Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Dean Hopper Becomes a Student of Down Time

Written by Staff on June 23, 2017 – 6:01 pm -

Dean Hopper and The Hoppers

Dean Hopper and The Hoppers

The Hoppers develop a new normal following Dean Hopper’s recent health scare

The Hoppers don’t have time for jigsaw puzzles. However, time and patience are exactly what has been required as they’ve carefully pieced things back together as of late.


Dean Hopper and The HoppersIn early December, America’s favorite family of Gospel music was shaken when Dean Hopper suffered a pair of strokes over a two-day span.


“Any time you have a stroke, it comes out of nowhere,” Dean says. “I knew I was tired. I was stressed. I opened a new business last year. You’re heading into the holidays, so you have extra concerts because of Christmas. We did some work in the studio. We were trying to make all of that happen. I was tired … tired as much as anything. Evidently, I wasn’t getting enough solid sleep at night.”


The unexpected episode began with vertigo-like symptoms.


Dean Hopper and The Hoppers“We were in a country club doing a Christmas program for a guy, and his chef had made us dinner,” Dean recalls. “It was about 4:30 (p.m.) on Dec. 6. All of a sudden, the walls started moving. It was like the earth moving below you, and you can’t stop it. It lasted for about 60 seconds, and it quit. I went, sat up, sang and did the program. We had been on the road about a week at that point.


“We went home, and we were trying to get ready to go again. I was up in my office, and Karlye (Dean’s daughter) was with me. Things started moving. It was about a minute and a half. I just thought I was tired, so I went to bed early. The next morning, I had to see an orthopedic specialist to get an MRI on my knee (for a torn meniscus), and I got up with double vision. We did a concert that night. On the second portion (of the concert) that night, I had double vision for about eight minutes.”


That prompted Dean to seek medical counsel.


Dean Hopper and The Hoppers“I called a doctor friend in Savannah, Tenn., and she said it might be an aneurysm,” Dean explains. “I had already had a CT (computed tomography) scan, and it came back normal. (At the emergency room), I was laying in the bed, and I had a (similar) episode. He said, ‘You have had a stroke.’ My symptoms were double vision, headaches, and what I call vertigo-like symptoms.”


Those symptoms of dizziness and feeling like the world was spinning actually lasted until early January before they ceased.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in artists, christian entertainment, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Dean Hopper Becomes a Student of Down Time

The Dominion Agency Welcomes America’s Favorite Family of Gospel Music, THE HOPPERS

Written by Staff on March 26, 2015 – 2:39 pm -



Waynesville, NC (March 26, 2015) – The Dominion Agency is thrilled to welcome America’s Favorite Family of Gospel Music, The Hoppers, to their fine roster of artists.

This multi-award winning family group has been singing to global audiences for 58 years with appearances ranging from presidential religious inaugural ceremonies and New York’s Carnegie Hall to singing conventions and church platforms. To begin working with such an outstanding group, with such a rich history in Gospel music, brings a new sense of excitement to the Dominion Agency.

President and CEO, Michael Davis, expresses, “I am so honored to be representing one of the most celebrated artists in the history of Gospel music, The Hoppers. With 58 years of ministry and still going strong, The Hoppers are thrilling and blessing audiences night after night. What a privilege to work with this Godly family for whom I have so much love and respect!”

“After 58 years of successful in-house representation, The Hoppers are excited to announce we are teaming with Michael Davis and The Dominion Agency,” states Dean Hopper. He continues, “This new relationship will allow us to reach many new audiences as we declare the Gospel through the unique sound our family is known for.”

To schedule The Hoppers for your church, concert, or ministry event call Michael Davis at 828-454-5900 or email him here: scheduling@thedominionagency.com.

To learn more about The Hoppers, visit TheHoppers.com.
Like them on Facebook HERE.
And, follow them on Twitter @hoppersmusic.

To learn more about the entire Dominion Agency roster of fine artists, visit thedominionagency.com.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1277
Waynesville, NC 28786

*Pictured: (l to r) Karlye, Connie, Mike, Claude, Kim, and Dean Hopper.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements, artists | Comments Off on The Dominion Agency Welcomes America’s Favorite Family of Gospel Music, THE HOPPERS

Female Artist Of The Year Nominees for 2014 Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on October 7, 2014 – 6:13 am -

Diamond Awards 2014

Diamond Awards 2014

Today we present the nominees for the 2014 Diamond Awards Female Artist Of The Year.This year’s Diamond Awards will be held at Creekside Gospel Music Convention at Pigeon Forge on November 3rd through 6th. The Diamond Awards recognize the best in Southern, Country and Bluegrass Christian music and are hosted by SGNScoops digital magazine and Coastal Media Group.


