Five Questions From SGN SCOOPS and Five Answers from THE CONNELLS……
Check it out below!
Question 1: For each member: What is your favorite song to perform live and why?
Karen: Probably “His Life for Mine.” First of all, I just absolutely love watching Hannah and Heather carry this song. It thrills me to no end that they sing with passion and KNOW who they are singing about. Secondly, the song has touched me on a very personal level since I first heard it. How in the world is it possible? Why in the world would He trade his life for mine? All I know is He did and I am grateful.
Hannah: “When God Has Another Plan,” is my favorite song to sing. I like to sing this song because it helps people going through a hard time. So many times we think we have life figured out, but many times God has a bigger and better plan for us. It reminds me to trust God with things going on in my life and it will work out better.
Heather: “Did I Mention,” because it’s a song of thankfulness to God for remaining faithful to His children. It has become my anthem of praise to God because I have seen His faithfulness time and time again.
Question 2: For each member: What is your favorite activity when you are off the road?
Karen: Reading, Facebook (keeping in touch with family and friends old and new.) I enjoy watching the Food Network, but it hasn’t helped my efforts in the kitchen yet; some sketching, and I’d like to learn more about photography.
Hannah: I like to read, shop, and go on adventures with my family.
Heather: I love to watch old Hollywood movies.
Question 3: For each of you: Please tell us one personal and spiritual goal you have for this year!
Chris: My personal and spiritual goals are one goal. I have been trying to keep a spiritual journal of the time God speaks and what He shares with me during my prayer time and bible study. This helps me to know His direction and to reflect on the blessings He has so richly provided.
Karen: While recovering from my recent transplant, I feel like I learned a lot things and benefitted from it for more than just a new liver. I gained a whole new appreciation for those around me from family to the medical experts including all those in between. I learned that God is always speaking to us if we’ll just listen and realize that He can use an older hospital janitor to deliver a message to you (true story!) as well as He can use a mega church pastor. Sometimes not even a “body” at all. You just KNOW if you’re listening for him. Another thing I learned is compassion. I always thought I was compassionate before, but beyond the “I’ll be praying,” to “God be with Joe;” that was about it. Throughout my illness, surgery, and recovery so many people have reached out to us, putting feet on their prayers. I’ve been humbled at the generosity and sincerity of so many. My prayer is that I would be SINCERELY compassionate and do more than recite a small prayer out of duty. My personal goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, take the best care possible of my liver, to be able to actually enjoy being active with my family, to cherish these remaining years my girls are at home, and to eventually see sons-in-law, grandbabies, and Disney World a few more times.
Hannah: This year my goal is to get even closer to God and have the boldness to share my family’s testimony of God’s faithfulness to us.
Heather: To have continual encounters with God and to share our testimony.
Question 4: Can each of you tell us who your favorite artists are currently and whose music has been the greatest influence on your singing?
Chris: I enjoy the solid quartet sound of the Kingdom Heirs, Mark Trammell Quartet and Triumphant. The greatest musical influence in my life has been Leroy Abernathy. I was blessed to be a vocal student of Leroy’s for three and a half years. He taught this shy and backwards young man the importance of being more than you think you can be. He taught me to give all that I have to every note, remember to keep the tone placement, and knowing the importance of every lyric you sing.
Karen: There are really too many to name, but I seem to be drawn to the songs of Brian Free and Assurance. I will always love the Cathedrals. Most influential would have to be the Nelons. Growing up our family would always listen to them. I would always listen for Kelly’s voice learning to sing harmony somewhere along the way. Now my girls are enjoying her influence with their own vocal pursuits.
Hannah: Some of my favorite singers are Melissa Brady, Karen Peck, and Kelly Nelon. There have been many groups out there that have influenced my singing. I have always wanted to sing, and have wanted to sing Southern Gospel, my whole life. The Hoppers were probably my first influence because when I was little I would sing along with their music putting on a little concert for my parents. Some of my favorites Heather and I would always do was “Shoutin’ Time,” and “Yes I Am.”
