Amazing Grace by Dolly Parton could become state song in Tennessee

Jeff Turner

The state House of Tennessee has honored Dolly Parton, who was born in Tennessee, by passing a bill that if signed by the Governor would make “Amazing Grace” sung by Dolly Parton the official state song.

State Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smynra) introduced HB 0938 in February.  State Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) introduced SB 1416.  The house bill passed 91-1 on Monday. If the bill makes it all the way through the legislative process the song would become the eighth designated state song of Tennessee.

The General Assembly on Monday also adopted a resolution recognizing Parton for her, “cultural contributions and philanthropy.”

Sunday Drive’s remake of ‘Born Again’ marks a significant landmark for Jeff Treece


Childhood memories and a significant milestone for Sunday Drive’s Jeff Treece are some of the reasons the group decided to re-release a popular song from four decades ago.

“The older I get the more I reminisce about the good old days,” said Treece as he told the story about bringing back the 1979 song Born Again.

“One of the biggest years in my life was 1979. In 1979 I started two journeys. As a child I gave my heart to my Lord and Savior and I started playing the piano for my family group called Cedar Ridge,” he said.

Cedar Ridge formed in the early 60’s.  Jeff continued with the family group through the 90’s.  Their last project (or at least the last one in the Texas Gospel library) is Still Blessed, released in 1996. That recording was made made 17 years after very young Jeff Treece began playing piano for Cedar Ridge and learning what it means to be a part of a long-lived gospel group.

“I was young and not very good on the piano, but mom and dad let me grow into the position.”

This is where Born Again came into play as gospel music began to make significant changes in Treece’s life.

“It (Born Again) really touched my heart because I had just been born again. I would sit at the piano and sing as loud as I could _I’m so glad that I’ve been born again_! When we were recording the “A Million Miles” record I realized I had been saved for 40 years and I asked Misty if she would bring back the old hit.”

Jeff said they have received correspondence from people thanking them for re-recording the classic song.  Listen for Born Again throughout the broadcast day on Texas Gospel Canada!

Nelons find a celebrity in their audience



The Nelons found a special guest on the front row of the group’s concert at the First Assembly of God in Fort Meyers, Florida Thursday night: Evelyn Tornquist Karlsson.  Most fans wouldn’t know by her full name. Her albums in the 70’s and early 80’s as well as her appearances with the Billy Graham Crusades were all done under her stage name, Evie. Perhaps her most well-known songs include grammy award nominated Come On, Ring Those Bells; Mirror and Never the Same.

Most Southern Gospel groups had a very lean schedule in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Nelons seem to be making up for that in 2021. The group’s schedule this year is packed through early June.

Lore Family heads back to the studio


The Lore Family travelled to Horizon & Sonlite Records – Crossroads Music in Asheville, NC to begin recording tracks for six new original songs.

A post to the group’s Facebook page says, “This is our first time to record at Crossroads. We’ve worked hard for several months by writing, reviewing, discussing and praying over songs. Greg Bentley and Roger Talley have led the way.”

The Lore Family will record the vocals in a few weeks.

The recording sessions will not keep the family from touring and singing Southern Gospel. The group has a rather busy schedule for the next few months:

March 21: 10:30 AM// First Free Will Baptist Church; Springfield, OH
March 21: 6:00 PM// Grace Baptist; Garrison, KY
March 27: 7:00 PM// Washington Assembly of God; Anderson, IN
March 28: 10:00 AM// Mackey Nazarene; Mackey, IN

April 2: 6:30 PM// (Concert with: Satisfied, The Mylon Hayes Family, & The Lore Family) The Willow Event Center; Winchester, OH

April 4: 9:30 AM & 7:30 PM// Rubyville Community Church; Portsmouth, OH

April 10: 6:00 PM// Five Corners Baptist; Wolcottville, IN

April 11: 9:00 AM & 11:00 AM// Emmanuel Free Will Baptist Church; Wabash, IN

April 11: 6:00 PM// Riverview Community Church; Tippecanoo, IN

April 16: 7:00 PM// Horse Creek Free Will Baptist Church; Naoma, WV

April 17: Time TBA// Oxford Baptist (Oxford Women’s Worship); Conover, NC

April 18: 11:00 AM// Connelly Springs Baptist; Connelly, NC

April 18: 6:00 PM// Glad Tidings Free Will Baptist Church; Asheboro, NC

​April 25: 7:00 PM// Rock Branch; Nitro, WV


Fake accounts pretend to be Southern Gospel artists


Ivan Parker is the latest Southern Gospel singer to find that someone has set up a fake Facebook account in his name.  His real Facebook page shared a reminder on Thursday that one should always use caution on the social media site because imposters are so prevalent.

The Hoppers found similar accounts set up in their name back in December.

Editor’s note: The text below is from a previous story on fraudulent accounts. We are re-posting it here as a reminder.

It’s important to know the real addresses of your favorite group’s social media sites so you don’t fall prey to hucksters who hijack someone else’s good name for nefarious use.  Some imposters ask for cash. Some ask personal questions to get information they can use for identity fraud.  There are many reasons why you should be on guard against scammers who stoop to this.

Look to see if a page is verified. A blue checkmark should appear next to the name of the individual (or Gospel group) if Facebook has confirmed they are who they say they are.  Look at the screen shot of the real Hoppers Facebook page at the top of this article. Notice the blue check? Examine the name of any Facebook page closely; it’s not uncommon for a fake profile to have a wrong spelling or a name that is close but not exactly that of the page they are impersonating. Lastly, and probably most importantly, there’s nothing wrong with asking your kids or grandkids if they can tell if the page is legitimate. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security reports seniors are often targeted. The younger generations live on the internet and can often spot the hucksters faster than we.  There’s no shame in asking your son or daughter to look at a page especially if you are planning on buying a CD or make a donation.

It’s important to know that an artist or Gospel Group is a victim too when their name is used by a scammer who is trying to dupe you.   The Gospel Group probably isn’t even aware the fraud is happening in their name.  Do some googling and find an artist’s website if you suspect a fake Facebook has set up in their name. Most websites have links to their actual social media pages where you can check for the blue verification checkmark. If a Facebook page turns out to be fake, let the real artist know so they can take appropriate action. Facebook also has instructions on how to report a fake page.  Here is the link.