DENVER, NC–With the 181st Rock Spring Methodist Camp Meeting fast approaching campground officials have been busy making plans for various events that will take place between July 31 and August 14. One of their priorities has been securing singing groups for the various Gospel Music concerts held annually.
For 2011 there will be four Gospel concerts. Festivities will begin, Sunday, July 31, 7:00 p.m. when The World Famous, Old Fashioned Singing Chuck Wagon Gang of Ft. Worth, Texas will return for the second consecutive year by popular demand.
“Based on the huge audience that attended last year with ninety plus degrees weather and comments we heard following the Chuck Wagon Gang concert the board of trustees of the campground reached a conclusion that this is Chuck Wagon Gang country and all members were in agreement to invite them back this year,” said campground trustee chairman, Van Barker, Jr.
The Chuck Wagon Gang is in its 75th year of singing the old songs. A simple, yet distinctive sound created by group founder Dave “Dad” Carter is credited with helping preserve the group. It is the oldest mixed quartet that has continuously recorded Gospel Music. Over the years, the Chuck Wagon Gang has managed to record well over 750 songs and sell nearly 40 million records.
Today’s group is a third generation Chuck Wagon Gang yet there are ties that go back to founder Carter. Shaye Smith, his great granddaughter sings with the group at over 100 concerts each year.
Joining the Chuck Wagon Gang will be the Southerners Quartet and the Witness Quartet.
As in the past a night will be reserved for area church choirs, local groups, quartets, trios, duets and soloists. Southern, Contemporary, Country and Bluegrass Gospel musicians and singers are invited. This year’s date will be Friday, August 5, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Those interested in participating may register by calling Barker at (704) 483-2710.
Saturday, August 6, beginning at 6:00 p.m. will be what is known as the “Big Sing.” Headlining the concert will be Naomi and the Segos.
“They are one of the most exciting, classy and sincere groups in Southern Gospel Music today” said Barker. “After 50 years of full-time music ministry, this group continues to create the popular camp meeting sounds that brought them international success.”
Their innovative sound captured the attention of music professionals in Nashville, TN in 1958 and soon after recorded their debut album “Is My Lord Satisfied with Me”.
Within weeks of its release the album had sold 300,000 copies making the Segos a household name in Gospel music. In 1962 the group returned to Nashville to record their second record, which featured a song called “Sorry I Never Knew You”. The album sold over 1 million records making the Sego Brothers and Naomi the first Southern Gospel group to go platinum. Over the next several years a string of hits followed. During 2011 Naomi and the Segos are presenting the “Tribute Tour” featuring the groups most requested songs from past years.
Joining Naomi and Segos on the “Big Sing” will be The Pine Ridge Boys, another legendary group that originated in 1963. As time went on, some members left and some came back. Today’s group consists of original member and group owner, Jim Stewart. Jim has sung bass for almost 60 years. In 2003 he received the Living Legend Southern Gospel Music Award”.
Gabriel’s Call will also be featured. The group is a traditional male quartet that has been together since 2001.
Another group on the bill will be the Gospelaires which originated in 1966 as a female quartet. From 1966 to 1993 many changes molded this quartet to make it what it is today. Currently the Gospelaires is a mixed male and female group.
New for 2011 at Rock Spring Campground will be an all Bluegrass Gospel Concert. The inaugural such performance will take place Saturday, August 13, beginning at 7 p.m.
“Last year was the first time we had a Bluegrass Gospel group included on the “Big Sing” and the audience acceptance was overwhelming,” stated Barker, “Based on that we decided to add an evening of Bluegrass Gospel that will feature four great groups of singers and pickers.”
2010 Dover Award nominees, The Far City Boys will headline the concert. They have been sharing their talents for playing Bluegrass Gospel for over 15 years. The band started in 1995 and in l997 they were invited to compete in the North Carolina Folk Festival competition at the Asheville Civic Center, where they won first place.
The group’s 2009 album, “I Have Been Truly Blessed” was nominated for Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year at the 2010 Dove Awards. Destined 4 Glory will also grace the stage.
“This is a very unique group as it is composed of five teenagers with the elder statesman of the group being 15 years of age,” said Barker.
Rounding out the Bluegrass Gospel pickers and singers will be the Catawba Valley Boys and the Misty River Band. The two groups are made up of highly experienced artists with many years of on stage performances to their credit.
Each concert will held under the campus open air arbor built in 1832 with sheltered seating for 1,000 and space for thousands of chairs outside the historic structure. Practically anywhere in the concert area gives a perfect view of the stage whether sheltered or outside under the oak grove that surrounds the arbor. Religious services will be held under the arbor daily August 1-14.
The Rock Spring Methodist Campground established in 1830 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 by the United States Department of Interior, a rarity for a religious property. Only when such properties are of primary historical nature are they included in the register.The Rock Spring Methodist Campground is located 1/2-miles east of Hwy. NC 16 in Denver on Campground Road. Additional information on the concerts may be obtained by calling 704 483-2710.