This week’s feature group is The Chuck Wagon Gang. As you recall, this group began in the 30’s and traveled all over the country and recorded for over 40 years with Columbia Records. They sold more than 37 million records, which many of the secular artists have not attained. They appeared in Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Grand Ole Opry and the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. They are Gospel Music Hall of Fame members and are included in the Smithsonian Institution’s classic American recordings. The group left the road after the death of Roy Carter in 1997.
Now for a look at the group of today which has taken up where The Chuck Wagon Gang has always been with that unique western sound. The group of today certainly has some roots to the former members. One of the owners with family ties to the group is Shaye Smith, who has returned to the group after a two or three year absence and is once again singing alto. Shaye is the granddaughter of the Chuck Wagon Gang’s original alto, Mrs. Anna (Carter) Davis. Anna, of course, was married to Gov. Jimmie Davis and is a member of the Southern Gospel Music Hall Of Fame. Shaye has 2 bachelor’s degrees in music – one for vocal performance and the other for choral conducting. She arranges many of the new songs in preparation for recording.
The other owner and member of the group is Dave Emery. Dave plays the guitar and sings bass and is also a relative to Ralph Emery the host of many country music programs over the years and has written books pertaining to country music.
The newest members of the “Gang” are Julie Hudson and Stan Hill. First a look at Julie who is a native of Bedford, Indiana, growing up in a Christian home, singing traditional gospel music most of her life. Her soprano is so much like Rose's that you would think she was her granddaughter. It is uncanny to hear the very same tones blend in with the rest of the gang that we have heard all our lives coming from Rose. She certainly fits in like hand in glove and will delight audiences across America with her definitive Chuck Wagon Gang sound. Next, a little about Stan who grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, with a love for bluegrass and country styled music. Having learned to sing at a very young age, Stan has blended his voice with different local groups across the years. The one common thread that linked him to the various groups was his love for traditional gospel bluegrass/country music. Today it comes through distinctly in high, clear tones that are warm and soulful, blending so well with the Chuck Wagon Gang style.
When you attend a Chuck Wagon Gang concert you will be surprised at how close this group of today has maintained the unique sound, which has become known as The Chuck Wagon Gang sound. They will sing the songs made popular by their parents and grandparents as well as new material with that same sound.
The Chuck Wagon Gang will be at this year’s Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. Don’t forget the dates are August 19th through the 21st.
On March 16th Heritage Chapel will sponsor a “Wild Game Supper” at Rock’s Restaurant. The tickets are $10 each with proceeds going toward a mission trip to Nicaragua. There will be food, entertainment and prizes make plans to attend. The supper will begin at 7pm and you can call me for tickets and more information.
I can be contacted at (864) 979-9626 or (864) 895-1287.