UPDATED With Arrangements – Remembering Jerry Kirksey

Jerry Kirksey, Editor Emeritus of Singing News Magazine, passed away today at the age of 82. Mr. Kirksey had been in declining health for several years.
Born in Panama City, Florida, on June 13, 1940, Jerry and his family returned to his parents’ hometown of Pensacola following World War II. It was during his junior year of high school that Jerry first began working in one of his greatest passions, radio. After his graduation as a part of the Class of 1958, Jerry moved back to Panama City to begin work with WTHR Radio.
A return to Pensacola in March of 1960 set Jerry on the path that would ultimately defining his professional career. Jerry began working with The Florida Boys, as the quartet’s promotional director and office manager. This led to a working relationship with J.G. Whitfield. Jerry would work closely with Mr. Whitfield as the Southern Gospel music icon promoted concerts across the nation, and eventually launch what went on to become the largest and oldest Southern Gospel music publication, Singing News Magazine. Jerry served with Singing News Magazine from May 1969 until his retirement in 2010, encompassing a total of 492 issues. During his time at the magazine, Jerry created Southern Gospel music’s first National Radio Airplay Chart (1970) and the Singing News Fan Awards (1971).
In addition to his work with Singing News, Jerry served on the board of directors of the original Gospel Music Association, and the board of the original Southern Gospel Music Association of Georgia. He was involved in organizing the Southern Gospel Music Guild and the modern-day Southern Gospel Music Association. He was actively involved in the building and development of the original SGMA Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood. Jerry was inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Jerry married Carolyn Sue Rhodes on October 1, 1967. Sons Kenneth and Brett would eventually work with Jerry at Singing News, especially after the family moved to Boone, North Carolina, in 1987 following the sale of the publication to North Carolina businessman Maurice Templeton. Likewise, Carolyn was a fixture at many Southern Gospel concerts as she and Jerry represented Singing News across the nation. Carolyn passed away in July of 2015.
Funeral arrangements are pending at this time. A complete tribute to Jerry will be found in the March 2023 issue of Singing News.

Memorial Arrangements For Jerry Kirksey
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at 2:00 pm. Friends will be received by the family at the church one hour prior to the service. The service will be held at Galilee United Methodist Church, 4343 Galilee Road, Graceville, FL 32440.
The family of Jerry Kirksey has requested that in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Lighthouse Children’s Home. The home accepts donations by mail or online.
Lighthouse Children’s Home
7771 Mahan Dr.
Tallahassee, FL 32309
Phone: 850-877-3778
The family appreciates all of the support that has been shown to them since Jerry’s passing last week at the age of 82. Your continued prayers are also appreciated.

Singing News Launches New Weekly Chart

Effective February 1, 2023, Singing News will launch The Singing News Weekly Top 20 Chart. This new weekly chart will be managed, tabulated, and published by the staff of Singing News, and will be the only official weekly chart presented by Singing News brands.

The Singing News Weekly Top 20 Chart will be a spin-based chart. Select radio stations from across the country that program Southern Gospel music will report their Top 30 spins to Singing News from each weekly reporting period, and Singing News will tabulate and publish the most played Southern Gospel songs every Wednesday from the previous week.

Singing News Radio and Singing News TV will also produce a weekly Top 20 Countdown Show, built around each chart. The syndicated Top 20 Countdown radio show will be hosted by Greg Goodman, who is one of the most popular radio personalities in Southern Gospel music. Goodman will produce a top-quality Countdown show that is distributed to over 150 radio stations every week.

In addition, the popular syndicated radio show, The Gospel Greats, will reference the weekly chart in each show (which includes 140 radio stations and SIRIUS/XM), and Front Porch Fellowship, a Bluegrass Gospel syndicated radio show that is heard on 180 radio stations, will also play the Number One songs from this chart.

Industry veteran, Rick Francis, has overseen the official monthly Top 80 chart for the past 13 years. Rick will now be in charge of the weekly chart as a part of his responsibilities as publisher of Singing News Magazine.

The first Singing News Weekly Top 20 Chart will be distributed on February 7, 2023. The Gospel music industry has been asking for more spin data information from individual radio stations and networks. This has been at the forefront of the vision behind this new weekly chart.

For more information, contact:
Chris Sasser

Buddy Thrasher Passes Away

The Gospel Music world has lost one of its greatest showmen. Buddy went on to join that “Heavenly Parade” that he often sang about.

Born Clyde Lamar Thrasher in 1940, he was known as “Buddy” most of his life.  He is the middle child of three brothers who moved with their parents to Birmingham, Alabama, from Heflin, Alabama, in 1949. Their mother taught them to sing harmony at ages 6, 8, & 10, and they appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1948. In 1953, they won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and appeared on national TV. Buddy added the baritone voice to the group, blending with his brothers Jim and Joe (Thrasher), along with various bass singers over the years.

Their popularity in the Gospel music circuit grew as they became known as dynamic and entertaining, closing many all-night singings in auditoriums across the country. In 1969, they introduced the TV show called America Sings with the Thrasher Brothers, which ran nationally for three years. The Thrasher Brothers were also the group that first introduced the song, “One Day At A Time,” in 1974, which is still recorded by artists today.

Buddy was always known as the comedian of the group. His onstage and offstage antics always entertained and thrilled audiences. One of his most popular routines was to “beg” his brothers to let him sing lead on a song. Not being the lead singer like his brother, Joe, Buddy would carry on onstage, insisting that he be featured on a song. Audiences ate up the banter between Buddy and his older brother, Jim. After being ignored throughout most of the show, Buddy would finally get his chance, and everyone cheered as he finally got to sing lead on a song. But as he began to sing and be featured on “The Heavenly Parade,” the other members of the group would leave the stage, leaving Buddy to continue singing his part by himself, over and over again. Buddy would take off his coat, then his tie, and pretend to be losing his voice, as he continued to sing his part by himself. The crowds loved it, and people lined up for hours to meet this man that made them laugh so much.

Buddy had nothing but good to say about everyone. His positive attitude was contagious as he assured you that it was a beautiful day, and that everything was “just marvelous.”  He was recently preceded in death by his wife, Suzanne, and is survived by: Sons, Michael Dewayne Thrasher and Patrick Lamar Thrasher; Grandsons, Jake Thrasher, Clyde Thrasher, Walter Thrasher, and one granddaughter, Jade Thrasher.

Funeral Service will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday, February 4, 2023. Visitation will be at 12:00 p.m., Service at 2:00 p.m. at Ridout’s Trussville Chapel, 1500 Gadsden Highway, Birmingham, Alabama 35235.

Primitive Quartet Farewell Concert – Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets are now on sale for Primitive Quartet final concert on the farewell tour. The concert will be May 20, 2023.
The Primitives have partnered with Singing News brands and are incredibly excited to share this night with some of their best friends from around the world. Seating is limited and tickets are expected to go quickly.
Pictured below is Rick Francis (Publisher) and Scott Godsey (CEO) of Singing News.

For more information:
www.singingnews.com or call 1(888)684-3582

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