called Me
96. Jeremy Cato- Things I Know For Sure
97. Kendricks- Old Piece Of Clay
98. Master’s Voice- Without You , I Haven’t Got A Prayer
99. New Dove Brothers- No Back Door To Heaven
100.Bates Family- Rejoice


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Endless Highway Uplifts and Inspires With ‘East to West’

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 17, 2018 – 9:13 am -

Endless Highway Uplifts and Inspires With 'East to West'

Endless Highway Uplifts and Inspires With ‘East to West’

Arden, NC.  – With their latest release “East to West,” Endless Highway sets out to prove that God’s love and grace are all encompassing, spanning time and countless generations. With songs about belief, trust and commitment, the music of this family group proves that faith has no limits. It’s what has kept their ministry strong for over four decades and what drives them forward with a new era of music.

Through blending musical styles, Endless Highway reflects the journey of the Southern Gospel genre and themselves by highlighting influences of the three generations that make up the group. By taking turns in the spotlight, the vocalists of Endless Highway show a style that is classic, yet fresh. From songs like the traditional “It’s a Highway to Heaven” featuring the lead singing of Jason Griggs from the family’s second generation, to the modern “Out of the Deep” featuring his daughter Allison, Endless Highway presents a dynamic mix of progressive and traditional music.

“We love variety and that seems to be our style,” says Jason Griggs. “We feel that we’ve chosen strong material from amazing writers that convey the great message of salvation, grace, joy, hope, forgiveness, and the promises of God. It is our goal that this project will bless and encourage you, the listener!”

The album’s first single, “It’s His Story,” features the lead singing of Jay Griggs, Allison’s brother, who represents a new generation of strong Gospel lead vocalists. This song is a proclamation of faith, a message carried throughout this powerful new release from Skyland Records.

“Under the Sea” led by Allison references Micah 7:19 and is another picture of God’s immeasurable grace when it comes to human imperfections. The song gives quiet reassurance that no matter a person’s sins, God will never turn away.

“East to West” ends with “Out of the Deep,” a progressive version of a classic Gospel song that closes the album on a sincere note, reminding listeners that God knows your many fears, and will see you through them.

Inspired by Psalm 103, verse 12 — “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” — “East to West” from Endless Highway will uplift and comfort from start to finish.

“East to West” will be available from Skyland Records on May 25. Pre-order it HERE.


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Christian Country Top 40 From SGNScoops

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 16, 2018 – 4:27 pm -

Christian Country Top 40

Christian Country Top 40

Christian Country Top 40 From SGNScoops

SGN SCOOPS Christian Country Top 40 April 2018 (May Magazine)

1. McKay Poject- Taking me Home
2. Lisa Daggs- Love Found Me
3. Kolt Barber- Another Day
4. Chris Golden- Less of Me
5. Michael Lee- Ain’t That Just Like Jesus
6. Bruce Hedrick- Wingin’ It
7. Mike Leichner- I Wouldn’t Trade America for The World
8. Chuck Hancock- One Pair Of Hands
9. Johnny Rowlett- Where I’m Going
10. Tina Wakefield- Over and Over
11. Miles Pike- Don’t Unpack your Bags
12. James Payne- The Flag
13. Debbie Bennett- The Blood He Applies
14. Cody McCarver-I’m Gonna Meet Jesus
15. John Penney- When The Thunder Rolls
16. Ryan Watkins-Any Way The Wind Blows
17. Ava Kasich- The River Runs Red
18. Debbie Seagraves- I Still Believe In Amazing Grace
19. Mike Manuel- Country Side Of The Cross
20. Tommy Smith- Let’s March On
21. Jamie Lynn Flanakin- Free
22. Buddy Jewel- I’m There
23. Wade Phillips- Make Me More Like Jesus
24. Cami Shrock- My God Will Always Be Enough
25. Carol Barham- I Can’t Praise Him Enough
26. Christian Davis-Every Scar
27. Shellem Cline- Getting In The Word Of God
28. Trinity Wennerstrom- Shine Big, Shine Bright
29. Tonja Rose- When The Mountain Can’t Be Moved
30. Jonathan Dale- This Is Your Now
31. Charlie Griffin- Rise and Shine
32. Brent Harrison- This Side of Sunday
33. Kevin Rowe- Heaven Above
34. Steve Warren- Forever Kind Of Love
35. Kevin and Kim Abney- Broken Bread
36. Terry Davis Braggin’ On Jesus
37. Gil Magee- Climb The Sycamore Tree
38. BloodBought- Gospel Plow
39. John Lanier- There’s Gonna Be Shoutin’
40. Kali Rose- What’s A Valley

For More Christian Country News Go HERE


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Fast Five with Day Three

Written by scoopsnews on April 16, 2018 – 12:53 pm -

Getting To Know Day Three………

1.Tell me about Day Three. How did the group Evolve?

The idea of Day Three was actually birthed on the stage of the 1st Annual Alabama Quartet Convention.  Amy and Scott sang a song with Barry Rowland and Shawn Rupert (both of Barry Rowland and Deliverance).  The scrap iron quartet sang Royal Descendant. Barry Rowland gave Amy and I the track that night. Scott and Amy were asked to sing the song  at events that would follow so they borrowed Bo Sullivan. Bo and Scott both sang with Azalea City Quartet (owned by Scott Washam) and Amy had a solo ministry.  Both ministries worked several dates together throughout the year, so it was easy for us to sing together. The Name Day Three actually comes from the book of Genesis.   On the third day, god prepared the soil to take new seeds to bring forth new growth and vegetation. That’s what our ministry is founded on, planting seeds.

