Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Share America Foundation chooses bluegrass mandolinist/harmonica player for scholarship

Written by SGN Scoops on July 26, 2012 – 9:52 am -

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its second 2012 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert featuring the Watkins Family and Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga.

The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

“There is no question that my mom and dad would have loved the enthusiasm and spirit that Tyler shares when he performs,” Franks said. “I am sure his musical talents will encourage many in his lifetime.”

Tyler Martelli, 18, of Hixson, Tenn. graduated from Hixson High School and plans to attend University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“Until I was a freshman, I played electric guitar listening to Rock and Roll,” he said. “Then a friend of mine invited me one night to the Mountain Opry on Signal Mountain. This was my first encounter with bluegrass music.

“I began to regularly sing and perform there and fell in love with the Appalachian style music,” he said. Read more »


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Share America Foundation chooses young singer for scholarship

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 14, 2012 – 12:54 pm -

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its first 2012 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga.

The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

Nicholas Hickman, 12, of Ringgold, Ga. was selected as the Catoosa County Designee for the scholarship. He attends Ringgold Middle School.

“One of our annual scholarships is set aside for a performer from Catoosa County, Ga. There were no applicants from Catoosa this year, so the board of directors chose to select a candidate and award the 2012 scholarship in the year that candidate attends college,” Franks said. “Nicholas is carrying on the traditional music of this region through his learning the basics of vocal techniques used in gospel singing for generations.”

The requirements for designees to receive the scholarship are to fulfill the application requirements in the year he or she enrolls in college immediately following graduation and to continue performing the Appalachian musical style of their choice, according to Franks.

Hickman began singing at the age of three when he stepped on stage with entertainer James Rogers. Recently, Nicholas was winner of Georgia’s “Gospel’s Got Talent” contest, where he placed first in his division. Prior to this, he led his elementary school chorus to receive a second call back with “America’s Got Talent” auditions in Atlanta.

Within the last year, he has traveled with show choir, “SingAkadamie” to Hawaii, where he received a three minute standing ovation at the 3000 seat Blaisdale Concert Hall, singing his signature song, “Amen,” arranged by his private vocal coach, and talent advisor, Sheri Thrower.

He was recently featured on a gospel music video with gospel music legend Phil Cross.

Nicholas is the son of Brent and Barbara Hickman and brother of Zach Carmical, all of Ringgold Ga. He is the grandson of Edward and Carolyn Hickman of Ringgold, Ga. and Jack and Mary Cooper of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, president; Joe Turner, chairman; Gene Lowery, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president and Adam Cathey.

The next concert is July 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Watkins Family and Mountain Cove Bluegrass at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold. Admission is a $5 donation.

For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit www.shareamericafoundation.org.


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Ringgold’s 1890s Day Jamboree Old Time Fiddle Convention highlights talent of all ages

Written by SGN Scoops on May 29, 2012 – 3:42 am -

Fiddlers, guitarists, mandolinists, bands and cloggers from states across the south descended on Ringgold, Ga. May 26, 2012 to compete in the 1890s Day Jamboree Old Time Fiddlers Convention.

Fiddlers of all ages rosined up their bows and cloggers kicked up their heels to win nearly $7,000 in prize money on the Northwest Georgia Bank stage at the historic Catoosa County Courthouse.

“Each year it is amazing to see all the new contestants that travel to be part of this event,” said contest organizer Lewis Taylor. “Our volunteers work hard to make this event an enjoyable one for contestants and attendees alike. I am sure that is one of the reasons we see it grow every year.”

Taylor is a champion harmonica player winning titles in several states and numerous contests.

Johnny Ray Watts of Lineville, Ala. won the Randall Franks Trophy at the 1890s Day Jamboree for the third time.

Watts also won the 22-50-age category for the chance to compete for the trophy.

In the fiddle off, he faced Doug Fleener of Leitchfield, Ky., from 16-21 age category, who placed second, and Mack Snoderly of Clyde, N.C., winner of the 51 and up category, who placed third.

The top prize is named in honor of Appalachian Ambassador of the Fiddle Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” He cheered the top three competitors on in their bid to win the Randall Franks Trophy and the $500 prize. He presented the winners on the main stage with Taylor and emcee Kevin Mudd.

