The Kingsmen’s More To The Story nominated for Dove Award


Arden, North Carolina (August 11, 2022) —  Horizon Records congratulates The Kingsmen — one of the most accomplished, innovative and longest running Southern Gospel artists in history — whose latest album, More To The Story, has been nominated for the Southern Gospel Album of the Year GMA Dove Award

“We are both shocked and grateful for this honor,” says The Kingsmen’s Alan Kendall. “The Kingsmen secured 18 Dove nominations between 1974 and 1995, and won three Dove Awards in the past for the albums Big & Live (1974), Chattanooga Live (1978), and From Out of the Past (1980). After 66 years of ministry, to know that the music of the Kingsmen still touches the hearts and lives of our fans, friends, and peers is truly humbling for us. We thank God for all of you and your continued support.”

Each release from this celebrated group is special, and More to the Story is no exception. Produced by the  award-winning and GRAMMY-nominated Jeff Collins at Crossroads Studios, the set features a fresh group of songs given both traditional and contemporary Southern Gospel arrangements.  

More To The Story was a long anticipated album for the group, says the Kingsmen’s Chris Jenkins. “We truly believe this album encompasses the message for the times in which we live,” he says. “The Kingsmen are celebrating more than 65 years in Christian music, and we are eager to tell our listeners that there’s ‘more to the story’ of The Kingsmen. We’re not finished. We are encouraged and motivated, now more than ever, to let our faith shine brighter and make Christ’s name known!”

Classic, powerful, and filled with the gospel spirit that has carried The Kingsmen far beyond their western North Carolina origins over more than six decades of performance, More To The Story offers a spirit-lifting, crowd pleasing jewel in the ever-growing catalog of the legendary group.

The winners of the 53rd Annual GMA Dove Awards will be announced Tuesday, October 18.

About The Kingsmen
For more than half a century, no other group has secured such a far-reaching legacy as that of The Kingsmen Quartet. Since 1956, this group has risen from humble beginnings in the mountains of western North Carolina to become one of the most beloved and innovative groups in Christian music. Countless renowned artists have been a part of this great lineage, such as Eldridge Fox, “Big Jim” Hamill, Ray Dean Reese, Squire Parsons, Johnny Parrack, Anthony Burger, Ernie Phillips, Gary Sheppard, and a host of others. The momentum has not stopped as this group continues to help define the Southern Gospel genre for a whole new generation of music lovers, perhaps more so than any other group.
In the mid-fifties, brothers Raymond, Reese, and Louis McKinney formed a gospel group, traveling locally throughout the western part of the Carolinas and completing dozens of recordings by the late 60’s. By the early 70’s, area natives Eldridge Fox and Ray Dean Reese joined this emerging quartet and in 1974 released their first live recording, “Big & Live” consisting of Fox, Reese, Jim Hamill, and Johnny Parrack. This Dove award winning album brought to gospel music, fresh arrangements and catchy melodies that would later become southern gospel classics, such as “Glory Road,” “Look for Me At Jesus Feet,” and “Love Lifted Me.” This would be the start of many legendary live albums for the Kingsmen. Traveling with a live band, the Kingsmen became one of few groups during this era to be able to perform with three to five musicians, granting them individuality and innovation in the industry.
Always seeking to have a creative edge, they began introducing themselves as, “The Ton of Fun.” Through the late 1970’s and 80’s, more hits were churning from albums such as “Chattanooga Live,” “Live Naturally,” & “Live at The University of Alabama.” These albums combined with high energy and up-tempo music brought music lovers an exciting brand of showmanship. Songs like, “Old Ship of Zion,” “Shake Hands with a Poor Boy,” “Beautiful Home,” “Saints Will Rise,” and “Child, Child” became gospel music staples. In 1981, “Excuses” became the Kingsmen’s biggest hit of that era; it was steady at number one for 18 months, making it the longest running number one song in Southern Gospel Music history.
The successes of The Kingsmen have led to many prestigious opportunities. In 1977, The Kingsmen performed on the south lawn of the White House for President Jimmy Carter and in 1982 they performed at the opening ceremony of the World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN which was broadcast on local and regional TV, with President Ronald Reagan present to open the fair. The Kingsmen was also the first group to film and record a live performance at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and in 2000 they were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame followed by the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2008. They’ve garnered multiple dove awards and numerous Singing News Fan awards including favorite bass vocalist, tenor, baritone, lead, instrumentalist, video, the 1992 favorite song “Wish You Were Here” as well as favorite album by the same name, male quartet of the year, and group of the year. The Kingsmen band was voted favorite band a record 17 times making this quartet one of the most awarded groups in Southern Gospel Music.

Listen to The Kingsmen’s More to the Story throughout the day on Texas Gospel Canada!

BLUEGRASS: The Primitive Quartet releases Through The Years Volume 5


Arden, North Carolina (August 12, 2022) — Last year, The Primitive Quartet and Mountain Home Music Company began the Through The Years series, which is bringing the beloved gospel group’s music to new generations of listeners through streaming services and digital sales platforms for the first time. These releases continue the group’s long legacy as a bluegrass gospel artist that started in 1973.

Following Volumes 1-4 and a Christmas collection, Through The Years Volume 5 features “If I Could Telephone Heaven,” written by Reagan Riddle; “Walking In The Highway,” written by Calvin Copeley; and “He Did A Surgery In My Heart” written by Mike Riddle. It also includes two a capella tunes, both written by Reagan Riddle: “The Fruits Of The Spirit” and “He’s The Same God.”