2. I hear you have had some radio charting success in the Singing News and Scoops Magazine for the last few months.  Tell me about the song and why you chose it?

 We recently released a brand new song penned by Rodney Griffin and Joseph Habedank , ‘Not A Failure’.   We are excited to see what this song is going to do in the hearts of the listeners. We just found out it is #70 on the Singing News Chart this month! To God Be The Glory.

3.Tell me about the group members and what part they sing?

Scott Washam – Mobile, AL – Lead and Keyboads,  Enjoys playing tennis and golf. Also enjoys spending time with family, usually around the game table.  He also handles the booking for the group, website and most of the social media.

Amy Dunnam – Mobile, AL – Alto;  Is a collector of old vinyl records.  The thing that would shock you the most about Amy is that she is a certified mechanic.  She is also responsible for social media for the group and is a director for the Alabama Quartet Convention.

Bo Sullivan – Brookhaven, MS – Baritone;  Has his own lawn business. He also keeps the group in check when we have the time to practice a little.  He hears parts better than the other two put together.

4. What are some of the goals for Day Three for 2018?

We actually just talked about this a few weeks ago.  You know, we’ve only been together for 13 months. We’ve had a top 50 in Singing News, Top 40 in Scoops charts and top 50 in Christian Voice charts but we are just crazy enough to believe that God has even more in store for Day Three this year.  We want to go places we’ve never been and we want to see lives changed for the better. We want folks to know that GOD LOVES THEM RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE!

5. IF someone wanted to book Day Three for an event or a church service, give us your information.

They can call the office at 251.802.6041

They can visit our website  www.day3trio.com

They can contact Cornerstone Booking Agency  www.cbatalent.com

 


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Zach Williams: Singer, Songwriter, Grammy winner

Written by Staff on April 16, 2018 – 12:27 pm -

Zach Williams: Singer, Songwriter, Grammy winner

Zach Williams: Singer, Songwriter, Grammy winner

When Zach Williams’ hit “Chain Breaker” was announced as the winner of the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at this year’s Grammy Awards, it was the latest and greatest honor in Williams’ meteoric rise to the top of the Christian

music genre.

 

A native of Jonesboro, Ark., Williams was not even signed to a record label when he co-wrote “Chain Breaker,” the international hit that held the No. 1 position on charts for 15 consecutive weeks and achieved official Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) gold certification.

 

“I had been in Nashville for a week, writing,” Williams said. “I wasn’t signed to a label. I was just coming over as a guest to write songs. It was at the end of a week. I was ready to go home. I was ready to see my family. I was tired. I had nothing that I honestly was bringing in at that point.

 

March 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

March 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

“Then, I met Mia (Fieldes, co-writer of “Chain Breaker”) for the first time. She had this super strong personality. She was just on fire when she came in, and we got to talking. I was sharing my story and my testimony with her. My wife and I were involved in a prison ministry at that time, so we were really excited about where we were then. Jonathan Smith, (“Chain Breaker” co-writer) turned around to the piano and just played a little something, and I went ‘play that again.’

And when he did, the words to ‘Chain Breaker’ just started coming. ‘If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles. If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies.’ That was one of those songs that was literally almost written in 15 minutes.

 

It was on Williams’ mind after the writing session.

 

Zach Williams: Singer, Songwriter, Grammy winner“All the way home to Arkansas, I was just praying that God would just use that song and that people all over the world would be able to hear it,” Williams shared. “And a few months later, the label heard that song and offered me a record deal.”

 

After the song was written, Williams said that he wasn’t sure how it would be received by Christian audiences.

 

“I thought maybe it was too rock or too country to resonate with Christian music audiences,” he said. “I didn’t think it would get played on Christian radio. Nobody knew who I was. I didn’t know how people were going to react to it.”

 

After the song’s mega success on the contemporary Christian charts, the song was later covered by several Southern gospel artists, including Triumphant, the Gaither Vocal Band and soloist Steve Ladd.

 

The song also speaks to Williams’ own story of redemption. After using drugs and alcohol for years, he was known as a partier. In 2012, God intervened, and he quit the rock band that he was a part of it, instead electing to begin a new Christ-centered life off the road. But the way that Christian songs had helped him in his journey continued to stoke the desire to sing.

 

Zach Williams: Singer, Songwriter, Grammy winnerIn the release of “Chain Breaker,” Williams said that one of his chief hopes is that the song ministers to non-believers, as well are those who are already saved.

 

“Obviously, I hope it can inspire people who are already believers,” he said. “But for anyone who isn’t saved, they need to know that there is someone out there who can break their chains and help them with these problems that they have in their life and completely make them brand new.

 

“For Christians, for believers, I think we get in our day-to-day routine where we’re just checking it (items) off our list. We’re going to church on Sunday, because it is good for our business … it’s good for the other people around to see. It becomes just like doing the laundry. Going to church, leaving, going home … and completely not having a relationship with the Lord. You’re coming out of church with the same mess that you Zach Williams: Singer, Songwriter, Grammy winnerwent in with. So, I think a lot of believers have just forgotten what it was like the day they got their chains broken.”

 

Though Williams says he can’t define his music under just one genre – “maybe some Southern roots gospel,” he says – he hopes that his music appeals to listeners of Southern gospel, contemporary Christian, and other genres equally.

 

“I want these songs to have the opportunity to minister to everyone,” he said.

 

Although “Chain Breaker” was a hard act to follow, Williams’ second single off of his debut album, “Old Church Choir,” also ascended to No. 1 on the charts, where it stayed for 20 weeks. With his recent successes, Williams became the first debut artist to have back-to-back singles reach No. 1.

 

“All glory to God,” he said. “It’s just incredible.”

By Justin McLeod

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in March 2018.

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