Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Creekside Scrapbook: 2015 Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on November 5, 2015 – 2:44 pm -

Jerry and Jan Goff

Jerry and Jan Goff

The 2015 Diamond Awards were held on Tuesday, November 3, as part of the 2015 Creekside Gospel Music

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

Convention. Many artists and fans were on hand for the celebration of the best in Southern Gospel and Christian Country/Bluegrass. It was announced that next year, the Christian Country and Bluegrass awards would be given out during the Christian Country Expo, held during the summer at Pigeon Forge.

This year at the Diamond Awards, SGN Scoops was proud to welcome Dr. Jerry and Jan Goff as the emcees for the evening. The duo performed their duties with grace and humor and were warmly received.

We do not list all of the winners here…instead, we invite you to look for the December 2015 edition of SGN

Darrell and Chris Freeman, (back) Les Butler, Caylon Freeman

Darrell and Chris Freeman, (back) Les Butler, Caylon Freeman

Scoops digital magazine for the entire list of recipients. However, you will recognize the winners that we were able to catch as they had their special moments, accepting awards and thanking the audience.

SGN Scoops is thrilled to be able to recognize the excellent talent within the realm of our industry. We will begin the nomination process for the 2016 Diamond Awards in January 2016.  Keep watching our website and

Freemans

Freemans

Facebook page for more information.

We appreciate all who travelled to Pigeon Forge, TN for the 2015 Creekside Gospel Music Convention. As we enter into the last evening of singing, we are reflecting on the many things that the Lord accomplished this week and we want to thank all who attended and all who prayed for the event. Be watching the Creekside website and Facebook pages for more

Weston Hinson

Weston Hinson

pictures and information.

The 2016 Creekside Gospel Music Convention will be October 31 through November 3rd, 2015, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. Write it down now and plan t

HInsons

HInsons

Johnny Minnick of Goodman Revival

Johnny Minnick of Goodman Revival

Roger Talley, (back) Dixie Phillips, Sharon Phillips,

Roger Talley, (back) Dixie Phillips, Sharon Phillips, Johnny Minnick

Guardians

Guardians

Richard Hyssong and Pauline Patterson

Richard Hyssong and Pauline Patterson

Caylon Freeman and Vonda Easley

Caylon Freeman and Vonda Easley

Chris Freeman

Chris Freeman

Noah Hinshaw

Noah Hinshaw

Vonda Easley and Jan Goff

Vonda Easley and Jan Goff

o be with us all week!


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Harmony Road TV Takes Home Multiple Honors At Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on November 5, 2015 – 10:46 am -

unnamed (3)Nashville, TN (November 4, 2015) Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was alive with the sounds of Gospel Music as artists and fans alike converged on the Smoky Mountain getaway for the annual Diamond Award show. Harmony Road and Butler Music Group (BMG) was represented in numerous categories for their work in television, radio and video production.

Harmony Road received its first award of the night as Les Butler was given the Paul Heil award for his work as host of the show. The honors continued with Harmony Road TV taking home the award for Favorite Website. Butler states, “I was excited to receive the award on behalf of webmaster Danny Jones and ownership partners, Roger Spears and Allan Rhodes.” Harmony Road TV is the nationally syndicated hit Southern Gospel Show hosted by Les Butler. BMG Management artist Tammy Jones Robinette was also nominated in the Favorite Christian Country Artist award category.

The Williamsons

The Williamsons

The evening was filled with performances and appearances by some of Gospel Music’s top names including Family Music Group artist the Williamsons, Roger Talley, Tammy Jones Robinette, 11Th Hour, and Jerry Goff & Little Jan. The Williamsons thrilled the packed house as they opened the night with their #1 song, “Shout.” Family Music Group radio artist Back Home was present and nominated in the category Favorite Christian Country Group of the Year.

