Monday, October 31, 2011

Xerox executive believes the answer to employment crisis lies in the Bible

New book outlines strategies to integrate Christian faith into the workplace
In a time when jobs are in short supply, Vice-president of Client Operations for the Xerox Corporation, Gary Blackard, has just released a book that advocates the Bible as the best guide available for both employees and business owners to survive and thrive in a competitive job market.  Entitled Relevance in the Workplace: Using the Bible to impact your job (Intermedia), the book covers many areas related to business and employment success, using the Bible as the main resource.
As a long-time executive for Xerox, Blackard has over 20 years experience working with Fortune 100 companies across the globe, and is founder of Eagle Peak Leadership, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping business leaders in the U.S. and abroad integrate faith into their workplace.
“This is not a book just for leaders,” says Blackard.  “This is a book that will help anyone who is employed become better at their jobs and teach them to use the principles of the Bible in every day interactions and decision-making.  If Christians work by the same principles they profess to believe, they can become indispensable to their employers. And likewise, when business owners apply those same principles, their businesses will have a greater chance of growing, even in a down economy.”
Relevance in the Workplace covers various topics including how to perform better on the job using spiritual disciplines, how to incorporate the Bible into leadership roles, and something Blackard calls the CE6 principles that relate to the customer experience.  Blackard also makes the case that the Bible can help people be more creative in their jobs as well as lay a groundwork for strategic development in a company’s overall direction.  Blackard uses an abundance of scriptures to back his thesis, and each chapter ends with discussion questions.
Blackard will be a special guest speaker for two Assembly of God District Men’s Conferences in Baltimore and New York in October, and is also speaking at the Call2All Global Conference in southern California in November.  Plans are currently in the works by Eagle Peak Leadership to schedule several “Relevance” conferences in select cities beginning in 2012.
“The truth is, most churches don’t specifically address how Christians should conduct themselves in their places of work,” says Blackard.  “It should be a natural process for a Christian to integrate their faith into their vocations, but many are timid or simply don’t know how.  I have seen remarkable things happen when Christians learn to apply their faith in the marketplace.”
Relevance in the Workplace is available in print and ebook format via Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit

Melissa Smith to Under Go Surgery

Please be in prayer as Melissa will be having surgery on her sinuses Nov. 3, 2011. This surgery is necessary to remove a cyst found in the left sinus cavity and also to correct a severe deviated septum, and a chronic sinus infection. This will also help with the vocal issues that she has been having. Your prayers and support will be greatly appreciated. To help with the financial cost of this surgery, you may purchase cds or other products or donate any amount that God leads you to give by going to Thanks so much and God bless.
Zack Swain of Crescendo Gospel Music management says " It is always heart breaking when you have an artist that is suffering or isn't able to perform to the best of their abilities due to a health issue but it is even more concerning when you have an artist that is suffering and not sure exactly how they are going to fix the issue yet. Let us all be in prayer for Melissa as she takes this step of faith to fix the issue at hand and support her how ever we can. I know she will gladly accept your prayers and finical support in this time of need."

GOSPEL MUSIC TODAY This Week on Gospel Music Today

The guests on the current edition of Gospel Music Today are Buddy Liles and Gene McDonald. The Feature Group is The Torres Family, and Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates. Ken and Jean visit The Deep South Quartet Convention, in Springfield, MO, to hear In Him Trio sing. Jean reviews a new CD by The Hyssongs, and the show features singing by The Torchmen Quartet and a vintage video of The Florida Boys. The latest show is online now at the Gospel Music Today website.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Keith Waggoner Southern Gospel Radio Rewind 2008

 Tales From The Trip

My wife and kids have been gone on a vacation back east to see our family for a little over a week while
I’ve been staying at home due to Liberty’s scheduled concerts. As a result, I haven’t been eating all that
well. Unfortunately, I don’t possess Tony Gore’s predilection for cooking, so tonight I washed 3 slices
of a Tombstone frozen pizza down with some iced tea. I’ve been working most of the day on the cover
design for Liberty Quartet’s new DVD and figured I needed to take it easy for the rest of the evening.
I ran by the closest Redbox DVD vending machine (the invention that I should have thought of) and
rented “The Bucket List” which stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. That’s a good movie. The
premise of the film is that both of the main characters find out that they have a few months left to live.
The characters get stuck together in a hospital room and eventually, in spite of the fact that their lives
are polar opposites in many ways, they hit it off. The two gentlemen decide to put together a list of
items they want to experience before they die. The rest of the movie deals with their quest.

It got me thinking. If I could put together a bucket list (things you want to do or experience before you
retire; not die) for a Southern Gospel group member, here’s what it would be:

1. Experience the thrill of traveling in a trouble-free 2008 Prevost coach
2. Balance your checkbook in the black, even after you’ve paid for fuel
3. Enjoy an evening of perfect monitors (which begs an interesting question: Why even have a
sound check when the room dynamics are going to change so dramatically when people come
in? I know, it’s better than nothing…barely)
4. Produce a project that everyone in the group is happy with; blogger reviews aren’t nearly as
critical as our own
5. Travel with group members who genuinely love each other and honestly work through
6. Eat at In-n-Out Burgers; you know, you guys back east are really missing out
7. Have a proven, seasoned quartet veteran mentor you on the finer points of performance,
presentation, and operating a thriving, successful ministry-business
8. Perform at least one concert with a live band; that’s one of my dreams
9. Have fellow Southern Gospel group members show up on an off night to encourage you when
your group performs in their area
10. Personally, lead someone to the Lord

These are just some ideas I jotted down with little thought. Have anything to add to the bucket list?
By the way, if you want a little more context, go rent the movie. Have a great month. I’m going to go
warm up another piece of pizza. So long!


If you enjoyed this story find more at

Southern Gospel Reggie Saddler and Rob at NQC 2008

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chuck Wagon Gang to Celebrate 75 Years!

Nashville, TN -  The Chuck Wagon Gang will celebrate 75 years of recording and performing on November 25, 2011.   A special 75 Year Celebration Concert will take place on Saturday, November 26, from 3:00-4:30 PM at the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop, 417 Broadway, Nashville, TN.  Several presentations are expected and the Celebration will be broadcast live over WSM, 650 on the AM Dial.  Later that night, the Gang will perform on the Midnight Jamboree at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville.  On Monday night, November 28m The Chuck Wagon Gang will be special guests on the Eddie Stubbs Show to be held at the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall Of Fame from 7:00-9:00 PM.  Both the Midnite Jamboree and Eddie Stubbs Show will be broadcast on WSM, and the Midnight Jamboree will be webcast

On November 25 and 26, 1936, The Chuck Wagon Gang recorded their first recordings in a small studio set up in a hotel room at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.  This was the beginning of a 39-year association with Columbia Records (now Sony Music) where 39 Million records were sold.  Their 1948 recording of the Albert E. Brumley classic, "I'll Fly Away," is believed to be the first million seller by a Southern Gospel group.  Today, the Chuck Wagon Gang is the oldest mixed recording gospel group, still recording and performing, with ties to the original founding.

Congratulatory cards and letters may be emailed to or mailed to The Chuck Wagon Gang, PO Box 140416, Nashville, TN  37214-0416.

Zach and Amanda Smith Sign With S&B Promotions

S&B Promotions are very proud to announce the addition of yet another GREAT group to our line-up of great gospel artist. Zach and Amanda Smith, former members of one of the most loved familys in gospel music The Crabb Family and also sang with Adam Crabb making up the group Crabb Revival. This husband and wife duo is one of my personal favorites. I think everyone needs to check them out! We are booking Church services, Concerts, Fairs, and Revivals. Pastors and Promoters you will not be disappointed. For booking information please call us at 765-273-3215 or drop us a email at Thanks and God Bless.

