Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Highest Honor Quartet To Perform at 2nd Annual Branson Gospel Music Convention

{Nashville, Tn} Highest Honor Quartet announced today their publicity agreement with EHA-Nashville and plans to perform at the 2nd Annual Branson Gospel Music Convention. Highest Honor is a popular male quartet from Newport, TN and on the Riversong label of Homeland Entertainment Group. The quartet recently hired Tracy Trent to fill the tenor position left vacant by Jeff Davidson. Trent has been a long-time member of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet and says he is tremendously blessed to be a part of Highest Honor and looking forward to taking the quartet's music all over the country. The quartet was recently invited to perform with Hinson Revival and New Vision Quartet in Cullman, AL and say they are looking forward to a successful year ahead with EHA. Evie Hawkins notes, "I am honored the group has trusted me with their press. Highest Honor will be a blessing to work with. I am excited to be a part of their team and anxious to see what is next on the horizon for this great group of men." Other members include lead, Ron Crane; baritone, Roger Robinson; and bass, Joe Collins.

For more info on latest recording project, concert tour, or to book Highest Honor Quartet:

or EHA-Nashville


Heavens Highway Releases Follow-Up Single to First Top 40 Hit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh on the heels of scoring their first Singing News Top 40 hit, powerful Country/Southern Gospel group Heavens Highway is excited to announce the release of their new single to Southern Gospel radio.

The single, titled “When God Made a Promise,” was released to Southern Gospel radio this month through both Spin-N-Motion Promotions and Patterson Promotions. The new single can be found on Spin-N-Motion Radio Promotions March 2010 disc and Patterson Promotions Compilation, Vol. 1.

David Timms of Heavens Highway said, “We are so excited about releasing another song to Southern Gospel radio. We could not believe just how much radio got behind our last single – ‘Longing to Go.’ We know they are going to love ‘When God Made a Promise.’ It’s a song with a timeless message that we as a group believe in!”

“When God Made a Promise” is the follow-up single to “Longing to Go” – the group’s first Singing News Top 40 hit. The song spent several months on the chart before peaking at #34. In addition, the song was a regular fixture on the Top 40 Chart, Southern Gospel Times Top 40 Fan Chart, and other Southern Gospel radio reports.

“When God Made a Promise” and “Longing to Go” are both on Heavens Highway’s latest recording – Deep Roots.

For more information on Heavens Highway, visit their website at . You can also visit the band on MySpace at .

About Heavens Highway
Heavens Highway is one of the most powerful Country/Southern Gospel Groups in North Mississippi. Heavens Highway ministers to literally thousands each year in churches and benefits. For over seven years, their primary goal is to see lost souls saved and the lonely, hungry and misguided people of this world find peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. Members of Heavens Highway consist of Sharon Brown, Marty Rock, David Timms, Becky Justice and Jerry Taylor on rhythm guitar.

Southern Plainsmen Quartet To Host “A Night of Inspiration” Concert

HORNBECK, La. – West-Central Louisiana’s Southern Plainsmen Quartet will be hosting “A Night of Inspiration” concert. The special concert event will feature the Southern Plainsmen Quartet with very special guests The Inspirations.

The “A Night of Inspiration” concert will take place on Friday evening, April 9, 2010 in Florien, Louisiana. The special event will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will take place at the Florien High School.

Marcelle Slaughter of the Southern Plainsmen Quartet said, “We have all been long time fans of The Inspirations and believe in the ministry of this fantastic group of Christian gentlemen. This will be an unforgettable evening of worship and ministry, and we hope that everyone who can come out will.”

Tickets for the event are currently on sale. General admission tickets are $15.00, while reserved seating tickets are $20.00. For ticket information or general inquiries about the “A Night of Inspiration” concert – call (318) 663-4812 or (318) 586-4818. Interested parties may also visit the Southern Plainsmen Quartet’s website at .

The Southern Plainsmen Quartet is currently in the beginning stages of recording a new album. More information on that will be released at a later date.

For more information on the Southern Plainsmen Quartet, visit their website at . You can also visit the group on Facebook at .

About the Southern Plainsmen Quartet
The Southern Plainsmen Quartet was organized in May 1978 in the rolling pine-hills of West-Central Louisiana, and is an outreach of the Southern Plainsmen Ministries, Inc., a non-profit Christian organization. The group has released 20 recordings in its impressive 30 years history. The group currently consists of Marcelle Slaughter, Jordan Mothershed, Allen Doyle, Mike Burkhalter, and Aaron Allen. The group’s current release – Simply…Faith! released last year.

HIS Choice Music Named Main Sponsor for 2010 SGN Scoops Diamond Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Coastal Media Group and SGN Scoops Digital are proud to announce the main sponsor for the upcoming 2010 SGN Scoops Diamond Awards. This year’s major sponsor is HIS Choice Music.

HIS Choice Music is the most updated, innovative way to find great Christian music and schedule Christian concerts all from one location. With the launching of the all new HIS Choice Music Compilation CD, fans have the opportunity to hear well established Christian artists along with new, up and coming artists. The company is a full service label that represents such acts as CrossWay, Young Harmony, One Voice, and more.

The 2010 SGN Scoops Diamond Awards will take place on Thursday, July 1, 2010 as a part of the 2nd Annual Branson Gospel Music Convention in Branson, Missouri.

Rob Patz of Coastal Media Group said, “I'm sensing a contagious excitement about the Diamond Awards from fans and artists alike. This year's event is shaping up to be the best yet. I am certainly looking forward to working with HIS Choice Music for the 2010 Diamond Awards. HIS Choice Music is an outstanding company with a reputation of having an incredible heart for ministry. Along with HIS Choice Music, we at the Diamond Awards are serious about spreading the good news of Jesus Christ as well. I would like to say thank you HIS Choice Music for being a sponsoring partner and helping us ensure the Diamond Awards is a God- honoring and successful event.”

In addition to sponsoring the Diamond Awards program, the label will also sponsor the talent search at the Branson Gospel Music Convention. The talent search contest finalists will appear on stage and the winner will be selected during the Diamond Awards program. For talent search contest information, rules and registration, soloists and groups may visit

Hosts and performers for the 2010 Diamond Awards will be announced at a later date.

The Top 10 Ballot for the 2010 Diamond Awards will be available in the upcoming April issue of SGN Scoops Digital.

For more information on the Diamond Awards – visit the SGN Scoops Digital website at .

About the Diamond Awards
The Diamond Awards were transferred over to the SGN Scoops Digital several years ago after the original home for the awards, the Gospel Voice Magazine, folded. The Diamond Awards are a fan-based award that allows the fans to choose the nominees as well as the winners each year. The awards show is held during the Branson Gospel Music Convention every summer.

EHSS Nominated for 2010 Singing News Fan Awards

News from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound:

The first round of the 2010 Singing News Fan Awards ballots have been tabulated, and the top 10 nominees in each category were recently announced by the publication.

EHSS is nominated for Favorite Traditional Quartet. Ernie is up for Favorite Tenor; Doug is in the running for Favorite Baritone, and Tim is among the nominees for Favorite Bass. Check out the complete list of nominees.

The Singing News Fan Awards are presented each year in September. The Awards are based on a three-step voting process that starts in March. Currently, only active subscribers of Singing News Magazine are allowed to vote. Thank you so much to all our fans that voted or may vote in the future.

Singing News is the country's largest Christian music publication. Their first issue was produced in May 1969. The magazine provides southern gospel music fans up-to-date information on every facet of the industry, including concerts, conventions, banquets, new recordings and the latest chart action.

New "Influenced" Album and First "Influenced" Edition for Sale on Our Web Site as CDs and Digital Downloads

"Influenced: Spirituals & Southern Classics" was released for sale on our Web site earlier this month. This is our first recording with Devin! In addition to the physical CD, we’re pleased to offer for the first time a digital download of the whole album and its individual tracks, just like the music you buy on iTunes.

We’re also offering a special combo deal for our first and second “Influenced” volumes - as both a CD bundle and digital bundle. Until now, our inaugural album from this series, “Influenced: A Vintage Quartet Session,” has only been available at our concerts because of the distribution agreement.

Like the first edition, “Influenced: Spirituals & Southern Classics” pays tribute to the artists, songwriters and sounds of the early twentieth century. The end result is a collection of songs that we hope will put a smile on your face, keep your toes tapping, and stir your soul to the point that you can’t help but stand and shout, “Yes, I’ll be a witness for my Lord!”

Come hear the music live at one of our "Renewed & Reloaded" concerts!

Thank you, as always, for believing. ~ Ernie, Doug, Tim & Devin

2nd Generation Scores Third Top 80 Hit from Latest Recording

OAK GROVE, Ark. – Popular Southern Gospel trio 2nd Generation has continued their streak of Top 80 hit singles. The group’s Fan Favorite single “The Covered It All” will debut on the April edition of Singing News Top 80 chart.

