Pigeon Forge, TN – The Southern Gospel Promoters Association named Paul Pitts, Founder of Global Promotions, as “Promoter of the Year” during the 57th Annual National Quartet Convention held in Pigeon Forge, TN. Board members, along with booking agencies, record labels, artists and fans were all in attendance for the special presentation. Pitts has quickly risen to the top as an industry leader.
President Edna Wright of the Southern Gospel Promoters Association notes, “Paul Pitts has been one of the most amazing promoters this year. When I look at social media, I continually see his name and Global Promotions. I really appreciate him and all the work he has done in Southern Gospel Music. He is so deserving of this award.” Pitts joins top promoters Bill Bailey (2008), Twila Rohrer (2009), Herb Henry (2010), Mike Wheeler (2011), Ralph Dean (2012), and Mel Riegseckey (2013) in receiving this prestigious award.
Danny Jones, Editor of the Singing News, presented Pitts with the award. Paul shares, “I’m proud to accept this award on behalf of all Southern Gospel Promoters and am very humbled by this.”
Paul Pitts is an accomplished Executive Leader with substantial career experience ranging from developing start –ups to leading high performing multiple discipline organizations. He is a known commodity in the business world as one that has built successful companies from the ground up, turning them into very successful businesses.
Global Promotions will host concerts and tours in at least twelve states in 2015 with artists such as Mark Lowry, The Crabb Family, The Martins, and the Booth Brothers. Pitts has multiple-day events, tours and concerts scheduled well into 2016. Visitwww.globalpromo.org to stay up to date on all future tours and concerts.
Tags: Edna Wright, Global Promotions, gospel music, national Quartet Convention, nqc, Paul Pitts, southern gospel, Southern Gospel Promoters Association
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The 57th Annual NQC concludes this evening with performances by GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame members The Hoppers, Greater Vision, fan favorites The Perrys, Triumphant Quartetand the Collingsworth Family, among others.
The National Quartet Convention is the only event of the year where fans can see and hear their favorite artists at a single event, and then meet them and purchase their products. Music lovers can enjoy their favorite music all day and night, as music spectaculars begin each morning and continue until at least 11 PM each evening.
Tickets are already on sale for NQC 2015 and can be purchased online at www.nqconline.com.
Tags: America, America The Beautiful, Call To Prayer, Christian Music, gospel music, Grammy Winner, Jason Crabb, national Quartet Convention, nqc
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By Craig Harris
Once again, Craig Harris provides terrific photographs from the last day of NQC 2014 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Hope you’ve enjoyed these albums! Let us know… firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Christian Music, Craig Harris, gold city, gospel music, Kingdom Heirs, national Quartet Convention, nqc, Renaissance Quartet, sgn scoops, Sneed Family, Triumphant
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Photos by Craig Harris
Craig Harris once again provides on-the-scene reporting in pictures from the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, TN. These photographs are from the Friday evening concert. Enjoy!
Tags: Christian concert, Craig Harris, ernie haase and signature sound, Gospel concert, jeff and sheri easter, national Quartet Convention, nqc, sgn scoops
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Jason Crabb certainly took a leap, and it worked! This leap was an unusual set on the Friday night of the National Quartet Convention. Following Crabb’s performance, the rest of the night was different. Crabb had brought those in attendance back to their roots. And from there, the other stage artists were able to build on sharing a deeper faith. Certainly innovative, creative and very gutsy, but Crabb pulled it off!
The National Quartet Convention’s inaugural move to Pigeon Forge, TN is complete. As the week progressed, adjustments were made to the minutest details. Traditionally, Friday night is the NQC shining moment. However in 2014, Friday was the culmination of an army of coordination efforts and proved to be the highlight of a week of special moments. But, something extraordinary happened when Jason Crabb and company took center stage.
There was great anticipation in the room as the Crabb team took time to set up a very different scene. Jason Crabb entered the stage with a large team of band members dressed in Derby hats, suspenders, and girls dressed in vintage dresses, wearing gloves. This was definitely not going to be an ordinary set for Crabb. This was also one situation where the pictures truly tell the tale.