Creekside is proud to host such artists as The Freemans, Willie Wynn, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, The Steeles and many more. !Be sure to get your free tickets to the 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention HERE


Sheri Easter at Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Sheri Easter at Creekside Gospel Music Convention


SGN Scoops would like you to meet our top-five finalists for Female Artist Of The Year. Last year’s winner was Sheri Easter.






The 2014 Nominees for Female Artist Of The Year are:

Sheri Easter

Amber Nelon Thompson

Karen Peck Gooch

Kim Hopper

TaRanda Greene


The Diamond Awards are swiftly approaching. Reserve your free tickets today!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements, artists | Comments Off on Female Artist Of The Year Nominees for 2014 Diamond Awards

The Hoppers: Past, Present and Future

Written by Staff on August 26, 2014 – 12:13 pm -

DSC_6739By Craig Harris

The Hoppers are one of Gospel music’s best-loved families. They have been given awards and accolades and number-one songs for many years as audiences embraced their powerful harmonies. After 57 years, they are still going strong and pause for a moment to remember the past, live in the moment and look forward to the future during a conversation with SGN Scoops. Excitement abounds as each of the Hoppers speaks of their history, current happenings and possibilities in the years to come.

Claude and Connie Hopper headshot“I remember when we started; we’d have probably paid somebody to let us sing,” Connie Hopper laughs. “We went to a church one night and sang and got $12.73 in the offering plate.” Needless to say, much has changed since the Hoppers starting performing in 1957. They were then known as the Hopper Brothers and Connie. “In 1970, we quit our jobs and went on the road full time,” she remembers. “It was three of the brothers and me.”

Connie joined the group as the pianist and eventually married Claude Hopper. She began singing when Claude’s brother, Steve, left the group. “We have been so fortunate to support ourselves through the work God has called us to do, and none of that has been by accident, nor any of our own doings,” Claude explains. “Every day that we are blessed to travel is attributed to the support and prayers of each individual audience. We’re like a turtle sitting on a fencepost. You know he did not get there by himself.”

DSC_6895Connie wasn’t the only current group member to come on board as a musician. Claude and Connie’s son, Dean, signed on as the drummer at the age of seven. “The only thing I knew was that I wanted to play drums, and I would do anything I could to play music,” Dean points out. “I had a chance to play all these guys’ big (drum) kits – Mark Ellerbee (of the Oak Ridge Boys), Rick Goodman, Ronnie Sego and Billy Blackwood. That’s when the big bands were the big thing. Everybody had a four-piece band.”

Dean lived the dream. He vividly remembers flying home from Portland, Ore., by himself as an eight-year-old in order get back to school after the group was out on a lengthy road trip. “Dean would sit and watch Ricky Goodman and different ones play the drums,” says Connie. “He’s always been a good boy. He worked and helped his daddy on the farm, but he wanted to travel all the time. But we kept him in school.” Dean began correspondence school after ninth grade and has been on the road ever since. Dean adds, “I played drums for everybody, played on lots of records, and played on stage with everybody that would ask.” He later played the bass guitar and eventually moved into a more visible role as a vocalist when his uncle Will Hopper left the group.

DSC_7072“(Claude) really leaned on Roger Talley a lot. Roger was an incredible part of this ministry for 10 years. Roger said, ‘you need to go ahead and put Dean into that part.’ At that time, I would sing one every now and again.”

When Dean – who is seven years older than Michael – began playing the bass guitar, the door swung open for Michael. Roger Talley and Roger Fortner were also a part of the Hoppers’ band at the time.

“Coming in as a 13-year-old kid, I was fortunate that I arrived when everybody still had a band,” Michael noted. “Every weekend, we would go out, and I could stand on the side of the stage and watch people I respected. I’m thankful.” However, he admittedly didn’t have the same passion for it as quickly as Dean did.

