The Southern Gospel Story Of My Life (1979)

hoppersAs I begin again with Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row, I thought I would indulge my readers in a little Southern Gospel story of my life.  This new weekly series will cover the impact Southern Gospel music has made in my life.  It has been a part of my entire life.

I will go through the years and the artists that left a mark on my life.  It all begins in 1979, at the age of four, when the Hopper Brothers & Connie came to a church in my hometown of Westminster Maryland.  Looking back, I don’t remember much about my first Southern Gospel concert experience, but I do get flashes of memories that have remained.

I remember Connie Hopper speaking from the stage, and even as a youngster hearing her sincerity as she spoke.  I remember being taken to the record table and having Connie sign a picture that was purchased.  Roger and Debra Talley were members of the group at this time and I can remember Debra also signing the picture.

The bigger music memories of that first concert actually came after as I remember hearing the record albums that were purchased.  The music began making an impact on a young boy’s life.  Maybe it was a result of that first musical experience by the Hopper Brothers & Connie that left such an impression, but to this day there is no other group in Southern Gospel music that I have seen more in concert since 1979 than the Hoppers.

I want to also take this time to let the Hoppers (Connie) know that I am praying for her as she battles cancer once again.  It sounds as if the surgery was a success.  I pray for healing and a speedy recovery period.  I have another Connie Hopper concert memory that comes a few years after this that left even a greater impact on a young boy’s life and love of Southern Gospel music.

Enjoy a mash-up of music that the Hopper Brothers & Connie would have been staging (in concert) in the year 1979.


3 thoughts on “The Southern Gospel Story Of My Life (1979)

  1. Our stories sound pretty similar! My first concert was around 1981-82 when I was about 5 or 6. (I guess we are pretty close to the same age.) I attended most of my concerts with my older sister (12 years older than me), so she is my person to thank for getting me hooked on southern gospel.

    I first attended a multi group event hosted by Frank Arnold at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. He hosted a couple large events each year, so I don’t remember exactly which groups were at the very first concert. However, I do have distinct memories of many of the groups that I saw during the early 80’s.

    I was mesmerized by George Younce and the Cathedrals, entertained by Jim Hamill and the Kingsmen, and I had a big 6 year old crush on Candy Hemphill. I also have great memories of the Hinsons, Gold City, Singing Americans, and Nelons. I remember buying pictures of the groups and getting their autographs.

    Like you, my memories really start with the albums my sister and other family members purchased! I remember singing in front of the mirror (with a hairbrush for a microphone) until I had memorized every song on every album!

    Thanks for reminding me of some great memories! I look forward to hearing more of your stories!

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