As the lights went up, the multiple screens in the room went to scratchy black and white. An accordion player began this unusual set while Jason began singing very traditional gospel tunes, 40’s style around a big old style silver microphone. The backup singers swooned with harmony to Jason’s smooth sounds.
His eldest daughter joined Crabb on stage, singing the answer lines to “This Little Light of Mine” while sharing the microphone with her dad. No special arrangement, just pure classic Sunday School style innocence of an era gone by.
The “concept style” production was totally outside the box for this NQC crowd who has grown accustomed to groups singing their most current radio releases. Crabb sang nothing that was flashy, until the group sang “America the Beautiful”. During the bridge, Crabb saluted the veteran’s in attendance. All eyes were focused on the stage when the understated set came to a conclusion.
Do not be deceived; something very special happened in that 20 minutes. The atmosphere in the room of over 12,000 completely changed. The air was no longer charged with hype. It had been replaced with simplicity. Sometimes, simple is the easiest form of communication.
Tags: Candace Combs, Candi Combs, Christian Music, gospel music, Jason Crabb, national Quartet Convention, nqc
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Photographs by Craig Harris
Once again, SGN Scoops’ reporter Craig Harris gives us a look at the evening performances during the National Quartet Convention. Thursday’s events also included the Singing News’ Fan Awards.
Tags: brian free, brian free and assurance, Christian Music, Craig Harris, Dixie Echoes, Dixie Melody Boys, Ed O'Neal, gospel music, Greater Vision, Lauren Talley, national Quartet Convention, nqc, Randy Shelnut, Rodney Griffin, sgn scoops, singing news fan awards, the isaacs, The Taylors
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Pictures by Craig Harris of SGN Scoops…one of our roving reporters on the scene at the National Quartet Convention!
Tags: Bryan Walker, Clarke Beasley, Connie Hopper, Craig Harris, Gary Casto, legacy five, national Quartet Convention, nqc, sgn scoops, The Hoppers, The Kingsmen, the perrys, The Whisnants, Tribute
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My Southern Gospel Experience : A Canadian’s Journey Into An American Tradition
By Phil Foster
As I walk in the front door of the huge auditorium, a smell of caramel popcorn invades my nostrils! I can hear the sound of some group singing in the background and find myself unconsciously singing along to whatever song is being sung. I see hundreds of people walking in every direction. Then, all of a sudden, I see Mark Trammel, or Gerald Wolfe or Peg McKamey walk by! I’m at the National Quartet Convention for the very first time. It seems that every emotion I possess has been activated!
A few years back, I think it was in the late 80’s, I had the privilege to go to the Quartet Convention in Kentucky. Wow! What an experience. The first time I went to Louisville, or Looville, or Looeyville, however you pronounce it, I was wide-eyed like a little kid in a candy shop.
Everywhere I turned, I saw many of the artists I had listened to over the years. I saw a particular group, and recalled singing along with them to some song on one of my old cassettes. I remember walking down one of the aisles, gawking at everything in sight, not really paying attention to where or what I was doing. At one point, I was walking, looking to my left at the Nelon’s display and bumped into Naomi Sego, nearly knocking her over. I was so embarrassed, but being the woman of God she is, she was very gracious. She smiled and said, “Excuse me.” She apologized to me!
That was a very small thing but something I never forgot. It was not just the “excuse me”, that she said, but the manner she said it, the look of kindness in her eyes and the smile on her face. This woman shone with the love of God in her life. Believe it or not, that simple incident left a huge impact on me.
