Bev McCann

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

WLOSGMH 2017 Convention includes the Williamsons, Freedom Quartet and more

Written by Staff on March 24, 2017 – 1:59 pm -

Williamsons at Creekside 2015

Williamsons

The social media phenomenon We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History (WLOSGMH) is holding a social gathering. Commonly referred to as the Convention, the Facebook group administrators have announced the talent line up for the two day event.

Held March 27 and 28, 2017 at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Murfreesboro, TN the talent quartets, trios, soloists, some comedy and lots of surprises that will highlight the talent portion of the convention.

The WLOSGMH Convention begins Monday, March 27th. The evening begins with a dinner concert at 5:30 pm with7:00 pm concert following. The talent includes: Ann Downing, Williamsons, Sheltons, Collectors Quartet, Charlie Griffin, Administrators Quartet, Johnny Minick and Friends, Freedom Quartet.

Freedom Quartet

Freedom Quartet

Tuesday is a full day of activities! Beginning at 9:30 a.m. enjoy two video productions featuring some of the greatest gospel singing of all time. There will also be a short concert featuring some of the musicians who have joined us. This is always a fun time, because we never know who may decide to show up and entertain us. There will be instrumentalists, soloists, and possibly even a Scrap Iron Quartet or two. For those who have purchased the event package, lunch is provided.

 

Tuesday also features two of the convention highlights “Story Time with the Gospel Legends and Show & Tell.” During this time the collectors will also have an opportunity to show some of their classic memorabilia from the gospel singing world; while gospel music road warriors tell some of their funniest stories.

 

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, Harold Timmons

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, Harold Timmons

Tuesday evening show begins at 6:00 with talent to include: Matt Felts, Harold Timmons, Jordan’s Bridge, Ann Downing, McCray Dove, Jeff Stice, Williamsons, and a special tribute to some of our favorite singers by the Administrators and Collectors.Throughout the convention, various singers, collectors, and merchants will have their wares available for purchase. This is a one of a kind event to add interesting items to your gospel music collection.

 

We have listed the artist websites for your convenience. Get to know them and their music. You will find a wealth of talent, music, passion and as Granny says “just good people.” Your support of these fine artists is greatly appreciated.

 

Jordans Bridge

Jordans Bridge

ARTIST:                      WEBSITE:

Ann Downing               www.anndowning.com

Charlie Griffin              www.CharlieGriffin.net

Ellen Marsh                  www.EllenMarshMusic.com

Freedom Quartet www.freedomquartet.com

Gospel Gallery/

Harold Timmons         www.facebook.com/thegospelgallery

Jeff Stice

Jeff Stice

Jeff Stice                       www.jeffsticemusic.com

Johnny Minick             www.johnnyminick.com

Jordan’s Bridge            www.jordansbridge.com

Matt Felts                     www.facebook.com/felts3

McCray Dove               www.newdovebrothers.com

Rita Spillers                  www.facebook.com/themusiclady

The Sheltons                www.facebook.com/SheltonMusicPickensSC

The Williamsons         www.Williamsonsmusic.com

 

“This convention is an internet social gathering of friends.” Administrator Harold Timmons says, “It is not a time for preaching, nor politics. It is not a church service, nor a political rally. Friends are in for two nights of fine Christian entertainment.”

 

The Clarion Hotel is the convention headquarters. Located at 2227 Old Fort Parkway in Murfreesboro, TN. Contact the hotel at 615-896-2420 asking for the WE LOVE SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY CONVENTION ROOM DISCOUNT.

 

For complete fan package, concert tickets, hotel and event information visit www.facebook.com/groups/sgmhistory/.

For more Gospel music news, click here.


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WLOSGMH Convention announces two-day Schedule

Written by Staff on March 17, 2017 – 12:02 pm -

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann   Downing, Harold Timmons

WLOSGMH Facebook Administrators (l to R) John Crenshaw, Hannah Kennedy, Ann Downing, Harold Timmons

People have been asking a lot of questions about the We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History (WLOSGMH) Convention. The interest created has gospel music fans driving and flying from across the states and from the Netherlands. In fact over 37,000 group members are creating the stir with gospel music fans clamoring for more music and history.

 

This Facebook social media gathering has become the talk of the town as interest grows among gospel music fans to know more about the history of the music, performers and the gospel music foundation. The oral history is passed down today by those “you should have been there stories”, videos, music, and collectors who share their memorabilia. Vendor booths showcase those rare one of a kind records, photos, collectibles and do-dads making it a shoppers paradise.

