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Nashville, TN, “What a Happy Time” from Goodman Revival has once again landed the Goodman name in the top ten on the Singing News Southern Gospel Charts. The first single from their Gaither Music Group project “Songs in the Key of Happy” has reached the number ten position on the prestigious chart.
The trio, consisting of Tanya Goodman Sykes, Michael Sykes and Johnny Minick are dedicated to bringing the classic Goodman sound and message to today’s generation of Southern Gospel fans.
In addition to their chart success, Goodman Revival has a well received Gaither Video “Songs in the Key of Happy” that has been seen across the country on multiple television networks as well as a CD of the same name. The project features the high energy of Goodman Revival as they present the classic Happy Goodman sound. Other songs on the album include “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now”, “Who am I” and other timeless songs.
More information on Goodman Revival can be found online at www.goodmanrevival.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – World-renowned speaker and best-selling author John Bevere has never been as passionate about a message as he is about his upcoming book, “Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough.” Bevere has penned more than 20 titles now translated in over 90 languages, with millions sold worldwide. His newest release hits shelves August 11, 2015 (Messenger International). The book centers on one simple question: is good enough?
“In these times the terms good and God are seemingly synonymous,” Bevere says. “We believe that what is generally accepted as good must be aligned with God’s will. Generosity, humility, and justice are good. Selfishness, arrogance, and cruelty are evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. But is that all there is to it? Sadly, many of us have settled for the knockoff. We’ve unknowingly (and at times knowingly) rejected God in pursuit of what’s apparently good.”
Bevere is known around the world for his boldness, passion, and the uncompromising truth in his award-winning curriculums and best-selling books. He brings this trademark fervor to a new and fresh message in the pages of “Good or God?” This book provides practical insight challenging the belief that the Christian life is merely a set of rules to be adhered to and bringing new perspective to those who believe “good” behavior is the ultimate standard for pleasing God.
“It’s more than a message,” Bevere says. “It’s a charge to embrace a life far better than the one we’ve known and settled for and discover a way of living that is beyond our greatest dreams.”
“Good or God?” has already garnered endorsements from a number of high-profile influencers including Mark Batterson (New York Times best-selling author of “The Circle Maker”), Joyce Meyer (Bible teacher and New York Times best-selling author), John C. Maxwell (New York Times best-selling author and speaker), Bishop T. D. Jakes (CEO of TDJ Enterprises and New York Times best-selling author), Matthew Barnett (senior pastor of Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, Calif., and cofounder of the Dream Center), and others.
Through an exploding social media and web platform, Bevere engages a wide and diverse following. In conjunction with the release of “Good or God?,” Messenger International will launch a revolutionary social media movement (#GoodOrGod), calling people to embrace a way of life far better than what they’ve known. Bevere will also embark on a national/international book tour in June 2015. The tour will include over fifty stops in over 20 states and seven countries and will extend through spring 2016.
For more information on John Bevere and Messenger International, please visit:
Nashville, TN, Continuing a year that has included chart success. television appearances and solid concert audiences, Heaven’s Mountain Band is set to share their ministry of hope and encouragement in some of 2015’s top Gospel and Bluegrass music events.
During Fourth of July Week, Heaven’s Mountain Band will be featured in back to back Bluegrass and Gospel Festivals. On Thursday, July 2nd, the group will share the stage with Jeff and Sheri Easter and others at the Shadow Valley Gospel Music Festival in Fayetteville, TN. This 3 day festival also features top artists such as the Kingsmen, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Canaan’s Crossing and many more. The festival is hosted by The Singing Ambassadors. More information can be found at www.shadowvalleyproductions.
Heaven’s Mountain Band will then participate in the 2015 Hominy Valley Summer Singing on Wednesday July 3rd. The Hominy Valley Singing is a top Southern Gospel and Bluegrass Gospel destination. They will be sharing the stage with the Issacs and event hosts, the Primitive Quartet. Other artists appearing at the week long festival include the Rochesters, Walking by Faith, Mountain Joy, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and other top Bluegrass Gospel artists. To learn more about the festival, visit www.primitivequartet.com.