The Roys Named Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year At 17th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards

The Roys were named Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year during last night's 17th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards Show.  Siblings Lee and Elaine performed "That's What Makes It Love," with special guests Ricky Skaggs and The Whites, before a sold-out crowd. The song is from The Roys' current CD, LONESOME WHISTLE, which was recorded at Skaggs Place Studio and released in March on Rural Rhythm Records. The Awards show was held at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and co-hosted by GAC-TV's Storme Warren and Inside Edition's Megan Alexander.
"We are absolutely honored," says Elaine Roy of the duo's win. "We were raised on Bluegrass," adds her brother, Lee. "Faith and music are our life's touchstones."  The two enjoyed a busy ICM week, entertaining crowds at a showcase with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and at Power Source Magazine's #1 Inspirational Country Singles Party.  These dynamic Bluegrassers continue a busy touring schedule through year's end, opening tomorrow night for John Rich and Darryl Worley at the Fall Festival at BamaJam Farms in Enterprise, Alabama. Additional dates include shows in Minnesota, Kentucky and Florida.  The duo kicks off 2012 with their first-ever shows in Australia at the acclaimed Tamworth Festival.
The Roys have taken their signature sound to a host of Bluegrass gatherings this year, including: Turkey Tracks Bluegrass Festival; Tennessee Fall Homecoming; Rocky River Fall Bluegrass Festival; Niles, MI Bluegrass Festival, and Eastern Music Festival's Bluegrass Night.  The duo has also introduced countless Country fans to the Bluegrass genre, performing at numerous high-profile events this Summer, kicking off Country Thunder Festival USA (where they opened for Lady Antebellum), Dollywood, Dogwood Park Concert Series and more. They've appeared on several Fox Television Network shows, Daily Buzz, ABC-TV's What's The Buzz, Daytime, GAC-TV, RFD-TV and numerous other popular programs and networks.
The Roys' recent hit, "Coal Minin' Man" rocketed up the Bluegrass charts, landing at #1 on Power Source's Bluegrass Top 35 Chart, #1 on HotDisc International Top 40 Chart, #3 on Bluegrass Unlimited's National Bluegrass Survey and #4 on Bluegrass Music Profiles' Top 30 Singles Chart.
The Roys were previously honored with the ICM's Duo of the Year Award in 2010 and 2009.

Fans can learn more about Lee and Elaine at

Retro Reality Check: Living Above the Blessing Line

My boss was flipping through a magazine at work the other day when he commented on the caption, “Are You Living Above the Blessing Line?” I never had a chance to read the article, but the title stayed with me. My first thought was there are those who think that as Christians we should all have as much money, possessions, ‘earthly blessings’ as we want, and that might be what some consider the “Blessing Line”. Much like the poverty level drawn by statisticians, if you aren’t living above this line then maybe you just don’t have enough.

I cringe at that mindset, as I don’t believe earthly prosperity is equal to spiritual commitment. However, I do think that many of us think that maybe others are more blessed than we are and sometimes we wonder why God isn’t ‘fair’. I spent time lately with a friend who showed me how blessed I am and how often I don’t realize it.

Like many of you, if there was a digital camera in my head recording my day, it would show something like this: “ Buzzzz…and its 6:00am on another beautiful Monday morning…” Click, yawn, up out of bed, get ready for work, oh no I have to iron that, do we have anything in the fridge for lunch, oh nuts I have to get gas, why are these cars going so slow, I’m going to be late again…

No wonder I don’t see the blessings in my life. Blessings like a warm bed, a roof over my head, cereal for breakfast, hot water for a shower, a great place to work, money to buy gas, and the list goes on. I haven’t noticed these everyday blessings because I haven’t taken time to acknowledge the Lord in the first hour of my day or say thank you to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts.

My friends and I spent a lovely weekend recently, camping in yurts in a park not too far from home, with lots of time for relaxation and reflection. One of the guys quite often would just stop and say, “Thank you Lord”. Quite and unassuming, he was just being grateful for everything around him. That attitude of gratitude is the way he lives his life and it shows in his manner, his lifestyle, his relationship with his wife, and the way he loves people.

I know as I stop to ‘count my blessings’ that I am living way above the “Blessing Line”. My heavenly Father has given me so much and done so much for me that for me to not notice these gifts is sinful. Whether it is Thanksgiving Day, either Canadian or American, or whether it is a grey Monday morning, the words, “Thank you Lord” should be on our lips and in our hearts. This attitude of gratitude should be an unceasing prayer and a lifestyle that honours the Lord.

Reality Check is a monthly column authored by Lorraine Walker and published on SGM Radio website. This column was originally published in November 2007.
For current Reality Check columns and other artist features, log on to


Retro SGM Radio: Top 20 Pianists circa May 2006

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for SGM Radio’s Monthly Top 20 List! This month, I have compiled a list of what I would consider to be the Top 20 Piano Players in Southern Gospel Music- both past and present pianists included.

Whether they’re playing along with tracks, with a live band, or as the sole means of accompaniment, the pianist helps to set the tone for how the group sings their songs. In many cases, the pianist is one of the people who help arrange the music that the vocalists sing. A group with a gifted pianist is truly a blessed group.

Once again, let me refresh your memory about how I do these lists. The names on the list will be in alphabetical order. Trying to say that one is “better” than another one is pretty much impossible. This list will also contain a mixture of older singers as well as current ones. Finally, I will comment on the ones that I know some pertinent information about.

Now- on to the names and comments!