“The Blood Covered It All,” which was penned by Lucille Hemingway, will debut at #73 on the upcoming April chart and will make a big jump in May’s issue as well. “The Blood Covered It All” is the group’s third consecutive Top 80 hit from their sophomore album I See a City.

“We are so excited at the response that this song has continued to receive,” mentioned Brenda Denney of 2nd Generation. “This song always ministers to people in our services, and we are so excited to see radio get behind the song. Thank you to everyone who has played the song or called in and requested it on behalf of 2nd Generation.”

In addition to charting on the Singing News Top 80 – the song has also charted on the Christian Voice Magazine Top 100 Southern Gospel chart and been a regular fixture on the Top 40 Weekly Chart – the industry’s most recognized weekly radio report.

Fans continue to respond to the music of 2nd Generation on Southern Gospel radio. “The Blood Covered It All,” recently reached the #1 spot on the popular Southern Gospel Times Top 40 Fan Chart. The Southern Gospel Times Top 40 Fan Chart is the only chart in the Southern Gospel community that is determined solely by votes from fans of the genre. “The Blood Covered It All” is the second single from the popular trio to reach the top spot. Last year, the group saw “Feel the Joy” take the #1 spot as well.

The group is currently preparing to enter the studio to record their third album. More information on that process will be released at a later date.

For more information on 2nd Generation – visit

You can also find out more information about the group on their MySpace at The group’s ShoutLife can be found at

About 2nd Generation
2nd Generation is based out of the Oak Grove, Arkansas. 2nd Generation has appeared at churches, state fairs, Singing in the Sun, Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Jim Bakker Show, Branson Gospel Music Convention, and many other events. The group’s current project, their sophomore album I See a City, has spawned off three hit singles including the #1 Fan Favorite songs “Feel the Joy” and “The Blood Covered It All.”

Renee Gable Joins Crown Music

Crown Music of Nashville Tennessee would like to welcome Renee Gable as an Administrative Assistant.

Renee comes to Crown Music with 7 years experience from Danny O’Day Ministries, Inc., with a photography background, graphic arts design experience, website design and maintenance.

Renee was also actively involved in the production of the Southern Gospel Music Program Glory Train TV as an Associate Producer. She was involved in sales and promotions of the TV program and the producer of the Glory Train Radio Program. Another job role was working as a booking agent for Danny O’Day Promotions.
With an extensive background in Southern Gospel Music she is well known through out the southeast as one of the foremost public relations and promotional planning coordinators.

Crown Muisc
P.O. Box 23402
Nashville, TN 37202

Jacob Kitson Leaves Greater Vision

Morristown, TN: Greater Vision has announced the departure of Jacob Kitson from the group. "Jacob has only been with us a short time, but he has made many friends across the country, and we're certain he will continue to be successfully involved in ministry for many years to come", Gerald Wolfe said. "Jacob is one of the most talented people I've ever traveled with, and we want to do all we can to help him reach his full potential in the work God has called him to", Gerald continued.

Jacob said, "Being allowed to use my talent for God in such an honored position beside two of the industry's most respected men has been a thrill, but unexpected turns in the course of the Lord's master planning sometimes come."

"Jacob has a great heart for the Lord, and I have the utmost confidence that he will succeed in his future ministry", Rodney Griffin said.

"Following God's direction is not always popular, and trusting Him is not always easy, but I am resolute to do just that. I pray that as I embark on this new chapter of God's will that He continues to work mightily through the dove-tailed ministries of preaching and singing to which He has led me. Furthermore, I can only hope that I have the chance to re-unite with friends far and near for many more years to come. What all the future holds at present is unclear; however, I do know that the Lord has led me to a preaching ministry as well as singing. So with this I plunge back into the world of Local-Church Evangelism. Preaching in Revivals, Churches, and Conferences across the country. I have an immense burden for the youth of our World, they need Jesus, and I desire to show this generation that He loves them beyond measure", said Kitson.

An announcement concerning Greater Vision's new tenor will be made next week.

For more information, visit Greater Vision News or Evangelist Jacob Kitson

ReWind Wednesdays: National Quartet Convention 2005

NQC: The Rest of the Story

The National Quartet Convention has had the reputation of being the biggest Southern Gospel Music party for many years. It has long been the epitome of concerts for every die-hard SGM fan, many of whom plan their vacation time around this colossal event. The star-studded evening lineups which run until the wee hours of the morning, the huge Exhibit Hall where one can rub shoulders with legends and wannabe’s alike, the industry wheeling and dealing, and everything just a little brighter and shinier than your average Sunday-night-go-to-meetin’ concert. For some people though, the real enjoyment of NQC doesn’t revolve around the main stage. Those people have discovered the hidden treasure of this wild week: showcases, daytime concerts, and the unrehearsed moments that make the best memories every September.

This year was full of such impromptu moments and started with a bang on Monday. Randy Miller, soloist and instrumentalist, was the host of the first afternoon concert of the week. This is a difficult timeslot as often the main crowd has not arrived in town yet, and it’s hard to predict how many will make it to the Hall for the inaugural showcase. Things seemed quiet in the Exhibit Hall that day, but a short stroll into the South Wing of Freedom Hall brought one closer to strains of music from groups such as Shiloh and Embrace. These groups weren’t just warming up; they were presenting a program just as professional as you would see on the nighttime line-up, but in the more intimate setting of a much smaller venue with a surprisingly good crowd. This location was especially suited to a harmonica duet between Randy and Angelina McKeithan, which was a particularly beautiful way to begin the week of Southern Gospel.

Hurricane Katrina was often a topic of conversation during NQC, but the most moving story was told during the New City Talent showcase on Wednesday afternoon. Hosted by Wilds and Associates, the concert had begun with the lovely voice of Samantha Parrish, singing to a modest crowd in the Executive West. DEWGrass, the latest band assembled by Steve Easter, blew us all away with their rendition of the old Hank Williams tune, “House of Gold”. That performance alone would have made the afternoon memorable, but there was more to come.

Chosen, a mixed trio from Louisiana, began to sing a song entitled, “I Still Trust You”. The faith and emotion evident in their delivery was touching, but not until one of the members spoke did the audience understand how personal this message was to the group. The soprano spoke of Katrina and its devastating effects on their state and town. The building which housed their business had been crushed, along with their sole source of income. They had faced the inevitable truth that they would not be able to keep their commitment to attend NQC. Then this precious lady went to the Lord and returned from that prayer time with the certainty that He wanted them in Louisville. They decided they would step out in faith, and at that time a phone call came through. The caller made it financially feasible for these people to make the trip. They were so touched by God’s goodness that it was clearly visible in their presentation, and they repeated the song with heart-felt thanksgiving. But the moment became just a little sweeter when one person walked to the front of the room and handed MC John Lanier a fold of paper. Then another moved forward to do the same. Then another. After the singing was over, John explained to the audience that these people coming forward had felt the urge to help these victims of Katrina, and were generously and spontaneously coming to the aid of their fellow Christians. There was not a dry eye in that place as the Church began to take care of Her own. The room was soon filled with people who had heard the story and the song, and who stopped to help these precious singers. That was a memory snapshot that will last long after the NQC program book is stored away.

Many other special performances occurred that week that were not witnessed by thousands, yet touched the hearts of many with a lasting imprint. So many songs were sung, but a few seemed to outshine the rest. The Shadrix Trio presented the awesome tune, “He Can’t Get Past the Blood”, one of the most awesome songs of the week. Ricky Atkinson and Compassion made an impression with: “I’m Not What I Am, I’m Already What I’m Gonna Be”. Randy Miller roamed the audience during a showcase, engaging the crowd by singing, “That’s a Fact”. Mark Bishop in the Soloist Showcase, telling a story as only he can with style, class and authenticity, singing: “I Got Here As Fast As I Could”.

Mark Bishop was also a presenter along with Kyla Rowland at another afternoon event, the Diamond Awards, sponsored by SGNScoops and Lamp Music Group. Held in the Executive West, this awards show was very entertaining and thoroughly enjoyed by the modest crowd. Many know Kyla Rowland as a prolific writer of great music such as, “There Rose a Lamb” and “Safe Thus Far”. This elegant and witty lady also makes a great MC alongside the always humble and hilarious Mark Bishop. Kyla gave us class, and Mark ably demonstrated for us many interesting noises, and together they kept things moving and on a light note.

The smaller venue and more relaxed atmosphere of the Diamond Awards allowed presenters and acceptors the freedom to be themselves, and provided some great impromptu entertainment. Steve Easter, upon accepting an award for Jeff and Sheri, showed how he closely resembled his sister-in-law who is currently with child. Lou Wills Hildreth inspired us with her achievements and grace. Connie Hopper was poise personified in her acceptance of the Living Legend award. Kathy Crabb, upon accepting the Album of the Year on behalf of the Crabbs, spoke of continued excellence striving to build and grow this music we enjoy. Above all, the recipients were of the same mind: if you aren’t going out to bring people to Jesus, as “Rabbit” Easter said, “then you’d better stay at home”.

