The Purple Hulls: Made to Make Music Together

phulls-closetohome-tunecore-sm-228x280By Dixie Phillips

Twin sisters, Katy and Penny Clark, and their big brother, Ben, grew up on a generational family farm in the woods of East Texas. Their parents instilled a great work ethic in their children. Penny said, “Daddy hunted for meat and we grew our own fruits and vegetables. We milked our old Jersey cow and gathered chicken eggs every morning.”

SmilesCropHard work and family values are only a part of what instilled iron in the souls of the Clark siblings. Katy was quick to credit their Christian heritage for keeping them grounded in a topsy-turvy world. “We attended church every time the doors were open. Mama played the piano, Granny played the organ, and our uncle preached. We are very grateful for our godly upbringing.”

Not only were the siblings taught from the Word of God, but they also received a quality musical education. The twins shared, “Our maternal grandmother was a music teacher for many years. She taught us to sing harmony and gave us piano lessons when we were very young.” As the siblings grew older, they mastered stringed instruments and have become accomplished instrumentalists of every stringed instrument they can get their hands on.

hqdefaultWhen the twins came home from college, they helped harvest the purple hull peas their daddy had planted. Katy said, “We’d fill a pretty good list of pea orders and use the money we made to pay for the next year of college. Purple hull peas were a significant part of our lives. So years later when we were trying to come up with a band name, someone threw the idea of naming our group The Purple Hulls, and it stuck. We connected with it because it reminded us of our roots.”

Penny laughed and added, “Plus, we’re the only thing that pops up on Google when you type in Purple Hulls. That’s a real plus!”

Building on their roots has paid huge dividends to the talented siblings. As the Lord continued to open ministry doors for them and after they graduated from college, their brother encouraged them to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where they could pursue their music even more seriously. He had been living in Nashville and working as a musician for some successful country music artists. In fact, “Banjo” Ben resigned from his job with Taylor Swift to sign a publishing deal at Sony ATV, along with his sisters.

The group performed a lot with the Quebe Sisters, a phenomenal group of girls from Texas. Katy said, “They can play the stars out of a fiddle and sing tight three-part harmony. They have a very unique style. It’s swing music. They are some of our best friends and we love learning a different style of music. In fact, we are incorporating what we have learned from them into our music.”

ph editWhile some in the music industry might be tempted by selfish ambition, the Purple Hulls have their priorities in the right order. Family is very important to them. In 2012, when the twins learned their father was terminally ill, Penny and Katy left the bright lights of Nashville to be with their parents. Their father passed away a year later. The girls remained in Texas to be near their mother and help on the farm. Ben was unable to make the move. So the group presently only consists of the two sisters.

Not only are the sisters amazing instrumentalists and singers, but they are gifted songwriters, as well. They enjoy singing original material. Katy shared, “Whether or not it’s songs we’ve written or songs someone has given us. Singing original material gives us the chance to take something and work it up without much influence from a previous recording. We can really make it our own.”

The group wrote a song from Ephesians 6 to help encourage the Body of Christ. Katy said, “We hoped to remind people that God provides a full defense line for us to use. Here are a few of the lyrics:

Watch out brothers, on your own you’re not able to stand

There’s power in the darkness that can overtake a man

Oh, the enemy is real, but my God holds him at bay

Soon his people will be rescued but until that final day

Stand firm with a belt of truth around your waist

Fix the breastplate of righteousness firm in place

Have your feet fit and ready in the boots of peace

Take up your shield of faith above all things

Grab your helmet of salvation and your Spirit’s sword

You’re fit to fight a raging war, this is the armor of the Lord.”

A pastor sent an email to The Purple Hulls, letting them know how much the Lord used their music. He had been struggling with discouragement and the songs gave him the boost he needed to keep preaching the Word of the Lord.

maxresdefault (1)Another time a professing atheist wrote to them and shared how their music had opened his heart to the Gospel. Penny said, “We keep in touch with him and believe the Lord is doing a work in his heart. It’s a privilege to have our music used in such a way. We have had many testimonies shared with us, and it’s always encouraging to hear them. It’s always amazing to think the Lord will use us as His hands and feet. The fact the Lord is able to minister to people’s hearts through music is what keeps us going.”

