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Lone Star Jubilee offers music with a message

20140116 Spoken4The Lone Star Jubilee, featuring the Texans, the Spoken 4 Quartet and John Walter Morrison will be coming to the Rio Grande Valley Jan. 20 through Jan. 24 offering a mixture of Southern Gospel, Bluegrass Gospel and Christian comedy. The performance can be seen in two shows at 2 and 7 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 2001 Freddy Gonzalez Road in Edinburg.

Spoken 4 Quartet, developed by Jon Charles Taggart and Cecil Stringer, has developed a new sound but pays homage to the rich traditions of gospel music. Just one year after the group came together in 2007, they were nominated for the 2008 Horizon Group of the Year Award. Spoken 4 started breaking into the Singing News Charts with songs like “Lil’ Bit” and “He’s My Song.” These were followed by more hit songs, including “Who Can Afford to be Wrong,” and “He Knows Your Address.”

Taggart, lead, is from Kimberling City, Missouri. His musical talent began to flourish in high school, where he won several talent contests. After performing with the college show troupe, “The Naturals,” he began singing with a group called Mercy Blend Quartet and later Mercy River. Soon, Jon got the opportunity to sing lead for the Cumberland Quartet at Silver Dollar City, where he remained five years. Then, in 2007 he and Cecil Stringer felt the calling and formed a new group, Spoken 4 Quartet.

Stringer, bass, sang for a number of years with the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, one of the most recognized names in Christian music. In 1991, he moved to Branson where he performed for over 10 years at various theatres and was part of the Branson Brothers, The Texans and the Braschler Music Show.

Brandon Britton, tenor, was a professional wrestler before his singing career, touring with Wrestling for Jesus for two years.

Steven Hickinbothom, baritone, gave up a career as a five-star chef to pursue his passion for music and the feeling of the call of God to use his talents in the ministry. Before joining Spoken 4, he was lead singer for The Melody Boys Quartet, recording several gospel chart hits. Later, he and several friends from his hometown formed Faith’s Journey, where he sang lead for several years.

John Walter Morrison, traveled the world as a USO entertainer for over 20 years, and will be joining Lone Star Jubilee this year. Currently, Morrison is best known as a member of the Pine Mountain Jamboree in Eureka Springs, Ark.. He is known for his four-octave singing range and for his ability to play multiple instruments.

The Texans consist of Sam and Brenda Ray and their son Curtis. Sam Ray is the lead singer for the group while his wife, Brenda, sings tenor and Curtis sings baritone. Sam Ray has been in the ministry for over 30 years.

Brenda Ray started singing at age 13 with a local group and in school and church choirs. In her senior year in high school she sang with “The Redemption Trio.” She is also known for her comedy routines featuring Miss Ima Betterthanyou and Hazelnutt.

Curtis Ray has been singing gospel music since his first performance at age three when he and his sisters, sang at the Grapevine Opry and in local churches across Texas. He plays drums and percussion. This year, he has created a new comedy character called “The Rev” who added a new dimension to the show.

The Texans have performed in several Branson theaters and received the Ozark Music Award for Group of the Year four times in the 1980s.

A freewill offering will be taken at intermission. A donation of $8 per person is recommended, but no one will be turned away. For more information, call Sam Ray at 903-436-5410.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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