SGN Scoops welcomes The Wine Family to the stage of Fast Five.
The Wine Family shared their story with us:
Based out of Lake Wales, Florida, The Wine Family’s beginnings can be traced to a Valentine’s banquet. Fifteen minutes was the given time. Four songs were planned. Three very nervous people stood to sing for the first time. And while that night won’t go down in history as being perfect, God had a plan.
Now five years later, the family is still singing and the Lord is blessing. With a busy schedule, four projects recorded, and now several singles to radio, it would be very easy to become sidetracked. This family however, has stayed true to their calling through it all.
The Wine Family’s desire has and always will be, to share the love of Christ.
The Wine Family members are:
John Wine – Dad – Baritone – Bass Guitar – Pays the bills.
Cindy Wine – Mom – Biggest fan and cheerleader. She doesn’t sing.
John and Cindy’s children:
Joseph Wine – 24 years old – Lead – Sound man – Piano – Computer.
Tabitha Wine – 19 years old – Alto – Piano – Makes us look good.
Isaac Wine – 16 years old – Baritone – Guitar.
Current project: He Still Does.
Current single: “What A Beautiful Day.”
SGN: When each of you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
John: Since I was a little boy, I’ve always been into electronics. If it had wires, I would tear it apart to see how it worked. Back then, the only electronics store was Radio Shack and at any given time, there was a stack of their catalogs next to my bed. My dream as a little fellow was to work for them.
Joseph: Maybe a mechanic or a race car driver. Dad comments that he really liked cars… still does.
Tabitha: Two things I wanted to be: an airplane pilot and a pirate.
Isaac: I’m still fairly young, my dream is to be a studio musician.
SGN: Can you tell us the nicknames of each group member?
John: Not everyone has a nickname. I call Tabitha “Little Girl” and also “Sissie.” At one time Isaac’s nickname was “I-Pie.”
SGN: Who is your musical inspiration?
John: There are many: Phillips, Craig and Dean, Larnelle Harris, Steve Green, The Archers, Truth, Michael English, The Martins, Talley Trio, Gaither Vocal Band, The Whisnants, The Perrys and on and on and on.
Joseph: Michael English (vocally)
Tabitha: (Did not answer). Dad comments: “Musically, my daughter is old school. One example of someone she likes is Michael Buble’.”
Isaac: Joe Bonamassa and Mateusasato. I’m really into guitars in these days.
SGN: What Gospel song or hymn would you like to have written/recorded?
John: Once again, there are many. “To God Be The Glory,” “I Rest My Case At The Cross,” “I’m Gonna Make It,” Sinner Saved By Grace,” just to name a few.
Joseph: Well I love the hymn “It Is Well,” but I’m scared to say I would’ve liked to write it because of the back story/ history.
Tabitha: “How Great Thou Art.”
Isaac: “It Is Well.” The story of how it was written is pretty amazing.
John: No way can I give just one. David was an amazing man who seemed to live way before his time. Abraham was called the friend of God… what more needs to be said. And then there is Peter. I relate to him because he was constantly putting his shoe in his mouth.
Joseph: In these days, it would be David. Because he knew where to turn when he made mistakes. Psalms 51
Tabitha: Jesus, He gave new life and hope.
Isaac: Paul, because he was a cool dude. I also love the story of Ruth.
Thanks so much to the Wine Family for contributing to SGN Scoops’ Fast Five. To learn more about the Wine Family, visit their website.
For more Fast Five from SGN Scoops, visit our website every Monday!
Tags: Fast Five, gospel music, sgn scoops, SGN Scoops Fast Five, southern gospel, Wine Family
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Welcome to another edition of Wacky Wednesday. SGN Scoops has polled about 18 artists about various things and received their answers. We have used this (not so much) scientific process to tabulate the Wacky Wednesday Top Ten (more or less)!
Today our subject is: What can someone new to Southern Gospel expect at a concert?
Our panel of expert artists gave us the following answers. These are not in any particular order. Do you agree/disagree?
Our first set of artists all gave very positive responses….
Billy Blackwood…It’s supposed to be fun!
Michaela Brown…You’ll leave feeling good!
Karen Peck…It’s very uplifting
Gary Casto…Best music in the world
David Sutton…You will be blessed
Greg Bentley…It’s life changing!
