Unique in its wholesome message, pure harmonies and positive, faith-filled music, the Southern Gospel style of music is among the most popular musical genres across Christian America. But it is especially popular in the southeastern part of the country, where many flock to churches and other venues to hear the mix of tenor, lead, baritone and bass accompanied on piano uplift them in their Christian walk.
For nearly 40 years, the quartet Gold City has become a name synonymous with the Southern Gospel style of music. The group, today consisting of lead Scott Brand, tenor Thomas Nalley, baritone Daniel Riley and bass Chris West, and accompanied by G. W. Southard, has been recognized with a multitude of fan and industry awards and honors.
But, on Sunday, Aug. 18 at Sweetpea’s Table and Events Center in Olive Branch, Gold City comes to provide their Christian message while aiding a woman recovering from cancer, said Sweetpea’s Table owner Amy Hughes.
“It’s to help her medical bills and things like that,” Hughes said. “It’s benefitting Beth Daniel, who has been battling small cell lung cancer for about a year. They at one time gave her eight months to live, but it’s been a year and she’s doing really well. She’s a pretty amazing person.”
The Gadsden, Alabama-based group remains true to its Southern roots in their music and committed to continuing their mission of “delivering power-packed four-part harmonies and singing songs that are meaningful, entertaining, inspiring, and uplifting,” as their website promotes.
“They have won many Gospel awards,” Hughes said. “I chose them because they draw a pretty large crowd and I’ve sent out flyers to all of the surrounding churches.”
Hughes added that in case the demand for tickets to the Aug. 18 concert is larger than the Events Center can hold, arrangements have been made with LaBelle Haven Baptist Church next door to be the concert venue.
“I’m not at that point just yet, but it’s still a very real possibility,” said Hughes. “LaBelle Haven has been very gracious in opening their doors to us. Our place is smaller than what they’re used to being in, so we have an alternative in case we can’t get everybody in the door.”
Over the years, Gold City has proven they are a mainstay in the world of gospel music, with a full-time year round touring schedule and popularity on radio stations that feature Southern Gospel music. The broadcast industry has honored them with number one songs in each of the last four decades, their most recent being "Peter James and John" in 2012.
For Hughes, who grew up in a Christian family that enjoyed Southern Gospel music, Gold City was a name she has encountered frequently.
“Gold City is just a name that I always heard,” Hughes explained. “A large percentage of my demographic is more mature adults, so it’s a name they will recognize.”
Hughes believes the message Gold City will bring is one that society now needs more of.
“It’s a good, Christian message,” Hughes said. “We have enough negative stuff that weighs on us every day, so something positive and encouraging is always good to put in our diet.”
Gold City’s latest compilation of songs is called, “Hope for the Journey,” and songs on it include, “All My Hope,” “I Will Not Be Shaken,” and “I’m a Bible Lovin’ Man.”
Hughes stressed that tickets should be purchased early for a couple of reasons. They are cheaper at $25 each if bought before Aug. 17 and early purchases will help determine if the concert needs to be moved to LaBelle Haven. Hughes said she needs to determine within the next week whether to switch the concert over to the church.
Tickets will be $30 the day of the concert. Hughes added her restaurant will be open that Sunday of the concert until 5:30 p.m., instead of its normal 2 p.m. closing time.
For more information, call 662-895-7743.
Hughes said she looks forward to providing the positive message of Gold City’s Southern Gospel to DeSoto County and help a friend in her cancer battle.
“I’ve always had a heart for people,” Hughes said. “I love people and whenever God blesses you, we’re supposed to give back.”
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.