Hiltons, VA Known for their string of number one songs, the award winning and Dove nominated Browders have once again made news with their latest number one song on the Singing News Chart. Not since the Dove Brothers did it eight years ago has a song held onto the number one position for two months in a row.
“He Took The Nails”, penned by Matthew Browder and Mike Upright hit number one for the month of April and now again for the month of May. Southern Gospel Music has not had this much excitement in a long, long time. The song was also on the Absolutely Gospel Music Weekly Chart for three consecutive weeks and in the top three for three months.
Great songs and great singers make number one songs, and the Browders consistently produce number one songs. This was their fourth release of a single and their fourth number one from their current project titled Time Machine.
In other news, the Browders have obtained two Singing News Fan Award nominations for Favorite Mixed Group and Favorite Band. The Browders continue to prove that talent and hard work will bring about success and open many doors for ministry.
Matthew Browder commented, “A Fan Award nomination is a blessing because it means the people who listen to our music have chosen to honor us by putting our name on a ballot. We appreciate everyone who took the time to vote.”
Second round voting will be in the July issue of the magazine.
Records Announces Upcoming New Album by Trinity River Band
Callahan, FL (March 25, 2015) Orange Blossom Records is proud to announce the new album, Heartstrings, by Trinity River Band will be released on May 12, 2015. The album was recently recorded at National Media Services in Virginia with Executive Producer Mike Harris and Producers Will Shenk, Sarah Harris, and Joshua Harris. Trinity River Band members, Mike, Lisa, Sarah, Joshua and Brianna Harris are joined by special guests Marty Raybon on the song “Fences” written by Mark “Brink” Brinkman and Dale Pyatt, along with the talents of Mark Johnson (on the song “Tell Me Darlin’ written by Anne and Pete Sibley.
Fans can expect the first single and title track “Heartstrings” to hit radio mid-April. The song, written by Mike Harris, is certainly highlighted by the band’s tight family harmony and impressive lead vocals by Sarah Harris. Sarah has received two consecutive nominations by the International Bluegrass Music Association for the Momentum Award in the Performance, Vocalist category.
Trinity River Band has received chart success and media attention for their previous albums: Better Than Blue, Today Don’t Look Like Rain, Time To Move, and their latest Christmas album, On A Morning Like This.
NASHVILLE, TN – MARK209, one of Southern Gospel’s most exciting and fresh quartets is opening auditions for the baritone position.
Jimmy Reno has decided to step off the road from fulltime music ministry due to an ongoing illness that his daughter is suffering with. We request that all our friends and fans continue to pray for Jimmy and his family that God will heal her. This is a lot of pressure that Jimmy has on him and he needs our support through prayer.
Any interested singers should submit their headshot, resume, and demo to MARK209 at P.O. Box 48, White House, TN 37188. Or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Team Members to Receive Special Benefits Including Products, Artist Access
Butler Music Group and Family Music Group are offering Southern Gospel Music fans a great new opportunity to be involved in supporting artists and their music. This is a unique chance for fans to help spread Southern Gospel Music and the message it delivers to the world.
The BMG/FMG Street Team members simply agree to:
• Commit to posting info on the BMG/FMG artists on their social media
• Request songs from their local radio stations
• Pray for the artists and their families
Members will receive special emails, Family Music Group CDs and music before being released to the public. Also BMG/FMG Street Team Members will receive special calls, emails and communication from BMG/FMG artists.
This is a great opportunity for fans to be directly involved in the growth of Southern Gospel/Bluegrass Gospel Music and have a positive effect on the ministries of several dedicated artists.
Sign up is simple, easy and free. To join, just go to www.butlermusicgroup.com and take 10 seconds to complete the BMG/FMG Street Team form.
We celebrate such a rich musical heritage and the legacy lives on through those working hard to keep it alive. I can just picture heaven lined with Cracker Barrel rocking chairs filled with the legendary folks who gave us these memories, sipping sweet tea and telling stories. It’s up to this generation to carry on that sweet Southern musical legacy, and to leave our children with unforgettable stories to tell of the music that moved their hearts and the groups that brought it to them.