Katy added, “The Lord is continuing to open doors for us to share our music and message with folks. There is nothing better than that.”

Fans can keep up with group on Facebook at or visit their website at Their music is available on iTunes and Amazon.

By Dixie Phillips

First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in December 2014.

For current features visit



Sue Ann O’Neal Releases World Anthem

IMG_8317-435x296Sparta, MO—Country/Gospel Artist Sue Ann O’Neal has released her second single to radio.  The single, “If I Fall” written by Mary Fay Jackson and promoted by MLG Promotions, has been sent to Christian stations around the world!
It is reported that the song is getting airplay worldwide including the countries of Spain, The Netherlands and throughout Europe.  Rob Green publisher of Christian Music Weekly phoned artist, Sue Ann O’Neal this week to tell her that her song is on the Christian Country Chart at #10.
What the artist says about choosing the song to record:  “I was in Texas singing and visiting my friend Mary Fay Jackson when she shared with me some songs that she had been writing. She was finishing up the lyric to “If I Fall” and I was there as it was completed.
“I’ve been traveling on a journey most of my life. It’s not always easy and I haven’t yet arrived. And though I’m not perfect, I’m striving to be. I know my Lord; He won’t give up on me.”
I heard these words and felt closely related.  After all, I had just about 400,000 miles on the car that I was driving then and it was still going! I started working the road at an early age traveling singing as part of a back-up band for Nashville artists singing country and since 1992, I had been on the road traveling as a music evangelist.  One thing that I know for sure, God’s Grace and Mercy abound with His Love through all of our impurities. No, I’m not perfect and I know, His Word says, He won’t give up on me.” “His mercies endureth forever.” Psalm 136”
“If I Fall” is on Sue Ann’s latest CD “Back to My Roots” and was recorded at the Collier Music Studio in Branson.  Hear the song at and to learn more about the CD, visit Sue Ann O’Neal on Facebook.

Road to the 2015 Diamond Awards: Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver at Creekside 2013
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver at Creekside 2013

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!

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 Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year. This is defined as a solo artist or group of any number with male and/or female vocalists who are full-time Bluegrass Gospel Artists

On November 4th, 2014, the Diamond Awards were held at the 2014 Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge. The winner of the 2014 Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year was the legendary Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Multi-award winners, members of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver are well-known to Bluegrass and Country music fans.

Who will you decide to nominate this year?

2015 Diamond Awards
2015 Diamond Awards






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

2015 Diamond Awards Nominations can be found at

The Diamond Awards are hosted by SGN Scoops digital magazine and Coastal Media Group.


Jim Sheldon “The Positive Cowboy”

Jim Sheldon
Jim Sheldon

Interview by Andrew Brunet

Jim Sheldon is well-known to viewers of The Music City Show, where he brings his Country-style ministry regularly into the homes and hearts of audiences across the nation. Known as “The Positive Cowboy,” Sheldon’s big break in full-time music actually began in Southern Gospel with The Keetons. He established a solo ministry and has seen his singles appear on Christian Country and Southern Gospel national charts.

Sheldon was recently interviewed by Andrew Brunet for SGN Scoops.

Andrew Brunet: What is your testimony on how you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?

Jim Sheldon: I was a Senior in High School. My parents had divorced. I was attending First Baptist Church of New Orleans. Our Youth Choir performed a musical called “Celebrate Life.”  I sang a solo as an angel announcing the birth of Christ to the shepherds! When I returned my place in the choir, I thought, “I’m unworthy to play an angel! How much worse I must be to Jesus!” I knew I needed to be saved. During the invitation part, I walked from middle of fourth row over and down to the altar and gave my life to Jesus!

Andrew Brunet: How did you get your name “The Positive Cowboy”?

Jim Sheldon: Scott Godsey (Producer of “The Music City Show”) has produced all my music since 2011. He wanted me to perform  old Country-style hymns and songs in the barn segment. After watching audiences at all my concerts, Scott said, “They’re all perking up, smiling, singing along and leaving in a positive spirit!” He said,“We’ll call you ‘The Positive Cowboy’!”