As I wandered around up and down the aisles that seemed at times to go on forever, I found myself at the end of one of the aisles in front of the Gaither display. There, standing all by himself, his arms folded in his familiar pose, stood Jake Hess. I am sure I must have looked like a complete idiot standing there, gawking and staring. Then he walked over to me. I wasn’t sure if I should run or stay. He smiled at me, stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Jake Hess.” WOW! Jake Hess is introducing himself to me! I can’t remember if I said anything back or not, but he asked me, “What is your name?” WOW again! Jake Hess wants to know my name! I told him and then he asked, “Where are you from?” WOW again. I told him I was from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
I finally composed myself and found myself thanking him for all the years in Gospel Music, and for all the blessings that came my way, because of him and the Statesmen. I babbled on and on for what seemed like an eternity. Jake stood there the whole the time, with that famous hand on elbow; hand on face pose of his. He was genuinely moved by what I was saying.
He had tears in his eyes as I thanked him. Before I left, he asked me one more time, “What did you say your name was?” I won’t say “Wow” again, but I was amazed that he was genuinely interested in knowing my name and what I had to say. In my whole lifetime, I can honestly say, Jake Hess made more of an impact on me than any other person has to date. I vividly remember floating back to my seat in the auditorium; my wife looked at me and said, “Who did you meet?”
As the years passed from that moment, I have often wondered to myself whether what I felt was just infatuation over one of my heroes, or was it a genuine presence of the love of God in this man? Personally, I think it was both. But there is no denying the presence of God that Jake Hess had in his life. It shone from him. It poured out of his mouth when he talked. It flowed from him when he sang. It will be a moment in time that I will never ever forget. I remember reading somewhere that Elvis Presley had said that Jake Hess was his favorite singer. I wonder whether Elvis felt that love of God that flow from Jake? I’m sure he must have.
After I came down from that experience a little, I wandered around to the far side of the hall. Standing there, all alone in a little booth, was James Blackwood. I instantly felt sorry for him. Here was a pioneer in Southern Gospel Music, all by himself. It did not seem right to me. I walked over to him, and basically said the same thing that I said to Jake. I thanked him for all those years and informed him that his group was one of the first professional concerts I had ever been too.
I don’t know who the promoter was, but I remember going to PCVS School in Peterborough, back in the 70’s where I saw the Blackwood Brothers and the McDuff Brothers. I told him that and he said he remembered being in Peterborough. As we chatted, I recalled the same type of experience that I encountered with Jake Hess. James Blackwood was a gentleman all the way. We both reminisced about days gone by and I asked if I could take his picture,. I walked away from that experience once again amazed at the presence of God that I felt. I was learning great life lessons but didn’t realize to what extent for many years after.
There were many experiences from attending the National Quartet Convention in Louisville. I met many people, and so many of them had an impact on my life. I learned that they are people just like you and me. I guess what I mean by that is I had a tendency of putting people on pedestals, whether they were a Gospel artist, or a minister of the Gospel. Certain preachers that I used to put on that proverbial pedestal let me down. The media just loves it when a man of God slips up and it goes public. Well guess what? They are human. I had to learn that. I believe God allows things to happen to people in the public eye, if only to bring the focus back to Him.
Jake Hess taught me that. James Blackwood taught me that. Just having a simple conversation with these men of God, they taught me to put my focus on God, not man. They are just people, ordinary men and women that make mistakes just like I do. Man will let you down every time. God will never let us down.
Written by Philip R Foster
First published by SGM Radio website in March 2012
For current SGM Radio features visit http://www.sgmradio.com/
Tags: Christian Music, Ed O'Neal, gospel music, Jake Hess, James Blackwood, Naomi Sego, nqc, the nelons
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The NQC – The Grand-daddy of them all!
I was a teenager and had started singing with a regional group. I had been to a few concerts at the Lake Norman Music Hall to see the big names of gospel music. But that year, 1979, as “Convention time “ came around the word came down that we were going to the NQC in Nashville, Tennessee. I was told of the singing, the groups, the booths around the main level of the Municipal Auditorium and how much fun it would be.
October came and there I was in Nashville at the NQC. The first night I heard the Blackwood Brothers, Kingsmen and Cathedrals and about a dozen more groups. I sat enthralled at every singer on stage. I remember walking the circle and meeting the artists and the fans. They were everywhere! I spoke with Eldridge Fox, George Younce, The Speers and got to meet so many artists that I had grown up with. I was in heaven.
