Bev McCann

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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Autumn Nelon Clark is a Southern Gospel Sweetheart

Written by Staff on October 18, 2017 – 7:44 am -

Autumn Nelon Clark with the Nelons at the Dove Awards. Photo by Craig Harris

Autumn Nelon Clark with the Nelons at the Dove Awards. Photo by Craig Harris

Most individuals dream of living a life that will make this world a better place. They hope that they can leave a legacy behind that reflects a life of positive influence. This dream is one that Rex Nelon accomplished. It was his vision 30 years ago, which sparked the national ministry of the Nelons. It was also his influence that helped begin the careers of some of Gospel Music’s most beloved artists, such as Karen Peck Gooch and Janet Paschal.  

 

For years, Rex Nelon’s daughter, Kelly, sang alto alongside him. Now, Kelly sings with her two beautiful daughters, Amber and Autumn, and her husband, Jason Clark. It is the legacy of this Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame inductee that is still being lived out through his daughter and granddaughters. I had the privilege of interviewing Autumn Nelon Clark, Kelly’s youngest daughter.  


Born on January 20, 1997, Autumn is now 20 years old. While she has always been behind the scenes of her family’s career, she has recently taken on the role of singer/mandolin player for the group.

 

Autumn Nelon Clark with her family, the Nelons

Autumn Nelon Clark with her family, the Nelons

“For a while it was just the three of them – my mom, dad and sister,” Amber says. “But a few years ago, my dad got sick, and I had to fill in for him. I’ve been up there ever since.”

 

While Autumn has watched her family walk onto stages all of her life, it never made it easier when it was her turn to finally take the stage. The young lady confesses that it was more than a little intimidating for her to sing in front of people for the first time.  

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Joseph Habedank to Perform with Reba McEntire at 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards

Written by Staff on October 14, 2017 – 5:56 am -

Joseph Habedank

Joseph Habedank

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 12, 2017) – Joseph Habedank is preparing to share the stage with an international bonafide superstar – Reba McEntire. Habedank, who wrote the title track to McEntire’s latest release, Sing It Now, will join the beloved star on stage to perform with her during the 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards to be held on October 17, 2017 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. TBN will exclusively air the awards show on October 22, 2017 at 8 PM CT.

Joseph Habedank to Perform with Reba McEntire at 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards

Joseph Habedank to Perform with Reba McEntire at 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards

The special performance comes on the heels of his win for Favorite Soloist of the Year during the Singing News Fan Awards at NQC 2017 just a few weeks ago and a busy year for Habedank.

“I am absolutely overjoyed to be sharing the stage with Reba McEntire,” Habedank said. “I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time and it’s going to be a special honor to sing with her.”
The performance details will be a surprise as producers of the show are keeping everything under wraps until the night of the appearance.
The GMA Dove Awards celebrate the contributions of artists from every style of Christian/Gospel music. Top nominated artists include Zach Williams, Lauren Daigle, Chris Tomlin, Kirk Franklin and NEEDTOBREATHE. For more information, visit www.DoveAwards.com.
For more information about Joseph Habedank, visit www.JosepHabedank.com.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here
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The Akins: Singing To The Heart

Written by Staff on October 11, 2017 – 11:12 am -

The Akins

The Akins

David Akin, a man called of God, is a preacher, musician, singer and father of three boys. His journey started 30 years ago when God called his name while he was leading praise and worship from a piano at his home church, Harp’s Crossing Baptist in Fayetteville, Ga.. For a few years, he worked with preaching evangelists, leading choirs and singing special music. When his boys became three, five and seven, God laid it on his heart to go out on his own and form a family ministry. The Akins immediately started singing, never had any stage fright, and never looked back.

Some years earlier, David had been with a friend who had lost his dad, a well-known evangelist that had traveled worldwide. That night, as he watched the tears run down his friend’s face, he felt compelled to go to his room, where he fell on his knees and asked God not to let him be the one who travels the world and doesn’t get to spend time with his children.

 

“I believed that I could win the whole world to Jesus, but if I didn’t have time for my own, I would have messed up on the most important thing that God put me here to do,” David says. “That night, I know that God heard a brokenhearted dad’s prayer. My boys began to show interest in singing and playing musical instruments and began to flourish at an amazing rate. Only God could have done what was done in our family, and I give Him all the glory.”

 

The AkinsIn 1990, the Akins sang their first song in public. David performed with his sons – Davey, who played bass, Nick and Eli. After 19 years, God called Davey and led him to leave the ministry and go to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

“I always want my kids to be exactly where God wants them to be,” David says. “Davey was feeling that God wanted him to work with men hooked on pornography and (warn) young men the dangers of pornography. We don’t feel like we lost a bass player but that we gained another minister going out from our family.”

