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Daniel Riley of Gold City gets good news

Written by Staff on August 15, 2019 – 1:53 pm -

Daniel Riley of Gold CityAs many of you know, Daniel Riley of Gold City had a severe injury from a fall off of a ladder on July 23, 2019. He suffered a broken wrist and complicated broken ankle.

Daniel has already undergone surgeries and wound care and therapy for these injuries.

Please Pray For Daniel Riley

Please Pray For Daniel Riley

Today, he posted some good news on Facebook:

UPDATE Thursday, August 15, 2019

My surgery on Wednesday, August 14, was successful. The surgeon was able to work around the ankle wound and make the necessary repair to the left ankle fracture, and he feels a good result was achieved. As soon as the doctor says it’s ok for me to travel, I plan to be back on the bus and stage with Gold City. I’m not sure how long that will be, but I am so very thankful for that light at the end of the tunnel from this accident. Thank you so much for praying for me and Gold City as they continue to tour and share the gospel. See you soon!

Please keep praying for Daniel Riley.

August 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

August 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

For more on Gold City quartet, click HERE.

Scott Brand of Gold City is featured in the August issue of SGNScoops magazine, in a story by Jimmy Reno.

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

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Meet Singer/Songwriter Don Stiles

Written by Staff on August 12, 2019 – 10:14 am -

Don StilesThe song “Three Story House” has been appearing on many radio and magazine charts for a few months, introducing the music and voice of Don Stiles to listeners across the nation. This talented artist is a songwriter, vocalist and instrumentalist who applies his expertise to both Southern and Country gospel music.

Stiles has been enjoying both genres of gospel music for many years.

“I first listened to gospel music watching the old Gospel Singing Jubilee with the Florida Boys, Happy Goodmans and the Hinsons,” recalls Stiles. “I was about 15 years old when I sang in our local church in Lepanto, Arkansas. Me and my friend Mike Avery sang ‘Old Brush Arbors.'”

Stiles has always been a singer first, with the songwriting a later gift from God. He says the songs just come to him. This musical gentleman also plays the guitar, piano, harmonica and bass guitar, enabling him during the songwriting process.

Don Stiles“I have written between 400 and 500 songs I suppose,” says Stiles. “Two of my favorite songs I’ve written would have to be, ‘The Nail That Pierced My Savior’s Hand,’ and, ‘Satan Lost His Greatest Sinner.’ While I was singing one of these songs, my mother gave her heart to the Lord. While I sang the other song, a younger brother accepted Christ as his Savior as well. How awesome is that?”

Stiles enjoys the songwriting process and having someone to share in his writing. “My favorite cowriter would be my son, Chris. I also enjoy writing with my close friend Doyle Hobson,” says Stiles. His dream would include other writers as well. “I would love to write a song with Lindell Cooley or Bart Millard,” he mused.

All songwriters and vocalists have that one song that is their favorite, even one they wish they had written. Stiles’ is a classic gospel tune.

“‘What a Beautiful Day for the Lord to Come Again,” by Aaron Wilburn and Eddie Crook,” says Stiles. “Why, because no matter what’s going on in and around my life or the world on any given day, it is a ‘Beautiful Day for the Lord to Come Again.'”

Stiles would love to have his work performed by other artists and he names two great male communicator/vocalists: Russ Taff or Jason Crabb.

“’Three Story House’” would be the song,” Stiles notes. “Either one of these brothers would reach many more people with the message in the song than I will.”

Jantina de Haan-Baksteen talked to Stiles about his current release in the Beyond the Song SGNScoops series. For that article, please click HERE

Don StilesThe strong message in “Three Story House” and other Stiles songs displays his faith in Jesus Christ and belief in the Bible. A thorough knowledge of the word of God is a perfect foundation for a Christian songwriter, and a short conversation with Stiles reveals his commitment to the study of the Bible.

“I have several favorite scriptures,” says Stiles, “But one that comes to mind is Ephesians 6:10, which says, ‘…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.’ If I continue in His strength and power how can I lose?”

With all of the material he has written and sung, Stiles displays a versatility in his song type. He is on both Christian Country and Southern Gospel radio charts. So what kind of an artist is he?