Booth Brothers1*…Be ready to clap your hands and have a good time!
Booth Brothers 3*…You’ll have a hand-clapping, foot-stomping time!
And then there were very specific comments…
Joseph Habedank…Christian artists are much more accessible than secular artists.
Lauren Talley Alvey…Our genre offers something for everyone, regardless of age or background. Most artists I know really care about people and ministry, and we aim to deliver a message each time we step on stage.
Phil Collingsworth Sr. …Our songwriters are highly esteemed
Don’t worry about the concerts being Age Appropriate…
Shannon Smith…The genre is VERY diverse and you’ll like it a lot more than you think you will (especially if you’re young and have been biased against the genre). Give it a chance – there’s a lot to love!
Chris Jenkins…Yes, individuals under 40 love Southern Gospel too!
Donna King…It’s NOT old people music. It’s for EVERYBODY!
Have you heard these comments before?
Booth Brothers2*…Someone will think it’s too loud
Clayton Inman…Could get a little loud
I hope you go to concerts to hear the singing because…
Scott Inman…There will a lot of singing
Hannah Webb…Be prepared for at least five encores by the end of the concert
Thanks for joining us for Wacky Wednesday. Do you have a suggestion for a question we can ask our artist panel? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for more of these indepth polls right here on SGN Scoops!
**Note: The Booth Brothers each answered each question but wouldn’t say whose answer it was…therefore we are leaving it up to you, dear reader, to guess whether the pithy answer comes from Michael Booth, Ronnie Booth or Paul Lancaster!
Tags: Blackwood Brothers Quartet, booth brothers, Donna King, Greg Bentley, Hannah Webb, Joseph Habedank, Karen Peck, Kingsmen, Lauren Talley Alvey, sgn scoops, southern gospel, The Collingsworth Family, three bridges, Top Ten, Tribute, Triumphant, Wacky Wednesday
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By Bethany Cook
When it comes to Southern Gospel music, you just can’t beat a good quartet. From the high tenor to the low bass (and the two blending in the middle), there’s just something about that four-part harmony that makes you feel like that is what Southern Gospel music is supposed to sound like. Throughout the years we’ve seen many wonderful quartets grace the stage, and I’d like to introduce an old group brought back to life. The guys of Adoration Quartet, while young (or young at heart), bring so much to the stage. From their individual talents and love for God, to the amazing four-part harmony, Adoration Quartet is taking the stage by storm sharing the good news of Christ.
Coming from the great state of North Carolina, Adoration calls Goldsboro home. The quartet was originally founded in 2001, and they traveled until 2010 around the Eastern United States. During these nine years, Adoration quickly became a household name and one of North Carolina’s favorite hometown groups.
In 2010 group owner, Chris Serlick, felt the need to come off the road after his oldest son lost his battle to cancer. Chris states, “I just felt like I needed to take some time to grieve, draw closer to God, and seek His face after the loss of James.” Moving forward to 2014, a chance meeting brought Joshua Horrell, Corey Wilson, Dustin Leming and Chris Serlick together. These four men knew from the start that God was going to use them in some way, and after much prayer and seeking direction from God they felt the need to bring Adoration Quartet back to life.
According to Chris, it was just one of those things that you know was God! “You just know when He is speaking to your heart and it was crystal clear to all of us the direction He was leading us.”
In the time that they have been together, things have really taken shape within the group. Dove-award-winning Wesley Pritchard at the Mil-West Studios in Fayetteville, NC produced their debut project What A Change. Their first national single release, “Stepping into the Light” from the What A Change album was well received by Southern Gospel listeners, rising to number 79 in the April 2015 Singing News charts. A second national single release, “Peace through the Blood” is currently receiving airplay. They have also recently signed a booking agreement with Mountain Top Talent, and they are anticipating many new ministry opportunities to be opened.
Now, to introduce you to each of the members: Joshua Horrell is from Wallace, North Carolina and he is the tenor for Adoration Quartet. He comes from a distinguished line of Southern Gospel’s most notable artists; Michael English (formerly of the Gaither Vocal Band) is his uncle. At just 23 years old, Josh has amassed a lifetime of experience singing with several groups before coming aboard Adoration Quartet. Josh enjoys golfing, fishing, and his “baby,” Pongo, who is a one-year-old Dalmatian.