Those coffee or booth conversations are truly a convention highlight.

WLOSGMH administrator John Crenshaw says, “In addition to our great artists, the WLOSGMH convention will feature some great videos featuring the groups from the past. You’ll see the Statesmen, Rebels, Blackwoods, Singing Americans, Speer Family, Happy Goodmans, Rangers Trio and so many others. Many of these videos are being shown here for the first time in more than forty years.”

WLOSGMH collectors and shoppers (l to R) Paul Conner, Gayla Fooks, Brent Joiner, Aaron Rich

WLOSGMH collectors and shoppers (l to R) Paul Conner, Gayla Fooks, Brent Joiner, Aaron Rich

One of the highlights of the convention is the show and tell session. Crenshaw states, “Many collectors will bring their prized possessions to share with the group on Tuesday afternoon. Some of the legends of gospel music will share their humorous road stories. The Tuesday evening concert will feature a tribute to some of the great voices of the past. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but you’ll laugh and cry as you enjoy this tribute.”

Activities for weekend start with members arriving early to participate in a southern gospel tradition, a Red Back Hymnal singing. “On Saturday March 25th from 6-8, many of us will be attending the 4th Annual Rutherford County Red Back Hymnal Singing at Murfreesboro Missionary Baptist Church, 316 Fortress Blvd., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 37128.” Crenshaw continues. “Although this is not officially a part of the We Love Our Southern Gospel Music Convention, they have been very helpful to us, and we will have a special ticket offer available for those who attend the Singing. It’s a great start to the weekend!”

 

The WLOSGMH Convention begins Monday, March 27th. Here are some highlights:

The hotel atrium will be open for buyers and sellers at 10:00 a.m.

WLOSGMH ConventionCheck in and registration will be 3-4:30 with dinner served at 5:30. The Monday evening show begins at 7:00 with talent to include: Ann Downing, Williamsons, Sheltons, Collectors Quartet, Charlie Griffin, Administrators Quartet, Johnny Minick and Friends, Freedom Quartet

Tuesday is a full day of fun filled music and festivities! Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, you will have the opportunity to enjoy two video productions featuring some of the greatest gospel singing of all time. There will also be a short concert featuring some of the musicians who have joined us. This is always a fun time, because we never know who may decide to show up and entertain us. There will be instrumentalists, soloists, and possibly even a Scrap Iron Quartet or two. For those who have purchased the package, lunch will be provided.

Tuesday will also have “Story Time with the Gospel Legends”. The road warriors need to prepare some of their funniest stories for this unforgettable time of sharing. The collectors will also have an opportunity to show some of their classic memorabilia from the gospel singing world.

Come on down, the price right at the WLOSGMH vendor booths.

Come on down, the price right at the WLOSGMH vendor booths.

Tuesday evening show begins at 6:00 with talent to include: Matt Felts, Harold Timmons, Jordan’s Bridge, Ann Downing, McCray Dove, Jeff Stice, Williamsons, and a special tribute to some of our favorite singers by the Administrators and Collectors.

Come on down, the price right at the WLOSGMH vendor booths.

Throughout the convention, various singers, collectors, and merchants will have their wares available for purchase. This is a one of a kind event to add interesting items to your gospel music collection.

“This convention is an internet social gathering of friends.” Administrator Harold Timmons says, “It is not a time for preaching, nor politics. It is not a church service, nor a political rally. Friends are in for two nights of fine Christian entertainment.”

The Clarion Hotel is the convention headquarters. Located at 2227 Old Fort Parkway in Murfreesboro, TN. Contact the hotel at 615-896-2420 asking for the WE LOVE SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY CONVENTION ROOM DISCOUNT.

For complete fan package, concert tickets, hotel and event information visit www.facebook.com/groups/sgmhistory/.  

For more Gospel music news click here.

 


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We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History Convention starts MONDAY

Written by Staff on March 17, 2016 – 11:59 am -

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention - Monday Night

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention – Monday Night

THE NEXT THING TO GOSPEL MUSIC HEAVEN- A We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History (aka WLOSGMH) CONVENTION!

 

March 21 and 22, 2016. Those dates are marked down on the calendars of countless southern gospel fans that are converging in Nashville, TN for the social media convention WE LOVE OUR SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY.  This Facebook group is receiving global acclaim for their influx of history sharing and memorabilia with avid gospel music fans and followers.

