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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

2014 Diamond Award Winners Announced At Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Written by Staff on November 5, 2014 – 8:31 am -

Karen Peck and New River with Rob Patz.

Karen Peck and New River with Rob Patz.

Pigeon Forge, TN.(November 5, 2014) – SGN Scoops and Creekside Gospel Music Convention was proud to present the 2014 Diamond Awards on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The gala celebration was hosted by Tim Lovelace and included appearances by The Blackwoods, Karen Peck and New River, the Dixie Melody Boys, the Freemans and many others. The evening was also filmed by WATC, Channel 57 of Atlanta, Georgia, to be aired/streamed at a later date.

The big winners of the night were Karen Peck and New River, who were honored with Song Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Mixed Group Of The Year and Trio Of The Year. Karen Peck Gooch was the 2014 Female Artist Of The Year.

"Living Legend" Ed O'Neal

“Living Legend” Ed O’Neal

Ken and Jean Grady of Gospel Music Today were award winners and Jean also contributed to the planning of the program. “It was a Southern Gospel star-studded night in Pigeon Forge at the Creekside Gospel Music Convention Diamond Awards. What a blessing to see so many artists and friends for the annual Awards show.  Although it was a lot of work, it was well worth it as the artists sang and the artists and industry professionals received their awards.”

Rob Patz, CEO of Coastal Media Group and publisher of SGNScoops, commented, “The Diamond Awards are always a special time of honoring the Gospel artists that fill our world with the music we love,” said Patz. “It’s great to take this opportunity to thank them and to be able to share the ceremony with fans across the nation and the world by internet. We are grateful to Tim Lovelace, our special musical guests and t

The Freemans, 2014 Christian Country Group Of The Year

The Freemans, 2014 Christian Country Group Of The Year

o WATC for recording the Diamond Awards. We had a great time at the ceremony and we hope everyone will tune in and watch!”

“What an awesome night at the Diamond Awards at Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2014. What a blessing to be a part of such a great event!” said Vonda Easley, from Strictly Southern With Vonda Easley. Vonda is also a vocalist with Hope’s Journey and part of the SGN Scoops staff. “The music was amazing and the winners were deserving. I loved it!”

Jonathan Edwards, from Faith’s Journey, is part of the Creekside crew and the voice of SGN Scoops Radio. He stated, “I am always thrilled at the amount of talent that is featured on the Diamond Award program and this year was no different. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a small part of this special event.”

Lorraine Walker, acting editor of SGN Scoops digital magazine, was unable to be present but noted that a lot of work goes into the planning and execution of the Diamond Awards. “Many people have contributed to this year’s Diamond Awards event and I am thrilled that it was such a beautiful night. My thanks to the volunteers and staff of Creekside and SGN Scoops for making the Diamond Awards an exceptional evening. Congratulations to each of the very deserving winners!”

Lou Hildreth Award Winner and MC, Tim Lovelace

Lou Hildreth Award Winner and MC, Tim Lovelace

The 2014 Diamond Award Winners Are:

J.D. SUMNER LIVING LEGEND AWARD: Ed O’Neal

MIXED GROUP OF THE YEAR: Karen Peck and New River

QUARTET OF THE YEAR: Brian Free and Assurance

TRIO OF THE YEAR: Karen Peck and New River

DUET OF THE YEAR: Aaron and Amanda Crabb

FEMALE SOLOIST OF THE YEAR: Karen Peck Gooch

MALE SOLOIST OF THE YEAR: Jason Crabb

SUNRISE AWARD: 11th Hour

SONG OF THE YEAR: Revival – Karen Peck and New River

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Revival – Karen Peck and New River

Jeff Steele, 2014 Dottie Rambo Songwriter Of The Year

Jeff Steele, 2014 Dottie Rambo Songwriter Of The Year

CHRISTIAN COUNTRY GROUP OF THE YEAR: The Freemans

CHRISTIAN COUNTRY FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Christy Sutherland

CHRISTIAN COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR: James and Jeff Easter – Like Father, Like Son

ANTHONY BURGER INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR: Gordon Mote

DOTTIE RAMBO SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Steele

BLUEGRASS GOSPEL ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Doyle Lawson & Quick Silver

VIDEO/DVD OF THE YEAR: Lead Me Home – The Freemans

FAVORITE ARTIST WEBSITE: LeFevre Quartet

FAVORITE INDUSTRY WEBSITE: Gospel Music Today

Karen Peck and New River, multi-award winners.

Karen Peck and New River, multi-award winners.

