Life is Good for Steve Bridgmon

Steve Bridgmon sings during the Ichthus festival on Sept. 10.

Owensboro native enjoying success on several fronts

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

It’s hard to imagine anyone enjoying life more than Steve Bridgmon these days.

Not just any country music artist. Not just any Christian music artist. Not just anyone in Nashville, from Kentucky or any other designation.

Just anyone. It’s hard to imagine anyone having more reason to smile of late than Bridgmon, the Owensboro native who has built a successful career as a soloist in Inspirational Country music, sometimes called “Christian country.”

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Kingsmen, Perrys, KPNR on powerful Paramount card

Belcher expecting special night in Ashland

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

Gospel music fans near Ashland, Ky., can experience a night of powerful worship when The Kingsmen, The Perrys and Karen Peck & New River come to town on Thursday, Oct. 6.

The stellar lineup of southern gospel greats will be at the Paramount Arts Center that night. The singing begins at 7 p.m.

“Ashland is a very special town,” promoter Paul Belcher says. “Folks come to worship. It’s totally different than any other market we come to promote. People rejoice and praise the Lord. It’s a church service.”

Belcher has put together a lineup full of southern gospel history but all three groups continue to receive accolades after decades in the business.

The Kingsmen in concert earlier this year at Crab Orchard, Kentucky. (File photo by John Herndon)

The Kingsmen, formed in 1956, features Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Famer Ray Dean Reese singing his distinctive bass. The group’s sound blends the best of traditional southern gospel with more contemporary sounds.

The Perrys first performed on Dec. 25, 1970 as a family trio that Libbi Perry Stuffle continues to lead today. She remains one of gospel music’s favorite altos and her late husband, Tracy Stuffle, who sang bass with the group for more than 30 years, was inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame in 2018.

Karen Peck & New River. (Photo submitted)

Karen Peck and New River has been one of gospel music’s top groups since forming in 1991. Karen Peck Gooch is also one of gospel music’s beloved performers, being named to the SGMA Hall of Fame last year.

All of the groups have multiple No. 1 hits and have been awarded many times by the industry.

The Paramount Arts Center routinely brings high-quality acts to the Ashland-Huntington, W.Va.-Ironton, Ohio area and Belcher says it is a great venue for southern gospel. “The history of the Paramount is so rich,” he said. “We go to the Paramount because it’s a neutral location.  We seldom go to a church for a ticketed event. Every denomination feels comfortable coming to a service there….Sonny and Barbara Sites promoted there for years. I love Ashland, Ky.”

The Perrys have been singing gospel music for more than 50 years. (Photo submitted)

Belcher said he has been promoting at The Paramount since 2019 when he booked the McKameys there for part of their farewell tour. Common Bond, based in Ashland, was also on the card that night. “It was special. Being there last year, folks responded very well,” Belcher said.

Belcher said tickets, which are priced at 20 and 25 dollars, are “going rather well.” He advised that even with tickets available less than two weeks before the concert, fans should not wait.

“The last week is always the busiest with ticket sales,” he said. “I believe we will have a great crowd.”


**Tickets for The Kingsmen, The Perrys and Karen Peck & New River at The Paramount Arts Center in Ashland can be purchased at www.paulbelcher.com or at The Friends & Memories Tour featuring: Karen Peck & New River, The Perrys, and The Kingsmen Tickets | Ashland, KY | Paramount Arts Center (etix.com)

Capital City Boys stay in tune with their musical roots

The Capital City Boys sing at Graefenburg Christian Church in July, 2019. From left are Alan Taylor, Kelly Briscoe, Josh Martin and Chris Woodyard. Taylor retired from the group last year and has been replaced by Jason Witten.

‘If they don’t like the old style Southern Gospel quartet style they would be bored with us’

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

The Capital City Boys have sung in many places and seen just about everything in over 20 years of performing gospel music. 

They’ve sung in small country churches and opened for nationally-known gospel artists. But they’ve never forgotten their roots.

They’ve sung in nearly every kind of church found in central Kentucky and have even had a stint working as a barbershop quartet. But they’ve never forgotten why they sing. 

They are enormously talented and could probably sing many more dates if they opened their calendar a bit more. But they’ve never forgotten their commitment to local ministry.

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More of God’s victories in their lives

Wayne and Darlene Shirey sing at Sand Spring Baptist Church on August 18.

The Shireys are back on the road after a year of medical setbacks

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — You simply can’t spend time around Wayne and Darlene Shirey without being uplifted and reminded of God’s goodness.

It doesn’t matter if you are watching them on stage or interacting with the gospel music veterans at the product table or in a church lobby. Their lives and ministry is always about the wonderful nature of God.

