Southern Gospel Weekend


Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Tribute Quartet: Uniting the past, present and future of Southern gospel

Written by Staff on June 12, 2019 – 11:37 am -

Tribute Heritage and tradition is incredibly important in the Southern gospel music field. The quartets of today often look to groups of old for inspiration, while putting their own spin on their style of music. One of the groups leading the way is fittingly named Tribute Quartet. This dynamic quartet, founded in 2006 by Gary Casto and Josh Singletary, honors those who have come before and is dedicated to sharing the Gospel through their music. Their mission statement is simple: “preserving the heritage and promoting the future of gospel music.”


Gary Casto of Tribute

Gary Casto

Tribute Quartet will be celebrating their 13th year in full time Southern gospel music this year. Over the years, this powerhouse group has been delighting fans with their energetic style, humor, courtesy of Josh Singletary, and the message of the Gospel via incredible songs. The current lineup is comprised of lead singer and founder Gary Casto, baritone and pianist Josh Singletary, bass singer Anthony Davis, and the newest member, tenor Gus Gaches.


Casto has been singing full time in gospel music for 36 years and his classic lead voice has captivated audiences all over the country. He also serves as the group’s emcee at their concerts.

Josh Singletary of Tribute

Josh Singletary

Josh Singletary has been singing in gospel music for 18 years. His unique, crooner- style voice adds a great dynamic to the group, as does his crazy sense of humor. Anthony Davis has been with the group since 2011, for eight years of experience in Southern gospel music. His smooth bass voice has cemented him as one of the most popular bass singers on the road today. Gus Gaches is no stranger to Southern gospel music, having traveled with both the LeFevre Quartet and Legacy Five. Gaches, who joined the group in January, has 19 years of experience and has become a fan favorite tenor.


Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

These talented vocalists are inspired by many of Southern gospel music’s finest. Casto states, “To name them all would take a novel. We all have a vast variety of musical influences. But the group as a whole has influences from the Cathedrals, Wilburns, and Statesmen, to the Imperials, Oak Ridge Boys, and a plethora of others.”

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Jenna Faith: On an amazing journey

Written by Staff on May 26, 2019 – 11:15 am -

Jenna Faith: On an amazing journey

Jenna Faith: On an amazing journey

Jenna Faith is a strong, grounded sixteen-year-old. “I know without a doubt, this is where I am supposed to be,” she says. “God has shown me confirmation after confirmation. And this definitely is not something that a 16-year-old from Floresville, Texas could have done on her own strength!”


In October, 2017, Jenna Faith participated in the Inspirational Country Music Association talent search, travelling to California to the final try outs. She wasn’t a newcomer to the the competition stage.


Jenna Faith: On an amazing journey“I have auditioned for America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and American Idol,” says the raven-haired vocalist. “Every one was a learning experience but I left with complete peace. If I wasn’t chosen for a call back, it wasn’t from God. It didn’t affect me negatively. Then I heard about ICMA talent search and here I am on this amazing journey God has me on.”


Jenna Faith was not only chosen for a call-back, she went on to win first place, securing a prize package which included the recording and release of an original song. This led to her first single and charting song, “Shine On,” written by Corey Lee Barker and Ken Beam.


Jenna Faith: On an amazing journey“It was the first song of many that were pitched to me,” Jenna Faith recalls. “In my heart, I kept going back to it even when being advised to have my first radio release a more up-tempo song especially as a new artist. I shared with them that this was my song and I had to record it after what my community just went through. The Sutherland Springs Church Shooting had just happened the week before and that is part of my community. Our whole county consisting of many small towns was affected. A classmate and friend of mine was wounded and her mother lost.”


“Although this song has ministered to so many everywhere, Sutherland Springs was my inspiration to record it,” says the teen. “In God’s perfect timing, I was able to share it with them 10 months later. I was asked why I waited so long to share it with them. I told them two reasons: First, I didn’t want the important message of the song to be lost in the haze of the grieving; and secondly, I didn’t ever want someone to think I used this tragedy for publicity.”