PAUL HEIL AWARD (Broadcasting): Ken and Jean Grady- Gospel Music Today

CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Jason Crabb

LOU HILDRETH AWARD: Tim Lovelace

PUBLISHER’S CHOICE AWARD: Donna Blackwood

 

The  Creekside Gospel Music Convention is being held now at the Smokey Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from November 3rd through 6th, 2014. The CGMC is presented by SGN Scoops and Coastal Media Group at Pigeon Forge and is the home of The Diamond Awards and other special events. For more information on Creekside Gospel Music Convention visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/

Thanks to Robert York for the Diamond Awards pictures.

About SGNScoops: SGNScoops Digital is a fully-downloadable monthly magazine that exists to promote the gospel by unveiling what is intriguing and real about Southern Gospel and Christian Country music. SGNScoops offers music news and views as well as concert and book reviews, inspirational articles and features reaching beyond our gospel music world. SGNScoops is the home of the Diamond Awards, a fan-based annual awards program recognizing the best in Southern Gospel and Christian Country music.   SGN Scoops is always digital, always free. For more information: http://www.sgnscoops.com/

 


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Creekside Monday Night Bash

Written by Staff on November 4, 2014 – 3:48 pm -

RP and cast. RYCreekside Gospel Music Convention held its first concert for the 2014 Convention on Monday, November 3rd at 5:30pm. Creekside and SGN Scoops staff present and on stage for the event included Donnie Williamson, Ava Kasich, Vonda Easley, Rob Patz and Jonathan Edwards.

Groups performing on stage included the Shannon’s, The Steeles with special guests Tony Gore and

The Steeles with John Lanier and Tony Gore

The Steeles with John Lanier and Tony Gore

Pine Ridge Boys

Pine Ridge Boys

Faith's Journey

Faith’s Journey

Willie Wynn Bash

Willie Wynn Bash

John Lanier, Sacred Harmony, Jericho Junction, Crimson Ridge, Faiths Journey, Jason Runnels, Williamsons, Pine Ridge Boys.

Following this, the Lou Wills Hildreth Honors Award was presented to Willie Wynn. Woody Wright saluted Willie by gathering some of his friends from The Kramers, Sweetwater and the Tennesseans.

For more details of the evening’s events, click on to http://www.sgnscoops.net/

For more information on Creekside visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/

Be sure to catch the November issue of SGN Scoops for all the Creekside details! Coming soon! www.sgnscoops.com

 

Special thanks to Robert York and Michelle Drummond for photographs.


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Rob Patz Talking About Creekside 2014

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 23, 2014 – 8:41 am -

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

Ken Grady of Gospel Music Today talks with Rob Patz of Coastal Media Group about the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, November 3rd through 6th at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in this video recorded at the Ozark Gospel Music Convention.

Join Rob, Ken and all the artists at Creekside for a great event featuring Little Willie Wynn’s Big Bash, the 2014 Diamond Awards, the Red Back Hymn Book Choir, chapel services, concert matinees and so much more. Tickets are absolutely FREE for this event but must be reserved HERE. For more information visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/


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What America Wants To Know About Donna King

Written by Staff on October 22, 2014 – 9:30 am -

donna oneBy Rob Patz

Donna King is one of the most energetic, joyful, exuberant Christians in the Gospel music industry. She sings, produces, promotes, writes and has experience in just about every corner of the industry. Perhaps you know Donna from hearing her with her husband Zane on their singles, “Shine,” “Hallelujah, Jesus Saves” and “If There Was Any Other Way.” Or maybe you heard some of her solo music at Christmas, or your group has worked with her in her Vertical Sky promotions or the studio owned by the Kings. If you haven’t met Donna King, you should. She will “Shine” all over you and you will know that you’ve been in the presence of a child of God.

donna twoI have known Donna King for many years and have so appreciated her wonderful personality and generous spirit. I hope you can catch a bit of the Donna I know in this interview…

 

Rob Patz: Donna, you do so many things in Christian music and wear a lot of hats. In fact, you might be called the Hat Queen. Can you please tell us about all your hats?

Donna King: Whew. Okay, where do I begin?  First, I love my job/jobs and hat/hats! What a blessing to be a part of something that carries with it a message that can make a REAL difference in someone’s life. Every time I do anything in our genre, I am reminded that it’s all important. Speaking of all…Follow me to my imaginary hat closet!