The AkinsThe Akins’ ministry continues with David, Nick and Eli, singing and playing many instruments, leading revivals and concerts. Eli and his wife write almost all of the original songs that the group records. Their latest recording, “Eyes on the Road,” includes 10 songs written by this talented couple. It is scheduled to be released on Aug. 27 at the Akins Harps Homecoming at Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

 

David confesses that with all of the concerts the group is doing, there is always an embarrassing moment on stage. At one concert, he realized in the middle of their first song that his fly was open. He couldn’t even turn around because the choir was behind backing them up. He finally found the perfect opportunity to accidently-on-purpose drop his mic so that he could quickly close his zipper.

“I don’t think that it was successful, people noticed anyway,” he admits.

If God hadn’t led them into the ministry what would they be doing?

“Who knows … I am a do-it-yourselfer,” David shares. “I love taking on a project, doing research and completing it. I’m sure there would have been plenty of things that I might have tried if God had not chosen me for this.”

Nick would probably record other people in their recording studio. God has really blessed him with an amazing ability to hear things in the mix-downs that no one else can hear. He would continue writing songs also.

The AkinsEli is a jack of all trades. He not only plays almost every instrument that he picks up, but he has built several guitars that he plays on stage and is an amazing photographer. He also would like to have his own restaurant some day as he loves cooking and smoking meat.

David is currently writing a book entitled “You’ve Brought Us This Far.” It is about his life and family and all the miracles that God has performed over the years to bring them to this point. He hopes to finish it someday. Nick records young artists from time to time, and Eli and his wife Whitney shoot photos and videos for realtors in Atlanta to assist with home sales.

Being Bill Gaither fans, they would like to sing on a Gaither video and share a meal with him. Dave said he would want his kids and the world to be able to say that David Akin was the same off stage as he was on stage, like their song, “My Stage Was an Altar.”

The Akins“I recently had the opportunity to share a conference with the Akins,” Dr. Jerry Vines says. “My, what a blessing this talented father and young men are. They play many instruments and sing beautifully. But, most important, they sing to the heart. We are in great need of musicians who are not only musically superior, but (who are) also spiritually sensitive. The Akins are both. If you ever have the opportunity, please hear them and use them in your meetings.”

Photographs courtesy of the Akins and Robert York.

By Robert York

The AkinsFirst published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2017

 

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Kevin Mills: Changes, Bees and Serving God

Written by Staff on October 10, 2017 – 12:12 pm -

Kevin Mills: Changes, Bees and Serving God

Kevin Mills: Changes, Bees and Serving God

I first met up with Kevin Mills online when I was researching Canadian Gospel Music artists. At that time, the Gospel Music Association of Canada had nominated his debut self-titled album for Southern Gospel Album of the Year 2006. Since that time, Mills relocated to the United States, married his sweetheart Amanda and ended up on Virginia Beach during Hurricane Sandy.

The Mills have weathered many storms, both weather-related and personally, and now make their home in Rochester, Washington. They are owners of Mills Diner, Hive 5 Bees, and Kevin has just released his current album, “God, Family & Country,” with Song Garden Music Group. This busy vocalist took a moment to help me catch up with his busy world.

Kaleb Powell did a full review of Mills’ new album which can be found in the October 2017 SGNScoops Magazine here. Mills says he is pleased with his solo project. “It has better flow and focus in its musical style,” says Mills. “We really focused on songs that told stories and also represented spirituality in a very non-threatening way. It was great working with Gus Gaches and Song Garden Music Group again – it’s because of them that the project was possible and ended up so excellent.”

Kevin Mills is originally from Canada

Kevin Mills is originally from Canada

Mills loves all the songs on this country-flavored, smooth-as-honey album. However, one song, in particular, stands out. “‘In God We Still Trust’ seems to be very timely for our country. I’m seeing a spiritual longing within our nation that is very encouraging,” says Mills.

This new album represents a change for this vocalist. Many readers may remember Mills from Keepers of the Faith quartet, out of Puyallup, Wash. when he filled their bass position for several years. That tenure also included an appearance on the NQC stage in 2014. However, Mills is now performing as a solo artist. “I spent almost three wonderful years with Keepers of the Faith Quartet and retired from them in January of this year,” explains Mills. “They provided me with a great opportunity to grow professionally and vocally and I’m very grateful for the time we worked together.”