We went to the Auditorium early, to walk around Nashville. Then at the auditorium I met NQC volunteer worker Jim Sheets, who became a dear friend. We walked the circle and talked to the groups
getting ready for the night. Walked around the auditorium looking at buses and talking to other fans doing the same thing. Then we talked with DJs from around America. Yes I was truly in heaven.
In Nashville we ate at Hap-Towns Diner, Elliston Place Soda Fountain, went to Opryland, the Grand Ol’ Opry, Printers’ Alley and had a picnic in Centennial Park. We went down Music Row, saw the historic studios, met JD Sumner at the Stamps Building, talked to Ben Speer in the Speer Recording Studio, went to the Country Music tourist sights and just saw it all! Yes I was in Gospel music
I will never forget those memories and the people! The smells, the excitement and most of all the music!
Submitted by Charlie Griffin
Please submit your NQC memories to email@example.com
Tags: Ben Speer, Blackwood Brothers, Cathedrals, Charlie Griffin, Christian Music, Eldridge Fox, George Younce, gospel music, JD Sumner, Kingsmen, nashville, national Quartet Convention, nqc, southern gospel, The Speers
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By Lorraine Walker
The National Quartet Convention is always a week filled with song, laughter, chatter and high emotion. Late nights, great music and unique events flavored with a spiritual overtone of worship and praise can lead to both hugs and tears on a moment’s notice. This year, we look at the Convention through the eyes of the Media. As a representative of SGM Radio and SGN Scoops, this reporter attended the Convention in Louisville Kentucky from Wednesday through Saturday nights. Here are some of the highlights from a media-card-wearing, Southern-Gospel-loving fan.
Walking into the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday afternoon, it was good to see some fans had already arrived to do their pre-concert shopping. Many booths featuring jewelry and clothing were set up on the outside aisles, while major artists had bright and visible exhibits, easily found upon entering the main doors. The concession stands did a brisk business for most of the evening while large screens showing the live main-stage events entertained customers.
Greeting friends and making new acquaintances is always a large part of NQC, as much as finding the latest products and obtaining your favorite artist’s autograph. Southern Gospel is known for the accessibility of its artists and the Convention is the pinnacle of that tradition. Many artists arrived on Sunday and stayed at their booths for several hours each night to meet, talk, shake hands with and pray for fans and friends. Although there were those who needed to travel to other dates and were therefore unable to attend all six nights, this event is proof again that Southern Gospel artists are there for the fans.
A few hours at the booth of SGM Radio and SGN Scoops is also proof of the artist’s desire to connect with fans. Knowing that the listener, reader and down-loader of Southern Gospel information is always avid to hear from the heart of their favorite singer, artists attended the booth from two-o’clock in the afternoon until as late as 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night for interviews. The staff of SGM Radio and SGN Scoops is keenly aware of the busy schedules of artists during this week and gratefully acknowledge the assistance and consideration of everyone that came by to talk with Rob Patz, Rhonda Frye and this reporter. Video interviews can be seen now on You Tube under the search words SGN Scoops. Recorded interviews will be used for upcoming features on both websites.
The view from the media booth included glimpses of Southern Gospel legends like Bill Gaither, Claude Hopper and Les Beasely. Favorite artists came to visit, like Triumphant, Greater Vision and Legacy Five. Friends we have chatted with over the past few months also stopped by, like Adam Crabb, Channing Eleton, the Easters and the Collingsworth Family. Admittedly in awe, this reporter was honored to interview Rambo McGuire and Marshall Hall. From inside and out, from the average fan to the Elvis impersonator, there is always something interesting to see at the media booth.
