Monday, January 31, 2011

Jonathan Wilburn Announces Formation of “Wilburn And Wilburn”

Jonathan Wilburn recently announced that he and his son, Jordan, will be traveling full-time as “Wilburn and Wilburn”. The duo is currently recording their first CD and will release another new project in time for the 2011 National Quartet Convention.

Wilburn and Wilburn will be doing select dates with Jonathan Wilburn’s former group, Gold City Quartet, as well as performing with Jonathan’s parents, The Wilburns.

For more information, please call (256) 504-4396

Photo courtesy Jonathan Wilburn

Friday, January 28, 2011

An Open Letter From the Unthank Family

Dear friends and loved ones,

We can not begin to express the amount of gratitude that is in our hearts for the outpouring of love and grace that you have showed our family over the last three weeks. Susan's death was as unexpected to our family as it was to all of you. We knew that her health had been steadily declining over the last year, but we never had any inclination that 2010 would be the last year we had with her.

We want to give specific thanks to everyone who has donated financially to the family to help cover medical and memorial costs. Susan was uninsurable due to her diagnosis with Chacot-Marie-Tooth Disease (a form or Muscular Dystrophy). Your blessings to our family have made these last few weeks a much easier burden to carry, though it is far from over for our family.

We would like to extend special thanks to those artists that were a part of Susan's memorial as well as those that were going to be included but didn't get make it due to the weather and scheduling conflicts. Thank you to the Booth Brothers, Bowling Family, The Freemans, Jason Crabb, Devin McGlamery, Jason Morales, Shannon Smith, Jeremie Hudson, Ian Owens, Johnny Minick, Karen Peck & New River, The Perrys, Mystery Men Quartet, Kathy Crabb Hannah, Donna Beauvais, and Bev McCann for your willingness to be a part of such a hard but special day for our family.

The good news is that Susan had already set things in motion so that we could continue until long after she was gone. She was in the process of teaching our son, Chris, how to update the site and maintain it if something should happen to her. Chris has now stepped up and taken over editorial duties for the site in addition to running his own company, Southern Spin Entertainment. However, she didn't get around to teaching us everything we need to know. So, we ask that you, the readers and industry, be patient with us as we learn in a matter of weeks what it took Susan 15 years to learn and develop herself.

Susan left us and you, the industry, much too early. We feel inadequate to even try and fill the huge void that she left. Your prayers during this time of transition are very much appreciated. We envy your thoughts and prayers during this time, and we thank you in advance for continuing to visit the site that she so loved and poured her heart in to.

We have no plans of ending anything, and like she would have wanted, the show will go on. We still plan on holding the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards on April 12, 2011 in Smyrna, TN and are already making plans and confirming artists for the 12th Annual AG/SGN Music Fest this summer.

Once again, thank you for your support - both in prayers and finances - and we look forward to the future that God still holds for and our family.

In Christ,
Deon Unthank, Aaron Unthank, Leslie Hill, Scott Bandy, Amy Marie Unthank, and Chris Unthank

Dove Brothers Start 2011 On Top!

Group Earns #1 Song of the Year and #1 Most Played Artist title of 2010

New Album – Unshakeable – Named Among the Best Releases of

BLADENBORO, N.C. – (January 27, 2011) – Multi-award winning quartet the Dove Brothers were recently honored with many accolades at the start of 2011.

According to (formerly, the Dove Brothers were named the most played artist of 2010 at Southern Gospel radio. Due to the group’s #1 hits “Hold On” and “If I Knew Then,” the Dove Brothers ranked #1 on the site’s Top 20 Most Played Artists of 2010 list.

“This news is unexpected and extremely humbling,” mentioned McCray Dove of the Dove Brothers. “We really had a good year at radio, but we never expected to earn this title. Thank you to DJs for playing our music and getting these songs out there!”

The Dove Brothers have previously been named the most played artist of the year according to the site. This is the third time the Dove Brothers have claimed that title. The group was also named the most played artist of 2007 and 2008.

In addition, the Dove Brothers’ #1 hit, “Hold On” (which was penned by McCray Dove), was named the #1 Song of the Year according to the site’s Top 100 Songs of 2010 list. The quartet’s other #1 single, “If I Knew Then,” ranked at #10 on the list as well.

“If I Knew Then” is the debut single from the group’s latest, critically-acclaimed hit album Unshakeable. Unshakeable was also named one of the best releases of 2010 by James Hales, staff writer for

When speaking about Unshakeable, James said, “They have effectively set themselves apart from every other quartet in the business and have such a strong musical palette to work from that they can design a concert program that reaches everyone, and that’s not easy to do. This latest recording builds on what they started a few years ago, and will no doubt continue to solidify the Dove Brothers as a force to be reckoned with.”

You can find out more information on the Top 100 Songs of 2010, Top 20 Most Played Artists of 2010 and Staff Picks by visiting

The group just released the second single from Unshakeable. “I Recall” (also penned by McCray Dove) has an immediate add date.

More information on the Dove Brothers can be found at

About the Dove Brothers
Voted Favorite Male Quartet of The Year by the Southern Gospel Music Association and the Singing News Fan Awards, the Dove Brothers’ high energy presentation and progressive arrangements reflect a tangible link to the good old days of gospel music. Their peers regard them as a class act representing the industry with dignity and respect. Their latest recording for Sonlite Records is entitled Unshakeable and spawned off the #1 hit “If I Knew Then.”

Eighth Day Named One of the Most Played Artists of 2010

Hit Song “Heaven’s Mine” Ranked In Top 20 Songs of the Year

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – (January 27, 2011) – Popular Southern Gospel trio Eighth Day was recently honored with news that they were named as one of the 20 most played artists of 2010.

According to (formerly, Eighth Day ranked #14 on the Top 20 Most Played Artists of 2010 list – in between mainstays and hit makers The Isaacs and The Bowling Family. The list was compiled by the Top 40 Weekly Chart year-end figures.

“We are absolutely humbled by this news,” mentioned Scott Robinson of Eighth Day. “Accolades and numbers have never been something that we’ve tried to attain, but we are so honored that God would bless us with this. He’s hasn’t disappointed us yet!”