Hat #1: The Family Hat. I am a wife and a mother of six children (between Zane and I) and three grandchildren! Other than my relationship with GOD, this hat is the most important and valuable hat I ever wear. Loving my family well has become my life pursuit. In early music ministry, I think I put that hat on then switched hats to “singer” and so on. Now I know that this is the hat that stays on at all times, even when I am changing the other hats from one to another.

Hat #2: The Songwriter Hat. It’s decorated with words and melodies. I try to wear it at least a couple days a week. I love it but I don’t force it on my head… I wait until I feel inspired.

Zane and Donna King

Zane and Donna King

Hat #3: The Producer Hat: I wear it almost every day and I love this hat too! Helping artists make music that reaches people; now that is an honor and a blessing that is mega-special!  I love people and I try to help artists record quality albums. My most important objective is to help them paint a picture of the love of God and to convey that in their songs, both musically and vocally.

Hat #4: The Radio Promotion and Marketing Hat: This is the hat where I dial in which songs are right for radio and I get to share that wonderful music with my precious friends at Christian radio around the world. Love that hat because it is a hat that represents the core of what I do, which is reaching people with love and hope.

Hat #5: The Press/Public Relations Hat: This one gets the word out about an artist or company! It just works well in conjunction with my radio hat. I love letting people know about the wonderful gifts God is using in the lives of the artists He allows me to work with!

And last but definitely not least, #6: The Ministry Hat: This one is getting more use lately and I am so, so thankful. God is opening doors for Zane and I to go out and sing and share what God is teaching us with others. Our message is that God is Redeemer, Restorer, and Renewer. He loves us and He wants what’s best for us. We are striving to share an honest message of hope with those He puts in our path. I am beginning to do some ladies speaking engagements and solo ministry dates as well. And through all of that, my husband’s main ministry hat, Compassion International, is a major part of what we do and share. It’s a powerful ministry, helping children in extreme poverty to be fed, not just physically, but spiritually too!

 

donna dking song of noelRob: Of all your hats, which is your favorite one to wear and why?

Donna: My favorite hat is the family hat; for obvious reasons! If you have kids or grandkids, you know what I mean! But, from a career standpoint, my favorite may surprise you.  I love, love, love everything I do. Production is of course way up there, as is ministering with my husband, but my favorite is actually songwriting. There’s something about the quiet but consistent motion in the process of writing a song that makes me feel as close to God as I can get this side of heaven.

 

Rob: You and your husband Zane have been releasing singles for more than a year…what is your latest and can you tell us something about the song?

Donna: Yes…and one day we will finish the whole album! You see, in my studio (Flight Studio Nashville) my artists always come first, so it seems it may take us 20 years to finish one album of our own! Our current single is very special to me. This song, written by Zane, Charles Isbell, and myself is an honest message about pain and learning to trust that God knows what’s best for each of us.

The interesting thing is that I have been going through a personal season in pain over a family situation and so, this song, intended to minister to those who hear it at radio, turned around and ministered right back to me. It is entitled “If There Was Any Other Way.”

It talks about what Christ went through for us and how if the Father could have done it any other way, He would have. But, He knew the sacrifice for our sin had to be made and He did it all for us, out of His great love for us. And, though our life experiences cannot compare to what Christ endured on the cross for us, God still knows what’s best. He allows things in our lives, not to make us happy or sad, but to teach us to draw close to Him and trust in His plans for our lives.  I’m so thankful for His love.

 

donna fiveRob: When are you going to record a full length Z and D recording?

Donna: Well, though I said 20 years, we actually hope to have our first full length album ready for release by October of this year, 2014! It will include the singles folks have heard on the radio or seen on the Gospel music charts. Additionally, it will include a slew of brand new songs, all of which are written or co-written by Zane and I.

It’s been a process of writing our heart and creating music we feel paints a real picture of a real and loving God. We want to offer hope to people. We love people and we know that God loves people, all of us, with all of our flaws, even more. The album will be entitled Shine. I also completed a full length Christmas album late last year, which was a dream that God blessed me with the opportunity to fulfill! It’s called Song of Noel.

 

Rob: What is your favorite part about Vertical Sky?

Donna: My favorite thing about Vertical Sky is celebrating the gift of music in such a limitless way. My idea, when I formed the company, was that, with GOD, even the sky is not the limit.  We serve a limitless God, so, getting to help others grow in their music and ministry, exceed their own limited goals and reach for God’s dreams, and watch songs touch hearts over and over – that is what I love! I love music and I love how God uses it.

 

Rob: Where do you and Zane like to go on vacation? Do you have any fun things you like to do while you are there?

