The Williamsons

Kramers Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

The Browders: How Sweet The Sound

Written by Staff on February 7, 2016 – 9:20 am -

The Browders

The Browders

Twenty-five years ago, in the hills of Hiltons, Virginia, a unique and beautiful sound was born. It was a sound full of harmonies so close and sweet that they could only be connected by the blood of family. The sound produced words and songs that are full of hope and new life, words that point others to Jesus Christ. This sound became the music and ministry of The Browders, a family group that is rapidly gaining recognition and admiration in gospel music.

The Browders

The Browders

Tommy Browder, patriarch and founder of The Browders, grew up singing and writing gospel songs from a very early age. As an adult, he felt God leading him to start a ministry. “He felt the call to minister with his family. He prayed about it and God showed him what to do. We began singing in 1990,” says son Matt. “Actually, it all started in a 1990 Dodge Omni!”

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Clayton Inman from Triumphant Quartet celebrates

Written by Staff on February 6, 2016 – 6:59 am -

Clayton Inman

Clayton Inman

SGNScoops would like to wish Clayton Inman of the a very happy birthday!  Clayton has been involved in Southern Gospel music  for most of his life.

As the lead singer of Triumphant Quartet he has been the voice of such top songs as the popular “White Flag.”

Triumphant Quartet

Triumphant Quartet

Be sure to stop by Clayton’s Facebook page today and wish him a very happy birthday!

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LeFevre Quartet Video With Jon Epley

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on February 1, 2016 – 6:06 pm -

LeFevre Quartet Video With Jon Epley

LeFevre Quartet Video With Jon Epley

From The LeFevre Quartet Here is a preview video featuring our new, amazingly talented bass vocalist, Jon Epley.

Find The LeFevre Quartet On Facebook HERE

Jon Epley and The LeFevres

Here is a preview video featuring our new, amazingly talented bass vocalist, Jon Epley. Comment and let us know what ya think!

Posted by The LeFevre Quartet on Monday, February 1, 2016

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Capstone Quartet featured on SGN Scoops’ Fast Five

Written by Staff on February 1, 2016 – 11:45 am -

Capstone Quartet

Capstone Quartet

SGN Scoops would like to welcome The Capstone Quartet to the Fast Five! The Capstone hails from Gordo, Alabama, singing for almost 25 years and has recorded 20 albums.

The Quartet has had strong ties with the Kingsmen Quartet, and was the home of Bob Sellers for eight years before he joined the Kingsmen. Capstone has had a powerful influence in its home state, as in 2006, the Alabama State House of Representatives adopted Resolution HR490 extending highest commendations to The Capstone Quartet “upon its outstanding accomplishments and utmost desire to bring glory to God.”
Capstone took a bit of an hiatus for a couple of years and then hit the road again in 2014. You will find their sound full and energetic, with the influence of the Kingsmen and other beloved Quartets’ sound well reflected.
The Capstone Quartet’s latest project is entitled Reborn, and it features songs such as: “Damascus Road,” “Where The Milk and Honey Flow,” “I Know What Lies Ahead,” as well as others that showcase the groups’ rich sound and tight harmony.
Let’s hear more from The Capstone Quartet as they respond to SGN Scoops’ Fast Five interview questions!
SGN: Tell us about Capstone. Who are the members and what can we expect if we come see you in a concert or worship service?
CQ: The Capstone Quartet is a regional quartet from Gordo, AL. At the present time we are in search of a tenor singer, but the other members include lead singer and manager Rodney Homan, baritone Preston Corbett and bass Billy Payne. At our services we sing a mixture of old-time Quartet music and also some of today’s Quartet music. We always put Jesus first in our services.
SGN: Tell us how the group got the name Capstone. Is there a story behind the name?
CQ: The Capstone Quartet was formed in 1992 in Tuscaloosa, AL., home of The University of Alabama, also known as The Capstone.
Capstone Quartet

Capstone Quartet

SGN: Tell us what God is doing in your ministry these days.