The group also had both of their singles from 2010 earn positions on the Top 100 Songs of 2010 list. Their hit single “Heaven’s Mine” ranked at #19 for the year, while the ministry driven “Trust His Heart” ranked at #41 for the year.

Joni Robinson of Eighth Day interjected, “While we had a very difficult year in 2010 personally, God proved faithful to us in our ministry. We are so grateful for his provision and timing. He’s just so amazing!”

You can find out more information on the Top 100 Songs of 2010 and Top 20 Most Played Artists of 2010 by visiting

Eighth Day just released their fifth single from the SGN Music Award nominated project Everything Holy. The song – “May I Never Get Over the Cross” – hit radio earlier this year through Spin-N-Motion Promotions.

More information on Eighth Day can be found at

About Eighth Day
Eighth Day is a popular trio based out of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The group has quickly established itself as one of the top new talents in Gospel music today. Their fresh and progressive sound has been described as a little bit country, a touch of bluegrass, and a whole lot of Gospel!

Jeff & Sheri Easter Announce The Marriage of Madison Easter to Shannon Norman

NASHVILLE, TN (January 27, 2011) - Jeff & Sheri Easter announce the marriage of their son Madison to Shannon Norman, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Tony Norman and Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Fain, of Lincolnton, Georgia. The double ring ceremony took place on Sunday, December 12, 2010 in Augusta, GA at Sacred Heart Cultural Center. The ceremony was performed by Madison's grandfather, Reverend James Easter, of bluegrass gospel music legends The Easter Brothers.
"This is such an exciting time for us. We are so proud of Madison and are so glad that Shannon is now a part of our family," said Jeff & Sheri.
Madison is a vocalist and guitarist for Jeff & Sheri Easter, and Shannon serves as office and ministry assistant for the group.
Madison and Shannon are high school sweethearts and have dated for six years. After a beautiful reception following the ceremony, the couple traveled to Paris and London for their honeymoon.
About Jeff & Sheri Easter:
For Jeff and Sheri Easter, gospel music is genetically programmed into their DNA. As members of acclaimed musical families—Jeff’s father is one of the Easter Brothers and Sheri’s mother is a member of The Lewis Family—they grew up surrounded by the sound of people praising God through their musical gifts. Jeff & Sheri traveled and sang as part of The Lewis Family for several years. In 1988 they left the group and formed the group. Joining Jeff & Sheri on the road is their son, Madison, who plays guitar for the group and their daughter, Morgan who completes the vocal blend. Jeff & Sheri have been nominated for numerous Dove Awards and won five. Sheri has been named the Singing News Favorite Alto ten times and the Singing News Female Vocalist four times. Jeff & Sheri’s wall of awards also include three Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association Awards, two International Country Gospel Music Association, nine Voice Awards for Female Artist, five Voice Awards for Song/Single of the Year, two Voice Awards for Christian Country Group, four SGM Fan Fair/USGN awards, five SGN Scoops Diamond Awards, four Hearts Aflame Awards, and three Cash Box awards. They have also participated in the Gaither Homecoming Video Series since 1993, which has sold over 15 million units. Their latest release Expecting Good Things is nominated for a 2011 Grammy®.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


NASHVILLE, Tenn—January 26th, 2011 - The GMA Foundation (GMAF) inducted Bill "Hoss" Allen, Johnny Cash, DeGarmo & Key and the Golden Gate Quartet as the newest members into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame on Monday, January 24 during a ceremony filled with music, family, friends, and fellow Hall of Fame members at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, TN.
Those honoring the careers of the new Hall of Fame members were: Trace Adkins, Jeremy Camp, The Fairfield Four, Larry Gatlin, Bobby Jones, Babbie Mason, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Rambos, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Russ Taff, TobyMac, and Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC's . The evening was hosted by Larry Gatlin and Chonda Pierce.
The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony was produced by the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame committee: Tom Long chairman, Charles Dorris, Ken Harding, Ed Harper, Roger Holmes, Jody Mainello, Brian Mason, Stacy Merida, Judy Nelon, Diane Pearson, Gregory E.l Seneff, and Rick Goodman, executive producer. The ceremony was taped by Trinity Broadcasting Network for future broadcast.

The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame, established in 1971, has inducted more than 150 members since its inception. Previous inductees include Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Amy Grant, the Statler Brothers, the Winans, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Andrae Crouch, Sandi Patty, Vestal Goodman, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, the Blackwood Brothers, Petra, Bill and Gloria Gaither, the Happy Goodman Family, Larry Norman, Pat Boone, Dottie Rambo, Evie, Larry Norman, Richard Smallwood, Jake Hess, The Lewis Family, Thomas A. Dorsey, the Cathedral Quartet, the Fairfield Four, Billy Graham and the Jordanaires. A full list of GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Inductees is available at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Freemans Land 6 Absolutely Gospel (SGN) Music Award Nominations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (January 26, 2011) – Southern Gospel favorites The Freemans have received six nominations in the 2011 Absolutely Gospel (SGN) Music Awards.

Receiving more nominations than they ever have in a single year, The Freemans landed nods for Song of the Year and Country Song of the Year (for “The Father & the Son”), Album of the Year and Country Album of the Year (for Evidence), and Best Live Performer. In addition, the group’s lead vocalist Chris Freeman earned her first Female Vocalist of the Year nomination.

“We are so honored by these nominations,” mentioned Darrell Freeman of The Freemans. “All of The Unthanks and the staff at have been so good to us and our ministry. We are thankful and humbled by these nominations!”

The nominations for the Absolutely Gospel (SGN) Music Awards were chosen by the staff of (formerly and other select members of the media. Fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in over 20 categories beginning on February 1, 2011.

The Absolutely Gospel (SGN) Music Awards will be handed out at a live ceremony on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at River of Life Church in Smyrna, TN. The event is tentatively scheduled to be streamed live like last year. Performers, hosts, and event sponsors are still being confirmed. More details on the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards will be announced at a later date.

The Freemans recently scored their latest #1 single with the lyric driven and poignant song “The Father & the Son.” Penned by celebrated songwriter Dianne Wilkinson, “The Father & the Son” spent four consecutive weeks at #1 on the (formerly Top 40 Weekly Chart – the Southern Gospel’s most watched and respected weekly radio report.

