After giving my heart to the Lord on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1977, I began a journey and find myself still traveling down the road. Jesus Christ became the Lord of my life on that Easter Sunday, and my life forever changed; I’ve not been perfect, but have continually pressed forward in the name of the Lord. The road is sometimes bumpy and wrought with heartache, dismay and toil, but the Lord promised to stay with us all the way.
Not long after turning my life over to Jesus, I was introduced to a different style of music than what I was accustomed to hearing. Up to this point, my taste in music was like the following: Robin Trower, Pink Floyd, Uriah Heap, Deep Purple, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes, CCR, ELO, BTO, and many others. Here’s something strange: I also loved classical music; there’s something wonderful about listening to Bach and Mozart on quality sound equipment.
Someone at Bethel Full Gospel Church introduced me to such artists as The Hinsons and Florida Boys. Those groups could really sing, and you could tell they loved who they were singing about. My music taste gradually changed, and I no longer loved to hear the rock music mentioned in the paragraph above. I suppose the message of the Southern Gospel music is what I needed to feed my soul at the time, and I am so grateful for the experience.
After moving to Florida’s panhandle, I met, fell in love, and married the woman I have spent nearly thirty-one years in marriage to. She was raised in church and was familiar with so many of the gospel greats: The Happy Goodmans, Florida Boys, Dixie Echoes, The Hinsons, The Inspirations, and the list goes on and on. There was something very moving about the songs those old gospel groups sang as they ministered on stage and in local churches. It wasn’t long until The Hinsons became my favorite group, and I began acquiring as many LPs and tapes and I could get my hands on.
Over the years, my taste in music changed again. I am now more comfortable with contemporary praise and worship than any other style, although if a song lifts up the name of Jesus Christ, it’s pretty much alright with me. There’s some Christian music I don’t care for, but that’s another story.
For reasons I can’t explain, I picked up an old Hinsons CD recently and began listening all over again. Wow, what memories that brought back. It didn’t take long until I remembered why that group was my favorite. The sang with enthusiasm and a heavenly anointing like few others have had. The wrote the vast majority of the songs they sang, and you could certainly tell this group was in love with the one they sang about. My wife and I were privileged to see them in concert a couple of times many years ago, and I still have fond memories of those events. Once, after a concert in Panama City, Florida, Ronny, Kenny and Chris Hawkins met with my wife, twin girls and me for about 45 minutes to an hour. They treated us like we were important people, and that really meant a lot to our family.
Tragically, Kenny Hinson died in 1995 of cancer at the young age of forty-one. That’s entirely too young, but it happened. In my opinion, Kenny was one of the most influential voices in Southern Gospel music during his life, and many singers still strive to sing like him. One of the things I’ve always wanted the Lord to do for me is give me a voice and anointing like Kenny’s. That hasn’t happened, so I’ll settle for singing like me. I’ll stay in what God has anointed me for.
Many of you might not be familiar with the Hinsons, and I’d like to present a couple of videos for your viewing enjoyment. This old group may not sing like you would like, or the style may not be what you are accustomed to, but please listen to the music and hear the message of the songs. I would love for you to leave comments on whether or not you enjoyed the videos. Thanks.
“The Lighthouse” That’s Kenny singing lead, then Larry, Yvonne and Ronny.
“Two Winning Hands”
Now, friends, that’s talent and a great anointing.