CQ: God has blessed this group since its beginning. Changes come and go, members come and go, but the Spirit of this group has remained a constant from the start. Our goal is to always put God first in every service we have.
SGN: What advice would you give to a new group getting started?
CQ: Hang in there! Put Jesus first and always know that He will guide you.
SGN: How can we book Capstone and buy your product?
CQ: You can book The Capstone by calling Rodney Homan at 205-454-4508 , find us online at or email us at . We would love to come and worship with you!
You can also find The Capstone Quartet on Facebook, as well as their songs on You Tube.
Thanks so much to The Capstone Quartet for joining us on this edition of SGN Scoops’ Fast Five! It was good to find out more about your ministry. We hope our readers will follow your links and attend your concerts to hear you!
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Johnny Minick Signs Agreement With AG Publicity

Written by Staff on January 29, 2016 – 2:44 pm -

Johnny Minick

Johnny Minick

Nashville, Tennessee (January 29, 2016) Pastor, Singer, Songwriter, and Campmeeting speaker, Johnny Minick is known around the world for his singing and preaching, but also for his years spent with the Happy Goodman Family.

After two Doctorate Degrees the point has come in his career that he is ready to reach out a little further with his ministry. He chose AG Publicity to help him do that.

AG Publicity President, Deon Unthank stated, “I have known Johnny Minick for over 15 years, sitting under his ministry as Pastor, so it is a privilege to call him my friend. It is an even greater privilege to represent his total endeavor in reaching the world, whether it’s his preaching and singing at campmeetings, singing on stage with Goodman Revival, or featured on a Gaither Homecoming video.”

Johnny Minick And Goodman Revival

Goodman Revival

Johnny commented, “I’m very excited about signing with AG Publicity. I’ve been looking for a way to get the word out concerning all the doors that have been recently opened to me. This opportunity is one I’m truly looking forward to exploring.”

If you would like to interview Johnny Minick contact AGPublicity at

Learn more about Johnny Minick Ministries at or on FaceBook at

Twitter Johnny at @JohnnyMinick .

About Johnny Minick

Johnny Minick was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He began his musical journey at the age of 3. Johnny’s parents enrolled him in piano lessons at age 6 where he began to study to be a classical pianist. Those years of classical training gave Johnny an important foundation for the artistry he now enjoys. In his teens, Johnny followed a familiar path that many other classically trained musicians follow; the road to jazz.

In August of 1974, Johnny and his sweetheart, Sherry McDonald married. In the Summer of 1975, Johnny and Sherry packed up and moved to become a part of The Happy Goodman Family. The next few years made an indelible mark on Johnny’s life and musical career. Even though he had founded River Of Life Church in 1992 in Smyrna, TN Johnny reunited with Howard & Vestal Goodman to revive the Happy Goodman brand. With the success of the Bill Gaither Homecoming videos and concerts, The Happy Goodmans found a platform to promote their music around the world. From 1995 through 2002, Johnny traveled 3 days a week singing to 1.3 million people per year attending their concerts from coast to coast and in Europe. At the same time, River Of Life continued growing and enjoying their new worship facility at their Sam Ridley Parkway location. The years with the Goodmans were productive and continues to bear fruit to this day. His relationship with Howard, Vestal, Rusty & Sam continued until their deaths.

In 2014, Johnny, Tanya Goodman Sykes and her husband Michael Sykes started singing together as Goodman Revival. In February of 2014 they went into the studio and recorded their debut project, “Songs In The Key Of Happy.” Spring House Music heard the recording and leased the project to be distributed through the Gaither Music Network and in October 2014 a companion video was produced at the Gaither Studios in Alexandria, IN.


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WLOSGMH Convention Slated for March 2016

Written by Staff on January 25, 2016 – 6:14 pm -



Our Music is Our Heritage!

There are those who debate how southern gospel music got started. Some historians say came from melodic chants by Monks, handed down through the centuries. And was transformed by a mix of black gospel, church choirs and rag-tag musicians. Some music critics say it is known as a southern tradition spawned out of spirituals and country or mountain music. It does make for good debate and speculation.

James D Vaughn

James D Vaughn

When James Vaughn started a quartet in 1910 to sell song books for James D Vaughn Music Publishing Co, no one had an idea what was yet to come.   Southern gospel is sometimes called “quartet music” by most fans because it was an all-male, tenor-lead-baritone-bass quartet make-up. Early quartets were typically a-cappella or accompanied by piano or a single guitar, and in some cases a banjo and fiddle was added for a blue grass flair, more so in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachians. Over time, full bands were added to touring groups and even later, pre-recorded accompaniments (soundtracks) were introduced.