“I wouldn’t categorize myself as strictly Southern Gospel or Christian Country as I am a mixture of both,” says Stiles. “I also have songs that wouldn’t be in either of these categories.”

“As far as explaining the difference I would just say that a Southern Gospel song has more of a traditional, quartet type sound in most cases,” explains Stiles. “Whereas, a Christian Country song would seem to be a bit more upbeat with steel guitar, fiddles, harmonicas. Both are powerful tools for spreading the Gospel of Christ.”

Stiles himself was impacted with the love of Jesus when he was young. “I first heard the gospel when I was a small lad living with my grandparents, as my grandmother was one praying saint for sure,” says Stiles. “She used to read the bible through at least four times each year. Even though I didn’t give my heart to Christ until several years later, the life she lived was very impactful to me.”

Don StilesWhy does Don Stiles travel, sing, and devote his life to impacting others with the gospel?

“I would be terrified to think of what my life would be like had I not met Jesus. Ever since my wife Kathy and my Uncle Sonny Smith invited me to a revival back in November 1974 and I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ, I have never been the same. The difference Jesus has made and still makes in my life is ‘all the difference.'”

For more information on Don Stiles click HERE

For more Gospel Music news read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Beyond the Song: the Mylon Hayes Family sings, “Resurrection Power”

Written by Staff on July 30, 2019 – 6:16 pm -

Beyond the Song with the Mylon Hayes Family singing, Resurrection PowerIn this edition of Beyond the Song, Jantina de Haan-Baksteen reached out to the Mylon Hayes Family.

Jantina says, “The impactful song, ‘Resurrection Power,’ caught my attention.” 

The Mylon Hayes Family is a gospel group with Mylon and Wendy Hayes, their twin sons Conner and Bailey, and daughter Kennedy. Here Jantina talks to them about this new release.

1. Tell us about the title of this new album, “Enjoy The Journey.”

We took it from the first radio single, “Joy on the Journey,” that we released from the album. The songs on this album take us on a journey through different situations we’ll face but through it all we hope you find “Joy on the Journey.”

2. I see that this album has 14 songs. Is there a special reason for an unusually large number of songs?

Truthfully, we just had a very difficult time narrowing down our songs because we were pitched so many great ones that had such great messages!

3.Resurrection Power,” penned by Rebecca Peck, is your second radio release off of the album, “Enjoy the Journey.” Please tell us about the message in this song.

This song talks completely about Jesus’ resurrection. Throughout history people were raised from the dead by prophets, or apostles, or by Jesus, but it is such an amazing thought that Jesus raised himself from the dead. Our God has “Resurrection Power!”

4. Any chance Connor, Bailey or Kennedy will write a song someday? 

I hope so. We’ll see. I have no doubt that they could.

5. Is something more you’d like the readers know about your ministry?

We just hope through the message of the songs we sing that you see Jesus and that you can fully trust Him with your life and anything you face.

Thank  you for taken us along  on your journey.

Mylon Hayes Family album Enjoy The JourneyFor samples of all the songs on the Mylon Hayes Family new album, “Enjoy The Journey,” go HERE.

The SGNScoops team wish the Mylon Hayes Family safe travels on their journey. You can find them on Facebook here and online here.

We hope you enjoy their new song, “Resurrection Power,” and request it often from your favorite radio program. Special thanks to the Mylon Hayes Family for participating in Beyond the Song.

Read the July SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Marlana VanHoose, “The first face I will see will be Jesus!”

Written by Staff on July 30, 2019 – 9:49 am -

Mariana VanHoose "The first face I will see will be Jesus!”

Marlana VanHoose plays the keyboard during a gospel concert. She says she is “God-taught.” (Photo furnished)

Blind since birth and small in stature, Marlana VanHoose’s powerful voice blesses many

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

It was more than fitting when Marlana VanHoose told me the first concert she ever attended was one by The Oak Ridge Boys.

“I was three years old,” she says before breaking into “Elvira, Elvira!” as we sat in a Lexington restaurant. I didn’t know she sang the legendary group’s most famous hit but I knew the 23-year-old singer could deliver a rousing version of a song the Oaks are also known for today.

