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The Fab Five – November 2013

The Holiday season is fast approaching as we turn the page to start November.  To kick off another month, it is time to take a look at the five most played radio songs on my iPod over the preceding month.  The Browders have another huge #1 hit, as other country flavored tunes from the LeBeaus, Johnson Edition and Wilburn & Wilburn find a place in the top five.  A power house cover of a Lanny Wolfe classic by the Nelons round out the list.  Enjoy!















Johnson Edition





















2013 NQC – Friday Night Recap

Gaither_Vocal_BandThe penultimate night of the 2013 National Quartet Convention is now in the record books.  It was a full day that started with the Gaither sing-a-long this morning.  Here are the nights hits and misses.

  • The Gaither sing-a-long highlights (in order of appearance) were:  “There Is A Fountain” (David Phelps), “Heaven’s Jubilee” (Keith Oxendine), “What A Lovely Name” (Libbi Stuffle), “I Call Him Lord” (Becky Bowman, Mark Lowry, Charlotte Ritchie) and “Glorious Freedom (GVB).
  • The Gaither Vocal Band really saved the best for last when they closed the program with “It Is Finished”.  It was a fitting end because nothing could have followed that performance.
  • It was good to see Taranda Greene singing with the Hoppers tonight.  “The Love Of God” with Dean, Kim, Taranda and Mike with just piano was amazing!
  • Thank you Bill Gaither for giving Canton Junction two songs.  Too bad a limited tour schedule will keep this group from reaching a larger Southern Gospel concert audience.
  • I enjoyed seeing Karen Peck Gooch and Kelly Nelon singing “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown” together.  Also each group’s individual sets were very good.
  • The showcase artists that performed tonight were some of the best of the week.  Early on, Freedom Quartet sang “Somebody Touched The Lord” while the Browders pulled out another future #1 late in the evening with “He Is Alive”.  But the showcase artist performance that stood out to me was the Wilbanks and their fantastic performance of the 23rd Psalm.  Unlike anything I have ever heard!

  • As with most Friday nights at NQC, the program ran over.
  • The free night interview cut-ins, cut out some of what was happening including the Penny Loafers and the opening to Karen Peck & New River’s set.
  • I believe this was the first time in the ten years since they started staging it that the Hoppers didn’t perform “Jerusalem” at NQC.
  • Performances that seemed to fall flat (at least from viewing it via webcam), in order of appearance are as follows:  Dennis Family (“I’ve Got Joy”) and Rick Webb Family (“Joy To The World”).


**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’m Glad I’m Saved” – Bowling Family  (2) “The Lord Is My Shepherd” – Wilbanks  (3) “More Than Wonderful” – Nelons  (4) “The Love Of God” – Hoppers  (5) “If That Isn’t Love” – Isaacs  (6) “On The Banks Of The Promised Land” – Karen Peck & New River  (7) “The Son Shines Down On Me” – Canton Junction  (8) “That Sounds Like Home To Me” – Gaither Vocal Band  (9) “The King Is Coming” – Mark Trammell Quartet  (8) “Get Up, Get Ready” – Gold City  (8) “He Is Alive” – Browders  (9) “I Know A Man Who Can” – Greater Vision  (8) “It Is Finished” – Gaither Vocal Band

Best Set of the Night:  This was a tough one because there were several strong sets to choose from, but if I was combining their entire set with the closing number I would give it to the Gaither Vocal Band.

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)


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