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January 4th - January 31st, 2006

Praise and Worship Beat

Please check out my new website, Praise and Worship Beat.
January 31st, 2006
 

Influenced and Inspired

Mike Bowling's new CD, "Influenced and Inspired: Remembering Kenny Hinson," has just been released. Daywind is offering a preview.
January 26th, 2006
 

Inspirational Russ Taff
The Aiken Standard in South Carolina carries an excellent review, titled "Writing Truly Inspirational Music," of a Russ Taff church performance (though it thinks he's still in the Gaither Vocal Band).

One of Contemporary Christian Music’s most inspirational voices, six-time Grammy and nine-time Dove Award winning vocalist Russ Taff brought a powerful message to the Christian Heritage Church Sunday evening through his ministry of music and faith....

“There’s so much more to life than just making records and writing songs,” said Taff. “I found out as a child there’s an eternal purpose. We’re only on this world for a short time, and we’re here for a higher calling. We go through so much hurt and pain in this world, but I’ve found a place where life can be restored, and the broken places healed, and that’s what I talk about, the life I found in Jesus Christ.”

Taff’s emotionally stirring vocals and far-reaching sincerity have touched fans worldwide and locally.

January 24th, 2006

Steinway Honors Anthony Burger
I've no idea if this is a big deal or not. Anthony Burger has announced that he has been named "the newest Steinway Artist by world-renowned piano maker, Steinway and Sons." On his website Anthony says: “This is an incredible honor for me. I’ve been playing a Steinway piano on the Gaither tour for years and wouldn’t want to play anything else.”
January 23rd, 2006
 

Bouquets for Benjy
Benjy Gaither is getting some good reviews for his work as the voice of goat in the new movie "Hoodwinked." Here's Christianity Today:

A host of new characters play memorable supporting roles, including the funniest mountain goat you've ever seen (Benjy Gaither, son of the gospel music legends Bill and Gloria Gaither).

And World journal:

Even the requisite songs are funny, particularly those of a goat named Japeth (Benjy Gaither) who is forced to sing his every line of dialogue.

The Seattle Times reviewer is not a Southern Gospel fan:

I don't know who Benjy Gaither is, but I'd like to thank him: As the voice of a relentlessly cheerful, ukulele-playing goat who sings all his lines, he singlehandedly kept "Hoodwinked" almost watchable.

...The lead detective is a debonair frog named Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), the sheep (Chazz Palminteri) is named Woolworth, and that wisecracking goat, who sounds like he could well have a future in bluegrass, keeps turning up, as if auditioning for a different, funnier movie.

The digital animation ranges from competent to clunky, the jokes too often feel tossed-off and random, and the movie too often descends into dullness, only to be yanked back from the abyss by the goat.

Perhaps I'm harping on the goat (possibly just for the pleasure of writing the phrase "harping on the goat"), but really, there's nothing else here.


The Kansas City Star agrees:

It’s slow going, save for one snappy flashback involving a singing, banjo-playing goat (Benjy Gaither) capable of turning his detachable horns into any contraption he desires.
January 21st, 2006
 

God Has Not Forgotten Them
My wife and I are are really struggling with our three sons. Two are teenagers, and the attractions of the world are so powerful that they have abandoned church. I am grateful for the message from Chonda Pierce in her latest Roadkill Report:

Oh, how my heart goes out to parents struggling with their kids. I’m not at all oblivious to what goes on in many homes across the country. Christian homes – where there is great grief for parents longing to see their kids make some movement toward Christ. I don’t know what all the answers are… but I do know God has not forgotten them. I pray HE will hear your prayers and the cries of your heart and your child will begin to sense the love of God in such a tender way that “they cannot depart from it.”
January 20th, 2006

New Country Gospel CD

Top Aussie country gospel singer Julie McAllan has released her new CD “Bring Me Home,” and you can listen to excerpts here. I don’t usually listen much to country gospel, but I was impressed with what I heard.

