Mikaya Taylor honored as state ambassador



Mikaya Taylor has been named one of the top young stars in Bluegrass music. She often sings in churches and worship settings.

Young Bluegrass star moving toward worship music

By John Herndon, Kentucky Sings.com

(NOTE: I first met Mikaya Taylor three years ago, not long after one of her appearances on Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. At the time, she was a fifth-grader. Now, she is an eighth-grader at Anderson County Middle School and still turning heads with her powerful voice. I wrote this story, which appeared in the Aug. 1 edition of The Anderson News.)

Mikaya Taylor’s singing is still turning heads. The rising eighth-grader at Anderson County Middle School, who was first featured in The Anderson News almost three years ago, has cut a CD, and continues to sing around Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio when she can.

It’s a good gig for one of Kentucky’s newest Commonwealth Ambassadors. Mikaya received the honor at the Military Freedom Fest, held in Nicholasville in June. Continue reading “Mikaya Taylor honored as state ambassador”

Resurrection of Faith tour a must see


Photos by John Herndon Singing News Soloist of the Year Joseph Habedank sings at Sand Spring Baptist Church while The Erwins back him up.

Joseph Habedank and The Erwins mesh for a night of energetic gospel

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

The experiment was simple enough in its beginning: Bring one of gospel music’s youngest groups together with a young, but veteran soloist.

The Resurrection of Faith Tour was born and has more than exceeded all expectations as it has taken The Erwins, who range in age from 17-25, and gospel music veteran Joseph Habedank, all of 32 years old, across the nation. The tour has introduced many young people to a distinct style of music and has reassured older fans that Southern Gospel will remain alive and well.

It’s almost hard to believe there was some uncertainty when the tour began in Texas in June 2017. Continue reading “Resurrection of Faith tour a must see”

Becoming a ‘Musician-ary’


Trish Torline appears as a guest on a Lexington radio station. (Photo courtesy Trish Torline)

Stung when her pop career faltered, band director now shares powerful message of God’s grace

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

WINCHESTER, Ky. — Trish Torline had her path to stardom all planned out.

She’d been composing since middle school and recording since high school. And after graduating from the University of Kentucky with a music degree she headed to Los Angeles with a dream in her heart and 87 dollars in her pocket.

“From Day One, I wanted to go to L.A. and sing,” Torline remembers

God had different plans. Much different plans.

Continue reading “Becoming a ‘Musician-ary’”

A song in her heart for life


My mother, Corinne Herndon, played piano at her church for 57 years. After moving to a nursing home, nurses wheeled her to the piano where she played hymns for other residents.

My mother loved serving God and singing about Him

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

I can’t tell you much about the first real gospel concert I remember attending but I can tell you my mother and her sister were both worked up about it.

It was back in 1965 when this 7-year-old tagged along to see The Prophets at the American Legion Fairgrounds in Lawrenceburg, Ky. Of course, we’d heard local groups sing at revivals and other church functions, but The Prophets were just different. We’d heard them on radio and seen them on TV. This was big time!

And Mom and her sister, who I called Aunt Myrt, were more than ready to hear Big Lew Garrison sing tenor. Continue reading “A song in her heart for life”

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”