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Kingsmen deliver shout of victory with new members, new CD

Written by Staff on September 21, 2019 – 11:30 am -

Kingsmen

When the lineup changes, there will always be questions about how things will turn out for any group. When those changes hit a legendary gospel quartet, the questions can multiply; but for the Kingsmen, there was no need to worry when two singers left within weeks of each other last summer. 

“It’s happened to all of us in the business,” the group’s iconic bass singer, Ray Dean Reese, says with a smile. 

Ray Dean Reese

Ray Dean Reese

As they are proving night after night in 2019, the Kingsmen are doing just fine, just as they have been since 1956. Actually, they’re doing more than just fine as they continue to pack people in for concerts and challenge listeners with a mix of some of their classic hits and new songs off their latest CD, “Victory Shout.”

Reese, who first hit the Kingsmen’s low notes in 1967, says it is all about what the group brings night after night. “People are thirsting for the message,” he says. “(Like with the Kingsmen) we’ve been singing for so many years. I feel like we (have) set a standard down through the years of live recordings and different songs. It’s like going to hear a preacher, in a sense. They have heard him before and what he’s presenting. What we present is encouraging to them. They enjoy it. It’s a  message, so therefore they continue.” What they are hearing is a new twist to the familiar Kingsmen sound and message.

Last June, lead Bob Sellers left the group to pursue a solo career from his home in Alabama. In July, baritone Randy Crawford retired due to health considerations. Losing longtime members could have created a void, but the Kingsmen are still going strong. 

The newest guys are Chris Bryant, who took Sellers’ spot onstage and is new to singing full time, and Alan Kendall, who has traveled in the past before pursuing other interests. “We were longtime fans of this music coming into it,” Kendall says. “We have a passion for this kind of music.” 

Kingsmen

Alan Kendall

Kendall, 36, says the opportunity has been more than he could have imagined. “I got my feet wet a few years ago singing with another group, but I got married and spent some time singing part time. To be able to come back really is a dream come true. It has been wonderful!”

The Georgia native grew up a fan of the Statesmen, Oak Ridge Boys, Cathedrals and Singing Americans and now stands next to Reese, sharing the message through song with a Hall of Famer every time the Kingsmen sing.

“The thing about this music is it tells stories,” Kendall says. “It tells stories probably better than any other form of Christian music out there. We still have people in their fifties hearing Southern gospel for the first time. We are seeing people who first saw the Kingsmen in the ‘70s or ‘80s and were kids then. They are coming now and bringing their kids to hear us.”

Kendall, who had been singing solo when the Kingsmen came calling, brought the house down with a stirring rendition of “Battle Cry” when we saw them at Christiansburg Baptist Church, near Bagdad, Ky. 

Kingsmen

Chris Bryant

Bryant, two years younger than Kendall, had been working in paint sales while singing part time with The Bibletones in Mississippi. “I had been doing that for 18 or 19 years when God opened this door,” Bryant says. Reese remembers how Bryant came aboard. “We already knew of Alan but didn’t know Chris Bryant,” Reese says. “Some guys in other groups told him we were looking for a lead singer and they thought he could qualify for us.” Bryant submitted some tapes and the group found some YouTube videos of his work. Bryant met with the Kingsmen while they were touring in Alabama and soon after, he was offered the job. 

“It’s just a good fit for me,” Bryant says. “They are good guys and I grew up a fan of the Kingsmen, since they are one of the classic quartets. But it was a big move for me.” Bryant’s powerful lead is on display in many of the group’s classics such as “Wish You Were Here.”

The new guys agree that the old message is what keeps the Kingsmen at the top of Southern gospel after 63 years. “I think one thing that has kept them relevant through the years is great songs,” Bryant says. “You have to have great songs, and the Kingsmen have a list of fantastic songs they have introduced to gospel music. Songs like ‘Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet’ and ‘Wish You Were Here,’ to some of the newer songs.”

