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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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Avenue Trio announces changes

Written by Staff on June 21, 2019 – 7:47 am -

Avenue gospel trio

Avenue

Kasey Kemp of Avenue Trio recently announced changes to the group through a video on the group’s Facebook Page.

Avenue Trio is losing Corey Lakey from the singing lineup. June 9, 2019, was the last engagement for Lackey, who has been with the group from the beginning. The tenor confirmed that he is stepping back from singing but will still be very much involved with gospel music, as well as continuing his involvement with the Steve Hurst School of Music.

Corey Lackey formerly of Avenue Trio

Corey Lackey

Kemp has confirmed that Riley Harrison Clark will be temporarily filling in for the trio, as they continue to audition vocalists for this position.

For more information on this powerful gospel music trio, click HERE.

Avenue released their first album, “Songs For Every Mile,” one year ago. Spokesman Kasey Kemp is an ordained minister and has been involved with Southern Gospel Music for 17 years. The trio records with Song Garden Music and is booked by the Dominion Agency. Avenue can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and other media outlets.

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Carman releases “The Flag” with Southern Gospel Artists

Written by Staff on June 20, 2019 – 3:38 pm -

Carman. The FlagNashville, TN (June 19, 2019): Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling legend, Carman, has released a brand new single to radio. “The Flag” features several of Southern Gospel’s top artists including Ernie Haase, Joseph Habedank, Pat Barker, and Matt Felts. These four talented singers combine their dynamic vocals to provide a stellar quartet joining Carman for this patriotic tribute to America’s beloved Stars and Stripes. This passionate song, released just ahead of Independence Day, was written by Carman and has received standing ovations all over the county during his successful “Legacy Tour.”

“I grew up listening to Carman as a kid in the small town of Xenia, Ohio. I never dreamed that I would one day get to sing on his record. I want to thank him not only for this opportunity but for choosing Southern artists on this album. Carman is a true living legend and pioneer,” stated Joseph Habedank.

“The Flag” will be available for purchase soon through digital retailers everywhere and will be distributed to radio on Dream Big Promotions radio compilation. All radio programmers can receive a download of this exciting new song for immediate airplay by emailing Matt Felts at matt@mattfelts.com.

Carman. The FlagTo see when Carman’s Legacy Tour will be near you or to contact Carman’s office for booking information, go HERE.

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Kingsmen and Chandlers reviewed by Randall Hamm

Written by Staff on June 20, 2019 – 10:27 am -

The Kingsmen’s Victory Shout shares encouragement for the journey to Heaven

The Kingsmen’s Victory Shout shares encouragement for the journey to Heaven

The Kingsmen and the Chandlers featured in the April 2019 SGNScoops edition of Randall Reviews It, by Randall Hamm

Friends:

April showers bring May flowers and also bring new gospel releases. This month brings only two, but they are dandies. One is a pre-release review of the new Kingsmen CD “Victory Shout,” and the other is a new album, “Seasons,” from an up-and-coming family group, the Chandlers.

Make sure to visit these groups at their Facebook homes and find out more about them. Also get copies of their albums to enjoy for yourself.

As always, if you enjoy the reviews, pick up this music, or download it, wherever you get good gospel music.

 

Randall Hamm

Randall Hamm

Please send your latest releases for review to Randall Hamm, c/o Q-100 WFLQ-FM, P.O. Box 100, French Lick, Ind., 47432.



Randall


Now…let the reviews begin!

 

The Kingsmen's "Victory Shout" is a powerful anthem

The Kingsmen’s “Victory Shout” is a powerful anthem

The Kingsmen
“Victory Shout”
2019 Horizon Records

 

Songs: “Running To Win” (Sandy Knight BMI); “Just Climb” (Karen Gillespie-Adina Bowman-Gene Ezell BMI); “I’ve Ever Been Glad” (Regina Walden BMI); “Victory Shout” (Kenna Turner West – Jason Cox BMI); “Dear John” (Jason Cox – Joseph Habedank – Kenna Turner West BMI); “It Still Changes Me” (Chris Binion – Matthew Lawson BMI); “King Of Kings” (Rebecca J Peck – Dianne Wilkinson BMI); “Prodigal Son” (Larry W Gatlin BMI); “You’ll Move Mountains For Me” (Karen Gillespie – Rachel McCutcheon BMI); “That’s Where You’ll Find Me” (Kenna Turner West – Jason Cox BMI)