Kevin Mills with Keepers of the Faith quartet

Kevin Mills with Keepers of the Faith quartet

Retirement from a busy quartet’s traveling schedule does not mean a slower timetable for Mills. The singer with a voice like honey has recently returned to a former love: Beekeeping. “I love my bees,” says Mills. “I’m going on almost 18 years of beekeeping. I began at age 13 and ended up being mentored by some of the largest commercial beekeepers in Canada. It’s a fascinating industry and one that’s crucial to the majority of our food supply. Levi from Keepers of the Faith actually got me back into it last year. The demand for bees on the west coast blew me away and I struggled to keep up. This year was the same, consequently, it’s ended up being an accidental business but one that I’m rather familiar with from prior experience – plus it keeps me sweet.”

Kevin MillsA huge part of what keeps Mills sweet is his wife Amanda and their daughters, Brooklyn and Meagan. Another large part of their lives is Mills Diner – The Local Breakfast and Lunch Place. It may seem strange that a singer would transition into a diner owner, but Kevin says that is not so. “ My wife introduced me to the food/hospitality industry when we first met (she owned a restaurant). I quickly fell in love with the people and the industry. Providentially we were provided with the opportunity to assume ownership of an existing restaurant. We are very blessed with the community and the staff that make Mills Diner what it is. Amanda (my wife) handles the day-to-day operations whereas my strengths lay more in strategic planning and HR management.” Mills concludes,” The hospitality industry is a great place to naturally present and represent God’s love and service to others.”

Kevin Mills and wife Amanda, daughters Brooklyn and Meagan

Kevin Mills and wife Amanda, daughters Brooklyn and Meagan

The Mills’ home seems to be a busy place with so much going on. Mills isn’t quite sure how he keeps all of the juggling balls aloft. “Can I get back to you when I figure it out?” Mills continues, “Seriously though it’s amazing how much you can do in a day when you set out with a daily plan/list and quickly execute from the highest priority items to the lowest. I still battle procrastination and if it wins I quickly become overwhelmed.”

“Amanda’s and (my) drive for business comes from a belief that business is a gift God gives us to help shape and influence people, society and ourselves,” Mills explains.

Although change appears to be the operative word in Mills’ life, he admits it hasn’t always been easy to adapt to the new normal. “It’s been a very interesting time spiritually – even though I feel closer and more real in my relationship with God then ever before – it’s been a very difficult transition. Even though I grasped intellectually the importance of placing my music career and passion in His hands – I really struggled with Him pulling me out of full-time music,” he admits.

Kevin Mills' diner“However, it’s very clear that this was the direction that He wanted both Amanda and I to go in and even though we still do not have total clarity of the ‘why’ – we certainly get glimpses of what He’s doing in us individually, as a couple, and in our customers/patrons through our different businesses,”says Mills.

Even mature Christians struggle with sometimes knowing the will of God during change. “I did struggle (and sometimes still do) with whether we’ve made the right decisions but upon reflection, it always circles to this is exactly where God wants us.

“As most everyone knows – life is tough – but as Zig Ziglar used to say, ‘If we’re tough on ourselves, life is going to be infinitely easier on us.’(Paraphrase.) I find my continued studies in Judaism and Christian theology along with reading authors such as Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Norman Vincent Peale and others – helps keep my mind (and body) in a good place. Discipline mentally, physically and spiritually is what it all comes down to.

Kevin Mills Diner“I definitely do not have this figured out but I’m having an awesome time learning and I continue to be amazed with how God walks right alongside us.”

Kevin Mills has experienced a lot and at the same time has learned so much about God and life. You can hear this in his voice and see it in his zest for life. Be sure to visit his Facebook page and the Mills Diner page. If you are in his area, drop by, have a sandwich and meet the Mills. Be sure to ask Kevin to sing you a song and ask him about his life of change. He might just show you his bees.

By Lorraine Walker

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

For more gospel music news click here.

For online gospel music click here.

Kevin Mills' bees

Kevin Mills’ bees


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The Exceptional Talent of Bo Hinson

Written by Staff on October 6, 2017 – 6:45 am -

The Original Hinsons: Ronnie, Chris Freeman, Larry, Bo Hinson
The Original Hinsons: Ronnie, Chris Freeman, Larry, Bo Hinson

If you’re a Southern Gospel Music fan, you’re definitely familiar with the legendary Hinson family. Their music and variations of Hinson groups has spanned decades; their sound and message as moving and relevant today as it was when they started.

Hinson connoisseurs will tell you quickly which one is their favorite singer, which is their favorite song, era, group, and hybrid. They can tell you the place, date, and lineup of each Hinson performance they’ve attended.

They talk of how they miss Kenny Hinson and how his son Weston sounds a lot like him when he sings. And you can certainly hear the resemblance.

