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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Matt Felts On Gospel Music Today

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on September 25, 2017 – 8:21 pm -

Matt Felts On Gospel Music Today

Matt Felts On Gospel Music Today

Matt Felts is the guest on Gospel Music Today for the week of September 24. Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates. The Feature Group is The NewHEART Quartet, and Jean reviews a new recording by The Jordan Family Band.  An article from Singing News magazine is the subject of this week’s News Notes. The show features singing by The Calvarymen Quartet, exclusive concert video of The Circle of Friends featuring Sherman Andrus, recorded by Gospel Music Today’s cameras in Ada, OK, and a visit to the Gospel Music Today Archives for an exclusive concert video of The Ascension Quartet, recorded in Branson, MO.
The show is on KWHB TV47 in Oklahoma every Sunday at 4:30 PM, and on Roku on FFE TV Monday at 8:00 PM and AllNations TV Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 PM.  Check local TV schedule for Bruce, MS, Phenix City, AL, Pontotoc, MS, Beaumont, TX, Tyler, TX. Atlanta, TX, Morrilton, AR, and West Plains, MO. The current edition of Gospel Music Today is online now at the Gospel Music Today website, http://www.gospelmusictoday.com/
 


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Smacker Bats Release Matt Felts Signature Series

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on September 21, 2017 – 10:10 am -

Smacker Bats Release Matt Felts Signature Series

Smacker Bats Release
Matt Felts Signature Series

Nashville, TN Arizona based baseball bat company, Smacker Bats has recently partnered with Southern Gospel artist Matt Felts to release a very special edition bat. The company known for their professional and amateur series hand-crafted bats is now offering a “Matt Felts Signature Series” baseball bat. The bat has Matt Felts signature and logo on the barrel of the bat.

As many fans of Gospel music may know, Matt played college and professional baseball. “Baseball and music have always been a big part of my life. My new solo ministry has allowed me to get back on the field. I am very excited to be partnering with Smacker Bats,” stated Matt Felts. Besides his solo ministry and his duties as General Manager of Butler Music Group, Matt continues to play ball in a vintage baseball league that travels the country. “We are thrilled to partner with Matt Felts on the release of these bats. Matt has long used Smacker Bats on the field, with the release of his new album we wanted to be a part of what he was doing,” added Brian Carter, Smacker Bats.

Matt Felts new solo album, Based On A True Story, includes a unique song entitled, “The First Baseball Game” that features baseball legend Don Mattingly. “It’s an honor to have the baseball community support Gospel music,” added Matt. The album was co-sponsored by the Nashville Sounds, the minor league affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Recently, Matt was contacted by ESPN and the Dan Patrick Show about being a guest in the future. Stay tuned for more details.
The Smacker Bats “Matt Felts Signature Series” bats are available at smackerbats.com. Matt Felts has already started collecting hits on the radio as a soloist and he looks to keep adding them on the field with his partnership with Smacker Bats. To get more information, go to www.mattfelts.com.


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Baseball Legend Don Mattingly Hits A Home Run In Southern Gospel With Matt Felts

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 22, 2017 – 12:40 pm -

Baseball Legend Don Mattingly Hits A Home Run In Southern Gospel With Matt Felts

Baseball Legend Don Mattingly Hits A Home Run In Southern Gospel With Matt Felts

Nashville, TN  Growing up in St. Louis, Matt Felts was most likely the only kid in town with posters of Don Mattingly, star first baseman for the New York Yankees, on his wall. “I was a big fan of his. Even though I was a diehard Cardinals fan, I loved the way he played the game. He was my baseball hero,” stated Matt Felts. Mattingly is considered one of the best first basemen in the history of baseball and is one of a very few to have their number retired by the Yankees. Fast forward 30 years, and Don Mattingly is hitting a homerun of a different kind as a featured guest on Matt Felts’ debut solo project, Based On A True Story.