They’ve sung about it for years. They’ve lived it up close and personal over the last 12 months or so.

And through it all, Darlene says, the devil tried to bring them down. “He ain’t going to win,” she says with that South Carolina accent. 

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Highway 62 Jubilee celebrates in many ways

Won Life, a trio based in Hardinsburg, Ky., sings during the Highway 62 Jubilee on August 20.

Louisville-area program features southern, country, bluegrass gospel from local and national artists

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

Putting together a night of gospel music that reaches across its varying sounds can be a difficult proposition, but the Highway 62 Jubilee seeks to bring them together each month.

Created by promoter Ray Lawrence, the Jubilee endeavors to bring together southern, bluegrass and country gospel one Saturday a month while serving as a vehicle for multiple ministries. It has been meeting since March 2021.

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God is All she needs

Victoria Shirey Bowlin sings during 11th Hour’s concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on Aug. 18.

11th Hour’s Victoria Shirey Bowlin shares His power and providence through music

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

When Victoria Shirey Bowlin joined 11th Hour last summer, she could only see it as another way God worked in her life. 

“Honestly, God threw it in my lap,” she says with a huge smile. “I had no intention of ever joining another group when I stopped singing with my family.”

Victoria had sung with her parents and sister for 20 years when she decided to concentrate on ministry with her husband, Aaron Bowlin, and do solo work in 2014. And she was happy in those roles when the opportunity to sing with 11th Hour presented itself. 

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Where he’s supposed to be

Will Lane sings during the Mark Trammell Quartet concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on July 22, 2022. It was Will’s first performance with MTQ.

Will Lane believes the latest life chapter is authored by God

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. – Will Lane could not have sung more appropriate lyrics than those of his first solo Friday night.

Oh yes, oh yes, I’m a child of the King

His royal blood now flows through my veins

And I who was wretched and poor now can sing

Praise God! Praise God! I’m a child of the King!

– Child of the King by Bill and Gloria Gaither

“I am not going to lie to you. I was NERVOUS,” Lane smiled a few minutes after his first concert as a member of the Mark Trammell Quartet. “At the same time, I knew God had me. He has continued to bless me more than I ever deserve and He gave me the strength to get through tonight.”

Praise God! Praise God! I’m a child of the King!

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‘The Message Has Never Changed’

‘I’ve got a joy that the world didn’t give me … And the world can’t take it away.’ Triumphant’s Scotty Inman sings at Sand Spring Baptist Church on June 9.

Triumphant’s Scotty Inman continues his acclaimed quartet work, loves his new church plant challenge

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

It was more than a bit ironic to see one of the Facebook memories that popped up on my timeline just before typing out this entry for KentuckySings.com.

There they were, almost jumping out of my computer screen, Triumphant Quartet all decked out in matching dark suits – they had displayed some individuality in their shirt and tie selections – during a concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on June 19, 2014. 

On that Facebook post, I had commented “These guys can sing gospel music!” and that the house had been packed.

It was Southern Gospel music at its absolute best.

Some things change and some don’t. 

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Once a Booth Brother, Always a Booth Brother

Jim Brady delivers a solo during The Booth Brothers’ concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on May 26.

Despite ‘crazy’ schedule, Jim Brady is loving his return home

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Regardless of where his career would take him, Jim Brady knew he would always be a Booth Brother.

And after some unexpected turns in The Booth Brothers’ road of ministry, he found himself right back where he’d become a household name in gospel music.

“The first time I was here, I spent 13 years with The Booth Brothers and I love the guys,” Brady remembers. “So it was a bittersweet thing because I loved being with The Booth Brothers and had a wonderful time. There were no issues or fights or anything. There was no reason why we would leave other than God was leading me into a new ministry with my wife. 

“So one of the things they said to me then was, ‘Once a Booth Brother, always a Booth Brother.’”

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Stepping out in obedience

Buddy Mullins sings during The Booth Brothers’ concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on May 26.

Booth Brothers’ Buddy Mullins believes God leads his ministries sharing the hope of Jesus Christ

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. – Buddy Mullins could only when Michael Booth called to tell him the latest news.

It was early in 2021 when Michael told Buddy that his older brother, Ronnie Booth, was retiring from traveling with The Booth Brothers. “I actually laughed,” Mullins said less than an hour before taking the stage at Sand Spring Baptist Church on May 26. “I thought Michael was teasing. I was like, ‘Really?’ Michael, you know, can be kind of dry with his sense of humor.””

This was one time Michael Booth really was being serious and he was reaching out to Buddy to fill Ronnie’s spot in the trio’s lineup. Buddy didn’t say yes. He didn’t say no. He just turned it over to God and is now convinced that manning that unexpected opening is exactly where he’s supposed to be. 

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