The Fosters

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Triumphant sings up a storm in Tennessee

Written by Staff on September 15, 2018 – 9:32 am -



The Triumphant Quartet performed at Victory Baptist Church, which is located in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., on June 24. Craig Harris was on hand to take pictures.

Triumphant Scotty Inman

Scotty Inman


Eric Bennett

Triumphant - David Sutton

David Sutton

Clayton Inman

Clayton Inman

Triumphant - Aaron Dishman

Aaron Dishman

Former Imperials and Gaither Vocal Band member, Jim Murray, is the minister of music at Victory Baptist Church, and he joined the quartet to sing a song.

Jim Murray at the Triumphant Qt

Jim Murray

Jim Murray and David Sutton

Jim Murray and David Sutton

More about Triumphant:

“Triumphant is the face of quality Gospel Music, Christian integrity, family values, friendship and dedication. The group has been that way since their beginnings in 2003, when the four friends first walked out on to the stage of the Louise Mandrell Theater, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as a headlining talent. Each current Triumphant group member was there in that defining moment, and has continued together ever since. Their smooth harmonies, and rich quartet sound quickly gained them national attention, recognition and concert demand. That popularity promoted the group in 2008, from singing daily at the theater, to touring nationally and performing in major concert venues, auditoriums and churches. It has also voted them the Fan Favorite Quartet in the Gospel Music field for the last nine years, and each group member also being nominated for and receiving various awards…” For the rest of the bio click here.

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Jim Murray of the Imperials

Written by Staff on July 31, 2014 – 9:39 am -

jim murray one, main for front pageBy Philip Foster

I doubt there are many people in Gospel music who will not recognize the name Jim Murray.   Every once in a while, it seems that someone will come along in Gospel Music who stands out from all the rest. Such a person, in my opinion, is Jim Murray.

I have wanted to interview Jim for some time now, but the opportunity never presented itself. Recently, I had the good fortune of connecting with Jim and asked if he would be willing to have an interview. To my great surprise and pleasure, he agreed.

j murray group - twoThe first time I heard Jim was while attending a Gospel concert at PCVS School in Peterborough, Ontario. The mighty Imperials were in the city playing at the high school. The Imperials were the crème de la crème back in the day. I have mentioned before, that in these early years, groups like the Imperials, the Blackwood Brothers, the Speer family, the Cathedrals and so many more, were a major influence on this young Christian man. I was literally mesmerized listening to the Imperials, but especially a young tenor named Jim Murray.   Jim was hitting what seemed like impossible notes and doing it with such ease and a gentle power, with songs such as “Even The Praise Comes From You,” or “Behold The Man,” or “I’ll Meet You in the Morning.” I didn’t know much about four-part harmony in those days and didn’t know a tenor from a baritone, but I did know what was good!

imperials with elvis threeEvery time I came out of these concerts, I knew beyond a doubt what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be involved in some capacity with Southern Gospel Music. Never in a million years did I ever once think that I would be talking to men like Jim Murray and having the pleasure of conducting an interview with him. What a gracious and gentle man of God.

Jim was born in March of 1944. His hometown is Lansing, Michigan and he now resides in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where he is the Minister of Music and Senior Adults. (what church??) I asked Jim how old he was when he first started to sing. “I remember singing in the little children’s choir in Lansing, Michigan. I would have been about five years old. My first solo singing engagement was for our Sunday School program when I was about six or seven years old. I can’t remember the song, but I’m sure it was a short solo.”

imperials - fourMurray shares that his parents were very supportive of his career. “Even though I never got a degree from university, I have gathered some wisdom from my 50-plus years on the road. “They came to concerts as long as they could and were always there to encourage me in my efforts for the Lord, through music.” I asked Jim if he took vocal training.   “Yes, I studied voice for two years at Michigan State University with Dr. Gene Greenwell who at one time had been with the Metropolitan Opera Company.” Dr. Greenwell gave Jim what he says was the best advice he’s ever received. “Dr. Greenwell told me, “If you don’t take care of your voice, no one else will.”

“Even though I’ve had three throat surgeries on my vocal chords, I have been able to sing with God’s help,” says Murray. “I’m not as high as I once was, but as I have always said, it’s not how high you sing, but how well you sing up high. Most people don’t know if you are singing a high C or a high D. They just know if it sounds good or not!”

Murray had already gained much experience by the time he joined the Imperials. “The first group I sang with was a gospel group called the Melodaires. We were in high school together and that’s when I was introduced to Southern Gospel Music. After that, I sang with the Orrell Quartet out of Detroit Michigan. Then in 1964, I got married and moved to Dallas, Texas, where I sang with the Stamps trio. From there I moved to Arlington, Texas, and sang for a short while with Bob Wills and the Inspirations. It was in 1966, that I joined Jake Hess and the Imperials. I sang with the Imperials for 20 years from 1966 to 1986.”

Jim Murray and Family

Jim Murray and Family

While he was with the Imperials, Jim would back up such singers as Jimmy Dean, Elvis, Pat Boone and Carol Channing. During that 20-year span, Jim was part of over 50 albums, five Grammys and 15 Dove Awards. Eventually, the Imperials started to drift from their trademark four-part harmony, into a more aggressive pop style and Jim decided to move on to other things. In 1998, the Imperials were inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of fame. (1)

I asked Jim if he enjoyed any other genre of music. “Yes, my father was a real jazz, big band buff and so I was raised on Stan Kenton, Glen Miller, the Dorsey Brothers, Dave Brubeck along with the Ray Coniff singers and so many more I can’t name here.” Other family members were also blessed with vocal talent. “My mother was a very good alto singer. My older son Brent sings very well and my wife Loretta had a very nice alto voice; in fact, we did an album together several years ago and traveled and sang together for over 12 years.”