Kenny Hinson

Kenny Hinson

Gospel singers everywhere, even those named Hinson, are compared to Kenny. And he was one of the greats, no doubt. His music lives on.

I don’t know the Hinsons, and have, unfortunately, never been to hear any of them sing in person, but have been blessed by their music since I became a Christian in 1980 at the age of 20.

It didn’t take me long to discover the Hinson music on the radio and a few Christian TV appearances. Now I enjoy them on the internet. Their songs minister, teach, and inspire Christians seeking a closer walk with Christ. They may never know how many lives they’ve touched, or how, with their music. But I suspect there are many more like me that have untold stories of how their Christian lives were enriched by Hinson music.

Weston Hinson and the Hinson Family

Untold until now, that is. I’m telling my Hinson story in this article.

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MONDAY NIGHT NQC MARKED BY UNITY AND PATRIOTISM 

Written by Staff on September 26, 2017 – 3:26 pm -

NQC Monday night. Photo by Craig Harris

 NQC mainstage. Photo by Craig Harris

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 25, 2017) – The first full night of NQC was marked by themes of unity and patriotism. The event welcomed the United States Army Quartet to perform the National Anthem. With respect and admiration, approximately 10,000 people showed honor and gratitude as the quartet performed. Immediately following the National Anthem, they were asked to perform “God Bless The USA.” It’s safe to say that the NQC audience demonstrated respect and honor for this great country we are blessed to live in and those who have fought for our freedom.

Photo by Craig Harris

Throughout the night, themes of unifying the body of Christ and love of God and country were included in many of the artist performances

Official NQC photos are being posted and shared via the official Facebook:www.Facebook.com/NQConline.
NQC Monday night. Photo by Craig Harris

Photo by Craig Harris

NQC, celebrating it’s 60th Anniversary this year, is being held at Pigeon Forge, TN’s LeConte Center until Saturday, September 30, 2017.

NQC was founded in 1957 by gospel music legend and former backup vocalist for Elvis Presley, J.D. Sumner who co-produced the event with James Blackwood. The annual convention was moved in later years to Nashville, TN and then to Louisville,

NQC Monday night. Photo by Craig Harris

 Photo by Craig Harris

KY where it was held for 20 years before moving to Pigeon Forge, TN recently.

For more information, visit www.NQConline.com.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

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Memories of Tony Greene on his induction to the SGMA Hall of Fame by Stephen Widener

Written by Staff on September 26, 2017 – 2:18 pm -

Tony Greene and The Greenes. Photo by Lois Quinn Clardy

Tony Greene and The Greenes. Photo by Lois Quinn Clardy

I got the call a few weeks ago that Tony Greene was going to be inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame posthumously on September 26.

I’m sure he would have been beside himself about what to say and who to thank.
I would like to share some memories with the readers of some things that some probably don’t know.  This might be a more tender-hearted than a lot of the stories you may have heard.
Tony always wanted to make someone smile or laugh, or both. Whether it be wearing “bubba” teeth to Wednesday night prayer meeting or sharing a ‘Dinky’ story.
The Greenes. John Jeffrey, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene and Jeff Snyder

The Greenes. John Jeffrey, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene and Jeff Snyder

One year at the Greenes’ Jubilee outdoor singing, he decided to take up an offering to help build a church in Panama.

I had a certain section along with 11 others, and carrying two KFC buckets through the tent was my job.
A little girl came running up to me as I was starting to go back to the stage and said, “All I have is 35 cents; can Jesus use it to help those people build their church?” I said, “Yes dear. Jesus will do more with 35 cents than we can imagine.”
Later, I told Tony what happened and he said, “Not only did she put a smile on my face, but on Jesus’ face also.”
Luke 21:2-4 Jesus tells of a widow who put in two mites. All she had. With all her heart.
[The following is reprinted from an earlier story published July 2, 2011 on SGMRadio.com by Stephen Widener]

We first met The Greenes in ’95. I knew of them and had heard them perform in concerts with my Aunt and Uncle. I first heard Tony sing when he was ten and he stole the show then.

In 1995, my brother Jonathan and I started singing and we were going faster than we could keep up. It wasn’t long until we were going from North Carolina into Tennessee and Virginia and other states to sing. We were glad but overwhelmed. People wanted us to record, so after much prayer and searching, I went to talk to Tim Greene and met all three of the Greenes. (Pictured: Jonathan Widener, George Younce, Stephen Widener).

Tony seemed to know me all my life, but that’s how he was. He didn’t know a stranger.