Early gospel artists such as The Speer Family, The Stamps Quartet, The Blackwood Family, and The LeFevre James D Vaughn signTrio achieved wide popularity through their recordings and radio performances in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. On October 20, 1927, The Stamps Quartet recorded its early hit “Give the World a Smile” for RCA Victor, which become the Quartet’s theme song. The Stamps Quartet was heard on the radio throughout Texas and the South. In the 1950’s with the advent of television, those radio music masters rose to even more prominence. The Chuck Wagon Gang, Harvesters, Arthur Smith and Crossroads Quartet, Songfellows and a hand full of other groups really began their ascension to popularity via expanded TV, radio and sponsorships.

National Quartet Convention, Nashville, TN

NOCThere are staple groups who are considered pioneers in southern gospel music for a series of “firsts.” The Blackwood Brothers, with James Blackwood and J.D. Sumner became the first group to travel in a Bus, which is on display at the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Sumner also was instrumental in creating the National Quartet Convention, an annual music festival where many groups perform for a week. The Speer Family was known for bringing blended groups to mainstream popularity where both Male and Female performers toured together.

The best known group of the 1950s and 1960s was Statesmen Quartet, which set the trend for broad appeal of the all male quartets that would develop years later. The Statesmen were known for their showmanship and introduction of Jazz, ragtime, and even some early rock and roll elements into their music and the their stage appearance with trendy suits and wide audience appeal and were known for their signature song, “Happy Rhythm” (Rockin and a’Rollin). The Statesmen became the fore-runner to the Masters Five, a group in the 1980’s which heralded the many of the icons of gospel music, Hovie Lister (Statesmen), Jake Hess (Statesmen/ Imperials), James Blackwood (Blackwood Brothers), Rosie Rozell (Statesmen/ Searchers) and JD Sumner (Blackwoods/ Stamps Quartet). This group received unmatched acclaim as the quartet rejuvenated young and old alike. In this eight year spann, eighteen recordings were released to clamoring fans.

Some will say southern gospel music is more inclusive than many music forums. Within southern gospel the listener will find shades of bluegrass, country and even contemporary music. There are quartets, trios, male and mixed groups with countless soloists in the mix. But the artist remains true to the ideals of what makes it southern gospel. The message, arrangement, values and moral compass are still driving forces carried thorough, making history even today.

There are true happenings in gospel music that are legendary. Ideas that started in the backstage areas of a concert in Memphis, Nashville, or Atlanta. Conversations that happened on a TV stage in Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, and Dallas or in many cities. Before the “on air” light flipped on most high powered AM radio stations through the south, Midwest and west. Nowadays those happenings start in a chat room session or in-box message on the internet.

Yes, times are changing some in gospel music. Social media, internet, radio, television and print media venues are expanding the fan base of southern gospel music. It is no longer a southern thing. There are global fans that purchase cds, pay for podcasts, videos, buy T-shirts and tons of memorabilia. Photos are instantly shared nowadays.

The growth of social media and the instant connection has spawned a gathering that is unique and garners global attention. The Facebook group, WE LOVE OUR SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY has taken the industry by surprise and storm.   This Facebook Community burst onto the scene and boasts a growing membership of over 36,000 gospel music enthusiasts, participating daily in the banter and re-living southern gospel music history.

Artists have found long-time friends once again. Fans have connected with their idols. The energy, love and passion for southern gospel music is as vibrant and exciting as the history proclaims.

AdminsWLOSGMH Administrators

Pictured left to right: John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, and Harold Timmons.

The group is the brain child of Harold Timmons, Ann Downing, John Crenshaw and Hannah Kennedy. What started as a Facebook in-box chat literally turned into an unparalleled phenomenon. Fans from across Americas and Europe follow the banter of stories, music, videos, photos and friendly debates on the music foundations of southern gospel music.

The want for more has set the stage for the annual social media convention.

March 21-22, 2016 is the WLOSGMH Convention is making music on the Nashville stage once more. This annual gathering boasts a unique mixture of music, sharing, shopping and friendship that is unmatched in gospel music.

The convention is being hosted at the Holiday Inn Airport in Nashville, TN. Special attendance packages including accommodations are available now through event commencement. The activities include Monday night banquet, Evening concert, Tuesday Lunch, six hours of QA, videos, sing-alongs, more music, funny stories, memorabilia and shopping of collectibles, periodicals, records and other artifacts.

Music talent includes WLOSGMH Convention host quartet the Pine Ridge Boys, Blackwood Brothers, Sheltons, Dove Brothers, Jeff Stice, Ann Downing, Collectors Quartet, Charlie Griffin, WLOSGMH Admins, Rita Robinson-Spillers plus a few surprise quests over the two day event.