The National Anthem.

Marlana, who was born with a condition known as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and has been blind from birth, burst on the scene after singing The National Anthem at a University of Kentucky women’s basketball game in 2012. The performance was posted on YouTube and since that time, Marlana has been in demand to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at various events across the country. She’s sung at Kentucky Wildcat basketball games and at various Major League Baseball and NFL games. She was also asked to sing in Cleveland during the NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

She’s even sung with President Donald Trump in attendance and has given the President some sound advice.

More on that later.

(According to the Center for Disease Control website, www.cdc.gov, CMV is a common virus that affects people of all ages. The website says, “Over half of adults by age 40 have been infected with CMV. Most people infected with CMV show no signs or symptoms. When a baby is born with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, it is called congenital CMV. About one out of every 200 babies is born with congenital CMV infection.  About one in five babies with congenital CMV infection will have long-term health problems.”)

It became apparent soon after she was born that Marlana would be one of those “one in five.” When she was just a few weeks old, it was determined that she was blind as her optic nerve had not formed. The prognosis for living past one year old was not good, but she made it only to be diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at age two.

Marlana is also very small in stature, causing many to think she is a pre-teen or in her early teens rather than a young woman in her 20s. But her ministry of one of a powerful voice, a powerful testimony and a mature knowledge of God’s word that overcomes any disability.

The blindness was a shock to Marlana’s parents, David and Teresa VanHoose, who live near Paintsville, Ky. “It was terrifying,” David says of the diagnosis of blindness. “It was scary. I had never been around anyone who was blind.”

But it wasn’t long before Marlana’s family knew she was going to be a blessing.

“She was rolling on the floor and humming ‘Jesus Loves Me,’” Teresa says. At age two, she was putting notes together to play melodies on a piano.

Marlana was living the words engraved on her necklace the day we met: “Never, never, never give up.”

Even if she only sang The National Anthem, Marlana would be an incredible inspiration. But her burning desire is to use her voice — and her life story — to lead people to Jesus Christ.

“God gave me this gift,” Marlana says, “and music is my passion. God called me to sing and he made me special for a reason. He made me little with a big voice.”

Marlana VanHooseThe seeds of Marlana’s ministry were sewn when her great aunt started taking her to church when she was three. She also spent much time with her great-grandparents, with whom she sang many of the old gospel hymns. David, who worked for the federal prison system, and Teresa, a special education teacher, were not attending church at the time, but that soon changed.

“She reinforced my faith,” David says with tears welling in his eyes.

“I was saved because of her,” Teresa adds, but Marlana quickly clarifies what her mother said.

“I didn’t save her. Jesus did,” Marlana says.

Mariana VanHoose "The first face I will see will be Jesus!”

It’s a ready answer from a young lady who is blessed by God and blesses people. And make no mistake, she’s a huge fan of gospel music, citing singer Shirley Caesar as a favorite. Marlana has sung with The Crabb Family and met Bill Gaither.As we talked for the better part of an hour, it became obvious that Marlana believes God continues to direct her ministry. She says she loves being blind because God made her that way and she wants to stay that way. Remember that she learned to put melodies together on a piano at age two? She eventually learned to form chords and now plays the piano or a keyboard to accompany herself in concerts. It prompted nationally-known journalist Maria Shriver to ask Marlana if she was self-taught. Marlana answered, “No, I’m God-taught.”

“Bill, he’s pretty nice and pretty funny,” Marlana remembers.

She says she loves being blind because God made her that way and she wants to stay that way until she gets to Heaven. “The first face I will see will be Jesus,” she says.

And as we talked about her upcoming concert at Graefenburg Christian Church, Marlana said, “I am excited to be able to sing at your church.”

But that brings us full circle to Marlana’s rendition of The National Anthem. She loves her country and has been featured at many military events. She says she would eventually like to schedule an event to be held near the Pentagon on the Fourth of July. “I would like to involve all kinds of churches as one nation,” she says.

Marlana VanHooseIt comes back to the advice she gave President Trump when she met him in 2017.