Top 20 Pianists
1. Lee Roy Abernathy (Atco Quartet, Electrical Workers Quartet, Rangers, Homeland Harmony Quartet, Miracle Men Quartet): Mr. Abernathy was known for helping introduce sheet music to Gospel music. He was also a recognized songwriter.
2. Roger Bennett (Cathedrals, Legacy 5): Mr. Bennett joined the legendary Cathedral Quartet in 1979, and he was their pianist until their retirement in 1999. He is also one of the founding members of Legacy 5. His attitude and faith in the Lord during his battle with cancer have been an inspiration to many.
3. Earl Brewer (Carolinians, Gethsemane, Harvesters): To quote Roger Bennett, “Earl Brewer should be required listening for anyone interested in becoming a southern gospel pianist.” From one great pianist about another, I think that’s enough said.
4. Anthony Burger (Kingsmen, Gaither Vocal Band, Gaither Trio, Gaither Homecomings): Mr. Burger was one of the best pianists Gospel music has ever seen, in my opinion. The Singing News has an award for pianists that is named after him.
5. Martin Cook (Kingsmen, Silvertones, Inspirations): Mr. Cook was the original pianist for the Kingsmen Quartet. He then went on to found the Inspirations.
6. Channing Eleton (Poet Voices, Gold City, Second Mile): Mr. Eleton is a very gifted arranger. He has been a great asset to every group he’s been with.
7. Hilton Griswold (Blackwood Brothers): Mr. Griswold was a longtime member of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. When needed, he could also double as a vocalist. I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Griswold play the piano a few years ago, and he hadn’t lost the touch.
8. Andrew Ishee (Dixie Echoes, Masterpeace, Kingsmen, Palmetto State): Mr. Ishee has got to be one of the most “active” pianists I’ve ever seen. His stage antics provide a lot of comedy in Palmetto State’s program. He is also an excellent pianist and vocalist.
9. Garry Jones (Gold City, Signature Sound Quartet, Mercy’s Mark Quartet): Mr. Jones is best known for his tenure with Gold City. He was the pianist during the years of Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Mike LeFevre, and Tim Riley- the Gold City lineup that many still consider the best ever. He, along with Ernie Haase, founded the Signature Sound Quartet. After leaving Signature Sound, he founded another group that has quickly become one of the rising stars of Southern Gospel, the Mercy’s Mark Quartet. His skills as a pianist and an arranger have been an asset to every group that he’s been associated with.
10. Eva Mae LeFevre (LeFevre Trio): In a time where Southern Gospel was somewhat dominated by male groups, Mrs. LeFevre was a breath of fresh air. Her piano accompaniment helped lay the foundation for the LeFevre Trio sound.
11. Hovie Lister (Homeland Harmony Quartet, LeFevre Trio, Rangers, Statesmen): Mr. Lister is probably best-known for being the founder of the legendary Statesmen Quartet. His arrangements and accompaniment were a large part of the Statesmen’s success and quality.
12. Joe Moscheo (Harmoneers, Prophets, Imperials): Mr. Moscheo is probably best-known for his time with the Imperials. He is one of the first Gospel pianists to record an album of instrumental arrangements.
13. David Reece (Blue Ridge Quartet, Rangers Quartet, Imperial Quartet, Deep South Quartet, Harvesters, Rangers Trio): Mr. Reece was another versatile man. He was a songwriter, pianist, and vocalist. He was the foundation of the Rangers Trio, a group that has quickly become my favorite trio.
14. “Smilin’” Joe Roper (Happy Hitters Quartet, V.O. Stamps Quartet, Blackwood Brothers, Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys, Prophets, Stamps Quartet): Mr. Roper is said to be one of the most influential pianists in Southern Gospel history. He was a pianist, music teacher, composer, and arranger. He was the original pianist for the Blackwood Brothers.
15. Jonathan Sawrie (Melody Boys): With a style similar to that of Joe Roper, Mr. Sawrie’s piano work was an excellent complement to the wonderful sound of the Melody Boys.
16. Henry Slaughter (Weatherford Quartet, Imperials): Mr. Slaughter was hand-picked by Jake Hess to be the first pianist for the Imperials. His skills as an arranger and pianist helped the Imperials to enter Gospel music as one of the top groups.
17. Derrell Stewart (Dixie Rhythm Quartet, Florida Boys): To quote Roger Bennett again, “Derrell Stewart has no equal.” Famously known for always wearing red socks, Mr. Stewart has been a Florida Boys mainstay for 50 years.
18. Jeff Stice (Nelons, Perfect Heart, Kingdom Heirs, Integrity/Triumphant): Another versatile musician. Mr. Stice is a talented pianist along with being a skilled arranger.
19. Stewart Varnado (Dixie Echoes): One of the younger generation of pianists, Mr. Varnado is a talented pianist, and the Dixie Echoes are blessed to have him.
20. Wally Varner (Homeland Harmony Quartet, Deep South Quartet, Melody Masters, Blackwood Brothers): Mr. Varner was known for two things: his songwriting and his “lightning fast” fingers.

Honorable Mention
1. Roy Webb (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
2. Ken Eubanks (Heaven Bound)
3. Adam Harman (Kingdom Heirs)

In 2006, Chad Hayes authored a monthly "Top 20" list on SGM Radio. We hope you enjoyed this look back at the Top 20 Pianists in Southern Gospel! For more great features and monthly columns, log on to

Friday, October 28, 2011

Read SGNScoops Magazine on your KINDLE!

SGNScoops is the very first all digital, all free Southern Gospel Magazine. We are proud to announce we are still making history! We are very excited to say our publication is now available for Kindle users! (A kindle is simply a portable electronic device designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals) From the homepage of, sign-in using your kindle id on the left and enjoy!
About SGNScoops:
Each month, SGNScoops presents the latest happenings in Southern Gospel and Christian Country Music. We also feature new music and book reviews, articles of Christian interest and spiritual encouragement. In all of our articles, we strive to highlight ministries, strengthen Christians and glorify God. Our staff has a combined experience of nearly 100 years in the Southern Gospel Music Industry thus making SGNScoops a reliable and trusted source of news and information.
SGNScoops falls under the umbrella of Coastal Media Group, owned by Rob Patz. Coastal Media is committed to using the most advanced technology available to spread the good news of Jesus Christ!

Find more Info here

JASON CRABB Hits BILLBOARD Charts with Release of New Recordings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - OCTOBER 28, 2011 - GRAMMY® Award-winning Jason Crabb released an all-new LIVE CD and DVD in stores and online everywhere on October 18th. The Song Lives On (Gaither Music Group) CD landed the #1 position on the southern Gospel sales chart according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD came in at #10 on the contemporary Christian music chart and at #118 on BILLBOARD Magazine’s Top 200 chart. The Song Lives On DVD took the top position on the Christian music DVD chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan; and it took the #2 slot on the BILLBOARD overall Music DVD chart, just behind country and pop music sensation Taylor Swift.

“I am thrilled,” stated Crabb, upon hearing the news while in the studio working on a soon-to-be-announced special project. “These songs helped to make me who I am today. I’ve been singing them as far back as I can remember, and I’ve wanted to record them for years, so I personally couldn’t be more excited about the release. Then to see that people want to hear it--that they want to go out and buy it for themselves—that is an honor and encouragement to me.”

Filmed at Nashville’s historic Loveless CafĂ© Barn, this all-new collection finds this 14-time GMA DOVE Award-winning, nationally acclaimed communicator, along with his stage band, putting his own twist to some of the most popular Gospel classics and church favorites of the past few decades.

The Song Lives On DVD and CD will be a featured special on Sirius/XM Radio’s enLighten Channel 18 and Dish TV Channel 6018. The program will air on Friday, October 28th, at 7 PM ET; Saturday, October 29th, at 7:45 PM; and on Sunday, October 30th, at 9:45 PM.

It is currently being featured on multiple tv networks as part of a direct campaign, including Airtime 1, Grace, CTN, CTS, FamilyNet, GAC, GMC, GMTN, Legacy, INSP, Miracle, RFD, TBN, TCT, TLN and Vision. Crabb was featured this past week at the GET MOTIVATED Conference in Nashville, TN, on the FOX Network (also in Nashville) and on multiple radio stations throughout the country.

The recording features hits such as “Sweet Beulah Land,” “God on the Mountain,” “Midnight Cry,” “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” “When He Was on the Cross (I Was on His Mind),” “Unclouded Day,” “I Saw the Light,” “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” “Until Then” and “On the Battlefield” as well as the classic “Who Am I.” Featuring guest appearances by Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman, of the renowned Isaacs, “Who Am I” has just been serviced to Gospel radio stations across the country.

The evening was also highlighted with special performances by The Gaither Vocal Band, including a new rendition of “Please Forgive Me,” a Crabb Family hit penned by Crabb’s father, songwriter of the year Gerald Crabb. Friend and mentor Bill Gaither and the Oak Ridge Boys' William Lee Golden stepped onto the stage spontaneously to join Crabb singing his version of the Kris Kristofferson hit “Why Me.” Also captured on the release is a new version of Crabb’s GMA DOVE Award-winning Song of the Year for 2011, “Sometimes I Cry,” which Crabb recently re-recorded at the Billy Graham Library in NC, as well as a guest appearance by The Crabb Family, who joined their brother for the family tradition “Through the Fire.”

Both releases are distributed exclusively by EMI CMG Distribution. For a PREVIEW of the DVD, please visit

In addition to his heavy touring schedule, Jason can be seen at various HOMECOMING arena concerts and video recordings. For further information, visit or Connect with Jason online at and Twitter @JasonDCrabb.