“The Father & the Son” is the debut single from The Freeman’s much-anticipated new recording – Evidence. Four years in the making, Evidence is truly The Freemans’ most transparent and emotional release to date. Evidence features songs that were chosen in response to four pivotal years for the group, which were mired with multiple family deaths and extremely personal losses for individual group members. Those events took the group on an emotional journey that resonates throughout the new recording.

Evidence is now available at concert events and on The Freemans’ website.

To visit the newly designed website of The Freemans, visit You can also visit the group’s MySpace at The group’s Fan Facebook is located at .

About The Freemans
The Freemans are one of Southern Gospel’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed groups. History, experience and spiritual wisdom are three attributes that can be used to describe the foundation of the Freeman ministry. Deeply rooted with family, the Freemans’ experience spans 30+ years. Now in their 20th year of ministry, the Freemans still perform at approximately 250 dates a year, and continue to experience tremendous success.

Branson Gospel Music Revival Launches Prayer Ministry

BRANSON, Mo. – (January 26, 2011) – Rod & Kelly Burton, owners of YMR Music Productions, LLC and promoters of the award-winning Branson Gospel Music Revival, are excited to announce a new prayer ministry to offer artists and organizations involved in the annual event.

Kelly Burton said, “So many of us that are involved in this event have become like family. And as a family, we want to be able to lift each other up in prayer when we need to. We’ve already had a pretty devastating January with the loss of Susan Unthank of and the critical accident of Appointed by Grace’s Randy Woodrome. Both of these people have been active participants of our ‘family,’ and we know that God has acted on their behalf because of the prayers lifted up.”

Wanda Deering, wife of Branson Gospel Music Revival board member Wayne Deering, will be heading up the Email Prayer Ministry. Those who would like to submit a prayer request to the ministry or who would like to be a part of the intercessory prayer team can email

“Many artists and supporters know Ms. Wanda from her attendance at countless gospel events,” mentioned Rod Burton. “We are so grateful for her passion for prayer. Please know that needs shared with her will be taken to heart, taken to the throne, and taken no farther. We encourage you to share your needs & promise no request will be taken for granted.”

The Branson Gospel Music Revival (formerly Convention) will be returning to Branson, Missouri for the third time late last year. The Burtons also announced that the four-day annual event will be changing venues, relocating in 2011 to the Tri-Lakes Center, 2527 State Highway 248 in Branson.

The Branson Gospel Music Revival will be held Tuesday, June 28 – Friday, July 1, 2011 at the Tri-Lakes Center. Over a hundred gospel artists from across the country will be there to perform, including returning favorites HisSong, Beyond the Ashes, Freedom, Kenny Bishop, Dan Keeton Quartet, The Williamsons, Praise Incorporated, 2nd Generation, Jay Stone Singers, McMillan and Life, Rod Burton, Lynda Lynn, Sunday Edition, Mystery Men Quartet, and more.

They also confirmed the return of Branson’s Dino Kartsonakis, who will headline one night of the event. Also returning will be the popular SGN Scoops Diamond Awards and the “Piano Jubilee.”

Tickets have already gone on sale and can be purchased from the Tri-Lakes Center box office by calling (417) 336-0219.

More information about Branson Gospel Music Revival can be found at or by calling (708) 362-8172.

SGN Scoops Diamond Awards Take the Show On the Road

“Diamond Awards On Tour” To Hit Major Markets and Universities Across the Country

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (January 26, 2011) – Coastal Media Group and SGN Scoops Digital, home of the Diamond Awards, are excited to announce details regarding a new initiative to take the Diamond Awards experience across the country this year. The “Diamond Awards On Tour” concert series will hit major markets and universities in an effort to bring awareness to the Diamond Awards program and attract new readers to the already popular digital magazine.

“We are always looking for new ways to expand the audience of our magazine and this form of Gospel music that we represent. We feel like these shows are going to be a good way to tell people around the country about the Diamond Awards while also giving them a little taste of what Southern Gospel music is all about,” mentioned Rob Patz of Coastal Media Group.

"Our vision of the Diamond Awards is to give all Gospel music fans a forum to have their voices heard - whether their favorite artist is on top of every chart or someone they discovered in a little country church,” mentioned Kelly Burton, editor-in-chief of SGN Scoops Digital. “Bringing live music to Gospel music fans through concerts such as this is a natural extension of our goal, and we're excited to present artists who embody the combination of traditional and progressive ideals that we promote in SGN Scoops magazine."

The first date on the “Diamond Awards On Tour” experience will be on Thursday, February 10, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Trevecca Nazarene University’s Dr. Dan Boone said, “We are thrilled to host the first ‘Diamond Awards on Tour’ concert at Trevecca Nazarene University. With Trevecca located in the heart of Music City and our many music and music business programs, this concert is a terrific match for our campus.”

Performers for the first concert at Trevecca Nazarene University as well as future dates, locations and performers will be announced at a later date.

This year’s Diamond Awards program will take place on Thursday, June 30, 2011 as a part of the 3rd Annual Branson Gospel Music Revival in Branson, Missouri.

The Diamond Awards are currently accepting nominations for the Top 10 Ballot in this year’s program. To find out how you can nominate your favorite artists, visit for more information.

Hosts, performers and sponsors for the 2011 Diamond Awards will be announced at a later date.

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 in each year. The awards show is based during the Branson Gospel Music Revival every July.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ernie Haase Announces New Members of Signature Sound

Open Letter from Ernie Haase:

Hello Friends,

Let me introduce to you our new bass vocalist, Ian Owens

Ian is originally from Mississippi and has lived outside of Nashville, TN for some time now. Ian is 30 years old and as you can see has a lovely family. He and his wife Megan have a son named Liam and a daughter named Taylor.

Ian comes from a long line of Gospel quartet bass singers. His grandfather Bid Owens Sr. sang with The Deacon Quartet then his father Butch Owens sang with The Watchmen Quartet, The Anchormen, The Stamps Quartet and The Florida Boys.

Before taking this job Ian sang for 10 years with two different groups. He started when he was 19 years old with the Cumberland Boys Quartet out of Branson’s Silver Dollar City theme park.