The group will also be the kickoff artist for the inaugural Fantastic Friday Gospel Music Dinner Theater at the Barn at Bear Hollow Dinner Theater in scenic Monteagle, Tennessee. This special series will begin on June 19th and continue through July 24th. Bear Hollow is an beautiful, rustic and intimate dinner theater. The event will feature a home cooked meal along with the concert. Packages can include lodging and other meals. Other artists set to appear during the series include Masters Voice, Williamsons, Troy Burns Family, Eighth Day and Tammy Jones Robinette. The event is presented by the Barn at Bear Hollow and Butler Music Group. Information can be found at www.butlermusicgroup.com.
More information on can be found at www.heavensmountainband.net.
By Jennifer Campbell
Lari Goss was a man with a heart of gold. He was a musical genius who composed and arranged a prolific library of songs. Every note expressed his extraordinary signature musical style. But his greatest characteristic wasn’t the fact that he could write elaborate orchestrations. Nor was it the way he played complex chords on the piano that have the most experienced musicians struggling to pick apart the perplexing notes. It was not even the unconditional love and endless devotion that he had to his family and friends. Lari’s most valuable attribute was his personal testimony. Through his music and through his life, he wanted everyone to know that his Cornerstone was Jesus Christ.
At just 10 years of age, Lari began singing about Jesus. Joined by his brothers and parents, he ministered to the congregation of Center Road Baptist Church in his hometown of Cartersville, Ga. As the boys grew older, they traveled and ministered as The Goss Brothers. Some said they were ahead of their time. Others listened in amazement, trying to decipher the complexities of the intricate musical and vocal arrangements recorded on their vinyl records. Inevitably, only God knew the impact The Goss Brothers would have on the world of Gospel Music.
Meurice LeFevre signed them to Sing Records in 1962, which simultaneously launched their studio career. Within the short span of 15 years, they provided backup and instrumentation for nearly every well-known Gospel group.
In 1980, tragedy struck the Goss household when Lari’s brother James passed away in a plane crash. The loss of their brother closed one chapter of their lives, but opened up new doors for Lari and Roni. While Roni began traveling with Nancy Harmon, Lari dedicated more time to studio production and arranging musical scores. In 1984, he received his first Dove Award for a recording with Phil Driscoll. Lari received 15 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and three Producer Awards. He received the SGMA Arranger of the Year Award, SGMA Decade of the 90’s Piano Honor Roll Award, SGMG Choral Music Honoree Award, James D. Vaughn Impact Award, a Telly Award, and a Commendation by the Legislature of the State of Tennessee. Lari was even inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Yet with all of his tremendous success, he remained humble.
“Lari was a unique combination of extraordinary talent with a wonderful, humble spirit,” said Phil Barfoot. “I recall many great laughs at his really bad jokes and impersonations, as well as many meaningful, worship moments both while creating the music and recording it! I will always cherish a wonderful friendship and many great times with this incredible person!”
Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision put it best when talking about the studio work that Lari did: “If you remember a song that you fell in love with, he probably produced it. Way beyond his years, even as a young teenager, he was writing orchestrations. He was not just filling in the parts, but mapping out those lush chords of transition that revealed the ‘heart’ of the song.”
Those lush chords will forever be placed in a genre all of their own known as the Goss style. Anyone in the Gospel Music industry will tell you that Lari’s arrangements have a distinct flavor that is undeniably Goss. Ladye Love Smith reaffirmed this when she said, “No one
does or did an arrangement quite like Lari Goss. When you hear the amazing chords and phrases, you know it is a Lari Goss arrangement. If it’s a sad song, you hear sadness. If it’s joyful, you hear joy. His music will live on forever in the arrangements he gave us all.”
“We were honored to work with Lari Goss on our More Than Enough project, which includes two number one songs, ‘I’ll Trust the Potter’s Hands,’ and ‘All Is Well,’” said Susan Whisnant. “It was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences in The Whisnants’ history. We will never forget working with him. You can hear an introduction of a song and know if Lari Goss produced it. We loved him and highly respected his talent. He will be missed!”
“I have spent a lifetime with him, from The
LeFevres ‘till now and love him like family,” shared Kelly Nelon Clark of The Nelons. “The very first time I went into the studio at LeFevre Sound I was terrified, but Lari and the Goss Brothers made me feel so at home. It was always my dream to have him work with us so Amber could work with him and be a part of that genius mind of his. He did that on The A Cappella Sessions. He is irreplaceable!”