Jenna Faith: On an amazing journeyThe message of the song continues. “‘Shine On’ is in consideration for NRA commercials and for the movie they plan to do,” says Jenna Faith. “‘Shine On’ will always hold a special place in my heart because of the inspiration, the message and because it was my first radio release. And now to learn it is nominated in the top 10 Inspirational Country Song of the Year through ICMA has left me in awe.”


Jenna Faith’s career has also taken off in God’s perfect timing. Singing since the age of three, she sang all kinds of songs everywhere she could. Stephen Hill heard her, and suggested she attend the Ben Speer School of Music. She attended for six summers and has continued with professional coaching ever since.


This young vocalist’s second release is also climbing the charts. “‘No More Second Chances’ was my first co-write with Corey Lee Barker,” says this Big Catch Records artist. “‘No More Second Chances’ does not have a personal meaning behind it other than knowing the goodness of God and his never ending love. Being in music ministry, I have heard so many redemption stories that had struggles and failures along the way and God never said, ‘that’s it, you blew it this time.’”


Jenna Faith: On an amazing journey“No More Second Chances” is number 24 this month on the SGNScoops’ Christian Country charts, slowly inching its way up.


This artist is open to singing the right song for the right moment. “I would sing some Christian Country cover songs; Carrie Underwood, Randy Travis songs. I just love Christian music of all genres but I did lean towards Southern Gospel and Country. I still do change my set lists to accommodate the congregation or audience,” says the teen.


Some artists use Christian music as a stepping stone to the supposed fame and fortune of secular music. “I don’t know if I will cross over to mainstream country,” says Jenna Faith. “I have to work with my record label to see the direction they will take me in. My heart is true to singing for the Lord, but not opposed to having a larger following that I can bring Jesus to once they become fans. I was once told by one of my mentors that us Christians have a tendency to sing (insular)… We sing the message of Jesus to each other instead of to the lost. We need those platforms to gain trust of fans and bring them the message. But we will see what God’s plan is…”


This young lady has known Jesus personally for a long time. “I was born into a Christian family. I always loved Jesus but when I was seven years old, I told my parents I wanted to get baptized and commit to Jesus.


“I also started my music ministry at age seven. I sang at other churches, nursing homes, hospitals, and funerals. I continued to grow my music ministry. I took a vow of purity and wear my purity ring publicly and boldly. I spend time sharing with youth groups and telling them how God has been present in my life. That is also a large part of why I stayed in public school. I found it to be more effective when other teens know I live the same struggles of peer pressure and interactions they do.”


This young songstress is in earnest about sharing her faith with her generation, fearless about following where the Lord leads. It’s not surprising that her favorite bible verse is Deuteronomy 31:6. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. For the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you…”


March 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

March 2019 SGNScoops Magazine features the Old Paths

Jenna Faith says, “I was given a cross with this scripture that I keep in my room. I find great comfort to know God is always with me.” But she says that speaking the truths of God is not always the most effective way of reaching the hearts of your audience.

“The most important thing I can say is not with words but by actions…to live by example and acknowledging that my decisions are based on serving a real God,” says this young lady who is so full of potential. “I try to remember to say at the end of my concerts, speaking engagements and Facebook Lives….. ‘be kind to one another, but more importantly, be kind to yourself.’”

Read more about Jenna Faith HERE.

By Lorraine Walker

First published by SGNScoops magazine in March 2019.

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Rob Patz: New season, new vision

Written by Staff on May 24, 2019 – 4:08 pm -

Spring Publisher's Point by Rob Patz for SGNScoops Magazine May 2019

New season, new vision, new horizons

Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz for SGNScoops Magazine May 2019

I have always said I love this time of year. Everything is new. Flowers are blooming and the sun is out and the grass is growing. So it was fitting for me to make my latest announcement during this time of year. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m going to give you a brief synopsis with some of the story behind it.

Publisher's Point by Rob Patz for SGNScoops Magazine May 2019

Rob Patz of Coastal Media

As many of you know who follow me on social media I am blessed with the opportunity to be able to travel quite often. In fact, over the last two years I have averaged 115 days on the road and during that time I’ve met so many wonderful people and so many new artists I’m excited about where this industry is going.

