This week’s classic video feature piggy backs on our ten on ten artist Karen Peck Gooch. Here is a 1988 clip of Karen with the Nelons performing “Happy Ending”. Enjoy!
“Happy Ending” – Nelons (1988)
**Footnote: I wanted to ask my readers if they could lift a prayer on my behalf. I have been experiencing some breathing issues recently and I have an appointment with a pulmonologist tomorrow to determine the cause. Y’all are great!
This week’s smack down features a song that is listed as public domain. “My, My, My” is a traditional Southern Gospel up tempo song that fit quartets perfectly. This smack down will feature three fairly recent versions of the song.
First up is a 2004 version of the song by the Nelons. Recorded on their album The Light Of Home, the Nelons use the traditional arrangement. Member, Amber Thompson is featured on the first verse. Listen as the Nelons take the first chorus and verse.
In 2006, Legacy Five decided to cover the song on their Live In Music City album. Backed up by the Voices Of Lee, Legacy Five uses a similar arrangement. Listen as Legacy Five take the second chorus and verse.
The final version in this week’s smack down feature is the Taylors. Recorded on their 2010 recording Sing The Story, this happens to be the latest radio single for the Taylors. No variation in the arrangement, listen to the Taylors close out this up tempo number.
Which version of “My, My, My” stands above the others?
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)
We Shall Behold The King (1983)
Let The Redeemed Say So (1989)
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.
In this week’s classic video spotlight; a clip from the Nelons. This 1991 feature is from the Gospel Jubilee program that aired on the Nashville Network. This was after Karen Peck left to form New River. Listen to the classic “He’s Coming Soon.”
“He’s Coming Soon” – Nelons (1991)
The second clip, with a similar message, is from the Lesters. This 1987 clip of “The Return Of El Shaddai” comes from a television performance at the old Heritage USA. Enjoy!
I had the opportunity Saturday night (03/12/11) to go to the South Iredell High School in Troutman NC to see the Nelons. The concert was hosted by regional artist Shellem Cline, who now sings lead for regional quartet Brothers Redeemed. There were several hundred in attendance. Here are some highlights.
Brothers Redeemed is a regional quartet based in Hickory NC. I was pleasantly surprised with the group. You never know what you’re going to get with regional artists. Brothers Redeemed has solid harmonies and their song selection was strong. Being a regional artist, their program was filled with cover songs but they did quite well with “I Cast My Bread Upon The Water”, “Shoutin’ Happy”, “Thank You Lord” and “I’ll Live Again”.
Lead singer Shellem Cline also attempted an impersonation of Peg McKamey Bean. Interesting.
The Nelons were also on the program and they were the reason I attended this concert. This group rarely gets to this area and I was glad to get out and catch one of their performances. “The Love Of God For Me” is one of my current favorite songs. Amber really turned in a power house performance of this song. Amber also out did herself with “There Is A Way”. She has become one of the top female vocalists in Southern Gospel music.
It was also great to hear the group pull out some Nelon classics. “Come Morning” with just acoustic guitar as accompaniment was outstanding! Kelly was featured on the verses. It brought the house down. The Nelons also performed “Walk Right Out Of This Valley”, “Oh For A Thousand Tongues” (great!!) and “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown”.
The group rocked the house with their cover of the McGruders hit “I’m Going Home With Jesus”. Love this song. “He Found Me” and “I Choose The Lord” were also highlights. This was the second concert in a row that brought back some memories. I remember the Nelons when they were riding high in the 1980′s and it was great to hear some of the group’s classic music. Take a look at a classic video clip featuring one of my all time favorite Nelon songs “Oh For A Thousand Tongues”.
This week in the song covers Smack Down we find “We Shall Overcome”. Written by Jeff Ross, “We Shall Overcome” was recorded by the Nelons on their 1985 album In One Accord. This was the first album that the group shortened their name from the Rex Nelon Singers to the Nelons. The Nelons were one of the top groups in the industry during this time period with Jerry Thompson (Tenor/Lead), Karen Peck (Soprano), Kelly Nelon (Alto) and Rex Nelon (Bass) rounding out the vocal spots. Jeff Stice was also the pianist for the group during this era.
Karen Peck took the lead on the first verse to the Nelons version. Included in the clip is the first verse and chorus by the Nelons.
Jeff Stice factors into the remake of “We Shall Overcome”. Now with Triumphant Quartet, the song cover found its way onto the group’s 2010 recording Love Came Calling. Jeff Stice was an associate producer on the recording and handles the group’s song arrangements. While Triumphant’s version doesn’t stray too far from the original, bass singer Eric Bennett takes the lead on the second verse.
A song clip of Triumphant Quartet on the second verse and chorus. Who will overcome this week with their version of the song; Nelons or Triumphant Quartet?
Kicking off another week and back to the best of 2010 countdown. Coming in at #6 for best album of 2010 is the Nelons, Beside Still Waters. This album was released back in February. Current vocalists in the group consist of Jason Clark, Kelly Nelon Clark and Amber Thompson. This album was a return to that classic Nelons sound.
Personal favorites on the recording include: “The Love Of God For Me”, “I’m Going Home With Jesus”, “Jesus, What A Wonderful Name”, “Weep”, “Beside Still Waters”, “Consider Me” and “Settled At The Cross”.
The group turned in a great cover of one of my all time favorite McGruder songs, “I’m Going Home With Jesus”. Great production, song selection and powerhouse vocals make Beside Still Waters one of the year’s best at #6.
It just so happens the Nelons dominate the #6 spot. The song I chose as sixth among the best recorded songs of 2010 is “The Love Of God For Me” by the Nelons. This song was penned by group member Jason Clark as a praise song for their church.
It is one of the best ‘kick-off’ songs to any recording this year. Amber Thompson is featured and turns in one of her best vocal performances. The melody reminds me of the song “Don’t Let Me Miss The Glory”. It is also the group’s current radio single. It could become a hit for the group in 2011.
A brief clip is provided for #6 among the best recorded songs of 2010; “The Love Of God For Me”.