Andrew Brunet: What is it like performing on “The Music City Show” every week and being able to work alongside Tim Lovelace and Bev McCann?

Jim Sheldon: Tim is a Living Legend. I’ve learned that Tim is always the way you see him. There’s no acting, trying to be funny or showy. He is a God-gifted musician, funny guy who loves Jesus and people! Bev has been working with me and Scott Godsey for four years now. She is an amazing servant of Jesus. I thank God every day Bev is managing, advising and booking my service to Jesus.

Andrew Brunet: In today’s world, we are seeing more and more signs of the times. What advice could you give to our readers to draw them nearer to Christ?

Jim Sheldon: Surrender your life totally over to Jesus Christ! Put God first in everything you do. Believe. Stay in God’s Word/The Bible. Surround yourself with God-loving people.

Andrew Brunet: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

Jim Sheldon: Proverbs 3:6 (Living Bible Paraphrase) “In everything you do, put God first. He will direct and crown your efforts with success.” When I surrendered my life completely to God, I strived to live this verse. All my blessings, prosperity and ministry growth/success have come from God as a result!

Andrew Brunet: What is your favorite song to perform?

Jim Sheldon: My current radio release, “Even After” (#2 CVM April Country & Southern). In memory of my sister Barbara, a God-saved soul after many years battling alcohol. Then He used her as a mighty witness for Christ though the AA association. At her funeral, one after another, over 300, testified how her walk with Jesus helped them all escape their addictions and get saved. Then God spoke to me, assuring me He would use me the same way!

jim sheldon new photography 2297x198Andrew Brunet: If you had the chance to live the life of one Bible prophet, who would you choose and why?

Jim Sheldon: Paul! The dramatic change of who he was to who he became. Jesus made the change from who I was to who I’m becoming!
Andrew Brunet: Prayer is the key to enter into the Throne Room of God. If you had one prayer that could be answered, what would you choose and why?

Jim Sheldon: Am I pleasing God and doing exactly what He called me to do?

Andrew Brunet: In many ways, God uses us to be disciples for Him. What do you think it means to be a true disciple?

Jim Sheldon: Be totally surrendered to God with only a servant’s heart for God!

Andrew Brunet: Can you tell us a little about Putting God First Ministry? What is the mission statement? Have you ever heard any great testimonies?

Jim Sheldon: 22 years ago I repented and surrendered to His service. God used Proverbs 3:6 (Living Bible Paraphrase) to bring me to this. That’s where Putting God First Ministry came from. It’s God’s call upon my life. Everything I do, I am, all good, and all success comes from God, through God!

downloadI performed and testified on “Southern Gospel Praise,” a TV program hosted by Mary Fay Jackson and shown in Dallas area on Thursday nights. While seating in my motorhome that night, two hours after it went off, I got a call from a man in Houston. His wife had walked out on him and they got divorced. He was convinced he had lost his salvation and was of no use to God any more! We talked and shared for over two hours. I shared my experiences and God’s Word and prayed with him. When we finished, he had repented and turned it all over to Jesus. He was praising and thanking Jesus. We have still never met face to face. That’s why I do what I do! Praise God!

You can learn more about Jim Sheldon at or .
You can reach Jim by E-mail at .
To book Jim Sheldon contact .

By Andrew Brunet

For current features of Southern Gospel and Christian Country artists, see the latest edition of SGN Scoops digital magazine at






marty rNashville, Tenn. (February 11, 2015) – After more than 40 years of performing, country crooner and bluegrass balladeer Marty Raybon continues to take home the career trophies.  This past weekend at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association (SPBGMA)’s 41st Annual Bluegrass Awards, Raybon walked away as the organization’s 2015 “Male Vocalist of the Year in the traditional category.
“It’s one of those wonderful unexpected surprises that happens at award shows,” says Raybon.  “When I heard my name called out as the winner, my first thought was ‘Did I hear that right?’  I was very honored while also realizing that not one person is an island in a bluegrass band.  I want to say thank you to SPBGMA and the fans that voted for me and I’m very grateful that the hard work we put into our vocals were awarded that night.”
Throughout his epic journey spanning more than four decades, Marty Raybon has produced a remarkable list of career accomplishments including: multiple number one singles, top selling albums, CMA, ACM, IBMA and GRAMMY Awards, along with scores of other accolades.  Collectively, his contributions to the recording industry have sold well into the millions and he has performed literally thousands of live concerts at four corners of the earth.  In 2015, Raybon returned to his original position as frontman for legendary group, Shenandoah.  Shenandoah Reloaded tour dates will be announced soon.
For more information on Marty Raybon, visit


