The Williamsons, a mixed Southern Gospel group from Oklahoma, recently celebrated their first number-one song, both in the SGN Scoops Top 100 for October and in the Singing News Top 80 for December. “Shout” is being played regularly by radio stations across the country and has garnered many new fans for the Williamsons.
Jaquita Lindsey of the group 11th Hour, recently wrote a feature on The Williamsons for the January 2016 edition of SGN Scoops digital magazine, which will be released shortly. Jaquita tells us:
“The Williamsons started singing in the Midwest around 1969, later to reorganize in 1998. The current group consists of Donnie Williamson and wife,
Lisa; Darin Hebert and Karl Rice. The quartet has been nominated for the Breakthrough Artist of the Year and the Fan Favorite awards for Absolutely Gospel Music, as well as the top ten Favorite New Mixed Group for Singing News. Based out of Wetumka, OK, the Williamsons sing roughly 185 dates per year, but that number is sure to increase with their popularity on the rise.”
SGN Scoops recently invited the Williamsons to participate in their Fast Five. Here are the responses from Donny and Lisa Williamson:
SGN: Wow, a national number-one song! So what do you think about that?
Donnie Williamson: Of course we think it’s great! But to be honest, having a number-one song isn’t going to change what we do very much. We will continue looking for great songs and try to make great recordings, and we will continue sharing the Gospel message everywhere we can. Our mission statement has been “The Williamsons will spread the Gospel through music in order that we may see the lost come to Christ, the Christian uplifted, and provide quality entertainment in a way that honors God.” We don’t plan to change that focus. Hopefully having a number-one song will help us continue our mission and maybe even help us do it in a greater way.
SGN: Why did you choose the song, “Monday,” as a
follow up to “Shout?”
Donnie: We chose to release “Monday,” following the success of “Shout,” primarily for strategic reasons. We felt like after having our first number-one song, deejays might be a little more interested in what’s coming next. We have always believed in the song and feel it has a message that if heard, can change lives. We know that to be true because we have witnessed it when we perform it live. However, it’s not a feel good song. It’s one that challenges us to reflect on our life and really look deep to find what our children and grandchildren see in us on Monday. Knowing that a slow start in radio was possible we wanted to do everything we could for the song to succeed and felt
that now is the best time. We previously produced a music video to the song that we hope people will watch and share. There is a Youtube link on our website at williamsonsmusic.com.
SGN: Lisa, what prompted the writing of, “Monday?”
Lisa: The only answer I can come up with, is that I looked in the mirror and realized that I needed to do more for our girls. Our girls are not in Sunday school every Sunday like a lot of kids. They travel with us and as a result are at a different church just about every weekend. One day I realized how very insignificant that is in the grand scheme of things. That’s not the only place they can learn about Jesus.
Donnie and I can be their best example of how to live like a Christian. That’s the most important thing we can teach our babies: how to live like Jesus! It’s not hard. Just do it. They will follow us as we follow Christ. Then one day before we even realize it they will be standing on their own spiritual feet. Okay, now I’m just preaching!
SGN: What do you attribute the meteoric rise in your ministry to, in the past year or so?
Donnie: “All things working together for good.” (Romans 8:28). First, we’ve been doing this for quite some time and have made good recordings in the past. However, we felt it was time to pull out all the stops and make the best recording we could make. We were able to bring Donna King on board to produce the project and that was good move number one. Not only is she a great producer, but also she is a great writer and has contact with numerous other writers. Great production doesn’t matter much if you don’t have the songs to go along with it. She was able to help us secure some great material like “Shout.” About the time we were finishing the project we became involved with Les Butler and the Butler Music Group. (That was) good
move number two. Having a great project is wonderful but it might have gone nowhere without the proper management to help promote it. Otherwise, the only ones to hear it might have been the ones we sang to. It’s always good to be part of something bigger that yourself. All these moves that God ordained were also helped by the fact that we feel our friends in radio are anxious for new talent to rise up and share quality songs and recordings. We are thankful and humbled that radio has received this project so well. All these things working together have allowed a few more folks to be exposed to the ministry of The Williamsons. Michael Davis at the Dominion Agency has been presenting us for quite some time. Now a few people who call actually know who we are!
SGN: Where do you see the Williamsons in five years?
Donnie: 5. In five years it’s very possible that we are all singing around the throne of God! However, if He chooses not to return by 2020 we hope to be doing what we are doing, but hopefully in a little bigger way. Not to bring any recognition or glory to The Williamsons, but we strongly feel that the more opportunities we have to perform and being able to share with more people, the greater chance we have to see results. We also feel there could be some difficult times ahead in this world and during times of difficulty people often move toward the message of the Gospel. We feel there may even be a time in the near future that we might see more Gospel music return to our churches. If so we want to be positioned and ready to fill that need. Also, within the next five years we hope to have two or three more projects stronger than “Tell Somebody!” That may be a difficult task!
Thank you so much to The Williamsons and to Les Butler of Butler Music Group/Family Music Group for facilitating the SGN Scoops’ Fast Five. At SGN Scoops, we really appreciate all of the members of the Williamsons and their friendship with us, as well as their annual participation in Creekside Gospel Music Convention. Look for the soon-to-be-released SGN Scoops digital magazine and newspaper for January 2016 for a full feature on The Williamsons by Jaquita Lindsey!
For more information on the Williamsons, click here.
For more news, visit the SGN Scoops Facebook page.