“Michael was a different story,” Connie explaines. “Michael wanted to stay at home and ride his motorcycle and hang out with grandpa. After Dean went out on the road, that just left Michael at home. His guidance counselor called me and said, ‘Michael is smart, but he’s just not doing his schoolwork. I think that’s because you guys are gone.’ We put him in correspondence (school). He was 13 years old when he started.”

Claude and Michael Hopper

Claude and Michael Hopper


Michael adds, “I didn’t envision a whole lot at 13 other than my dirt bike and my grandfather. I just loved spending time with my dad’s dad. I spent a whole lot of time with him. He was my best friend. I’ve been blessed.”

Michael is now singing the bass part during the majority of most concerts. “It seems to be working,” Michael says. “They like us all up there as a family.”

The current Hopper brothers have assumed different and more extensive roles in the day-to-day responsibility of the group. “I am proud, very proud,” Claude emphasizes. “We never pushed them to be a part of this as boys. But now, seeing what they bring to the group and family as a whole, I don’t know how we ever did it without them. Both are very talented in their own right and in very different facets. Where one is weak, the other picks up the slack, and vice versa. They know how to pry the very best from Mother and I, which is a wonderful asset to me as both a co-worker and a dad. God knew what he was doing when he blessed us with them.”

Connie adds, “We never said, ‘this is what you’re going to do.’ At this point, if one of them were to say ‘this has been great, but I’m tired of this road,’ that would be fine with me. I thank God for them. They’re just great, and they’re talented.” Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on The Hoppers: Past, Present and Future


Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 22, 2014 – 1:23 pm -

gwff(Nashville, TN) – Visalia, CA is set to welcome the Great Western Fan Festival to the Visalia Convention Center. The annual event welcomes an all-star lineup to the West Coast from May 1-3, 2014.

The weekend will be filled with great gospel music, chapel services, special matinees, a special breakfast club, comedy showcase, and more – all designed to bring the attendees up close and personal with the artists.

The Great Western Fan Festival Talent Contest, held on Saturday morning, will award a Grand Prize of a recording package to one winner. A 1st place winner will be selected in three categories – soloist, duet/trio and group.

An all-star lineup of gospel greats will perform during the weekend including The Hoppers, Triumphant Quartet, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, The Martins, The Browns, Tim Lovelace, Kim Hopper, TaRanda Greene, RSV, California Melody Boys, and Liberty Quartet.

For tickets, more information and to connect with the festival, call iTickets at 1-800-965-9324 or visit the following sites:
Twitter: @GospelFanFest
Instagram: FanFestival

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements | Comments Off on VISALIA, CA WELCOMES GREAT WESTERN FAN FESTIVAL!

Leaving Louisville: Twenty Years of NQC

Written by Staff on September 9, 2013 – 11:42 am -

nqcnewlogoChange is always hard and the NQC Board made a bold step twenty years ago when they announced the move from Nashville to Louisville for Gospel Music’s favorite yearly event.

From scheduled sings on the Belle of Louisville to concerts in the downtown square; from impromptu songs in various area restaurants to special gatherings in local hotels; from Elvis sightings to Uncle Sam in the Exhibit Hall, there are many unforgettable moments for the Gospel music fan at NQC.

Lorraine Walker interviewing Wayne Haun 2007

Lorraine Walker interviewing Wayne Haun 2007

As a writer for SGM Radio and SGN Scoops, I’ve had the opportunity to interview many interesting people at NQC.

Legacy Five 2008 with Rob Patz and Lorraine Walker

Legacy Five 2008 with Rob Patz and Lorraine Walker






Over the years, I have been privileged to interview such artists as Karen Peck,  Kim Hopper,   Susan Whisnant,Marshall Hall,  Jim Mahalick, Shelly Brown of The Browns, Wayne Haun, Jeff Pearles, The Apostolic Boys, The Skyline Boys, The Prophets, Rambo McGuire, The Booth Brothers, Mark Trammell Quartet, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, Triumphant Quartet, Brian Free and Assurance, and Jonathan and Jordan Wilburn, among others.

Rambo McGuire

Rambo McGuire

Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision 2011

Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision 2011








Marshall Hall 2011

Marshall Hall 2011


Many of these artists wouldn’t have the time to sit with an interviewer during an ordinary concert setting. NQC is also the opportune time for fans to also talk with their favorite singers. What a great opportunity it is to attend NQC and be able to sit down with the makers of the music!


