His Heart delivers harmony in song and in life


His Heart performs at Sand Spring Baptist Church, opening for Triumphant on June 21. From left are Kyle Harris, Jeremy Dickerson, Bill Sowder and Bob Abbott.

Popular group seeks to be ‘four guys that God can be proud of’

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

There might not be any singing group in any musical genre with a name more fitting than His Heart.

“We want to be four guys that God can be proud of,” says Bill Sowder, the founder of the popular Southern Gospel quartet based in his hometown of Mt. Vernon, Ky.

The enthusiastic audiences that fill His Heart concert venues would say the quartet is just that as it edifies and challenges listeners with mix of old gospel standards and more recent works. The quartet is a mix of music veterans and relative newcomers all with the same purpose of being people God would be proud of. Continue reading “His Heart delivers harmony in song and in life”

Moved by a classic


William Lee Golden first sang with The Oak Ridge Boys in 1965 but had never sung “I’d Rather Have Jesus” until the current tour. Here, he delivers a verse at Renfro Valley, Ky. on June 2.    (Photo by John Herndon)

William Lee Golden’s rendition of “I’d Rather Have Jesus” is a highlight of “Shine the Light” tour

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

As you can easily see from my other writings on KentuckySings, I am a huge fan of The Oak Ridge Boys and have been for almost 45 years.

It was the days when the Oaks could get a crowd rockin’ with their renditions of “King Jesus” or “Jesus is Coming Soon,” much like they do today when the Mighty Oaks Band breaks into that familiar introduction to “Elvira.”

Continue reading “Moved by a classic”

Taking a gospel trip with Zack Shelton and 64 to Grayson


Zack Shelton shares the gospel during a concert at Graefenburg Christian Church, May 20, 2018.

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

Trying to find a place to pin Zack Shelton and 64 to Grayson along the musical road isn’t impossible, but it’s close.

There’s some unmistakable country influence on this dynamic Christian band, but like all successful groups, the sound is one of its own. It can be progressive or traditional. Think anything from Chris Stapleton to George Strait to Hank Williams.

“I get this question a lot,” laughs Shelton, the son of Thomas Shelton, a veteran of over 30 years in the gospel music industry. “It can sometimes feel lonely doing this style of music because there aren’t a lot of other artists who tend to lean in our same direction.”

Continue reading “Taking a gospel trip with Zack Shelton and 64 to Grayson”

Playing for The One who gives the gift


Multi-talented musician Chris Golden brings a night of country gospel music to Renfro Valley, Kentucky on June 1, 2018.


By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

Chris Golden is happy just playing for The One who gave him the gift.

There are few packed crowds like he’d enjoyed during his 17 years as drummer for country and gospel music Hall of Famers The Oak Ridge Boys. Instead, Chris is his own driver, sound man, publicist, merchandiser and musician. “I’m a one man band now,” Chris says with his easy smile.

And he’s happy with the direction his musical journey is taking. Continue reading “Playing for The One who gives the gift”

Shining the Light takes a different meaning for this Oaks fan

Oaks at Renfro

The Oak Ridge Boys perform during their visit to Renfro Valley in June 2017.


By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

Some people really can’t understand why anyone would be excited to see one musical act 35 times.

But that is what I plan to be doing Saturday night when the Oak Ridge Boys make their annual trek to Renfro Valley, Kentucky. It will be my 35th Oaks concert (that I can remember) and, in my book, every one is special.

When people ask if I ever get tired of The Oaks, I just smile and say, “No way.”

Continue reading “Shining the Light takes a different meaning for this Oaks fan”

Chris Golden brings unique gospel experience to Renfro Valley

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

There’s very little that Chris Golden hasn’t done in more than four decades in the music business.

resizeMin200Now, he’s bringing a lifetime of playing and singing to the Old Barn at Renfro Valley on Friday, June 1. The show begins at 7 p.m. Chris had originally planned to have his daughter, Elizabeth, an accomplished fiddler, along for the concert but Chris informed KentuckySings.com Friday she will not be able to attend.

If Golden’s name sounds familiar, he is the son of famed Oak Ridge Boys baritone William Lee Golden and Chris Golden was a member of the Oaks band for 17 years himself. Continue reading “Chris Golden brings unique gospel experience to Renfro Valley”

Hall of Fame inductees praise God for gift


Jason Crabb (right) and Dale Ann Bradley sing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” to close the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony, May 11, 2018. At left is Paul Martin of the Martin Family Circus, who organized the band for the evening. (All photos by John Herndon)

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

There’s nothing quite like a great congregational singing. Nothing.

When God’s people come together to join their voices in praise, it can be uplifting, encouraging or a time of admonition and warning. Regardless of the message, it is a time when people are using one of the gifts with which they have been blessed.

When the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2018 at Renfro Valley on May 11, several of those honored were quick acknowledge the role of the church in developing and cultivating the skills that has made them household names in their respected fields. Continue reading “Hall of Fame inductees praise God for gift”