Dustin Leming sings baritone, and he is originally from Johnston City, Illinois. He grew up in a church pew, traveling and singing solo for his evangelist grandfather, who is still active in the ministry after many years. An accomplished pianist, Dustin plays for Adoration Quartet as well. Dustin now resides in Rose Hill, North Carolina and is currently working on several solo piano recordings.
Chris Serlick is the bass vocalist and an original founding member of Adoration Quartet. He served in the US Air Force, on active duty for 20 years before retiring in 2001. His musical influences include some of Southern Gospel’s greatest bass singers, such as Tim Riley, George Younce, and Jeff Chapman, who tutored Chris for some time. Chris and his wife Janay live in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where they enjoy water and snow skiing with their children Chase and Fayth, and grandchildren Veda, Loralye, and August.
Every Southern Gospel group has to have a preacher, and for Adoration, that happens to be lead vocalist and emcee, Corey Wilson. Corey is a graduate of Liberty University and he pastored for eight years prior to joining Adoration Quartet. Corey has traveled with some of America’s premiere Gospel groups, and fans may remember him from his days traveling with the likes of the Greenes and Karen Peck and New River. When he’s not on the road, Corey enjoys spending time with his wife Kristi, and their sons Drake and Jayden, at their home in Rockingham, North Carolina.
While these guys love being home and spending time with family and friends, they love singing and being on the road (and they especially love eating on the road)! Head to the closest Cracker Barrel after one of their concerts, and most likely that’s where they can be found! It’s no surprise that any length of time traveling together can bring a group the ability to write an entire book about their experiences on the road. From funny stories to hearty meals and enjoying life, these guys could be entertainment at its finest!
As comical as each one can be, each of them hold true to the heart and mission that they have set forth for Adoration Quartet. It’s very clear after spending even just a few short minutes at one of their concerts, that ministry remains their guiding principle, and their number-one mission. They love meeting people and are always amazed at how people from all different parts of the world and walks of life can share a common belief in Christ. During my conversations with each of these guys, it’s obvious that their desire is to walk in the ways of the Lord. They want to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing their testimonies, delivering Biblically sound songs that would uplift the saint, and bringing the lost to the Saviour.
God has blessed each member of this group with amazing talent and hearts that want to glorify and uplift Him. The next time Adoration Quartet is in your area, be sure to pay a visit. I can guarantee it’ll be a night of inspiration that you will never forget. You can visit their website at www.adorationquartet.com for more information as well as their touring schedule.
Written by Bethany Cook
First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in April 2015. For current SGN Scoops issues click HERE.
Tags: Adoration Quartet, Bethany Cook, Chris Serlick, Christian artists, Corey Wilson, Dustin Leming, gospel music, Joshua Horrell, Michael English, Quartets, sgn scoops, southern gospel
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SGN Scoops welcomes the Troy Burns Family to this edition of Fast Five. We hope you will enjoy getting reacquainted with the lead singer of The Inspirations, and meeting the rest of this fine group.
Troy shared the biography of the group, which we have excerpted for you:
Troy Burns is a founding member and lead singer of The Inspirations for 30 years and is the current lead singer for Archie Watkins and Smoky Mountain Reunion, and The Old Inspirations. When not on the road with Smoky Mountain Reunion, Troy and his family do concerts at churches and other venues. Close family harmony and loving Jesus is what the Troy Burns Family is all about.
Troy has recorded over 700 songs in his career, “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” “Touring That City,” “Is That Footsteps,” and many other great Southern Gospel songs. Troy has performed over 6,000 concerts, won numerous awards and currently sings weekly on Daystar TV worldwide. Tammy has had formal training as a singer and sang for The Sound Of Youth from Robbinsville, North Carolina. Tammy’s voice has been compared to Patsy Cline and Barbara Streisand. The newest member of the Troy Burns Family is Roland Kesterson, from Crossville, Tennessee. He sang with his family growing up and then sang for a Bluegrass group called Set Apart for seven years. Roland’s smooth harmonies form a third part for Troy Burns Family that is unparalleled in Southern Gospel Music.