Donna: We love the ocean, we love the beach and we love anywhere our kids are! We rarely steal away for a vacation, but when we do, give us a book and a lounge chair (and umbrella to save my husband from sunburn) and come get us when the sun goes down! To be honest, we enjoy so many aspects of our work in music and ministry that we have kind of adopted a song lyric we heard recently. I can’t remember the name of the song, but I do remember the lyric, “You don’t need a vacation when there’s nothing to escape from.” We feel very grateful. We do work hard, but we are passionate about our work.

 

Rob: Who does most of the cooking in your house? What is your favorite home-cooked meal?

Donna: Who does most of the cooking?  Well, she doesn’t live with us, but we sure love her cooking and we eat more of her meals than our own: Zane’s mom, Sue King.  She is the queen of fried chicken and chili and another 200 dishes that are yummy!  Zane and I take turns at cooking and to be honest, neither of us are amazing cooks. However, my husband grills a mean and magical hamburger!

 

Rob: What is the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

Donna: The last movie we saw is “Heaven Is For Real.” I was excited to see it. I have loved ones in heaven, as many reading this do, and I love stories about the realness of our heavenly home. But if I’m being honest, and I know that’s what you asked me to be, I wasn’t impressed with the movie. It was okay, but a bit of a biblical stretch in my honest opinion. I know it’s based on a true story. I hear the book is better than the movie. I’d recommend people read the book and not see the movie.

 

FavShoesRob: What is your favorite footwear? 

Donna: My favorite pair of shoes are teal blue stilettos! I guess I like pain!    No, actually they are more comfortable than they look and the reason I love them is I got them for 80% off; I paid seven bucks! The strap actually broke last year and I paid more for the repair than I did for the shoes!

 

Rob: Tell us one of your favorite Bible verses and why it is special to you.

Donna: My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” When I look over the last many years, at those times when I felt everything had fallen completely apart and life as I knew it was unraveling, God was on the scene moving and working, loving, and providing grace that was just enough for where I was and what I needed. I know, in retrospect, (and I should have known at the time) that God is never surprised and He is always able to take our circumstances and use them for good. He is so kind and so very for us! And, if God is for us, who can be against us? We have a hope and a future. His dreams for us are better than ours could ever begin to be. He is good. He is faithful. He is God. I am one grateful servant. My dependency on God increases daily, for I know without Him I can do nothing. And with Him, all things are possible!

 

My special thanks to Donna King for opening her heart and soul to us in this interview. I hope you will get to know Donna better by visiting her websites: http://www.zaneanddonnaking.com/ http://www.verticalskyonline.com/ https://www.facebook.com/FlightStudioNashville

By Rob Patz

First Published by SGN Scoops in September 2014

For current issues of SGN Scoops digital magazine, visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/

 


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2014 Diamond Awards Nominees For Song Of The Year

Written by Staff on October 13, 2014 – 10:17 am -

Diamond Awards 2014

Diamond Awards 2014

The Diamond Awards recognize the best in Southern, Country and Bluegrass Christian music and are hosted by SGNScoops digital magazine and Coastal Media Group. The 2014 Diamond Awards are being held at the Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, from November 3rd to 6th . Tim Lovelace returns as the lively host for the Awards show, so you know it will be blast!

Be sure to get your free tickets to the 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention HERE

SGN Scoops would like you to meet our top-five finalists for each category of the 2014 Diamond Awards.

Today’s category is the 2014 Song Of The Year. Last year, the award went to Brian Free and Assurance for “I Want To Be That Man.”

Rob Patz with Brian Free and Assurance

Rob Patz with Brian Free and Assurance

The 2014 Nominees for Song Of The Year are:

“Revival” – Karen Peck and New River

“But God” – The Steeles

“Come And See” – The LeFevre Quartet

“Good News From Jerusalem” – Tribute Quartet

“Calvary’s Cry” – Brian Free And Assurance

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


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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!


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2014 Duet Of The Year Nominees for Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on October 6, 2014 – 10:05 am -

Diamondawardscover

 

We want to introduce you to the 2014 Diamond Awards Duet Of The Year Nominees. The Diamond Awards are being held at Creekside Gospel Music Convention at Pigeon Forge on November 3rd through 6th. These Awards recognize the best in Southern, Country and Bluegrass Christian music and are hosted by SGNScoops digital magazine and Coastal Media Group.

The Diamond Awards have a long history of being a gala event with surprise guests, great music and an evening of worship. We urge you to reserve your FREE tickets HERE

SGN Scoops would like you to meet our top-five finalists for each category of the 2014 Diamond Awards.
Last year, the award was presented to Aaron and Amanda Crabb.Today’s category is the Duet Of The Year, defined as a group consisting of two vocalists only.

