Blog Archives

Most Influential – #11 – Nelons

nelons1978livemax (300x300)This week continues with the artist ranked 11th among the most influential in Southern Gospel history; the Nelons.

The Nelons was built out of the legacy Rex Nelon created as a member of the LeFevres.  Rex spent 20 years singing bass with the LeFevres.  When Eva Mae decided to come off the road in 1977, Rex Nelon took over the group and changed the name to the Rex Nelon Singers.

That first group was composed of Rex (bass), Kelly (alto), Janet Paschal (soprano) and Rodney Swain (lead).  The group found immediate success with their first album, The Sun’s Coming Up.  This song still remains a signature song for the group.

The Rex Nelon Singers would pick up their first #1 song in 1980 with “Come Morning”.  That same year they recorded a song that would become another signature for the group, “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown”.

By the time they released their 1985 album, In One Accord, the Rex Nelon Singers was shortened to the Nelons.  The music the Nelons created in the 1980’s has left an indelible mark on the music we hear in Southern Gospel music in 2013.

Today’s generation of the Nelons continue with Kelly, daughter Amber and husband Jason.


  • nelons1988getreadymaxThe number of times a mixed/family Southern Gospel artist has staged “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown” over the course of the last thirty years is testament enough of the mark the Nelons influence has left on Southern Gospel.
  • The music the Nelons were creating in the 1980’s can/could be seen in the following artists:  Beene Family, Bledsoes, Browns, Collingsworth Family, Crist Family, Dills, Johnson Edition, Lesters, LordSong and Taylors.
  • The Nelons also saw Dan Clark, Karen Peck Gooch, David Hill, Paul Lancaster, Todd Nelon, Lamar Newton, Katy Peach, Charlotte Ritchie, Amy Roth, Jeff Stice, Jerry Thompson and Stan Whitmire spend time with the group.
  • Hit Songs:  “All That Matters”, “Bring My Children Home”, “Come Morning”, “Covered By The Blood”, “He Called Me Out”, “He Rolled Back The Stone”, “He’s The Calm Before The Storm”, “Holy Is The Name”, “I Choose The Lord”, “I Want To Be Like My Lord”, “I’ll Just Lay It Down And Leave It”, “I’ll Talk To My Father”, “I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is”, “I’m Gonna Keep Walking”, “I’m On My Way”, “I’ve Got A Right”, “Jesus Is Alive And Well”, “Jesus Is Your Ticket To Heaven”, “Leaning Place”, “Let The Redeemed Say So”, “Love Of God For Me”, “Moment I’m Gone”, “More Than Conquerors”, “No More Tears”, “O For A Thousand Tongues”, “Settled At The Cross”, “The Sun’s Coming Up”, “Take Off Those Rags Lazarus”, “Thanks”, “That’s Enough”, “That’s Why I Love To Call His Name”, “There Is A Way”, “There’ s More Where That Came From”, “Waiting On The Word”, “We Shall Overcome”, “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown”, “We Speak Your Name”, “Wedding Day”, “Well Done My Child”, “What A Change”, “When I Receive My Robe And Crown”, “Where Sin Has Been Pardoned” and “You Ain’t Seen The Last Of Jesus”.
  • Best Album:  Get Ready (1988)


Here is a YouTube clip, from our MusicScribeBlog channel, of the Nelons performing one of their biggest hits; “O For A Thousand Tongues”.  Enjoy

Smack Down!! – Nelons – Round 1

This week’s artist album smack down is the first match up for legendary mixed group, the Nelons.  Listen to sound bytes of each recording and then vote for the album you think should win.

  • nelons1988Album – Get Ready
  • Release Year – 1988
  • Vocal Line Up – Jerry Thompson (tenor), Karen Peck (soprano), Kelly Nelon (alto), Rex Nelon (bass)
  • Song List – (1) “In Jesus Name” (2) “I Can Almost Hear The Trumpet” (3) “Revival In The Land” (4) “Get Ready For The Rapture” (5) “Medals, Crowns And Trophies” (6) “A Wonderful Change” (7) “Bring My Children Home” (8) “I Just Keep Watching The Gates” (9) “Building” (10) “We’re Gonna Make It”


  • nelons1991Album – A New Generation
  • Release Year – 1991
  • Vocal Line Up – Jerry Thompson (tenor), Todd Nelon (baritone), Kelly Nelon (alto), Rex Nelon (bass)
  • Song List – (1) “Clap Your Hands” (2) “I’ve Been Through The Blood” (3) “Take Off Those Rags Lazarus” (4) “When Redeemed I Stand” (5) “Making My Plans To Make It” (6) “I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is” (7) “Mercy Called Me By Name” (8) “Let The Church Arise” (9) “I’m Still Leaning On Jesus” (10) “When He Takes My Hand”

The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 1994

bishops1994chapterxlive150I always enjoy bringing this series; the definitive Southern Gospel collection.  The series takes a look at the twenty best album released in Southern Gospel music by year.  Today we take a look at the year 1994.