Lou and Howard Hildreth join the Creekside Gospel Music Convention choir

Lou and Howard Hildreth join the Creekside Gospel Music Convention choir in 2012

This story all begins eight years ago when we launched an event called Creekside. We believed it was going to be a place not only for the Diamond Awards but a place to highlight many of your favorite artists. We learned during that time that there were many new artists coming along that you, our readers, needed to know about, and that helped shape our focus here at the magazine.

I’m excited to tell you that over the next two years, our company will be launching convention-style events in 12 states. It will be a large undertaking, one that cannot be done by just a few people. I’m excited to say God has assembled a great team of people. Do we have everybody we need? No, but we have the core.

Publisher's Point by Rob Patz for SGNScoops Magazine May 2019

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Four years ago God gave me this vision and at the time I didn’t see how it could ever be accomplished. In fact, I talked about it a lot and then, like most of us do, I parked what I believe was my idea. God kept reminding me of it and early this year, during a time of prayer, God clearly told me I needed to move.

I believe we are at an exciting time in our industry as we watch new growth with new artists. I truly believe that growth will happen at the grassroots; at the church down the street, at the high school in the next town over. I believe that as you read this if you are an artist, you’re part of this movement. If you are a fan, you’re part of this movement. if you’re a pastor who loves this music, you’re a part of this movement. I need you, I need your help, whether that is through prayer or through volunteer help. I need you. I can’t do this move without you.

Gospel Music Expo acquired by Coastal Media

Gospel Music Expo acquired by Coastal Media

If you didn’t get a chance to read the press release, another exciting part of this is the acquisition of the Gospel Music Expo in Tupelo, Mississippi. I want you to be a part of this event, next year in April. It’s going to be incredible and we are excited to be able to offer this event to our family.

As you read this, I ask that you will pray for me and my entire staff as we move forward.

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Come be a part of the event that started all of this, Creekside 2019, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, October 27 through October 31. For more information, call me at 360-933-0741.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on May 21, 2019 – 9:52 am -

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

May 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

We are happy to present the May edition of the SGNScoops Magazine. Filled with great features, front to back, we know you are going to enjoy it!

The Freemans are the cover story as Jennifer Campbell talks heart-to-heart with Chris and her family about the Lord, the group and their chart-topping music.
Be sure to read all about the faith of Sam Butler, Jessica Horton, Kristina Cornell, Jeff Tolbert of the Primitive Quartet, Sarah Reith of Southern Raised and so much more.
We have all of our radio charts, CD Reviews and event updates, plus the Publisher’s Point. Be sure to read all the way through to the Editor’s Last Word. Don’t miss the Contributors section, to read all about our fine writers, designers and creative artists that give of their time and talents to Lord and to SGNScoops.
If you have any comments  or concerns about the magazine, please let us know. We hope you have read about the love and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ within these pages. Please write to me if you have any questions about faith or if you would like to contribute your talents to SGNScoops. You can email me at
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What Does Easter Mean to You?

Written by Staff on April 19, 2019 – 5:22 pm -

What Does Easter Mean to You?

What Does Easter Mean to You

By Jennifer Campbell

This Sunday, millions of people will celebrate a holiday known as Easter. There are nearly as many Easter traditions around the world as there are candy-filled plastic eggs. But with all of the popularity surrounding this annual celebration, I have but one question to ask. What does Easter mean to you?

Many people enjoy participating in egg extravaganzas, ranging from simple Easter egg hunts to elaborate egg drops. Others savor the opportunity to shop for a new spring outfit, hoping to receive a lot of compliments on Easter Sunday. Of course, there are also individuals whose take on Easter is strictly ruled by their taste buds, considering the colorful hard-boiled eggs, baskets filled with chocolate, and special dinner menus at many restaurants. Unfortunately, some people even look forward to Easter because it is one of the two times a year they actually attend church services.

From greeting cards to holiday decorations, Easter has sadly become an overly commercialized holiday much like Christmas. Although the fanfare may seem innocent, it often overshadows the true reason for the holiday. This weekend is a time to reflect on the gift God gave to all mankind. He gave His only Son. Instead of looking at the Easter bunny, our focus should be on Jesus Christ.