Rob Patz with Jonathan Wilburn and Jordan Wilburn

Rob Patz with Jonathan Wilburn and Jordan Wilburn

The 2014 Nominees for Duet Of The Year are:

Aaron and Amanda Crabb

Wilburn & Wilburn

Reggie and Ladye Love Smith

Josh and Ashley Franks

Weston and Christy Hinson

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


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SGN Scoops Digital Magazine Welcomes New Executive Sales Team Members

Written by Staff on September 30, 2014 – 12:26 pm -

Pat and Michelle Drummond

Pat and Michelle Drummond

Seattle, WA (September 30, 2014) – SGN Scoops recently welcomed a new couple to their Executive Sales Team. Pat and Michelle Drummond travel with their Southern Gospel group, The Drummond Family. Pat is the manager as well as a vocalist with the group and Michelle is a songwriter and the booking agent for the Drummonds. A vivacious and committed couple, Pat and Michelle have already proved to be an excellent addition to the SGN Scoops family.

The Drummonds noted, “Husband and wife team Pat and Michelle Drummond are so excited to be working with the SGN Scoops Advertising and Marketing Team. God has blessed us so much, and we are thrilled to be working with this great team. Being involved in the Southern Gospel field for more that 40 years we feel God has placed us here for this time. It’s truly a great honor to be a part of this powerful team with a great vision.”
“Pat and Michelle are good friends and I am exited that they have joined us at SGN Scoops,” said Rob Patz of Coastal Media Group, publisher of SGN Scoops. “We are committed to expanding our reach with the message of Jesus through the stories of the artists we feature every month. I truly believe that Pat and Michelle will be an integral part of that expansion, just as they are committed to sharing the love of God in everything they do.”
For the current issue of SGN Scoops digital magazine, visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/

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WATC To Cover 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention And Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on September 19, 2014 – 1:45 pm -

2014 creekside largePigeon Forge, TN.(September 19, 2014) – WATC Television out of Atlanta, Georgia, has announced they will be covering the SGNScoops’ 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention and   Diamond Awards Celebration at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on November 3rd and 4th. The television station, which also streams their programs on the web, will be at the Smokey Mountain Convention Center to record the Monday night presentation, “Lou Hildreth Honors Willie Wynn” as well as Tuesday night’s Diamond Award celebration, the event to honor Gospel music’s finest artists as chosen by the readers of SGNScoops digital magazine. Many of these special moments will be shown on a TV Special and viewed online at www.watc.tv at a later date to be announced.

 

watc_web_adCoastal Media Group is hosting the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, which takes place from the 3rd through the 6th. As well the special events mentioned above, the Convention includes daily Chapel services, specialty showcases and evening concerts.

 

Patricia Mathis, Vice President of WATC TV, Atlanta’s TV 57, is looking forward to returning to Pigeon Forge. “It’s exciting to once again be a part of the Creekside Gospel Music Convention and for being able to share this with the viewers of WATC TV in Atlanta,” says Mathis. “While it is nothing like being in the audience at Creekside, we are glad that we can bring a little part of Creekside and the great gospel music being performed there to our audience. Creekside just keeps getting bigger and better ever year!”

 

Rob Patz, CEO of Coastal Media Group and publisher of SGNScoops commented, “We are grateful to Patricia and WATC for their professionalism, experience and dedication in airing quality Gospel music programs. We are thrilled that they are returning to Creekside and we are glad to be able to share some of Creekside with fans across the nation and the world by television and internet.”

 

About WATC TV: WATC TV provides Atlanta with a mix of family, Christian and educational programming. It is known to viewers as the home of Atlanta Live and is seen over the air throughout the metro Atlanta market and also in over one million cable and satellite homes. WATC is the home of many original series and has been honored with numerous Angel and Telly Awards, as well as receiving it first EMMY in 2010. The station’s programming can be seen around the world via video streaming located on the WATC website at http://www.watc.tv/

 

About Creekside Gospel Music Convention: Creekside Gospel Music Convention will be held at the Smokey Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from November 3rd through 6th, 2014. The CGMC is presented by SGN Scoops and Coastal Media Group at Pigeon Forge and is the home of The Diamond Awards and other special events. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance at http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/ . For more information on Creekside Gospel Music Convention visit https://www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention

 

 