SGM Radio and SGN Scoops would like to extend a special thank you to the board of the National Quartet Convention for continuing on a tradition that began many years ago, for making the necessary decisions for the growth of the festival and for embracing artists, fans and industry alike as we celebrate together our music and our faith.


We look forward to 2014 in Pigeon Forge!


****As a fan who attended the first Louisville NQC, I have many memories of the National Quartet Convention at Freedom Hall. I’m sure our readers do as well, and I invite you to submit these memories for posting here this week. Please submit your NQC thoughts and pictures to lorraine@sgnscoops.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements, artists, christian entertainment, Christian interest, gospel events, guest, industry news, scoops, sgn scoops magazine, special feature, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leaving Louisville: Twenty Years of NQC

Hoppers Enjoy Record-Breaking, Sold Out Crowds!

Written by SGN Scoops on September 7, 2013 – 5:53 am -

hopper crowd(NASHVILLE, TN) – The Hoppers, America’s Favorite Family of Gospel Music, has been delighting audiences for over 55 years and show no signs of slowing down. Recently the talented family group broke the record for the largest crowd ever at Silver Dollar City’s Southern Gospel Picnic concert series held at Echo Hollow Theatre. With a crowd of over 5900 the Hoppers concert was the most attended ever during the series.

Brad Thomas, Senior Vice-President of Silver Dollar City said: “Silver Dollar City’s Southern Gospel Picnic continues to grow. Guests enjoy daytime and nighttime performances for 11 days. Over the years, our Echo Hollow amphitheater has grown into one of the most popular venues for southern gospel fans. The Hoppers’ performance this week had an audience of 5900+ guests, topping previous southern gospel records for the theater. Our guests love southern gospel, and we all love The Hoppers and their heart for ministry.”

With no time for the bus tires to get cold, the Hoppers traveled to Dallas, TX for the first ever Gospel Fest at First Baptist. Birthed from an idea by Dean Hopper, this event was met with great anticipation! The event SOLD OUT several days before the first note was ever hoppersboothssung. With guest artists Mark Lowry, TaRanda Greene, The Booth Brothers and The Hoppers, audience members enjoyed a glorious night of Gospel music.

The Hoppers will pull into Louisville, KY for the final Louisville, KY edition of the NQC/National Quartet Convention on Monday, September 9, 2013 for a full week long of Southern Gospel music.

More photos can be found online at www.Facebook.com/TheHoppersOfficial. For all tour dates, visit www.TheHoppers.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements | Comments Off on Hoppers Enjoy Record-Breaking, Sold Out Crowds!

Victoria Shirey Releases New Solo Project

Written by SGN Scoops on May 20, 2013 – 5:39 am -

victoriacdcoverVictoria Shirey has just released her new solo album,WHO I AM TODAY.  This project features 7 out of 12 original songs that Victoria has written. Guest singers and pickers on this CD include, Kim Hopper, Joseph Habedank, Logan Smith, Bill Shivers, Eric Bennett, Steven Cooper, Wesley Smith, Adam Crabb, Micah Schweinsburg, Corey Pearson, and Kenny Clark. You will love the variety on this project, and be encouraged by each song. Victoria’s prayer is that people will be ministered to by the songs and feel the anointing as they listen. The title song on the project, “Who I Am Today” has just been released to radio on Ricky Atkinson’s compilation disc. Be listening for it, and call in to request to hear it played on your local Southern Gospel station. You can order Victoria’s new project from her website,www.victoriashireyministries.com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements | Comments Off on Victoria Shirey Releases New Solo Project

The Hoppers: New Award Honors & Global Embrace by European Audiences Give Fall 2011 A Memorable Start

Written by SGN Scoops on October 18, 2011 – 5:01 pm -

(Nashville, Tennessee) – October 2011 – Freshly back from sold-out European concerts throughout Ireland, Scotland and Holland, The Hoppers repacked their bags for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – the home of both Dollywood and the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame.

With excitement still fresh in the wake of Connie Hopper’s induction last year into the SGMA Hall of Fame, this year’s trip to the 2011 Singing News Fan Awards in Pigeon Forge produced a stunning triple crown win for the family.

The Hoppers’ awards of 2011 included:
• Favorite Mixed Group – an honor The Hoppers have now garnered as a 12th time recipient.
• Favorite Female Vocalist – Kim’s 8th acceptance of this top honor.
• Favorite Soprano Female Vocalist – Kim’s 14th repeat honor in this category.