When asked if he had a favorite singer or group, he answered, “Over the years there have been, so many groups that have been so spectacular in our industry. I really enjoyed the Blackwood Brothers and the Statesmen back in the day. Now I enjoy the Booth Brothers, of course the Gaither Vocal Band and Legacy Five along with the Mark Trammell Quartet and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound and……as you can see, I have a lot of favorites.”

Of course, Jim sang with the Gaither Vocal Band and is on the Gaither Vocal Band Reunion DVD. My final question to Jim was, “What do you want people to remember about you?”He replied, “I hope they look beyond the gift that God has given me and remember that I loved my family and that I wanted to be in the center of the Lord’s will for my life. My life verse is Psalm 27:1. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (KJV)

Since my initial conversation with Jim and his willingness to do this interview, I learned the tragic news that his beautiful wife Loretta had passed away and was promoted to Heaven. Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to do. Of course, I most certainly did not want to bother Jim during this sorrowful time. After a few weeks passed by, I nervously touched base with him again. I offered Jim my sincere condolences and he was very gracious, thanking me for my sensitivity and informed me that he still wanted to do the interview.

Jim and Loretta were married 50 years and had raised two sons, James Brent and Christopher Michael. Jim said to me, “I would love for you to pay tribute to Loretta as she was the one who was so supportive and encouraged me throughout the years.” He explained that Loretta had been ill, and expressed how empty he now feels with the sudden change that has been forced upon him. As we chatted on the phone, it was such a joy to know that beautiful Loretta is cheering Jim on and anxiously waiting for that glorious day, when all God’s children will be forever reunited!

Jim Murray solo - fiveAs I write these articles and I know I have mentioned this before, the hardest thing for me is trying to sum up a career that spans well over 50 years, into a few paragraphs. It’s impossible to do. I would encourage the reader to contact Jim and thank him for all the years he has ministered and all the amazing songs he has recorded. Thank him by ordering some of his anointed music. You will be glad and blessed that you did! You can contact Jim at one of the numbers or email below.

(1) WIKIPEDIA in 1998, The Imperials were inducted into the Gospel Music Association‘s Gospel Music Hall of Fame. All five original members, Jake, Armond, Gary, Sherrill, and Henry; as well as Terry Blackwood, Sherman Andrus, Joe Moscheo, Jim Murray, and Russ Taff were there to accept the induction.

Even the praise comes from you

Behold the Man                       

I’ll Meet You in the Morning 

Contact Jim Murray at: Minister of Music and Senior Adults, Victory Baptist Church, 1777 Tate Lane, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

Email Jim Murray at:


Questions? Comments? You can email Phil Foster at

Written by Philip Foster, first published by SGM Radio in July 2014.

For more artist features on SGM Radio website, please visit


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Written by SGN Scoops on September 1, 2011 – 9:58 am -

Louisville, KY – Gaither Vocal Band members past and present will come together for a Reunion concert during this year’s National Quartet Convention. This special Reunion event will take place on Thursday afternoon, September 15, beginning at 1:15pm in Freedom Hall on the grounds of the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. The event will pair current and former members of the prestigious Gaither Vocal Band, led by multi- Grammy Award winning Bill Gaither (pictured in attached jpg).

Little could anyone have known the impact this multi-talented group would have upon the contemporary and Southern Gospel Music world when the group was originally organized back in the early 1980s, on the spur of the moment backstage at a Bill Gaither Trio concert. Since that impromptu performance, the popular group has enjoyed numerous hit songs, several Grammy Awards and more than a dozen Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association.

In addition to the much loved current Vocal Band members, who include Mark Lowry, Michael English, David Phelps and Wes Hampton, former Vocal Band members joining Gaither for this special musical event at this year’s Convention in Louisville will include Marshall Hall, Larnelle Harris, Jon Mohr, Buddy Mullins, Jim Murray, Russ Taff and original members, Steve Green, Gary McSpadden and Lee Young.

The Thursday afternoon Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Showcase Spectacular is sure to be one of the highlights of NQC Week. The Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Volume 1 & 2 CDs, recorded in the summer of 2008 and released in 2009, debuted in the top two positions on Billboard Magazine’s Contemporary Christian album chart. The DVDs of the same title debuted in the Number 1 and Number 2 positions on the Music Video charts, as well. Gaither will bring those recordings to life duriing the Reunion Showcase in Louisville.

In addition, to Thursday afternoon’s Vocal Band Reunion event, Gaither will also host the popular Homecoming Sing-Along concert on Friday, September 16th beginning at 12:00 noon. The Gaither Vocal Band will also be featured on Friday evening’s concert line-up.

A complete schedule of events set to take place during the 2011 National Quartet Convention may be obtained online at

n q c
About the 2011 National Quartet Convention: This year marks the 54th Annual National Quartet Convention. The Convention has made its home in the city of Louisville since 1994. Approximately 40,000 people will attend the 2011 event, which takes place September 11-17, with at least 40 states and a half dozen foreign countries represented. The Convention is Christian music’s largest marketplace and largest annual event with more than 500 exhibitors and nearly 300 Southern Gospel recording artists in attendance. Tickets for daily and evening performances may be purchased at the NQC office, online at or on site during the week of the Convention in the North Wing lobby at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center.

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