The Lone Star Jubilee is coming back to the Valley for a limited five-day engagement, featuring award-winning artists from Branson, Mo., including The Texans, the Spoken 4 Quartet, John Walter Morrison and BJ and the TV Preacher. Special performances will be held Jan. 15 through 19.
Branson performers Sam, Brenda and Curtis Ray, known as The Texans, lead this year’s Jubilee with great music including country gospel, gospel bluegrass, contemporary gospel, traditional gospel and Christian comedy. This year, their shows will feature a special tribute to veterans, God and country.
Sam Ray is the lead singer for the group while his wife, Brenda, sings tenor and Curtis sings baritone. Sam Ray has been raising his voice to the glory of God since the age of 16. He has been in the ministry for over 30 years.
Brenda, who is well known for her comedy creations, will be back in her comic role as BJ. In addition to BJ, other characters include Miss Ima Betterthanyou and Hazelnutt. Curtis will create a new role of a Christian evangelist.
The Texans have performed in many of Branson’s theaters and received the Ozark Music Award for Group of the Year in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988.
John Walter Morrison will perform again as part of this year’s Jubliee, for his fourth time. He is best known as a member of the Pine Mountain Jamboree in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where he is known for his four-octave singing range and for his ability to play multiple instruments. In the 1980’s Walt started what would be a career of 20 years playing with the USO in foreign locations. His group was the first in to Saudi Arabia after Desert Storm. He moved to Branson in 1992 and performed in a number of venues until he stepped away from music for the ministry. He joined Pine Mountain Jamboree in 2006.
Spoken 4 Quartet, a Christian musical group, is returning for their second performance in the Rio Grande Valley. After only one year in full time ministry, the quartet was nominated for the 2008 Horizon Group of the Year Award. They began turning heads with songs like “Lil’ Bit” and “He’s My Song” along with their album, “He Knows your Address.” Despite their success, the group has remained true to their purpose – to tell those who hear them there is only one way to Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ.
The year 2012 was a great one for the group with the release of a new album, “We Will Stand,” featuring ten new songs.
Jon Charles Taggart, who sings lead for the quartet, was asked by his football coach, at the age of 14, if he was ready to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He did so and realized God had a special calling for him. He won a scholarship to college in Clinton, Mississippi to be a part of their show troupe “The Naturals,” a 12-person troupe that traveled all over the South as a recruiting arm for the Baptist Church. After singing with a variety of quartets he got a job with the Cumberland Quartet in Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri where he remained five years before forming Spoken 4.
Cecil Stringer, co-owner of Spoken 4, is a bass singer who accepted Jesus at age 15. An accomplished baseball player, Stringer developed a love for Gospel music and sang part time with the Steele Family in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1978, be joined the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. In 1991, he moved to Branson where he performed in theaters for over a decade with the Braschler Music Show, The Branson Brothers and The Texans.
Brandon Britton has a high tenor voice and sang solo for many years before joining the quartet. Singing harmony is harder than it looks, he tells everyone. Brandon has served God in many ways, including as a part of a wrestling ministry where he wrestled all over South Carolina and Georgia. As a part of the ministry he brought 600 people ages 8 to 48 to know Jesus Christ.
Steve Higginbotham joins Spoken 4 as baritone. After finishing school he became a 5-star chef at Lindy’s in Columbus, Ohio but never lost his passion for music. He began his musical career with Gerald Willams and The Melody Boys. As lead singer they charted with “Little by Little” and “Glory Bound.” Later his solo, “It Is Well With My Soul” reached 71 on Southern Gospel Charts.
The Lone Star Jubilee can be seen Jan. 15 at Trinity Baptist Church, 1409 N. 2nd Street, McAllen at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Jan. 16 they will be at the First Baptist Church, 402 Templeton Ave, Combes, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Jan. 17 they will be at First Baptist Church, 600 S. Kansas Ave, Weslaco at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Jan. 18 they will appear at Christ Church of the Valley, 2900 Dr. Hugh Emerson Rd. Brownsville at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Free will offerings of $8 person are suggested.
On Jan. 19 they will appear at Mission West RV Resort at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8. For tickets to this show only, call the activity office at (956) 585-5551.
For more information about any of the shows, call 903-436-5410.