Latest Project: It’s Only Goodnight
Radio Release: “It’s Only Goodnight”
SGN Scoops Fast Five with the Troy Burns Family
SGN: What single accomplishment of your group (or yourself) is the most important to you?
TBF: Group: Our concept video of “I’m Praying For You.” It has given people hope around the world.
Troy and Tammy: Our children and grandchildren
SGN: What is in your closet that you just can’t throw out?
Tammy: Clothes that do not fit anymore (I think I may get small enough to wear them again).
Troy: Old singing shirts.
SGN: Who is the most under-appreciated person in Gospel music right now that you would like to see get some recognition?
Tammy: Troy Burns (of course I would say that …he’s my husband).
Troy: Amber Nelon
SGN: What is your favorite song from Sunday School?
Tammy: “Jesus Loves The Little Children Of The World”
Troy: “Jesus Loves Me”
SGN: What one thing do you make sure you do before a concert?
Tammy: I ask the Lord to create in me a clean heart and a right spirit within me when I pray.
Troy: The group meets and we pray!
Be sure to find out when the Troy Burns Family is coming to your area!
Tags: Archie Watkins, gospel music, Inspirations, SGN Scoops Digital, SGN Scoops Fast Five, southern gospel, Troy Burns, Troy Burns Family
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Creekside Gospel Music Convention is getting ever closer and we have some exciting news to share this month. You know by now that 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.
We are happy to announce that the Freemans will be joining us again this year. Last year, they played to an excited crowd during the 2014 Diamond Awards. This fantastic family was also awarded twice during the evening, as they were presented with the Christian Country Group of the Year and and the Video/DVD of the Year for the poignant portrayal of “Lead Me Home.” Will they be winners again this year? Only you can
tell us that as you vote for your favorites in the 2015 Diamond Awards.
We are thrilled this month to tell you about the Showcases being held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the day at Creekside. Chapel Valley Records, Ava Kasich and Vonda Easley of Hey Y’all Media are working together to bring some wonderful artists to the daytime stage. Ava comments, “This will be my
third year at Creekside Gospel Convention and every year it gets better and better. The atmosphere of worship is wonderful and the addition of the Midnight Prayer is icing on the cake. Can’t wait to see what God has planned for us all this year! See you there!” Vonda notes, “I had such an awesome time working with Ava Kasich during the showcases at Southern Gospel Weekend in Oxford, Alabama and I am thrilled to get to do this again at Creekside Gospel Music Convention. This is going to be a great time and just look at some the artists participating: The Hoskins Family, From The Ashes, Exodus, John Lanier, The Riders, Majesty III, Malachi, Ascension Quartet, Clear Vision Quartet, Drummond Family, Webb Quartet and
As is our custom at Creekside, on Monday night is the Lou Hildreth Honors gala. 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 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.
Every day and night of Creekside will feature great music, inspiring testimonies and a special Red Back Hymnal choir on one evening. 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.
This year we have VIP Packages, which include lodging, tickets and special events. VIP guests will be invited to a special backstage party as well. Keep watching for more exciting announcements. Don’t miss four days of great Gospel music, fellowship and fun. Please call Rob Patz for more information at 360-920-4057 or
email him at email@example.com.
Note: The host hotel is filling up quickly! We anticipate that it will be completely full in just a few days. We have other rooms available close by, but you will want to stay right onsight for the most fun during the week. Email Rob today!
Live Creekside Updates Every Week!
Rob Patz of Coastal Media has been 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, latest news and artists scheduled to appear, visit the Creekside page on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention .
Tags: 2015 Creekside Gospel Music Convention, 2015 Diamond Awards, coastal media, Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Dr. Jerry Goff, Freemans, gospel music, Hoskins Family, Little Jan Buckner-Goff, rob patz, sgn scoops, Vonda Easley
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By Rev. Bryan Davis
Music: you hear the sad symphony of it at a funeral; its joyful melody dances with the bride as she walks down the aisle to her future. It plays through the speakers of stores to prompt us to buy and in workplaces to motivate employees. We use it in moments of romance and passion, and it plays in our churches as we lift our hands to the Lord to worship and give Him praise and adoration. The melodious sounds of music play such an important role in films that even though few may remember the plotlines to Con Air, Titanic, or Disney’s Hercules, we all remember “How Do I live,” by Trisha Yearwood from Con Air, Celine Dion’s masterful voice singing “My Heart Will Go On,” from Titanic, and Michael Bolton’s rendition of, “I Can Go the Distance.”