The convention starts with a star-studded dinner concert with dining music by the piano artistry of Rita Robinson-Spillers. The evening concert features classic gospel music from artists that are continuing a rich legacy, still today. Each of the artists tours, records and shares of their talents across America. One of the headliner events is a special reunion concert of the Downings, which continues to be the talk of convention go-ers.

Blackwood Brothers 80th Anniversary CD

Blackwood Brothers 80th Anniversary CD



The Blackwood Brothers Quartet was formed in 1934 with brothers Roy, Doyle, James and Roy’s son, R.W. In the late 50s Roy and Doyle retired from traveling and in 1954 R.W. was killed in a tragic airplane crash. However the quartet with James, as the quartets’ leader and spokesman, established a new group of singers who would go on to take Gospel music to new heights as they traveled and sang in all fifty of the United States, every Canadian province as well as cities in Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

James Blackwood passed in 2002, but his sons, Jimmy (James Jr.) and Billy continued the 80-year tradition. Recently Jimmy retired after singing for 49 years and younger brother, Billy now carries on the quartet which has the distinction of being the best-known name in Gospel Music history! With Billy, Butch Owens (bass), Michael Helwig (tenor) and Wayne (lead) continue to delight audiences across the gospel music spectrum.

Pine Ridge Boys

Pine Ridge Boys


Gospel music legends, The Stamps, Blackwoods and countless others laid the foundation for southern gospel music, quartet style. Yes, there have been many groups that have shared their talents over the years. And sadly time runs its course and many of the groups are no more. Yet today, the Pine Ridge Boys are carrying on a rich 53 year tradition that started with the likes of Jim Stewart, brothers Darius and Wayne Shuford, Charlie Burke, Miles Cooper, Laddie Cain, Jack Henderson, Reese McKinney, Joel Duncan, Ned Wilder, Farrell Henson, Ray Dean Reese, Charles Abee, Everette Greene and Eldridge Fox. Yes those men and others were part of the Pine Ridge Boys history.

Today the Pine Ridge Boys mantle has been passed on to a different generation of men. It is today’s Pine Ridge Boys configuration that is drawing acclaim for their rich quartet harmonies. Larry Stewart (formerly with the Singing Americans), Wayne Shuford (original PRB member and with the Trav’lers Qt), Ivory Luke and Duane Rizzo have polished the Pine Ridge Boys sound with the timeless songs and innovative music arrangements that captivate audiences young and old alike.

Fact: Change is inevitable and time moves on. Some traditions withstand the tests of time. Different and new generations assume the leadership into the future. Now today, when you hear and see the Pine Ridge Boys you will enjoy a group steeped in a solid tradition of southern gospel music. Even more so, you will hear a group that is renewed in commitment and continues to stage gospel music rich in full quartet harmonies. Music arrangements that causes you clap your hands, pat your feet and nod your head with approval are commonplace at a Pine Ridge concert.

Yes, the Pine Ridge Boys tradition is alive and well. Today’s generation of Pine Ridge Boys is singing a new chapter of quartet gospel music to the approval of the gospel music fans of any age. Once you attend a concert, you will truly know why, “the Pine Ridge Boys are loving southern gospel music.” You will quickly learn the music and message is the feature of their exciting concerts.

The Pine Ridge Boys serve as the host quartet for the convention and are an integral part of the concert production each day.


New Dove Brothers

New Dove Brothers

The New Dove Brothers

In 1998 a quartet was formed that took the Southern Gospel industry by storm. Bringing to the stage an excitement and a style that had not been seen since the glory days of gospel music.

Now that McCray Dove, Tony Peace and Wesley Smith have joined together to form the New Dove Brothers it looks like history is repeating itself. McCray and Tony are known as two of the most exciting performers in the world of southern gospel music. Wesley Smith ties it all together with his smooth high tenor voice.

The New Dove Brothers are committed to the cause of Christ and to keeping that classic southern gospel style and sound. With songs like Get Away Jordan and Didn’t It Rain you can’t help but to clap your hands and tap your feet and when The New Dove Brothers begin to sing the great hymns of the church your heart will be reminded why these songs are timeless. If you love harmony and high energy then you don’t want to miss this New Dove Brothers concert.