The Diamond Awards are presented by SGN Scoops Magazine.
About Butler Music Group

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Butler Music Group provides professional management and consulting services to Southern Gospel and Bluegrass artists including Eighth Day, Heaven’s Mountain Band, Kramer’s, Tammy Jones Robinette and Williamson’s.

BMG subsidiary, Family Music Group, is the label and radio promotion division of BMG. Label or Radio Promotion artists include the Williamsons, Canton Junction, Hagees, Matt Hagee, Jimmy Fortune, Oak Ridge Boys, Dunaways, and many others.

Les Butler Veteran Gospel Music Radio Personality Announces New Ventures

Les Butler

Les Butler has been actively involved in Southern Gospel Music for over 37 years as a musician, producer, manager, former publisher of the Singing News, and as a nationally syndicated radio host. Butler started Butler Music Group in 1978, and purchased Family Music Group in 2003. He is a past March of Dimes AIR award, as well as winner of the Paul Heil Broadcasting Award in 2011. Butler’s syndicated radio show, Les Butler and Friends, is heard across America and abroad. Butler’s playing and production credits include Palmetto State Quartet, Steeles, Dunaways, Crabb Family, Easter Brothers, Marksmen Quartet, Earl Scruggs, Bowling Family, Jimmy Fortune, Marty Raybon, and many more. Butler’s publishing companies are Hurry-Up Publishing/BMI and Hush Jean/ASCAP. He continues to host Harmony Road TV, a nationally televised Southern Gospel TV show, and he has recently started hosting a daily Southern and Bluegrass Gospel video blog at southerngospel365.com.

Copyright © 2014 Butler Music Group, All rights reserved.

 

For more information and artist news visit SGN Scoops on Facebook. 


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SGN Scoops’ Fabulous, Frenetic Fun Fact Friday with the Hyssongs

Written by Staff on October 16, 2015 – 8:23 am -

Hyssongs

Hyssongs

We are excited that the award-winning Hyssongs will be hitting the stage this year at Creekside! Dell, Susan and Richard have been traveling for 19 years as a full time family trio. They not only have energetic family vocal harmony, but also add in brass instruments (trumpet and trombone) to engage the audience. The group was awarded the Singing News Fan Award for 2014 Favorite New Trio at the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Hyssongs at 2014 Diamond Awards

Hyssongs at 2014 Diamond Awards

The Hyssongs’ songs are constantly hitting Southern Gospel radio charts. “I Was Blind, But Now I See,” reached number seven on the Singing News chart. The Hyssongs perform at more than 250 events each year, and this year we are proud to say Creekside is once again on their schedule. If you love family trios, you do not want to miss this spirit-filled group.

Thanks Hyssongs for being apart of this week’s “Fun Fact Friday!”

SGN: What is your most memorable moment on stage?

Hyssongs: Stepping onto the main stage at the 2014 National Quartet Convention for the first time and singing to 12,000 people was definitely a highlight and memorable moment for our family. It was the same stage we had received the Singing News fan award, “Favorite New Trio,” a few hours earlier that same day.

HyssongsSGN: What draws you to the Southern Gospel music genre?

Hyssongs: We feel that Southern Gospel music touches people’s hearts like no other. Songs about God’s love, forgiveness, and His second coming, stir and challenge people and draw them to Christ. Southern Gospel music points people to their need for a Savior and encourages Christians to live a life that is honoring to God. There is no other genre that we would rather be singing.

SGN: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

Hyssongs: Our family has two verses in Ephesians that would be our favorites. After Paul tells us to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, he continues in Ephesians 5:19-20: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (KJV)

Two reasons for liking these verses are that the Bible tells us our singing and songs need be to the Lord. We don’t need to impress people; we need to please God. Secondly, we need to be a thankful people.

We are thankful and praise God for all things. We especially praise Him for allowing us to sing the greatest music in the world!

Don’t miss the Hyssongs‘ appearance at Creekside Gospel Music Convention!