Yes, there is just something about music that changes our hearts, captures our attention and reaches to the very depths of our soul. Most sermons are forgotten by the time the church service is dismissed; yet most people can remember what worship songs were sung. Few movie quotes are ever remembered, yet we can quote our favorite songs from memory.
When I was a little boy, my mom and I did a school experiment to discover if plants were affected by music. Interestingly enough, we found that when we played soft music to the plants daily, they grew faster than the plants that were not exposed to music. Another surprising result was that in the same experiment, the plants exposed to heavy metal withered and quickly died. I believe the same is true of how music affects our soul.
One day, I was driving down the road and I was feeling depressed and sad. As I pondered my despair, I realized my radio was on the local Country station playing all sorts of sad ballads. I heard about dogs dying, marriages failing, vehicles breaking down, drinking and every sort of hopelessness you could imagine. No wonder I was depressed! What goes in, is what comes out!
I popped in a worship CD and the difference was startling! As anthems of Christ began to permeate my vehicle, the depression quickly vacated my atmosphere and the presence of God Almighty engulfed the interior of my car. This was the moment that I had an epiphany … people stay depressed listening to other music because the majority of music is about us and our problems; but when we sing songs to Jesus about Jesus instead of singing songs about us, there is a shift from the problem to the Problem-Solver, and that’s when He can change our situation.
There is some secular music that I love and my intent is not to bash it, but even the best song without Christ is just another empty song. Music was never created to glorify the things of this world; music was created to worship God and magnify His Son, Jesus Christ! Music is so important that the Bible even tells us that when we enter Heaven and meet our Maker, all the habitants of Heaven will be gathered around the throne of God, worshipping. The 24 elders will be bowing before His throne while hundreds of Angels continually sing “Holy, Holy, Holy…” for all of eternity.
Yes, this is the purpose of music! Not only does music take us into God’s presence, music also helps us get through the hardest of our trials and gives us the hope we need to carry on. When I think of music, I think of the story of Haratio Spafford, who was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a blossoming legal practice, an exquisite home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devoted Christian and committed Bible Student. Mr. Spafford was best of friends with the likes of D.L. Moody, Ira Sankey and a myriad of other well-known Christians of the day.
At the highest elevation of his economic and masterful prosperity, Horatio and his wife Anna endured the horrendous loss of their only son. Shortly following their son’s untimely death, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
In 1873, Spafford organized a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much-needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He was also scheduled to join Moody and Sankey at an ongoing revival service in England.
Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him, while he stayed in Chicago to tie up some loose ends. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had sunk. All four of his daughters had drowned and only his wife had survived.
Mr. Spafford boarded a boat to take him to his mourning wife, Anna, in England. As the boat hovered over the watery grave of his four daughters, Horatio began to write a melody that would change the world. Its lyrics began with, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrow like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul..”
Something within Horatio Spafford, even in the midst of life’s hardest circumstances, began to bubble up as a musical melody from the depths of his soul; not a melody of hate or hopelessness, but rather a melody of praise in the middle of the pain. Labeled as possibly the greatest hymn ever written, “It Is Well” still touches hearts more than 200 years later. Why? Because not only did grief come from Mr. Spafford’s heart, but praise did as well and after all of these years, that same praise still carries with it the power of God Almighty.
If research is done thoroughly, one will find that the majority of Christian lyrics are written out of tragedies very similar to Mr. Spafford’s. Yet, we do not hear hopelessness in them, as we do in the songs sung glorifying despair. Instead, we hear praise to the One who is able to heal the broken-hearted.
Although man has perverted music, it was created for the sole purpose of worship and it is still a powerful tool for a Christian. It has the power to lift our souls out of the pit of despair and re-align our heart and thoughts with our Creator. It transcends us from this world of trouble into the presence of The Almighty God.
Rev. Bryan Davis is an Ordained Minister in the Church of God (Cleveland TN). Bryan runs a very successful Facebook ministry called Dwelling Point Ministries and is also very active in his community. Bryan has served as Evangelist Pastor at two churches. Currently Bryan, his wife Rebekah and daughter Brielle reside in Frederic, WI. Bryan is open to bringing the word of God to your church. For info contact Bryan directly at email@example.com
Pastors Corner is a regular feature in SGN Scoops Digital Magazine. For the current issue visit the SGN Scoops main page.