More recently Armond Morales hired Ian as his replacement to become only the 2nd bass ever in the history of the Imperials. The Imperials started with Jake Hess in 1964 and had one of the smoothest sounds ever. Ian has that George Younce/ Armond Morales feel to his voice. As you will hear, the kid is a singer first and a bass singer second. That is what we were looking for in addition to his love for God and for people. And as that goes, Ian is an licensed minister.

Ian has already traveled one weekend with EHSS and totally won the crowds over in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA and Sacramento, CA with his BIG voice and even BIGGER personality.

Please welcome him and come out and hear what we feel is another great find not only for EHSS but for the world of Southern Gospel Music.

Another addition to the EHSS family is Kelly Vaughn.

For the past year we have had a three-piece band and Wayne Haun and I have been looking for the right person who could come aboard and give us the acoustic and electric guitar feels we need musically. We took Kelly out for a couple of weeks this past fall and he nailed it.

Kelly was about 6 weeks away from graduating eigth grade..... :) just kidding. He looks twelve but now has his college degree in Music business and is coming on full time for EHSS. Kelly is 24 and is excited to join the band and the EHSS team. You will love this kid!

Thanks so much to all of you for your continued love and support ... it means more to us than you'll ever know ...

Seeya soon ...


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tribute Quartet's Bus Destroyed in Fire

Friday, January 21, at approximately 5 o'clock in the evening, Tribute was en route to Texarkana, AR by way of I-30 between Dallas, TX and Texarkana. At mile marker 150, the rear passenger tire blew and caught fire. After pulling over to the shoulder, attempts were made to extinguish the fire with no avail. They were able to clear all sound equipment, product and very little clothes before the entire bus, including all suit, ties, shirts, personal items, etc., was engulfed in flames.

All who were aboard the bus, escaped unharmed.

As of 7:30 PM, the Mount Vernon Fire Dept. was still fighting flames.

Tribute would like to thank all of Mount Vernon's emergency departments for their hard work and care. They would also like to thank all who have prayed and delivered well wishes. Your prayers are envied.

Please keep watching Tribute Quartet's schedule for more information. As of now, all appearances, starting Jan. 27, 2011, will be honored.

Story and Picture courtesy of

Southern Plainsmen Quartet Bring Southern Flavor to Louisiana IceGators Game Jan21

HORNBECK, La. – (January 21, 2011) – West-Central Louisiana’s Southern Plainsmen Quartet will be performing the National Anthem at the Louisiana IceGator’s game against the Mississippi Surge tonight, January 21, 2011.

Marcelle Slaughter said, “We are so excited about performing the National Anthem for such a great team and organization. Any time that we are given an opportunity like this, we can’t help but be excited! We love to take our brand of Southern Gospel to every area that the Lord leads us!”

The Louisiana IceGators are a part of the Southern Professional Hockey League. This organization began playing in the 2009-10 season. Like the original IceGators (1995-2005), the group is based out of Lafayette, Louisiana.

“This is a great opportunity for our group, and we’re honored that this organization asked us to be a part of it,” responded Slaughter.

The game will take place at the Gator Dome in LaFayette, Louisiana beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The Southern Plainsmen recently announced their partnership with humanitarian organization World Vision. The Southern Plainsmen Quartet are now artist advocates for the organization – spreading the word at concerts, churches, and various other dates that the quartet may perform at.

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.

GAC And TCN Add THE GRASCALS', "I Am Strong," Featuring Dolly Parton

Emotionally-Charged Video Hits Airwaves!
Nashville, TN (January 21, 2011) -- This week, Great American Country (GAC) and The Country Network (TCN) add The Grascals' emotionally-charged video, "I Am Strong."

Directed by industry veteran David Corlew (who makes his music video directing debut here), and produced by David Bennett (former head of TN Film Commission), the moving video features a special guest appearance by Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton. "I Am Strong" was written by The Grascals' Jamie Johnson and his wife Susanne Mumpower-Johnson, along with close friend, Jenee Fleenor.

The song was inspired by the stories of children being treated for cancer and other deadly diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, following a visit to the hospital made by Johnson, and Grascals Terry Smith and Terry Eldredge. The video was filmed there, and several young patients make appearances throughout the clip.

"The bottom line and the whole point of the video was to convey the song's message," Johnson says. "We didn't want to take anything away from the children or their stories, and I think we stayed true to that."

For Corlew, whose directing background has been mostly on the documentary side, the opportunity to direct The Grascals was "wonderful." But it was the interaction with the children of St. Jude's that he found the most moving. "I loved working with them," David adds. "Their smiles were 'the moment,' and they really seemed to enjoy themselves."

The video is impacting globally and airing on, CMC (Australia), AOL, Yahoo,, and hundreds of other websites. A portion of the proceeds from the song will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"I Am Strong" is from THE GRASCALS & FRIENDS - Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin disc, which debuted this week on the Billboard Bluegrass chart at #1. The project features the group singing duets with Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Joe Nichols, Charlie Daniels, Tom T. Hall, The Oak Ridge Boys and Darryl Worley. The CD, released last week on BluGrascal Records, is exclusively available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® and online at

Pictured Above: During Country Cares Radiothon last weekend in Memphis, The Grascals- Danny Roberts, Jeremy Abshire, Kristin Scott Benson, Jamie Johnson, Terry Eldredge and Terry Smith- posed with patient Ella at St. Jude's. (Credit: Jeremy Westby) Announces Nominees for 2011 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards

Gaither Vocal Band Earns Most Nominations Among Artists, while Producer/Songwriter Wayne Haun Lands Most Individual Nominations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – (January 21, 2011) – The administrators and staff of (formerly are proud to announce the nominees for the 2011 Absolutely Gospel (SGN) Music Awards. As in year’s past, the nominees were chosen by the staff of and select media representatives. Starting on February 1, 2010, the fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in each category.

“Our family and site suffered a major blow earlier this month with the death of my wife and site founder Susan Unthank,” mentioned Deon Unthank. “However, it was never her desire that we cease operation after she was gone. We are moving forward because she wanted us to, so while this is going to be a very tough program for us to put on, we know that she is smiling down on us and giving us her blessing from Heaven.”