And the Kingsmen have been pioneers in the industry. “The Kingsmen really set themselves apart from other groups back in the ‘70s with their song choices, their style of singing and their stage presentation,” Kendall says. “They were never afraid to take a stand on certain things. Their ‘Big and Live’ album is an example. The recording had the shouts from the crowd. The record company wanted to take that off. They said, if you take it off, take us off. That was a pivotal moment really, that album. People got to listen to a live worship experience.”

Kingsmen

Chris Jenkins. Photo by Memories by Modesty

That cutting edge attitude lives on in a group that features three singers — Bryant, Kendall and tenor Chris Jenkins — who were not born until at least 10 years after the release of “Big and Live.” 

“Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s you can see the evolution of the Kingsmen,” says Jenkins, who is 32 and in his second stint with the group. “They took on that certain Kingsmen sound. Then in the ‘80s and ‘90s they kept that going. They started doing things out of the box that most quartets wouldn’t have been doing at the time. 

“We don’t sit back and rest on our laurels. We have been there 63 years and are still trying to make great music, great music that people will like and music that will be relevant. It’s music that people will hear and will be life changing.”

Jenkins is featured on “Victory Shout,” the title cut of the latest CD, a song that was added just before going into the studio. The CD, which is the quartet’s first with Bryant and Kendall, had been in the works for about a year. Among the cuts are “Running to Win,” featuring Kendall and “That’s Where You’ll Find Me,” a ballad that tells of meeting at Jesus’ throne and features Bryant. 

The Kingsmen's "Victory Shout" is a powerful anthemThe CD also contains a Kingsmen classic, “The Prodigal Son,” written by Larry Gatlin and originally recorded by the group in 1991. “We wanted a song to really feature Ray,” Jenkins says. “We found several on this album but we wanted something to really feature him. Our record executive kind of pulled that out of the hat.

“We had picked out the songs, then two more songs came in. ‘Victory Shout’ was one of those. I thought it would sound great with a choir behind it. Then one day Brandon (Reese, Ray’s son and the group’s sound engineer and road manager) and I were sitting at the front of the bus and I said, ‘I’m pretty sure that’s a radio hit.’ It’s an anthem-type song. Something about the song just jumps out at you.”

The latest single reminds Christians that God is still in control, regardless of life’s circumstances.

The Kingsmen learned that, again, in the past year, just as they have repeatedly learned since 1956. “Victory Shout” expresses those lessons.

“It’s a lot of encouragement,” Bryant says. “It talks about the different trials we have been through, trying times we don’t know exactly what’s going on or why God’s doing what he’s doing, but we have to trust him. The CD as a whole has that kind of feel from start to finish. It’s an uplifting CD.”

Ernie Philips and Ray Dean Reese

Ernie Philips and Ray Dean Reese

Ray Dean Reese plans to keep singing

Ray Dean Reese’s Hall of Fame career with The Kingsmen began in 1967 and he doesn’t see it coming to an end any time soon. “It’s a great heritage and I am thankful to be part of it,” he says of his work with the Kingsmen. 

Reese turned 80 in May. “That’s just 40 twice over,” he grins.

How long will he continue singing?

“As long as I can!” he says with a big smile. “My momma lived to be 99 years old. I expect to be singing at 98.”

By John Herndon

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in July 2019

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SGMA BRINGS CATHEDRAL BUS TO NQC FOR TOURS ON TUESDAY

Written by Staff on September 20, 2019 – 12:54 pm -

SGMA BRINGS CATHEDRAL BUS TO NQC FOR TOURS ON TUESDAY

CATHEDRAL BUS

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – The Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) is thrilled to announce that the Cathedral bus will be available for tours on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 3-6pm during National Quartet Convention this year only. The black silhouette that carried The Cathedrals safely all over the nation has driven its last mile, but the memories live on. The bus has been generously donated for display at the SGMA Hall of Fame and Museum, so you will have an opportunity to board the bus and sit where George Younce sat, walk around the back parlor where Glen Payne sat with his Rand McNally, mapping from one date to the next, and experience “the last ride.” As they sat in the front lounge, recounting memories, Ernie Haase, shared with JP Miller, “I can still smell George’s cologne in his closet, and his shoe rack is still right where it was when he used it last.”