Once holding the title of Georgia State Bluegrass Champion, the International Bluegrass Music Museum Bluegrass Legend and Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame inductee is a former member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, Jim and Jesse’s Virginia Boys and numerous other groups who as a guest star often shared his talents for the Grand Ole Opry. Franks co-hosts the Grand Master Fiddler Championship in Nashville each year. For more information, visit randallfranks.com.

“What a wonderful day of Appalachian fiddle and dance traditions performed from all ages,” he said. “We had an amazing explosion in contestants for the 10 and under fiddle category this year, which was exciting to see.”

Main Stage Fusion won the team dance competition, Center Stage took second place and Mainstream won third and Main Stage Old Timers received fourth. All the groups were from Springfield, Tenn.

In the bluegrass band competition A Step Ahead of Greenbrier, Tenn. won first place with Cadillac Creek of LaGrange, Ga. taking second, Outta the Blue of Lenoir City, Tenn. took third, Cedar Ridge of Chattanooga, Tenn. earned fourth and Junction Grass of Ringgold, Ga. received fifth.

Joel Whittinghill of Bowling Green, Ky. won both the guitar and mandolin contests.

The next 1890s Day Jamboree Old Time Fiddlers Convention will be Memorial Day weekend Saturday 2013 in Ringgold, Ga. For more information, visit www.cityofringgold.comRead more »


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Actor Randall Franks finds “A Mountain Pearl” in his latest project

Written by SGN Scoops on April 30, 2012 – 5:18 am -

Actor/author Randall Franks finds his latest book in the reminiscing of his late mother.

In the valley below the Gravelly Spur Mountain, author Randall Franks spins the tales and adventures inspired for “A Mountain Pearl: Appalachian Reminiscing and Recipes,” by his late mother – Pearl Franks.

“My mother was a wonderful storyteller,” Randall said. “From my earliest bedtime stories, she mesmerized me with mountain legends, struggles for survival, leaving me often hanging waiting for what the next installment would hold.”

Franks, who played “Officer Randy Goode” on the television series “In the Heat of the Night,” shares stories spanning over a century of Appalachian reflections and experience much of it intertwined hopes and dreams in the almost fabled valley where the tales were spun from the people that called it home.

“In this book, I play tribute to my folks who came before and endured the hardships that came from carving a living out hills and hollers of the mountains,” he said. “It reflects on my mother’s life and the lessons she shared with me that she learned in that valley and applied to life when she left it.” Read more »


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Randall Franks and the Watkins Family perform at the premiere of “The Solomon Bunch”

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 20, 2012 – 10:59 am -

Actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” recently attended the premiere of his new film – “The Solomon Bunch.”

“This is such a wonderful film that is tailored for youth,” he said. “In the story five youth learn a lesson as they seek the wisdom of Solomon while solving a summer mystery in their small town.”

Franks made a special appearance in the film as the somewhat quirky “Edgar Albert,” he said.

“I was honored to do a cameo in this project,” he said. “I am sure kids around the world will enjoy this movie for years to come. It was beautifully directed and filmed.”

Franks and The Watkins Family joined cast members on the red carpet before entertaining over a thousand attendees at the debut at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga.

The Watkins Family opened the event with songs from their latest CD “Heaven’s Worth Waiting For” including their upcoming single “What Love Has Grown.”

The Watkins Family is Judy Watkins, Todd Watkins, Lorie Watkins and guitarist Jeff Stanley.

“What an exciting event to be part of,” Lorie said. “It is amazing the sweet spirit that was present throughout the night.”

For more information about the Watkins Family, visit www.watkinsfamilymusic.com.

Later in the program, the Watkins joined Randall Franks on stage as he brought the attendees to their feet with his award-winning fiddling and performances from his “Handshakes and Smiles” CD.

Jason Prisk directed the children’s film from Creekside Films and Pinecrest Pictures. It also stars Craig Crumpton, Audrey McCroskey, Todd Maynor, Abbey Kochman, Landon Dodson, Ethan Meeks, Micah Courtland, and Ashton Williamson.

For more information about Randall Franks, visit http://randallfranks.com/


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Share America Foundation chooses bluegrass bass player for scholarshi​p

Written by SGN Scoops on October 14, 2011 – 6:08 am -

ShareHolloway,MikeAward: Mike Holloway (second from right) receives
the 2011 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship from Randall Franks
(right), Share America Foundation president; and SAF Chairman Joe
Turner (second from left) and SAF Secretary James Pelt. (Share America
photo)

 The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its second 2011
scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert
featuring Testimony Quartet at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga.