Chris D. Unthank, the newly named Content Manager of said, “More than anything, we really feel like these nominees represent what Mom loved so much about the awards. For example - looking at our Song of the Year category – you see a nice blending of sentimental favorites like ‘When God Has Another Plan’ and ‘I Still Glory In the Cross’ with smash hit singles like ‘Hold On’ and ‘Born to Climb’ mixed with songs that critics really embraced this year like ‘The Father & the Son’ and ‘When There’s No Hope, There Is Grace.’ Mom was really proud of the nominations this year, and for that reason, we are really excited about this year’s program as well!”

As far as nominations go, the Gaither Vocal Band landed a stellar nine nominations this year, more than any other artist. The group earned nods for Album of the Year and Progressive Southern Album of the Year (for Greatly Blessed), Male Group of the Year, Special Event Project of the Year (for the live CD/DVD Great Day), Best Live Performer, Fan Favorite Artist of the Year, and the premier award of the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards, 2011 Pacesetter. In addition, group member Michael English earned his second consecutive Male Vocalist of the Year nod (an award he won last year) and a Producer of the Year (Artist) nomination.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and The Bowling Family each earned eight nods – with both groups landing in Fan Favorite Artist of the Year category (the only category chosen strictly by the fans).

Following behind those artists were The Perrys, Dove Brothers, Triumphant Quartet, and Booth Brothers with seven nominations apiece. Brian Free & Assurance and The Freemans both landed six nominations. Three artists received five nominations – The Isaacs, Karen Peck & New River and The Greenes.

Jeff & Sheri Easter and Legacy Five both earned four nominations, while several artists received double mentions, including Jason Crabb, The Dunaways, The Nelons, Beyond the Ashes, Crawford Crossing, Sisters, Gordon Mote, the Talley Trio, and Greater Vision.

Songwriter, producer and Signature Sound’s pianist Wayne Haun earned the most individual nominations for his work during 2010. In addition to landing in the Producer of the Year (Artist) category, Wayne earned an additional eight nominations for his songwriting and production work this year. – including three separate nominations in the Album of the Year category (for producing Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet, The Nelons’ Beside Still Waters, and Triumphant Quartet’s Love Came Calling).

Producer Lari Goss earned seven nominations – also earning three separate nods for Album of the Year (for Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet, The Greenes’ Hallelujah, and Booth Brothers’ Declaration) and a Producer of the Year (Professional) mention (an award he won in 2009).

Earning four individual nominations were 2010’s Male Vocalist of the Year Michael English and producer Ricky Free. McCray Dove, Marty Funderburk, Kyle Matthews, Dianne Wilkinson, Bill Gaither, and Mike Bowling all landed three individual nominations for their work in 2010.

The Pacesetter Award is awarded to any artist, individual, or organization which has shown great strides in the industry and has raised the bar for others. This year’s nominees for the 2011 Pacesetter are last year’s winner the Branson Gospel Music Convention, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, the aforementioned Gaither Vocal Band, digital news outlet SGN Scoops Digital, and syndicated radio program This Week In Gospel Music with Mickey Bell.

More information on the 2011 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration will be forthcoming, including hosts, performers, and sponsors, etc. The date for this year’s Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration is Tuesday, April 12, 2011. The event will again take place at the River of Life Church in Smyrna, Tennessee and is free to the public. Like last year, the event is still tentatively on schedule to be streamed live as well.

The nominees for the 2011 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards are listed below:

“Born to Climb” – Jeff & Sheri Easter (W.Haun, J.Lindsey)
“Did I Mention” – The Perrys (K.Rowland)
“Hold On” – Dove Brothers (M.Dove)
“I Still Glory In the Cross” – Bowling Family (M.Funderburk, B.Smith)
“Somebody Died For Me” – Triumphant Quartet (C.Sutherland)
“Sometimes I Cry” – Jason Crabb (G.Crabb)
“The Father & the Son” – The Freemans (D.Wilkinson)
“When God Has Another Plan” – The Greenes (A.Keffer, D.Williams)
“When There’s No Hope, There Is Grace” – The Dunaways (R.Hendrix)
“Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along” – Karen Peck & New River (S.Hill)


A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (L.Goss, W.Haun)
Beside Still Waters – The Nelons (W.Haun)
Declaration – Booth Brothers (L.Goss)
Evidence – The Freemans (D.Freeman)
Greatly Blessed – Gaither Vocal Band (B.Gaither, M.English, D.Phelps)
Hallelujah – The Greenes (L.Goss)
Love Came Calling – Triumphant Quartet (W.Haun)
Never Walk Alone – Brian Free & Assurance (R.Free)
Shine – Bowling Family (K.Bowling, M.Bowling, T.Penhollow)
Unshakeable – Dove Brothers (D.Crawford)


Branson Gospel Music Convention
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Gaither Vocal Band
SGN Scoops Digital
This Week In Gospel Music with Mickey Bell


The Akins
Beyond the Ashes
Crawford Crossing
Crystal River


Mike Bowling (Bowling Family)
Jason Crabb
Michael English (Gaither Vocal Band)
Joseph Habedank (The Perrys)
Devin McGlamery (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Bill Shivers (Brian Free & Assurance)


Chris Freeman (The Freemans)
Karen Peck Gooch (Karen Peck & New River)
TaRanda Greene (The Greenes)
Libbi Stuffle (The Perrys)
Sonya Isaacs Yeary (The Isaacs)

Booth Brothers
Brian Free & Assurance
Dove Brothers
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Gaither Vocal Band
Triumphant Quartet


Perry Sisters
Sweetwater Revival


Bowling Family
The Greenes
The Isaacs
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Karen Peck & New River
The Perrys

Jim Brady (Booth Brothers)
McCray Dove (Dove Brothers)
Joseph Habedank (The Perrys)
Scott Inman (Triumphant Quartet)
Becky & Sonya Isaacs (The Isaacs)

Marty Funderburk
Rusty Golden
Twila LaBar
Rebecca J. Peck
Kenna West
Dianne Wilkinson


Michael English (Gaither Vocal Band)
Wayne Haun (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Ben Isaacs (The Isaacs)
Tim Parton (Legacy Five)
Roger Talley (Talley Trio)


