Charlie Sexton interviews Vonda Easley, Lauren Huckabee, Jordan Wilson and Chris Clay of Hope’s Journey. Part One appeared in the March 2016 issue of SGN Scoops. Here, Charlie tells the rest of the story!
Several years ago, a young, energetic group from the foothills of Alabama came on the Gospel music scene who, in an unusually short amount of time, won the hearts of folks all across America. It’s been my distinct privilege to watch them grow – not only as consummate professionals – but also as God-fearing ministers of the Gospel. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and spend some time with these fun-loving, down home folks. Today is your lucky day. You get to enjoy the rest of that conversation. Hang on. You ain’t ready for this!
CS: Vonda here’s one for you. Before his death, Gospel Music legend Jake Hess suffered from many different health issues. When his friends and fans asked him how he was feeling, his answer, without fail, was always “Nothin’ But Fine!” It eventually became his mantra. In recent years, you have become well known for starting your radio show and your social media posts with “Hey, Y’all!” How did that come about?
VE: I’ve said it all my life. I’m a country girl and I’m proud of that. We went to a church one night and I met the pastor on the way in. I greeted him and his wife with “Hey Y’all.” He said, “It is for real; you aren’t faking!” I remember telling him that if I was gonna be fake, I’d be more proper! I guess my “Hey Y’all” just stuck. I get asked all the time when I’m out shopping if I am The “Hey Y’all” Lady… Hey, it works!
CS: I love it! In all honesty, people have just really come to expect you to say that! It’s kinda like going to a McKameys concert and anticipating Peg waving her hanky and kicking her shoes off. It’s not just a part of your ‘shtick’; it’s truly part of who ‘you’ are!
Okay. I’m going to ask each of you to tell me one word that best describes one of your fellow group members. If you want to elaborate, that’s fine… but give us that one word, first.
CS: Lauren, describe Jordan.
LH: Loveable. Jordan is only 19 years old and he absolutely loves singing about Jesus! He is my little road trip buddy sometimes, and we always have a blast. After concerts at the table is always interesting because all the little ladies just love him to pieces! He is all around precious, and I look at him like the little brother I never had.
CS: Chris, describe Vonda.
CC: Loyal. There are a lot of other words that fit her, but she may just be the most loyal friend I’ve ever had. If she tells you she’ll be there, you can count on it. She’s definitely one of the best friends I have ever had.
CS: Vonda, describe Lauren.
VE: Beautiful. That’s her, inside and out!
CS: Jordan, describe Chris.
JW: Jealous. It’s a known fact that Chris is terribly jealous of bass singers, so he really gives me a hard time… (Jordan laughs.) No, seriously, Chris has been such been a good mentor to me, since I joined the group. He’s a great singer and truly loves the Lord. I really enjoy working with him and I consider him a very good friend. So, that is my word to describe him… friend.
CS: Here’s another fun question. If they were going to make a movie about Hope’s Journey, what Gospel Music personality would you like to play you?
VE: I think Brenda Robinson of New Desire could play me perfect. She knows me well and we even sound alike! I love that lady.
CC: Mark Lowry. No doubt. Only his jokes are better than mine.
LH: Amber Nelon. Because she’s beautiful, sweet, and has vocal talent like none other!
JW: My good friend Josh Singletary. I mean, really, don’t you think he would make a good bass singer?
CS: Well, this has been fun, y’all! We could do this all day, but we need to close this down until next time. Any final thoughts from you, Vonda?
VE: I’d like to thank you, Charlie! This has been really fun. I’ve made so many friends in this industry through the years, but I’d have to say that you, my friend, are one of the best. You are one of the good guys, Charlie, and I’m thankful for you!
Editor’s note: We are happy to welcome Charlie Sexton as a guest writer for SGNScoops, doing a terrific job of delving into the world of Hope’s Journey. Be sure to catch more of his interview with this group in SGNScoops’ March 2016 magazine.