Join us for the SGMA Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at 1:00pm inside LeConte Center for the Induction Ceremony and benefit concert. Learn how you can join the SGMA and help preserve the history of Southern Gospel music for generations to come. Your $20 membership fee includes an SGMA tote bag and a ticket to tour the Cathedral bus on Tuesday between 3pm and 6pm. If you recently renewed your membership, your $20 donation will extend your membership one year from the date of expiration.

If you’d like to be one of the first to board the Cathedral bus for “the last ride,” you can donate today online at www.sgma.org and you will receive a special first-class ticket that will allow you to board at the front of the line. Your $50 online donation will include a two-year membership to the SGMA, an SMGA tote bag and you’ll be one of the first to experience life on the Cathedral bus.

Plan to join us on Tuesday at 1:00pm for the SGMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and benefit concert and be a part of preserving the music we love for generations to come. Immediately following the ceremony, enjoy “the last ride” on the Cathedral bus, just outside the doors of LeConte Center.

The SGMA Hall of Fame and Museum is located inside the gates of the Dollywood theme park. On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, we thank you for helping us keep the music and the memories we cherish alive. Visit www.sgma.org for more information.

 

Video:  Ernie Haase interview with JP Miller on the Cathedral bus, filmed and produced by Jonathan Kitts.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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JP MILLER CELEBRATES 20 YEARS IN GOSPEL MUSIC

Written by Staff on September 19, 2019 – 9:39 am -

Photo Credit:  Jonathan Morris

Sevierville, Tenn. – JP Miller is celebrating his 20th year in the Southern Gospel music industry this year. JP shared, “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) That verse is my life song, and I’m so thankful that I’ve been given the privilege of singing His praises and working in an industry with such a rich heritage. My prayer is that I’ll be able to continue doing so until I take my final breath, honoring the Lord every step of the way.”

It all began 20 years ago when a young college graduate left his hometown of Clarksburg, West Virginia, said goodbye to his family and moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to work at the Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) Hall of Fame and Museum. JP Miller plunged head-first into the world of Southern Gospel music and all of the wonders it held.

His dear friend and mentor, Lou Wills Hildreth welcomed him into the world of television when she asked him to host the Inside Gospel show on the Gospel Music Television network. JP is one of the rare individuals who has worked in both the artist and industry side of the music industry, supporting the preservation of Southern Gospel music history and promoting its future. His music career began with a successful trio called First Love out of Nashville, Tennessee. In 2007, he launched his solo ministry. Still heavily involved in the SGMA, JP stays busy with his solo concert tour schedule and emcees events and conferences for various industry events. Through it all, his desire is to use his time and talents for the glory of God.

JP Miller, Lou Hildreth, Sheri Easter and Jeff Easter at the Diamond Awards 2012

For the last eight years, JP has traveled the United States and overseas, singing and sharing his passion for the Lord and hosting his weekly radio/television show, the Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee (www.smokymountaingospeljubilee.com). His new album will be released in a concert on October 7, 2019 at the Ogle Furniture Outlet in Sevierville, TN at 6:00pm. Mixed and mastered by Arthur Rice of the Kingdom Heirs, the album is called Something Old, Something New, and has favorites that span the decades on it. Arthur shared, “It was great fun going back and revisiting some of the great songs we’ve done together through the years!”

Learn more about JP Miller Ministries at:  www.jpmillerministries.com and be sure to like his Facebook page @jpmillerministries to learn Southern Gospel news you’ll want to be a part of. 

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Youth in Southern Gospel: Meet Bo Chesser of the Williamsons

Written by Staff on September 18, 2019 – 10:42 am -

Youth in Southern Gospel Music Bo Chesser of the Williamsons by Lindsey Chandler

Bo Chesser of the Williamsons

Youth in Southern Gospel: Bo Chesser

By Lindsey Chandler

Lindsey Chandler of the Chandlers

Meet SGNScoops’ newest writer!  My name is Lyndsey Chandler. I sing with my family, the Chandlers. I have wanted to get something started to promote the youth in Southern gospel for a long time. I want to say a huge thank you to SGNScoops magazine for allowing me the opportunity to do this. I will be sharing exclusive interviews in an effort to showcase the abilities, talents and dedication of young artists in Southern gospel music. I will be offering these monthly interviews to better acquaint you with young voices that are growing louder in our industry. So sit back, relax and enjoy our very first interview! 