Throughout Lari’s prolific music career spanning nearly 60 years, he worked with innumerable artists such as The Hoppers, The Gaither Vocal Band, The Nelons, The Speer Family, The Hemphills, Larnelle Harris, The Cathedrals, and many others. His music has been heard in prestigious venues around the world including Radio City Music Hall (with The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir), and has been played by numerous renowned orchestras, including the Prague Philharmonic
Orchestra, Dublin Symphony, Belfast Symphony, Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra, L.A. Symphony, Seattle Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, The United States Air Force Band, and the Nashville String Machine.
“Lari was a harmonic genius and he was a wonderful, warm human being,” said Bill Gaither. “Those characteristics rarely coexist in the same person. I have so many fond memories of hanging out with Lari in the studio over the years. He was a rare gift to Gospel music; truly one of the very best! He will be sorely missed.”
“Lari Goss was a master at his craft,” The Hoppers said. “The music he wrote and orchestrated will live forever. His musical genius was exceeded only by his integrity. The Hoppers are thankful to have known him and had the opportunity
to work with him through the years. Much of our recording sessions were spent talking about the goodness of God. We loved him. He was our friend.”
Lari thought highly of his clients and developed long-lasting friendships with many of them through the years. “Lari was an amazing person to work for, a co-worker, a friend and really family,” stated Ladye Love Long Smith. “Apart from the unbelievable talent he possessed, he was fun to work with and cared about people. We first worked with him when he produced Larnelle Harris’s LIVE: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs we recorded at Brooklyn Tabernacle.” Ladye amd her husband worked with Lari over 20 years. She added, “Lari was intense in the studio and took the work seriously, but he also made it fun. He would take a minute to tell us a funny story and it gave us a break from the intense, long hours of work. He always went to lunch with most everyone he hired and/or dinner—depending on how late we worked! He had returning clients he had done over 50 projects with so that tells you a lot about how it was to work with him and about the quality of his work.”
“The touch of Lari Goss will always remain in my heart and echo through every Love Special telecast, on every CD, and every production,” stated Nancy Harmon. “He was filled with knowledge and talent, and his spirit and love for Jesus Christ was vivid in every composition, every note of the magnificent orchestra, and every choir or vocalist. He loved from his heart! Lari Goss was my dear friend for over 45 years.”
Lari’s musical impact is far-reaching. Whether he was working with a featured soloist or a member of the orchestra, he treated everyone equally. Carl Gorodetzky, Contractor for the Nashville String Machine, said that Lari will be sorely missed. He added, “I contracted all of Lari’s orchestras for recording sessions for over 30 years. He was a great arranger, and a great person. The musicians always loved working with him. It would be an event, not just a job. In all the time I
worked with Lari, I never saw him lose his temper or get angry with anyone. That is quite something in the music business! When we set up his Celebration of Life, I asked 44 musicians who had worked with Lari over the years to play at the service. Forty-four musicians were there and played their hearts out. It was a true happening.”
Personally, Lari Goss will always remain as one of the greatest musicians I have ever
heard. As a little girl, my dad instilled in me an appreciation for the intricacies of the Goss sound. Not only is there a complexity that cannot fully be explained within Lari’s musical orchestrations, but also there is an anointing that transcends the physical aspects of music. Some people have talents; other people are inherently gifted by God. Lari Goss had a divine, God-given gift for music.
“In His wisdom and purpose, God has uniquely gifted certain individuals for a
special task or position. Lari Goss was such a person,” said Ken Campbell. “We were touched by a special anointing and as we listened to the amazing harmony, it seemed that we could hear distant echoes from Heaven. Lari will be missed and remembered in this world, but beyond the sound of battle, we will rejoice and sing together the song of the redeemed.”
The Goss Brothers sang a song titled, “Long and Winding Road.” On January 10, 2015, Lari’s road turned to gold. While Lari has left this temporary home we call earth, he is in the presence of Jesus. He is in Heaven, our eternal home. He is standing face to face with the One whom he always sang and wrote about.