Other memorable “off-main” events included the Hoskins’ Family, featuring Jim Mahalick on their song, “Can You See Me Alright”, proving that their powerhouse soprano Angie isn’t the only one who can make a lasting impression with a lyric. Monument Quartet made their NQC debut to a rousing response, with tight vocals and a powerful traditional style that the showcase audience enjoyed. Canadian quartet “The Torchmen” took part in a couple of showcases during the week, and gave a well-tuned performance that made this writer proud of her fellow countrymen.

Bluegrass is always needed for flavour during NQC, although it is not often heard on the Main Stage. On Thursday this was provided in large doses during the Bluegrass Jam Session led by Tim Surrett. He joined with Randy Miller, Philip Hughes and Jeremy Peace to begin the afternoon of acoustic instruments and plaintive melodies. The close harmonies of this pick-up Bluegrass Quartet combined with great picking were a delight to the appreciative audience.

So many once-in-a-lifetime events happen at NQC, and often the ones the average fan remembers are not those that take place in the mainstream. My memories will include the stories above and many more: having a moment to speak with Roger Bennett who deeply needs our continued prayers; seeing Big Jim Hammill holding court in the hotel hallway, still larger-than-life and in control; folks meeting strangers and realizing that we are all family in Christ; greeting friends from across the country that only gather like this once a year, not knowing if you will all meet again in the same place.

For those of you already planning on attending NQC 2006, I encourage you: stray off the beaten path and see what treasures you will find for your own memory scrapbook. I guarantee you; they will be unique and lasting.

Published by in October 2005. Used by permission.

Comments? Write me at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SGM Radio Blog’s Top Ten: Rhonda Frye

We are thrilled to share with you these mini-interviews with some great Southern Gospel artists! Check back often to see who is next on the SGM Radio Blog's Top Ten!

Rhonda Frye…by Rhonda Frye

Rhonda Frye serves the Lord full time in a variety of ways. At Rock Pointe Worship Center, she is the Associate Pastor, Worship Leader and Bible Study Teacher. In addition to church ministry, she is a Recording Artist, Songwriter and Columnist for SGNScoops- all digital magazine. Rhonda also serves children through music in several local preschools. Rhonda lives in Ringgold, GA and is supported by her husband, Eric of and their three children.

Rhonda Frye’s Top Ten

1. Please tell us the name of your latest recording and your favorite song from that CD. What is the message behind this song?

Second Chances is the title of the CD. The song Good Things is my favorite because it’s my very first song. God completely surprised me with the gift of songwriting. The message behind it is about surrendering to the goodness of God and in doing so finding our true purpose in life. I was literally living this song out in my life when He gave me the lyrics and music. The goodness of God could be considered a simple topic to write about, however doubting His goodness is perhaps the number one reason people do not place their faith in Him.

2. What is one group highlight from the last 12 months?

The Elijah Conference 2009 for many reasons. I made amazing friends, acquired lots of knowledge, but more than anything I cherish the memories of how the Holy Spirit amazed me with His presence. The Elijah Conference in and of itself was a life changing experience, but the encounter I had with God there is almost too personal to explain.

3. How much time do you spend daily on the Net? Favorite website?

A lot! without a doubt! I don’t watch any tv, so Facebook is my source of entertainment, opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones and a place to receive and extend ministry.

4. What artist are you listening to right now? Who is in your player?

The Bowlings and Austin’s Bridge.

5. What are your thoughts on Spam (the product, not the email)?

Vacation Food when I was a kid - YUCK as an adult!

6. What would be your fantasy venue, the one stage in the world where you would like to sing?

I’m not sure where this would be, but any venue that would most dramatically and positively impact the Kingdom of God. I would love to sing to a huge audience made up of the lost, the needy, the hurting and the hopeless. My first thought is that would be somewhere in the dark world, maybe at a huge rock concert. But the more I think about it, many times that’s a church audience pretending they aren’t lost, needy, hurting and hopeless as well. Honestly, I just want to sing where God wants me to sing wherever that may be.

7. What is one habit you would like to break?

Junk Food Addictions!

8. Who is your most favorite Bible person/character?

Moses. My nickname among my best friends is “Moesha”- Supposedly a female equivalent to the name Moses

9. What is your favorite Bible verse?

This changes monthly. One of my new favorites is Deut 33: 26-27b “ There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you.”

10. Name a character trait or fruit of the spirit you would really like to develop in your life.

None, because I know if the Spirit is developing my character, that means He’s going to test, try and purify! OUCH! Seriously, “love.” I truly want to develop love for God and people that pleases Him. My desire and goal is to love others with no strings attached.

Friday, March 26, 2010

SGM Radio Blog’s Top Ten: Second Generation

We are thrilled to share with you these mini-interviews with some great Southern Gospel artists! Check back often to see who is next on the SGM Radio Blog's Top Ten!

Second Generation – By Lorraine Walker
Second Generation is composed of sisters Brenda Denney and Elaine Robinson, along with Jimmy Hoskins. The trio went full-time in 2008 and has earned several charting songs and award nominations. Second Generation makes their home in Arkansas. For more information:

Second Generation’s Brenda Denney – Top Ten Questions

1. Please tell us the name of your latest recording and your favorite song from that CD. What is the message behind this song?

The title of the CD is I See A City. My favorite song is Feel The Joy. The message in this song is simple hang on to your joy. In the world we live there are so many people that are down and out. They are defeated. And without your joy you are flat-lined spiritually. The Word says that “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”

2. What is one group highlight from the last 12 months?

I think for us it was in Gatlinburg TN at the Gatlinburg Gathering. We sang at the afternoon showcase and were chosen to advance to the main-stage for that evening concert. At the end of the night we got to share the platform with Karen Peck and New River, The Hoppers, the Crist Family and so many more. What a night… I had chills the entire time.

3. What artist are you listening to right now? Who is in your player?

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I just got the new CD and I love it.. I have all styles of music in my Ipod: Southern Gospel, Choirs, Contemporary, Press Play (my son is the drummer), Jesus Culture, LeeLand, Carrie Underwood. A little of everything.

4. What would be your fantasy venue, the one stage in the world where you would like to sing?

Our dream is Main Stage NQC. As kids we grew up in a singing family and would go to NQC every year. We would sit there and dream of singing on that stage. The other would be to appear with Bill Gaither and the Homecoming Tour. We grew up watching all the videos and listening to them all. What an honor that will be some day. We are just waiting on the calls from Clarke & Bill.

5. Who is your favorite Christian author/teacher/evangelist?

There are several. Joyce Myers, Beth Moore, Billy Graham are just a few.

6. What is one habit you would like to break?

I would like to kick my Dr Pepper habit. It really is bad! My family and close friends know what I mean.

7. Who is your most favorite Bible person/character?

I would say Esther. I admire her for her strength.

8. What is your favorite Bible verse?

Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”

9. Name a song that once it gets stuck in your head you can’t get it out.

You Are My Sunshine.

10. What is the last book you read?

It’s Tough Being A Woman (the study of Esther)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brenda Connett Fraswell Signs with Chapel Valley

Chapel Valley is pleased to announce the recording agreement reached with soloist Brenda Cornett Braswell. Most know her from her days traveling and ministering with The Frosts. Producer, Shane Roark, is excited to add her to Chapel Valley's family of artists. She was recently in the studio and her new exciting CD will be released late May 2010 on the Church House music label.

Chapel Valley is a growing record company that is receiving great recognition from the music industry.

For more information on Brenda and her ministry, go to
To learn more about Chapel Valley, go to

Steven Noyes from The Village School in Naples Selected as 2009 Golden Halo Award Winner

4th Annual Award Honors Outstanding Christian Teachers Held on March 13

(March 23, 2010 - Fort Myers , Fla.) The Christian Chamber of Southwest Florida, Inc. is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2009 Golden Halo Award is Steven Noyes, a fourth grade teacher at The Village School in Naples , Fla. Noyes was selected from 10 finalists who were narrowed down from over 50 nominations received by the Christian Chamber . He received a custom necktie diamond pin created and presented by Jason Sherman from Southwest Florida ’s Diamond District, a weekend vacation from the Bayfront Inn, a six month subscription for Sky Angel’s Family Values Pak television service and more.

This year’s Golden Halo Award Banquet was held on Saturday, March 13 at Grace Community Center in N. Fort Myers . Over 160 educators, business owners, ministries and guests came out to honor outstanding Christian teachers from a five-county area.

“The Golden Halo Award is our opportunity to say “thank you” to our Christian teachers in Southwest Florida . These teachers change the lives of our children by teaching them daily about faith that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It is an honor and a privilege to host this event each year for these worthy men and women,” said Jeanne Sweeney, President/CEO of the Christian Chamber of Southwest Florida, Inc.

The Christian Chamber of Southwest Florida began the first-in-the-nation recognition of outstanding teachers in Christian private schools in Lee, Collier, Charlotte , Glades, and Hendry Counties back in 2006. Since then, over 200 teachers have been nominated.