Creekside 2015

Creekside 2015

There are still a few Creekside tickets remaining, but these must be reserved as soon as possible. Please make your plans to join us in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on November 2nd through 5th at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. Keep watching our website and Facebook page for more exciting announcements.

Creekside Gospel Music Convention is held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center www.smokymountainconventioncenter.com. For more information, latest news and artists scheduled to appear, visit the Creekside website here: creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com or our page on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention.
For more information on tickets and lodging call Rob Patz at 360.933.0741. Free tickets are available HERE

 

 

 


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FUN FACT FRIDAY with the Freemans on SGN Scoops

Written by Staff on September 4, 2015 – 6:52 am -

Freemans 2015

Freemans 2015

 

We have made it another week. Only 58 days until Creekside 2015! One of our fabulous artists who are joining us on Nov 2-5 is the Freemans. They are Diamond Award winners and chart-toppers, with wonderful Country-Southern-Progressive vocals. You will want to come to Pigeon Forge, TN for this group alone!

This week I got an inside look of memories and road life with The Freemans. Check it out…

Q: What is your favorite singing memory?
Chris: “I have been singing too many years for me to go back and try to single out a favorite moment, but one that definitely stands out in my mind is the first time I won The Queen of Gospel Music.”
Darrell: “My favorite memory was performing in The Dominican Republic at the school in the inner city. They were the loudest crowd ever for the number. They were hungry for gospel music.”
Joe: “My favorite singing memory was recently, in Branson, when the fantastic crowd we had on the Branson Belle at the end of the concert stood and clapped forever. It made the whole group and I feel so wonderful. It was priceless! We sang, “Lead Me Home,” and so many people left with joy restored and peace; knowing that their loved ones were in a better place.”
Misty: “My favorite singing memory is the first week I brought Addie on the road. She wouldn’t let anyone else hold her and I had to do all the concerts with her in my arms.”
Caylon: “My favorite singing memory was the first ‘Legends on the Sea’ cruise, and being able to have fun and perform with some of the most talented artists in the world.”

The Freemans perform at 2014 Diamond Awards

The Freemans perform at 2014 Diamond Awards

Q: What is your favorite pasttime while on the road?
Chris: “I read a lot, as well as make bracelets and play games. I got hooked on that when Caylon was very young. We would play Mario for hours on the bus just to keep him entertained. He would pat me on the back and tell me I was the greatest mom in the world because I played Mario with him. I might add that I was GREAT at it, Lol!”
Darrell: “I get up a little late during road time. I look for lunch or breakfast, watch a little TV and then get ready for business for the King. I always can’t wait!”
Joe: “The other one is a hard one, because I am usually driving. If I am not driving, I am in the buddy seat looking out enjoying God’s creation.”
Misty: “I like to read during my down time on the bus.”
Caylon: “My favorite pasttime on the road is reading. I have read countless books over 14 years while on the road.”

2015 full logo creeksideIf you haven’t already, make your plans NOW to attend Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2015. From November 2-5, Creekside 2015 will be filled with music, fun and fellowship. Tickets are FREE but must be reserved now. As well as the Freemans, other artists appearing include the Hinson Family, the Guardians, the Hoskins Family, 11th Hour, the Williamsons, Mark209, the Pine Ridge Boys, Jordan’s Bridge, and more.

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Join us on the Tuesday evening, November 3, for the 2015 Diamond Awards! This gala ceremony is always filled with surprise artists and guests. Vote today for your favorites of the TOP FIVE nominees. Vote here: 2015 Diamond Awards Voting. 

Creekside Gospel Music Convention is held in Pigeon Forge, TN,  at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center www.smokymountainconventioncenter.com. For more information, latest news and artists scheduled to appear, visit the Creekside website here creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com or our page on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention.