Marlana remembers the moment, “I told him Jesus Christ and God’s Word are what will make America great again.”

For other appearances by Marlana VanHoose, see www.littlemarlana.com.  We will also post her appearances in Kentucky and surrounding states on the calendar at KentuckySings.com

By John Herndon

First published by Kentucky Sings! on June 6th, 2019

John Herndon is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine

John Herndon is a writer for SGNScoops Magazine and also has a website called KentuckySings. John is a Kentucky native who was raised listening to gospel music. As a child, the Sunday morning routine always included the Gospel Singing Jubilee and his summers were filled with all-day-singings-and-dinner-on-the-ground listening to local groups just about every Sunday. He remembers seeing The Prophets at his county fair when he was seven years old and eventually, he became a huge fan of The Oak Ridge Boys, The Imperials and J.D. Sumner and the Stamps. John spent 20 years in the located ministry and during this time, he began writing local sports for The Anderson News in Lawrenceburg, Ky. For the last 16 years, he has been the full-time sports editor of that paper. John has won over 100 awards from the Kentucky Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and Landmark Community Newspapers. He loves listening to gospel music or playing one of his guitars. John lives in Lawrenceburg with his wife, Stephanie, and 17-year-old daughter. He has three grown children and four grandchildren.

For more Gospel Music news read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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New Speer Family continues to “Let the Songs Go On” again

Written by Staff on July 29, 2019 – 1:27 pm -

New Speer Family striving to “Let the Songs Go On” again

New Speer Family continues to “Let the Songs Go On” again

Brian Speer just knew he needed to get back on stage.

 

It didn’t matter that it had been 36 years since he stopped traveling with his legendary family. It didn’t matter that he really didn’t know what direction he would take or who would sing with him. He just knew he needed to keep the Speer Family legacy alive.

 

“After all of Brian’s people were gone, he woke up one day and said, ‘I think we need to do a quartet,’” Brian’s wife, Allison Speer, says. “It shocked me! We had never talked about it and had never discussed it.”

 

Ben Speer

Ben Speer

But something had been burning in Brian’s heart ever since his uncle, Ben Speer, and his aunt, Rosa Nell Speer-Powell, the last surviving members of the Speer Family, died in 2017. He knew someone should carry on the legacy of the Southern gospel pioneers who were active from 1921-1998.

 

Brian Speer of the New Speer Family

Brian Speer

With Allison, who has had a successful solo ministry for 35 years, fully on board with the idea, the New Speer Family was born, first performing last summer in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.

 

We caught up with the New Speer Family before their concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church in central Kentucky, less than an hour’s drive from Allison’s childhood home of Parksville. 

Read more »


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Roger Talley joins the Crossroads Music team

Written by Staff on July 24, 2019 – 6:31 am -

Roger Talley joins the Crossroads Music team

Roger Talley joins the Crossroads Music team

Arden, North Carolina (July 22, 2019) — With years of experience as a producer and awarded Southern Gospel artist with his group, The Talleys, Roger Talley brings his expertise to Crossroads Music as he joins the A&R team with a focus on artists on the Horizon, Sonlite, and Skyland labels.

“I am excited to join the A&R team at Crossroads and thank Chris White and Mickey Gamble for giving me this opportunity. I have worked with them for several years as part of The Talleys and on recording projects by other artists,” says Talley. “I am looking forward to working with the incredible staff and sharing my years of experience in recording and artist development with some of today’s most talented up and coming Southern Gospel artists.”

The Talleys sing in the rain in their "Grab Your Umbrella" video

The Talleys sing in the rain in their
“Grab Your Umbrella” video

Talley, an East Tennessee native, is an accomplished pianist, producer, and arranger. He began playing piano at a young age and joined The Hoppers after graduating from college. After that, he launched The Talleys with his brother Kirk and wife Debra, which took the Southern Gospel industry by storm and became one of the most sought after mixed groups in the genre with their groundbreaking arrangements. The group took a break from touring in 1993, but reformed three years later and now consists of Talley, Debra and their daughter Lauren.