The unlikely pairing is a unique twist for a Gospel album. For his new project, Matt wanted to find songs that truly told “his” story. Baseball played a huge part of Matt’s life and testimony, having played in the minor leagues, so when he came across a song entitled “The First Baseball Game” written by Maria Cole, wife of Nat King Cole, he knew he had to include it. “It’s a great song that combined the Gospel and baseball. How could I not record that?” stated Matt. “My mom is related to the Mattingly family, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that God crossed my path with Don. I was singing at a church in his hometown. The pastor and I were talking about him. Little did I know that this church was Don’s home church. The pastor left and came back a few minutes later and told me that he had just spoken to Don, and he wanted to invite me up to a game. We try to meet up at least once a season,” he added. When he began work on the album, Matt called Don to see if he would consider being a guest on this song. Mattingly agreed without hesitation. He is currently the manager of the Miami Marlins and recorded his part of the song at the Miami Marlins ballpark.

As expected, Mattingly’s participation has caught the eye of many outside of Gospel music. “The response has already been amazing. We are working with ESPN and other sports outlets on some upcoming appearances,” added Matt. The album also caught the eye of a sports illustrator who created a custom artwork of Matt Felts with Don Mattingly that has been turned into a baseball card. A limited number of signed cards have been inserted into Matt’s new CD. The Nashville Sounds, minor league team for the Oakland A’s, have also partnered with Matt on his project. The Sounds stadium is featured throughout the album, and they have joined Matt on several promotions in support of the album.

Over his legendary career, Don Mattingly collected 2,153 hits. It looks like with the release of “The First Baseball Game” to the fans of Southern Gospel, he may be adding a hit of a different kind to his resume. Fans of baseball and Southern Gospel can find this special album at www.mattfelts.com or on iTunes.


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Matt Felts On Gospel Music Today

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 5, 2017 – 10:48 pm -

Matt Felts On Gospel Music Today

Matt Felts On Gospel Music Today

Matt Felts is the guest on Gospel Music Today for the week of June 4 and Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates. The Feature Group is The NewHEART Quartet, and Jean reviews a new recording by The Jordan Family Band.  An article from Singing News magazine is the subject of this week’s News Notes. In the News this week is Greater Vision, Mark Lowry, Matt Felts and The Down East Boys. The show features singing by The Calvarymen Quartet, exclusive concert video of The Circle of Friends featuring Sherman Andrus, recorded by Gospel Music Today’s cameras in Ada, OK, and a visit to the Gospel Music Today Archives for an exclusive concert video of The Ascension Quartet, recorded in Branson, MO.

The show is on KWHB TV47 in Oklahoma every Sunday at 4:30 PM, and on Roku on FFE TV Monday at 8:00 PM and AllNations TV Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 PM. On DecentTV.tv on ROKU, Amazon FireTV, and Google Chromecast. Check local TV schedule for Bruce, MS, Phenix City, AL, Pontotoc, MS, Beaumont, TX, Tyler, TX. Atlanta, TX, Morrilton, AR, and West Plains, MO. The current edition of Gospel Music Today is online now at the Gospel Music Today website, http://www.gospelmusictoday.com./


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Matt Felts Announces Solo Ministry

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 13, 2017 – 9:28 am -

Matt Felts Announces Solo Ministry

Matt Felts Announces Solo Ministry

Nashville, TN Award winning Southern Gospel artist Matt Felts has announced that he is launching a solo ministry. Known for his years with groups such as the Dixie Melody Boys, Lesters, and others, Felts is excited about this new ministry. “I was blessed to travel many years with some incredible people, but when I came off the road a year ago, God laid a new calling on my heart relating to my music. Many people know some of the trials that our family has experienced. Through those tough times, God crafted a testimony that I feel led to share,” stated Felts.