Event Sponsors included WRXY Christian TV, Fox 4 (WFTX), J.L. Wallace, Southwest Florida’s Diamond District, Gravity Benefits, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., Evangelical Christian School, Lee Sar, Community Engineering Services, Coolair Conditioning, Inc., Lyke’s Insurance, Compass Construction, Elegant Affairs Event Planning, Ruth Messmer Florist, Kevin James Photography, RICE Contracting, Grace Community Center, Eventz, Inc. and Sky Angel Faith & Family Television.

For more info rmation contact the Christian Chamber office at 239-481-1411, visit their website at or contact them via email at

Daystar Television’s ‘Gospel Music Showcase’ Kicks-Off New Season with Ivan Parker

Shows featuring new inspirational performances begin March 20

DALLAS /Christian Newswire/ — Featuring sounds from one of Christian music’s most beloved genres, Daystar Television Network’s original program “Gospel Music Showcase” will begin a new season on Saturday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. CDT with multi-award winning male vocalist, Ivan Parker.

Parker, who was named “Favorite Lead Soloist” six times and “Favorite Male Vocalist” nine times from “Singing News,” has released 13 solo albums including his newest “Unity.”

“Ivan Parker’s music has been a great blessing to audiences for nearly three decades, and we are grateful that he would be a part of the inaugural show of the 2010 ‘Gospel Music Showcase’ season,” said Tammy Underwood, host and producer of “Gospel Music Showcase.” “We know this is going to be our best year yet, bringing the Good News to viewers around the world through Gospel music. The program has been refreshed with a new look and we are very excited to start another season and bring you the finest in gospel music.”

In its sixth year, “Gospel Music Showcase” regularly features the best and brightest stars of Gospel music. Inspiration and great music are the two resounding themes of Daystar’s “Gospel Music Showcase.” This program brings viewers a comprehensive line-up of performers and in the past has hosted artists including David Phelps and 33 Miles. In addition to Ivan Parker, the 2010 season will feature the likes of Crabb Revival and Pfeifers.

“Gospel Music Showcase” is an original program produced by the Daystar Television Network. Joni and Marcus Lamb founded Daystar Television Network in 1997. Today, it is the fastest-growing and one of the largest Christian television networks in the world. Headquartered within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Bedford, Texas, Daystar seeks to provide first-class, faith- based TV for today’s generation. Daystar currently reaches over 81 million households in the United States and broadcasts via satellite into more than 200 countries and 671 million households around the world. Additional information is available at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ReWind Wednesdays: Phil Cross, 2005

Phil Cross: Choirs, Concerts, and Commitment to Christ

Over twenty years ago, one of the most prolific writers in Southern Gospel penned his first song. Almost 400 songs later, souls are still being reached in and out of the church for Jesus Christ. Songs such as “Champion of Love” and “Jesus Built a Bridge” brought the name of Phil Cross to the forefront of Gospel Music, and his group, “Poet Voices”, is once again sharing his many songs with audiences across the nation.

The distinctive sound of “Poet Voices” has survived several group member changes and even a short retirement. Last year, Phil Cross joined with Mark Lanier and Greg Crowe to become the current trio whose songs are again blessing hearts everywhere. Each member is a gifted soloist in their own right, and the schedule of the group allows them to continue their own ministries as well as that of Poet Voices. Sharing new original music written by Phil, Poet Voices presents a program designed to uplift Christ and unite believers through song, laughter, and the message of God’s love.

Southern Gospel artists are not the only ones privileged to be able to sing the music of Phil Cross. Choirs have also had the opportunity to share with their congregations chorale compositions of songs such as, “I Am Redeemed” and “Everlasting Peace”. Through the years, Phil has seen his ministry spread to that of the local church choir, introducing many to Southern Gospel for the first time. Phil recently shared some thoughts with Sgmradio about this challenge.

“The response has been amazing. I have worked in several churches that have had no Southern Gospel and they have loved it. I try to stress that it’s not about style, but substance. There is no Christian music that does a better job of teaching about God than Southern Gospel and I have found that people are getting it. Southern Gospel is extremely complementary with contemporary praise and worship music. It gives the congregation the ‘revelation’ before the ‘adoration’.”

Music in the church seems to be one of the major sources of discord, and often brings division and disharmony to an otherwise united body of Christians. Discussions range from style and beat to instrument type and the appearance of those leading the congregation in worship. It can be difficult for music ministers of any kind to introduce an unfamiliar type of music, and artists face the same complex issue, especially those bearing the label of “Southern Gospel”.

“There are basically two purposes of music according to the scriptures: teaching about God and praising God”, Phil states. “The songs of Southern Gospel primarily teach about God. The challenge is to sell Southern Gospel to the music buyers in the churches. Mostly, these ministers have been educated by a system that embraces praise and worship music. Ideally, we would all get over the “style” and begin to focus on the “substance”. Maybe, we need to package the music and not tell them it’s “Southern Gospel”. The very title “Southern Gospel” is very limiting. Truly, I believe the songs, though few in number, are making it to the mainstream church. They make it because they fill a need in God’s kingdom to lift up Christ. They make it because people in the pews relate to the gospel message.”

Congregations have been relating well to the music of Phil Cross as he has traveled across the country presenting chorale workshops to choirs of every denomination. This ministry has now merged with Poet Voices under the title of “Hearts in Harmony”. Host churches form a mass choir, and work with Phil and Poet Voices, as well as the talented Tim and Mary Alice Lovelace, to produce an evening of variety, celebration and praise. This seems a natural extension of Phil’s vision for both the Church and Poet Voices.

Phil expands on this vision for ministry: “Professionally, I want to continue to work to promote “substance” and balanced music ministry to the church. Maybe a few churches will be enlightened to make sure they have “teaching” and “praising” songs in their worship. I’m going to work hard toward that end. I believe it’s important.”

Love for the Church and for the Lord is echoed in some of Phil’s own personal musical preferences. Venerated hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, is the one writer that he would most like to craft a song with. “Though she was blind, she saw more about God than any writer in history.” And when asked about the song he wished he had written: “The greatest song ever written is “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”. The greatest answer, YES, and the greatest fact, JESUS LOVES ME.”

On a personal level, Phil Cross has an unswerving dedication to his commitment to Christ. Like most of us, he aspires to be more disciplined in maintaining spiritual and physical health. After a period of change, he is thrilled to be ministering with a group once more yet still being involved with local churches. His writing still crosses many stylistic barriers, with one of his most recent praise songs, “Precious Holy Lamb”, remaining close to his heart as a personal favorite. With the inspiration for his songs coming from life itself, there will certainly be many more Cross songs with the impact of, “Saved to the Uttermost”, “One Holy Lamb”, and “Champion of Love”. We look forward to hearing many more songs of praise from the pen of Phil Cross.

Article first published in Summer 2005 on . Used by permission

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Eternity Invades on April 6

MOBILE, Ala. (March 22, 2010) - Vicky Beeching has always desired to be a worship leader first and recording artist second. Integrity Music could see this was her true DNA, so now, after a two year recording absence, Beeching releases her Integrity debut, Eternity Invades, on April 6.

Eternity Invades is worth the wait. The CD re-introduces Beeching as one of today's most gifted female worship leaders, and her new music is a testament to her credentials as both a thoughtful theologian and accomplished musician and songwriter. With Eternity Invades, Beeching offers 13 new worship songs that will have as much power being sung by intimate chapel gatherings, mega-church congregations or by just a single man or woman yearning to draw heaven into earth.

Eternity Invades was produced by upcoming new producer Jonathan MacIntosh (a former guitarist for Tim Hughes, Brenton Brown, Kevin Max and more). Beeching wrote all of the songs on the record, including collaborations with Robin Mark, Steve Fee and others.

"For me, the title sums up the record," said Beeching. "It's about raising our expectation of what can happen in the context of worship - reminding us that it's a supernatural encounter and that God's Kingdom can break in - eternity can invade, if we are seeking and wanting that."

Accordingly, Beeching wanted the record to sound as big as the concept, and cites groups U2 and Coldplay as sonic touchstones. "I wanted to create something that sounds like me and my band do in a live setting," she said. "I wanted to make music that is fresh and edgy, while still being very congregational and church friendly."

The full track listing for Eternity Invades is:
"Salvation Day"
"Blessing and Honor"
"Breath of God"
"Inhabit the Praise"
"Glory to God Forever"
"One Day"
"Break Our Hearts"
"Undivided Heart"
Bonus Track – a new recording of “The Wonder of the Cross"
The album's first single is "Salvation Day," and it is already gaining momentum at radio. Beeching will spend the week before street date, visiting radio to talk about the song and the full CD project. She also has a full slate of shows and worship events she will be participating in throughout the spring and summer.