Donna Beauvais
Jeff Collins
Ricky Free
Lari Goss
Michael Sykes


Steve Allen
Ron Fairchild
Gus Gaches (Legacy Five)
Terry Thompson
Kevin Ward

Kim Collingsworth (Collingsworth Family)
Madison Easter (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Gordon Mote
Tim Parton (Legacy Five)
Jason Webb


“By Your Grace, For Your Glory” – Gold City (D.Liles, K.Matthews, D.Puryear)
“Did I Mention” – The Perrys (K.Rowland)
“I Still Glory In the Cross” – Bowling Family (M.Funderburk, B.Smith)
“Somebody Died For Me” – Triumphant Quartet (C.Sutherland)
“You Were Faithful Yesterday” – Greater Vision (R.Griffin)

A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (L.Goss, W.Haun)
Declaration – Booth Brothers (L.Goss)
Hallelujah – The Greenes (L.Goss)
Love Came Calling – Triumphant Quartet (W.Haun)
Testimony – Mark Trammell Quartet (L.Goss)


“Both Sides of the River” – Crabb Revival (G.Crabb)
“He’s Alive” – Talley Trio (D.Francisco)
“I Am Redeemed” – Brian Free & Assurance (S.Marshall, J.D.Rowsey)
“Message of the Cross” – The Browders (M.Browder, S.Browder)
“Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along” – Karen Peck & New River (S.Hill)


Beside Still Waters – The Nelons (W.Haun)
Greatly Blessed – Gaither Vocal Band (B.Gaither, M.English, D.Phelps)
Healer of My Heart – Sisters (W.Pritchard)
Never Walk Alone – Brian Free & Assurance (R.Free)
Oasis – Crist Family (J.Collins, R.Crist)
Songs In the Night – Lauren Talley (L.Talley)

“Born to Climb” – Jeff & Sheri Easter (W.Haun, J.Lindsey)
“Hold On” – Dove Brothers (M.Dove)
“The Father & the Son” – The Freemans (D.Wilkinson)
“When There’s No Hope, There Is Grace” – The Dunaways (R.Hendrix)
“Wounded Hands” – Gordon Mote (C.Borsage, G.Mote)


Evidence – The Freemans (D.Freeman)
Shine – Bowling Family (K.Bowling, M.Bowling, T.Penhollow)
Times Like These – Austins Bridge (J.DeMarcus)
Turn Up the Music – Crawford Crossing (T.Thompson)
Unshakeable – Dove Brothers (D.Crawford)


Accapella – Brian Free & Assurance (R.Free)
Better Day – Gaither Vocal Band (B.Carter, B.Gaither, B.Jennings)
Christmas – The Isaacs (B.Isaacs)
Jubilee 2 – Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five (G.Wolfe)
Miracles & Memories – Bowling Family (K.R.White)

Booth Brothers
Dove Brothers
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
The Freemans
Gaither Vocal Band

2nd Generation
Beyond the Ashes
Booth Brothers
Bowling Family
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Gaither Vocal Band 

Karen Peck & New River
McMillan & Life
The Perrys
Triumphant Quartet

About (formerly has grown from relative obscurity to the industry's leading internet publication for Southern Gospel news and information in only a few short years. The site includes a wide variety of features, consisting of artist interviews, a weekly chart, late-breaking news, and much more.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Announce Departure of Tim Duncan

NASHVILLE, TN (January 17, 2011) - Tim Duncan, bass vocalist of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, is stepping down after eight years with the quartet.

Tim states: "After 8 years of service to Ernie Haase & Signature Sound I have been feeling in my heart that my time has come to an end. I'm sad on one hand yet excited on the other hand. Ernie & the boys are like brothers and always will be. I covet your prayers."
Ernie Haase states: "I realize changes are inevitable, it always brings a challenge as well as new opportunity. We will always be grateful for Tim's contribution to the group over these past years. We love Tim and wish him and his family great success."
Ian Owens will replace Tim Duncan. His first date with the group will be January 21 in Portland OR.

Beyond the Ashes Signs with Lolo Entertainment Group

Members of the group Beyond the Ashes has signed a promotions agreement with LoLo Entertainment Group. The company will handle all media and concert promotions contacts for this exciting group. “We are proud to add a group with such diversity and talent. These guys are bringing a younger audience to their concerts which is a big plus for this industry” says Mickey Bell of LoLo Entertainment. The promotions agreement will include social media and website maintenance as well as customize concert promotions for each concert date as well as a variety of other promotion endeavors.

LoLo Entertainment is currently accepting requests from radio stations for customized radio liners for the members of Beyond the Ashes. The group will be in the studio the week of January 31st recording liners for participating stations. If you are interested in receiving these liners for your show or station simply send your request by email to Mickey Bell at Three liners per station please.

You can find out more about these and other promotions at

. This company represents other artists such as, The Nelons, The LeFevre Quartet, New Ground and Steve Ladd.

Tribute Quartet Announces New Bass Vocalist Anthony Davis

Tribute Quartet is excited to announce the addition of bass vocalist Anthony Davis to their group. Anthony is 28 years old and calls Dyersburg, TN home. Prior to joining Tribute Quartet, Anthony worked in the law enforcement field. He brings to the group six years of quartet experience, a great bass tone and the ability to sing a smooth lead vocal with passion and conviction.

Anthony is the successor of Dennis Dugger, the original bass for the group. Dennis leaves with the blessing of each member of the quartet. Gary Casto says, “This is a bittersweet time for us. We have enjoyed traveling with Dennis, and we appreciate his years of loyalty and dedication to Tribute. He leaves the group with our best wishes. As we look forward to the future, we are thrilled that a young man of Anthony’s talent and witness has been sent to our group. We are excited to introduce him to our gospel music family in the weeks and months to come.”

Brothers Forever Make First Appearance On Trinity Broadcasting Network

CHURCH HILL, Tenn. – (January 17, 2011) – Popular trio Brothers Forever made their first ever appearance on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) earlier this month. The trio was featured alongside many of the Christian music industry’s most prominent artists on January 2, 2011 as a part of the 2010 Christian Music Hall of Fame Visionary Awards program.

Brothers Forever joined other performers, presenters, and artists who were a part of the show such as Chonda Pierce, Mitchel Jon, Tommy Brandt, Lou Wills Hildreth, Jason Castro, Aaron Crider, Bruce Carroll, Randy Stonehilll, Nicole C. Mullen, Brandon Bee, Arthur Rice, and hosts David Meece and Babbie Mason.