Tags: Bryan Davis, Christian life, music, Pastors Corner, praise, sgn scoops, worship
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By Paige Givens
Twenty-five years ago, in the hills of Hiltons, Virginia, a unique and beautiful sound was born. It was a sound full of harmonies so close and sweet that they could only be connected by the blood of family. The sound produced words and songs that are full of hope and new life, words that point others to Jesus Christ. This sound became the music and ministry of The Browders, a family group that is rapidly gaining recognition and admiration in gospel music.
Tommy Browder, patriarch and founder of The Browders, grew up singing and writing gospel songs from a very early age. As an adult, he felt God leading him to start a ministry. “He felt the call to minister with his family. He prayed about it and God showed him what to do. We began singing in 1990,” says son Matt. “Actually, it all started in a 1990 Dodge Omni!”
Matt and David Browder were young when they began traveling and ministering with their dad in 1990. Matt recalls, “At the age of 10 or 11, I began singing with Dad. Then, at the age of 13 or 14 I began to learn to sing three part harmony with the group. The Hinsons, Happy Goodmans, The Rambos, The Paynes, and The Crabb Family were huge influences throughout my life.” David notes several influences of his early years, too. “The people that influenced me the most musically were The Original Hinsons, The Happy Goodman Family, Teddy Huffam and The Gems, The Spencers, The Crabb Family, The Paynes, Charles Johnson and The Revivers, Singing Cookes, Elvis, Johnny Cash and Carman.” Just to name a few! David recorded his first song at the young age of eight.
In 2005, Sonya, Matt’s wife, joined the group. Sonya says, “I started piano lessons at age four due to my interest in a piano we were storing at our house for our pastor’s wife. I began singing and playing in church shortly thereafter. I started singing full time with a group based out of my home state of Maine at age 15. We were booked for a concert with the Browders in Tennessee around the year 2000, and our families became friends. Matt and I married five years later.” Read more »
Tags: Christian artist, David Browder, gospel music, Matthew Browder, Paige Givens, sgn scoops, sonya browder, southern gospel, The Browders, Tommy Browder
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By Matt Baker
It was 2006. I was scheduled to sing in a church in Clovis, New Mexico. I didn’t realize whom I was opening for until that week. The group I opened up for that night made a lasting impact on me; they became my favorite group and still are to this day. I’m talking about Greater Vision, from Morristown, TN: lead singer/emcee Gerald Wolfe, baritone Rodney Griffin, and Chris Allman singing the tenor part.
Gospel music fans from all over the world have fallen in love with the smooth harmony and the timeless lyrics heard on each project they release. What I’ve come to love is their class and consistency on and off the stage; the Greater Vision I saw in 2006 is the same Greater Vision I saw a couple weeks ago in Morganton, NC. Their love for the Lord is evident in their music, and in this conversation, we’ll see some of the heart behind this faithful journey they’ve been on for 25 years now.
Gerald Wolfe is a powerhouse in the world of Southern Gospel, and it’s hard to imagine Greater Vision, or the Southern Gospel industry itself, without his presence. However, he says, that almost happened. “During High School, my plan was to go to the Navy after graduation, using the ROTC Program to pay for my education, since I had finished my High School’s three-year ROTC program. Thankfully, God had a different plan that brought me to where I am today. If I had followed my plan, I would probably be retired from the Navy by now, and playing the piano or organ in a church in Morristown, TN., or leading congregational worship.”
Chris Allman is the most recent addition to this bunch and after a break of several years you’d think there would be changes to the focus of Greater Vision. “Well,” says Allman, “At this point I wouldn’t really be considered the newbie anymore. I’ve been back nearly five years. Believe it or not, it’s not much different. We’re just all older and more patient!”
This older group of Greater Vision still has the powerful singing and heart-gripping songs of the earlier version. It’s not often that in a group, you have at your fingertips two of Gospel Music’s most prolific songwriters. Rodney Griffin and Allman have written literally hundreds of songs in their career and they say this desire to write came out of the need to express themselves more personally in their music.