Matt Felts will be releasing his first solo project, Based On A True Story, June 1. The project was produced by award winning producer Les Butler and includes new songs from writers such as Marty Funderburk, Kenna West, Joseph Habedank, Sue C. Smith, and many more. The album offers a glimpse into Matt’s heart and life with a unique collection of songs that tells his testimony. “Since this is my first solo recording, I wanted this album to tell my story – why I sing and what matters to me. I approached it completely different than I would have normally. This album tells my daughter’s testimony through some incredible songs. Each of these songs means so much to me,” added Felts. The album features some of Southern Gospel’s top artists as guests. More announcements will be released soon.

Felts has been actively involved in Gospel music both an artist and as an industry leader on the business side, serving as General Manager of Butler Music Group for the last year. Felts will remain with Butler Music Group as he adds this new ministry to his schedule. “I’m not going anywhere. If you know me, you know I love marketing and business as much as I love singing. God has truly blessed me to be able to do both,” stated Matt.  When I came on board with Butler Music Group, Les encouraged me to keep singing. There’s no way I could do this without his support,” added Matt.   Butler said, “When God gives you a song, you can’t help but to sing it!  Everyone in my company is bi-vocational – make that tri-vocational.  One thing about Matt and everyone at BMG, we may wear out, but we’ll never rust out!”

The industry has also shown overwhelming support for this new path. “Matt has always been one of my favorite brothers in the ministry. His deep, abiding desire to lead people into a life that includes a righteous relationship with Christ is his primary goal when he brings music to a venue. Matt longs to introduce people to the Jesus of scripture; therefore, he studies the Word. You will not find an artist more passionate about growing the Kingdom of God,” stated Allison Durham Speer. Ernie Haase added, “I’ve known Matt for years, and I’ve always enjoyed his warm personality. It’s that warm personality that brings brilliance to his singing. You will enjoy him. I know I do!”

Matt Felts is currently booking his limited tour schedule that will take him across the country and back in front of fans and friends he has made over the years. Plans are in the works now for Matt to tour with several top groups in Gospel music. To book Matt Felts or to see where he will be near you, go to www.mattfelts.com or follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/mattfeltsmusic.


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WLOSGMH 2017 Convention includes the Williamsons, Freedom Quartet and more

Written by Staff on March 24, 2017 – 1:59 pm -

Williamsons at Creekside 2015

Williamsons

The social media phenomenon We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History (WLOSGMH) is holding a social gathering. Commonly referred to as the Convention, the Facebook group administrators have announced the talent line up for the two day event.

Held March 27 and 28, 2017 at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Murfreesboro, TN the talent quartets, trios, soloists, some comedy and lots of surprises that will highlight the talent portion of the convention.

The WLOSGMH Convention begins Monday, March 27th. The evening begins with a dinner concert at 5:30 pm with7:00 pm concert following. The talent includes: Ann Downing, Williamsons, Sheltons, Collectors Quartet, Charlie Griffin, Administrators Quartet, Johnny Minick and Friends, Freedom Quartet.

Freedom Quartet

Freedom Quartet

Tuesday is a full day of activities! Beginning at 9:30 a.m. enjoy two video productions featuring some of the greatest gospel singing of all time. There will also be a short concert featuring some of the musicians who have joined us. This is always a fun time, because we never know who may decide to show up and entertain us. There will be instrumentalists, soloists, and possibly even a Scrap Iron Quartet or two. For those who have purchased the event package, lunch is provided.

 

Tuesday also features two of the convention highlights “Story Time with the Gospel Legends and Show & Tell.” During this time the collectors will also have an opportunity to show some of their classic memorabilia from the gospel singing world; while gospel music road warriors tell some of their funniest stories.

 

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, Harold Timmons

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, Harold Timmons

Tuesday evening show begins at 6:00 with talent to include: Matt Felts, Harold Timmons, Jordan’s Bridge, Ann Downing, McCray Dove, Jeff Stice, Williamsons, and a special tribute to some of our favorite singers by the Administrators and Collectors.Throughout the convention, various singers, collectors, and merchants will have their wares available for purchase. This is a one of a kind event to add interesting items to your gospel music collection.