Jonathan got to meet the Greenes as well and started to going to Westview, the church they attended, on Wednesday nights. My brother told me about the meetings at Westview, and how he and Tony had become fast friends. In ’98, I changed jobs, and soon began going with Jonathan to Westview where we became part of the congregation. We still love Westview even though we don’t attend quite as much.

Jeff Snyder and Tony Greene

Jeff Snyder and Tony Greene

It was there where we became friends with Tony and Tim, and many others. Tony and Jonathan and I became best friends, and our stories are too numerous to tell. In the many adventures from the Greenes’ autobiography “Hold On”, my brother and I were there as well, living out several of those stories. The memories we have will live in our hearts and minds forever.

I’m glad Tony could talk personally with me, even before I became a preacher. We were close and I ended up helping him with his concerts and promotional efforts, so that’s how a lot of people came to know me. I always called Tony’s mother, Carolyn, “Mama” and still do.

My first funny story was the first time I was at their church on Wednesday night. Tony didn’t go out on the road until Thursday. Tony and his cousin, Gina, came in wearing false ‘Bubba’ teeth. No one knew he was wearing the teeth until the fourth song. Toward the end of the song, Tony was grinning like a ‘mule eating sawbriars’ and the whole church was rolling in laughter. Then Gina turned and was wearing them too. Six months later he did it again, but this time he was wearing vampire teeth with fake blood.

We would go out to eat and Tony would sing ‘Elvira’ driving up the road at a modest 90mph, and slow down to sing Conway Twitty’s ‘Linda on My Mind’.

The Greenes. Jeff Snyder, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene, John Jeffrey

The Greenes. Jeff Snyder, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene, John Jeffrey

When TaRanda first joined the Greenes, she and Tony fought like cats and dogs. We wouldn’t have known they would end up married at the time, except Tim and Carolyn somehow knew.

Tony had gotten out of a relationship that was difficult for him, but he hid it well. There were other girls he was interested in, but once TaRanda or ‘Daisy’ started taking a liking to ‘Buck’ (Tony), she would buy him Mountain Dew and mark her territory.

Tony was a great undertaker, he helped with my Grandma’s funeral, and the Greenes were there when she passed.

I remember when we were at Kirk Talley’s house and Kirk threw a great birthday party for himself. Tony saw a tie of Kirk’s he liked and nagged Kirk to death until Kirk finally let him have it. That was just Tony.

No one was safe from Tony’s humor. When Nic Holland first took Tim’s place, they sang at Providence Baptist outside Hickory. Poor Nic went up onto the platform first in front of Tony and TaRanda and tripped onto the stage. Tony and Taranda laughed so hard that the whole church was in laughter too.

One of the biggest nights in Tony’s life was the night he proposed to Daisy at the National Quartet Convention. My brother Jonathan and I were there. We knew about the proposal from Greg Crowe because he was carrying the ring and daisies. Greg was wearing a suit and he never wears a suit, so we knew that this would be the night. Tony was scared to death!

Tony came to me beforehand and asked me, “Stephen, what if she says no?” I told him not to worry; he could trip like Nic, fall flat on his face, make a total fool of himself, and she would still say yes. They had tried to hide the relationship, but we knew they were an item for five months. (Pictured: Front – Tony and TaRanda (Kiser) Greene, NQC on ‘The Proposal Night’. Back – (unseen) Stephen Widener, James Kiser (Taranda’s father). )

One of Tony’s best-known stories is the tale of “Jingle Bells”. I know it’s true because I encouraged him to tell it. We went out to eat after church one evening and he related what had happened that day at a funeral. Tony said, “I just gotta tell ‘youinzis’ (that’s a word, really. That’s mountain for Y’all, which is southern) this story…”

“I got into work today, this lady asked me to sing at her husband’s funeral. I said, ‘Why, yes, anything I can do for you. What would you like for me to sing?’

“She answered, ‘He requested that you sing, Amazing Grace, Beulah Land, and Jingle Bells.” Tony’s eyes were as big as 50-cent pieces when he said that. “’Jingle Bells?’ She said, ‘Why yes Tony, you just got to sing it.’ So I said ‘Yes, ma’am, whatever you need, I’ll do.”

Tracy Stuffle and Tony Greene. 2010. Photo by Libbi Perry Stuffle

Tracy Stuffle and Tony Greene. 2010. Photo by Libbi Perry Stuffle

That’s was one thing about Tony, he would go out of his way to help someone, if there was a way for him to do it. His heart was twelve times bigger than most people’s.

“So, at the start of the memorial service, Tony sang, ‘Amazing Grace’ and sat down. The preacher said a few words, a prayer, and Tony got up and sang Squire Parsons’ song ‘Beulah Land’. He sat down and waited for the next preacher to say a few words and pray.