Also known for his work in the recording studio, Talley has produced projects for artists such as Jake Hess, Ivan Parker, The John Hagee Family, The Collingsworth Family, The Kingsmen and Lauren Talley. He’s been awarded for his achievements from the Southern Gospel Music Guild Harmony Honors in 2004 and the SGN Music Awards in 2007 for Producer of the Year. Talley is also instrumental with the Abraham Productions team that puts on some of the largest concert events in the industry (Singing In The Sun and Gatlinburg Gathering).

“I am thrilled we are bringing Roger on to our A&R team. I’ve known Roger since I was a teenager and have always had a great working relationship and friendship with him,” says Crossroads’ Greg Bentley. “As Crossroads focuses on our Horizon-Sonlite-Skyland artists, his knowledge of what can make an artist successful as they grow their ministry will be valuable to many of our upcoming artists as well as our established ones. I also know he is highly looked upon in the Gospel Music industry for his business skills and the way he relates with other artists. Bringing Roger in to work with us will leave no question where Crossroads stands on the future of the Gospel side of the overall music industry.”

About Crossroads:
Crossroads is a market leader in the Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, and Americana fields. Established in 1993, following the combination of Horizon Music Group and Sonlite Records, Crossroads now operates several divisions including Crossroads Label Group (Horizon Records, Sonlite Records, Mountain Home Music, Skyland Records, Pisgah Ridge Records, Crossroads Records, and Organic Records), Crossroads Distribution, Crossroads Radio Promotions, Crossroads Publishing Group and Crossroads Recording Studios. Led by a strong executive team of Christian music and Bluegrass music veterans, Crossroads combines cutting-edge technology with creative innovation to connect fans with our artists’ life-changing music.

July 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

July 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

For more Gospel Music news, read the SGNScoops Magazine every month!

Read the July SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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The Torchmen celebrate 50 years with guests, Greater Vision

Written by Staff on July 6, 2019 – 7:03 am -

Torchmen 50th Anniversary with Greater VisionThe Torchmen Quartet from Ontario, Canada, are celebrating 50 years in gospel music this year. Over the years they have made many friends and fans. Among these are gospel music artists, Greater Vision.

Greater Vision Adds New Vocalist

Greater Vision

Greater Vision will be appearing with the Torchmen Quartet on Sunday September 8th, 2019, for the Torchmen’s 50th Anniversary celebration concert.

Torchmen appeared recently at NQC. Photo by Paul Marker

Torchmen appeared recently at NQC.Photo by Paul Marker

This event will be held at Glenridge Bible Chapel, St. Catharines, Ontario, at 6:30 pm. The concert is free. An offering will be received during the evening.

Everyone is invited to help the Torchmen celebrate this incredible achievement. This event is being held as part of the Henley Christian Music Festival concert series.

For more information and directions go HERE.

About the Torchmen:

For 50 years the Torchmen have been celebrated as Canada’s Gospel Quartet. Members include Mike Moran, Jon Hisey, Sandy McGregor, and Jeff Tritton. They regularly travel across Canada and the United States, and have many awards and accolades to their credit. To visit them online go here.

About Greater Vision:

This male trio, consisting of Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin, Chris Allman, and Jon Epley, is the most awarded trio in the United States. From Morristown, Tenn., Greater Vision was formed in 1990 and continues to perform over 160 concerts every year across America, Canada, and abroad. For more information go HERE.

Henley Christian Music Festival. Torchmen 50th Anniversary. Greater Vision)More About the Henley Christian Music Festival:

The Henley Christian Music Festival is a ministry of GBC, and is a year-round festival that brings the best in Southern Gospel music, and various genres of music to St. Catharines. The feature event is the Summer Series. This event runs from the last Sunday is June to the first Sunday in September and features a concert every Sunday night.  We will be serving BBQ at 5:30 on each night as well.  Every concert throughout the year starts at 6:30pm. There is no admission fee or tickets required for every event.  A free will offering is accepted. (From henleycmf.ca, July 6, 2019) For more information go HERE.