Beeching has embraced social media with a highly active presence online through her personal Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and other networking sites. A few weeks ago she launched her newest online venture, the Women In Worship Network: Beeching hosts this new community, where she offers encouragement to female worship leaders, and the opportunity for them to connect with one another via a mini social network and forums. The site had over 2,000 visits on its first day and has over 200 active members of the network’s member

Equally important to women in ministry is Beeching's role as an advocate for social justice and she has involved herself with organizations like Hope for Justice, Compassion International and The International Justice Mission.

"Justice is a huge ethereal reality, but God breaks it down into bite-sized chunks in passages like Isaiah 51. It's about opening your eyes when someone is suffering, not turning away. If everybody did that, we really could change the world," she said.

The 30-year-old Beeching was raised in the UK by parents in church ministry and grandparents who served as missionaries in Africa and Israel. She began writing songs when she was just 11, and later, was inspired to prepare for her calling into music by pursuing a theology degree at Oxford University, one of Britain's most prestigious schools.

In the UK, Beeching partnered with Vineyard Music (where she worked with Integrity labelmate Brian Doerkson), writing and performing songs on the Hungry, Holy, Surrender and Best of Vineyard projects. She also worked on staff at Soul Survivor in London, contributing to their People's Album and Live Worship 2005. During these years she led worship alongside Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Brenton Brown.

Beeching felt God calling her Stateside and obediently moved to the U.S. in 2004. Two critically acclaimed CDs later (2005's Yesterday Today and Forever and 2007's Painting The Invisible), she has led worship in almost all 50 States, as well as coast to coast across Canada and throughout Europe.

Beeching is featured in the current issue of Worship Leader in which she addresses the topic of theology in songwriting. She also has an active blog on her website with photos and behind-the-scenes posts from the recording studio and on the road. Beeching's Twitter address is

Eternity Invades will be available to Christian retail stores through Provident-Integrity Distribution and will be available through all major digital service providers. In addition, Integrity International will distribute the project to over 160 countries.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

SGM Radio Blog’s Top Ten: Miles Pike

We are thrilled to share with you these mini-interviews with some great Southern Gospel artists! Check back often to see who is next on the SGM Radio Blog's Top Ten!

Miles Pike…by Miles Pike
I am a new Southern Gospel music artist from Jacksonville, Texas and president of Miles Pike Music; a multifunctional, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. I am heavily involved in concert presentations and other facets of ministry in churches, prisons, and many other venues. I seek to encourage and unify the Body of Christ through honest testimony, heartfelt lyrics, and powerful vocals. Check out my website at I have some free music downloads for members and much, much more!

Miles Pike’s Top Ten

1. Please tell us the name of your latest recording and your favorite song from that CD. What is the message behind this song?
My newest CD is titled, Timeless Songs: For Times Like These, and it is a collection of my favorite hymns and classics with a whole new approach from my heart. After I got through choosing the song selection, I realized there was a common thread throughout. That thread is best expressed in one of the songs I've been doing every concert, "I'm Going Through". My desire is to see the Church rise to the occasion in these last days. This is a song, and a project of edification for God's People.

2. What is one highlight from the last 12 months?
God blessed my socks off when He saw fit to bless me with my first #1 song in The Christian Voice Magazine's March issue! Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, is the song and it is my introductory radio release to the nation. What a tremendous blessing to receive such a warm welcome from the fans and DJs in the Gospel Music field.

3. Where is your favorite place to eat on the road?
My goodness, there have been so many different places that have made my tongue slap my brains out! I have never wanted for good dining when God's people provide. It's hard to beat the hole-in-the-wall joints in the middle of nowhere. They'll surprise you! A few favorites would be Brown's 100 FOOT BUFFET in Benton, AR and Stoll's Amish Restaurant in Linton, IN.

4. Have you been on a mission trip? If you have, where did you go? If you haven’t, would you like to and where would you want to go?
I have been on a mission trip to Mexico before and am planning trips to work with the natives of Alaska and also to South Africa.

5. What is your favorite vacation destination? Favorite vacation activity?
I had the privilege of traveling to The Holy Land on two separate occasions and to say it changed my life would be a gross understatement! During both trips, some of the most special moments were when I had the opportunity to sing at seven different locations, including The Upper Room, The Garden Tomb, and The Mount of Olives overlooking the Holy City. What memories!

6. What is one habit you would like to break?
Watching "SpongeBob Squarepants" on occasion. It even disturbs me that I get entertainment from any such thing.

7. Who is your most favorite Bible person/character?
Lately, I've been reading and thinking about Hosea, but I love Paul's writings to the Church.

8. What is your favorite Bible verse?
My favorite verse changes all the time depending on what I'm going through at the time. Right now Matthew 6:33 is hitting home for me. No matter what I may be worrying about, just seek God and His will and everything that I need will not only come to me, but in the right timing.

9. Name a character trait or fruit of the spirit you would really like to develop in your life.
I would have to say that an extra dose of agape love never hurt anybody. If we love God and man as we should, then treating them right just comes natural. Jesus wasn't wasting time when He said, "The greatest of these is love."

10. What is the last book you read?
As I mentioned, I am legally blind from birth, but can see just enough that people can't usually notice it. Because of that, audio books are my friend. Glenn Beck's, "Arguing With Idiots" and C.S. Lewis', "Chronicles of Narnia" are my most recent reads.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Larnelle Harris Inducted Into Hall of Fame

5-time Grammy winner Larnelle Harris has been named as one of the newest inductees to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. Harris joins fellow Kentucky artists and musicians Keith Whitley, Patty Loveless, Steve Wariner, John Michael Montgomery, The Goins Brothers, and Molly O’Day to be officially inducted next year during a ceremony in Lexington, Kentucky on April 7, 2011.

This latest honor marks Harris’ third Hall of Fame induction, having joined the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as well as the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. Harris is the only person in history to be a member of all three organizations.

“I am extremely humbled by this,” says Harris. “I am a proud Kentuckian and this honor means a great deal to me and my family.”

In a career that spans three decades, Harris has garnered numerous accolades for his music including five Grammy Awards, eleven Dove Awards (gospel music’s Grammy equivalent) which include three Male Vocalist of the Year honors, and a Stellar Award, among numerous other music awards. He has garnered nineteen #1 radio singles and countless top 10 hits. Songs such as “How Excellent Is Thy Name,” “I Miss My Time With You,” “I’ve Just Seen Jesus,” plus many others, including his signature song, “Amen,” are now considered modern gospel classics.

Harris’ accomplishments represent some significant moments in music history. Harris was the first gospel artist to perform inside the Kremlin after the fall of the Soviet Union. He is one of a handful of celebrities to receive the Ad Council’s Silver Bell Award for Distinguished Public Service in recognition of his song “Mighty Spirit” as the theme song for the longest-running Public Service Announcement in television history.

In a few weeks, Harris will perform for the U.S. troops during Easter services at the Fort Lee army base in Virginia. Harris has been a favorite performer for the U.S. Armed Forces for many years, having performed at the 38th Parallel in Korea as well as many other army bases throughout the world.

Harris is a lifelong Kentucky resident. He was born in Danville and later made his home in Louisville where he still resides with his wife, Cynthia (Mitzy), to whom Harris has been married for over 38 years. The couple has two grown children and three grandchildren. Harris has been given Honorary Doctorate degrees in music from both his alma mater, Western Kentucky University as well as Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky.

Harris continues to perform concerts in the U.S. and abroad, and this year, has teamed up with Steve Green for the “Teach Me to Love” tour. For further information, visit: Tickets are on sale now at the Hall of Fame. For more information about the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum call 1-877-356-3263 or visit

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Country radio pioneer, songwriter Charlie “Peanut” Faircloth dies at 82

He impacted the work of Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley and Trisha Yearwood, among others

By Randall Franks and Bonnie Cawlishaw

Country, bluegrass, gospel performer and radio pioneer Charlie R. “Peanut” Faircloth, Sr., 82, of Chattanooga, Tenn., originally of Mitchell County, Ga. died Tuesday, March 16.
Faircloth earned a Gold Record for his songwriting after fellow Georgian Trisha Yearwood recorded his “Reindeer Boogie” on her MCA project “The Sweetest Gift.” He shared writer credits on the song with Cordia Vallmar, and Country Music Hall of Fame member Hank Snow, who recorded the song in the 1950s.
The 4 feet and 8 inch entertainer nicknamed both “Peanut” and “Charlie Choo Choo” said in a 2002 interview, that his song was really written for Red Foley but Snow ended up recording it and sharing the credit.
Before penning the song, Faircloth overcame childhood polio to become a radio star hosting his own weekly country music show “The Hoedown Party” on the Mutual Broadcasting System’s radio network airing with other now classic radio shows “The Lone Ranger,” “Lum and Abner,” “Amos & Andy” and “The Shadow” emanating through approximately 500 stations nationwide.
It was on that show Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb heard him perform and invited him to Nashville, Faircloth said.
Tubb gave him the opportunity to sing with his band, and hooked him up with Decca Records, he said.
Faircloth recorded “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” for Decca in 1950 and went toe to toe with Moon Mullican as the song climbed to the top of the Billboard country charts. “F-o-o-l-i-s-h M-e, Me" was the flip side. Also among his 1950 sides for Decca were “Mississippi River Blues” and “Coffee, Cigarettes and Tears.”
According to Billboard, Country Music Hall of Fame member Boudleaux Bryant joined the Peanut Faircloth Band during this year when Faircloth also performed on the Grand Ole Opry.
He said one of his prize memories was seeing a full-page Decca ad in Billboard with Al Jolson, Bing Crosby that introduced new artist - Charlie “Peanut” Faircloth.
Faircloth began his radio career at station WNEX in Macon in 1946 as a disc jockey, a newly coined term for a radio personality. Faircloth hosted several shows featuring country and pop music, sharing farm news, and hosted the “Hillbilly Hit Parade” on its 13-station network. He also played mandolin and shared comedy with Curly Wynn and the Georgia Ramblers.
Becoming a disc jockey at WRDV, he settled in Augusta, Ga. in 1951. He moved to Bibletone Records from Decca with former label mates the Sunshine Boys and the Carter Family in 1953, according to Billboard, where he recorded “Pass Me Not” and other gospel songs.
He became program director of WLAY in Muscle Shoals, Ala. for six months in 1954 where he recalled that a listener requested that he play the new record by a young guitar-picker named Elvis Presley. He would soon find himself introducing the young man on stage in Sheffield, Ala. When he returned to Augusta, he brought back Presley’s single “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
He said it was an honor to introduce him in Georgia, and he soon persuaded a promoter to bring him to Augusta’s Bell Auditorium on June 27, 1956, for what would be Presley’s only Augusta appearance.
“A friend of mine named V.E. King was a promoter in Macon who put together package shows for touring Georgia cities,” Faircloth said. “I told him about this boy Elvis, whom I had seen. He booked Elvis for some Georgia dates, including the one in Augusta.
Presley had recorded only two songs, and his name was hardly noticeable underneath the margin on the cards advertising the show, he said.
“I was the emcee for the show,” Faircloth said. “The stars were Webb Pierce, Red Sovine and Wanda Jackson. Elvis was listed at the bottom as ‘added attraction.’ He came out and stole the show. There was another young man on the show that night that wasn’t advertised but was nearly as popular with the crowd - Johnny Cash. They were on Sun Records together in Memphis.”
That same year, Faircloth hosted a live radio broadcast at an Augusta record store that Jay Rainwater opened and named for his 11-year-old stepdaughter - Brenda Lee, according to Lee's Hall of Fame biography. Faircloth said the first song the young girl sang was “Jambalaya” and she soon she became so popular that police had to direct traffic on the street outside.
Lee, who is a member of the Rock and Roll, Country, Songwriter and Georgia hall of fames, credits Faircloth for opening the door for her to appear with Red Foley.
He recalled, while he was serving as emcee at a Red Foley appearance in Augusta, Brenda Lee and her stepfather came backstage and asked him if he could arrange for Brenda to sing a song. The promoter agreed after Faircloth described how the little girl stopped traffic when she performed on their weekly show, he said.
“So I brought her out to do one number just before Red came out, and she sang ‘Jambalaya,’” he said.
Red Foley came out from the wings, picked her up and hugged her, he said.
“She signed a contract later that night to appear on Red’s national ABC-TV show, ‘Ozark Jubilee,’ the next month, and I signed as witness for the contract,” he said.
Within months, Lee was signed to Decca Records and was on her way to selling more than 80 million records, he said.
Faircloth moved to Chattanooga, Tenn. later in 1956 to WAPO and became a mainstay on several Chattanooga radio stations before retiring in 1982. He performed throughout the period and among the musicians who worked in his band was Grammy award winning guitarist Norman Blake.
While Faircloth’s latter performance career often found him entertaining or serving as master of ceremonies at bluegrass festivals such as Armuchee and Boxcar Pinion Memorial, church shows and nursing homes, the harmonica player also worked for nearly two decades as the historical narrator on the Southern Belle, a popular Chattanooga tourist riverboat.
He often performed with the folk string band “Curtis Hicks and the Old Time Strings,” singing and playing a variety of musical instruments, including his own creation - the flushaphone - a toilet plunger with holes punched in it. Among his most requested original songs was the “Chew Tobacco Spittune.” In recent years he also shared gospel performances with Mike and Janet Slatton in Chattanooga area churches and retirement homes.
He returned to Macon in 1996 where he walked the red carpet at the grand opening of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and Museum along with other Georgia legends. Included in the country section of the museum was an exhibit highlighting his work. He was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002, received the Legends Award from the Atlanta Society of Entertainers, and was inducted into the North Georgia Musicians Wall of Fame and included on the Coke Ovens Bluegrass Musician’s Monument in 2009.
He is survived by his wife and sweetheart of 61 years, Frances; by four children, Bonnie Cawlishaw (Vernon), Raiford Faircloth (Sadie), Dolores Harvey, and Marcy Tuggle (Mike); by 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; by a sister, Marie Witt (Ed), a brother, Larry Faircloth; and a sister-in-law, Ginny Eriksen.
The family will receive friends March 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. and March 21 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and services are March 21 at 2:30 p.m. at the North Chapel Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist with Rev. David Kell officiating. Burial will follow in Hamilton Memorial Gardens.
Randall Franks is an award-winning journalist, musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as “Officer Randy Goode” on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” He is a syndicated columnist for and can be reached at Bonnie Cawlishaw is Charlie “Peanut” Faircloth’s daughter.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tiger Woods and Trusting

Tiger Woods is back in the news because he is on the slate for the Masters. This announcement rejuvenates all of the previous discussions of what he did and the public's fascination with watching the disintegration of character. Woods seemed so successful and such a good athlete, yet his desires defeated him.
Sex and money - it seems that most people's problems begin with one of the two, whether they are Christians or not, and whether it is a source of allure or a source of entrapment. People worry if they don't have any and envy others who have more than they do. So, yes, it is the 'love of' rather than the thing itself, but what destruction can follow if either don't occupy their proper place in our lives.
I confess that I am a worrier and money is often on the list. I find myself getting caught up in the 'what ifs' and suddenly my thoughts are consumed by the filthy lucre.
I have heard it said that if you let something cause you worry, you are essentially making that thing in charge of your life. So therefore, allowing the worry of money to have first place in my thoughts is removing Jesus from His position as Lord. Looking at it from that angle makes it even more necessary that I take every thought captive. Any anything that I let have control of my life other than Jesus can lead me to destruction.
I look at Tiger's troubles and I think that there but by the grace of God go any of us. We like to point or shake our heads, or watch as fascinated as we would watch a train wreck, but maybe that's because deep down we think, 'whew, this time it's not me'.
Today I decide again to commit my worries to the only One Who can take care of them, to put the Lord on the throne of my life and my thoughts, and to trust in God rather than man. And maybe I'll take a moment to pray for Tiger instead of just shaking my head.
Comments? Write me at

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SGM Radio Blog’s Top Ten: Andrew Ishee

We are thrilled to share with you these mini-interviews with some great Southern Gospel artists! Check back often to see who is next on the SGM Radio Blog's Top Ten!

Andrew Ishee by Lorraine Walker
Andrew Ishee is one of Southern Gospel’s best known and loved pianists. His resume includes the Dixie Echoes, Kingsmen and Palmetto State Quartet. Andrew currently lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and is heavily involved in studio work, both playing and producing. This award-winning pianist currently performs solo concerts across the nation.

Andrew Ishee’s Top Ten

1. Please tell us the name of your latest recording and your favorite song from that CD. What is the message behind this song?

I just recorded a project called “Quiet Hymns”. It will be released in the coming weeks. My little girls (Gracie age 2 and Audrey age 1) listen to it every night at bedtime. It’s very calm and is meant for playing while you have quiet time with God or a special time of prayer. My favorite song on the CD is “Trust and Obey”. It’s the last song on the disc, and I recorded it because of a friend of mine, Dr. Bill Myers. Bill’s son died earlier this year in a car accident. This young man was only 22 and Bill has been emotionally drained by the loss. However, Bill writes a devotional on Facebook every day (I encourage you to become his friend and read his posts). In his devotions Bill has underlined the message that we should trust and obey God – even when (or maybe especially when) circumstances are beyond our understanding. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose one of my children, and I often wonder if I would be so strong in my faith to then say: “I will TRUST and OBEY You, God.”

2. What is one group highlight from the last 12 months?

Just a month or so ago I found out that I’m booked for a concert in Romania this year (just think of the frequent flyer miles!)

3. What is the best city to visit in the US? And…if you’ve been…in Canada? Overseas?

I love to go to the Northwest, so I like Vancouver, BC, and Seattle, WA. But it is also very beautiful in northern Alberta. Once I got to play two concerts in High Level, Alberta. Great place – but hard to get to.

4. What artist are you listening to right now? Who is in your player?

Wow, I couldn’t have a more unusual CD in my car today. I was actually listening to a CD of music by Antonio Jobim. I’m sure you don’t know who that is, but the most famous, perhaps, of his work is a song called “The Girl From Ipanema”. I also have a CD by Henry Slaughter in the car. It’s a compilation of his instrumental work.

5. What are your thoughts on Spam (the product, not the email)?

"Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, baked beans, Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam". “I don’t like Spam”. And let’s not forget the knights of the round table like to eat “Spam-a-lot”

6. What is one habit you would like to break?

I am terrible at remembering names. And I often find myself forgetting a name just after someone says it to me for the first time. So later I have to ask again, or (as I usually do) pretend I know it!

7. Who is your most favorite Bible person/character?

King Solomon

8. What is your favorite Bible verse?

Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”

9. Name a song that once it gets stuck in your head you can’t get it out.

“I’ve Got That Feeling” -- an old Gospel song with about a million words, and though it’s stuck in my head, it seems I can never remember all the words.

10. What is the last book you read?

“The Relationship Principles of Jesus” by Tom Holladay

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sky Angel Adds Daystar to Channel Lineup

(Naples, Fla. – March 17, 2010) – Sky Angel, a national provider of faith-based and family-friendly television and radio programming (, announces the addition of Daystar Television Network to their Faith TV channel lineup. The network can now be viewed on Channel 111.

Daystar Television Network is the fastest-growing and second largest Christian television network in the world. With a mission to reach souls with the good news of Jesus Christ and to seek out every available means of distribution to a world in need of hope, Daystar has an extensive blend of interdenominational and multi-cultural programming that is broadcasted into homes across the globe. Daystar’s co-founders, Marcus and Joni Lamb are committed to producing and providing quality television that will reach the viewers, refresh their lives and renew their hearts. Daystar reaches 81 million homes in the U.S. and globally broadcasts to over 200 countries and 671 million households worldwide.

“We are pleased to bring Daystar Television Network to Sky Angel’s platform, which now offers more than 80 channels, including 56 Christian television and radio channels. Daystar is a channel that our subscribers regularly request and we are delighted they will join America ’s most complete faith and family television lineup,” said Rob Johnson, CEO.

“What a great opportunity to reach more people in the U.S. with this launch on Sky Angel,” said Steve Wilhite, Sr. V.P. of Affiliate Relations for the Daystar Television Network. “Daystar brings to Sky Angel viewers award winning original programs, exciting “live” events, music, and the most requested national and international ministry programs. Experience Daystar on Sky Angel!”

Sky Angel offers subscribers over 80 television and radio channels of faith-based and family-friendly channels, with entertainment, educational, sports and news programming and is completely compatible with your current TV service. Sky Angel requires no dish or antenna, is easily installed, and includes value-added features like 48-hour playback on all Faith-based television channels plus an ever-growing Video-On-Demand library with free and fee-based selections. To learn more, or to subscribe, visit or call 1-800-SKY-ANGEL (1-800-759-2643).

About Sky Angel:
Sky Angel® U.S. LLC is a Christian-owned multi-channel provider of faith-based and family-friendly television and radio programming. Founded by Robert Johnson Sr. more than 28 years ago, Sky Angel was created to provide a Christ-centered and family-friendly alternative to the standard television fare. Since then, his vision has grown into a service providing quality television and radio programming throughout the United States . Sky Angel carries the Parents Television Council’s® prestigious Entertainment Seal of Approval™, which recognizes excellence and social responsibility in programming.

About Daystar Television Network:
Daystar has emerged as one of the fastest growing Christian television networks. Headquartered in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, Daystar provides faith-based TV for today’s generation. More information can be found at

Daywind Music Group And The Gospel Music Association

Songwriters, enter soon. Deadline is April 8, 2010

Nashville, TN (March 17, 2010) - Daywind Music Group and the Gospel Music Association (GMA) have partnered to host the Southern Gospel Song Contest with the intent of finding the best-unknown Southern Gospel songs and offer a chance to have them recorded by a nationally recognized artist. Unpublished songwriters (currently unaffiliated or unsigned to a publishing company) are encouraged to submit their Southern Gospel song(s) for review (see "Submission Instructions" below).

Songs submitted will be judged by Daywind Music Publishing’s staff, a team of publishers working daily with top songwriters and artists such as Gerald Crabb, Ronny Hinson, Marty Funderburk, Austins Bridge, Karen Peck & New River, Triumphant, The Perrys, and many other award winners.

The Southern Gospel Song Contest opened March 12, 2010 and runs through April 8, 2010. Any submission after April 8, 2010, 5:00 PM CST will not be included in the judging. A valid entry will include a Song Submission Form found below and the $25 entry fee (per song). Songs should be limited to 4 minutes and 30 seconds. No more than two songs per person will be accepted.

One Grand Prize winner and two Runner-Up winners will be chosen and announced by April 30, 2010. Winners will be contacted by the GMA.

The Grand Prize winner will receive:

-One free registration to GMA’s Immerse event in July 2010
-Automatic semi-final place in the Immerse song contest
-Single song publishing agreement with Daywind Music Publishing
-CD stack from Southern Gospel music’s top names
-Opportunity to be recorded by a nationally recognized artist

The two Runner-Up winners will receive:

-One free registration to GMA’s Immerse event in July 2010
· -CD stack from Southern Gospel music’s top names

Each song submission will also receive an individualized critique by one of the Daywind Music Publishing judges, complete with invaluable feedback and advice. It's not just a contest; it's a chance to learn something, too!


Print out the Southern Gospel Contest Song Submission Form (found here) and fill in all fields.

Mail completed form with payment to:

Gospel Music Association
The Southern Gospel Song Contest
1205 Division St. Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 277-1376

Once payment and submission form are received, an email will be sent to you with instructions on where to send your song(s) and typed lyric sheets.

You are welcome to send your song recorded on a CD and your typed lyric sheet (one page per song) with your paid registration. If you are submitting multiple songs, please include a separate CD for each song and write your name and the song title on the front of the CD.

For a complete listing of contest rules and in-depth submission instructions, visit and click on the Daywind contest logo.

For questions or customer service, please contact Scott at (615) 277-1376.

About Daywind Music Publishing: Since its inception in 1995, Daywind Music Publishing has emerged as the premier source of new songs for the Southern Gospel and Church Print/Choral markets. DMP boasts of an exclusive staff of eleven prestigious songwriters including Ronny Hinson (The Lighthouse), Gerald Crabb (Through The Fire), Marty Funderburk (I Believe God), Dianne Wilkinson (Boundless Love) and Justin Rivers (Austins Bridge). Daywind Music Publishing has been blessed with more than 75 Singing News Song of the Year and Gospel Music Association (Dove) nominations and 35 radio singles hitting the top position on the charts - #1. BMI awarded DMP’s Christian Taylor Music, Christian Music Publisher of the Year 2002 and 2004. Daywind Music Publishing continues to remain committed to the exhortation and encouragement of the church through the advancement of quality Christian music.

About GMA: Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the Gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the Gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, urban, R&B, hip hop, southern Gospel, bluegrass, country, and more. The GMA community consists of more than 2,200 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Dove Week and GMA IMMERSE. For more information, please visit

For more information contact:
Donna Beauvais

Joseph T. Lee Ministries to Sponsor Help For Haiti Relief Concerts

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. – Joseph T. Lee Ministries will be sponsoring two concerts this coming May in order to raise money for those affected by the Haiti earthquake which took place this past January. The “Help For Haiti Relief Concerts” will take place on Friday, May 21, 2010 and Saturday, May 22, 2010 in central Virginia.

The May 21, 2010 concert will feature Hinson Revival, Vertical Praise, and Lee & Loyall. The venue for the concert is Oak Knoll Middle School in Mechanicsville, Virginia. There is no ticket admission. A love offering will be taken up during the event.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 will feature an evening with Vertical Praise and Lee & Loyall. This event will be take place at Orange Assembly of God in Orange, Virginia. A love offering will be taken up at this event as well.

All proceeds and money donated will be given to Sunshine Ministries. Sunshine ministries funds and sponsors orphanages and churches in Haiti. The money raised will help the orphaned children of Haiti, feeding & clothing, and rebuilding churches.

“My heart has gone out to the people of Haiti ever since I heard about the terrible devastation that has taken place there,” mentioned Joseph T. Lee. “I am so thankful that I am in an industry that has groups that would give up their time and money to be a part of something like this.”

More information on the event can be found at or by calling Joseph T. Lee at (804) 241-8231.

More information on Joseph T. Lee can be found at his website – located at . Contact and booking information can be found at the site. Fans are also encouraged to visit Joseph on ShoutLife by heading to .

About Joseph T. Lee
Joseph T. Lee is an accomplished Christian businessman, actor, and vocalist. God has given Joseph the gift of song to share the message of Salvation and Redemption. He feels led to the music ministry as well as an evangelistic ministry of sharing his faith with others. His debut recording, Shield of Faith, released in December 2008.

