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Lifestyle

November 6, 2012

Joyful Hearts anniversary concert

CULLMAN — The Joyful Hearts, one of Cullman’s many great Southern gospel groups, will celebrate their 20th anniversary in concert on Nov. 9, 2012, at the McGukin Civic Center.

Special guests for the event will be the McKameys, of Clinton, Tenn., who have achieved national fame singing gospel music. The group presently consists of Ruben and Peg Bean, Sheryl Farris, Connie Fortner, Roger Fortner, and Eli Fortner. They record on the Horizon label.

Sisters Dora, Peg, and Carol McKamey first organized a trio in 1954. Daughters of a Christian minister, the girls grew up singing in church.  

There have been several changes in the group's makeup over the years. In 1957, Ruben Bean started playing guitar for the trio. He and Peg married two years later. Their daughters, Connie and Sheryl, grew up traveling with their mom, dad and aunts when the group was on the road. After Dora and Carol retired from the trio in 1971, Connie and Sheryl stepped in to take their places.

The McKamey’s play approximately 150 bookings each year all over the United States and in Canada. They have recorded 16 number one hit singles and were honored by Horizon Records in 1999 for having the most number one hits in the history of southern gospel music.

Peg has also been named Favorite Female Vocalist by “Singing News.”  

Among other favorites, the McKamey’s will be singing “The Journey” and “Unspoken Request” their latest single.

Original members of the Joyful Hearts, Dan and Brenda Brannon, sang together until Dan passed away 10 years ago. Brenda continued to sing with other people, traveling to perform for churches and other groups.

She met Donnie Foxx, a widower from Boaz, at a homecoming singing in Danville, where he joined the group for a couple of songs. Foxx had formerly been a member of the New Wine Messengers from Blountsville.

Their love of singing and gospel music, eventually, after much prayer, brought them together as a couple, and they are now members of the current Joyful Hearts, along with Dalton Bray.

They were married in 2002.

Since then, the group has brought much joy, seen many souls saved, and has had their lives blessed in many ways over the years.

The 20th anniversary celebration will allow them to sing for, and to gather with, hundreds of people who have come to love them as performers and as people.

The Joyful Hearts will sing some of their most requested songs, like, “Don't Look Back” along with “One Glimpse” and “I've Got More To Go To Heaven For”. They will also sing many old gospel standards that will have the audience singing along. Both groups are always happy to take requests anywhere they perform.

There will be a meet-and-greet with both groups at 5 p.m. the evening of the concert. Refreshments will be served.

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