Legendary country music producer Tony Brown has teamed up with an array of award-winning artists for a new album paying tribute to beloved Christian songwriters, Bill and Gloria Gaither.
The 10-song collection, simply called Gaither Tribute, was released on August 25. It features Gaither compositions reinterpreted by artists, including Cece Winans, Alabama featuring The Oak Ridge Boys, Reba and Susie McEntire with Sonya and Becky Isaacs, Josh Turner, Jamey Johnson, Ronnie Dunn, Ronnie Milsap, Lee Ann Womack, The SteelDrivers, Hillary Scott and The Scott Family.
Growing up in North Carolina, Brown was raised on southern gospel music, and at the age of 19, he began his career playing in gospel quartets with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet until he was 25. This led to him playing with The Oak Ridge Boys, winning the “Best Instrumentalist” Dove Award as a keys player, which was a turning point in Tony’s career in southern gospel. Surrounding himself with gospel singers, Brown then accompanied Elvis Presley, well-known for his love of gospel music, as his keys player in the TCB band. He later became a prominent figure in the country music industry as an iconic record producer, record label executive, and keys player. As a record producer who had the honour of working with country music artists, Tony bridged his roots in gospel music to honour the music of the Gaithers.
Since Bill and Gloria Gaither met more than 60 years ago, these gospel music icons and songwriters have been writing masterpieces. There are countless performers and inspiring people around the globe who have recorded their songs. Brown says he had been wanting to do a faith-based record combining his background in southern gospel music with his career as a country music producer.
"To give back to the music that I grew up with and contribute to honouring the music that got me to where I stand today is something that was an answered prayer and a full-circle moment," Brown says. "This was a completely dedicated effort to honour my heritage with my present success, and I am very proud of the outcome."
The collaborative effort between various artists and Tony Brown was aimed at celebrating the legacy and impact of Bill and Gloria Gaither’s music. By creating new renditions of these classics, the artists infused their own unique styles and interpretations into the music.
“This recording is a special one for all involved,” says Paul Sizelove, president of Gaither Music Group. “Each of these artists selected a song from Bill and Gloria’s renowned catalogue and created new renditions of these classics. Tony Brown worked with them to create a collection that truly represents the heart and style of each of these talented artists. We are so proud of the art they have created, and what an honour to the Gaither legacy to have these heartfelt recordings from these highly-respected performers.”
Gaither Tribute track list:
1. “Jesus and John Wayne” – Alabama featuring The Oak Ridge Boys
2. “He Touched Me “/ “Something Beautiful” – Reba & Susie McEntire with Sonya & Becky Isaacs
3. “Going Home” – Josh Turner
4. “It Won’t Rain Always” – Jamey Johnson
5. “Because He Lives” – Ronnie Dunn
6. “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About to Happen” – Ronnie Milsap
7. “Gentle Shepherd” – Lee Ann Womack
8. “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary” – The SteelDrivers
9. “There’s Something About That Name” – Hillary Scott & The Scott Family
10. “The Center of My Joy” – CeCe Winans