Gaither recording artists coming to Rector

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There is just over a week left for folks to buy tickets for Rector's third annual concert featuring five of America's top gospel and bluegrass artists. It will be a night that all in attendance will be sure to remember for a long time.

All proceeds go to the Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation and its work in assisting disadvantaged students.

Tickets for premiere seating with chairbacks are valued at $50 but are discounted at $35 for early purchase. Premiere seats (if any remain) will be $50 at the door. General admission tickets for bench seating are $25.

Tickets may be purchased from the Foundation office at 610 South Main in Rector, Now & Then on Front Street in Rector, Glen Sain Motors locations in Rector, Kennett and Paragould, Liberty Bank locations in Rector and Paragould, Piggott State Bank and at

The amazing lineup for the Thursday, Aug. 5, show will include: Gaither artist Mark Lowry, who, alone, sells out large venues all over America; Gaither artist and Grammy winner Jason Crabb, also winner of 10 Dove Awards, and America's top bluegrass band Dailey & Vincent, returning for a second year after earning several standing ovations in last year's show.

Joining those artists onstage will be gospel music favorite Charlotte Ritchie, who has been appearing on Gaither Homecoming shows for more than a decade and now is a beloved solo artist, and Gene McDonald, a Gaither bass singer since 1994, familiar to many in Northeast Arkansas through his long association with the Florida Boys Quartet and through his father, Tommy Mac, who hosts a weekly gospel radio show out of Bragg City, Mo.

Returning as emcee for the third year is Gaither singer/guitarist Kevin Williams. Williams has been embraced by the Rector community for his warmth, humor and his efforts to encourage support for the Foundation and its work in providing help in many ways for disadvantaged Rector students.

The 2010 concert began to come together shortly after last year's August show, which featured gospel great Guy Penrod, a former Gaither Vocal Band member who launched his solo career with his Rector performance; The Isaacs, an amazing family known worldwide for their bluegrass/gospel talents, and Dailey & Vincent, then emerging as one of Nashville's hottest new bluegrass groups.

The lineup of artists for the 2010 event was announced in the spring by Foundation co-founder Bill Carter of Lebanon, Tenn., producer of gospel music's much-loved Gaither Homecoming videos. Carter, for years a force in Nashville as a representative of many of country music's top artists, has, since the Foundation was established in 2006, used his influence to bring to Rector some of the nation's finest talent.

Rector's first concert, in July 2008, featured former Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald, multiple Grammy winner Russ Taff, powerful vocalist and pianist Gordon Mote and talented Gaither artists Reggie and Ladye Love Smith, along with Williams.

"Since the word got out about our Foundation and its work in helping the kids, many artists have come to me asking to be a part of this," Carter said. "They are donating their time but still they ask to be a part of this show."

The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will again be held in Rector's new air-conditioned gymnasium, which features stadium seating.

About The Artists

As the silly sidekick of gospel singer/songwriter Bill Gaither, host of the Homecoming Tour and mentor of many of gospel music's finest artists, Lowry has brought laughter to audiences all over the world, yet his talent as a singer and songwriter also have won him much acclaim. While working on a Christmas play at his church, he wrote the lyrics to a song which has now become a Christmas standard, "Mary Did You Know?," described as "simple, breathtaking and thought-provoking."

Crabb was for years the powerhouse lead vocalist for The Crabb Family and, after other family members retired in 2007, launched a solo career which has taken him all over the world. His songs are described as "authentic and lyrically rich." He is said to have "one of the most acclaimed voices in all of gospel music."

Crabb has performed at Carnegie Hall, become a "fan favorite" at the Grand Ole Opry, appeared regularly on the Gaither Homecoming Series videos and was honored to sing for the Rev. Billy Graham's farewell crusade in New York City.

Dailey & Vincent burst onto the scene in 2007, winning a number of International Bluegrass Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year (Dailey & Vincent), Male Vocalist of the Year (Jamie Dailey), Emerging Artist of the Year and more -- this after the two principals, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, had amassed awards and accolades for years in separate music careers. They repeated as Entertainer of the Year winners in 2009.

Jamie Dailey sang lead, baritone and tenor with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver for almost a decade, has recorded with Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent, appeared on five Gaither Homecoming DVD's and was a guest on Ricky Skaggs' Grammy-winning Brand New Strings album.

Vincent, who plays mandolin, bass and guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals, started singing at age three and playing music at age six as part of his family band, The Sally Mountain Show, along with sister Rhonda Vincent. As a member of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for 10 years, he won five Grammy Awards.

Ritchie has been pleasing crowds with her vocal range since becoming part of the acclaimed gospel group The Nelons at age 17. After gaining recognition for her powerful soprano voice with the Nelons, Ritchie joined Jeff and Sheri Easter and was first introduced to Gaither Homecoming audiences more than a decade ago. For the last two years, Ritchie has been performing on the Homecoming tours and videos as a solo artist, making new fans everywhere she goes.

A native of Kennett, McDonald, 45, performed with his family from 1968 to 1980, recording three albums. From there, he joined Jack Campbell and the Ambassadors from 1980 through 1982, also recording an album.

After studying at Arkansas State University, McDonald attended the renowned Ben Speer School of Music, where he received an invitation to a Gaither Homecoming taping in 1994. From that meeting he earned a position as a bass singer. His work with the Gaithers has increased over the years, with McDonald being featured on all but a few Homecoming videos.

McDonald also earned much recognition for his work as a member of the Florida Boys quartet. He sang bass for the popular group from 1998 through 2007. As a member of the Florida Boys, McDonald recorded several projects and earned much acclaim throughout the country.

Williams has been performing and recording with Bill Gaither and his organization for the last 19 years. Williams is known by many fans for both his talent with a guitar and his humorous offerings onstage. He also writes a humor column in the Gaither Homecoming magazine.

Originally from Kentucky, Williams has been playing the guitar most of his life. By age 12, he was playing in quartets and gospel groups. He was introduced to Bill Gaither in 1991. Williams was called in as a substitute guitarist for a Gaither recording session. His skill and personality caught the group's eye, and he has been a part of hundreds of recordings since.

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