 


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Harmony Road Finalist in 2015 Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on August 29, 2015 – 5:16 am -

Multiple Categories Include Host, Website, Video Production
Harmony Road

Harmony Road

Signal Mountain, TN,  (August 24,

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

2015)  Harmony Road TV and Harmony Road Productions have been blessed with Top Five Finalist nominations in the 2015 SGN Scoops Diamond Awards. The Awards will be presented during a special presentation on November 3rd, as part of the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, in Pigeon Forge, TN. Voting continues through September 14, 2015 at www.sgnscoops.com.

Les Butler Veteran Gospel Music Radio Personality Announces New Ventures

Les Butler Veteran Gospel Music Radio Personality Announces New Ventures

“All of us at Harmony Road TV feel blessed to be a Top 5 Finalist in multiple categories,” said Roger Spears, Program Producer. “We know we have a wonderful host in Les Butler. It’s great to see that voters agree and have nominated him for the Paul Heil Broadcaster of the Year Award for his work on Harmony Road TV.”

The program’s website, www.harmonyroadtv.com is a finalist in the Industry Website of the Year category. The website is maintained by its developer, Danny Joines. “We appreciate Danny and his dedication to his work. The website is full of information on where viewers can find the program, links to select episodes of the program, and other videos,” Spears said.

noah hinshaw “The View From Heaven,” the popular and encouraging video from Sunrise Artist of the Year nominee, Noah Hinshaw, is a finalist for Gospel Music Today DVD/Video of the Year.  “The View from Heaven” was produced by Harmony Road Productions. Allan Rhodes of Harmony Road Productions directed the video, which has garnered tens of thousands of online views and been featured on national television programs.

Spears added, “As we begin our fourth season of broadcasting and production, we want to thank all those who have supported our efforts to help spread the Word through music and video.  This includes all the nominees in the Diamond Awards. Each one is deserving, and we feel we’re definitely in good company.”

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The Diamond Awards are presented annually by SGN Scoops. Fans are asked to go to the Diamond Award website to vote from the top five list for their favorite in each area. Voting ends for the Top Five on September 14, 2015. The 2015 Diamond Awards will be presented in a gala ceremony on November 3, 2015 at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention. More information on Creekside Gospel Music Convention can be found on their website or on their Facebook page, or contact Rob Patz at rob@sgnscoops.com.

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Special SGN Scoops’ Fast Five for Friday: Karen Peck and New River

Written by Staff on August 14, 2015 – 11:49 am -

Karen Peck and New River

Karen Peck and New River

Today we present SGN Scoops’ Fast Five for Friday, a special edition of our feature that you usually see on Monday! But we thought you needed a smile for your Friday as well, so here you have it:

Karen Peck and New River

Karen Peck and New River

SGN Scoops talked to Karen Peck and New River during the last weekend that Jeff Hawes was with the group. We have included his answers here as well for this Fast Five. Each artist was asked five questions, and they answered with the first word that came to mind, in true game-show fashion. Unfortunately there were no prizes, but we consider each member of Karen Peck and New River a winner!

 

SGN Scoops: What is your favorite perfume/cologne?

 

Susan Peck Jackson: Mademoiselle by Chanel

Kari Gooch: Daisy by Marc Jacobs

Jeff Hawes: YSL [Yves Saint Laurent]

Karen Peck Gooch: Jimmie Choo

 

Karen and Susan Peck

Karen and Susan Peck

SGN Scoops: What was the last book you read?

 

Susan Peck Jackson: Hear My Heart [by Sheri Easter]

Kari Gooch: The Vacationers [by Emma Straub]

Jeff Hawes: The Bible. That’s a given… but it really was. Before that: To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve read that many, many times.

Karen Peck Gooch: God’s Generals. I read a lot of books at the same time. But my favorite book is God’s Generals [by Roberts Liardon]

 

SGN Scoops: What is your favorite thing about Canada? [Editor’s note: The concert took place in Coburg, Ontario, Canada.]

