Grace Notes
By Robert Gruber

In honor of the National Quartet Convention this month, I've decided to dedicate my column to Southern Gospel. Though some may cry foul, I do my best to be all things to all people. Besides, there's simply not that much happening in contemporary Christian music this month, and how can you ignore something as huge as the NQC?!

National Quartet Convention

Here's what you need to know: it takes place the week of September 13-18 (Monday through Saturday) at Freedom Hall. The schedules are subject to change, but as of this printing, here is the line-up for the week:

Monday: Cathedrals, Dixie Echoes, Dixie Melody Boys, Dove Brothers, Florida Boys, Gaither Vocal Band, Gold City, Gospel Harmony Boys, Heartland Boys, Homeland Quartet, Inspirations, Jericho, Kingsmen, Melody Boys, N' Harmony, Palmetto State Quartet, Poet Voices, Regents of Southern California, Singing Ambassadors, Stamps Quartet.

Tuesday: Crabb Family, Greenes, Hayes Family, Hoppers, Hunts, Isaacs, Jeff & Sherri Easter, Karen Peck & New River, Lesters, Martins, McGruders, Naomi & the Segos, Nelons, Perry Sisters, Perrys, Reggie Saddler Family, Singing Cookes, Steeles, Whisnauts, Wilburns, Workmen.

Wednesday: Bishops, Booth Brothers, Cumberland Boys, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Florida Boys, Freemans, Gaither Vocal Band, Greater Vision, Kevin Spencer Family, Kingdom Heirs, Kingsmen, McKameys, Melody Masters, New Harmony, Squire Parsons Trio, Statesmen, Toney Brothers, Tony Gore & Majesty, Torchmen, Won by One.

Thursday: Singing News Fan Awards, Cathedrals, Crossmen, Greenes, Hayes Family, Hoppers, Jericho, Kingdom Heirs, McKameys, Melody Boys, Nelons, Primitives, Reggie Saddler Family.

Friday: Bishops, Calvarymen, Dove Brothers, Florida Boys, Gold City, Greater Vision, Hagee Family, Inspirations, Jeff & Sherri Easter, Karen Peck & New River, Kingsmen, McGruders, McKameys, Palmetto State Quartet, Perrys, Poet Voices.

Saturday: Anchormen, Crabb Family, Dixie Echoes, Dixie Melody Boys, Gold City, Hoppers, Isaacs, Lesters, Nelons, Tony Gore & Majesty, Pfeifers, Ruppes, Songfellows, Specks, Stamps, Steeles, Weatherfords, Wilburns.

There will also be Showcase Spectaculars produced by a number of Southern Gospel record labels Wednesday through Saturday during the afternoons. There will also be seminars by the likes of Bill Gaither, John Hagee, Jerry Falwell, Ken Davis and more.

For tickets and other info, call 1-800-846-8499. You can also access their website at

In Other News: Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee has submitted a resolution asking that Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, be name the official birthplace of Southern Gospel Music. . . Sue Dodge will unveil her new recording, Hope, in September at the National Quartet Convention. The first single from this project will be "There is A Hope" . . .Chris Key is leaving the Bishops to do a family group called the Keys. The new group features Chris, his brother Darrell Key, and Darrell's wife Melana...Tim Parton, popular keyboardist for Gold City, has chosen to leave the group. Parton and his wife Lori have just had their first child, and he wants to be able to spend more time at home ... In other family news, Judy Martin Hess of The Martins and her husband Jake Hess Jr. are the proud parents of their second child, Hannah Joyce Hess, born Thursday, August 12 ...look for new projects by The Singing Ambassadors and the Kingdom Heirs, which will undoubtedly be available at the Quartet Convention. (Special thanks to

Gospel Radio: Local AM station WXLN 1570 is a part of the Solid Gospel radio network (, which features Southern gospel, Christian country and gospel bluegrass music. XLN also features fine Bible teaching by Calvary Chapel pastor Ken Krikac of Crestwood, KY (daily at 4:45 PM). Also, "Nightwatch", a Southern Gospel radio hour, can be heard weekly on AM 900 WFIA, 7 p.m. Saturday nights.