With the National Quartet convention now in the rear view mirror, it is time to kick off another week of regularly scheduled programming. This week’s ten on ten feature is another artist who has a 30+ album discography. Like Gold City the week before, the Nelons have a long and storied recording career that started as the Rex Nelon Singers in 1977 and continues today as a trio under the leadership of original member Kelly Nelon Clark with husband Jason and daughter Amber Thompson. When looking at the group’s 30+ recordings, it is tough to try to narrow that down to the groups ten best.
The Nelons ten best recordings are:
- Get Ready (1988)
- Thanks (1987)
- We Shall Behold The King (1983)
- Let The Redeemed Say So (1989)
- Live (1978)
- United For Christ (2002)
- In One Accord (1985)
- Expressions Of Love (1980)
- The Sun’s Coming Up (1977)
- A New Generation (1991)
- As the Cathedrals, Gold City and the Kingsmen dominated the Southern Gospel quartet world in the 1980′s, the Nelons were the dominant mixed group of that decade.
- Three of the group’s top five albums fell between the years 1987, 1988 and 1989. The group was recording some of the best songs of their career during this stretch.
- “Bring My Children Home”, “Let The Redeemed Say So”, “Thanks”, “I Lean On You Lord”, “I’ll Talk To The Father” were all recorded during this time period.
- We Shall Behold The King in 1983 was the album that took the Nelons to a new level within the Southern Gospel music industry. One of the group’s most recognized songs came from that recording; “O For A Thousand Tongues”. The song went on to win Song of the Year in 1984.
- The best modern era recording by the group is the 2002 effort, United For Christ. This 14 song collection had material that was reminiscent of classic Nelons and it was what the group needed after a slew of mediocre recordings in the late ’90s.
- The Rex Nelon Singers, born out of a retiring LeFevres group, were strong right out of the gate. The group’s debut recording The Sun’s Coming Up and the follow-up Live recording in the years 1977 and 1978 still remain among the ten best recordings the group released.
- The two soprano vocalists the group carried during their dominant years remain major forces within the Southern Gospel music industry. Those two being Janet Paschal and Karen Peck Gooch. Introducing standards such as “Come Morning” and “Wedding Day”.
- This ten on ten feature also allows the reader to see the legacy certain artists have left within the industry. The Nelons have left a huge legacy for Southern Gospel mixed groups. Look how the top mixed group of today (Hoppers) has covered many songs the Nelons have made popular over the years (“I’ve Come Too Far”, “Let The Redeemed Say So”, “Victory Shall Be Mine”).
- Just like any artist with a long recording career, the Nelons also had some albums that were forgettable. Glad You’re Here from 1996 and We’ve Got To Praise Him from 1997 top my list of albums that should be forgotten.
- I hope this newer generation of Southern Gospel music fans don’t forget artists that paved the way. The Nelons legacy should never be forgotten. Their best music is some of this industry’s best music. When Southern Gospel historians continue compiling lists of this genre’s all time greatest albums; there should be Nelons albums on that list.
***NEXT UP ON TEN ON TEN: GREATER VISION***