Ultimately, the name Easter has pagan roots, coming from the name Ishtar. Some traditions, such as the Easter egg, symbolize fertility, paying homage to this ancient goddess of fertility. Personally, I like to refer to this special day as Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter. Why? Because I do not honor a pagan goddess, I serve the one true living God. He is the only One who has the power to create, to heal, or to save.

Resurrection Sunday is a day to worship God and thank Him for the gift of salvation. John 3:16 (NIV) says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave His Son to die for us because He loved us. The love God has for us is greater than any love on the face of the earth. God’s Word says we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glorious standard (Rom. 3:23). Yet, God gave His only Son to die for the forgiveness of our sins, knowing that many would still reject this most wondrous act of love.

On Good Friday, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made on Calvary. Our Lord was beaten until He was almost unrecognizable. He was spit upon and mocked. A crown of thorns was pressed into His skull. Nails were driven into His hands and His feet. A spear was thrust into His side. As He hung on the cross, He cried out, “’My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matt. 27:46). He could have called thousands of angels, but He stayed on the cross so you and I could receive redemption.


You may be wondering why Jesus obeyed His Father, enduring such agony on the cross. Jesus did not give His life to gain fame and fortune. He was not striving to garner notoriety among the people of His day. He gave His life because of love (I John 3:16). His sacrifice was rare. Christ died for people who didn’t even love Him in return. Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” As the Bible mentions, some people might be willing to give their life for a good man, but most people would not be willing to sacrifice their life for an evil person. Yet that is exactly what God did for us.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. As Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross, He was placed in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, Jesus rose up from the grave. He conquered death forevermore. Right this moment, He is sitting at the right hand of His Father, in Heaven, interceding on our behalf. Romans 8:34 (NIV) says, “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Jesus loves us so much that He acts as a mediator on our behalf, pleading for us that we should not perish, but accept the gift of eternal life.

Jennifer Campbell

One day very soon, Jesus Christ will return to this earth. But when He comes back to earth, He is not coming back to be rejected and spit upon. Instead, He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords, to take His children home to be with Him for all eternity.

Have you made preparations for Christ’s return? If you confess your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ, then you can receive the priceless gift of salvation that only comes from knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Jesus said, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6 NLT). When it is all said and done, a relationship with Christ is the only thing that can provide true redemption and lasting hope. For hope is not found in a bunny, an egg, or even a church service. Eternal hope is only found through Jesus Christ.

By Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Campbell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

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April 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by Staff on April 19, 2019 – 12:58 pm -

SGNScoops Magazine April 2019

SGNScoops Magazine April 2019

We are happy to present the SGNScoops Magazine for April 2019. This is the month of Easter, Resurrection Sunday, Good Friday, and the celebration that comes with knowing Jesus Christ, our Lord, is alive!

We are thrilled to feature the Tribute Quartet on our cover. Justin Gilmore has written the feature which shares all of the news you want to know about one of Southern gospel music’s favorite quartets. Find out what Gary Casto is looking forward to this year.
April is also Autism Awareness Month, and we are honored to share the story of Nolan Urbates, as told by Angela Parker. Dr. Greg Grillo helps us understand the special attention needed when giving dental care to children with special needs.
Robert York brings us up to date on the King’s Heralds, Cheryl Smith talks to the mom of Karen Peck and New River, and Les Butler introduces us to his friend, Earle Wheeler of the Marksmen Quartet.
Special thanks to Dr. Bill Dykes who talks to a pastor who has experienced some deep valleys, Dr. Rudy Holland. Suzanne Mason reviews a new movie, The Pilgrims Progress, in time for Easter viewing. All of this, plus radio charts, the DJ Spotlight, new release reviews, the Publisher’s Point and the Editor’s Last Word.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and feedback about the SGNScoops Magazine. We appreciate your emails and we are thankful for all of our readers, as well as our faithful writers. I hope this month brings you all a renewed enthusiasm for everything you do for Jesus. He is Almighty God and He wants to be your friend today. If you want to meet Him, please contact any of our staff or email me at Have a wonderful month!
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
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Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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SGNScoops announces 2019 Diamond Awards Top 10 Nominees

Written by Staff on March 23, 2019 – 12:31 pm -

Diamond AwardsOxford, Ala. (March 23, 2019) — In a live Facebook broadcast from the Oxford Civic Center in Oxford, Alabama, Jean Grady, of Gospel Music Today and Rob Patz, of Coastal Media, announced the top ten nominees for the 2019 Diamond Awards. To vote for your favorites, click HERE.