Williamsons

The Williamsons

Youth in Southern Gospel: Meet Bo Chesser of the Williamsons

I am pleased to introduce to you our first featured artist who comes to us from Konawa, Oklahoma. Bo Chesser is 23 years old and is a singer and musician for the Williamsons. 

 

The Willamsons originated in 1969 and were revived in 1998. They perform approximately 200 dates a year, passionately spreading the gospel of Christ.

 

Chesser has been singing since he was six years old, traveling off and on with the Williamsons since he was nine. This young man is not just another member of the group, he is also Lisa Willamson’s younger brother. 

 

Bo Chesser of the WilliamsonsIn May of 2018, a position came open with the group, and Bo Chesser has been there ever since. He graduated in 2018 from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, receiving a music degree in trumpet performance while minoring in business. 

 

Chesser enjoys many hobbies which include running several 5Ks and marathons throughout the year. Not only is he talented in singing, but he also plays quite a few instruments including the trumpet, mandolin, guitar and piano. When it’s time to eat, Chesser’s favorite fast food restaurant is Chick-Fil-A.

 

The young musician shares, “Other than voice cracks and accidentally playing an entire verse and chorus of a song in the wrong key, (a funny thing) happened this past May. In a small church in Tennessee, a woman in the front row had a bad sounding cough and my sister Lisa and I found it funny for some reason. We held it together until the fifth song, which was a serious song about loved ones going to heaven, of course! The woman coughed again during the second verse, I lost it, and couldn’t sing the entire rest of the song. Even better is, they were Facebook live the whole time.”

 

When asked what a day off looks like for him, Chesser says, “A productive day off for me consists of working out, running, practicing the trumpet, mandolin, singing and doing general housework. A more realistic day looks like getting at least one of those things done, going out to eat, getting coffee with friends, and watching either YouTube videos or a movie.” 

 

If he was not singing, he says he would probably be a band director or music teacher of some sort. For musical inspiration, Chesser enjoys the Isaacs and the Talleys as his biggest inspirations in Southern gospel. 

 

WilliamsonsChesser shares his incredible testimony… 

 

“The department of human services placed me in a foster home six days after I was born. This was because my biological mother had done drugs and alcohol throughout the entire pregnancy. Over the next few months, I experienced withdrawals from the drugs, such as crying and uncontrollable tremors. By situations that God ordered, a foster family adopted me about two years later, and I’ve been theirs ever since.

 

“From an early age, they taught me about Jesus and showed me how to live, so at eight years old, I accepted Christ as my savior,” Chesser continues. “I was not living the way I should have for most of my school years in the way I talked, thought, and acted. God, however, got my attention during my senior year of high school, and I truly dedicated myself to him.

 

Williamsons“My family is full of musicians, so I was always around singing and instruments. I took an interest at an early age, and my family encouraged me in my efforts. When I was eight years old, Lisa showed me my first three chords on the mandolin; at 10 years old, my dad taught me the basics of guitar; and later that year, I joined the fifth grade band and started playing the trumpet. I truly never would have imagined that I would still be using all of those abilities, especially in this capacity where I get to minister and glorify God,” Chesser concludes.

I trust you have enjoyed reading this interview. Go HERE to hear more about them, making sure you like, comment and share. Or HERE on Facebook.

Lindsey Chandler with The Chandlers

By Lindsey Chandler

For more information on Lindsay Chandler and her singing family, the Chandlers click HERE.