 

We have listed the artist websites for your convenience. Get to know them and their music. You will find a wealth of talent, music, passion and as Granny says “just good people.” Your support of these fine artists is greatly appreciated.

 

Jordans Bridge

Jordans Bridge

ARTIST:                      WEBSITE:

Ann Downing               www.anndowning.com

Charlie Griffin              www.CharlieGriffin.net

Ellen Marsh                  www.EllenMarshMusic.com

Freedom Quartet www.freedomquartet.com

Gospel Gallery/

Harold Timmons         www.facebook.com/thegospelgallery

Jeff Stice

Jeff Stice

Jeff Stice                       www.jeffsticemusic.com

Johnny Minick             www.johnnyminick.com

Jordan’s Bridge            www.jordansbridge.com

Matt Felts                     www.facebook.com/felts3

McCray Dove               www.newdovebrothers.com

Rita Spillers                  www.facebook.com/themusiclady

The Sheltons                www.facebook.com/SheltonMusicPickensSC

The Williamsons         www.Williamsonsmusic.com

 

“This convention is an internet social gathering of friends.” Administrator Harold Timmons says, “It is not a time for preaching, nor politics. It is not a church service, nor a political rally. Friends are in for two nights of fine Christian entertainment.”

 

The Clarion Hotel is the convention headquarters. Located at 2227 Old Fort Parkway in Murfreesboro, TN. Contact the hotel at 615-896-2420 asking for the WE LOVE SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY CONVENTION ROOM DISCOUNT.

 

For complete fan package, concert tickets, hotel and event information visit www.facebook.com/groups/sgmhistory/.

For more Gospel music news, click here.


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WLOSGMH Convention announces two-day Schedule

Written by Staff on March 17, 2017 – 12:02 pm -

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann   Downing, Harold Timmons

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, Harold Timmons

People have been asking a lot of questions about the We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History (WLOSGMH) Convention. The interest created has gospel music fans driving and flying from across the states and from the Netherlands. In fact over 37,000 group members are creating the stir with gospel music fans clamoring for more music and history.

 

This Facebook social media gathering has become the talk of the town as interest grows among gospel music fans to know more about the history of the music, performers and the gospel music foundation. The oral history is passed down today by those “you should have been there stories”, videos, music, and collectors who share their memorabilia. Vendor booths showcase those rare one of a kind records, photos, collectibles and do-dads making it a shoppers paradise.

Those coffee or booth conversations are truly a convention highlight.

WLOSGMH administrator John Crenshaw says, “In addition to our great artists, the WLOSGMH convention will feature some great videos featuring the groups from the past. You’ll see the Statesmen, Rebels, Blackwoods, Singing Americans, Speer Family, Happy Goodmans, Rangers Trio and so many others. Many of these videos are being shown here for the first time in more than forty years.”

WLOSGMH collectors and shoppers (l to R) Paul Conner, Gayla Fooks, Brent Joiner, Aaron Rich

WLOSGMH collectors and shoppers (l to R) Paul Conner, Gayla Fooks, Brent Joiner, Aaron Rich

One of the highlights of the convention is the show and tell session. Crenshaw states, “Many collectors will bring their prized possessions to share with the group on Tuesday afternoon. Some of the legends of gospel music will share their humorous road stories. The Tuesday evening concert will feature a tribute to some of the great voices of the past. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but you’ll laugh and cry as you enjoy this tribute.”

Activities for weekend start with members arriving early to participate in a southern gospel tradition, a Red Back Hymnal singing. “On Saturday March 25th from 6-8, many of us will be attending the 4th Annual Rutherford County Red Back Hymnal Singing at Murfreesboro Missionary Baptist Church, 316 Fortress Blvd., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 37128.” Crenshaw continues. “Although this is not officially a part of the We Love Our Southern Gospel Music Convention, they have been very helpful to us, and we will have a special ticket offer available for those who attend the Singing. It’s a great start to the weekend!”

