By: Carol Matza | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: July 2017
The Oak Ridge Boys: Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban.
When you think of good old time southern gospel, what comes to mind? When you think of some of the biggest names in country music, who is on that list? If you can imagine blending the two together, you just might come up with a four-day event with over twenty of the biggest names in southern gospel music, top that off with legendary country music headliners The Oak Ridge Boys and Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers and what you get is the 49th Annual Brumley Gospel Sing coming to Tulsa’s Mabee Center August 2-5!
The Brumley Gospel Sing has been entertaining southern gospel fans since 1969 when Albert E. Brumley brought together several gospel artists for an all night sing at a rodeo in Springdale, Arkansas. Since that time the event has grown in number of artists performing and fans attending to encompass dozens of southern gospel artists and over 20,000 fans attending each year.
Having moved their location several times over the past five decades, the Brumley Gospel Sing moved to Tulsa’s Mabee Center from Lebanon, Missouri for the first time in 2016 and in 2017 the 49th Annual Brumley Gospel Sing returns to the Mabee Center August 2-5 for the second consecutive year.
“The Oak Ridge Boys and Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers headlining the event this year is an exciting addition for our 49th year,” said Brumley Music’s president, Bob Brumley. Both are Grammy Award winning country music icons and both have roots in southern gospel music that run deep.
In an interview recently with Joe Bonsall with The Oak Ridge Boys, he said, “we started out in gospel music and although we have branched out into country music, gospel is a big part of our heritage and we sing some gospel every single night.” The band remembers playing at one of the first Brumley Gospel Sings in Arkansas with The Blackwood Brothers, which will be performing at this year’s event. Joe said, “The set list at the Brumley event will include a lot of our big hits as well as a lot of gospel tunes.”
The Gatlin Brothers: Steve Gatlin, Larry Gatlin and Rudy Gatlin.
When asked what projects The Oak Ridge Boys are currently working on, Joe said, “we are playing over 150 dates a year, everyone’s feeling good, singing good, we are playing our 28th annual Christmas tour which will start in November and we are back in the studio recording a new album. What’s interesting on this album is that we are doing a lot of retro spiritual songs.” There was a hint that they might even do a couple of those songs when they perform at the event on August 5.
The Oak Ridge Boys have a strong Tulsa tie in that their longtime manger Jim Halsey is located here. Joe said, “we call Jim our Godfather, he has been a major spoke in this wheel since 1975.”
Many of southern gospel’s most popular artists will be returning for the event this year. Opening the show on Wednesday are Dailey & Vincent who were recently inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Also appearing are: Karen Peck & New River, Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Hoppers, The Nelons, Gold City, The McKameys, Chuck Wagon Gang, The Erwins and many more.
Born in Spiro, Oklahoma, Albert E. Bromley began writing in the late 1920s and never imagined his songs would go on to become some of the most popular and recorded Gospel and Americana music of our time. If it weren’t for hits like “I’ll Fly Away” or “Turn Your Radio On,” we wouldn’t have some of the most profound and longstanding favorites of all time. “I’ll Fly Away” remains the most recorded song in history. The Brumley Gospel Sing is a legacy that continues to bring Albert E. Brumley’s songs to new generations.
The 49th Annual Brumley Gospel Sing comes to Tulsa August 2-5 at the Mabee Center located at 7777 S. Lewis Ave. Tickets start at $25 and are available online at brumleymusic.com, mabeecenter.com or by calling 1(800) 678-1353.
Dailey & Vincent : Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent.
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