Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Happy birthday to Vonda Armstrong

Written by Staff on June 30, 2020 – 5:48 am -

Creekside Hey Y'all media bash

Many of you know Vonda Armstrong as a member of the sweet ladies trio, Hope’s Journey. You may also know Vonda as the CEO of Hey Y’all Media. And many of you listen to her as the host of Strictly Southern and Strictly Country on WPIL FM.

Jack and Vonda Armstrong

Top Row: Josh and Ashley Franks
Bottom Row: Eli Franks, Jack Armstrong, Vonda Easley Armstrong, Priscilla Franks

Did you also know that Vonda and her husband Jack Armstrong host an all Requests Show on SGMRadio.com? And did you know that she is one of the powerful engines behind Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Southern Gospel Weekend, and many other gospel music events? And did you know that she is in charge of Social Media and Advertising at SGNScoops.com?

Vonda Armstrong

On top of all of this, Vonda writes the DJ Spotlight feature for SGNScoops.com every month, plus the Weekend Word for the SGNScoops website, as well as other website articles.

There are many other behind the scenes activities that Vonda looks after, and SGNScoops would not be the same without her.

For all of this, and for everything else that we didn’t have space for, Vonda Armstrong, thank you so very much.

We wish you a very happy birthday and hope that this coming year is filled with many blessings from God as you draw closer to him.

Happy birthday Vonda Armstrong!

Be sure to visit Vonda’s page on all social media outlets and wish her a very happy birthday!

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Lorraine Walker: A Time to Fight

Written by Staff on June 29, 2020 – 11:02 am -

Lorraine Walker: A Time to Fight2020 June SGNScoops Editor’s Last Word By Lorraine Walker

Thank you for flipping the pages to the very end this month and catching the Editor’s Last Word. It’s June and I hope you have time to read all the great stories we are presenting. SGNScoops is blessed with some of the best writers in gospel music and as you take in every feature, I’m sure you will agree.

 

Karen Peck Gooch is our lovely cover girl this month, a lady who is beautiful on the inside as well. Jennifer Campbell allows her own sweet heart to shine through in this feature. I trust you learned something new about Karen. I remember hearing her with the Nelons in the ’80s. What I remember the most about that concert was Kelly Nelon singing “Ain’t No Grave,” and Karen wearing an orange dress that was just stunning. Yes, orange. It was the 80s!

 

As we sail into summertime, I pray that COVID-19 is stopped in its tracks and we can all come out of hibernation. It has been a time of increased stress for most people, I’m sure. What is ahead is unknown and that can cause anxiety and fear.

 

I read this in the Bible the other day: “So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, ‘As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.’”

2 Samuel 5:20 (NIVUK)

 

Lorraine Walker: A Time to Fight

Niagara Falls

I began to think about my enemies, including such things as health and finances. For each of us, these enemies may look different. However, I believe that, just as David knew the Lord went before him in battle, the Lord is commanding his angel army for our deliverance today. His armies have “broken out” against our enemies, and will continue to do so. The image I see in my mind is of a dam that is bursting (or the power of the water flowing over Niagara Falls, as shown), the water gushing through and covering everything in its path.

 

Take a moment to see that the Lord is bursting through the defences of your enemies and washing them away. In scripture, water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Allow His Spirit to wash away your stress, doubts and fear. Because fear, as we know, is a liar.

 

Isn’t it exciting that the Holy One has charged His angels concerning us to defeat our enemies? We are not idle during this battle, however, as we are given armor to wear, like the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. So today, put on your armor, my friends, because there is going to be a fight. And, as the late Roger Bennett sang, “I read the back of the book and we win!”

 

Lorraine Walker: A Time to Fight

Lorraine Walker

If you are missing your helmet of salvation today, or have any comments or concerns, please email me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.

By Lorraine Walker

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2020

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Rob Patz: Time to be Bold

Written by Staff on June 27, 2020 – 11:57 am -

Rob Patz: Time to be Bold2020 June SGNScoops  Publisher’s Point By Rob Patz

So here we are ….

Over the last couple of weeks that is the statement that I’ve heard from so many people: So, here we are. What does the future hold? How will our music, our industry, the world around us, recover?

There are many that have their opinion as to what we will see over the next few months as far as music in general, church, and the general population.