 

Susan Peck Jackson: I love Canada! Everything is great. We were talking about all the things we like about Canada: Maple Syrup, the Hockey Team [We hope she means the Toronto Maple Leafs!], and the Baseball Team [We are sure she means the Toronto Blue Jays!]…we were talking about that, but really, we love the way y’all talk. Eh?

Kari Gooch: The accents.

Jeff Hawes: The people; they are so sweet, genuinely sweet.

Karen Peck Gooch: The people. Absolutely.

 

SGN Scoops: What is your favorite hymn?

 

Susan Peck Jackson: The Old Rugged Cross.

Kari Gooch: Amazing Grace.

Jeff Hawes: It Is Well With My Soul.

Karen Peck Gooch: Amazing Grace.

 

 

SGN Scoops: What is your favorite vacation destination?

 

Susan Peck Jackson: Destin, Florida. That’s where we go every year because it’s not that far from where we live. Every summer we go to the beach and stay for a week. It’s a good family time to get together.

Kari Gooch: Destin, Florida.

Jeff Hawes: The Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Pigeon Forge. I love it and it’s not that far from home.

Karen Peck Gooch: Destin, Florida. I like Destin because I love the beach. The beach is white sand, it’s clean and it’s family-oriented. We like the water, we like the food; it’s just someplace we always go and it’s also the kids’ favorite place.

 

SGN Scoops thanks Karen Peck and New River for being so gracious to chat with us after the concert at Lakeshore Pentecostal Camp in Coburg, Ontario. We urge our readers to continue to pray for Rickey Gooch so he can regain his health. A special greeting goes out to Matthew Gooch who seemed to vanish as soon as a voice recorder was brought out!

 

Karen Peck and New River have been nominated for several Diamond Awards in 2015. We invite you to vote for these artists today! Make your plans to visit Creekside Gospel Music Convention for the Diamond Awards ceremony on November 3, 2015.

Return often to SGN Scoops mainpage for more SGN Scoops’ Fast Five.

Karen Peck and New River

Karen Peck and New River

 


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Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on August 13, 2015 – 4:28 pm -

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Pigeon Forge, TN – Coastal Media and SGN Scoops are pleased to present the 2015 Diamond Award Top Five Nominees! The Diamond Awards began in January with fans nominating their favorite artists for each award from the Living Legend to the Favorite Album. From this comprehensive list, fans were asked to nominate their top ten for each category. Now, fans have chosen their top five nominees for each award and this list is presented below. Vote Here or below

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Diamond Awards Top Five Nominees Announced

Fans are asked to go to the Diamond Award website to vote from this top five list for their favorite in each area. Voting ends for the Top Five on September 14, 2015. The 2015 Diamond Awards will be presented in a gala ceremony on November 3, 2015 at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention. More information on Creekside Gospel Music Convention can be found on their website or on their Facebook page, or contact Rob Patz at rob@sgnscoops.com.

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Jeff and Sheri Easter And Back Home Sing at Freedom Fest 2015

Written by Staff on July 4, 2015 – 6:06 am -

Jeff and Sheri Easter

Jeff and Sheri Easter

Trenton, GA – Jeff and Sheri Easter along with Gospel duet Back Home, both nominated in several categories for the upcoming Diamond Awards, sang to a packed house Friday, July 3rd at the White Oak Baptist Church in Trenton, GA. Freedom Fest was a night that began with great food, courtesy of some fantastic cooks from the host church. Jeff Easter was a happy man when he discovered that there was banana pudding, and yes, he made sure he was set up in time to grab a big bowl!

Back Home

Back Home

Back Home opened the service, singing songs from their latest release, One Name, along with some of their favorites from over the years. Jeff and Sheri then took the stage as only they can, singing several songs from their brand new CD, Small Town. After a short break they sang many requests, which led to a very moving service.

The night was full of laughs, tears, and worship, and was a true reminder of how blessed we are to live in this nation. It was great to see different denominations coming together to share in this freedom.

Whether you agree or disagree with the direction our country is moving, the fact remains that our independence is something worth celebrating.