The Chuck Wagon Gang is one of the legendary groups still carrying on and making more memories. With 78 years of ministry behind them, they are honored to be a part of keeping the rich heritage alive.
The Chuck Wagon Gang was formed in 1935 by D.P. Carter and son, Jim (Ernest), along with daughters, Rose (Lola) and Anna (Effie). The Carters were cotton farmers, who migrated from place to place to harvest, so they were no strangers to travel. They found themselves in Lubbock, Texas with a very sick child and no means to pay for medicine. Dave Carter and two of his children, Lola and Ernest went to KFYO radio station seeking employment on radio, hoping to buy medicine for Effie. They were hired, Effie recovered quickly and joined them and the Carter Quartet radio career was born.
After receiving overwhelming radio response, Mr. Carter decided to move the family to Fort Worth, Texas, where they were hired by WBAP and instantly became Bewley’s Chuck Wagon Gang. Bewley Mills flour company sent the group on location advertising flour. Hot biscuits were served at each venue. For simplicity’s sake, their individual names were changed, as well, to D.P. (Dad), Anna (Effie), Rose (Lola) and Jim (Ernest). Their repertoire consisted of ballads, folk, western, popular songs of the day and one hymn or gospel song each day. After recording a combination of gospel and country music, the decision was made to record only gospel music, because of the popularity of the gospel songs. Before long, The Chuck Wagon Gang was under contract with Columbia Records, fostering a thirty nine-year relationship during which they recorded 408 known masters.
During their 15 years doing radio programs, The Chuck Wagon Gang was reluctant to travel far from home. They eventually accepted two dates, in Atlanta and Augusta, with the late promoter Wally Fowler, for his “All-Nite Singings.” Eventually, they would travel to Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, The Grand Ole Opry and many other notable locations.
Howard Gordon, Anna’s husband, joined The Gang playing acoustic guitar from 1930’s until 1954, then electric guitar until his death in 1967. Most of the groups like the LeFevres, Blackwoods and Statesmen used pianos, but The Gang kept the guitar. Harold Timmons played piano for The Gang in the 1980’s through early 90’s, for nine or 10 years. He was the first and last piano player and though he no longer travels with them, he is their Historian and Marketing Director.
With eight decades behind them, 49 members leaving a legacy and over 40 million records sold, The Chuck Wagon gang has certainly seen the changes in technology and the times, but the original style and sound and, most importantly, the message of their music remains unchanged.
The current Chuck Wagon Gang members are: Shaye Smith, granddaughter of the Gang’s original alto, Anna Carter Gordon Davis, who was married to Howard Gordon, the group’s guitarist for many years. Shaye sings alto and is the group’s owner/manager. She originally joined the group in 1993 as the soprano and sang until the Wagon was parked in 1996. In 1999, she helped get the group back on the road. Julie Hudson sings soprano for the Gang. Stan Hill sings tenor. Singing bass and playing guitar is Jeremy Stephens.
The Chuck Wagon Gang sings approximately 200 dates per year. They have recorded over 900 songs. When I asked Shaye if she knew most of them, she chuckled and replied, “Oh, no! We’ve got songbooks that have most of the songs in them. At our concerts, we take requests and even if we kind of know the song, we try it. Sometimes it’s a train wreck. I think the crowd loves it when we mess up. We probably know 150 that we can do well. Just to think that there’s another six or seven hundred left that we don’t know is mind-boggling.”
A little over a year ago, The Chuck Wagon Gang got involved with Marty Stuart. Marty is a champion of old Bluegrass, Western songs and old Gospel. He is a huge fan of The Gang and was thrilled to learn that they are still out on the road. They met in Nashville through a mutual friend, Eddie Stubbs. Marty wrote some songs for The Gang and produced an album that will be coming out in September. “We’re working with him and working on a documentary,” said Shaye. “This documentary and the Bear Family Box Sets bring back the complete works of Johnny Cash, Connie Smith, Jimmy Rogers, Ray Price, Earnest Tubb, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and The Gang.”