I believe that God is getting ready to restore everything that we have lost over the last few months. I believe there’s going to be an outpouring of excitement for church, for concerts, and for events.

I believe we as a people for so long have taken for granted the opportunity to be able to go to church, and I truly believe this time of a pandemic circling our country has awakeno people’s desire to return to church and to return to something most of us took for granted.

Many people are worried about the future. They are worried they will in some way be infected by this horrible COVID-19.

Over the last three months, certain scriptures have come clearly to my mind. In fact, as I was sitting on an airplane, flying home from Atlanta to Seattle, I opened up My Bible app and Isaiah 41 came up. Suddenly the words, “Fear not, for I am with you,” shot through me like a sword.

I realize there is a lot in our world to be fearful of, but we need to remember that we have a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever; that none of this came as a surprise to him, that he wasn’t shocked by this but he knew the outcome from the beginning.

So, as we began to return to a normalcy, I truly believe that we as humans need to have – not a new normal – but normal back to what it should be, back to what we truly need as a world, back to the basics of the Bible and faith in God. 

Creekside 2020. Rob Patz: Time to be BoldLet me tell you this: Fear not, for God is with you. Go boldly into this next phase. Know that God is with you, that he is there to protect you, that he is already in your tomorrows, and he already knows your plans.

So, if you are a promoter this is like a new beginning. Promote harder than ever. If you’re a singer, may this be a time that you invest more in the ministry that God has called you to. If you’re someone like me who works in the industry, may we find new ways to cultivate the opportunities that come out of a terrible three months of being at home.

I’m seriously thinking about getting shirts that say “Fear not.”

But right now, let me encourage you to come and be a part of Creekside 2020 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I believe that this year is going to be life-changing. I believe God is going to use it as an opportunity and a conduit, to send out a revival throughout this country. Join me October 25 – 29, 2020.

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

Until next time, this is the Publisher’s Point.

By Rob Patz

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2020

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A New Chapter: A Spotlight on Lauren Talley

Written by Staff on June 22, 2020 – 5:09 am -

Lauren TalleySouthern gospel music has had a major impact on many who listen to it. The same can also be said for those who sing it as well. As a member of The Talleys, Lauren Talley’s life has been transformed by this life changing music.

 

Talley joined her parents as the third member of the trio at a young age. Her soulful, powerful voice and equally infectious personality has delighted audiences all over the world. Now, in 2020, a new season approaches for Talley as she enters into full time solo ministry. 

 

Lauren Talley

Talleys

In 1996, The Talleys reformed after a three years hiatus, with Lauren officially joining her parents Roger and Debra. However, Talley’s journey into Southern gospel began much earlier. 

 

I was a toddler when my family formed The Talleys,” recalls Lauren. “I sat backstage or on the front row for their concerts every night until I was 10 years old. At that time, my mom and dad felt the Lord’s leading to put their career on pause and stay home. For the next three years, God began to make the calling on my life known to me, and I developed my own interest in singing. My parents and I began performing together as the second version of the Talleys in 1996. I was 13.” 

 

Her unmistakable soprano voice has now become a fixture of the group as well as the genre. Lauren cites several influences on her unique sound. 

 

Lauren Talley“Pretty much anybody who’s good,” says Lauren. “I listened to everything growing up, every style. I tried my hardest to sing like the Martins, Wynonna Judd and CeCe Winans as a twelve year old in my bedroom. I’ve tried to learn from anyone who does what they do well.” 

 

This vocalist’s unique sound is featured on Lauren’s latest two recordings. “Glorious God: Songs of Worship and Wonder,” is a worship album, featuring the song, “Glorious God.” 

 

“‘Loudest Praise: Hymns of Mercy, Love and Grace,’ is a collection of hymns that I think aren’t sung enough these days. I tried to pick the ones that were superbly written, but aren’t heard every day. Hymns done the LT way,” Lauren states.

 

Both albums were well received with the latest single being a standout. 

 

“’Glorious God’ was written by two 12-year-old boys, Mac Duren and Miles LaPointe,” reveals Lauren. “They wrote the song at the 2018 Write About Jesus conference, and I heard it when the choral arrangement debuted at the Lifeway Worship Conference. I asked the publisher and Mac’s dad, Cliff Duren, if I could have it right then and there! I’m glad they said yes. Mac and Miles have a very bright future.”