Jason Crabb is known as one of the most respected and diverse vocalists in Christian music. His soulful, heartfelt vocals have made him a critics’ pick and a fan favorite on stages ranging from “The Grand Ole Opry” and the Brooklyn Tabernacle to the Gaither Homecoming arena platforms. With a string of number one hits and chart-topping singles, a tour schedule of over 200 dates annually, ongoing tv appearances, a book on the shelves and a new recording, this vocal powerhouse’s talent is topped only by his genuine personality and concern for others.

The Family & Friends Tour with The Inspirations & The McKameys

On Friday night, November 4, the legendary Inspirations and McKameys bring their Family & Friends Tour to Second Baptist Church in Lancaster, SC. These two groups are icons in Southern Gospel music having been at the top in popularity for over 40 years and 30 years respectively. They each have their own unique styles and sounds and have remained popular for so long by staying true to their styles and singing songs with strong messages. Both groups have won numerous awards through the years. The Inspirations and The McKameys rarely come to this area so yoInspirationsu do not want to miss this opportunity to see these groups in person.

General admission tickets are now available in all of our ticket outlets. You can get yours in Lancaster at Cooper Furniture, Mahaffey-Wilson Funeral Home and Nichols Hess & Associates; in Rock Hill at The Shepherds Fold, in Monroe, NC at Maranatha Christian Bookmart and at a new location in York, SC, FootPrints Christian Bookstore. A limited number of Artist Circle tickets are available at Nichols Hess or by calling 803-283-9988. You can also buy your tickets online by visiting our website or by placing a phone order at 803-283-9988. General Admission tickets McKameysare $15.00 in advance or $18.00 at the door and Artist Circle tickets are $25 each. Groups of 10 or more may receive discount pricing by calling 803-283-9988. No group tickets will be sold at the door.

The doors open at 6:00 and the singing starts at 7:00. The Heritage Quartet, featuring GlennMark's own Glenn THQotherow, will also be singing. The location is Second Baptist Church in Lancaster, SC. The address is 1426 Great Falls Highway.

We will announce the lineup of artists for our 2012 Concert Series and make tickets available for purchase at this concert. We will be offering special discount pricing for 2012 Season Tickets again this year. Come prepared to get your tickets for next year so you can take advantage of the discounts.

October Issue of SGNScoops Magazine

We are proud of this month’s issue of SGNScoops Magazine. In the October edition, read the inside Scoop on the Collingsworth Family, Jason Crabb, Sheri LaFontaine and Adam Brown. This month’s album reviews feature new music from Russ Taff, Selah, Four Fold and Crawford Crossing. Be sure to read a review on Sheri Easter’s new book, “Hear My Heart.” Staff writer, Lorraine Walker has written part one of a three part series concerning the media and the gospel. This month, the focus is on the Christian Film Industry and the new movie “Courageous” is highlighted. Publisher, Rob Patz shares his thoughts about NQC and the late Charles Burke is remembered by many friends in this issue. As always, this edition offers plenty of inspiration and encouragement to lift spirits. We are proud of our experienced staff of writers for bringing the latest developments in the Southern Gospel Industry with integrity. This month’s contributors include Sandi Duncan Clark, Lorraine Walker, Stephanie Kelley, Rob Estep, Jeff Hawes, Lou Wills Hildreth, Jennifer Campbell, Victoria Shirey, Laurette Willis, Rhonda Frye, Rob Patz and our newest addition- John Mathis Jr. We also welcome our new layout/ graphic designer, Pete Schwager to the staff. Thank you for reading SGNScoops magazine and please remember to share it with your friends! Click Here

Homeland Inspiration Group's Bev McCann Involved in Accident in Iowa this week

Nashville, TN- In the late hours of Thursday evening October 20th Homeland Inspiration Group’s Director of Artist Relations and Singer/Songwriter Bev McCann was involved in a serious accident just 20 miles from Des Moines Iowa. McCann was traveling in the west bound lanes of Hwy 5 North and was approximately less than 25 miles from her destination as she was traveling from Nashville, TN to Des Monies to a Gospel Music Festival. A large deer was standing in the middle of the roadway with numerous others off to the left of the road. As McCann tried to stop there was not enough time to miss several of the deer.

McCann recalls the moment “I slammed on my brakes , all I remember is 3 very loud thud sounds... and the force of the contact of me and the deer. My car was still running however it was coasting to a stop (not sure how far I coasted really.. for I do not remember much from the thuds to coasting of my car.. very strange actually ) and I was able to get appx 3/4 of the way onto the shoulder... I then realized that my air bags had deployed and my car was smoking.... it truly terrified me, because my car door would not open at first... and as i was talking to DJ on the phone I just had to get out of the car.. as I said oh Jesus.. and I was able to open the door.... my legs hurt so bad, and it was so cold outside, I made sure I didn't see any fire or flames... then I ran back over to the car to grab my blanket out of the back of the car.....(Now I have to tell you... I do not normally take a blanket.. but for some reason I felt compelled to go back in my house and grab a blanket... ) and I was so glad that I did.. I would have been frozen like a Popsicle if I had not had it with me. God knew I was going to need that blanket”.

“Several cars passed me by and did not stop or slow down for that matter to see if I was okay, or they just did not see me.. not sure... but then this young man in his late 20 name is Lance and his wife stopped to help me. They were able to tell the dispatcher where I was exactly and they stayed with me till the officer and ambulance came and took me to the hospital. My husband drove all night and 1/2 the day from our home in Murfreesboro, TN to get to me and I'm so glad he was able to do so. After all the test and ex rays and CT scans... I have not broken bones and anything else, but I have a very large bruised area on my leg and a smaller on on the other leg, "they say its from the airbag under the steering wheel " my body is sore just about everywhere, but I'm so very thankful that I'm alive and in one piece... The towing company and Insurance Company think that my car is totaled. I am praising God for his protection during this incident.

“ I thank God for the police officer, fire fighters, paramedics, hospital staff , the hotel manager and the New Covenant Trio to make sure that I arrived from the hospital safely. I was rather nervous to be so far away from everyone in case something happened, but I feel so blessed to have such good friends and people that love me, and a husband that would drive 12hrs to be by my side.”

Please continue to keep Bev McCann in your prayers as there is as she has some wounds and soreness from the impact of the accident. You can reach Bev by dropping her a personal note at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Faith Based Film 'The Genesis Code' to Debut in Nationwide Limited Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 27, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- The highly anticipated Christian film "The Genesis Code" will premiere November 4 in theatres in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

A film from American Epic Entertainment, calls Christians to renew their faith in God, become more engaged in publicly defending the Biblical explanation of creation and speaking up against the cultural trend to silence Christians.

"This is very exciting time to be a Christian who loves movies!" said Executive Producer and Star of The Genesis Code, Reverend Jerry Zandstra. "We are especially buoyed by the success of Courageous. We know the Courageous audience is going to love The Genesis Code. There is clearly a real want and need for high quality faith based films like The Genesis Code and Courageous. We know that the faith audience expects production values that they are used to seeing from the big studio films and that is what they can expect from The Genesis Code." said Zandstra.

"The Genesis Code" is an independent Christian film which explores the intersection of science and faith as well as other issues facing Christians today. The film stars Logan Bartholomew and Kelsey Sanders as college students whose chance meeting leads to a burgeoning relationship and a journey of spiritual discovery. The supporting cast includes Oscar-winners Louise Fletcher and Ernest Borgnine, former presidential candidate Fred Thompson, and Reverend Jerry Zandstra, who also served as the Executive Producer.