Rob Patz with Diamond Award winner Kenna West

“We are thrilled to present the list of nominees for this year’s Diamond Awards,” says Patz. “There are well-deserving artists in each category and I encourage every fan and industry member to vote for their favorites. It’s going to be a great year for the awards!”

To see the list of nominees and vote for your favorites, click HERE.

with 2017 Diamond Award

Kelly Nelon Clark with 2017 Diamond Award

Fans will now vote in each category and a list of the Top Five nominees will be announced this summer. Voters will then choose their favorites, with the final winners to be announced in a gala presentation at the 2019 Diamond Awards, held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on October 29, 2019. Vote today.

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

The 2019 Diamond Awards ceremony will be held during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, October 27 – 31, 2019, at the Smoky Mountains Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Convention features daily showcases, evening concerts, midnight prayer, and several special events during the week. General admission is free.

The voting site for the top ten Diamond Award nominees can be found on the SGNScoops website here. Vote today.

For more information on the Creekside Gospel Music Convention and the 2019 Diamond Awards ceremony, as accommodations and VIP tickets, contact Rob Patz at 360-933-0741. More information can also be found on the Creekside Gospel Music Convention Facebook page.


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Top 10 Diamond Award Nominees announced tomorrow

Written by Staff on March 22, 2019 – 2:33 pm -

The Top 10 nominees in the 2019 Diamond Awards will be announced live at a Finalist Reveal Party during the Southern Gospel Weekend event in Oxford, Alabama. Jean Grady of Gospel Music Today will be announcing the top ten finalists in each gospel music category on a Facebook Live Event, Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. (CST).

Southern Gospel Weekend will once again host the Reveal Party during the full schedule of events planned for the last day and evening of the festival.

Rob Patz and Jean Grady discuss the 2017 Diamond Awards.

Rob Patz and Jean Grady discuss the 2019 Diamond Awards.


Rob Patz, CEO of Coastal Media and owner of SGNScoops and the Diamond Awards, is thrilled to present the unveiling of nominees. “I’m excited to be able to unveil the names of these artists along with Jean. This is always one of my favorite parts of the voting process, to find out who our readers think are the very best in gospel music,” says Patz. “I hope everyone will be glued to SGNScoops’ Facebook page for the great reveal!”

All those in the Oxford, Ala., area are invited to come to the Oxford Civic Center for more great music tomorrow. General admission is free. Artists include Eagle’s Wings, the Connells, the Williamsons, the McKay Project, Jessica Horton, Day Three, Mercy Fell, Hope’s Journey, the Bibletones, Mark209, and the Diplomats. This great lineup starts at 5:00 pm following the 2:00 p.m. Finalist Reveal Party.


SGW Sat 2019For more information, call 256-310-7892.



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March 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by Staff on March 18, 2019 – 9:21 pm -

March 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

March 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Is it Spring yet? If you are looking for something new and fresh, we have it right here in the March 2019 issue of SGNScoops Magazine.

The Old Paths are releasing their latest album this month, the first one with their current lineup, and we have all the latest news about this dedicated group of guys.
Read all about Howard and Lou Hildreth as we have a tribute written by Marcie Gray. We were all so saddened to hear of Lou’s passing, as she has been such a bright light in the gospel music world. She has now joined her beloved husband at the throne of Jesus in Heaven and I’m sure her beautiful smile is even more radiant than it was here.
Justin Gilmore takes us to a concert by the Tribute Quartet, while John Herndon updates us on the group Victory Road. Les Butler introduces us to his friend Roger Johnson of Heaven’s Mountain Band. I was happy to get acquainted with Jenna Faith, a new face in Christian Country.
March is the month of the Southern Gospel Weekend in Oxford, Alabama, and we have all the information you need to know to attend on March 21-23.
Suzanne Mason is back with Watch It film reviews and she talks about the documentary Social Animals, a must see especially for parents of teenagers.
Don’t miss Vonda Armstrong’s DJ Spotlight with Greg Goodman, Randall Hamms’ new album reviews, all three radio charts, Rob Patz’s Publisher’s Point and the Editor’s Last Word.
As always, if you have any comments or questions, please write to me at If you aren’t sure whether you will join the throng in Heaven when you pass from this world, be sure to write to me or anyone on staff. We will be happy to introduce you to Jesus Christ, Savior, Lord, God Almighty.
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Inner Views of Doyle Lawson: Saved by Grace