If ever a family truly exemplified great harmony that would be the Sheltons. They first came to popularity in the 60’s and 70’s by recording the ever popular song, JESUS IS COMING SOON. The Shelton recording was held as the Inspirations recorded and released the song after hearing the Sheltons version. Later the Oak Ridge Boys recorded it and the rest is history for that song.

Original members Sandra Shelton Martin and George Shelton, Jr are carrying on the tradition. Both were born and raised in Pickens, South Carolina. They got their start singing with their Dad and the family group. Junior also sang tenor for the Senators in the mid-1970s. Most recently from 2013-2015, Junior Shelton sang tenor with the Dixie Echoes.

Over the last few years the group, Sandra Shelton Martin, Frankie Shelton and Rob Shelton have rekindled the love for the Shelton Family harmony. Jr Shelton joins the group on special concerts to round out the original family sound.

 The Southern Gospel group, the Downings, were a mixed quartet founded by the husband and wife team of Paul Downing and Ann Downing. Other founding members were Greg GordonSue Dodge (Sue Chenault), and pianist Dickie Mathews.

The group went through several personnel changes throughout the early to mid 1970s, and eventually disbanded in 1977. The group released 18 albums in 8 years. Ann and Paul were voted favorite female singer and favorite bass singer respectively in 1973 in the Singing News Fan Awards. Paul and Ann were in the process of trying to reform the Downings when Paul passed away in 1992.

downingsAnn Downing

Today Ann Downing continues a prosperous solo ministry with concerts and seminars. Raised on a cotton farm in rural Mississippi, Ann grew up dreaming of the day she’d sing Gospel music all over the world. Right out of high school she began to realize that dream by securing a position with the legendary Speer Family, later marrying the man of her dreams and co-founding a group that helped shape the face of Gospel music we have today. She won the industry’s highest honor—the Dove Award—for Female Vocalist within a year of co-founding the Downings and went on to be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Her Gospel music career spanning almost fifty years, Ann has been lauded with various awards and accolades; however, she’s quick to tell you that she’s like you in many ways. Fading success? She’s been there! Crumbling marriage or financial ruin? She’s been there, too! Lost a spouse or experienced a devastating trauma in your family? Ann can relate!

Jeff Stice, affectionately known as “Mr. Music Man” is having an incredible musical journey and has reached pinnacles of great success in The Gospel Music World. His love for the piano started at the age of 6. His mother played and every time she did, he would lie under the piano and listen. When she would finish, he would get on the stool, place his hands on the keys and begin to pick out the melody of some of the songs he had heard her play. At the age of 8 he began taking lessons and it was recognized early on that he had “an ear” for music. Jeff’s parents began to take him to Gospel Concerts where he immediately fell in love with “The Piano Players”. As he began to grow older his love for Gospel Quartet Music began to grow as well. At the age of 15 he began playing for his father’s quartet, winning high school talent shows along the way. After Jeff graduated from high school he went on to major in Piano Performance at Western Kentucky University.

Jeff Stice was the pianist for Triumphant Quartet. He began with the Monitors Quartet in the early 1980’s. Jeff then went on to the Blackwood Brothers in the mid 1980s, then worked for a while with the Nelons and then played piano for Perfect Heart from 1990-1998. In 1999 he joined the Kingdom Heirs. Three years later he left to become one of the founding members of Triumphant Quartet, where he remained until May, 2014. Jeff has also written many Southern Gospel songs, received numerous Singing News Fan Awards, and recorded many solo albums. His humor, piano artistry and delivery is truly a crowd favorite on any concert stage or church event. His impressions of RAY CHARLES, FLOYD CRAMER, ROGER WILLIAMS and LIBERACE, to this day, are audience favorites.

Charlie GriffinCharlie Griffin

Since a teenager, Charlie Griffin has been singing in church, quartets, and special events and on concert stages. The music was not always gospel. When you talk with him, you will quickly learn of his love for jazz, blues, country and even some pop. But it is his love of gospel music that impacts his audiences today. With his music, he also speaks in positive motivational seminars and sales conferences. He is a theology student at Liberty University. His Christian commitment is vibrant yet impactful in any setting.

Griffin is no stranger to gospel music and fans in the Carolinas. For 20 years, he was instrumental in the operation of the popular HALLELUJAH SUPPER CLUB in Newton, NC. He worked for the Singing Americans and managed/ sang with The Vanguards as well. Over the years, Charlie has toured, taught and promoted concerts, church sings, conducted rallies and festivals throughout the Southeast. Griffin records for Classic Artists Records and is songwriter with Three Associates Music, BMI.