shenandoahRaybon Hits the Road with Shenandoah for First Time in Nearly Two Decades
Nashville, Tenn. (February 12, 2015) – After a near 18-year absence, the original voice of ShenandoahMarty Raybon, is officially back in the band.  Since announcing his return last fall, Shenandoah and Raybon have performed a handful of dates, leaving concertgoers in awe.  Today, Shenandoah announced dates for their 2015 tour, Reloaded With Marty Raybon.
“We are so excited to see the reaction so far to having Marty back with us,” notes Shenandoah’s Mike McGuire.  “Smiles are big, seats are full and autograph lines are long.  It’s like country music fans are starved for real country music these days.  At least that’s what they are telling us.  And we are happy to take them back in our time machine!”
Raybon adds, “The crowds have been unbelievable.  Packed and loud.  It seems to me that they’ve missed hearing the music as much as I have.  The excitement is right in front of us and that’s what makes us want to make sure they leave entertained and glad they came.  It’s good to be back with the boys!”
Shenandoah’s Reloaded With Marty Raybon tour kicks off this March.
Shenandoah Reloaded With Marty Raybon 2015 Tour Dates:
March 6 – Chester, WV – Chrome Nite Club
March 7 – St. Marys, PA – St. Marys High School
April 11 – Mt. Vernon, KY – New Barn Theatre
May 8 – Abilene, TX – Rhinestone Roundup
May 9 – Lindsay, TX – Outlaws and Legends Dancehall and Saloon
May 10 – Corpus Christi, TX – Roberts Point Park Pavillon
May 16 – Sheffield, AL – Sheffield Street Dance
May 20 – Wheeling, WV – WesBanco Arena
June 12 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Palace
July 3 – Pigeon Forge, TN – Country Tonite Theatre
July 18 – Forsyth, MT – Rosebud-Treasure County Fair
July 23 – Columbus, OH – Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Bluegrass Festival
July 31 – Barton Creek, TX – Country Club
August 1 – Dodge City, KS – Central Station
September 12 – Morehead, KY – Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival
September 16 – Abingdon, VA – Washington County Fair
October 24 – Perry, FL – Forest Festival
November 13 – Wilkesboro, NC – Merlefest
November 14 – Elizabethtown, KY – State Theater
About Shenandoah
Shenandoah originally formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1985.  The band has charted 26 singles on the Billboard Hot Country charts including #1 Hits: “The Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South,” “Two Dozen Roses,” “Next to You, Next to Me” and “If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too).”  The single “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart,” which featured guest vocals from Alison Krauss, won both artists a GRAMMY® Award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.”  To date, the group has sold millions of albums worldwide and is a recipient of the Academy of Country Music’s coveted “Vocal Group of the Year” Award.
For more information on Shenandoah, visit


 Only 5 Days Left To Vote…
If you’ve already voted,THANK YOU!!!!
If not, please read this short note and then VOTE.
On February 1, 2015 the TOP TEN FINALISTS in the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Song Contest presented by CMT (Country Music Television Network) were announced.  Out of upwards of 2000 entries, we are thrilled to tell you that Donna King’s song, “THIS KIND OF COLD,” is one of the TOP TEN! The Grand Prize winner (who will have amazing opportunities for advancing in their songwriting dream) will be determined solely by FAN VOTE. There are only 5 days left to VOTE and SHARE. That’s where you come in…
We need the VOTES and SHARES of our friends, family, colleagues, and just everyone we’ve met along this crazy journey of life.  If you’ve already voted…THANK YOU!  But…if not…
Please join us in supporting Donna in this HUGE opportunity.  Vote, and then, share, through word of mouth, email, on social media, etc. to help Donna bring this victory home.
VOTE for Donna King “This Kind Of Cold”- CLICK TO VOTE
LISTEN to Donna King ‘This Kind Of Cold”- CLICK TO LISTEN
When possible use hashtag #NSAIsongcontest
When sharing, copy and paste the following urls (exactly as they are case sensitive):
THANK YOU ALL!  Your support means the world to us. Just 5 more days and YOU are a VITAL part of it!  We will let you know the results as soon as they come in!
With Gratitude to God and Gratefulness to you,
Friends and Family of Donna King
Jeremiah 29:11