Heather: My favorite singers are Karen Peck, Karen Wheaton, George Younce, and Vestal Goodman. Kelly Nelon has been one of the biggest influences in my life whether it has been with words of encouragement or through her music. Being her vocal student, I have learned so much from her and found confidence in my singing because of her. I will always be thankful for the influence she has on my life.
Question 5: For each member: What is a song that you wish you had written?
Chris: Many times, I have found myself singing the lyrics to Leroy Abernathy’s classic song “Prayer Is the Key To Heaven.” This is one of those songs that drives home the simple but profound truth that prayer must be coupled with faith if the doors of Heaven are to be opened. I have long admired those who can help us to see the simplicity of faith in a profound way.
Karen: Oh my! Where to start? I’m not sure there’s any that I wish I had written, but there are several that are very meaningful to me. Most recently: “Say Amen,” by Brian Free and Assurance and “God’s Been Good,” by Legacy Five. I LOVE both of those as they fit me and my story. One other that truly speaks to me and has for years is Don Moens’ “I Will Sing.” Many times this song has spoken to my heart.
Hannah: I wish I would have written “Four Days Late,” because it is such a powerful and touching song.
Heather: I wish I had written “It Is Well.”
The Connells will be appearing at Southern Gospel Weekend.
Find out more about the Connells HERE.
For more Gospel music news click HERE.
Tags: Fast Five, gospel music, sgnscoops, The Connell's
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By Craig Harris
Rejection kept a door closed for Layke Jones. However, it also eventually led to an entryway for the aspiring performer. “My sophomore year of college, when Mark Lowry left, I auditioned for the (Gaither) Vocal Band,” Jones explains. “Being a (former) educator, he (Bill Gaither) said, ‘I can’t in good faith take you out of college.’”
After graduating from Anderson (Ind.) University, Jones landed his current position as a vocalist with the Jim Brady Trio in June. “He’s the reason I have this job,” Jones says of Gaither’s involvement. “He’s backed it hard.
“A guy with a Rolodex his size, I’m not sure why he would give me the time of day. It’s a God thing.”
Tags: bill gaither, gospel music, Jim Brady Trio, Layke Jones, sgnscoops
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The Power of Being Thankful
I read an article recently about a mother who stopped to get her kids some ice cream cones. She watched her kids take the ice cream and as they took their tasty treat from the lady behind the counter, the mom noticed that not one of them offered a simple thank you. As soon as they walked out of the ice cream shop, the mother took every single ice cream cone and threw them in the trash.
The kids, obviously upset, asked why she would do such a thing. The mom explained the importance of being thankful. This may seem extreme, but that mother probably made a lasting impression on her kids about how important it is to be thankful.
We live in a self-serving, entitled, what’s in it for me society. It’s hard to find people who are truly thankful for anything. My wife and I try our best to instill thankfulness in our kids. We do our best to make sure that “Thank You” is part of their regular vocabulary.
A great example of the power of thankfulness can be found in Luke 17: 11-19 when Jesus heals 10 people plagued with the most horrible disease of that day, leprosy. They all walked away, enjoying the healing, restoration and freedom they thought they would never see again, yet only one of them turns around to thank Jesus, who so graciously had just made them whole again.
Not long ago, someone asked me a question that I think every Christian should answer. The question was, “If you could be any kind of Christian, what kind of person would you be?” I had never been asked that before, but after thinking about it, I answered. I would want to be the kind of Christian, that should scripture continue to be written for future generations, my name would be mentioned.
I would want my faith to be so strong, that demons tremble when I walk into a room, and I would allow God to use me in such a way that I would not just be a footnote, or lumped into a generalized context.
What kind of monumental thing would you have to do to be mentioned in scripture? This one leper was worth being mentioned simply because he was thankful! Wow! Let that sink in for a minute. A simple “Thank You” was enough to get you mentioned in scripture. There was enough power in a simple thank you, to have the Son of God point you out of a crowd.