The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks
Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former
entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer
Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The scholarships
honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

“My first performance with Bill Monroe found me on stage with an
instrument that was almost completely foreign to me – a bass fiddle,
it takes a great deal of talent to play one well,” Franks said. “Our
recipient certainly does play well and I know this talent will only
enhance the paths he follows in life.”

Mike Holloway, 18, of Signal Mountain, Tenn. graduated from Signal
Mountain High School and now attends University of Tennessee in
Knoxville.

“Music is what makes me who I am,” he said. “One thing I have learned
from my musical experiences is in a room of 20 or more languages, the
common denominator is bluegrass.”

He began playing bass with fellow students learning to become part of
a new band – the Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band.

“Being with this band has changed me,” he said. “It has taught me to
work with others, communicate with people with a foreign language, and
accomplish goals that might seem impossible.”

Mike said he plans to use the  $1,000 scholarship towards his
educational needs to get a degree aerospace engineering.

“I have been taught to never give up and I believe anything is
possible as long as I have a goal,” he said.

He plays bass with the Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band. For more
information, visit www.mountaincovebluegrass.com.

Mike is the son of Donnie and Macel Holloway of Signal Mountain, Tenn.
He is the grandson of Ken and Thelma Holloway of Signal Mountain.,
Tenn. and Macel and the late Emerson Hubbard of Wise, Virginia.

He continues a family legacy passed from his grandfather Ken Holloway,
who plays several instruments and is a coordinator of the long-running
production at the Mountain Opry in Signal Mountain, Tenn.

Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, president; Joe
Turner, chairman; Gene Lowery, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary
and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president and Adam Cathey.

Share’s next fundraising event is Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:45 p.m. at the
Ringgold Depot, Ringgold, Ga.  featuring the Internationally known
comedian and musical impressionist Johnny Counterfit and the Jeff
Hullender Family. Donation is $5.

For more information about the organization and its programs, contact
Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit
www.shareamericafoundation.org.


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Jerry Kirksey and Kenny Gates among 2011 SGMA Hall of Fame inductees

Written by SGN Scoops on October 10, 2011 – 4:03 am -

Jerry Kirksey
 

Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame member Lou Wills-Hildreth inducts Jerry Kirksey into the SGMA Hall of Fame recently in Dollywood. (Photo: Randall Franks)

Jerry Kirksey of Boone, NC attended his induction into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame at Dollywood recently in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
“Jerry began working in radio  during his junior year of high school,” said Charlie Waller, executive director. “After graduation he moved back to Panama City  and worked at radio station  WTHR. He returned to Pensacola  and began working for the Florida Boys in March 1960, a nationally recognized Southern gospel quartet .
“His job at that time was radio  promotions and office manager for the quartet,” he said. “J.G. Whitfield , owner of the Florida Boys quartet, and Jerry founded the Singing News magazine in May 1969. Businessman Maurice Templeton of Boone, NC advertised his Southern Gospel  music cruises in the Singing News  for several years and then purchased the magazine  from J.G. Whitfield and moved it to Boone  in July 1987.
“Jerry was the editor  of Singing News magazine  from its inception in 1969 til his retirement in 2010,” he said. “He has been involved in the Southern Gospel  industry for over 45 years.”
Legacy Five played tribute to him by performing their hit “Just Stand.”
“Well, I got a sad story to tell:  I don’t sing. I don’t write music. I don’t play an instrument. I can’t read music.
I talked to the Lord about that and He said, ‘OK, I will give you something to do in Southern Gospel music that does not require any of those things,’” Kirksey said. “I have been in Southern gospel since 1960 and I have never been to work a day in my life. God has blessed beyond words.
“There are so many people involved with what has happened in my lifetime,” he said. “You don’t accomplish these things by yourself. You accomplish these things by the energy and work of literally hundreds of people over the years.”
Kirksey highlighted his appreciation to J.G. and Hazel Whitfield. Read more »


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Appalachian entertainer Randall Franks has a new award and a new film

Written by SGN Scoops on October 6, 2011 – 12:14 pm -

Randall Franks (center) visits with Country Music Hall of Fame members the Statler Brothers, from left, Phil Balsley, Jimmy Fortune, Don Reid and Harold Reid at the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductions ceremony at Dollywood recently. (Photo: Randall Franks

Appalachian entertainer and actor Randall Franks, “Officer Randy
Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” attended a whirlwind of
events in the past few weeks including the National Quartet
Convention, Bill Monroe’s Centennial Celebration, Southern Gospel
Music Association Hall of Fame Inductions, Singing News Fan Awards and
International Bluegrass Music Association Awards and Fan Fest and the
Grand Master Fiddler Championship.