The Cathedrals began their dominance in the 1990’s by winning group of the year at the Singing News fan awards.  Gold City’s Pillars Of Faith won album of the year for a 2nd year in a row while the McKameys, “Arise” was awarded song of the year.

majesty1994coolclearwater150The Gaither Vocal Band took the Dove awards for Southern Gospel album (Southern Classics) and song (“Satisfied).

The twenty best albums released in Southern Gospel music in 1994:

  1. Chapter X Live – Bishops (MorningStar)
  2. The Martins – Martins (Chapel)
  3. Testify – Gaither Vocal Band (Chapel)
  4. Cool Clear Water – Tony Gore & Majesty (Promised Land)
  5. Carry Me – Isaacs (Horizon)
  6. bfa1994bfa150Thread Of Hope – Jeff & Sheri Easter (Chapel)
  7. Never Thirst Again – Hoppers (Sonlite)
  8. Masterpiece – Dixie Melody Boys (MorningStar)
  9. Brian Free & Assurance – Brian Free & Assurance (Chapel)
  10. Serving A Risen Savior – Greater Vision (RiverSong)
  11. Renewed – Gold City (RiverSong)
  12. Fields Of Greene – Greenes (ACA)
  13. Sold Out – Don DeGrate & Strong Tower (Homeland)
  14. Triumphant – Nelons (Chapel)
  15. hayesfamily1994onepurpose150I Speak To You – Kirk Talley (Sonlite)
  16. Bridge The Gap – New Journey (Canaan)
  17. Come To The Fountain – Anchormen (Sonlite)
  18. Raise The Roof – Cathedrals (Canaan)
  19. One Purpose – Hayes Family (Custom)
  20. Stirrin’ It Up – Steeles (Daywind)

Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best albums released in 1994.  Enjoy!

Best Of 2012 – #15

This first week of December closes with the album and recorded song ranked #15 among the year’s best.  Yesterday, the Nelons had the #16 recorded song of 2012.

Today, the album of the same name, Come On Home, ranks #15 among the best Southern Gospel albums released in 2012.  Produced by Bill Gaither, Come On Home is an easy listening type recording.  Reminiscent of what the Bill Gaither Trio would record, this album is dominated by slower, more reflective type songs.

What sets it apart is the power house vocal work put in by all three members of the Nelons.  As a result, Come On Home is one of the best Southern Gospel albums released in 2012.

Personal favorites from this recording include:  “Come On Home”, “Jesus, I Just Want To Say I’m Sorry”, “Come To The River”, “The Sun’s Coming Up”, “I Choose The Lord” and “Morning Has Broken”.

The song ranked #15 among the best songs recorded in 2012, is one of the most personal you’ll find in the entire list.

Everyone in Southern Gospel music is aware of the battle Sheri Easter faced with breast cancer several years ago.  Now that she in on the other side of that battle, she recorded a song on the group’s 2012 album, Eyes Wide Open, titled “I Know How It Feels To Survive”.

Penned by Sheri and son Madison Easter, Sheri delivers this song with assurance.  The listener can believe every word she is singing.  Listen to a clip of #15 among the best recorded songs of 2012; “I Know How It Feels To Survive”.

The countdown continues Monday with #14.

Best Of 2012 – #16

The countdown continues and it is mixed trios that land at #16 among the best Southern Gospel albums and recorded songs of 2012.

The mixed trio that lands at #16 among the best album releases of the year is 11th Hour.  This trio is new to many listeners as Steppin’ Out is only the group’s second album.  The group’s style is reminiscent of the Hinsons, mixed with a little Crabb Family and add just a dash of the Martins.

11th Hour gained exposure with their hit radio song from 2011, “Adam’s Fall”.  Anchored by lead vocalist and songwriter Amber Eppinette, the group’s future looks bright.

Personal favorites from this recording include:  “He’s See What We Don’t”, “Bloodline”, “Tomb To The Table”, “Steppin’ Out” and “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

The mixed trio that has the #16 recorded song of 2012 is the Nelons.  A group name that has been around for over thirty years but the Nelons of today have seen a resurgence in their career over the last several years.