Written by Staff on February 21, 2019 – 11:27 am -

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver: Saved by Grace

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver: Saved by Grace

While every single interview I have conducted for Inner Views has been distinctive and personally memorable to me, I must tell you that the Inner Views I am sharing with you today will forever hold an extraordinarily special place in my heart. Doyle Lawson, a humble man of God, is a legendary giant in the world of bluegrass music and is one of my biggest musical heroes, hands down.

Cheryl Smith:  Could you share with us about your childhood?  What are some of your favorite memories to recall from your time growing up?
Doyle Lawson:  As far back as I can remember I have loved the sound of music. Radio was the vehicle of entertainment in those days and there was an abundance of local, regional and national programs to listen to. The ones I remember vividly are of course the Grand Ole Opry on WSM in Nashville and the Farm and Fun Time show heard daily on WCYB in Bristol, Tenn./Va.. In the early 1950’s, my dad and mother, along with one of his nephews, started singing in churches locally, and I loved to watch them work out the harmony parts, and I absorbed everything I heard them do.After hearing Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys on the Opry, I was knocked out by Bill’s voice and mandolin playing, and decided that I was gonna be a picker and singer…When I was 11 years old, we were living in Hancock County, Tenn., and Dad was singing lead with the Clinch River Quartet, and I discovered that one of the men in the quartet (Willis Byrd) had a mandolin. I asked Dad to ask Willis if I could borrow it to learn to play.

In 1958, I got to meet the man who became my first professional boss in music. Jimmy Martin was from Hancock County, Tenn. and had gone to work for Bill Monroe in 1949. He went on to front his own band, the Sunny Mountain Boys in 1954, first teaming up with the Osborne Brothers. On the 3rd day of Feb. 1963, I went to Nashville and auditioned for (Jimmy) to pick the banjo, and that started my 55 years and country music career.


Doyle Lawson

Doyle Lawson

Smith:  Were you raised in a Christian home?
Lawson:  Yes, I was brought up in a Christian home after my dad rededicated his life in 1950. He and Mom along with one of his nephews started singing in church as a trio and later added a bass singer. At the age of eight during a revival service, I realized that I was lost, and I went to the altar and accepted Jesus as my Savior…

The music business can be full of worldly trappings and it can be easy to lose your way. And I did for a good while. But on the 1st Sunday of May in 1985, I humbled myself and asked God to take control of my life because I had made a mess of it.

On the outside things looked – and were – going great, but inside me I was miserable. I didn’t have the one thing I needed most of all and that was God. He never ever left me, I left him, but he was there when I truly asked for forgiveness. That was the best decision I have ever made as an adult.

Smith:  Who has most influenced you, musically?
Lawson:  Bill Monroe was my first musical hero and then came the first generation of what was to become known as Bluegrass music: Flatt and Scruggs, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, the Stanley Brothers, Reno and Smiley, and the Osborne Brothers and more.
Gospel music (influencers) would be: the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Statesmen Quartet, the Blackwood Brothers, the Masters Family, the Browns Ferry Four, and local and regional groups.

Doyle LawsonSmith:  Can you share with us about a special highlight in your career?
Lawson:  Oh my, there are many to draw from, but I suppose the first-time appearance at the Opry with Jimmy Martin was one of the standouts. I had always wanted to go see the Grand Ole Opry and as it turned out, the first time I saw it was from the stage. I was so nervous you could literally see my pants legs shaking. The National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship award is another treasured memory as well as being inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame in 2012.
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