It’s been two years since the Kingsmen released “They Don’t Know,” and since then three quarters of the quartet has changed. Josh Horrell who had replaced tenor Chris Jenkins, has now gone and has been replaced once again by Chris Jenkins. Bob Sellers, lead, left to start a solo ministry and is singing select dates with the Old Time Preachers Quartet. Randy Crawford, baritone, resigned due to health reasons. In Bob and Randy’s place, the quartet welcomed new baritone Alan Kendall and lead Chris Bryant.

 

Songs from established songwriters such as Sandy Knight,  Kenna Turner West and Dianne Wilkinson, and newcomers Karen Gillespie and Rachel McCutcheon, make this Kingsmen album a must listen.

 

The album opens with a mid tempo Sandy Knight composition “Running To Win,” that will make you want to keep in the race. “Just Climb,” slows down the pace to feature what could be a single down the road. “I’ve Ever Been Glad,” features Kingsmen bass Ray Dean Reese and he sings the fire out of it. “Victory Shout,” is the first single pulled and is off to a fine start.

 

One of the highlights of the CD is the re-recording of the “Prodigal Son,” that was first recorded in 1980 for their “Chartbreakers” LP. Listening to the new version and the original, Ray has not lost a step or a note. This, I hope, will become a single; it’s so good.

 

Some strong songs and some strong singing from a new batch of Kingsmen will thrill longtime fans, and make fans of folks who may not have been fans before now. Visit the Kingsmen at facebook.com/kingsmenquartet/ and get a copy of “Victory Shout” when it’s released and request “Victory Shout” at your local Gospel radio station.

This CD is not available yet; it will be released on June 7th and will be well worth the wait.

Strongest Songs: “Victory Shout,” “Prodigal Son,” “Just Climb”

 

Chandlers, “Seasons”

The Chandlers
“Seasons”
Producer: Shane Roark
Executive Producers: Tim and Lana Chandler
2019 Upper Room Records

Songs: “Anchor Of My Soul” (Jackie Jellison Nichols BMI);  “He Made A Way” (Tim Chandler BMI); “Who Would You Be” (Tiffany Chandler  BMI); “All The Way” (Tim Chandler – Lana Jellison Chandler – Tiffany Chandler BMI); “I Don’t Deserve” (Tim Chandler BMI); “Better” (Tiffany Chandler BMI); “Turn Back To Jesus” (Lana Jellison Chandler BMI); “Go Answer The Door” (Tim Chandler – Lana Jellison Chandler – Tiffany Chandler BMI); “Seasons” (Tim Chandler BMI); “My Savior First of All” (Fanny J. Crosby PD)

Chandlers at the Diamond Awards

Chandlers at the Diamond Awards

The Chandlers are a family group based out of Greenfield, Tennessee. They are: mom, Lana Chandler; dad, Tim Chandler; and their daughters, Lyndsey and  Tiffany Chandler. Many may know Lana as Lana Jellison of the group the Jellisons in the 80’s and 90’s. This group as such has been around a few years, but Tim and Lana have been around since 1992 as Tim and Lana Chandler, their daughters have joined the group in the last few years, and they are now known as the Chandlers.

 

I first became aware of the Chandlers in the early years of N.Q.C. at Pigeon Forge, seeing them at the showcase. They absolutely blew me away, and that same year they were signed by Chapel Valley, to the Upper Room Record division.

 

This is another great album the Chandlers have recorded with Chapel Valley. All songs but one are written by the Chandlers.

 

Great family harmony right off the bat with the first song “Anchor of My Soul,” that tells us that “the one I’m serving, he’s the ‘Anchor of My Soul.’” Tim is featured on “He Made A Way,” a bluesy number of the one who always makes the way.

 

“Who Would You Be,” asks the question: If I had lived in Christ’s time, who would I be? Lana is featured on “All The Way,” and the sound that the Chandlers are known for, which is “get with it McGruders-style music,” is heard on this song, and that’s quite a compliment.