"The Genesis Code" explores three major issues facing Christians today. One issue is the alleged conflict between religious and scientific explanations for the beginning of the universe. As the film shows, this conflict does not exist. The Biblical and scientific explanations for the beginning of life are totally consistent, but told from different perspectives. The film also explores the often ignored story of discrimination against Christians on college campuses. In the film, Kelsey Sanders portrays a talented paleontology student who is pressured to conceal her faith in order to advance in the academic world. Finally, the film deals with end-of-life issues, as Logan Bartholomew's character fights to prolong the life of his comatose mother when his grandparents attempt to remove her from life support against his wishes and despite the possibility of recovery.

Former U.S. Senator and movie star Fred Thompson will be lending his support to help publicize The Genesis Code in the days leading up to its release.

For information on the movie, visit

New Desire Southern Gospel Music Radio Rewind (October 2008)

By Diane Needham Mummert

One of the first things New Desire learned in road life is that it pays to have a mechanically inclined
person on the bus at all times since buses are prone to mechanical malfunctions, usually hundreds of miles
from home. One of New Desire’s most memorable “malfunctions” occurred on a cold, rainy New Year’s
Eve. On an Eagle bus, the wipers are on separate controls – one for the driver’s side and another for the
passenger’s side. It sounds kind of complicated and unwieldy – imagine having two separate controls for
the wipers in your car - but it worked out well on this particular evening, because the driver’s side wiper

Have you heard Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck” lines? He might be inspired to write a few
more after this predicament. It was the middle of the night, New Year’s Eve, no less. There was no getting
that wiper motor running for a few days; but it was raining, and they had to get home. What to do? Most
buses have blinds in the windows, but New Desire had curtains, and it’s a good thing they did. The creative
minds on their bus thought to use the curtain rod to “tie” the driver’s side wiper to the passenger’s side
wiper. So about 3:00 AM on the first day of a New Year, they headed down the road with a curtain rod
attaching the good wiper to the bad wiper, effectively running both of them off one motor: You might be a
redneck if you use a curtain rod to run your windshield wipers!

Oh, but the fun didn’t stop there. The defroster on that bus had also stopped working. With visibility
reduced by rain and having curtain rod windshield wipers, the window was rapidly fogging over because
the defroster had quit. Wiping a fogged windshield with paper towels works for a little while, but that
leaves water streaks all over the window--not the ideal situation. It’s hard to drive while wiping a window
that large and it’s even harder to see when someone else is wiping it in front of you. New Desire took the
redneck approach: start the generator, get the hair dryer, plug it in and have someone stand right by the
driver, blow-drying the windshield. They felt like the Beverly Hillbillies trying to get home that night, but
they made it.

Of course, lift the engine cover and see how crazy things can really be in road life. New Desire broke an oil
line just on the south side of Louisville on their way home from NQC. Engines don’t run very well or very
long without oil, and if the line’s broke, no oil will to stay in the engine. This presents a problem, especially
at night far away from Auto Zone or even Wal-Mart. So what does a Southern Gospel singer/bus mechanic
do if the oil line breaks in the middle of the night over 300 miles from home? Well, he does what any good
redneck would do – he gets the saw and heads for the woods. Yes sir, I’m talking cutting down trees. Not
big trees, just a small sapling-- one that’s about as thick as an oil line - a tree you can whittle down to just
the right size to plug a hole in your oil line until you can get the bus to a real mechanic.

That’s road life. And that’s why every bus should have a mechanic on board, or at least a redneck that
isn’t “stumped” by crazy mechanical malfunctions.

The redneck crew of New Desire consists of Dan & Brenda Robinson and Labron & Brooke Cason
(vocals), Lemuel Evans (bus driver) and Debra Evans (music technician). Bookings for New Desire can be
made by contacting them at, by email at, or by calling their
office at 705.645.6444. New Desire’s latest CD release by Crossroads is titled Time In The Garden.

If you enjoyed this rewind find more stories at

Three Bridges performing Christmas Special LIVE on TBN at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, TN.

Three Bridges performing live on TBN Nov. 2nd @ 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, TN.

Franklin, TN- Mansion Entertainment: Three Bridges will be performing a FREE LIVE Christmas Concert at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, TN to begin the Christmas season! This will be a great outdoor concert, so bring your family and your lawn chairs out for an evening of Christmas Classics & Christmas Originals from Three Bridges!

Three Bridges, renowned for tight harmonies and intricate arrangements, will be performing songs from their first Christmas Recording with Mansion Entertainment. With their unique blended style of black gospel & southern gospel, Bill Traylor of Mansion Entertainment, indicates, "This will surely be a treat for you & your family this holiday season. You won't want to miss it".

For those that won't be able to make it to the Christmas Event, the concert will be airing live on TBN on Nov. 2nd @ 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NQC Setup Day For SGNScoops

OKC 1st Nazarene Concert - Saturday October 29th


David East Receives Two Golden Heart Awards at CGMA International Convention

Branson, MO - During the 2011 CGMA (Country Gospel Music Association) International Convention, held October 17, 2011 through October 22, 2011, David East received two golden heart awards: Songwriter of the Year, and the Band of the Year award, given to the Hearts AFire! band which he played keyboard for. Ballots were cast throughout the week-long event by the members in attendance.
"It's such an honor to receive these awards, especially since the votes for each one came from my peers in the music industry", said David. "It doesn't happen very often, but I'm left speechless. These folks welcomed me into their organization with such hospitality."
The CGMA awards process, which occurs each year at the Divisional level and at the International level, is not designed to create a competition between the artists; but rather as a means of encouraging and lifting up CGMA artists and members. David had been awarded six silver heart awards at the 2011 CGMA Eastern Division Conference: Songwriter of the Year, Instrumentalist of the Year, Manager of the Year, Producer of the Year, Favorite Artist of the Year, and with the Hearts Afire! band, Band of the Year.
David says, "Each night before the ballots were cast, CGMA President Billy Hale led those in attendance in prayer, asking God to guide their hands as they voted for the ones who needed it most. I was most impressed by that, and to see the looks on the faces of those who were not expecting to receive an award was wonderful."

You can learn more about the County Gospel Music Association at their website, You can learn more about David East at his website,

About David East: David East developed his love for music at the age of 8 years old, singing in his home church and at school functions. This love for music led him to first learn to play the guitar, taking weekly lessons for a year and eventually increasing his ability through self-instruction and study. Early in his life, David exhibited a strong ear for music, excelling in both instrumental and vocal performance. David has learned to play a total of 13 instruments, but he’s best known for is his piano and keyboard work. Always a fan favorite, once the big man gets behind the piano you know that you’re in for a wealth of good music and entertainment. His playing is a mixture of several different styles presented with his own flair.
About the CGMA: The Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA) began in 1996 and has been dedicated to ministry since its creation. While we appreciate the music business, and for the sake of our members, do all we can to advance the cause of the Country Gospel genre, we believe every Christian artist should be totally committed to the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:11) and have as their chief priority, blessing the heart of God. When the song is used as a vehicle for the Savior, it is honored of the Father and may also achieve success within the industry; but the glitter of the music business should never be our objective.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The guests on the current edition of Gospel Music Today are Jonathan and Jordan Wilburn of Wilburn & Wilburn. The Feature Group is Southern Faith, and Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates. Ken and Jean visit a concert in Broken Arrow, OK, to hear Paul's Journey sing. Jean reviews a new CD by The Weston Hinson Group, and the show features singing by Greater Vision and The Sonshiners Quartet. The latest Gospel Music Today webcast is online now at the Gospel Music Today website.