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Icon Destinations Launches with Slate of Trips to Holy Land featuring Lauded and Loved Personalities

Written by Staff on June 21, 2019 – 6:25 pm -

Icon Destinations

Icon Destinations

Once In a Lifetime Trips feature Rebecca St. James, Avalon, Jason Crabb, Russ Taff, Selah, Jaci Velasquez and more!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 21, 2019) – Icon Destinations, a subsidiary of Da Silva International, was announced today by Rui Da Silva. Da Silva is president of the company, a multi-national and multi-faceted sports and entertainment/media company with main offices in Los Angeles, Santo Domingo and Edmonton.

Icon DestinationsDa Silva started Icon Destinations to give people the ultimate experience of going to The Holy Land with their favorite Christian artist/personality. Da Silva says: “Icon Destinations was created as an “ultimate bucket-list” destination company and I have found that most Christians list visiting the Holy Land at the top of their bucket list. So, what better way to do that than going there and also being able to watch their favorite Christian artist perform live? It’s an experience like none other! The other reason we started this was that for many Christians, visiting the Holy Land was a challenge financially. I feel we have succeeded in pricing the trips in a way that allow more Christians to be able to make these trips without having to lower the quality of any of the amenities. We are excited!”

Also announced today was the opening of the Nashville, TN office exclusively to handle Icon Destinations. Kevin Stevens, a veteran artist/tour manager, has been appointed as Vice President of Icon Group and will helm the Nashville team. Over the last 26 years, Kevin Stevens has become one of the most experienced and successful artist/tour managers in Christian music, handling the careers and tours of Michael English, Avalon, Kathy Troccoli, Natalie Grant, Sandi Patty, 4Him, and many more.

Icon DestinationsStevens comments: “I’m always looking for great new opportunities that I can be part of. Icon Destinations has allowed me to use my 20 plus years of relationships in the industry in a new and exciting way. I love what I do and this will only add to the already fulfilling moments I’ve had.”

Additional staff for the Nashville-based operations was also announced. Frank Shelton Jr. is joining the team as the Director of Speaking Engagements. Having worked for two decades on Capitol Hill in some of the highest levels of government, Frank brings a unique perspective along with a wealth of experience and wisdom to the team. Among his career highlights are: member of Congress in the House Leadership, bi-partisan figured on the floor of the United States Senate, aide to the Governor of Maryland, among other positions. He serves on the advisory board with professional athletes in the fight against human trafficking and has served as the International Evangelism Chairman for the 2012 Olympics outreach in London England and so much more! Frank says: “I am thrilled to serve with Icon Destinations assisting individuals to “walk in Jesus’ footsteps” in the Holy Land.”

Icon DestinationsAlso joining the Nashville-based team is Derek Simonis as Social Media Director and Rebecca Grice as Marketing Manager.

Initial trips announced include Rebecca St. James, Avalon, Jason Crabb, Russ Taff, Selah, Jaci Velasquez with more to be announced soon.

Icon Destinations – experience a trip you’ll never forget!

Connect with Icon Destinations:
Phone: 1-800-679-9201
www.icondestinations.com
www.facebook.com/Icon.Destinations
www.instagram.com/icon.destinations
www.twitter.com/IconDestination


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The King’s Heralds: Nine decades and going Strong

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

King's Heralds

King’s Heralds

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

 

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Jeff Pearles of the King's Heralds

Jeff Pearles

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

By Robert York

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in April 2019.

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David Staton says, “Thank You, Dad!”

Written by Staff on June 7, 2019 – 6:03 pm -

David Staton asks: Who are you?

David Staton

The Story behind “Thank You Dad” By David Staton

I have been blessed through the years to write songs for just about every well-known southern gospel artist in our field. Not long ago, I was being interviewed and the interviewer asked me if I had a favorite song that I had written. I didn’t even hesitate when I told him which one was my favorite.  I told him that it was a song that most folks have never heard. Since then, I have added it to my live concerts because the reaction is always the same. I was so fortunate to be raised by Godly parents.  I am one of five kids and we have always been very close. We grew up singing together and had parents that not only poured the word of God into us but showed us through their lives how God loves us unconditionally.