 

“Better” is my first choice for a radio single; upbeat and a wah-wah guitar make for a great retro sound. It’s catchy, plus has a great message to boot.

 

“Turn Back To Jesus,” “Go Answer The Door,” “Seasons,” and an a cappella reading of Fanny Crosby’s “My Savior First of All,” close out the CD. There’s nothing finer than when the Chandlers go a cappella. Their last release featured an a cappella version of “Softly and Tenderly” with a new part, and that made it a fresh, new song that sparkled.

 

Since the passing of Priscilla and Carroll McGruder, I thought that the style of the McGruders would no longer be around. Boy, was I wrong. The Chandlers have a great anointing to carry on this style, both in their writing and singing.

 

Make sure, DJs, if you’re looking for someone fresh to add to your playlist, may I recommend the Chandlers. If you as a fan of Southern gospel music are looking for someone new to discover, may I recommend the Chandlers.

Visit the Chandlers at facebook.com/TheChandlersMusic and get a copy of “Seasons” at thechandlersmusic.com/


Strongest Songs: “He Made A Way,” “Who Would You Be,” “Better”

Reviewed by Randall Hamm for April 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

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Beyond the Song: The Browns become “Brave”

Written by Staff on June 18, 2019 – 3:11 pm -

The Browns

The Browns

 

For this edition of Beyond The Song, Jantina de Haan-Baksteen talked to Michaela Brown of The Browns about their single “Brave.”

The Browns are a singing family who are no strangers to Southern gospel. Mother Shelly Brown is joined by her daughter Michaela and sons Adam and Andrew. They are incredible violin artists and reside in Iowa, where they are farmers and also own a theatre in their hometown.

1. Who wrote the incredible message of “Brave?”

“Brave” was penned by gifted songwriters Scott Inman and Lee Black.

2. What album is this song on?

It will be on an upcoming album that is in the works, but will probably come out in 2020.

3. What is the message you want to share with your audience?

I think this song will bring a powerful message for young and old. Today we are living in a day and age where we need strength to stand up for the truth, for the message of the Gospel, and our God gives us that strength when we ask.

The Browns record with Stowtown Records.

As the song was cowritten by Scott Inman, Jantina contacted him to discover why he wrote this song with Lee Black.

Scott shared, ”I was thinking about this world and how times are changing. Some things are positive changes and some are negatve changes that causing some to question their faith and compromise their beliefs and convctions. I wanted to write a song that reminds that we are more than conquerors through Christ and we should have our full armour on and be brave in these times when our beliefs are being questioned and persecuted. We need to be strong in the faith and ready.”

Scott continued, “I took this idea to Lee Black and we wrote what I feel is a great and timely song, that the Browns perform incredibly well”.

Thanks to Micheala Brown and Scott Inman for providing this information and assisting us to go Beyond the Song.

 

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Former NBC and CBS Actor and Entertainer Randall Franks joins the cast of “The Crickets Dance”

Written by Staff on June 17, 2019 – 8:06 am -

Randall Franks will appear in "The Crickets Dance." (Photo: Randall Franks Media/Anna Ritch)

Randall Franks will appear in “The Crickets Dance.” (Photo: Randall Franks Media/Anna Ritch)

 

Randall Franks, former NBC, CBS and UPtv star, becomes the latest star to take on a role in the upcoming drama “The Crickets Dance.”

The film is based on the novel by author Deborah Robillard. Director Veronica Robledo, who wrote the screenplay, will shoot the film later this year.

Franks will appear in the 19th-century period role as “Dr. J.A. Anderson.”

“This is such an amazing story that blends the past and the present in a momentum that solidifies that love reaches far beyond the bonds that restrain us,” Franks said. “With love the wounds of our experience may be bound.”

The actor (www.RandallFranks.com), best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” starred in two other TV series and numerous films.

Franks is also a country music starknown for appearing for the Grand Ole Opry, CMA Fan Fair, the National Folk Festival, bluegrass festivals, fairs and as part of the National Quartet Convention All-Star Band.