Think about the people in your life that give you so much. Think about your kids who love you unconditionally, or your wife who supports you and pours so much into you and your kids. Think about the employer that believes in you enough to continually give you a salary to provide for your family. Think about your pastor who spiritually feeds and equips you spiritually.
Now do something that has so much power and go to each of them and thank them for what they mean to you Then think of a God who created you and gave you everything and more than I just mentioned.
Thankfulness! It’s a powerful thing!
By David Staton
First published in SGNScoops Magazine in the November 2016 issue.
For Gospel music news click here.
Tags: Christian living, David Staton, sgnscoops, thankfulness
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By Dusty Wells
One of my favorite cherished memories that I hold onto, of my many years of traveling, ministering, taking care of and walking alongside of the late prolific songwriter, artist and my friend Dottie Rambo, was listening to her tell me stories of how she was divinely inspired to write certain songs. Or how she would come up with ideas for her lyrics and music….you see Dottie was not one that liked to be put into a room and told to write something. She hated having deadlines for writing for a new project. She always wanted her heart, life and soul to be open, honest and vulnerable to where she was on her own journey.
Dottie lived what she sang and then she sang what she lived. She chose to live her songs and then share them with the world. Many days and nights of our traveling together or sitting at her house doing work during the evening, I would hear her crying out in pain from her back problems. I knew one of the only things that would help is when she would get in the anointing, so I would start asking her to tell me about her life, her journey, the fans she loved and the story behind the songs.
I had the opportunity to tape many of those conversations via an old cassette recorder that she loved to tape on while recording new song ideas. She always wanted to have a book out on the Story Behind the Songs. We would always end up with tons of used Kleenex tossed aside, and tears and laughter taking us to new places. She had a story for everything or so it seemed. I loved listening to her and I loved to encourage her to tell me more.
This morning as I was out walking, I was doing a little praying and seeking God for some certain answers not only for our life but also for several friends who are in desperate need for answers. I looked around at the beautiful foliage and greenery that surrounds the lake which we live close to, and I was reminded so gently that God is all around us. Yes He is in the churches where we worship, in the concert halls we sing at,and in the grand cathedrals that were built in His honor. He is found in all of those places, but He is right here in our hearts. That is His dwelling place. I felt Him in a fresh way and I knew He was right there with us.
I started humming the classic Dottie chorus, “Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome,” and all of a sudden I remembered her telling me the story of how that song came to be.
The Rambos (Buck, Dottie and Reba) had been invited to sing behind the Iron Curtain in the early ‘70’s. They were told they could sing any and all of their songs, but they could not talk about God or the blood of Jesus if they were to talk and share in between the songs. All they could do was sing the Gospel. Nothing else would be tolerated.
Tags: Dony McGuire, Dottie Rambo, Dusty Wells, Gospe music, Reba Rambo- McGuire, sgnscoops
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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (November 3, 2016) AG Publicity artists received some of the top honors last evening at the 2016 SGN Scoops Diamond Awards. The Annual Awards were held November 1, as a part of the Creekside Gospel Music Convention at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Dove Award-winning family group Karen Peck & New River took home two awards last night for Trio of the Year and Mixed Group of the Year. The Williamsons also were awarded two trophies for Favorite Song of the Year and Favorite Album of the Year (for “Shout” and Tell Somebody respectively).
Karen Peck of New River stated, “We are very honored to receive these amazing Diamond Awards. We want to thank all of you who voted for us. You all have been such a blessing to us over the past 25 years as KPNR. We work very hard to keep our ministry moving forward for the Lord. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. We also want to thank Rob Patz and his awesome team for their tireless efforts in keeping Southern Gospel Music in the forefront of the music world.”
“Such an honor to be awarded with Album of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2016 Diamond Awards! Thank you Lord for this honor and thank you all for voting for us.” an excited Donnie Williamson exclaimed.