When completed, the series — curated by the Crossroads Label Group’s Greg Bentley and The Primitive Quartet’s Mike Riddle — will encompass eight volumes covering nearly 40 years of historic releases, including a Christmas collection and a compilation of songs from the several live albums the group has released over the years. Rarely has such an archival exploration been directed exclusively at digital platforms, and the combination of historical interest and forward-looking accessibility serves to guarantee that not only will long-time fans of the storied group have their favorites close at hand, but that the vital musical ministry of the Primitive Quartet will be available for discovery by generations of fans yet to come.

About The Primitive Quartet
The Primitive Quartet began in 1973, when two sets of Western North Carolina brothers, Reagan and Larry Riddle and Furman and Norman Wilson, carried a guitar and mandolin with them on a fishing trip, where they discovered a love and a gift for harmony singing. With the encouragement of their parents and pastor, they began to sing together at area churches as the Riddle-Wilson Quartet. In 1978, with the decision to devote themselves to a full-time musical ministry, the group said goodbye to Furman Wilson, welcomed Reagan and Larry’s brother, Mike, into the group and renamed themselves as The Primitive Quartet. As their career developed, the Quartet added Indiana-born singer and instrumentalist Randy Fox in 1986 and, a decade later, another North Carolinian, Jeff Tolbert — first as an instrumentalist and then, with the passing of Norman Wilson in 2014, as a singer. Over the years, The Primitive Quartet has toured across the United States and overseas, recorded scores of albums, released more than a dozen videos and DVDs, and made their “Hominy Valley Singing Grounds” in Candler, North Carolina, into a popular home for gospel singing events.

Listen to songs from Through The Years Volume 5 throughout the day on Texas Gospel Canada!

Avalon Worship Releases Live Version of “You Deserve It All”


NASHVILLE, Tennessee (August 12, 2022) – Avalon Worship has released the live version of the song “You Deserve It All” on video and recorded formats. 

The song is featured on the talented worship ensemble’s Avalon Worship project, released earlier this year.

“When we find ourselves at our end, with very little left to give to anything or anyone, it’s then that – through a sacrifice of praise to our Creator, that He meets us and gives us the strength we need to persevere,“ says member Jody McBrayer. “This song, “You Deserve it All,” encompasses the very essence of why we worship and give ourselves, even when we have very little to give, back to Christ. When we worship Him, real and lasting change takes place – and we are made new in His presence.

Long admired for show-stopping mega-hits like “Testify To Love,” “Can’t Live A Day,” and “Adonai,” the American Music Award-winning, GRAMMY-nominated pop vocal group surprised industry and fans alike earlier this year when they announced their new name, new project and new musical direction: Avalon Worship.

Filmed by David “Doc” Abbott – known for his work with NEEDTOBREATHE, Lady A, Jewel, CeeLo Green, Lee Brice, Styx, Brian McKnight, Jason Mraz, Train, among others – at Starstruck Studios on Music Row in Nashville, TN, the video invites the viewer and listener into the worship experience. 

The recording features a choir of local worship leaders and students from Lipscomb University’s Worship Arts Department.

Produced by Don Koch and released on Red Street Records, the project – Avalon Worship – reflects who they are as individuals as well as a worship collective.

The project, Avalon Worship, includes both original recordings as well as worship covers of some of the most well-known songs sung in churches every weekend, all carried by the group’s signature, powerhouse vocals.

Karen Peck-Gooch credits Pastor’s sermon as inspiration behind new release


The newest release from Karen Peck and New River is The Keepers. It’s the latest release from album 2:22 and gets its inspiration from a sermon that made an impression on Karen. She said the song springs from a message delivered by Pastor Calvin Ray Evans.

Karen says the sermon spoke of, “…the people who are always doing things for others but never expecting anything back”

She went on to say, “I was so blessed by this sermon that I took it to Mitch Wong and Tony Wood, and I was explaining to them about the sermon.” 

The talented writers agreed it would make a great song and put pen in hand.

”I’m very passionate about this song and I really pray that this will be a great encouragement to so many people,” said Karen.

The song is released on the heels of Answer is Jesus.  It comes from the same album and quickly climbed to the top 10 of the Texas Gospel Canada’s monthly top song list following its release earlier this year.

Listen for The Keepers throughout the day on Texas Gospel Canada!

The Inspirationals Quartet making sweet music!


Nashville, TN (July 22, 2022) The Inspirationals Quartet has been busy in the studio, creating what has been deemed, their best album yet! The new project, slated to release later this year, will be their first album on the Family Music Group Record label.

The Inspirationals has had a long history (since 1958) of presenting gospel music with a cast of well-known vocal artists. Bob Wills, who originally managed the group, had some of the most amazing and talented singers that have left their mark on gospel music. Some of these past members were:

(tenors) Curtis Elkins, Jim Murray, Roger McDuff; (lead) Dale Shipley, Jim Wesson, Jory Walden, and Gary McSpadden; (bass) Big John Hall, Ray Burdett, Jim Tucker, and many others!

Now, continuing the legacy are Bob’s sons, Bob Wills, Jr.(keys), Don Wills (bass), and Ron Wills (baritone) along with Ralph Green (lead) who joined the group in 1972. Following the long tradition of great tenors, John Rulapaugh is the latest addition and one of the finest tenors in gospel music today.

Les Butler, producer and owner of the Family Music Group label, added, “What a great tracking session! Nashville’s best, doing what they do! Steve Mauldin and myself head to the studio in a couple of weeks to record with a live orchestra. Then, vocals in September. Powerful vocalists, powerful songs, powerful orchestrations, and powerful production. Let’s just say this is going to be… well… powerful!!!”