 

Julie lives in Alice Springs, right in the heart of Australia, and has performed to audiences locally and in Missouri and Arkansas in the US. “Bring Me Home” was a finalist at the Australian Gospel Music Awards, and one of the tracks, “Living in the Alice,” took out the Best Australiana Gospel Song award.

January 19th, 2006

 

Warren Parker
I'm on the email lists of various SG groups, and I've received several emails mourning the death on Saturday of Warren Parker. You may be interested in a lengthy and moving tribute, in Warren's local newspaper. An excerpt:

 

"Warren's ambition was to go into law enforcement," said his dad. Mr. Parker graduated from Seneca College, but then took a mission trip to Belize for six months that changed the course of his future.

"When he came back from the trip he was completely changed," said his dad, adding his desire was now to go into mission work.

He joined a southern gospel band after some initial reservations.

"I wouldn't be caught dead playing that kind of music," is what his father remembers him saying when he was invited to join the group. Christian rock was Mr. Parker's kind of music, but that quickly changed.

"He loved it," his dad said. "He never looked back since."

It was through music that he met his wife.

January 11th, 2006
 

Housekeeping
I went through all the blogs in my Blogs and Boards page, assuming that I'd have to delete quite a few that no longer existed. In fact, I only found one, John Lanier's Face the Music blog, which no longer seems to exist. A few others had changed their URLs, and these have been adjusted. Some bloggers haven't posted for many months - like the Crabb Family - but if the blog still exists on the internet I've left it in my blogroll. In fact, I was surprised at how many bloggers - probably around half of those on my list - have already posted during 2006.
January 9th, 2006
 

“Be the Miracle” and the Toilet Roll Poll

I always enjoy Mark Lowry’s reMarks newsletter. The latest has just arrived in my email box, and will presumably soon be available here. Mark talks about his latest CD, “Be the Miracle.” You can listen to sample clips here. He also introduces his new reMarkable polls, and if you want to vote on whether toilet paper should come off the top or the bottom of the roll you should go here.

January 7th, 2006

 

Mozart, Beethoven, Rambo

Wow – is this hyperbole or what? Check out the lengthy press release for the induction of Dottie Rambo to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, which promises to be “one of the greatest nights that Kentuckians have ever experienced.” According to the release, “Rambo's gifts have carved her into the annals of music history amid the greatest composers of all time including the likes of Mozart and Beethoven.” There’s lots more.

January 6th, 2006

 

Congratulations
I've received the following email:

Jaydon Audrey Rulapaugh was born Thursday December 29th 2005 at 9:31 PM EST in the Dolly Parton Birthing Unit of Ft. Sanders, Sevier Hospital in Sevierville, TN. She was 6lbs 6 oz, and 19 inches long at birth. John Rulapaugh sings tenor with Palmetto State Quartet. The group performed three concerts over the weekend with Randy Lewis (formerly of the Toney Brothers) filling the tenor spot in John's absence. The Saturday evening (New Years Eve) performance aired live on WHT Television network which is carried by DirecTV. While the guys were hard at work singing, John and Jennifer watched from the comfort of their living room!

Jennifer and Jaydon came home from the hospital Saturday afternoon, December 31st and both are healthy. Jaydon is the first child born to John and Jennifer. You can view Jaydon's pictures and sign a guestbook here.
January 4th, 2006

**ARTISTS**

Allen Asbury
Mark Bishop
Booth Brothers
Mike Bowling
Anthony Burger
Cathedrals
Cynthia Clawson
Crabb Family
CrossWay
Jessy Dixon
Dove Brothers
Ann Downing
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Gaither Homecoming
Gaither Vocal Band
Gatlin Brothers
Gold City Quartet
Greater Vision
Buddy Greene
Hoppers
Isaacs
Katinas
Legacy Five
LordSong
Mark Lowry
Martins
Babbie Mason
McKameys
McRaes
Mercy's Mark
Oak Ridge Boys
Palmetto State
     Quartet
Ivan Parker
Janet Paschal
Sandi Patty
Karen Peck
David Phelps
Chonda Pierce
Dottie Rambo
Lynda Randle
Signature Sound
Russ Taff
Talley Trio
Randy Travis