Charlie Sexton interviews Vonda Easley, Lauren Huckabee, Jordan Wilson and Chris Clay of Hopeâ€™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. Itâ€™s been my distinct privilege to watch them grow â€“ 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 ainâ€™t ready for this!
CS: Vonda hereâ€™s one for you. Â Before his death, Gospel Music legend Jake Hess suffered from many different health issues. Â When his friends and fans asked him how he was feeling, his answer, without fail, was always Â â€œNothinâ€™ But Fine!â€ It eventually became his mantra. In recent years, you have become well known for starting your radio show and your social media posts with â€œHey, Yâ€™all!â€ 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 â€œHey Y’all.â€ He said, Â â€œIt is for real; you aren’t faking!â€ Â I remember telling him that if I was gonna be fake, I’d be more proper! I guess my â€œHey Y’allâ€ just stuck. I get asked all the time when I’m out shopping if I am The â€œHey Y’allâ€ Ladyâ€¦ Hey, it works!
CS: I love it! Â In all honesty, people have just really come to expect you to say that! Â Itâ€™s kinda like going to a McKameys concert and anticipating Peg waving her hanky and kicking her shoes off. Â Itâ€™s not just a part of your â€˜shtickâ€™; itâ€™s truly part of who â€˜youâ€™ are! Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Okay. Â Iâ€™m going to ask each of you to tell me one word that best describes one of your fellow group members. Â If you want to elaborate, thatâ€™s fineâ€¦ but give us that one word, first.
CS: Lauren, describe Jordan.
LH: Loveable. Â 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. Â There are a lot of other words that fit her, but she may just be the most loyal friend Iâ€™ve ever had. If she tells you sheâ€™ll be there, you can count on it. Sheâ€™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. Â Itâ€™s a known fact that Chris is terribly jealous of bass singers, so he really gives me a hard time… Â (Jordan laughs.) No, seriously, Chris has been such been a good mentor to me, since I joined the group. Heâ€™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: Hereâ€™s another fun question. Â If they were going to make a movie about Hopeâ€™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: Â Â Â Â Â Mark Lowry. No doubt. Only his jokes are better than mine.
LH: Amber Nelon. Because sheâ€™s beautiful, sweet, and has vocal talent like none other!
JW: My good friend Josh Singletary. I mean, really, donâ€™t you think he would make a good bass singer?
CS: Well, this has been fun, yâ€™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 Iâ€™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!
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Editorâ€™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 Hopeâ€™s Journey. Be sure to catch more of his interview with this group in SGNScoopsâ€™ March 2016 magazine.