Country/Bluegrass hybrid group HIGHROAD won the Diamond Award for Christian Country Group of the Year, while Jeff Stice won Instrumentalist of the Year.
Sarah Davison of HIGHROAD commented, “It was really inspiring to be surrounded last night by friends and artists who love Gospel music so much. We couldn’t do it without the folks who voted for us and have prayed for us while we go out and travel and sing all the time. We are humbled by this honor and it’s to God we give the Glory. I’m just thankful He gives us the songs to write and let’s us do what we love to do.”
Jeff Stice said, “The Bible says if we delight in the Lord , He will give us the desires of our hearts…. but it amazes me that when we delight in the Lord those desires change. My desire? I just want to finish well, and be a vessel that glorifies God… I truly am speechless over this Diamond Award… I am honored that the voters have chosen me as Instrumentalist of the Year. My thanks to The Beckie Simmons agency for booking me, Daywind Records for signing me as an artist, AGP for being my publicist , my family for praying for me, the Nelons for believing in me and my wife, Stacey ( my gift from God)for loving and supporting me… Psalm 130:7 says: “Hope in the Lord , for in the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is ABUNDANT REDEMPTION ”
AGP President, Deon Unthank, stated, “We at AG Publicity are proud to represent some of the most talented artists in the Gospel Music industry. Congratulations to Karen Peck and New River, The Williamsons, HIGHROAD, and Jeff Stice. Your hard work is appreciated as indicated by these awards.”
AG Publicity represents an award-winning roster of artists including Karen Peck & New River, The Williamsons, HIGHROAD, Jeff Stice, Michael English, The Browders, Wilburn & Wilburn, Johnny Minick with Goodman Revival, 11th HOUR, Steve Ladd, The Freemans, and more.
For more of the 2016 Diamond Award winners click here.
Tags: 2016 Diamond Awards, HighRoad, Jeff Stice, Karen Peck & New River, sgnscoops, Williamsons
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Rally Featured Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence, Conservative Activist Ralph Reed
Circleville, Ohio (October 25, 2016) Christian vocalist, Fayth Lore, of the Lore Family was privileged to perform the National Anthem as part of a Faith and Family Coalition event held in Circleville, Ohio. Her performance preceded speeches from notables such as Vice Presidential candidate, Governor Mike Pence, and nationally known conservative activist Ralph Reed.
Lore’s stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” set the stage for an exciting time of prayer, inspiration and patriotism. The event was held at Crossroads CCCU Church in Circleville, Ohio.
During the event, Mike Pence told the audience, “You are committed to putting feet on our values, feet on our faith, and you are going to be the difference-makers here in Ohio.” He also denounced Roe vs Wade, saying that he will fight for the “Sanctity of Life” by banning late term abortions and defunding Planned Parenthood.
Ralph Reed, Chairman of the 1.1 million member Faith and Freedom Coalition, encouraged Evangelicals to go out and vote, noting that over 17 million failed to vote in the last election. Reed’s organization is distributing 1.2 million voter guides, through over 3,000 churches in the battleground state of Ohio.
Fayth Lore and the Lore Family have had a very busy and exciting summer. They recently released a new project, featuring Fayth and her brother Samuel. “Generation Now” crosses generation gaps and bridges the same through inspiring and uplifting music. The Lore Family also performed at top venues, including Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, and the National Quartet Convention. They will be featured at this week’s Smokehouse Gospel Music Dinner Theater, in Monteagle, Tennessee. The Lore Family will also host the “Determined Youth Conference” on November 11th, at the Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio. National evangelist CT Townsend will partner with The Lore’s during this teen conference.
More information on the Lore Family can be found on their website at www.thelorefamilyministries.com.