Tomorrow may hold something different; but as for today, we are free to gather together and worship God, and we should be sure to do so.

Thus the reason for FREEDOM FEST! I am truly thankful to be an American. Even with all our flaws, and disagreements, I still believe that we are the greatest nation in the world, and that as long as we believe that we are “One Nation, Under God” we will remain to be so. God bless the USA!

Check online for more on Jeff and Sheri Easter and Back Home.

Be sure to cast your vote for the Diamond Awards today!

 


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2015 Creekside Gospel Music Convention Update

Written by Staff on June 12, 2015 – 9:25 am -

Creekside posterCreekside Gospel Music Convention is coming soon to beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Join us as we listen to great Gospel music, enjoy the majestic Smoky Mountains and have a great time in fun and fellowship with other fans and artists of Creekside. Please reserve your ticket soon on the Creekside website (link below).Creekside tickets are free but must be reserved. Please make your plans to join us in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on November 2nd through 5th at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center.

Freemans 2015

Freemans 2015

 

Creekside 2015 Showcases

Creekside 2015 Showcases

Our news this month includes the unveiling of more artists and special guests. Creekside is known for excellent showcases Tuesday through Thursday afternoons, exciting evening concerts every night and the worshipful, intimate Midnight Prayer.

Monday night is the Lou Hildreth Honors, where the legendary Lou Hildreth joins us to celebrate the life of a guest artist that has done great things in Gospel music. Stay tuned to find out who this year’s honoree is!

Tuesday night we will present the 2015 Diamond Awards. You won’t want to miss this evening where we honor the best in Gospel music. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jerry Goff and Little Jan Buckner-Goff as our hosts for this special evening. The Diamond Award voting continues now on the SGN Scoops website, so drop by to click on the link and vote for your favorites in The Diamond Awards Top Ten. Make sure your voice is heard and vote today! www.sgnscoops.com/2015-diamond-awards.

2015 Diamond Awards

2015 Diamond Awards

Wednesday and Thursday nights we continue with great music and special guests, as well as the Red Back Hymnal Choir.

Artists confirmed to date include the Freemans, the Guardians, Jordan’s Bridge, the

Pine Ridge Boys

Pine Ridge Boys

Hoskins Family, John Lanier, Pine Ridge Boys, Ascension Quartet, Billy Hodges and many more. Keep checking Creekside updates on Facebook and on the web. If you like to hang out with your favorite artists, the Exhibit Hall will be filled with artist booths and the singers waiting to chat with you.


2015 Midnight PrayerThis year we have VIP Packages, which include lodging, tickets and special events. VIP guests will be invited to a special backstage party as well. Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2015 rates start as low as $176 Per Person* (Based On Double Occupancy.) Call Rob at 360-933-0741 to reserve your room today.


Keep watching for more exciting announcements. Don’t miss four days of great Gospel music, fellowship and fun. Artists and attendees, please call Rob Patz for more information at 360-920-4057 or email him at rob@sgnscoops.com.

Live Creekside Updates Every Week!

Hoskins Family Will Be At Creekside 2015

Hoskins Family Will Be At Creekside 2015

JOrdan's Bridge one

Jordan’s Bridge will be at Creekside 2015

Rob Patz of Coastal Media is chatting with Vonda Easley of Strictly Southern With Vonda Easley, live on the air every week, bringing updates about Creekside. Be sure to listen to Strictly Southern With Vonda Easley, which can be heard every Friday at 10am CST on www.wpilfm.com.

Final Notes
Creekside Gospel Music Convention would like to hear from you! Tell us what you want to see and hear in November. Creekside also needs your help. If you would like to volunteer through various promotional activities throughout the year, or with onsite tasks during the convention, please email Rob at rob@sgnscoops.com. For

Rob Patz and Vonda Easley

Rob Patz and Vonda Easley

more information, latest news and artists scheduled to appear, visit the Creekside page on Facebook  or you can find Creekside on the web.  
www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com.