About SGNScoops: SGNScoops Digital is a fully-downloadable monthly magazine that exists to promote the gospel by unveiling what is intriguing and real about Southern Gospel and Christian Country music. SGNScoops offers music news and views as well as concert and book reviews, inspirational articles and features reaching beyond our gospel music world. For more information: http://www.sgnscoops.com/

 

# # #

 

If you’d like more information about the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, The Diamond Awards or SGNScoops, or to schedule an interview with Rob Patz, please contact Rob Patz at 360.933.0741 or e-mail Rob at rob@sgnscoops.com

 


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Ozark Gospel Music Convention 2014

Written by Staff on August 12, 2014 – 8:14 am -

ozark 3

The Abundance Quartet of Branson

By Joshua Heston – Special to SGN Scoops

“Precious memories how they linger / How they ever flood my soul / In the stillness, of the midnight / Precious sacred scenes unfold.” — J.B.F. Wright, 1925

Branson, MO —Traditional gospel music and Ozark Mountain culture go together mighty well. From brush arbor singing schools to pine-enshrouded churches where country folks sang from well-worn hymnals every Sunday morning, the sweet sounds of gospel music form an emotional basis for many of us; reminders of childhood, dinners on the ground, exciting tent revivals, and for some, simple evening singings as the family would gather together and let their voices ring.

But times change. People change. The world, it seems, simply picked up its pace and recordings, radio, TV, internet, and job and family responsibilities removed the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. The chance to leave an industrious world outside — even for just a few hours — was lost. Tattered hymnbooks were replaced by projection screens and four-part harmony swapped for an endless stream of praise and worship songs. Families didn’t gather around a piano anymore and besides, the music on the radio, then the entertainment on TV, then the library of digital music, was all more professional, more polished, and never required practice but simply the touch of a button.

The Williamsons of Wetumka, Oklahoma

The Williamsons of Wetumka, Oklahoma

Gone for most was the shape note singing, the tent revivals, and the conventions. Conventions? No, not Tupperware conventions. A generation or two ago, gospel music conventions, specifically quartet conventions, were commonplace. Small and large, these gatherings originated from 19th century songbook companies’ efforts to sell books. This was after the Civil War and the population was ready to embrace music that spoke of hope and peace.

Professional quartets traveled from church to church, then from convention to convention, stunning largely rural audiences with the now-trademark sounds of a powerful, rumbling bass, soaring tenor, lead and baritone vocals. As quartets polished their skills and styles, white Southern gospel music was born. With it, of course, came those singing conventions, the largest of which ultimately became the National Quartet Convention, an event that packed out the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis for many years. Here was the equivalent of a rock concert arena. Thousands of fans pouring into the venue to see gospel music greats like J.D. Sumner, James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers, and more.

The Ascension Quartet of Lebanon, Missouri

The Ascension Quartet of Lebanon, Missouri

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years / Bright shining as the sun / We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise / Than when we’ve first begun.” — John Newton, Amazing Grace

Like many other elements of our rural population, Southern gospel conventions became fewer and farther between in the last generation. Now, the words “singing convention” are typically met with a bit of bewilderment. Southern gospel is still a small but powerful genre of music but many of the artists now travel from church to church, not from convention to convention.

The National Quartet Convention is still going strong, moving this year from Louisville to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but Southern gospel singing west of the Mississippi? Western region groups have struggled for years, honing their styles, their harmonies, their ministries, but laboring largely in the shadow of “top tier” groups with more convention affiliation in the east. Now, the efforts of Branson-based Jonathan Edwards (of Faith’s Journey), Donnie Williamson (of Wetumka, Oklahoma-based The Williamsons), Ava Kasich (Texas-born Beacon award winning soloist) and Rob Patz (of the Seattle-based SGN Scoops Digital gospel music magazine) teamed up to create a heartland Southern gospel convention here in Branson.

Jonathan Edwards holds a framed proclamation from the State of the Missouri, honoring The Lesters for 89 years of distinguished service in gospel music.

Jonathan Edwards holds a framed proclamation from the State of the Missouri, honoring The Lesters for 89 years of distinguished service in gospel music.

“For most of us who do gospel music, the goal is to see lives changed. But we can’t do that if we don’t have people to sing to. One of the goals of the convention is to expose more groups of the Midwest to an audience,” says Williamson. “That’s why we honored The Lesters during the first night of the convention. We want to highlight the quality of groups from this area.”

“Near the cross I’ll watch and wait / Hoping, trusting ever / Till I reach the golden strand / Just beyond the river.” — Fanny Crosby, Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross Read more »


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