Retro SGM Radio: Thanksgiving in Canada (October 2010)

The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday has traditionally been known as a Celebration of Harvest. Occurring earlier in the year than the United States’ holiday, the Canadian Thanksgiving has been celebrated in my country regularly since 1879. In 1957, it was instituted as a national holiday with the following declaration of Canadian Parliament: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”
The very first Canadian Thanksgiving was held in 1578, 43 years before the pilgrims gave thanks in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Martin Frobisher, an explorer trying to find the illusive Northwest Passage for trade, returned safely to Newfoundland and held a feast to celebrate his homecoming. Prior to this time, the First Nations of Canada held festivals of thanks, and later, French settlers began to share their Thanksgiving Festivals with the First Nations. Thanksgiving has historically been a time of thanks and rejoicing with friends and neighbours.
Traditionally, Canadians make the most of the entire weekend and often family gatherings occur on Saturday or Sunday as well as the statutory Monday holiday. Sunday morning services at churches across Canada are times of praise for the harvest and sanctuaries are often decorated with produce, grains and coloured leaves.
My early memories of Thanksgiving revolve around family, friends and of course, food. A turkey with all the trimmings is the most common meal and of course, pumpkin pie for dessert. For those of us who are not pumpkin-eaters, each family has their own alternatives, but our family usually serves cheesecake!
This year, I had the privilege of sharing a Thanksgiving meal held for the ladies and children at a Women’s Shelter. I was humbled once again by the sheer bounty of food, which mirrored the bounty of gifts given to us by our God. I ate with women who literally have nothing but were able to partake of a wonderful meal with their children because of the generosity of the donors of our Mission. We are so blessed in my Country. As we get more secularized, I pray that the basic traditions of this wonderful holiday are never lost and that somewhere at this time of year, God’s children will be thanking Him for every good and perfect gift.

Written by Lorraine Walker, published on October 2010

Monday, October 24, 2011

Driven Quartet Reaches Agreement with Catacomb Music

Nashville, TN - Driven Quartet of Charlotte, NC have now reached an agreement with Catacomb Music.

“I feel that Catacomb Music is the perfect ministry partner and right now it is going to be what we as Driven need to push us in the right direction”, said Jason Funderburk. “I am excited about working with Scott and look forward to a long working relationship to take this ministry where God would have it!”

Gospel Music is in Jason’s blood. His father Danny Funderburk is one of the most recognizable voices in Southern Gospel Music. Danny has sung with such notable quartets as The Singing Americans, The Cathedrals and Perfect Heart. Jason is carrying on that tradition with Driven.

Collectively, this group of young men has been singing professionally for over 20 years. Their resumes include such groups as Danny Funderburk and Mercy's Way, The Anchormen and Lumber River but in 2006 this group of young men through prayer, stepped out on faith and commenced their new full time career, heeding to the call on their lives to present the Gospel through music, these four gentlemen created Driven Ministries.

“This year Driven was blessed to be featured on the main stage at NQC & won 3 Diamond Awards” (Website, Country Gospel Group & Album of the Year) said Scott Lucas. “Catacomb Music is honored to add Driven Quartet to the Catacomb Music family, along with &

For more information on Driven Quartet visit

For more information on Catacomb Music visit

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fox News Anchor & Recording Artist, Kelly Wright, To Feature New Project on The Huckabee Show

Hendersonville, TN (October 21, 2011) – Best known for his work as an anchor and reporter on Fox News, Kelly Wright has had the opportunity to interview numerous politicians and public features ranging from then Senator Obama and First Lady Laura Bush, to Muhammad Ali, T.D. Jakes, and Joel Osteen. Beyond his success in journalism, Kelly is also an ordained minister and Christian recording artist. His newest project on Daywind Records, entitled Goodness & Mercy, releases this week and features songs that motivate, inspire, and promote hope in a time of widespread hopelessness.

Kelly Wright will celebrate the release of Goodness & Mercy with an appearance on Fox News’ Huckabee show. The program, hosted by Mike Huckabee, will air on Saturday, October 22nd, at 8pm EST, and again on Sunday night at 8pm EST.

The CD, produced by Tyrone Dickerson, features several original songs co-written by Kelly, including “Thank You Lord” and “It Could Have Been You Or Me,” as well as his interpretation of well-known favorites like “I Can Only Imagine” and “Sometimes I Cry.” Radio singles will be released to various radio formats in the coming weeks.

Goodness & Mercy is available exclusively at Family Christian retail stores across the country and digitally at iTunes and other outlets. Bulk purchasing for gift and ministry purposes is available by calling 1-800-635-9581.

Daywind Records is based in Hendersonville, TN, and is distributed worldwide through New Day Christian Distributors. Daywind is home to such great artists as Greater Vision, Legacy Five and Marshall Hall, among others.

For more information on Daywind Records, visit For more information on Kelly Wright, visit

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Soloist Chelley Odle signs with Activate Records

Soloist Chelley Odle recently signed with Activate Records to work on her sophomore recording project. She will be working with Grammy Award winning, Dove nominated producer Tre' Corley. Chelley has had the opportunity to open for such acts as The Crabb Family, Crabb Revival, Austins Bridge, and Gold City and has performed with Crossway, Annie McRae, Aaron and Amanda Crabb, Crabb Revival and Jason Crabb. Chelley was also a 2009 and 2010 ICM Top 10 Nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year. Chelley was the 2010 CCMNOW Christian Country Honor Award recipient of the Female Vocalist of the Year Award. Recently, this Bonne Terre, MO girl has been nominated once again in 2011 for the ICM Female Vocalist of the Year Award. Here at Activate we are excited about working with Chelley on her new project and in the future.

Classic SGM Radio Feature: The Mark Trammell Trio,

Straight from the Heart - Mark Trammell (first published May 2006)

Mark Trammell’s name is synonymous with traditional quartet music and his face is recognizable by even the greenest of Southern Gospel fan. He has sung with many of the quartet legends like George Younce, Glen Payne, Tim Riley, and Jim Hammill. Being respected as a man of God has also allowed Mark to take his personal ministry to another level with his group, the Mark Trammell Trio.

Mark began this group almost four years ago, with Eric Phillips and Joseph Smith. When Joseph came off the road at the end of last year, Steve Hurst filled in on vocals and keyboards. In March, Dustin Sweatman joined the group as their new lead singer, and Steve has remained as keyboardist and vocal coach. Sgmradio spoke with Mark about MTT, their ministry and their message for the Church.

“Can you believe that? Four years in July!” Mark comments on the growth of the Mark Trammell Trio. “I’m amazed that we’ve grown this fast, even though there’s still days of frustration, and wonder…When I sit down long enough to think about it, I’m absolutely amazed at what God has done and the way He has blessed, and the places He has allowed us to go already…it’s wild. It’s wild to watch it actually.”

Singing with Tim Riley and the Gold City Quartet, Mark had no real plans of leaving this well-established group and forging a new path. God’s leading was not quite that clear. “I knew that I needed to be more actively involved in ministry for quite some time. To be real honest with you I knew that I was supposed to do that for probably a year and a half before it took place. I just got to the place where, once again, I was totally miserable where I was…. I knew that that was not me; it was not my nature to be that way. I knew it was God telling me it was time for a change. I knew it was time to do this.”

Then came the point where Mark had to approach his boss with the news. “So I went and told Tim what was going on…and he said, “I’ll help you”. When he said, “I’ll help you”, I knew that God had started preparing his heart, and it was obviously of God…”. Mark says that while this was a confirmation to him, it was also rather unnerving. “I had not prepared because…technically I didn’t think it was right for me to be preparing for a move of God…[because] If it is God, when the door opens, you go through it…”

Mark comments that there are a lot of people who talk about God leading them in a certain direction, when they’ve actually been preparing for it themselves for long time. When God really tells you to move, you go right then. “And, it may be ignorance, it may be total yielding to God’s control. I firmly believe it’s the latter.”