 

Lauren TalleyThough she has experienced great success, Lauren remains grounded in her faith and focused on the message.

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Jeff Lowe joins SGNScoops Magazine as Reviewer

Written by Staff on June 11, 2020 – 12:06 pm -

Jeff Lowe 2020 reviewerSGNScoops Magazine is pleased to welcome new reviewer Jeff Lowe to our elite roster of writers. Jeff will be reviewing new music every month. We know everyone will welcome him and all artists will start sharing their latest projects with him.

WFLQ-100 DEEJAY RANDALL HAMM RECOVERING FROM SURGERY

Randall Hamm. Photo by Marcie Gray – SN Fan Awards 2015
“Randall on the Red Carpet”

Special thanks to Randall Hamm who has been doing our reviews for many years now. Many of you know and love Randall and have been following his steps toward health. He has had to deal with many issues since last fall, and so far has come through them all with grace. Please continue praying for our friend Randall. Thank you, Randall, for all of your hard work for SGNScoops!

Justin Gilmore with Scott Fowler of Legacy Five

Justin Gilmore with Scott Fowler of Legacy Five

We also wish to thank Justin Gilmore who has been doing double duty in the interim. Justin has been a consistent feature writer for SGNScoops, and in the last few months, has also been submitting his reviews on new music. Now he gets to take a deep breath and go back to lending his capable pen to the lives and thoughts of the terrific artists that we feature in SGNScoops Magazine. Thank you, Justin!

Meet Jeff Lowe:

Jeff Lowe, from Massillon, Ohio, has been involved in Southern Gospel Music for 46+ years. In 1974, at the age of 14, Jeff started singing bass with The Soulseekers, a mixed group from his hometown. There have been several groups since that time and in 2009, Jeff started Mercy River Quartet. Eleven years later, the group is still serving the Lord and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having written for other publications, Jeff is excited to be a part of the SGNScoops family!

 

May 2020 SGN SCoops Magazine

May 2020 SGN SCoops Magazine

SGNScoops Magazine invites all record companies and artists to submit their new releases digitally to Jeff at jeffrey.lowe@sssnet.com . For  those who wish to submit their projects physically, please email Jeff for his address information.

Welcome aboard, Jeff!

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 


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Lorraine Walker: Headed toward a new normal

Written by Staff on May 24, 2020 – 7:51 am -

Lorraine Walker: Headed toward a new normal2020 May SGNScoops Magazine Editor’s Last Word By Lorraine Walker

It’s the merry month of May and as I write this, I wonder how merry we are right now. I don’t know what measures of restraint the coronavirus is still placing on you at this moment, but I do know that isolation like we have been experiencing can increase fear, depression, and anxiety. I hope and trust you are finding ways to combat this, as your mental health is as important as your physical health and shouldn’t be ignored.

 

When I need to uplift my mood, music is one of the tools I use. I turn on music that uplifts, encourages, speaks of our Lord and his power, and usually something with a beat or groove I can’t ignore. 

 

May 2020 SGN SCoops Magazine

May 2020 SGN SCoops Magazine

One artist that always grabs my attention is on our cover this month. 11th Hour has carved a niche for themselves in gospel music and their releases continue to show a refinement in their musical talents. As well, Jaquita Lindsey is an SGNScoops alumni, sharing her writing abilities with us for years. 

 

On a side note, Logan Smith was one of my first online interviews for SGNScoops TV in 2011. He was a lot more comfortable than I was, even though he was quite young at the time. I have to say right now that it was not well done on my part, as the camera seemed to deplete any conscious thought in my head at that NQC. The little red-haired boy I interviewed was already on Gaither videos at the time, and he, along with Jaquita and Amber, are doing a stellar job now as they climb charts and win awards. 

 

I could not have foreseen then where Logan would be now, anymore than I can tell you now where any one of us will be tomorrow. Shortly after that interview, my life was changed forever with sickness. I know now that the fibromyalgia I contend with daily had its roots in that sickness.

 

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness month, so I want to send a prayer to all of you reading this that fight a similar war. This debilitating illness has no cure. Fatigue, pain, insomnia, mental health issues, gastrointestinal irregularities, headaches, and cognitive problems, are just a few of the battles those with Fibro face daily. We wear purple for awareness, and ask that you say a prayer for us today.