 

Facebook group administrators (Harold Timmons, Ann Downing, John Crenshaw and Hannah Kennedy) are keeping the group true to their purpose with constant supervision of the Facebook group page. Historical photos, audio and video clips are shared with in-person stories about the music, artists and songs. Today, over thirty six thousand people enjoy the interactive Facebook group site.

 

This convention is a time where gospel music lovers are involved in dinner concerts, Q&A sessions, historical audio and video clip presentations, designated time for vendor shopping for that most wanted memorabilia and collector music. Vendors, collectors and gospel music fans will call the Holiday Inn Opryland-Airport home to this eclectic music convention.

 

Monday: Afternoon socializing and shopping starts the convention.  Then Ann Downing, convention music hosts the Pine Ridge Boys, Charlie Griffin, Collectors Quartet, the prestigious Blackwood Brothers, Jeff Stice and Ellen Marsh on the pianos, the award winning Dove Brothers are all performing during the dinner concert on Monday night.

 

 We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention - Rita Spillers

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention – Rita Spillers

Noted musician, Rita Spillers sets the tone for the evening as she provides piano music prior to the evening concert. What better way to start a night of gospel music than with a southern gospel piano master?

 

 

 

Tuesday: Tuesday morning and afternoon sessions will in include a presentation of old time pictures through the years, and a video presentation of many artists. The video will last about one and a half hours. Funny stories, questions and answers, and other topics are included. There is an anticipated Downings Reunion (afternoon concert) following lunch on Tuesday. While the evening concert features host music group the Pine Ridge Boys, the Administrators, Jordan River featuring the legendary Buddy Burton,  Harold Timmons, the ever popular Sheltons,  Gary Timbs, Jordans Bridge and Ann Downing.

 

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention - Tuesday night

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention – Tuesday night

WLOSGMH Administrator John Crenshaw shares, “A lot of extra time went into planning the convention right down to the video and audio clips. The presentations share a lot of the history and a few of those “you ought to been there” moments. We are excited to see so many group members in Nashville. It’s gonna be two great music and fun-filled days.

 

Now available are concert only tickets for Monday and Tuesday nights, $20 per night. Meanwhile, lodging at the Holiday Inn is sold out on event nights. Other lodging is available at nearby hotels for convention goers attending the two day event.

 

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention - Closing

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention – Closing

The response has really picked up the last few weeks, states Harold Timmons. He continues, “The room block has been filled and people are asking for the concert tickets. Hard to believe, but some people are just hearing about the convention. The Holiday Inn Opryland-Airport has really been great to work with in the planning and execution of this event. It’s really starting to get exciting!”

 

For more information on the two day event or single concert tickets are available contact Harold Timmons at 615-885-8000 or visit the websites below.

 

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention

We Love Our Southern Gospel History Convention

Vital links:

www.gospelgallery.com/WLOSGMH2016.htm

www.facebook.com/groups/sgmhistory/

 

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WLOSGMH Convention is Contagious To Social Gospel Music Lovers!

Written by Staff on March 7, 2016 – 3:01 pm -

WLOSGMH Convention

WLOSGMH Convention

 

 

The Facebook group, WE LOVE OUR SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY (WLOSGMH)  is a phenomenon. Over thirty six thousand members, hundreds of remarks, audio and video shares and photo posts are commonplace every day.  Friendships have been renewed, acquaintances become friendships and it all due to the love of southern gospel music.

 

Globally the group members span North and South America, Europe and even a few members from south East Asia. Each day, membership increases to relive those special one of a kind southern gospel moments and the historical music clips while sharing their music memorabilia and collections.

March 21-22, 2016 the Holiday Inn Airport-Opryland will host this annual convention of gospel music enthusiasts.  The two day event features concerts, Monday evening banquet, Tuesday luncheon buffet, Q & A sessions, videos, sing-alongs, conversations, time for browsing for the gospel music memorabilia and friendships.

 

The talent list is a who’s who in gospel music. Featured is one of gospel music most acclaimed all-time quartets the Blackwood Brothers, convention music hosts the Pine Ridge Boys, the Sheltons, New Dove Brothers, the Downings, Jordan’s Bridge, Gary Timbs, Jeff Stice, Collectors Quartet, Ellen Marsh, Buddy Burton, Charlie Griffin, Rita Spillers and convention hosts Harold Timmons, Ann Downing, John Crenshaw and Hannah Kennedy. During this convention the music history will be represented and shared by hundreds of years of experienced participants.