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Wisdom from Wells by Dusty Wells: Refocusing

Written by Staff on June 5, 2015 – 9:02 am -

 

Dusty Wells

Dusty Wells

So many times we in the Christian Music business often forget or somehow lose focus of why we really do what we do. This happens for a variety of reasons in all of our lives, as we all know so well. On a recent trip to a Christian bookstore while out on the road during a business trip for work, I was gently reminded about this, by something that took place while I was looking around the music section of the store. A middle-aged lady asked the clerk what music would they would recommend for a “new young Christian kid of 14,” that she was in the process of helping disciple. I could not help but get a little emotional and reflective, as I began to think back 33 years earlier when I was a young kid of 14.

My life up until that age had been one mass of confusion. My mom, who was also a product of her own dysfunctional past and environment had been married five times by the time I was 13. My life was surrounded with all kinds of abuse, including sexual, verbal and mental abuse. I even had a stepfather take me to a prostitute at the age of 12 to introduce me to “love”. We were raised on welfare, had to steal our school clothes and other basic necessities of life, we lived in a housing development in a small two bedroom apartment that was for divorcees, unwed mothers, widows and their children.

Drugs, alcohol and pornography surrounded me at our house. I never had a “dad” and I was constantly looking for a father’s love. It was a very tough upbringing. I was a miserable and unhappy kid who was daily seeking love, acceptance and approval in all of the wrong places. Yet in the midst of all of the junk and garbage that was around me I had always determined to make the very best of what I had around me.

One Saturday afternoon, a precious couple took time out of their own very busy life and schedule to go around to the complex where I lived. They were inviting kids to Sunday school. They invited me to go with them the following Sunday, and I reluctantly accepted. I will admit, there was something that was different about them; I could sense something, which I now recognize as the Holy Spirit in their lives. They seemed to genuinely care about me as a person and what was going on with me.

This couple took a great interest in me and would not only pick me up for Sunday School on Sunday morning, they would also pick me up for Sunday night church, Wednesday night youth group and Friday night prayer. They left their own comfort zone and began to take great interest in me. I began to meet other young people who had Christ in their lives, and I knew they were different and I wanted what they had in my life. After about a month of being with them, and watching them, listening to them, I knew I needed Jesus in my life. And on February 12, 1972 they led me to Christ. What incredible joy and peace I felt in my life. It was a real experience that nothing else would ever compare to in my life.

One of the key elements that this couple did for me was to introduce me to Christian music. They would take me to their house every Sunday afternoon after church, and they would immediately put Christian music on their turntable (yes, those are the things that played vinyl records). They would play all kinds of Christian music, and oh, what peace and joy that music would bring to me in so many of my dark and lonely times. I would drink in every lyric; I would look at the album liner notes to see what the artist had to say (I still love doing that). Christian music became one of my “best friends.”

I quickly discovered our local Christian bookstore and I would go in every Saturday and literally spend hours at the store going through every project and listening to as many demos as I could. When I was 16, I began working on Saturday afternoons at the store helping in their very small music section, and for my pay they would give me a couple of free demos each week and once a month I would get the brand new “newspaper style CCM.”

I thought I had died and gone to heaven! That music really challenged and ministered to me quite often, as I grew older and continued to live in a very ungodly home. There would be many times that I would come home and all kinds of junk would be going on in my home, and I would go to my room and put Christian music on, and I would really begin to feel God’s wonderful presence. God does have such a wonderful way of using music to touch our lives and heart in a very special way. Music is a powerful tool.

Dusty Wells familyI am so thankful that God continues to remind us of “why we do what we do” and I am so grateful to God on a daily basis that I am one of those that He has chosen to work in this field we call Christian Music. After so many years of being in it…I think I will just continue on!

By Dusty Wells

First published March 2015 by SGN Scoops digital magazine.

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