 

I wonder how many more people than usual found themselves praying to God in the last few months? In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone was praying they would be safe and that things would just go back to normal. We know that nothing in this world goes back in time any more than the earth can spin backward. To imagine that our lives would return to normal is equally as unrealistic.

 

We must be prepared for the new, as the old will never be again. That is not something to be feared, but accepted as part of life. Whenever we face a big change, we need to recall the events of the Easter season of last month. The power of the old and sinful died on that cross. The new and eternal was brought out of that tomb. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has promised us new life, and fresh mercy every day. He alone walks before and behind us, able to give us guidance through our new normal.

 

Lorraine Walker: So this is November with Thanksgiving and Christmas

Lorraine Walker

A seed planted in the ground has to die before becoming a new, fruitful entity. I pray that all of us will look with intelligent eyes at what needs to be left in the past, what needs to die, for us to prosper in our new day. Hold on to Jesus today, my friend. He is the maker of all things new. And that place where pieces of your life were laid to rest? Look at the place where Jesus was buried. He can turn graves into gardens. 

By Lorraine Walker

First Published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2020

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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Rob Patz: The start of something great

Written by Staff on May 20, 2020 – 10:21 am -

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

2020 May SGNScoops Magazine

Publisher’s Point

By Rob Patz

Welcome to the May Publisher’s Point. I hope that this issue finds you safe.

We are living in unprecedented times. We have never seen unemployment at these levels, we have never known the hardship that is currently happening, but I will tell you this: if you study history, you know that out of hardship comes great victory.

I truly believe that for our industry, this is a time of reset. I believe God is using this time to get us ready for even greater things for gospel music. I believe our magazine is going to grow, I believe concerts are going to grow, and I believe that we are going to see more people come to know Christ in the next year than we have seen in a long time.

When I started Creekside, one of the things I prayed was that it would be a center for revival; that people would come and be restored and feel excitement to go back out into the community, to go and to reach those that may not know Jesus as their personal Savior. I truly believe that this year at Creekside that will be our theme: a theme of revival, not only for our community, but for our country. I believe that!

Creekside 2020If you haven’t made your plans yet, I want you to join us for Creekside 2020. I think it’s going to be a life-changing experience.

I think that for many of us the time at home has been a time of reflection about what used to be. That’s good. We need to remember what the past was like but I’m going to challenge you, starting this month, to boldly move forward to what God has for us to do.

I think that this is just the start of something great; I think we’re going to start to see the country come back to life.

I want to encourage you to seek out events that are still going to happen. I know there’s been cancellations, and rumors of cancellations, but I want to encourage you to take time to go to a concert when there’s one in your area. Please encourage your favorite gospel artist today.

It’s so easy during this time to look at all the things in front of us that are daunting. There are so many cases in the Bible where we read the story of people, including the Israelites, when everything was against them, God brought them through. We can think of David and Noah, and we can realize at those times, people rose up boldly, making a stand: David took down the giant when no one else could, Noah built an ark when there wasn’t any rain.

I challenge you today to be like them, to make a stand, even with those around you who might be saying that the world is crumbling. Today, we need to plant our flag as Christians and tell them the good news: we serve a God who is a God of restoration and hope!

May 2020 SGN SCoops Magazine

May 2020 SGN SCoops Magazine

As I talked about earlier in this Publisher’s Point, I want you to come and be a part of Creekside 2020. We truly believe this year is going to be life-changing. We are already praying for just that! We want you to be there: October 25 through October 29. If you need information, please email me: rob@sgnscoops.

Until next time, this is the Publisher’s Point.

By Rob Patz

Published in the May 2020 issue of SGNScoops Magazine

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 

 


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Family Music Group Bluegrass Chart Successes

Written by Staff on May 3, 2020 – 3:23 pm -

The Britton Family and Friends. Family Music Group.In both major publications, Singing News and SGNScoops magazines, Les Butler and Family Music Group have promoted this month’s No. 1 and No. 2 songs. “When He Speaks,” by the Britton Family was No. 1, and  “Which Thief are You,” by Bama Blu-Grace was No. 2. Heaven’s Mountain Band’s song, “For a Moment of Grace” is No. 3 in Singing News and No. 5 in SGNScoops.