 

What makes this event so unique? Why is the interest so intense? There are other heritage events in gospel music. The NQC, Albert Brumley Gospel Sing, Grand Ol’ Gospel Reunion, Singing At Sea and many more, too numerous to list. This event is the only one of its kind designed for a social media group that emphasizes the history of gospel music. It is the only event that features legacy artists whose music careers are rooted in gospel music. Those artists have and are still making contributions to our music.

 

The roots of gospel music start early to many fans and artists. Many enthusiasts were children who were ‘dragged’ to a concert by parents who were involved in church music or local groups. Others stumbled into a concert and the music bug just bit them. The WLOSGMH page administrators are no different in their exposure to southern gospel music.

 

Administrator, John Crenshaw (fan) remembers, “I was nine years old when I attended my first “all night sing” in Burlington, NC.  It was held on New Year’s Eve, 1966.  Funny thing was, three of the WLOSGMH administrators were at the concert, but we didn’t realize it until many years later.  HT and I were in the audience, and Ann was singing with the Speer Family.  Hannah was probably selling tickets, but we haven’t confirmed that.

It was a great show with the Speers, Chuck Wagon Gang, Oak Ridge Boys, Blue Ridge Quartet, Harvesters, and LeFevres.

1969 poster

1969 poster

 

 

Not long after that, I was at the Reynolds Auditorium every time they had a concert.  This poster is from one of my favorites from 1969.  Although they were not on the printed advertisement, the Downings were there and tore up the place!  It was one of their first big NC performances.” Crenshaw is an active gospel music fan and historian with an extensive collection of gospel music and memorabilia.

 

 

Administrator Ann Downing (singer) shares, “I was about 8 or 9 years old when I heard a reel to reel recordings of a little local group close to where I grew up in North Mississippi.  If my memory serves me right, the song was “Wait ‘Til You See me in My New Home”.  I’m sure it wasn’t all that great, but I loved the harmony.  Up until then, about all I’d known was convention singing out of the Stamps-Baxter, Vaughn, et al songbooks, which I love to this day.

 

Dean Adkins, Hannah Kennedy, John Crenshaw, Harold Timmons and Brent Joiner

Dean Adkins, Hannah Kennedy, John Crenshaw, Harold Timmons and Brent Joiner

Shortly after that, I went with a member of this group to my first “quartet concert” in Columbus, MS.  The Statesmen and Blackwood Brothers were there…I was captivated. 

 

I’m so grateful that it’s possible for a young cotton picker from a rural area to have a singing dream to come true.” Downing was vocalist for the Speers, Downings and is currently a touring soloist.

 

  

Ann Downing

Ann Downing

 

Downings

Downings

Administrator Harold Timmons (musician) states, “My first gospel sing was in the 1954. I was only seven years old.  I think it was summer, because there either was no air conditioning in the building, or it was broken.  This was at Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem.  There were many groups on the program, but my folks came to see the Chuck Wagon Gang for their first time.  The building was sold out and it was standing room only.  We were in the upper balcony, and folks were actually sitting on the steps in the balcony.  Every now and then, the emcee would announce that the fire department was going to shut the program down if folks did not get off the stairways in the balconies.

 
The CWG was late getting there.  While another group was on stage, a guitar amp sitting in a chair was slipped through the center of the back curtain.  There was

Chuck Wagon Gang

Chuck Wagon Gang

thunderous applause, I didn’t know why, but that amp signaled to the rest of the audience that the CWG had arrived.  This was my only time to see Dad Carter perform with them.

My parents started going to other programs in the area, and I was fascinated.  When I got my driver’s license, I took myself to many concerts all around.  I began collecting records of most all groups…78s, then 45s, then albums, and signed up for their newsletters.  By the 60s I had pretty well determined I wanted to be a gospel pianist someday, as I was hooked on this music.

 

 

Hemphills with Harold Timmons

Hemphills with Harold Timmons

I started taking piano lessons, went to the Stamps Quartet School of Music, and started making contacts, readying myself for this business.” Timmons was instrumental in music staging with the Sheltons, Barnetts, Hemphills and Chuck Wagon Gang. He continues the gospel music connections with Gospel Gallery, selling collectibles and vintage gospel music.