Lari has left behind an enduring legacy, and his music will resonate in our hearts always. Ask anyone who knew him and they will tell you that Lari didn’t know that he was a musical genius. Lari was once quoted as saying, “All this means nothing if my music does not win people to Jesus, or draw them closer to Him.” Just as Paul wrote in I Corinthians, Lari created music for the sake of the Gospel, so he could share in its blessings (I Corinthians 9:23). Lari kept the faith, he ran the race, and he has earned his crown that will last forever. Until we meet him again in Heaven, may the God-given music of Lari Goss continue to inspire us all.
Pictures courtesy of GMA, Kayward Davis, The Hoppers, Reggie and Ladye Love Smith, Bill Gaither, Roni Goss.
By Jennifer Campbell
First published by SGN Scoops in February 2015.
For the current issue of SGN Scoops, visit the website HERE.
(Wheelersburg, Ohio) The Jones’s recently had much success with their “Come on Come on” as it reached #58 on the Singing News chart. Their latest single, “You Made My Day,” is being promoted by Pauline Patterson through Patterson Promotions latest national radio package. The family group consists of Joy Jones and her sons, Derec and Ryan. They have toured nationally and internationally taking the Gospel in song to a very diverse population of Gospel music lovers. The trio has appeared on the National Quartet Convention main stage and Joy has taken her music throughout the United States, Canada, Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico. They have been a part of the Gaither Homecoming Series concerts and video shoots. Other appearances were made on television programs such as TBN, Gary McSpadden’s Gospel Hour, and multiple appearances on Daystar Television Network. Joy has also had a successful solo ministry and was voted “Favorite Soprano of the Year” by the Kentucky Gospel Music Association. When Joy and the boys decided to form the trio in 2011, they made a great impact with appearances on Daystar Television Network and other nationally aired programs. Pauline Patterson notes, “It’s an honor to continue working with this talented family trio. I look forward to them experiencing much more success with their music ministry!”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Georgia Evadean Unthank, mother of AbsolutelyGospel.com President Deon Unthank, passed peacefully in to the arms of her Savior on Monday morning, April 7, 2015, at her residence in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. Evadean was born on August 1, 1922 in Eldorado, Illinois. She was married to Charles “Bill” Unthank for over 68 years. Evadean was a talented musician and lifelong member of the Church of God (Cleveland).
“I am so grateful to have been raised by such a Godly woman,” mentioned Deon Unthank. “My mother was the perfect example of Christian love to me and my siblings and her grandchildren. While we hurt, we have joy in knowing that she is sitting at the feet of her Savior with her husband and other family that have already passed.”
Evadean is preceded in death by her husband, Bill Unthank, one granddaughter (Christy Gray), daughter-in-law (Susan Unthank), her parents, and six siblings. She is survived by her children Brenda (Harold) Downing of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, Deon (Pamela) Unthank of Cleveland, Tennessee, and Cheryl (Gene) Gray of Grain Valley, Missouri; one sister Jean Coleman of Pensacola, Florida; nine grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Evadean is the grandmother of songwriters and AbsolutelyGospel.com Editor-in-Chief Chris Unthank and Site Administrator Amy Marie Zika.
“We so appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers for my family during this time,” said Deon. “We have already felt the effects of so many prayers that have gone up for us over the last couple of days.”
Funeral and burial will be at Lakeview Gardens Funeral Home in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Services will be Saturday, April 11th with 12:00 – 2:00PM visitation in the Chapel of Lakeview Gardens and the memorial service at 2:00PM.
Steve Curtis here with a reminder that May 9th will be the next South Bay Gospel Jubilee. I don’t know about you but we had a great time at the last Jubilee. Ms. Lilly Knauls and the Arena Family surely blessed our souls. We had a record crowd and we are hoping for more of the same in May. We are welcoming back The Mike and Darla Cornell trio! They really were an inspiration to all last year and they will be bringing more of the same May 9th. Also back are The Hyatts and Gospel Road Quartet and we will be adding more audience participation be ready to do a little singing of your own! As always there will be a pre-concert dinner starting at 5:00, and the concert follows at 6:30. There’s never an admission charge. We are looking forward to having a full house so let all your friends and family know about this upcoming Jubilee! Any extra effort if you can it would be really appreciated! I have attached a flyer if you would like to help promote this event. Thank You! Steve.