Claude and Connie Hopper were also this year honored in Louisville during the National Quartet Convention with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Honor by the Southern Gospel Music Guild. SGMG President Clarke Beasley noted at a reception of industry VIP and friends, “Claude and Connie Hopper are the ultimate examples of class and dignity. The impact they’ve had in Gospel Music and in the lives of countless numbers of people is immeasurable.”

Equally exciting as Singing News Fan Awards and new honors for the group was their encounter of the throngs of Southern Gospel fans throughout Europe who eagerly packed The Hoppers’ overseas concert schedules. Many were seeing them in person for the first time after years of following their legendary family history and music. The special blessing of their time with friends new and old who live an ocean away was not lost on group matriarch Connie: “It is amazing that whether we are singing to an audience of Irish, Scottish, or Dutch, the presence of the Lord unites us all. Though we were nearly 4,000 miles from home, we were made to feel ‘at home’ as these wonderful people throughout the Europe tour opened their hearts to us as if we were family.”
Added Dean: “There were so many spiritually overwhelming moments for us. We were touched by the warmth of the people and the love they have for God and the music we were raised on back home.”

Capping the thoughts on their European successes, Claude Hopper – known for his homespun stories and Southern gentleman dialect – might have summed it up ideally: “It’s a big feat for a farm boy to make his way across the ocean! It’s an even bigger feat for that same farm boy to tell his jokes and get such great laughs out of those gracious folks in Europe who might have some trouble deciphering this Carolina dialect. After 54 years and many miles, I got to experience time with people who once seemed eons away – and now have become familiar faces that we love and appreciate.”
The Hoppers are already planning return concerts in Europe, including adding appearances in Norway and Sweden. They are also scheduled to perform in concert in South Africa in 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements | Comments Off on The Hoppers: New Award Honors & Global Embrace by European Audiences Give Fall 2011 A Memorable Start

SGN Scoops Digital Announces Hosts for 2011 Diamond Awards

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 17, 2011 – 12:02 pm -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (June 16, 2010) – Coastal Media Group and SGN Scoops Digital, home of the Diamond Awards, are proud to announce the hosts of this year’s 2011 Diamond Awards program. This year’s awards will be hosted by multiple Diamond Award nominees Christy Sutherland and Beyond the Ashes.

Christy Sutherland is a prized songwriter and celebrated vocalist in the Southern Gospel community. Her songs have been recorded by such artists as Sandi Patty, Triumphant Quartet, Prelude, Rizen, Kim Hopper, The Greenes, and many more. Sutherland took home the award for Traditional Song of of the Year earlier this year in the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards for penning the Triumphjant Quartet hit single “Somebody Died For Me.” Sutherland has been nominated for five Diamond Awards this year – including Songwriter of the Year.

Beyond the Ashes has made great strides in the industry over the last couple of years – including a recent appearance on the Grand Ole Opry as a part of CMA Music Week. Consisting of group members Anthony Facello, Casey Rivers, and Kellan Monroe, the trio recently released their debut recording for Vine Records – Treasures Unseen. The group took home the 2011 Absolutely Gospel Music Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and is nominated for two Diamond Awards this year – including Trio of the Year.

Christy Sutherland said, “I’m looking forward to co-hosting the Diamond Awards this year with Beyond The Ashes.  I’ve had the chance to visit with these guys before, and we immediately hit it off.  I know it’s going to be a blast sharing the stage with them. What girl wouldn’t want to share the stage with such talented, funny men?!”

Anthony Facello of Beyond the Ashes said, “Beyond The Ashes considers it such an honor to be asked to co-host the 2011 Diamond Awards in Branson, Missouri this year.  I’m not sure if the Diamond Awards know what they are getting themselves in to.  We know that this year is sure to be the best yet.”

The 2011 Diamond will once again take place at the Branson Gospel Music Revival.  The show will take place on Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Branson, Missouri at the Tri-Lakes Center.  The awards program will precede the Thursday evening concerts and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

For more information on the Diamond Awards – visit the SGN Scoops Digital website at http://www.sgnscoops.com .

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements, christian entertainment, diamond awards | Comments Off on SGN Scoops Digital Announces Hosts for 2011 Diamond Awards