That resurgence is a direct result of their last several album releases.  The title track of their 2012 album, “Come On Home” is the song that finds a home as the #16 recorded song of the year.

Penned by the dynamic songwriting duo of Bill and Gloria Gaither, the strength of “Come On Home” is the vocal performance turned in by Amber Thompson.  Amber is one of the best female vocalists singing Southern Gospel music right now.  Listen to a clip of the #16 song of 2012; “Come On Home”.

Tomorrow brings #15.

Album Covers To Rank – Set 12

You know the drill.  Rank the following set of album covers from best to worst in the comments section (1 being best, 6 being worst).  Also, if you didn’t get a chance, go back and rank set 11.  Click on thumbnail for larger image.

From Out Of The Past – Kingsmen (1979)

Serenade – Kirk Talley (1995)

Beside Still Waters – Nelons (2010)

No Trace Of Rain – Paid In Full (2009)

The Unseen Guest – Rebels Quartet (1964)

Hymns II – Ricky Atkinson & Compassion (2006)

Album Covers To Rank – Set 11

Last week, I chose six quartet albums to rank.  This week I have chosen six mixed group albums to rank.  In the comments section rank the following albums from 1 to 6 (1 being best, 6 being worst).  Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Home Cookin’ – Hemphills (1979)

Places To Go, People To See – Hoskins Family (2003)

Journeys – Nelons (1986)

Gloryland Gold – Lesters (1983)

It’s Out Of This World – Paynes (1982)

Rise Above – Talley Trio (2006)

More Singing In The Foothills And Free Music Give-Away

I decided to attend the last night of the 2012 Singing In The Foothills in Wilkesboro NC on Saturday (06/23/12).  Six artists capped off this event to a large crowd of Southern Gospel enthusiasts.  On this particular night Jonathan Martin was recording some social cam videos.  I will also be providing some audio sound bytes of each set to give my readers a small taste of the event.  Here are highlights in order of appearance.

Kingsmen – The Kingsmen kicked off the event to a crowd ready to hear some great music.  This was my first opportunity to see the group with Chris Jenkins (tenor) and Bob Sellers (lead).  They sounded great.  Chris was a great addition to the group.  He is reminiscent of the classic high tenors the Kingsmen were known for in the past.  Here is a social cam clip from Jonathan Martin and some sound bytes for you to enjoy.

Nelons – This was the third time in a two month time span that I’ve seen the Nelons.  Similar set, but I am still in awe at the vocal talent that Amber possesses.  Enjoy these audio sound bytes of their set.

Talleys – It was great seeing the Talleys in a four-part harmony mixed group.  They did quite a bit of material from the new album (Love Won), most notably “Make Way For The Master” and “Broken World”.  But the song that caused that crowd to come unglued was their closing number, “He’s Alive”.  Wow!  Here are some sound bytes of their set.

Karen Peck & New River – New River is a favorite among the Singing In The Foothills crowd.  It was evident from the first song.  It was great hearing “On The Banks Of The Promised Land”, but the crowd would not let them leaven the stage after performing “Four Days Late”.  Jonathan Martin picked up a social cam video here.  Enjoy sound bytes from New River’s set.

Primitives – Bluegrass Southern Gospel artist the Primitives delighted the crowd with their brand of mountain flavored music.  A favorite of folks in North Carolina, the Primitives highlights included “I Don’t Have To See The Tomb” and “Walking In The Highway”.  Another social cam video of the Primitives picking here.  Also, sound audio sound bytes of their set.

Martins – I can’t tell you how great it was to see the Martins again.  It has been several years since I had the chance to catch up with these folks.  They have never sounded better.  “The Promise” and “Unredeemed” knocked my socks off.  Jonathan even got a social cam video of the group on stage, here.  Enjoy sound bytes from the Martins set.

As a result of the great time I had at Singing In The Foothills, there is some free music to give away.  I have two brand new, unopened copies of the Talleys newest album Love Won.  Easily one of the best Southern Gospel albums released so far in 2012.  The first two individuals to email me ( the answer to the following trivia question will win.

***Question:  Name the group Debra Talley was a member before marrying Roger and joining the Hoppers.***

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Charles and Justin for being the first two to answer the Songmasters correctly.  They won a copy of the Talleys new recording Love Won.  Thanks for the continued readership and more free music to continue through the summer.


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