Family Music Group. Butler Music Group. Les ButlerFamily Music Group also promoted these top charting songs in the SGNScoops Bluegrass Charts:
#9  “A Brighter Day” by the Primitive Quartet
#11 “Near My Lord” by Fields of Grace
#13 “If you Want To” by Journey Home

Bama Bluegrass. Family Music Group.In total, we were blessed to have three of the Top 10 in the Singing News Bluegrass Gospel Charts.  In the SGNScoops Magazine, we have the top two songs, three of the top five songs, and six of the top 13!

Heavens Mountain Band. Family Music Group.Famiky Music Group is truly honored to work with such great artists and is thankful for the D.J.’s who work tirelessly to spread the good news through Bluegrass Gospel music!

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

 


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Rob Patz: God is in Control

Written by Staff on April 28, 2020 – 12:23 pm -

Rob Patz: God is in Control

Rob Patz

2020 April SGNScoops Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

Welcome to the April edition of the Publisher’s Point. I know many of you spent the last two to three weeks in quarantine.

Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I wasn’t able to do that immediately, but within a week I was able to enter quarantine. During this time, I’ve been reminded so much of the song, “Be still and know that I am God.”

For a lot of us, our job includes daily interaction with people. For me that includes conventions, conferences, and musical events, and over the last two weeks we had to cancel Southern Gospel Weekend, an event that I’m a part of in Oxford, Alabama. Now the good news: We have rescheduled and will be having it September 3 – 5, 2020.

As I watch the news and hear about the economy and everything else that’s going on, I’m reminded that God is in control. I will tell you, in my own spirit, I have felt very worried over the last few weeks, but knowing that God is in control has helped me so very much.

While I was staying in a hotel in Oxford, one morning as I was getting up and praying, God told me that everything that has been taken, will be restored – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. God is not a God of lack. God is not a God who can be surprised. He knew that this was going to happen. He knew that we were going to face this not only as a country, but as an industry.

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland

Let me encourage you if you’re reading this, to pray for the artists, their ministries, the promoters and the fans.

I believe that this year is going to be an incredible year for gospel music. I say that because I think during this time, more and more people are going to be searching for answers that the world cannot give them. We have the most incredible music in the world, and we have music that will bring them hope, joy, and strength, things that we need as we look ahead and not behind. May we realize that God is in control. 

Please, over the next few months, attend concerts, buy CDs, and sow into the ministries that are out there. I ask also that you will join me in Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 4 – 6, 2020, for the first Gospel Music Weekend. It is going to be a special event. We’re excited about the opportunities that God has laid in front of us for this event and we believe that lives will be changed, hearts will be touched, and a fire reignited in a country that needs it. Pray with me from now until that date, that people that are seeking and hurting will find their way to the Wyndham Convention Center.

I’m praying for each and every one of you this month. I believe that God has great things for our readers and for our artists ahead. I also ask that you will pray for me and for our staff.

Creekside 2020Before I go for this month, I want to ask you to join us in October for our biggest event of the year: Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, October 25 –  29, 2020. Please email events@sgnscoops.com for more information.

Until next month, this is the Publisher’s Point.

By Rob Patz

April 2020 SGN Scoops Magazine

April 2020 SGN Scoops Magazine

As published in April 2020 Publishers Point

Did you know that you can receive the printed, full-color version of SGNScoops Magazine by subscription? Find out more HERE.
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE.
You can download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE.
Read the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine online HERE.
Listen To Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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Les Butler and Friends: Rhonda Vincent

Written by Staff on April 27, 2020 – 3:50 pm -

Les Butler and Friends with Rhonda Vincent

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

She is referred to as the, “Queen of Bluegrass.” And, you know what? She is. Go ahead and listen for yourself. Most artists in bluegrass will record a gospel song or two on about every recording project. And they’ll sing one or two in concert. Not Rhonda. She records entire gospel albums and always features multiple gospel songs every time she hits the stage. Why? Because it’s important to her. This month’s feature is on the Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent.

 

Les Butler and Friends with Rhonda Vincent

Rhonda Vincent

Les Butler: What is your earliest musical memory?