As you listen to the melodies on his projects or in person, you hear and understand why gospel music is so endearing to him. “It is music with a positive message that impacts the listener even after the concert has ended.”  Shares Griffin. Yes, the journey continues for someone who has been singing for 39 years. And by the signs, Charlie Griffin does not look like he is slowing down. The enthusiasm is still contagious for the music he shares. The message is still just as vibrant as the day he started. Yes, Charlie Griffin is still making music and enjoying what he does — SING…sharing the Good News! Griffin continues today with solo performances, teaching Positive Life Changing Seminars and touring extensively.

There are a few surprises that will happen with special guests, performers and fans. Many of gospel music’s most noted family members will be in attendance including many from the country music field.

Previous attendees included, Larry Strickland, Naomi Judd, Lou Wills Hildreth, Judy Nelon, Lem Kinslow, Michael Booth, Woody Wright, Reba Rambo, and Dony McGuire. In reality you just never know who will show up to tell a few of those ‘should’ve been there” stories.


Gospel music is filled with collectors of the memorabilia. Those people are really keepers of the history in many ways. Their collections are priceless and yet in-depth. During the convention the Collectors Quartet will provide some antics and unique four part harmony that will inspire, elevate and just plain make you laugh with joy. John Crenshaw, Paul Conover, Harold Timmons, Brent Joiner and Dean Adkins will truly make it a concert to remember!

For more information or reservations visit

Holiday Inn Opryland-Airport RESERVATIONS – Rooms are available and at our discounted rate. Call 615-883-9770 ONLY M-F between 9-5 PM, and ask for sales group only or punch the option for sales. All sales people know of reservations for Face book Southern Gospel Group. The rate is $136.00 plus tax. For additional information or issues with late reservations or payment call Harold Timmons at 704-918-9919.


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The 2016 Diamond Award Nominations

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on January 18, 2016 – 1:27 pm -

The 2016 Diamond Award Nominations

The 2016 Diamond Award Nominations

The 2016 Diamond Award Nominations are open on the SGN Scoops website. Everyone is invited to the website to enter the Nominations area and list their top 3 favorite picks for each Diamond Award category. Vote HERE.

The Diamond Awards are completely voter-driven, starting with nominations, from which the Top Ten lists are posted, allowing voters to select their three favorites in each category.

That will bring us to the Top Five lists, allowing voters to select their three choices to bring us one winner of the 2016 Diamond Award in each category.

Artists and industry personnel are also invited to vote and to encourage their friends and fans to vote as well!

Vote today HERE

Make plans now to join us for the 2016 Diamond Awards during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from October 31st through November 3rd, 2015. For more information visit .

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Brian Free and Assurance Announce Unashamed Fan Retreat

Written by Staff on January 5, 2016 – 6:07 am -

Brian Free and Assurance

Brian Free and Assurance

A First in the Group’s 22 Year History

 DOUGLASVILLE, GA, January 5, 2016 – Dove Award Winning artist Brian Free & Assurance (BFA) will host their very first Unashamed Fan Retreat to be held October 14-16, 2016. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina at LifeWay’s Ridgecrest Conference Center, BFA will spend three days with a limited number of fans providing an exclusive weekend with the group.

Scoops_Jan_header_BFAFanRetreatThe campus at Ridgecrest encompasses 1,300 acres and is conveniently located just east of Asheville, North Carolina, less than a day’s drive from over 15 states. Ridgecrest Account Manager Annette Frisby states, “Ridgecrest is delighted to have Brian Free & Assurance as part of our fall calendar! They will bring an excitement to this Spirit-filled place in the Blue Ridge mountains!”

mt-laurel-lobby_with-fireUnlike a homecoming or three day event with multiple artists, the Unashamed Fan Retreat will solely feature Brian Free and Assurance with unique day and night time activities. A special feature during concert times will be a live band, with Brian’s oldest son, Ricky, playing drums. Brian shares, “When we were planning this retreat, we didn’t want an event that people would come to and just be sung at – yes, we are going to sing – but more importantly, we want to interact and spend time with our fans.”

IMG_9679 (1)VIP Packages go on sale today. For information about price, location and activities during the fan retreat visit the website at:   Reservations can be made Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 4:00 PM EST by calling Ridgecrest directly at 1-800-588-7222.