To contact us:
The Hyatts: Alan Hyatt 408 849-9334
The 2nd Annual Alabama Quartet Convention will be held at Forest Hill Church of God, Mobile, AL, July 23, 24 and 25, 2015.The Alabama Quartet Convention is the largest gathering of Southern, Contemporary and Bluegrass Gospel in the state of Alabama. This year the convention will showcase regional artists hailing from OK, GA, FL, MS, LA, AR, TX and AL.We will also have National artists, The Hoskins Family from Waynesville, OH and Barry Rowland and Deliverance from Knoxville, TN.More information can be found regarding ticket information, times of the event and a list of groups participating on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/
alabamaquartetconvention).On Friday morning, there will be a golf tournament for the men and a Women’s conference and tea for the ladies.We are very excited and want you to come be a part of the event with us. There are hotel packages available upon request.
By Dean Adkins
Some of the better-known quartets spent a number of years as the resident church group. Besides providing songs for the congregation, members of the groups also served as part of the church staff. Although there were a number of groups that started as church quartets, the Weatherfords, Cathedrals, Landmarks, Monitors and Toneys were among those who moved on to become well-known names on the gospel circuit.
In the early 1950’s, the Weatherford Quartet were the resident group for WOWO radio in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. They also sang in churches and became acquainted with Rex Humbard who was preaching at Calvary Temple, in an old theater in Akron, Ohio. In 1953, WOWO decided to not use live music and as a result the Weatherfords had no radio contract. The Weatherfords joined Rex Humbard as the resident group for the Cathedral of Tomorrow, a new state-of-the-art facility. One of the Weatherfords better-known alignments during this time consisted of Armond Morales, Earl Weatherford, Glen Payne, Bobby Clark and Danny Koker. The group also did some touring but Rex Humbard wanted a group that was active in the church. In 1963, three members of the Weatherfords: Danny Koker, Glen Payne and Bobby Clark, decided to stay and became the Cathedral Trio.
The Cathedral Trio performed at the Cathedral of Tomorrow and traveled with Rex Humbard. In 1964, they added George Younce and became a quartet. They continued as part of the Cathedral of Tomorrow staff until 1969. Although they were no longer a part of the Cathedral of Tomorrow, they kept the name Cathedral Quartet and maintained their home in Stow, Ohio. From this beginning, they ultimately became one of the best-known Southern Gospel groups.
The Landmark Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio was (and is) a church that utilizes many of the touring Southern Gospel groups. The pastor, Rev. John Rawlings, loved quartet music and so did his son, Carroll. The Landmark Quartet was formed as the church’s home group. Although members changed through the years, one of the better-known lineups consisted of Buddy Liles, Don Norman, Mack Evans, Lorne Matthews and Carroll Rawlings. This group also did some touring and recorded some quality albums.
The Monitors Quartet was organized in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1957 by Horace Floyd, former member of the Swanee River Boys. He added Bill Nelson as lead, Ned Williman as baritone, Warren Holmes on bass and Din Ritter as pianist. The Monitors were affiliated with the Cadle Tabernacle, a large Christian church in Indianapolis, which seated over 10,000 people. The church also broadcast on WLW radio in Cincinnati and was heard in a multi-state area. The Monitors performed on radio seven days per week. The Monitors continued for several years before disbanding. The group was reformed as a part-time group around 1980 and consisted of Lem Kinslow, Bill Nelson, Hal Morrison, Ray Burdett (former Statesmen bass) and Jeff Stice.
Alden Toney sang tenor with the Blackwood Brothers from 1949 through 1951 and then took a job in the automotive industry in Detroit, Michigan. Alden’s brothers, Bob and Kyer were discharged from the Army in 1954. In 1955, brother Jim joined the others to form the Toney Brothers Quartet. Like other quartets that came after them, they became affiliated with a church, Gilead Baptist Church in suburban Allen Park. They began appearing on CKLW-TV in Windsor, Ontario, Canada as well. This group appeared on the first National Quartet Convention in 1957. When Alden retired in the early 1960s, he was replaced by Ron Booth Sr., father of Michael and Ronnie of the Booth Brothers.
The foundation of being associated with a church was manifested in the ministry and presentation in each of the aforementioned groups.
By Dean Adkins
First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in February 2015. For current issues of SGN Scoops, visit the SGN Scoops homepage HERE.