 

The WLOSGMH Convention begins Monday, March 27th. Here are some highlights:

The hotel atrium will be open for buyers and sellers at 10:00 a.m.

WLOSGMH ConventionCheck in and registration will be 3-4:30 with dinner served at 5:30. The Monday evening show begins at 7:00 with talent to include: Ann Downing, Williamsons, Sheltons, Collectors Quartet, Charlie Griffin, Administrators Quartet, Johnny Minick and Friends, Freedom Quartet

Tuesday is a full day of fun filled music and festivities! Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, you will have the opportunity to enjoy two video productions featuring some of the greatest gospel singing of all time. There will also be a short concert featuring some of the musicians who have joined us. This is always a fun time, because we never know who may decide to show up and entertain us. There will be instrumentalists, soloists, and possibly even a Scrap Iron Quartet or two. For those who have purchased the package, lunch will be provided.

Tuesday will also have “Story Time with the Gospel Legends”. The road warriors need to prepare some of their funniest stories for this unforgettable time of sharing. The collectors will also have an opportunity to show some of their classic memorabilia from the gospel singing world.

Come on down, the price right at the WLOSGMH vendor booths.

Come on down, the price right at the WLOSGMH vendor booths.

Tuesday evening show begins at 6:00 with talent to include: Matt Felts, Harold Timmons, Jordan’s Bridge, Ann Downing, McCray Dove, Jeff Stice, Williamsons, and a special tribute to some of our favorite singers by the Administrators and Collectors.

Come on down, the price right at the WLOSGMH vendor booths.

Throughout the convention, various singers, collectors, and merchants will have their wares available for purchase. This is a one of a kind event to add interesting items to your gospel music collection.

“This convention is an internet social gathering of friends.” Administrator Harold Timmons says, “It is not a time for preaching, nor politics. It is not a church service, nor a political rally. Friends are in for two nights of fine Christian entertainment.”

The Clarion Hotel is the convention headquarters. Located at 2227 Old Fort Parkway in Murfreesboro, TN. Contact the hotel at 615-896-2420 asking for the WE LOVE SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY CONVENTION ROOM DISCOUNT.

For complete fan package, concert tickets, hotel and event information visit www.facebook.com/groups/sgmhistory/.  

For more Gospel music news click here.

 


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Matt Felts Leaves The Lesters

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 26, 2015 – 7:46 pm -

Matt Felts

Matt Felts

IMPORTANT NEWS:
As I write this letter I look out the window and see the changing colors of the leaves. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love the crisp night air and everything that comes with it. I hate to see summer end but without it coming to a close there would be no hayrides, pumpkin pies or campfires on a chilly night. Seasons change and with that brings new and exciting things. I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 that reminds us that to everything there is a season. For the last year I have had the honor and privilege to sing night after night with the Lester’s. As many of you know, I grew up in St. Louis and they were heroes of mine. They still are. Brian has been more than a boss, he’s a friend. Many groups have lots of fans. The Lester’s have lots of friends. That says a lot about who they are. From the moment I joined the group they embraced not just me but also my family. We have had lots of laughs and many great memories that I will cherish the rest of my life. When I joined the group I knew God has sent me there and I hoped it would be for many years. I still believe that God sent us there but over the last few months through much prayer I began to feel the Lord closing this chapter of our life. Through a series of events the Lord has moved us in a new direction and I have resigned from the Lester’s.
As most of you know I am married and we have a six year old little girl. I am blessed with an incredible wife and family that fully supports the call of God on my life. For well over a decade they have kept the home fires going while I traveled. Most people will never know just what a sacrifice that is for the families of Gospel singers. There are many missed holidays, family events and special occasions that dad just can’t be there for. I have been blessed with a wife that has never once complained but counts it as a blessing to serve God in this way. I want to thank my beautiful wife Jennifer for her steadfast and unwavering support. Our entire marriage and consisted of me getting on a bus every week and being gone for days or even weeks at a time. Through our prayers we felt it was time for this season to end. The next chapter of our ministry will allow me to be home a lot more.
God has truly opened up some exciting doors for my ministry in a new path that allows me to stay very involved in Gospel music. I will be sharing this news in the upcoming days but I wanted to take this time to publically thank Brian, Jon, Ginger, Donna and the whole Lester family for their kindness and friendship. Many times when someone leaves a group people speculate on why they are leaving or if there were problems. Let me assure you there are none. I love this family and singing with them has been one the greatest blessings I’ve experienced. They will always be family to myself, Jennifer and Abby.
I also want to take a moment to thank the many friends that I have been blessed to make in my time with the Lester’s. You have been so generous and kind to us and it has meant more than you know. I love each of you and hope to see you down the road. Who knows you may see me pop up at the cave from time to time.
Change is hard. While I’m excited for the days ahead, I will miss Jon and Brian and the whole family. I hope many of you will stay in touch with me. I ask for your prayers for myself and my family as we start a new chapter. I also ask that you continue to pray for and support the Lester’s as they continue on. Their ministry has been a blessing to so many including myself for over 90 years. With your love and support I know they will touch lives for another 90.


