NEW CREEK -- Step back to gospel music's roots as the Chuck Wagon Gang brings their talent to the Rolling Acres Gospel Jubilee.
NEW CREEK -- Step back to gospel music’s roots as the Chuck Wagon Gang brings their talent to the Rolling Acres Gospel Jubilee.
Joining them as the music gets underway at 7 p.m. Friday, June 21, is Richard Kiser.
The Chuck Wagon Gang is a result of 80 years of hope and harmony, faith and family.
The group began singing on local radio in 1935, and went on to play Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Grand Ole Opry.
“This group was designed for the ages,” says Marty Stuart, who penned each song on the Chuck Wagon Gang’s latest album, “Meeting in Heaven,” and he is among the choir of celebrated figures who praise the history, legacy, and contemporary relevance of the Chuck Wagon Gang.
On Columbia Records, the Chuck Wagon Gang became what WSM air personality, music historian, and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs calls, “America’s foremost country-gospel singers.” They sold millions of records and songbooks, enduring numerous personnel changes while retaining ties to the original quartet.
The group’s owner, manager, and alto singer, Shaye Smith, is the granddaughter of the Gang’s original alto, Anna Carter Gordon Davis, and Howard Gordon, who was the group’s guitarist for many years.
She joined her great-uncle Roy and the Chuck Wagon Gang in 1993, as a soprano. Leading the Chuck Wagon Gang allows her to continue the legacy her grandmother and family began eighty years ago.
The group’s tenor singer, Stan Hill was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“By singing with the Chuck Wagon Gang, I not only get to enjoy these great songs of faith, I also get to share in preserving the history and tradition of this style of music. God has truly given me the desires of my heart,” he says.
Soprano Melissa Kemper is a native of Groveton, Texas. She sang soprano with the Chuck Wagon Gang from 2001-2006, then left to be with her children. She re-joined the quartet in 2015.
“I am very happy that God has brought me back into the group after all these years,” she says. “I am truly blessed.”
The group's guitarist, Karl Smakula, was born in Kingwood, and raised in Elkins, where he was steeped the central West Virginia region's rich tradition of old time and bluegrass music. He began playing mandolin and guitar at age 11 and took up banjo shortly thereafter, regularly performing in church and at square dances.
Also performing for the June sing are at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, the Gold City Quartet, Dave Powers and local musician Bob Shrout; Thursday, June 20, The Kingsman Quartet, Hymns 4 Him and Tom Cohenour; and Saturday, June 22, The Pine Ridge Boys and Choraliers & Pearl and The Richters.
All services are held in a large pavilion and a concession stand is available. To reserve a spot for on-site camping, call 304-788-5866.
Be sure to visit www.rollingacresmusicpark.com for the latest updates on the summer season.