Part of being more actively involved in personal ministry for Mark meant obeying the call to preach. In addition to their regular schedule, the Trio does four, four-day weekends a year, which include a Sunday service of preaching, either morning or night. A Sunday evening service in which Mark takes the pulpit, usually has an evangelistic focus. The group is witnessing a response to their dedication. “We’ve seen over a hundred people saved in three and a half years, and that just thrills me to death…thrills me to death!”

Just as Mark has seen many changes in his life and in MTT, he sees changes happening in the Southern Gospel world and in the Church as well. “I think our industry’s going through a time of pruning, cleansing. I think God’s taking us through that. And I’m convinced in my heart this is [because] it’s a new day, this is the 21st century…and the world [is prompting] us in the area of changing what we are and who we’ve been.”

Mark Trammell Trio is not about to change their message to fit with the world. “We are dedicating ourselves to continuing to carry the message that we have. Because there is a whole lot of people in the world, and sadly enough, a whole lot of people in the church world, that want to sing songs that have three words in them, and no depth. Nothing prepares the soul like music does. Nothing prepares the heart for the message like music does. We, the music community, the Christian Community…I think we’ve dropped the ball. I’m sorry but that’s what I think. By allowing the anonymity of the world’s music to be sown into Christian music.”

“A lot of these new songs that we’re hearing today say nothing…there’s nothing in these songs to help you through anything. There’s nothing that will portray hope in the life of the believer…I think our music still does that.” The Trio’s message is unmistakable and can be heard in the solid lyrics of their songs.

“Since our beginning, we’ve had one central focus, to rekindle the fires of the believers… All of our ministry leans in that direction. To believe God in reality…to believe that He can still work miracles, to believe that Jesus Christ did do more than just die for our sins. He did die, and shed His blood that we might have abundant life while we are here [not just in the future]. That doesn’t mean we are all going to be filthy rich, own Rolls Royces, live in big houses …Abundant life means…being able to have peace with ourselves and our world…being able to have what we need for today…being grateful for everything in life…to me, that’s abundant life.”

“The biggest thing for us to focus on, the biggest challenge we have as a ministry, has been to speak to not only the hearts who believe that God is who He says He is, and He will provide for needs…But [also] that He is still actively involved in our life, He does care where we are and about what is going on in our lives. Not only all of that, but He does want us to continue to dream in our lives.”

Mark is passionate about the message the Lord has given him for the Church. “Our focus, to be real honest with you, has been on that, but equally divided between that and preaching to the husbands and fathers. Our message is for everyone, [but] what we’ve been focusing on…is that if we can get dads and husbands praying…get our focus turned around, headed back in the right direction…we can be better husbands and fathers. Challenging men to be that person that God has called them to be, undertaking that, not shirking responsibility. And I don’t mean just by becoming more involved in the church.”

Referring to the Scripture that exhorts husbands to “love your wives, even as Christ loves the Church” (Ephesians 5:25), Mark explains this responsibility. “It has given them the spiritual responsibility, and I mean spiritual…it has not made them boss. It’s just made them responsible. It takes them from being the boss to being guided by the Word…and the family allowing him to operate in his office as being the person responsible. There’s a world of difference.”

Mark comments that the hardest person to preach to is a man, 40years of age or older. They need to hear the message of taking responsibility, because the family needs that leadership. “We live in a “More Me” world…We live in a world and a society [where] professors and colleges all across our land are teaching young people how to ‘take care of yourself’ [and] “This world we live in now, you need to take care of yourself first, because everybody is out to get you”.

“We are inundated by it. Buy a television for every bedroom in the home all because everybody wants to watch what they want…I’m afraid in our advancement, in technology, in our home lives, in society, all those things…those who have three cars at home, five televisions…all those things are great in their place…But they can separate and divide the family …we have less time [for each other].”

“One statistic that I heard recently was…one out of twenty families sit down every evening to eat together…and that number is going down. Family values and the traditional family are going to be a thing of the past. And that leaves children right in the middle of people who aren’t involved in the family life.”

As a man who has been diligent about being true to his family even with the grueling schedule of a Southern Gospel singer, Mark is sad to see this trend creeping into the SGM industry. “It’s because we don’t have the level of commitment. And I say this with a heart of love. The two young men that travel with me, though, they are exceptions and not rules…Overall, and the world is again blind to it…The world says, ‘You can have anything you want, and you can have it now…if you are willing to pay the price for it’.”

“Our young people, this day and time…well, first of all, most of our young people, thirty years of age and under, have no idea who V.O. Stamps is, nor do they care. I had the privilege, as you know, of traveling with a man that sang with Frank Stamps. I know that those men who are now in Glory themselves, I know how they revered and had respect for the fact that they had been part of the lives of some of the pioneers of our music.
But my point is, those men spent lots of years wearing Timex watches. Most of them died not having more than 100 dollars in the bank.”

“It didn’t bother them to do that. They didn’t have to have all the things that the world had. And if you’ll look, you’ll find out that those people, who are still willing to live that kind of life, are the ones who are writing the songs that touch people today. The old songs that we are still singing were written about someone’s life, [people] who were suffering persecution for taking a stand.”

Mark learned early on about living a committed life, through the examples of some of the men he traveled with. People like George Younce and Glen Payne, who lived their faith in front of the men who shared their bus. Mark talks about their influence. “I grew up in well rounded home, that’s the key. [My parents] taught me the basics of a Christian life. But it’s like George and Glen stepped up where they left off. They underwrote those things…I was at a time in my life where I was realizing, “ Oh, Dad wasn’t so stupid after all…”.

Watching the commitment these men had to their families had its affect on Mark. “There is something to that, there is. There is something to heading home to your wife every week…to have honour for the family. God honours a righteous man…They taught us…all the young guys… by their daily conversation, by the way they lived their life, …they taught us that it is worthwhile.”

Many of those that Mark has sung with have referred to this humble baritone as the “Ultimate Quartet Man.” Although he jokes about it, Mark understands the reasoning behind the label. “They were not talking about me being an awesome singer, because I wasn’t. Still not, to be quite frank. I’m comfortable with that, I know that…I can’t be Ivan Parker; I’m not going to try. Can’t be Michael English, not going to try. God made these people to be who they are. He made me who I am.”

“George turned to me one day and said, “Mark, we have a George Amon Webster. He is no longer here.” Mark got the point. “He saw what was going on, I was trying to be all things to all men. Because…that was the only way that I knew how to be.” George was telling him to be who he was, and to be the best he could be, not to aspire to be like someone else.

Mark says that as long as God provides the places to sing and the means to get there, he will continue to do what he’s doing. His pride in his fellow singers is obvious onstage, and he speaks of Eric almost as a son, since he’s known him from birth. Dustin is fitting in well, and the addition of Steve Hurst has helped MTT to branch out into another area of ministry to the local church, by setting up regional Schools of Music.

Steve Hurst has long been known for his School of Music held in Tennessee each summer. Now, together with MTT, he is presenting weekends of training for vocalists who take an active part in their church’s music ministry. Training is given in everything from vocal techniques, to the physical and spiritual value of music in a service, with emphasis on the importance of strong lyrics. Worship music, Mark says, should be preparing hearts for the sermon. With ten schools planned, he is hoping many participants will be able to take this training back to their home churches and make a difference in their worship services.

Mark is excited about the future, and is even now learning the lesson in trust again, as God is pointing him towards the need of more reliable transportation for the group. He comments again that the outlook for the SGM industry is a positive one, at the same time reminding us that, “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.