Then, as reverent as he can, Tony stood and bellowed out “Jing-le Bells, Jing-le Bells, Jing-le all the way…”. A song that usually takes two and a half minutes to sing went for 5 minutes, and Tony said, “You should have seen the looks on their faces! Their jaws dropped so fast and so far, you would have thought..” Here he paused to laugh and then continued, “…I’d have cussed someone in church or something…” By now Tony is laughing and we’re all in tears. “ And then I sat down,” said Tony.

Tony Greene. Photo by Elaine Reyes Harcourt. 2010

Tony Greene. Photo by Elaine Reyes Harcourt. 2010

“After the funeral, I went up to her and said, “I hope everything went the way you wanted it to.’ She said, ‘Tony, it was wonderful. You did a great job. But, I don’t know what I was thinking!’ I said, “What?” and my jaw dropped open. She said, ‘You see Tony, with so many people coming by and bringing food and staying all night, I haven’t slept in three days. I’m so tired, I don’t know why I said that you should sing ‘Jingle Bells’. What I meant to say was, ‘When They Ring Those Golden Bells for You and Me’.”

The thing is, Tony loved people. He wanted to see the lost saved, and he wanted to put a smile on someone’s face wherever he went. Now he’s in heaven and people somewhere are laughing at one of his stories.

My prayers are always with the family. I love them very much. I hope Tony’s girls will one day be able to see how great a dad they have and know that they were the apple of his eye.

Editor’s Notes: Tony Greene passed away September 28, 2010 at the age of 41 from Renal Disease. He is survived by his wife TaRanda Greene and their two daughters, Isabella and Jocelyn, as well as many other family members. For more on Tony and his music ministry, click on to http://www.thegreenesgospel.com/

The author of this feature, Stephen Widener, is an ordained Pastor, Southern Gospel Singer, Musician, and Youth basketball Coach from North Carolina. A fan of Southern Gospel, he has been in and around the industry for several years, as well as having relatives within the industry. Stephen can be found in many places on the web including Facebook and Twitter, but you can reach him personally at snwidener2000@yahoo.com.

 

 

SGNScoops salutes the family and friends of Tony Greene as he is inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame today, September 26, 2017.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

For more gospel music news click here.

For online gospel music click here.

 


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Marlana VanHoose to perform at Cincinnati Bengals Game

Written by Staff on September 13, 2017 – 1:33 pm -

Marlana VanHoose to perform at Cincinnati Bengals Game

Marlana VanHoose to perform at
Cincinnati Bengals Game

Paintsville, KY (September 12, 2017) – Johnson County native, Marlana VanHoose has been invited to sing the National Anthem at the Thursday, September 14, 2017, Cincinnati Bengals game at the Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. The announcement was made from VanHoose’s home located in rural Denver, KY.

“I love this country. It is a complete honor to be chosen to honor my country on this platform with the National Football League. I’m a huge Bengals fan”, said VanHoose. The Bengals will host the Houston Texans for a Thursday Night Football game set to kick off on the NFL Network at 7:25 p.m. EST.

VanHoose’s dynamic voice has won her invitations to some of the largest sporting events in the United States. The Kentucky native first won the hearts of fans when she performed for the University of Kentucky’s Women’s Basketball team in 2012.

Jason Clark, Producer and Co-Founder of CNS Entertainment, also a longtime member of the GMA Hall of Fame group, The Nelon’s, is VanHoose’s producer and biggest fan. “It’s not often a music producer gets to work with such a unique and special artist as Marlana. Her voice is as big as her heart and her story will be heard and seen by millions more leaving a wake of inspiration in her path. Expect to hear much more from this little dynamo in the future,” Clark replied when learning of the invitation.

For more information about Marlana VanHoose, visit www.littlemarlana.com.

# # #

ABOUT Marlana VanHoose:
Marlana was born with Cytomegalovirus (CMV), by the time she was a few weeks old it was discovered that she was blind. Her optic nerve never formed. She was not expected to live past one year. At the age of two, Marlana was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy.

But God knew better, He had special plans for Marlana. After Marlana turned a year old her body healed from the virus and that is when it all began. Marlana was humming “Jesus loves me” before she talked and by the time she was two years old she started playing the piano.

Marlana has sung all over the United States at various events & churches. Most recently Marlana was honored to sing at the Presidential Inauguration including the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. She was discovered when she sang the National Anthem at a University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball game in 2012. This was placed on YouTube and the video went viral. Since then, CBS evening news aired her story, she has sung at multiple NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Races, NCAA women’s basketball tournaments and at several NBA basketball games as well as many other events & churches across the USA. She also has sung for the 2015 NBA Playoffs including the 2015 NBA Finals, Game 6. ESPN-E-60 aired “Loud and Proud” a story about Marlana and the UK women’s basketball. Marlana appeared on the Atlanta Live Gospel Show and Babbie’s House, a gospel show in Atlanta, GA. She also has appeared on various other shows such as Inside Edition & Entertainment Tonight. Marlana also had the honor of singing at Carnegie Hall in NY City. Marlana has been commissioned a Kentucky Colonel.

Marlana has invited Jesus into her heart and has been baptized. She loves God very much and says she has no need to see here on earth. She knows that when she gets to Heaven, Jesus will be the first face she’ll see.

For the current issue of SGNScoops Magazine click here

Read more Gospel.music news here.
Listen here to Gospel music online here.

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Erin Stevens’ Younger Perspective on Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

Written by Staff on September 12, 2017 – 1:27 pm -

Younger Perspective on Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

Younger Perspective on Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

A word from Erin…

Today, we turn our attention to one of the most underrated and incredibly talented young men in our industry. Chad McCloskey masterfully fills the baritone position for the Ball Brothers. Aside from the strong vocal abilities the Lord has blessed him with, what matters most is his soft-spoken manner and tender spirit, which is noticeable the moment you meet him. Whether you’ve been a faithful Ball Brothers fan for years, or if you’re newer to their music, this is your chance to get to know Chad a little better.

 

Erin: Being born in Wisconsin and growing up in Michigan, what did those early days look like once you discovered your love of singing? 

Chad: I come from a very musical family. My dad was the music director at our church, and my mom was heavily involved with various musical outlets such as choir, ensembles, and church specials. Growing up, I was fairly shy musically. I wasn’t particularly fond of the idea of standing up in front of people for anything, let alone to sing. As I got older, I was given somewhat of an ultimatum when it came to music. It was either sing or nothing, so I chose to sing. Once I got over my apprehension of crowds and my incessant fear of critique, I grew to love singing and jumped at the chance to sing whenever an opportunity presented itself. Fast forward 20 years, I now sing for a living, and I love what I do.

 

Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

Erin: How did you and your wife Sarah meet?

Chad: I’ve actually known Sarah since I was around 10 years old. Her family, while in evangelism, used to come to our church and sing, and my family would occasionally take them out to eat while they were in town. We lost contact over the years, but in 2006, (we) reconnected at the church her dad was pastoring when my family went into evangelism. 

 

Erin: An early congratulations on the newest addition to your family coming soon. How do you personally juggle being a gospel singer, a husband, and a father to Brooklyn and Mason?

Chad: Thank you. We are excited about the new addition. When it comes to juggling family and work, I find it prudent to keep the two separate. When I’m at home, I always try to focus on my family’s needs above anything else. We have dinner around the table every night and try, if we can, to do an activity together any chance we get. When I’m traveling, I try to focus on the task at hand to ensure I do my job accurately and efficiently, but at the end of the day, I always call home to check in on everyone. Fortunately, with the development in technology, staying in touch with my family while I’m away is pretty easy. 

 

Erin: What are some new and exciting happenings the fans can be expecting from the Ball Brothers for the last half of this year?

Chad: We are currently working on a couple different projects. We have been in the studio working on a new Christmas album. We’re hoping to have it finished and out this year. We are also getting ideas together for some music videos we are hoping to shoot later in the year. 

 

Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

Sarah and Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

Erin: With the Ball Brothers’ incredible internet success, how has it impacted your ministry and opened new doors of opportunity?

Chad: The impact from our online success has been substantial at the very least. With the change in the market, almost anything can be accessed online, so we see it as beneficial to cater to that outlet more. Since the views on the Ball Brothers’ Facebook videos have skyrocketed over the last few years, we’ve seen immense growth in our fan base, as well as concert dates. God has truly blessed our ministry and we are so humbled by everything He has done for our group.

 

Erin: The jazzy, Michael Bublé-influenced tones to your voice are obvious to the listener. Besides him, who else are some of your top musical influences, and who would you normally be listening to?

Chad: I have a pretty wide range of music that I enjoy. I grew up listening to the Gaither Vocal Band, so they are an absolute must in my musical lineup. But I love groups from Journey to MercyMe to the Mullins. Some of the more singular influences would include Marshall Hall, Stevie Wonder, David Phelps, Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra, and Bryan Duncan.                                                                                        

Erin: What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever said to you?

Chad: Where to start? While I was dating my wife, I had a man approach me after a concert asking if I would be interested in his daughter. After I told him I was already dating someone, he quickly took the defense and came behind the product table, got in my face and very angrily asked why I thought his daughter was ugly. I just slowly backed into the crowd in a desperate attempt to get away. Who does that?

 

Chad McCloskey of the Ball Brothers

The McCloskey family

Erin: Favorite food on the road/favorite food at home?

Chad: Mexican food. It’s a favorite at home and on the road.

 

Erin: Is there a particular song you sing night after night on stage that has a profound, personal impact on your heart?

Chad: The song “It’s About the Cross” is a definite favorite of mine. The message of the song to me is too penetrating to ignore. It’s an unbelievable and humbling thought that a sinless, perfect Jesus willingly laid down His life for mine. 

 

Erin: It’s true that music speaks when words fall short. But after all the songs have been sung, how would you encourage that listener out there who has come to the end of their rope?

Chad: I know this sounds cliché – and we hear it all the time – but the most comforting thing to me when I’m at my weakest is prayer. We may not have all the answers, but God does. One passage in the Bible that stands out to me on this particular topic is Isaiah 40:29-31 … “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.”

 

Chad McCloskey of the Ball BrothersClosing thoughts from Erin…

Our strength doesn’t come from our own efforts. It comes from Christ. When we’re on the mountaintop, we sometimes forget to give Him the thanks that He deserves. But it’s in our weakest moments that we remember that we are nothing without Christ. He is the breath in our lungs and the fire in our souls. May we not fall prey to forgetting that all glory and honor are due His mighty name. Isaiah 40:29-31 was an excellent reminder Chad gave us. I appreciate his heart, and I’m thankful we have men like him still singing the gospel and spreading the good news for all to hear.

 

And that’s my take on it.

 

Until next month, Scoops fans.

Connect with Erin: Twitter – @photosforkeeps Instagram – @photos_for_keeps

Who would you like to see Erin interview next?

By Erin Stevens

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in July 2017

For the current issue of SGNScoops Magazine click here

Read more Gospel.music news here.
Listen here to Gospel music online here.

 


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Cody McCarver releases “Rise Up”

Written by Staff on September 11, 2017 – 2:44 pm -

Cody McCarver's Rise Up Available Today

Cody McCarver’s Rise Up Available Today

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 8, 2017) – Rise Up, the highly anticipated project from Cody McCarver, is available now. Packed with inspirational tunes, McCarver’s brand of music – he calls it ‘Outlaw Gospel’ – encourages and challenges the listener.

The release marks a new chapter in the musician’s life and Cody, well-known for his over 10-year career with country music supergroup, Confederate Railroad, is excited. “I’ve poured my heart and soul into this project,” states McCarver. “This is truly from the heart and I hope it’s a blessing to all who hear it.”

Audiences are already connecting with McCarver – the video for the single “Rise Up” has gone viral with over 330K views and the single is being played on radio across America.

In his career, McCarver seemed to have it all, but something was missing. “Here I was with everything I could imagine,” states Cody. “My CD’s all over in Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc., everything I wanted. I had a bus, band – I had it all. But, I was miserable. I started filling that void with Jack Daniels, who became my best friend, every single day.”

Cody’s life began to spiral out of control. “I was headed for death,” says Cody. “I knew something had to change…so I went to church.” Cody searched and found joy in his renewed relationship with God. Cody says: “God let me know that He never left me and He was with me the entire time.”

Once again, Cody is making waves with his music. This time it’s Christian and country music with a new genre of music called OUTLAW GOSPEL. After being told by several people in Christian music industry his voice and songwriting sounded “outlawy,” Cody said, “Well, maybe I’ll call it Outlaw Gospel.”

That’s where Cody McCarver is today – a renewed focus, a fresh outlook and a vision for the future and this project represents this new chapter.

Cody McCarver releases Rise Up Today!Rise Up, on 8:14 Records, is available on iTunes, Amazon and at CodyMcCarver.com

Connect with Cody McCarver:
www.codymccarver.com
www.facebook.com/codymccarverofficialpage
www.twitter.com/codymccarver
www.instagram.com/codymccarver
www.youtube.com/codymccarver

Track Listing:
RISE UP
NO SUCH THING
SING HALLELUJAH
COMMEND MY SPIRIT
WHAT I KNOW
AMAZING GRACE
TREE OF THE CROSS
HE’LL MAKE A WAY
THE LORD’S WILL
I HAVE DECIDED
I’M AMERICA
Bonus Track – RISE UP REMIX with SHAWN COOLEY

Look for more on Cody McCarver in the October 2017 issue of SGNScoops Magazine.

Read the latest SGNScoops Magazine here.

Read more Gospel.music news here.
Listen here to Gospel music online here.

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