In 2004, I received a phone call from my mom that stopped me in my tracks. She told me that my dad had been showing signs of being confused and disoriented and they were going to the hospital to have a brain scan done. Well, we all began to pray and a few hours later, my mom called again. She told me that the scan had shown a tumor. They said it was operable, but my dad was 71 years old and at his age, the chances of it being a late stage of cancer were likely.

They scheduled surgery for a few days later. I remember telling Mike LeFevre and the guys that I needed some time off. I went to Ohio for dad’s surgery. The day before the surgery, my mom told all of us kids that dad wanted to write each of us a letter telling us how proud he was of us and how much he loved us.

I suggested that rather than dad writing a letter to all of us, that we should write a letter to him telling him how much we love him and how thankful we are that God placed us in his care and allowed us to be raised by such Godly parents. My dad made it through the surgery and we were told that the tumor was stage four (the most advanced) and more than likely, another tumor would come back and be very aggressive.

I watched my dad who had always been so strong, become incredibly weak as he fought so hard to beat the odds. My dad lived for almost one year to the day of his surgery and passed away on September 10, 2005. During that last year, I went to visit my mom and dad as much as I possibly could.

I remember sitting in the living room where us kids were raised, next to my dad’s hospital bed and talking to him and my mom. I would ask questions that most kids never ask their parents. How did you meet? Who introduced you? What did you like to do before five kids came into your life and messed everything up?

At night, I would write down everything I had learned about my parents and began working on this song. I guess the reason this song is so special to me is that from an emotional standpoint, it is the life story of my dad. From a writer’s perspective, the song is both chronologically and structurally sound.

There is a story about each one of the lines in the song, so I’m going to share the lyric first and then, I will tell you a little bit about each line that made me include it and why it’s so special. I’d like to wish every dad a Happy Father’s Day and I hope you enjoy the stories that inspired this song. To hear the song, go to www.davidstaton.com.

THANK YOU, DAD

Verse 1:
He was born in 1932
Where the coal was black and the grass was blue
That Kentucky home’s still standing there today
The way they grew up was hard to believe
They were lucky to have shoes on their feet
The only thing they did harder than work was pray

Verse 2:
Then on a sunny day in fifty-five
He met the lady that changed his life
They vowed to share a life and his last name
Not much hope for a family
The doctor said kids just couldn’t be
But I’m one of five that sure would like to say

Chorus:
Thank you, Dad,
For giving us all more than we needed
For teaching us all to trust in Jesus
When others tried to make us fall, you taught us how to stand
Thank you, Dad,
For bustin’ our butts when we were bad
For holding us close when we were sad
And when we got older for being the best friend that we’ve ever had
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, dad.

Bridge:
Now when it comes to wisdom, no one has any more than you
I just hope my kids look at me the way I look at you

Thank you, Dad,
For teaching us all how to live our lives
For showing us boys how to love our wives
There’s nothing we could say or do to ever pay you back
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, Dad,

Here is the breakdown and story behind the lyric:

THANK YOU, DAD

Verse 1:
He was born in 1932
Where the coal was black and the grass was blue
That Kentucky home’s still standing there today
(My dad was born during the depression in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky.  The government declared that it was the poorest area of the country.  When we were young, my dad would tell us stories about how poor they were and the things they had to do to live.  They were so extreme that we always thought he was exaggerating, but when we got older, he took us to the old house where he and 8 siblings were raised and we saw for ourselves just how poor they were.)
The way they grew up was hard to believe
They were lucky to have shoes on their feet
(This line is especially personal.  Each one of the kids got two pair of shoes a year.  One pair was to work in the fields and the other was to wear to school and church.  When my dad was very young, he had a younger brother named Tracy Wallace Staton.  While he was still an infant, he became very ill and died.  My dad had outgrown his shoes and they were too poor to buy him another pair, so he had to wear a pair of his sister’s shoes to the funeral.  My dad did not cry very often, but every time he ever shared that story with anyone, he would cry.)
The only thing they did harder than work was pray
(My dad’s parents were Christians and raised all of their kids in church, so prayer was not just a casual thing they did before a meal, it was a means of survival.  I saw how far they had to carry buckets of water from the stream to their house just to take a bath and how far they had to walk to school every day in the blazing heat or in snow.  It is hard to imagine how they ever survived.)

