This organization has been formed in the Upper Cumberland area to help preserve the heritage of southern gospel and bluegrass music.
Larry Self, President of the Upper Cumberland Gospel Music Association based in Cookeville, said the group wants to create venues for lovers of southern gospel and bluegrass to gather for singings featuring local and regional talent and hopefully to spark an interest in this genre of music among others especially youth.
“We started the Association over three years ago and what we are trying to do is keep old hymns and southern gospel and bluegrass music alive in the Upper Cumberland area. We are not trying to woo anybody away from contemporary music, but we know there are pockets of people in our communities that still like this older type of music and we are trying to get them connected to encourage each other,” said Self.
Roger Gaw, member of local gospel group the Joyful Praises and Vice President of the UCGMA, said enthusiasm for these singing events is growing.
“It’s a good thing. It has helped our group venture out more in different areas, but it helps the churches involved and the people. We want to connect everyone who loves this kind of music and provide singings for them to hear it. There is nothing wrong with other forms of gospel music. We even do some praise and worship music at our church, but some still enjoy southern gospel and bluegrass, and we are just trying to keep that alive,” said Gaw.
“What we like to do is go to different churches on maybe a Sunday or Wednesday evening and bring some of our singers to let the public hear what we are promoting and what our Association is about and how it came to be,” Self-continued.
“A lot of times singing groups will get discouraged and quit thinking nobody wants to hear their kind of music, but we want to give them encouragement to keep on glorifying God in song by having these singing events and we have a good time doing it”.
“We have two singings each month and one of them is the first Friday night of the month at Wilhite Baptist Church in Cookeville near the Rescue Mission. The address is 20 West Davis Road, Cookeville and we would love to have you come and join us,” said Self.
“In the middle of that singing we will have all the pickers and singers get on stage together and do about a 30-minute set. I call it front porch singing on stage,” said Self.
Although no admission prices are charged to attend these singings, love offerings are often received to further the cause of the association.
“We receive love offerings, and we give half of it to our special guest singers and the rest is for our Association office expense, printing and things like that,” Self-added.
If like to join this fabulous organization just call.
For more information call 931-979-3904 or 931-510-5191