His latest CD “Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia” including Americana, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel featuring 30 youth alongside him for charity catapulted to #1 on the APD Top 50 Albums Daily Chart June 11 and by 8 p.m. had solidified in the top spot on the June APD Top 50 Global Americana Charts.

AirPlayDirect.com/RandallFranks-AmericanaYouthOfSouthernAppalachia

Franks joins Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Bill Oberst, Jr., Todd Maynor and Ashley Robillard in the “The Crickets Dance” in the fall of 2019 for filming. Like “The Crickets Dance” on Facebook.

For more information, about his latest CD visitwww.ShareAmericaFoundation.org, or find it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon or CDBaby.

Connect with Randall Franks on Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/RandallFranksActorDirectorEntertainer/?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/RandallFranks

https://www.reverbnation.com/randallfranks

https://www.instagram.com/randallfranksactor/

Various Links:

 

The Crickets Dance by Deborah Robillard:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1478374268/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_OoSbDbN86CPP5

Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia PSA:

https://youtu.be/HDnh-Ls-HCQ

Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia Purchase Download Links:
Google:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Various_Artists_Americana_Youth_of_Southern_Appala?id=Bfizpqpulqj7wqqkk3xb5nlsnpq
Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Americana-Southern-Appalachia-Various-artists/dp/B07RWFGBP2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Americana+Youth+of+Southern+Appalachia&qid=1558445853&s=dmusic&sr=1-1
CDBaby:
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/randallfranks
Also Available on iTunes
Donate for CDs: 
http://www.ShareAmericaFoundation.org/


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The Lesters need prayer

Written by Staff on June 15, 2019 – 4:30 pm -

The Lesters

The Lesters

The Lesters have requested prayer for Brian’s wife, Sandra. See this partial note from their Lestergram:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  ⁃  Philippians 4:6-7

Dear Friends,  

Our family has never taken lightly the fact that so many of you pray for us daily. Brian has said so many times from stage, “if nothing else, please pray for us”. And once again we are coming to you, as our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, asking for your prayers. 

Brian’s wife, Sandra, has been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and is starting treatments this week to begin her fight against this terrible disease. We hear the stories all the time. We know so many of you have been where we are right now. With that in mind, we covet your prayers…

 

For more of the letter from the Lesters, go to their Facebook page HERE.

Please join us in prayer for Sandra Lester.

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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.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Please help the Pine Ridge Boys

Written by Staff on June 11, 2019 – 4:22 pm -

Pine Ridge Boys

Pine Ridge Boys

The Pine Ridge Boys need your help. They wrecked their bus on May 18, 2019, and have been making do, while working with insurance and different types of transportation.

Anne and Larry Stewart of the Pine Ridge Boys

Anne and Larry Stewart of the Pine Ridge Boys

Today, bass singer and group manager, Larry Stewart, is celebrating the birthday of his wife, Anne. This lovely lady isn’t asking for anything for herself, rather, she is asking for help for the Pine Ridge Boys.

“Yes, today (June 11th) is my birthday. I’m thankful for all the calls and texts but what I would really love is for you to make a donation to the Pine Ridge Boys Quartet Bus Fund.”

Pine Ridge Boys bus

Pine Ridge Boys bus

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the group obtain transportation. The site itself, set up by Mark Cash, says, “As many of you may already know we wrecked our bus several weeks ago. Over the years many have said, ‘If there is anything we can do to help you, please let us know.’ Well, we are letting you know. We are going to have to replace our bus. The damage was enough for the insurance company to total it. We did have insurance on the bus, but with it being a 1979 model, the insurance money that we are going to receive is not enough to buy another bus. We are asking for help. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:7 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ We are asking you to help us pray about our needs. To help us get another bus would you also be willing to make a donation to bus fund?…”

For the rest of the story, as well as to donate and/or share the link, go to this link HERE
Creekside 2019Thank you for helping our friends, the Pine Ridge Boys. You will enjoy their music at the 2019 Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Oct. 28 – 31, at Pigeon Forge, Tenn. For more information about Creekside, the 2019 Diamond Awards, VIP tickets and accomodations, call Rob Patz at 360-933- 0741.

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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”

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