Thursday morning brought an annual event that is anticipated all year: the Daywind Media Breakfast. No longer just incorporating radio deejays, representatives from digital media are also invited to this shindig presented by Daywind and hosted by the incredibly talented Donna Beauvais. Artists and media intermingle to ‘put a face to a name’ and make that next call for an interview just that much easier. Moments that were special to this attendee include seeing John Berry, Country superstar and singer of “Your Love Amazes Me”; the poetry of Kelly Wright; the hospitality of Norm Holland and the ‘a-ha’ moment when radio deejays, reporters and media personnel were reminded why they work so hard, often on voluntary terms, for a unseen audience. The attendees were then treated to a special concert by Daywind artists, which became a worship service with tears shed, hands lifted and hearts gladdened.
SGM Radio and SGN Scoops wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Daywind and its artists for a very special morning. This event was the only one planned for media during the Convention, but very much appreciated. The team at Daywind is not only generous and accommodating to Southern Gospel media, but also committed to ministry and spreading the Gospel. Their artists are some of the best in the industry and it was a privilege to be able to actually sit, listen and be ministered too on that Thursday morning.
Media attendees know that unless you are specifically covering certain artists or events with camera and recorder in hand, you often have the extra time to listen to the wonderful music being played day and night at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. Unfortunately, that may mean that special performances are missed. Wonderful reports were heard from those who attended the Gaither Sing-a-long and Gaither Vocal Band reunion showcases near the end of the NQC week. Other special events and speakers were also well attended, such as the address given by David Jeremiah to a packed house on Friday morning.
Two showcases that this reporter was privileged to attend were both well attended and provided excellent artist performances. On Thursday, Canadian male quartet The Torchmen sang in the East Wing, along with four other artists. Other notable groups included Akins, four men whose country-flavored original songs and musical talent bode well for a long and fruitful career; and Three Bridges, whose vocals are outstanding. Tim Lovelace was the matchless emcee at this event and also favored the audience with two songs in his inimitable style. The Torchmen represented Canada well and were privileged to also perform on the main stage in the Thursday evening concert.
Friday afternoon, The Chapelaires from London, Ontario performed in the South Wing to a full house. The crowd was enthusiastic and enjoyed the mixed-quartet’s smooth and honest delivery. Just prior to The Chapelaires was Lindsay Huggins, a young lady with a powerful voice who drew us to worship with the Natalie Grant chorus, ‘In Christ Alone’.
Special morning events, noontime showcases, and early afternoon interviews at the media booth make for a busy schedule. Special mention should be made at this time regarding the NQC ice cream, which is always appreciated! Interviews began at the SGN Scoops/SGM Radio booth early in the afternoon and were often scheduled at 15-minute intervals for on-camera chats and half-hour intervals for discussions leading to feature articles. Upcoming features on SGN Scoops and SGM Radio will enlighten readers further regarding these discussions, but at this time, this reporter would like to thank the following artists:
To Marshall Hall, Brian Free and Assurance, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, the Booth Brothers and many more: Thank you for your transparency and authenticity. Thanks for not being afraid of the hard questions and for teaching this reporter what it means to be real, consistent, focused and committed. Thank you for your comments about media and what we are doing right, and thank you even more for sharing your thoughts about how we can do our job better.
To Rambo-McGuire: Thank you for being ‘real’ to this reporter and long-time fan. Thank you for sharing your hearts and proving that it’s not just lyrics and chords. Southern Gospel and the music of Dottie Rambo is worship, ministry and praise.
To those who stopped by the media booth to say hello because they had seen something about us on Facebook or Twitter, to old friends that we only see at this event and to those who just came for the cake: Thank you for coming by and enriching the view from the media booth.
The National Quartet Convention is for the listeners and artists, industry and media. But more than that, it is a celebration of music that uplifts the name of God. It is the goal of SGM Radio and SGN Scoops to do just that. We trust we will continue to entertain and inform the listener, encourage artists and glorify God in everything we publish.
By Lorraine Walker
First Published by SGN Scoops digital magazine, October 2011
For current issues of SGN Scoops, visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/
Tags: Christian Music, Lorraine Walker, media, national Quartet Convention, nqc, sgn scoops
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