Gary Ballew of Brothers Forever stated, “We’ve always dreamed of being featured on TBN, and it was such an honor to be featured with such a great lineup of some of our favorite Christian musicians and songwriters.”

“God has really blessed our ministry over the last couple of years, and we know that this is just another step that He paved the way for,” mentioned Curtis Hagy of Brothers Forever. “We are so excited for what this year holds for Brothers Forever.”

Brothers Forever was nominated during the evening’s awards for Southern Gospel Group of the Year.

The Christian Music Hall of Fame Visionary Awards were held on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, Tennessee. This is the second Visionary Awards show and the third show inducting artists into the Hall of Fame. The hosts for the 2010 Visionary Awards were award-winning artists David Meece and Babbie Mason.

For more information on the Christian Music Hall of Fame and Visionary Awards – visit .

Brothers Forever’s sixth single from the critically acclaimed release Sheltered hit radio earlier this year. The song, “Whenever I Speak His Name” (written by Russ and Tori Taff), was released to radio through Millennium Music Group and has been a steady song on both the (formerly Top 40 Weekly Chart and Top 40 Fan Chart.

Brothers Forever are currently booking dates for their upcoming
Spring 2011 tour. More information on that will be announced at a later date.

To visit the newly designed Brothers Forever website, visit

About Brothers Forever
Brothers Forever is based out of Church Hill, Tennessee. Nestled in the foothills of upper East Tennessee, this group has quickly become known for their unique style of southern gospel music. Songs such as "I Feel a Blessing Coming On" and "I Can’t Forget the Day" have become nationwide favorites. Brothers Forever felt the call to the music ministry a little over a few years ago, and since the group’s inception, it has been an exciting journey.

Men of Music Reach #1 on Top 40 Fan Chart

JACKSON, Miss. – (January 17, 2011) – Southern Gospel favorites the Men of Music recently scored their first #1 hit. The group’s current fan favorite song, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” reached the #1 spot on the Top 40 Fan Chart. The song spent two consecutive weeks at the top spot before dropping to #3 this week.

Greg Colburn of the Men of Music said, “We are so excited to see this song reach the #1 spot! Our fans and friends have all gotten behind this song, and we are so happy to see such a fantastic song about Heaven receive such a strong reaction from Southern Gospel listeners!”

The Top 40 Fan Chart is the only chart in the Southern Gospel community that is determined solely by votes from fans of the genre. To vote on the popular chart – log on to .

In addition to the Top 40 Fan Chart, the new single from the group has been artist music community’s charts recently. The song peaked at #7 on the Country chart and #3 on the Christian Country chart this week.

The song "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be" is a wonderful re-make of the old gospel classic, produced in a pure and simple style accompanied only by the Gospel music great Andrew Ishee on piano. It is truly touching, and fans are invited to review it at the following link:

The Men of Music are currently preparing for the release of two highly anticipated recordings. Both releases will be available later this year.

The Men of Music announced their return to full-time touring after a three-year absence from the road last year. The Men of Music are currently booking dates and touring as a trio. Churches, promoters, and individuals interested in scheduling the Men of Music for their ministry event can call the ministry office at (615) 562-5394 or (601) 573-4602.

To visit the newly designed Men of Music website, visit

About the Men of Music
The Men of Music have recently returned full time to the Southern Gospel community after a three-year absence from the road. The group is currently preparing for the release of their first mainline recording since coming off the road.

An Open Letter From 2nd Generation

Extravagant Faith

Hello Friends - We started this journey almost 6 years ago, and we are now FULL TIME Ministry. We go to churches basically on love offering basis, because we feel that is what God has instructed us to do and we want to minister in every church where God opens a door BIG or Small....

As everyone knows, times are tough for everyone. Churches are hit hard, people are hit hard, ministries are hit hard but we have to keep going. God has not uncalled us, and we can't just sit down and quit because of tough times. That is actually when God likes to work his best. We have been using the statement, "EXTRAVAGANT FAITH" for a couple of years now, and we really have to remind ourselves of that at this time.

The ministry is in need of several things and it is going to take EXTRAVAGANT FAITH on our part. God doesn’t need us to have EXTRAVAGANT FAITH, but we need it sometimes. So we are having EXTRAVAGANT FAITH for some needs that we have for 2nd Generation Ministries, Inc.

2nd Generation is in need of upgrading our sound system. We have used the same equipment for the last 5 years and need a few upgrades. We need new items such as mics, subwoofer, or a brand new sound system would be wonderful. We also need to get back in the studio to record a new project. God has provided us with some AMAZING songs, and we can't wait to present them to you all. 2nd Generation is also in need of finances to take care of radio, publicity, etc. We would also love to be able to pay off our Suburban and be a "debt free ministry". God says that he will supply all of our needs and we will never be forsaken. We are standing on that.

We know that God has called us to do what we do. We travel into a different city or state every week, different churches, but we are seeing the same thing everywhere. And that is that people are hurting. People need to be encouraged. They need to rebuild their faith. They need to get back the Joy of the Holy Ghost. Pastors need it more than anyone at this time, and we believe that we are called for such a time as this to go into the world and tell people that Jesus Christ is the only answer. He is our provider. He is our help in the time of trouble.

We need help to keep this ministry going on Love Offering basis. We are believing that at least 100 people give an offering of at least $100 dollars into 2nd Generation Ministries. There are many that can do more and many that can do less. But we know that God will provide at least 100 that can give at least $100.

2nd Generation is now a 501(C)3 non-profit organization and anything you give into the ministry is tax deductible also. We trust that you will pray about what God would have you do to help us stay on the road and continue the call that God placed upon our lives.

There may be some that will say why ask people. Because God is our provider but he provides through you. The Gospel is FREE but the pails to carry it in cost money. We consider ourselves as missionaries that sing and present the Gospel in song. We are serious about what we do & we love what we do. We thank you for sowing a seed into our ministry and giving someone else the opportunity to hear Gods word.