ReWind Wednesdays: Gary Casto, July 2005

Beginning this week, we will reprint some features from the early days of SGM Radio. Our feature this week stars Gary Casto of Tribute Quartet. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the past!

Starting a New Quartet: A Monumental Task

It was a warm, sunny May weekend in 1997 when a newly-formed trio came to perform in Ontario, Canada, for an appreciative audience in a large Baptist church. Made up of members who had sung with such groups as Crimson River and the Southmen, “Turning Point” had a blend of ‘edgy-Southern’ meets ‘upbeat-Traditional’. Singing baritone was John Stemberg, who went on to sing with the Anchormen. Rod Propes sang lead, a gentleman who now has a flourishing solo ministry. And in the tenor position was Gary Casto, who went on to join the Wilburns ministry and now is involved in building “Monument Quartet”.

Gary Casto has been involved in Southern Gospel for over twenty years. He says he began at age six, but anyone who has come into contact with Gary will know that he loves trying to pull any leg he can reach. Gary’s sense of humour and ready smile have made him a favourite with fans across the country, and his work ethic and business sense have endeared him to many industry personnel as well. Involvement in any kind of organization that you believe in demands time, effort and resources. For Gary Casto, involvement in SGM has required heart and soul as well.

There are perhaps fans of Southern Gospel who are not aware of Gary’s contribution to the industry, and he is not one to be overly concerned about his prominence or position. His resume, however, speaks volumes. Gary has sung with such groups as the Harvesters, the Southmen, Turning Point, and the Wilburns. He has been involved with radio promotion, vocal training, and studio production. He serves on the SGMA Advisory Board and on the Executive Board of the Southern Gospel Music Guild. He is also involved with the Talent Competition and other areas of the National Quartet Convention. Now he has added “Group Manager” to his list of credits, and the new “Monument Quartet” is his latest endeavor.

From this writer’s first introduction to the world of Gary Casto through “Turning Point”, to the current formation of Monument, or “MQ”, there have been many challenges, life changes and even health scares, but Gary always seems to land on his feet. A vivid recollection of talking with Gary in the pew of a little church in New York State while his group started their next set without him, seeing him bound up the aisle and the steps, tripping, grabbing the microphone and still starting with the right note has often brought a smile. He has remained a generous and congenial friend, a fellow chocolate-lover who also enjoys assisting newcomers in this ever-growing industry. One of these relative newcomers, Josh Singletary, has moved from the Wilburns with Gary to join the front-line of MQ.

“Josh Singletary was an easy find—he was also a member of the Wilburns. When Josh came with the Wilburns, he and I formed a friendship almost immediately. He’s an extremely talented young man and it was one of those cases where I knew if I was going to start a group I wanted Josh on my team. He’s a musical genius, and anyone who sees him in concert knows that he has a stage presence that people fall in love with instantly. Everyone will remember that Josh was Wilburns’ piano player, but he’s actually our baritone vocalist at this point. He’s still playing keyboards some, but is doing double duty with Monument. I’ve known Marshall Pugh [tenor] for quite some time, although not well until he came on board with Monument. Marshall used to travel with the Goodmans, particularly Vestal during the last couple years before she passed away. He has an awesome tenor voice and fans are already taking to his singing. Dennis Dugger is our bass singer. Dennis came to us to try out from Bald Knob, AR, where he sang with a regional quartet, The Apostles, and we fell in love with his voice and his demeanor. He’s a joy to travel and work with. I’m excited to have surrounded myself with these people, and I can’t wait for folks to meet them and hear the group.”

Beginning this venture has been a “monumental” task for this veteran quartet-man. It is one thing to just sing in a group and take on different jobs to help in the daily routine, but quite another to shoulder the burden of Manager. Gary explains, “As a group manager, it seems my work is never done. I’m involved in every process from purchasing needed items to booking dates to dealing with promoters and pastors as we get to the concert dates to emceeing to handling interviews, and the list goes on and on. I feel personally responsible for everything that goes on, the successes, the failures, all of it. I love every minute of it, but there are pressures that are naturally there with the responsibility of knowing that most of the success or failure hinges on how well or not I do my job.”

The rise or fall of a new SGM group relies on many things, from developing the mandate and purpose of the group to catching God’s vision for what they can accomplish. The basis of the formation of Monument Quartet is a desire to do the will of God, and the fulfillment of a call to ministry. Through much prayer, seeking direction from God and advice from industry people, Gary felt the timing was right to begin to live his dream and put MQ on the road. He has received a lot of positive feedback from both industry and fans, which has been very encouraging. When someone with Gary’s resume starts a new group, it is an entirely different situation than a fledgling quartet having to “break in” to the scene. Being as involved in the industry as Gary is can make the start of something new even more of a challenge.

“…It’s both a blessing and a curse, if you will.” Gary states. “I have to say that I do believe that people in the industry know my heart and work ethic. I hope that they see I am in this for the long haul, and I hope that I have proved myself to be dedicated to southern gospel music and wanting to better it. I’ve also been very blessed to have worked with the Beckie Simmons Agency (BSA) for several years through my involvement with the Wilburns, and have been fortunate to have her support—support that might not have been there if I was a new-comer. So, I guess you’d say that I do have some advantage from my years of involvement, but I can also tell you that while folks may see it as a “head start,” it can also be a real challenge to live up to expectations that others place on you. There’s this gnawing in me that says I have to succeed, because everyone is expecting great things because of my involvement in the industry to this point. So, while the advantages may be there, the bar is still raised pretty high. If I had to be honest, I place a lot of pressure on myself to do things the right way and be successful, so I think I’m accurate in saying that my previous involvement is both a help and a hindrance.”

Any good businessman planning on releasing a new product will tell you that what you are promoting should be unique enough to create demand, or fill a niche not currently being met. This can be a daunting prospect in today’s SGM. Gary describes the style of Monument as a “traditional male quartet with unique harmonies”, for which he credits their producer, Johnny Minick. Their concert performance includes a variety of styles within southern gospel, and with Gary’s hand guiding the vocals, fans will hear a group geared to excellence in delivery of both song and message. Instead of just being “another new quartet”, Gary has determined that MQ will make a positive mark on the industry, and more importantly, do positive things for God with His guidance.

“If I didn’t think I could make a difference and a positive contribution to Southern Gospel Music, I’d quit today. That’s one of the reasons why Monument Quartet was formed. I think Southern Gospel Music is a wonderful thing, but as with all organizations and businesses, we face challenges every day. The goals of Monument Quartet are to share Christ through our music, and to personally preserve the heritage of Southern Gospel Music while promoting its future. We love this industry and want to see it continue to thrive. Life today is full of changes, challenges, and potential, and SGM is no exception. I think our industry needs to honor God, focus on our mission, be ourselves, live what we sing about, be good stewards of our finances, and work on more professionally promoting ourselves and we’ll be able to withstand whatever may try to come against us.”

Gary laughs as he comments on where he sees Monument five years from now. “I hope we’re not selling burgers and fries somewhere! There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s not what we’re called to do. There’s nothing I’d love more than to see Monument Quartet be out here for the next 40 years singing gospel music. I hope that we can make some great music that fans will remember and cherish, I hope that we find a favored place in the hearts of many people, and I want to be consistent in producing great quality southern gospel music. But really, it’s more about what God wants us to do, so above all I really hope that in five years people still find us faithful to doing what God wants, following the path He’s set forth for us.”

Listening and talking to people, sharing the challenges and victories as a child of God is a huge part of being a Southern Gospel artist. Saying that this is what sets SGM apart from any other type of music, Gary loves the fact that the message in the songs offers hope and the Solution to life’s problems. And being able to share one-on-one with fans helps to bring the message to the specific place they find themselves at that moment. “I think that makes us more effective ministers of the gospel, because so much of a group’s effectiveness in this industry happens off the stage before or after a concert. Our fans can walk right up and talk to us and we can share one-on-one with them, and I think that makes our industry unique and more personal.”

Gary Casto himself has lived through many of the challenges and situations that his audience experiences. This latest undertaking has been used by God to teach him another truth about his faith. Gary shares, “I’d say that the fear of the unknown in starting the new group has been a serious spiritual challenge to overcome. Fear can be an overwhelming presence in someone’s life, and we all know that fear is not of the Lord. Finally, it was to the point that I had to either make up my mind to move on and start the new group and let God have it or invalidate everything I’d sung about to this point. Once again, I’ve learned that God is always there, faithful and in control and He always has a plan if I let him take care of things. So, once I gave Monument Quartet to Him, it made all the difference.”

A monument can be defined as “an icon or emblem that stands for something of extreme importance or significance”. Monument Quartet has determined they will stand for Christ. And for Gary Casto, that is the most significant accomplishment.

Monument Quartet is on the web at, and have just released their new single, “Roll On”.

First published on in July 2005. Article reprinted by permission.

))Author's Note: Monument Quartet is now Tribute Quartet.
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