unnamed (1)Charlotte, NC – February 20, 2015 – AVA Digital Awards today announced the winners for the 2015 international awards competition. AVA Digital recognized outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communications. Tim Vogel has been honored once again as a repeat winner of the annual AVA Digital Awards with one platinum and two gold awards for his work on RedHen Record’s recording artist Bruce Hedrick’s music video “A Better Man” which was filmed in and around Denver, NC in the fall of last year. Vogel received a Platinum Award for his direction of the four minute music video. Vogel also picked up two Gold Awards as the video’s cinematographer and editor. “I am absolutely thrilled to have our work recognized by AVA, it is an honor that I share with the production team and especially Bruce Hedrick who music is inspirational.” This brings Vogel’s AVA Awards to a total ten, dating back to 2006.

This is Hedrick’s second music video with producer/director Tim Vogel. “A Better Man” along with the first video “Roses From God” have been released to CDBABY, MusicToRadio, and Itunes. Hedricks’ music videos have been airing on Daystar Networks Great American Gospel television show which reaches 200 countries and some 40 million homes. Scenes of the video were shot at Chillfire Restaurant and at the Lake Norman Motel. Knight Transportation provided a new Volvo semi for a scene that was shot on Hwy 16. “A Better Man” was written by David Wills and Royal Wade Kimes it tells the story of temptations in life. The video shows those temptations that often happen that can break up the family. David wrote “Wild Horses” for Garth Brooks and “If you’re thinking you are a stranger” for George Strait, and has sold over 50 million copies in his career.

unnamedBruce Hedrick, a Mooresville NC native has been recording in Nashville for the past year. His style of country gospel music has been heard in the area in several venues. Bruce was a featured artist at the annual East Lincoln (NC) Fireworks Festival this past year. His current song “Roses from God” is getting radio play on many gospel stations from Maine to Florida. Radio DJ’s can access the newest radio releases from Bruce Hedrick at Fans can learn more by visiting the artist website at

The award winner’s work ranges from digital engagement campaigns – to audio and video production – to website development – to social media interaction – to mobile marketing. AVA Digital Awards honors the evolving ways and means that we engage our audiences through the creative convergence of digital arts, technology and information. The winning video can be viewed on Vogel’s Youtube channel along with his other award winning work at

AVA Digital Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The Association administers recognition programs, provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession. Tim Vogel is a seasoned veteran of the entertainment and advertising business with over 40 years of industry experience that ranges from radio, video, film and the world wide web, and with that experience comes the knowledge of the entire production process.

Vogel is currently working with Mooresville resident and actress/singer Karen Abercrombie in developing a family-friendly and faith-based dramatic sci-fi TV series.

Vogel’s company, Lancer Entertainment Group, which is based in Charlotte, is a full service film and video production company. Visit Tim Vogel’s website at for more information.

Mike Anderson to Sing on WLJT TV’s Gospel Showcase

Mike_Anderson-10We are pleased to announce that Mike Anderson has been chosen to sing on WLJT TV’s Gospel Showcase April 18, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Martin TN. This is their 2nd year. The Gospel Showcase was a tremendous success last year.

Mike has also secured a spot with Patterson Promotions to be included on their Vol.18 slated to hit radio April 1st.

Mike and his wife Jane make their home in Madisonville TN where he works for a highly successful Insurance Co.

Pauline of Patterson Promotions says Mike is a welcome addition to our family of artists and expects great things in the future for Mike.

Contact Mike on, at or

Contact WLJT TV at 731 881-7561 for more info on event.