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Matt Felts Needs Our Help!

Written by Staff on June 23, 2015 – 10:10 am -

Matt Felts

Matt Felts

Matt Felts, vocalist with the Lesters, is in the process of recording a new solo CD. Here is the link to the project www.gofundme.com/mattfelts where you can preorder. All of the proceeds of this project will go to Matt’s daughter’s medical needs.

Abby Felts is six years old and has had numerous surgeries so far in her young life. She will have to undergo several more. We are praying that the Gospel music family will reach out to the Felts’ family with love, prayers and financial support. For more information on Abby and how you can help, go to the link above.

Matt tells us, “Gospel music is truly a family and it’s been a blessing to see how several people have reached out to us. Through this album, friends and fans are impacting not just my life, but more importantly, my daughter’s.”


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Lesters Hit A HOME RUN!

Written by Staff on April 2, 2015 – 12:29 pm -

Lesters threeBy Craig Harris

Veteran tenor singer Matt Felts joins his hometown brethren

When the Lesters were in search of a tenor singer last fall, the long-time family group couldn’t have envisioned all of the pieces to the puzzle fitting together as seamlessly as they did. Into the picture stepped Matt Felts.

Matt Felts

Matt Felts

“It truly is like coming home,” Felts says. “I joke because we’re all from St. Louis. We all get each other’s humor. We all get each other’s food connections. We are watching Cardinals (baseball) games non-stop on the bus.

“You can watch people how they treat people on and off the bus. The way they treated me and my family coming in has been unbelievable. The ministry is why they do it … period. I’ve traveled with lots of great guys, lots of great singers. These are without a doubt the best. Every week feels like a family vacation. I’ve never had more fun.”

Felts spent the previous five years with the Dixie Melody Boys. “When they were looking for a tenor (when the Lesters became a male trio), I heard they were looking, and I instantly called my wife (Jennifer),” Felts remembers. “I said, ‘The Lesters are looking, and I want to take this job.’ It wasn’t the right season (at that time), so I said, ‘We’ll just wait.’

“Justin (Wells, the group’s previous tenor singer) actually texted me and said he was resigning. We were in the car, and I looked at my wife and said, ‘That’s it.’ I felt the season (with the Dixie Melody Boys) was coming to an end. I texted Brian (Lester) right then and said, ‘I’m interested in the job.’ He asked me to come up the next week.”

