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!

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!!!”  

Hoppers take time to help a faith-based charity in West Virginia


The Hoppers concert Friday night raised money for a charity in West Virginia that benefits battered women, displaced persons and around 1,000 families who receive quality meals through the holiday season.

Mountain Mission Inc, is a faith-based non-profit organization in the United States serving individuals in need in the Kanawha Valley area of West Virginia. The organization’s mission statement says it helps, “… those in need with immediate support and communicate the importance of education, careers and financial management.

Funds from Friday’s concert will be used for a Christmas Food Basket program.
The group’s next stop is set for Sunday at the Faith Baptist Church in Pikeville, Tennessee.

Another Gospel Music honor for Janet Paschal

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Singer-songwriter Janet Paschal will soon be inducted into The North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame.

A press release from the museum lists some of her accomplishments. She’s a Gospel vocalist, author, and songwriter known for recordings such as “Written In Red”, “I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel”, and ”Born Again.” The museum describes her as one of the most soulfully versatile voices in Christian music.

Janet has earned multiple Dove Awards, Singing News Fan Awards, and Grammy nominations, and performed with Rev. Billy Graham, Bill & Gloria Gaither, President George Bush, and others.

Among the memorabilia that Janet is contributing to the museum, a performance dress and a key to the city of Reidsville.

Janet will cut the ribbon for her new museum exhibit on induction day this fall. Our congratulations to Janet Paschal on this honor!

Changes in store for The Dixie Echoes


The Dixie Echoes bass singer Jordan Wilson announced this week that he’s leaving the group. Jordan has served with The Dixie Echoes for 4 years.  A familiar face to Dixie Echoes fans will take his place.  Mark Cates, who has previously been a part of the lineup will rejoin The Dixie Echoes.

The group said in a statement this week that Jordan, “…has been a vital part of our family and we will certainly miss him. People have fallen in love with him all over the country, and he is a great Christian young man. We wish Jordan the very best in his future endeavors.”

The Dixie Echoes are planning a new recording very soon with the current lineup, including Trenton Williamson on tenor, Scoot Shelnut on baritone, and SGMA Hall Of Fame member Randy Shelnut, Sr. on lead. The album will include some old Dixie Echoes favorites, and some new songs in the classic Dixie Echoes style.