“Sitting at my desk in Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia in 1989, I wrote my first song,” says Griffin. “I found myself writing during my lunch breaks. The only problem was I didn’t have an outlet for any of my songs. I wasn’t singing with a group at the time, yet I had a desire to say something. I had written 25 to 30 songs before I had the nerve to try to pitch something to a group.”
Allman notes, “I just had a real desire to say something through music. It was as if just singing other people’s thoughts wasn’t altogether satisfying. I prayed for the gift to write and God granted it.”
Occasionally the writers will bring forward a song that just doesn’t work for the trio, and other artists then record these works. Griffin comments, “I’ve been blessed to write several songs that we haven’t recorded. One of those that touches me deeply is: “Will You Marry Me.” I believe it was recorded on Lauren Talley’s first solo project. Musically, it doesn’t fit us, but wow, when I think of the message, it is deep.”
Griffin and Allman songs have garnered awards and accolades for the group, but this doesn’t make the Greater Vision men stand-offish or place themselves apart from their audience. On any given night, a concert attendee will find any of the men, or all three of them, at the product table. Griffin comments, “It’s always a treat for me to hear how a particular song we sang encouraged someone in some particular instance. There is nothing more encouraging to a writer than to hear what God did with a song in someone’s life – especially when you are looking them in the eye!” Read more »
Tags: Cathedrals, Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, gospel music, Greater Vision, Hymn Sings, Matt Baker, Rodney Griffin, sgn scoops
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Pigeon Forge TN – SGN Scoops is pleased to announce the hosts of the 2015 Diamond Awards in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dr. Jeff Goff and Little Jan Buckner-Goff will be the guest hosts for the awards ceremony to be held on November 3, 2015 during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center.
“Little Jan and I are truly excited to emcee the Diamond Awards program in Pigeon Forge this year, November 3, 2015,” said Dr. Goff recently. “We can hardly wait to see our fellow artists and so many of our Gospel fans at this prestigious event. Mark your calendar and plan to be there with us.”
Coastal Media CEO and publisher of SGN Scoops, Rob Patz, is also excited to have Jerry and Little Jan at Creekside this fall. “The Goffs are known and loved by so many in Southern Gospel, and they have such a way of engaging an audience, that I know this year’s Diamond Awards will be truly special. Please join us for this memorable event!”
Creekside Gospel Music Convention is being held on November 2nd through 5th at Pigeon Forge, and fans are encouraged to reserve their tickets early. For ticket and lodging information, contact Rob Patz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-920-4057. For more information visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/
Tags: 2015 Creekside Gospel Music Convention, 2015 Diamond Awards, Dr. Jerry Goff, Little Jan Buckner-Goff, Pigeon Forge TN, rob patz, sgn scoops
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Today on SGN Scoops Fast Five we feature The Griffith Family, a mixed Southern Gospel trio with Mansion Entertainment. Tony Griffith, his wife, Julie and friend Amber Smith have created a rich vocal sound that is Southern, progressive and all their own.
Here is what we found out about this delightful trio:
SGN: What is your latest CD and single release?
Griffiths: Our new cd is self-titled The Griffith Family. Our radio single is called “I’m Here Because Jesus Went There.” One cool thing about this album is that we did it ourselves in our own studio and produced the record ourselves.
SGN: What is your favorite thing to find backstage?
Griffiths: Our favorite thing to find backstage at a concert venue would be food and a place to relax before a concert.
Griffiths: Our favorite person in Southern Gospel music is Adam Crabb. We have known Adam for years but just recently reconnected. Not only is he a talented singer but we believe that he really loves the Lord and lives what he sings about.
SGN: What would you be doing if you weren’t singing?
Griffiths: It’s difficult for us to really say what we would be doing if we didn’t sing. We don’t like to think about it. If we had to choose: Tony would probably be a musician, Julie would probably be a nurse and Amber would be a counselor of some sort.
SGN: What song do you wish you were the first one to record?
Griffiths: We would have loved to record “Your Cries Have Awoken the Master” first just because it really describes a lot of our testimony.
Find The Griffith Family online HERE
Find The Griffith Family on Facebook HERE
Tags: Christian Music, Fast Five, gospel music, sgn scoops, southern gospel, The Griffith Family
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