Shaye continued, “I was so excited when I found out about that and we have been digging and finding out all of these pictures and discovering that we were mistaken about certain facts. It’s been amazing as we’ve found all of these facts. It has taught us that The Gang has never really been a Southern Gospel group. In the 30’s they were on Columbia. Some of the legends who shared the Columbia label were Country legends Ray Price, Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash, Carl Smith and Hank Snow, just to name a few. When those people became stars in the 40’s and 50’s, The Gang had already been on the label for 20 years and these people looked up to The Gang.”
“They did what’s called package shows. The Gang would appear on The Grand Ole Opry with Roy Acuff and country stars of the time. They would do concerts with Statesmen, Blackwoods, The Speer Family, but they would be the Country Gospel act on these shows. Marty wants to educate people on who The Gang really is. The Gang has been influenced by Country stars such as Ronny Milsap, Bill Anderson and George Jones. It’s really humbling to me to know that those same stars listened to The Chuck Wagon Gang years ago.”
“We are hoping for a September release for this documentary. The Bear Set will be coming out almost simultaneously and will include seven CD’s with 25 years of songs going back to the 1930’s.”
The Chuck Wagon Gang recently had an incredible experience. They were booked in Quinnehock, Alaska. The Eskimos flew them out there for three days to sing. They arrived in a little tiny fishing village on the Bering Sea, 80 miles from Russia. There were no roads and the town had only had running water for six months. There were 600-800 Eskimos both nights. It was hard to imagine where they all came from! Bethel is the biggest next village, then Anchorage. “That was the first time The Gang has been to Alaska,” said Shaye.
“Marty told us, ‘You take a camera out there and film those Eskimos.’ I asked them, ‘Why The Gang… why us?’ They told us that in the 50’s when the Meridian Missionaries made their way from Bethel across the tundra, they brought Chuck Wagon Gang records with them and introduced them to the Eskimos and now, they are Gang fanatics. We flew in on a little bitty plane and landed on a gravel airstrip in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by beautiful mountains and were just in awe. When we got off the plane, there were all these Eskimos there and every one of them had a cell phone filming us getting out of the plane. They made you feel like celebrities.”
“It was unseasonably warm and there was not much snow. It was in the 30’s and 40’s, so cold to us, but not to them. They are used to it being in the teens and 20’s. Some of them were singing Chuck Wagon Gang songs in Yipik (their native tongue). We recorded it on video so we could include it in the documentary. God is laying all of this in place. We couldn’t orchestrate all of this in the right timing. It was an incredible experience and we look forward to returning.”
The best selling CD for The Gang is called Timeless Hymns. The songs were chosen from a list emailed to them by their fans. Their Timeless Hymns – Volume 2 CD was recently released. In September, their newest project, The Chuck Wagon Gang Sings the Songs of Marty Stuart, will be released.
When asked what is the one song that moves their audience most powerfully, Shaye shared that the new project, Hymns Volume 2, has a song on it called “I Must Tell Jesus.” “Julie sings it and every time, you just watch the response and you can tell that it blesses people. She shares about singing it with her family… that was one that she sang with her mom and dad and she talks about all the things that go on in our lives and we think nobody understands, but you can always tell Jesus… you must tell Him.”
Shaye shared that she is still inspired by the sweet harmony of Rose and Anna, the foundational female voices of The Chuck Wagon Gang. Rose’s piercing soprano voice and Anna’s chocolaty alto voice were the distinction of The Gang. The strum of the guitar and those voices were two things set them apart.
The Chuck Wagon Gang currently records under the New Haven label and is booked by Jubilee Agency. You can read more about The Chuck Wagon Gang at: www.chuckwagongang.net.
The history of our Southern Gospel heritage is richer than most of us realize. It’s up to us to keep it alive, and groups like The Chuck Wagon Gang are doing a wonderful job of sharing the gospel using the same message their ancestors did over 70 years ago. That message remains steadfast, and so do those who are called to share it. Thank you, Shaye and Harold, for taking the time to share your memories with SGN Scoops, and for your dedication to keeping the legacy alive!