Unity within the Church, the Southern Gospel world, and the family unit, is a huge part of the message burning within Mark Trammell today. And life, in the Trammell household, is abundant. This quiet man with a heart for God and a dry sense of humour, sums up his journey this far…with a smile: “I’ve laughed…and I’ve cried. A lot.”

Note: The Mark Trammell Trio is now the Mark Trammell Quartet.
Be sure to visit the home of the Mark Trammell Quartet at

This SGM Radio Feature was written by Lorraine Walker and published on in May 2006. For current features, log on to every month.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


(Nashville, Tennessee) - The musical genius of Gordon Mote was honored with the 2011 Academy of Country Music's Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Award at the recent annual ACM Honors ceremony held at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Gordon, a seven-time nominee, was also honored with the coveted award in 2009.

Long recognized by the industry as one of Nashville's most talented studio musicians who seemingly knows no limits in effortlessly crossing musical styles and genres, Mote's talents can be heard on the recordings of some of the nation's premier performers, including Bill & Gloria Gaither and the Homecoming Friends, Billy Ray Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Scotty McCreery, Elvis Presley, The Hoppers, Brad Paisley, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, George Jones, The Isaacs, Josh Turner, Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Jason Crabb, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and Alison Krauss, just to name a few.

Since releasing his debut Southern Gospel recording in 2004, the talented singer and musician has enjoyed much success, including numerous Top 40 hits in multiple music genres and numerous Fan Award nominations. Mote's video release, "The Best of Gordon Mote," made its debut at Number 7 on the Billboard Music Video Chart in 2008. Mote's travels on tour are global - include stops in the US, Canada and Europe. He is a featured artist on the stage sharing his vocal and keyboard performances with music legend Bill Gaither and his Grammy Award winning Gaither Vocal Band and the Homecoming Friends.

The 5th Annual ACM HONORS represents an evening of musical tribute performances and special presentations celebrating the special honorees and non-televised category winners from the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, held earlier this year.

Fresh from his success at the ACM's presentation, Gordon had just enough time to place his latest trophy on the mantle before being called to more awards duties - this time to emceeing the Singing News Fan Awards / SGMA Hall of Fame Induction at Dollywood with Co-Host Gerald Wolfe of Greater Vision. Gordon delighted the Pigeon Forge crowd with his quick wit and humor-providing a show stopping moment when he settled down behind the keyboard for an impromptu piano duet with Gerald Wolfe

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Highly Anticipated Release From Marshall Hall, Brighter One, Available Now

Hendersonville, TN (October 18, 2011) - The wait is over for fans anticipating the newest music from former Gaither Vocal Band member, Marshall Hall. Daywind Records is excited to announce the release of the GRAMMY Award winning artist’s debut project, entitled Brighter One. The recording, which is now available at retail, combines Country, Southern Gospel and Inspirational influences to produce a top quality project that is being reviewed as one of the best releases this year.

Brighter One, produced by Marshall Hall, Michael English and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, features both brand new songs, such as “Brighter One” and “When You Love,” as well as favorites like “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen” and “Voice Of A Savior.” The first Southern Gospel radio single, “There Is Nothing Greater Than Grace,” co-written by Hall, released to radio last month and received outstanding reviews at the National Quartet Convention.

“This project has been a long-time in coming, and I am thrilled to finally let folks hear it,” shares Marshall Hall. “It really has a lot of my heart in it – I am sold out to what the songs speak to, and believe that we all need to hear these messages. Now we’ll see what God’s planning to do with it.”

Brighter One is available at Christian retail stores across the country and digitally at iTunes and other outlets. Bulk purchasing for gift and ministry purposes is available by calling 1-800-635-9581.

Daywind Records is based in Hendersonville, TN, and is distributed worldwide through New Day Christian Distributors. Daywind is home to such great artists as the Booth Brothers, Sisters, and Brian Free & Assurance, among others.

For more information on Daywind Records, visit For more information on Marshall Hall visit

Classic Reality Check: The Incredible Completeness of Just Being (July 2006)

The Incredible Completeness of Just Being

I once heard the phrase “the incredible lightness of being” and it has forever been embedded my mind. Sometimes in our everyday lives just “being” is not only not incredible or light, it is difficult and painful. And sometimes, as we go about our normal schedules and do what we need to do, things are so mundane and predictable in their stressfulness that we feel as if another day of same-old, same-old is just more than we can handle.

I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when I was preparing to sleep on a Sunday night, knowing Monday morning brought another week of work and schedules and all the “have-tos” that make up normal life. Things had been pretty quiet, and except for a nagging bout of tonsillitis, life was fine. I’d been dealing with some difficult things for a while, so even the tough stuff was becoming more normal. Or maybe I’d finally got past the point of being upset about the hard stuff and had moved closer to acceptance. But all of these normal activities, usual stresses, and accepted problems were making the daily grind more and more of an effort. So much for “incredible lightness”. I’d settle for a load of “average weight”.

You likely know what happened next before I relate it; we’ve all been there. Just when we start to dread the daily drudgery, something happens that makes us long for it. The next day our town once again broke into civil unrest due to an ongoing dispute between two factions. Though not directly affecting my actions, the anxiety level connected with this violence rose from where it had settled during a temporary peace. That was only the start and soon other things happened that totally disrupted my usual schedule. And of course, I was soon yearning for the normal routine I’d been dreading a couple of days before.

It made me wonder why I have such a hard time appreciating normal life. It seems that when I’m going through a deep valley, I’m on my knees, asking God to help me through it. When I’m on a mountain, I’m thanking Him for His goodness. But the road in between seems fruitless as well as endless at times. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t had very many days with a usual routine lately, that when it happens, I just don’t know how to handle it. Instead of seeing it as a blessing and a time of peace, I start looking for something new or different to spice things up.

I have a hunch that ‘spicing things up’ was what King David was planning when he was hanging out on his rooftop even though everyone else was at war. Instead of using this quiet time to reconnect with God, he started looking around for other diversions. He found them, and we often do too when we think that life is boring and routine. However, that all too often explodes in our faces, and bringing us to an even worse place than we’d been before. And instead of using our down time to gird up our spiritual defenses, we fritter it away and when the hard times hit we have nothing to draw on.

There are lots of people I know who are experiencing tough times right now. Some are facing major decisions, diagnoses that they did not want to hear, and lives that are so upside-down that they just wish for an “everyday” kind of day. I know what that’s like as I’ve been there often in the last few months. But even in those kinds of crises, I know that God is reaching towards all of us with His love and peace. After all, He promised us that He is with us in everything.

When Jesus told us He would never leave us or forsake us, I’m sure He meant not only the really good times and the really awful times, but also even the mediocre times in between. It’s good to know that even when there seems to be no change in my situation, He is still in control and still has a future and a plan for me, not for evil but for good, to give hope whether the sameness of life is overwhelming or the trials of life have brought me to my knees.

It’s often a lesson we need to keep relearning. Regardless of circumstances I need to realize His leading, however hard that might seem. And as I give each day over to His control, He can bring completeness into my life, allowing me to not long for something more, something new, and something different to bring change to my current situation. Maybe the true test of our commitment is in the consistency of our walk with Christ whether we are going up, down, or trudging along on a level path. Realizing that completeness in life comes from our relationship with Him, not from what is happening around us.

The Bible tells us “He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it”. I always thought that faith only grows through adversity, but I’m seeing that it can be shaped and increased in every circumstance, good, bad or indifferent. And as we get more complete in Him, just living each day in His presence brings a joy that will continue even through the trials. If you are having a difficult time, or just facing “dog days”, remember that there is a special ‘completeness’ in just “being”. Rest in Him.

Reality Check is a monthly column by Lorraine Walker, published on SGM Radio. For this month's edition, click here.