For more Gospel music features read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Tribute Releases “The Healer Hasn’t Lost His Touch” In Anticipation of New Project, Living The Stories

Written by Staff on September 17, 2019 – 5:43 pm -

Tribute Releases "The Healer Hasn't Lost His Touch" In Anticipation of New Project, Living The StoriesNASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 17, 2019) – Tribute Quartet has released the inspiring song, “The Healer Hasn’t Lost His Touch,” to radio in advance of the forthcoming release, Living The Stories.
The song – written by Jason Cox, Tony Wood and Joseph Habedank – is resonating strongly with audiences in concert and on the airwaves. “We had this song on hold for a while,” says Josh Singletary. “We discovered it around two years ago. The response has been overwheling. We’re getting message after message from folks being impacted by this song.”
The song is for the first single from Tribute Quartet’s highly anticipated Daywind Records release, Living The Stories. The recording features ten new songs with new member Gus Gaches. Living The Stories releases on Friday, September 27, 2019, during NQC, the National Quartet Convention.
Tribute QuartetABOUT TRIBUTE QUARTET
Since 2006, multi-award winning and multi-Dove Award nominated recording artist Tribute Quartet has become one of the country’s most dynamic, beloved and sought after male quartets in all of gospel music. Gary Casto, Josh Singletary, Gus Gaches, and Anthony Davis have proven to possess a combination of musical talent, warm and engaging personalities, and a focus that has kept them on the path to continued success since their inception.
In an ever-changing musical climate, Tribute has remained steadfast in their goal to make music that is both timely and relevant to the current musical scene and their fan base while propelling their mission to share the Hope of the Gospel. With a career that has already spanned the U.S., as well as several foreign countries, Tribute continues to shine a Light into a world in need of truth, hope, love and healing.
With several awards and number one songs to their credit, Tribute’s music continues to inspire and encourage generations of believers. With their passion for this music and the message it brings, this team is dedicated to a quality presentation of communication through the art of gospel quartet music.
Fans, peers, and industry insiders agree Tribute brings a breath of fresh air to Gospel music.

For more Gospel music features read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Ed O’Neal needs our Prayers

Written by Staff on September 15, 2019 – 6:01 pm -

Ed O'Neal and the Dixie Melody BoysAllen O’Neal has requested prayer for his dad, Ed O’Neal. Ed is receiving a new pacemaker tomorrow morning, September 16, 2019.

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Chris Hester needs our prayers

Written by Staff on September 15, 2019 – 1:11 pm -

Chris Hester

Gospel singer Chris Hester had a lucky Friday the 13th. He said he would welcome our prayers. He tells SGNScoops his experiences:

I would love for people to pray for me. The Lord is the only thing that will get me through this.

On Friday, Sept 13th, I went in with chest pains and was immediately tested and rushed in for emergency heart surgery. I had been having chest pains weeks prior and doctors believe sometime during that time I had a heart attack. I am very lucky to still be here according to the cardiologist.

Chris Hester

 

They were able to open 3 of 4 blockages. They are treating the 4th with medication and will go back in for a second surgery if the medication doesn’t help open it. I feel very lucky and as if God has given me a second chance. He is truly a God of second chances.

Ironically, a week before this happened, I had just began laying out songs for a 4th album due to be out in 2020 called “Second Chances.” I appreciate continued prayers for days ahead as I fight heart disease and making a lifestyle change in my diet and exercise.

I do believe God is good even in the hard times. He promised He will never leave us or forsake us. I covet your prayers in days ahead.

Chris Hester

Please pray for Chris Hester for good health.

You can out more on Chris Hester HERE.


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Keep praying for Frogene Normand, mother of Rusty and Chris Golden

Written by Staff on September 15, 2019 – 10:30 am -

Frogene Normand, mother of Rusty, Craig, and Chris Golden

Friends of SGNScoops will remember that prayers were requested for Frogene Normand, mother of Rusty, Craig, and Chris Golden when she was diagnosed with cancer. 

Chris Golden posted the following on September 12, 2019:

One month ago today after weeks of nausea and pain, Mom went to the Emergency room where they found a mass in her pancreas which was blocking her biliary duct. She went by ambulance from Brewton, AL to Pensacola, FL to have more tests and a stent put in. It was about a week later after a ERCP and biopsy, the specialist determined the obstruction was adenocarcinoma… Pancreatic Cancer.

Frogene Normand and son Chris Golden

Frogene Normand and son Chris Golden

She seemed to do a little better over the next few days and was trying to gain strength to meet with the team at Vanderbilt on Sept. 5. The stent failed and she took a turn for the worse. Severly dehydrayed, she came to Nashville and spent 4 days and 3 nights at Vanderbilt Hospital where they had to put another stent in before meeting with the oncologist and surgeon for a consultation. After a couple of months of pain and suffering and a 4 day hospital stay, she was very weak..so they wanted her to go home (to my house) to rest and gain strength for the next step.

That step will be today. More scans and more labs to find out how aggressive it is and what the next step will be.

I am happy to report that after 7 days, she is up walking, her color is much better, appetite is slowly coming back, and she is hydrated and prayed up. We know many of you are praying earnest prayers. She can feel them. Keep them coming.

It’s all about the next step… and we give Him praise for each small victory.

We will try to update as we have news to share.

July 28, 2019: L2R: Rusty, William Lee, Craig and Chris Golden. Location: Golden Era Station Camp Creek Photo by: Michael Jenkins Photos

Chris had further news on September 13, 2019:

Yesterday Rusty and I took Mom to Vanderbilt for another round of scans and labs and to meet with the Chief surgeon of the pancreatic team. After reviewing the scans he advised against doing surgery because of where the tumor is located, a little more than 180 degrees around the portal vein and also the vena cava. He was afraid he would not be able to get it all, and said if it were his mother, he would not do the surgery. We appreciate his honesty and care. So, we move on to the next step…meeting with the oncologist Monday afternoon to discuss other options.

Rusty Golden with mom Frogene Normand

Rusty Golden with mom Frogene Normand

I checked my phone and Mom had walked over a half mile yesterday which might as well been a marathon considering her condition for the last few weeks. On the way home we talked about the old Nashville restaurant Ireland’s So we had steak and bisquits for supper. Although she has lost a lot of weight, she is stronger than she has been, and is prayed up. Our father came by last night after an Opry show, and they had a great visit till after midnight. This morning we enjoyed the fresh pear preserves Aunt Lanette sent.

We appreciate all the kind cards and messages, and especially the prayers. Keep them coming.

#teamfrogene

Keep informed on Chris Golden HERE

And Rusty Golden HERE


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Suicide and Depression and Jesus

Written by Staff on September 15, 2019 – 9:41 am -

Suicide and depression and Jesus

Jarrid Wilson

This week tragedy struck the Christian community as another, young, Christian leader lost his battle with depression (read about Jarrid Wilson HERE). I didn’t know him, but the tributes that flooded my newsfeed testified of the kind man he was…kind, loving, compassionate, honest, open.

Several publications wrote of his life and work while endeavoring to shed light on the personal, internal struggles he faced.

Sadly, some took the route of the Pharisees claiming this the “unforgivable sin” and insinuated he would face eternal damnation.

I was deeply troubled by some of these claims. Without initiating meritless, theological debate, I challenge each of my fellow believers to consider the following.

1. Family members read what is posted on social media. Grieving spouses, children, parents and siblings peruse their newsfeeds and see these callous thoughts. Many families have been touched by suicide, and the negativity is anything but helpful or healing.

2. On any given day there are people we come in contact with who are struggling. This is a cruel age in which we live. Heartbroken souls are looking for hope and comfort. Social media is a medium that connects us with hurting people around the world with the click of a button. How are we using that influence?

3. None of us can really grasp what the man was struggling with. We cannot know his heart nor his struggles fully and to pass judgement on him is anything but Christlike.

May God give us a revival of love in our hearts to show compassion for the broken and hurting who surround us everyday…most of whom we do not even know about.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1-800-273-8255

Suicide and Depression and Jesus

Derek Simonis

By Derek Simonis

First published by Derek Simonis on his Facebook page

Find out more about Derek Simonis here: SimonisProductions.com and at IconDestinations.com or call (877) 768-2606


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Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame

Written by Staff on September 13, 2019 – 5:33 pm -

Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of FameStarted by Herb Oliver, the Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame came into being to recognize, honor and celebrate gospel music musicians who had made outstanding contributions to gospel music. Members from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia could be nominated for the honor. From all those nominated, the board members would make the selection based on their contribution and ministry to gospel music, and then hold an induction ceremony.