FanRetreat_release (1)About Brian Free & Assurance: Brian Free and Assurance have been traveling full time in Gospel Music for over 22 years and are the recipients of multiple Dove Awards; most recently, Southern Gospel Performance of the Year for “Say Amen” in 2014. The group was chosen by BBC to represent Elvis Presley’s love of Gospel Music on “That’s Alright Mama,” a Tribute to Elvis Presley. They have made a number of notable television appearances, including TBN, Gospel Music Channel, Prime Time Country (TNN), The “Today Show” (NBC), and 27 of the “Gaither Video” series. With 34 years of experience, Brian Free is the genre’s most awarded tenor. To learn more about Brian Free & Assurance visit their website:




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Chris Binion On Gospel Music Today

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on December 27, 2015 – 11:01 pm -

Chris Binion On Gospel Music Today

Chris Binion On Gospel Music Today

Chris Binion is the guest on Gospel Music Today for the week of December 28. Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates. The Feature Group is The Dayspring Trio, and Jean reviews new recordings by The Ambassadors and Dave Mumford.  An article from Singing News magazine is the subject of this week’s News Notes. The show features singing by The Journeymen Quartet, exclusive concert video of The Freemans, recorded by Gospel Music Today’s cameras in Ada, OK, and a visit to the Gospel Music Today Archives for an exclusive concert video of 2nd Generation, recorded by Gospel Music Today’s cameras in Broken Arrow, OK.

The show is on KWHB TV47 in Oklahoma every Sunday at 4:30 PM, and on Roku on FFE TV Monday at 8:00 PM and AllNations TV Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 PM. Check local TV schedule for Pontotoc, MS, Beaumont, TX, Tyler, TX. Atlanta, TX, and Morrilton, AR. The current edition of Gospel Music Today is online now at the Gospel Music Today website,

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Written by Staff on December 23, 2015 – 6:46 am -

Ball Brothers

Ball Brothers


The Ball Brothers wrapped up their 20-concert, ten-state Christmas tour recently. Their last weekend included their home church in Rock Springs, GA and Columbus, OH. The group currently consists of brothers Daniel and Andrew Ball, brother-in-law Chad McCloskey and Jon Epley.
IMG_2797When the group stated back in Illinois, it was four brothers including Steven and Josh. They toured with their Dad who was an evangelist  from 2001 through 2005. Dad started pastoring a church in Chickamauga, Ga and they moved south. In 2006, the brothers started singing full-time and have appeared on main stage at NQC,  Gaither videos, Silver Dollar City and Dollywood.
They began doing a Christmas tour in 2007 and have continued each year since. Brother Steve had to leave the group because of a hearing loss and Josh later left the group for a Church staff position. They also had Cody McVay who was a brother-in-law as their pianist. Cody left the group when he was offered a position at Dr. Charles Stanley’s church in the music department.
IMG_2822I had the opportunity to attend the Ball Brothers’ Christmas concert in Rock Springs. This was a great evening with a good mixture of secular and religious Christmas music. They kicked off the evening with a video presentation of the Ball Kids, where the kids were asked questions, which turned out to be very funny at times. 
The Awana Childrens Choir sang a song, and the Ball Brothers then hit the stage with “Go Tell It On A Mountain.”  Some of the other songs they included were: ‘Joy To The World,” “O Holy Night,” “Jingle Bells,” The Grinch song and “Mary Did You Know.” Daniel brought Steven and Josh to the stage and introduced them, explaining about the health issues that both of them had, and thanked everyone for praying for them.
The group used a beautiful set with several types of lights and when they sang, “Let it Snow,” the snow machines worked full time, blowing snow all over the stage with Daniel kicking it and picking up some and wiping in on Andrew. As usual, Daniel and Andrew drew lots of laughs with their comedy during the program. They also had a game in the program called, Know It or Throw It. Participants  from the audience were invited to the stage and they drew balls with gift cards attached out of Santa’s bag and were asked a Christmas question.  If they knew the answer they got the gift card, if they didn’t know the answer the ball was pitched into the audience and the person that caught it got the gift certificate.
IMG_2820The Ball Brothers closed the program after a brief intermission with several Southern Gospel songs and then sang their signature song, “It’s About The Blood.”  You can keep in touch with The Ball Brothers on Facebook or their website  If you are interested in having the group they are booked by The Harper Agency.
By Robert York
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