Lesters oneFelts – a St. Louis native – was born less than a mile from the Lesters’ residence. “We were amazed to watch God’s plan unfold as we began to search for a new tenor,” group manager and lead singer Brian Lester – who stands alongside his son Jonathan as the other vocalists in the trio – shares. “Matt and our former tenor, Justin Wells, have been close friends for years, so they already had a connection, which is how Matt first learned we were looking. Matt is not only from St. Louis but lived just a couple miles away from our home. It was truly a perfect fit. He has fit in so well very quickly.”

Felts adds, “The Lesters were in our house. We knew who they were. They were a household name for us. The earliest group I knew was the Lesters.”

Felts’ first experience in Southern Gospel Music came as a member of the Ohio-based GloryWay Quartet. That was followed by one year with the Skyline Boys, three years with the Monument Quartet and a six-month stint as part of Perfect Heart. Then, he joined the Dixie Melody Boys. Felts admits that those past experiences have helped shape him as an artist.

Matt Felts

Matt Felts

“I’ve tried to glean vocally – but not just vocally, also life – I’ve tried to look at how they did it in this industry for a lifetime,” Felts shares. “It’s been positive for the most part. Ernie Haase has been a like a brother, and there’s Allison Speer and Mike Allen.

“Ed O’Neal gave me free reign. He said, ‘You have ideas … go.’ Not everything works, but you learn.” That creative freedom was essential for Felts, who has a background in marketing. “They (the Lesters) knew my background,” Felts says. “I had a great support staff around me, and what we were able to accomplish with Ed was great.

“They (the Lesters) basically said, ‘What are your ideas? What can we do?’ That’s something (positive) for a guy who is in marketing. We’ll just be talking and new ideas will come. There is a momentum swing right now for new opportunities and new growth.”

One of those new opportunities involved the Lesters filming a live CD and DVD in Boston, a project that is now available. “It’s exciting to bring Southern Gospel to Boston,” Felts points out. “They eat it up every time.”

Felts’ marketing foundation was molded while he was a student at the University of Missouri. Felts also played baseball for the Tigers, graduating in 2001. Felts – a first baseman and relief pitcher – had the opportunity to play professional baseball, spending time in the minor leagues as part of the Kane County (Ill.) Cougars, Springfield/Ozark (Mo.) Mountain Ducks and Canton (Ohio) Coyotes. Felts is related to former New York Yankee great Don Mattingly – who is now the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers – and his wife’s family is related to Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member Honus Wagner. “We are a baseball family,” Felts says.

However, that coveted opportunity on the diamond proved to be a trying period of time for Felts. “I grew up a pastor’s son,” Felts explains. “That lifestyle in baseball is very different. I felt that was what I wanted to do, but I knew that wasn’t for me. Music was always at the front. I always wanted to be in music. The Lord was in music.”

Included among Felts’ favorite Lesters songs are “He Is,” “It’s Gonna Be Wonderful,” “My Savior First of All” and “He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away.”

“Clay was my testimony,” Felts points out. “Coming out of baseball, I felt like I had thrown my life away. I felt like I had made too many mistakes. That song just ministered to me.”

While Felts changed careers at that time, he most recently transitioned from a career with male quartets to becoming a third of a male trio now. “It’s stretching your wings artistically,” Felts says. “I love quartets. It’s nothing against that, but that’s all I’ve ever done. In some ways, you become stagnant. The arrangements they (the Lesters) do, it awakens something in you. It’s exciting.”

Lesters twoThe 37-year-old Felts admits that the support he has received has been overwhelming. “We are thrilled to have Matt and his family join the Lester family,” Brian Lester shares. “He has already been such as great addition, and our fans have embraced him.”

Felts adds, “It breathes new life into your career. The entire industry, the day I announced I was going over to the Lesters, I had people all over the industry congratulating me. A lot of quartet fans couldn’t understand how excited I was, but I knew there would be a lot of variety to the program. That’s exciting.”

 

Be sure to see The Lesters when they are in your area. For more information visit the Lesters website. 

Written by Craig Harris.

First published by SGN Scoops magazine in February 2015. For the current issue of SGN Scoops go to the homepage. 


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