 

 

The youngest administrator is 21 year old gospel music fan, Hannah Kennedy.

Pictured l to r: Hannah Kennedy, Nancy Carrollo and Harold Timmons

Pictured l to r: Hannah Kennedy, Nancy Carrollo and Harold Timmons

Kennedy says, “When I was 5, I went to my first gospel concert in Fort Wayne, IN. I was hooked right away. I wanted to learn all of the songs and know the names of every singer I heard. The living legends who traveled on Bill Gaither’s Homecoming tours quickly became my heroes and my family graciously took me to as many concerts as possible so that I could see them.

Shown is a picture Hannah took of Jake Hess at the Gospel Barn in LaGrange, GA when she was 5. August 26, 2000. And one of her favorite Gaither concert posters.

 

Jake Hess

Jake Hess

Collector and fan, Brent Joiner says, a night or two before I was born, my parents were at a Southern Gospel concert so I’ve been around it my entire life.  My dad was a huge fan of Southern Gospel Music and that’s where the love for the music began for me.  However, the Southern Gospel “bug” really bit me with full force when I was around 11 years old or so.

Joiner is shown with the ultra-rare albums, “Songs and Hymns by the Plainsmen” & “Sweet Beulah and” by the Statesmen Quartet

 

gaither posterDuring my teenage years any money I earned through allowances, etc. I used on buying Southern Gospel Music.  As well, the Grand Old Gospel Reunion videos were really where I started learning the history of the Southern Gospel genre and enjoyed it tremendously.

 

My all-time favorite group is the Statesmen Quartet and my all-time favorite singer is Jake Hess.  My wife, Christina, also loves Southern Gospel Music and when we got married in 2004 that’s when I decided that collecting was “my calling”.  I’m always looking for the next item to add to my collection, which most of the time is on a daily basis.

 

Another one of my daily activities is being involved in the “We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History” Facebook page.  As far as my collecting, I collect everything associated with Southern

Brent Joiner

Brent Joiner

Gospel Music… vinyls, CD’s, cassettes, books, etc.  One of my favorites pieces in my collection is the the marquee off of the Statesmen Quartet’s bus.  At the inaugural “We Love Our Southern Gospel Music History Convention” in March 2015, I was able to get my hands on two of my most wanted recordings; “Sweet Beulah Land” by the Statesmen and “Songs & Hymns” (infamous red vinyl) by the Plainsmen Quartet.  These two recordings are extremely rare to find, and I had been looking for them for a long time, so to add them to my collection was a thrill.  By the way, the “WLOSGMH” Convention is one of the greatest new events in Southern Gospel Music to come along in a long time.  I love Southern Gospel Music and being able to discuss it with my wife and friends, (who are like family) John Crenshaw, Dean Adkins, Harold Timmons, Hannah Kennedy, Aaron Rich, and many others is one of the great joys of my life.

Nancy Corollo and Jake Hess

Nancy Carollo and Jake Hess

Gospel music fan Nancy Carollo exclaims, “As a young teenager, in the mid to late 50’s, my older sister and I traveled 90 miles to Nashville on the first Friday of each month, to the Ryman Auditorium for the Wally Fowler all night sings.  I followed southern gospel music till I married and moved to New York state in 1960, where southern gospel music wasn’t a familiar thing.  I more or less lost track of southern gospel music until 1993.  On a visit back to Tennessee, I went to see JD Sumner and the Stamps at Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch.  My love for southern gospel music was rekindled.  The match that really reignited the fire, was in 1996.  On our way back to NY after my Mother’s funeral in Tennesse, we stopped in Auburn, IN for a concert of The Statesmen, Blackwoods, Stamps, Speers, and Nelons…just a little taste of Heaven.  At this point, there is no turning back!”

 

As most can see young and old are bitten by the gospel music bug. The love shared by these countless fans is exciting and contagious to newcomers.

 

There are still limited packages available for the two day event. Also single concert tickets are available. For more information contact Harold Timmons at 615-885-8000 or visit the websites below.

 

Vital links:

www.gospelgallery.com/WLOSGMH2016.htm

www.facebook.com/groups/sgmhistory/

 

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WLOSGMH Convention Slated for March 2016

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

WLOSGMH 2016

WLOSGMH 2016

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

 

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

THE 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.

Sheltons

Sheltons

THE SHELTONS

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.

Collector's QuartetTHE COLLECTORS QUARTET

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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