 

The first inductees were installed in 2005 at Ridgeview Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tenn.  Over the years, well-known inductees have included Vestal Goodman, Cat Freeman, LeRoy Abernathy, Shorty Bradford and Calvin Newton.  More recently, Mike Holcomb, Melvin Klaudt, Tracy Stuffle, Anthony Burger, Phil Cross and Tim Duncan have been honored. Parkway Baptist Temple in Fort Oglethrope, Georgia, has hosted the ceremony during the past five years because of the size of attendees. Dr. David Sampson, pastor, and Jerry Pilfrey, minister of music, host the ceremony, as both are members of the Hall of Fame.

 

Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of FameThe 2019 induction ceremony held at Parkway Baptist Temple was planned and set up with Will Dickerson, CEO/Chairman. The program included the Tri-state Hall of Fame Choir, numerous quartets and the induction ceremony. The choir contained all former and new members, singing several songs throughout the evening. Four men, who had never sung together, joined together as scrap iron quartets, and were enjoyed immensely during the ceremony. Each scrap iron quartet included were given such names as The Carpenters On Noah’s Ark, Ex-Walmart Greeters and Nashville Cats, as well as many others. Hall of Fame member Ken Hicks, co-host of the Ken and Daniel morning show in WUSY in Chattanooga, Tenn., emceed the ceremony. 

 

Ten new members were inducted bringing the total members of the Hall of Fame to 202. Inducted were Carol Cross, an award-winning songwriter; Milford Cushen, an attorney in Fort Payne, Alabama, who has sung with several quartets throughout his career and currently sings with the Bradford Quartet; Rick Fair, who was the final baritone singer for the legendary Statesmen quartet and has been with many other nationally known quartets. Rick’s son David accepted the award as Rick was unable to attend the ceremony that evening.

 

Jay Parrack, tenor singer with Vocal Event, was inducted as a new member. His wife Kaylyn and children Keri and L.J. attended to support him.  

 

Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame


Formerly with Gold City Quartet from 1994 to 2004, Parrack, referring to Vocal Event, stated, “We are in the process of doing new recording as it has been some time since the group has had one.” He also serves as minister of music at Hill Crest Baptist Church in Anniston, Ala.

 

Debbie Epperson, whose family is known as the Singing Echoes from Cleveland, Tenn., was newly inducted. Many of her family are also members. 

 

Also inducted was Roger Horne who began his career singing tenor with The Gospel Harmony Boys and later with The Cathedral  Quartet, and Jerry and The Singing Goffs. Mike Leath, lead singer for more than a decade with Alabama’s favorite groups The Sharps was also honoured. 

 

Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of FameDr. Jerry Goff and his wife, ‘Little’ Jan Buckner-Goff, were both honoured as new inductees. 

 

Jan is nationally known for her performances with Wendy Bagwell and The Sunlighters for 38 years. She has received a Grammy award for the song “Tell It Again.” Throughout her lifetime, Jan has devoted her life to gospel music. Like one of her songs she sings, “I’ve Been Everywhere,” she has performed in numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall (New York) and all across America. Dr. Goff and Jan were married for many years, making a great impact as a duet and sometimes adding a third member to be a trio. 

 

Jerry Goff passed away July 12, 2019. He was known as Mr. Trumpet and had his own group Jerry and the Singing Goffs for many years. He had 56 albums to his credit, received the Dove Award, and Poet Voice Award just to name a few. He had written numerous songs during his lifetime, been on the board of directors and served as president of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

 

Closing out the evening Ronnie McJunkin and the choir sang as an honor to Dr. Goff, “I’ll Meet You In The Rapture,” followed by, “What A Meeting In The Air.”

 

If you would like to know more about the Tri-State Hall of Fame, you can reach them at their website 

www.tristategospelmusichalloffame.com. Donations are accepted through the website, to help with the organization’s expenses. Special thanks to Will Dickerson, Chairman, for his input and information for this article.

By Robert York

Robert York is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

 


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