Rhonda Vincent: My earliest musical memory was performing when I was probably five years old, on what was known as the Jerry Lewis Telethon. I grew up in a musical family in Greentop, Missouri. Music is traced back five generations, and now six generations, as Sally is carrying on the tradition. We had driven up to Ottumwa, Iowa, to be on the telethon at 3:00 a.m. Our performance was around 5:00 a.m., and I decided I wasn’t going to sing. Well, my Dad took me in the back room and convinced me that I was going to sing. I can remember seeing myself in the TV monitor. Tears were streaming down my face, but I was singing the Bicycle Song, and people thought I was just acting out the wreck in song.  

 

LB: What’s the first instrument you tried to play?  

RV: My Dad gave me a snare drum, stand, and a set of brushes for my sixth birthday. I became the drummer for my family band The Sally Mountain Show. 

 

Les Butler and Friends with Rhonda VincentLB: State the instruments you play?  

RV: I started playing snare drum at six. Started the mandolin at eight. Fiddle at 12, guitar at 16, and throughout my teen years, I would get take turns learning many other instruments like the banjo and bass. I played autoharp on an award show. I play most any stringed instrument. Some better than others. The mandolin is my main instrument. 

 

LB: If you could only have one instrument on a desert island, which one would it be?  

RV: I would take my mandolin. I am most comfortable with that instrument, and I can play rhythm or pick out a tune on the mandolin.

 

LB: Who are your favorite musicians on each of the instruments you play?  

RV: Buck White is my favorite mandolin player, as well as my favorite piano player. Stuart Duncan, is my favorite fiddler. He just has a sweet tone. Kevin Grant is my favorite bass player. Ron Stewart is one of my favorite banjo players. Tony Rice is my favorite guitar player. 

 

Les Butler and Friends with Rhonda VincentLB: Growing up in a musical family, did you ever have a desire to do something else? 

RV: I really didn’t know anything else. I majored in accounting in college, and I also took a few photography classes. I loved learning about new things that I had interest in. I loved photography, and even ruined the white carpet in my parents bathroom by setting up a dark room in their bathroom. 

 

LB: Who dubbed you as the Queen of Bluegrass?  

RV: January 2000, the Wall Street Journal named me The New Queen of Bluegrass. Later, the National Old Time Music Organization held a ceremony and gave me a crown, deeming me the Queen of Bluegrass. 

 

LB: You’ve done it all…or have you?  What are a couple of the biggest/coolest things you’ve ever done?  What haven’t you done that you’d like to do?   

RV: I’d love to meet and record with James Taylor. I love his music. I feel very blessed and thankful to have been given many opportunities. I’m honored to have performed on the Grand Ole Opry 214 times. Love working with Dolly (Parton) and pinch myself remembering how she came to my house in Missouri. I value her friendship very much and admire her kindness and humbleness. So many things, and I look forward to every new opportunity that comes my way. 

 

LB: Which do you enjoy the most: Playing live or in the studio?     

RV: I love performing live and having the chance to meet the audience. The studio is a necessity. I can’t say I enjoy it as much. I love when a recording is completed. The process usually gives me a bit of stress, trying to make the best musical creation we can make. 

 

LB: You are a great singer.  Do you recall the first song you ever sang in public? 

RV: Thank you very much. I think my first song was the Bicycle Song. I also recorded with my family band in 1967, and I sang two songs for the recording. 

 

LB: What is your favorite song to play and why?

RV: I really enjoy performing the song “Please,” which is a duet with Dolly Parton. I just never get tired of singing that song, and I love the message it says, which is, “Please….let me grow old with you.” 

 

LB: Do you write? If so, what’s the favorite song you’ve written?     

RV: I write on occasion. The song that always gets a consistently amazing response, and usually a standing ovation in the show, is titled, “His Promised Land,” a gospel song I wrote, ironically, while visiting Las Vegas. 

 

LB: When you’re not picking and singing, what are you doing?   

RV: I’m always doing something. Usually catching up on bills, email, computing royalties, and any other business-related work.  

 

LB: Give us a brief testimony…

RV: I was saved when I was eight years old during a youth meeting in Greentop, Missouri.  The preacher gave an invitation. I remember feeling an urgency to go to the altar. God was speaking to my heart. We have been through so many trials and difficulties. I am so thankful I have a Savior who never fails me. No matter the situation I’m going through, God is always the answer. My daily prayer is asking God to strengthen my walk in faith, and his will for my life, and my acceptance of that will.  

By Les Butler

First Published by SGNScoops Magazine February 2020

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