Verse 2:
Then on a sunny day in fifty-five
He met the lady that changed his life
They vowed to share a life and his last name
(My dad and much of his family moved north to try to find work and escape their surroundings in order to eventually have a better life.  Shortly after moving to Hamilton, OH, one of my dad’s brothers and his wife introduced him to my mom.  After I finished the song, my mom said to me, “You know, it may have been 1956 when we met.”  I told her it was too late because 1955 was a rhyming line in the song and we had already recorded it.  They married in 1958.)
Not much hope for a family
The doctor said kids just couldn’t be
But I’m one of five that sure would like to say
(When my mom was a young girl, she had rheumatic fever, and the doctors told her that she would never be able to have kids.  Well God had other plans because they ended up having five kids.  I’m the middle child and I have two older brothers and a younger sister and brother.  My parents took us to gospel concerts and we grew up singing together.)

Chorus:
Thank you, Dad,
For giving us all more than we needed
(My dad never made a lot of money.  He worked so hard and there was a period of time that he was unemployed.  I can remember him doing work and different jobs and I couldn’t believe how hard he would work. Looking back, I’m amazed at how God provided for us and exceeded our basic needs.)
For teaching us all to trust in Jesus
(Mom and dad raised us in church and we were all saved at a very young age.  My dad was a Sunday school teacher in our church and he would study the Bible every night before he went to bed.  My mom told us that when my dad was first saved, he got a bible and he and my mom would stay up reading and studying until they would fall asleep.  They pursued knowledge and wisdom through the scriptures and then they poured it into us kids.)
When others tried to make us fall, you taught us how to stand
(I could tell you countless stories of how mom and dad taught us to stand up for ourselves and for each other when we were kids.  If we didn’t defend ourselves and each other when we were in school, we would be in trouble when we got home.)
Thank you, Dad,
For bustin’ our butts when we were bad
(This line is self-explanatory. We all knew that dad’s belt had another purpose than just holding his pants up.  We all still have signs of how those spankings affected us.  Respect for others, self-control, thankfulness, kindness and other crazy, unheard of things are still side effects from those spankings.)
For holding us close when we were sad
(Right alongside of the discipline was unconditional love.  When we were sad, hurting or discouraged, it was mom and dad who made us feel loved and who gave us the self-confidence to reach for our dreams.)
And when we got older for being the best friend that we’ve ever had
(I can’t tell you the times after we were grown that each one of us kids would call my dad for advice.  There isn’t a day goes by when we all wish we could pick up the phone or go see him.)
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, Dad

Bridge:
Now when it comes to wisdom, no one has any more than you
I just hope my kids look at me the way I look at you
(With kids of my own, I can’t tell you how many times I stop and think about how my dad would have handled a certain situation.  I really try to follow his example of being a dad.  I sure hope my kids look back and think of me like I think of my dad.)

Thank you, Dad
For teaching us all how to live our lives
For showing us boys how to love our wives
(I’ve heard it said that the best thing a dad can do for their kids is to love their mom.  My dad really loved my mom and it showed in what he did for her and how he treated her.  That’s one of those behaviors that you don’t realize who is teaching you or how they’re teaching you until much later in life.)
There’s nothing we could say or do to ever pay you back
So for all the times we never told you when we had the chance
Thank you, Dad
(We always knew that mom and dad loved us.  They told us and more importantly, they showed us.  We told our mom and dad that we loved them over and over again, but after my dad went to be with the Lord, I thought of so many times I should have told him when I didn’t.  If you have a mom and dad that are still with you, go hug them and thank them for loving you.)

This was the last song we played at my dad’s funeral.  After moving to Hamilton, OH, my dad worked for one company and retired after 35 years.  At my dad’s visitation, over 1500 people filed through the funeral home to pay their last respects.  I heard a great preacher say once that you will know the people who you have really made a mark on because they will cry at your funeral.  Well that day, there were a lot of tears shed because so many would miss my dad.   But through the tears, there was also celebrating because we know where my dad is today!

By David Staton

Listen below to “Thank You Dad”

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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