By Marcie Gray
First Published by SGN Scoops digital magazine August 2014
(McEwen, TN) The Kent Curtis Family is excited about their spring concert tour in Oklahoma. The popular family group has been spreading the good news in song for years and they have gotten positive fan feedback with their latest single, “I Found Mercy.” Radio promoter, Pauline Patterson notes, “It has been a real privilege to work with such a fine group and the single they sent to radio was written by Nathan Curtis, Kent’s son. This family group is really touching hearts and I always enjoy receiving good feedback from fans.” For more information on the group: Visit their website: www.kentcurtisfamily.com or “Like” Kent Curtis Family on Facebook and message them. You may also call their home office at (931) 582-6884. Concert promoters can receive a free press kit by contacting their Publicist, Evie Hawkins, Office@EHA-Nashville.com, 256-303-8354, or 615-856-0910 For additional radio info: Patterson Music Group: 606-528-0033, www.pattersonpromotions.com
Dahlonega, GA Multi-award winning Gospel group Karen Peck and New River have captured six 2015 Singing News Fan Award nominations. Always in the top lists of any awards presented, Karen Peck and New River once again are among the top nominees.
This years nomination feature recognition in the individual efforts of Karen and Susan Peck Jackson gaining the Soprano and Alto Favorites, as well as Karen in the Favorite Female Singer category. It was a team effort of Karen, Susan, and Jeff that got the Trio of the Year and Favorite Artist nominations. This year is also the first time Karen has been nominated as a songwriter in the Songwriter of the Year category.
Karen stated “We are very thankful and honored for the Singing News Fan Awards nominations. We are especially thrilled to be in the Favorite Artist category this year. This is also my first Favorite Songwriter nomination. Honestly, after all of these years of ministry, Susan, Jeff, and I are so grateful for all of your love and support.”
Second round voting will be in the July issue of the magazine.
We are traveling the Road to the 2015 Diamond Awards during this nomination period, by highlighting the definition of each award category. Today we highlight the Paul Heil Award for Broadcasting. This award is for a disc jockey or television host that supports or promotes Southern, Country or Bluegrass Christian music.
The 2015 Diamond Award Nominations are now open on the SGN Scoops website until March 31. Everyone is invited to the website to enter the Nominations area and list their top ten favorite picks for each Diamond Award category. You can vote today from the link below!
On November 4th, 2014, the Diamond Awards were held at the 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge. The winners of the 2014 Paul Heil Award for Broadcasting were Ken and Jean Grady, the congenial hosts of Gospel Music Today. You can find out more about these fine folks at their website, HERE.
Who will you decide to nominate this year?
Be sure to vote for your favorite nominees today.
The list of nominees will be posted on the site and fans will then nominate their favorites from this list, with a maximum of five names nominated per award. In
this way, the field of nominees will be narrowed to ten, voted on by fans once more and then narrowed to five. This final list of five will then be voted on by fans to find the one winner for each award.
Make plans now to join us for the 2015 Diamond Awards during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from November 2nd through 5th, 2015. For more information visit www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com
(Okolona, MS) Beloved soloist, Brenda Whitlock, has continued steady and sure with her latest single, “We Have Found Her.” The song is off her Who is She project and was released to radio through Patterson Promotions this winter.
Pauline Patterson notes, “We continue to see Brenda reach out to so many. She is truly a blessing and her songs are powerful and full of love that touches the listeners. It has been an honor to work with Brenda and we expect to continue hearing the testimonies from people that her music has touched.”
(Maineville, OH) The popular group, Somerset for Christ, has a unique ministry and shared their latest song, “Break My Heart,” across the nation this year through Patterson Promotions. The group continues to be a part of the popular Larry Ford radio program and have experienced successful airplay in neighboring states and beyond.
This unique music ministry, with no touring on their agenda, reaches out to those who are shut in and cannot attend concerts. They have a heart for those who are unable to travel and those who are disabled but need a lift in their spirit.
Pauline Patterson notes, “I really love this group and it has been a great honor to work with them!”