Randall Franks and the Georgia Mafia Bluegrass Band was recently
awarded the ASE Bluegrass Band of the Year for 2011.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the efforts you make to create a
unique and meaningful sound with your music,” Franks said. “I am
grateful to all those who care about what I do and I thank you for
your support. I also thank the great musicians which make it
possible.”

Franks is currently doing a media tour promoting his latest film
“Decision” where he stars with Natalie Grant, Billy Dean and Mike
Rosenbaum.

“This is a heartwarming story of a family overcoming tragedy,” Franks
said. “I am honored to share a special appearance as ‘Principal Nate
Foster’ helping to guide this family in a positive direction.”

The film, the first of five he completed this year, airs Sunday,
October 16 at 7 and 9 p.m. EST on GMC.

Franks has shared interviews with over 1,400 radio stations in
country, folk, bluegrass and gospel music in recent weeks about the
film, working with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and to raise money
for tornado victims in his hometown of Ringgold, Ga.

For more information, visit http://randallfranks.com/ .


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Share America Foundation chooses bluegrass banjo player for scholarship

Written by SGN Scoops on July 16, 2011 – 7:58 pm -

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its first 2011 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert featuring the Watkins Family and Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga.
The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.
“I know my parents would be excited to see the latest recipient perform,” Franks said. “With his dedication, interest and fostering of the music with a youth group, I know that is exactly what would have put them in his corner. He is a great talent and deserving of this encouragement.”
Cody Harvey, 18, of Signal Mountain, Tenn. graduated from Signal Mountain High School and plans to attend University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
“Since I began playing the banjo, I had always dreamed to have a bluegrass band of people my age,” he said.
He said he actually taught some fellow students and found others who played until the Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band was formed. “Although music is a great passion of mine, I am not looking to make it my profession,” he said.

Read more »


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TV/music celebrities bring attention to hometown tornado needs in Georgia

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on May 21, 2011 – 1:16 pm -

Actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” of TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” gave American Idol ®

American Idol finalist Lauren Alaina and actor/entertainer Randall Franks prepare to take a tour to raise awareness about the needs in their home community.

finalist Lauren Alaina and her family a tour of the tornado devastation in the home community they share in Catoosa County, Ga.. The American Idol crew taped scenes for Alaina’s hometown feature which aired May 19.

The former NBC and CBS star, who made appearances for the Grand Ole Opry ® for 13 years, said he hopes the Idol exposure and recent attention focused by “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” while highlighting Catoosa’s Sharrock Family will help Ringgold and Catoosa County raise the monies needed to help the uninsured and underinsured rebuild their lives.

“So many people across the region were affected by the storms and tornadoes on April 27,” he said. “We lost nine neighbors that night. My home was spared from the devastation that many of my neighbors faced. As I rushed door to door to check on my neighbors, climbing over and under trees, power lines, and the rubble that once was homes, I wondered how we could ever make the community whole again.”

Thanks to the foresight of community and business leaders, churches, civic organizations, the community has created Catoosa Organization Acting in Disaster (COAD), with an existing community non-profit 501-C-3, to lead the effort of rebuilding for those without or with little means, he said.

“I hope that those who might wish to help will reach out with a tax-deductible donation to help bring a new normal for our neighbors,” Franks said. “While the numbers are still being tabulated on how many houses the organization will have to help build or repair, it is safe to say a million dollars is needed to help. Initial numbers show more than 600 homes were hit that night.”

Send tax-deductible donations to Catoosa Organization Acting in Disaster (COAD), P.O. Box 53, Ringgold, Ga. 30736 or visit www.HelpRinggold.com for more information. Locally donations may be made at Capital Bank, Community National Bank, Gateway Bank and Trust and Northwest Georgia Bank. For information about COAD, call (706) 935-2109.


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