Tags: election, Fayth Lore, Mike Pence, Ralph Reed, sgnscoops, The Lore Family
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Welcome to a new edition of SGNScoops’ Fast Five! Today we talk with Carla and Redemption Ministries, a mixed group from Lumberton, North Carolina. This family group presents Country-flavored Southern Gospel and Worship songs with a live band. It is a pleasure to hear artists sing with live music and the band allows Carla and Redemption Ministries (C&R) a lot of flexibility in style and format. C&R presents current and original music with an honesty and skill you will enjoy, in a style reminiscent of the McGruders and the Crabb Family.
SGN: Tell us how and where we can buy your CD and hear your music?
Tags: Carla and Redemption, Carla& Redemption Ministries, Fast Five, gospel music, healing, Prayer, sgnscoops, southern gospel
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Younger Perspective on Kari Gooch: By Erin Stevens
A word from the writer…
I have kept you all waiting long enough for this exciting interview! I knew it was finally time to help you get to know the daughter of one of the most prestigious, highly awarded and well loved ladies of our Gospel music industry. Who else could I possibly be referring to other than Karen Peck Gooch? Today, let’s dive into her darling daughter’s life, the sweet Kari Gooch, and find out what roadie livin’ looks like through her eyes.
It’s your turn to take center stage, Kari…
Erin: What was it like growing up with your mom being such a prominent figure in Gospel music?
Kari: As I get older, I see how loved and respected my mom is in the industry. Honestly, she has just been mom to me. She has always been there for me, and has always tried to put my brother and me before anything else.
Erin: For those that may not know the backstory, share what your first night on stage was like.
Kari: About two years ago, my mom got sick and completely lost her voice. I have always been really shy, and the thought of going on stage and singing terrified me! However, when my mom lost her voice, my Aunt Susan came to me and asked if I would help her sing, and I’ve been on stage ever since. Sometimes I still get nervous when I have to sing, but I’m trying to work through that!
Erin: How would you describe what it’s like being raised on a bus? Feel free to share pros and cons.
Kari: Being raised on the bus has definitely kept my life interesting! I practically learned to walk on a bus, so I have great balance. I’m really blessed to get to go different places every week, and to see things that most people my age have never seen. One downside to being raised on a bus is the space. When I was little, my brother, cousin, and I would try to think of different games to play. It’s really hard to play hide and seek on a 45-foot bus.
Erin: If you could do a duet with anyone in the music industry (any genre) who would it be?
Kari: One of my favorite artists right now is Tori Kelly, so I’d love to do a duet with her.
Erin: Are there any good books you’re reading lately that you’d like to share?
Kari: I am currently trying to finish up my freshman year of college, so most of the reading I do is studying for my classes. However, the last book I read for fun was “Good or God” by John Bevere.
Tags: Erin Stevens, gospel music, karen peck and new river, Karen Peck Gooch, Kari Gooch, sgnscoops
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Black Friday at SGNScoops.com
Have you been wanting to advertise with SGNscoops.com and you’ve just been waiting on a great deal? Well the time is now! We have your Black Friday special!
Every artist is looking for more promotion and for help getting the word out about their music. We are offering an unheard of advertising special for Black Friday.
Here are our two offers:
#1: A half page, 12 month ad in SGNScoops PLUS a Fast Five story on our website.
A great value for only $1500!
#2: A full-page ad for 12 months in SGNScoops, plus a Fast Five on our website. Another great value for only $2500!
This is a savings of over 50% off of your normal price for these advertising packages.
Grab a hold of this is a one day sale now! You must contact Vonda Easley by midnight tonight at 256-310-7892. Call now!
Tags: sgnscoops, Southern Gospel News
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The walk of faith is a long, winding, consistent road for the Christian. Sometimes we worry, sometimes we struggle to gather courage to tell a friend or co-worker about Jesus and sometimes…we even doubt our own salvation. It takes faith to overcome each concern, and that’s something the Whisnants know all about, so they titled their 2015 release: Walk of Faith.
“It kind of summarizes our whole ministry really,” says Jeff Whisnant. “You don’t stay in ministry as long as we do without having a whole lot of faith.”
Tags: Jeff Whisnant, sgnscoops, susan whisnant, Whisnants
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