There is a great song that will be on our project titled, "It Was A Gospel Song". The song talks about a Gospel song is what brought someone to an altar. Songs and singing are very important, and we are so thankful that God has chosen us to present his word. If you feel led to give a gift you may do so by clicking on "Donate Here" on our website. Or you can mail your gift to the address on the contact page. Keep looking up for his return is near.

Thank you for giving. May God bless each of you! We will see you soon.

Brenda, Elaine & Rocky
2nd Generation

Heavens Highway’s David Timms Receives Ordination

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Powerful Counry/Southern Gospel group Heavens Highway is excited to announce the ordination of group member David Timms.

Timms received his ordination as a minister of the Gospel on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at Living Water Community Church in Mooreville, Mississippi. Celebrated and award winning singer/songwriter Gerald Crabb preached the ordination service.

“We are so excited about this new area of ministry for Heavens Highway,” mentioned David Timms. “God has already begun to open doors for us to hold revivals and meetings as well as provide the special music because of this ordination. We can’t wait to see what roads the Lord takes us down now.”

“This has always been a dream of mine,” continued Timms. “Music has been an integral part of my life, but ministering the Word of God is such a passion of mine now, it only made sense that we combine the two giftings.”

If you would like to book Heavens Highway for a revival service or concert, the popular group recently signed a booking agreement with Bonnie White and the Rivergate Talent Agency.

For more information on the Rivergate Talent Agency – visit .

Fans are encouraged to be listening for Heavens Highway’s latest single and follow-up to the group’s first two Top 40 singles – “Set Me Free From Me.” The song has already found a spot in the Top 20 on’s Top 40 Weekly Chart – currently ranking at #14 this week.

For more information on Heavens Highway, visit their website at . You can also visit the band on Facebook at or 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 eight 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 David Timms, Marty Rock, Holly Nash, and Kathy Holcomb.

Susan Unthank's Memorial Service - New Date

From Chris Unthank:
Hello friends - many of you have been asking about the new date for the new memorial service for Susan Unthank (founder of Below is the information for the new memorial. Thanks so much for your support of Susan and her legacy. I've also included a link to a nice feature on Susan at her site - Feel free to share the link with your readers!

Susan Unthank Memorial Service
Date: Monday, January 24, 2011
Location: River of Life Church, Smyrna, TN
Time: 7:00 p.m. (the family will be receiving friends at the church beginning at 6:00 p.m.)

Musical performers and speakers are still be confirmed at the moment. The event will be streamed live on the internet. We'll have more info on that at a later date as well.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Chris Unthank

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tim Parton Resigns from Legacy 5

After serving as Legacy Five's pianist for 5 years, Tim Parton is getting off the road and has accepted a position at 3ABN (3 Angels Broadcasting Network) in West Frankfort, Illinois. Tim's new role at 3 ABN has already begun, but Tim has committed to "juggle his schedule" and remain with Legacy Five until his replacement can be found. Scott Fowler of Legacy Five states, "Scott, Glenn, Gus and I will certainly miss Tim. His professional contribution to Legacy Five has been extraordinary, but mostly we will miss him personally. Tim is one of my favorite people and I wish him and his family all the best."
Tim Parton officially joined Legacy Five as their permanent full time pianist in March of 2007 following the death of Legacy Five co-founder and pianist, Roger Bennett. Tim filled in for Legacy Five for about a year prior to that when Roger could not travel due to his illness.
Tim says, "From the beginning, back in the days when I was just filling in for Roger, I was thrilled to be a part of these guys. I've enjoyed the rapport among them and have laughed myself sick at some of their antics on stage...many of which the audience wasn't even aware of! Legacy Five has become my best friends and I'm going to miss seeing them every weekend and the many dear friends I've made. Looking back at how God has orchestrated my life, I'm excited about this new chapter in my life."
If you are interested in reading more about Tim and his endeavors, go to and subscribe to his blog.
Persons interested in applying for the position of pianist for Legacy Five should contact Scott Fowler by email at:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Susan Unthank, Founder of, Passes Away

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – (January 5, 2011) – Susan Unthank, founder and Editor-In-Chief of (formerly and husband of Deon Unthank (Sunday Edition), passed peacefully into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this morning, January 5, 2011 at approximately 6:30 a.m. CST.

Deon Unthank said, “Our hearts are breaking now more than any other time in our lives. Susan was my wife, confidant, mother of our children, and my best-friend for the last 33 years. She was the back-bone of our family and the site. Susan put more time and energy over the course of the last 15 years in SGN than most people put in in their life. She lived and breathed Southern Gospel for the past 15 years. While our family grieves the loss of this very important member of our family, surely the industry must mourn the loss of one of its most prized possessions.”

Susan was born on November 23, 1955 in Belleville, IL. She and her husband, Deon, founded (now known as in the mid-90s, and the site quickly became the most read e-zine on the web devoted to Southern Gospel music, its artists, and its fans. The family currently resides in Murfreesboro, TN where they have ran the site for the last 10 years.

Susan is survived by her husband of 33 years Charles Deon Unthank whom she started and raised a blended family with. Their family included three sons, Aaron (Tia) Unthank of Jacksonville, FL, Scott Bandy and Christopher Unthank of Murfreesboro, TN and two daughters, Leslie Hill of Branson, MO and Amy Marie Unthank of Murfreesboro, TN. Susan had five grandchildren, Eli and Anna Cate Unthank and Donovan, Ashlee, and Emma Hill.

There will be no funeral or visitation for Susan. Rather, the family will host a Memorial Service in her honor. Details of the Memorial Service will be announced later.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to help with medical and burial costs via ( Donations may be mailed to the following:

Unthank Family
220 Indian Park Dr #3702
Murfreesboro, TN 37128

Or, you can visit the following link to make a donation online:

Susan Unthank Memorial Service Update

It has been confirmed that the memorial service for's founder Susan Unthank will be this coming Monday, January 10, 2011 at River of Life Church (596 Sam Ridley Pkwy), Smyrna, TN at 7:00 p.m. CST.

The Unthank family will be receiving friends, family, and other guests at 6:00 p.m., also at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to help with medical and burial costs via ( Donations may be mailed to the following:

Unthank Family
220 Indian Park Dr #3702
Murfreesboro, TN 37128

Or, you can visit the following link to make a donation online: