Welcome to the Nelon Music Group
web site. This group of publishing companies represents
over 10,000 songs with an enduring colorful and important
part of gospel music history. James D. Vaughn opened
his first publishing company in Lawrenceburg, TN.;
He came up with the idea of having singing schools
to teach his songs and sponsored traveling gospel
quartets to advertise and sell his gospel songbooks.
After attending Vaughn's School, Texas brothers V.O.
and Frank Stamps began their gospel music publishing
company in Dallas. The Frank Stamps Quartet signed
a contract with Victor Records and soon had the first
gospel music hit "Give The World A Smile."
James Blackwood and J.D. Sumner bought the Stamps
quartet and publishing: With James heading up Stamps
Quartet Music and J.D. The Stamps Quartet. During
The Blackwood Brothers glory years they won the Arthur
Godfrey's Talent Scout TV and radio show and shot
to the top of their field as RCA recording artist.
In Memphis, TN, James and J.D. started the National
Quartet Convention which continues to this day in
Louisville, KY and sells over 17,000 tickets. Also,
James and J.D. are credited with designing the first
touring bus like the replica at the SGMA Hall of Fame
at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.
During the LeFevre's golden era, popular bass singer
Rex Nelon had taken an interest in the LeFevre-Sing
Music Publishing. After most of the family retired
from the LeFevres, Rex bought their name and publishing.
Eva Mae wasn't ready to slow down just yet, and continued
on with Rex and the young group of singers for a few
more years. Later when Eva Mae retired, Rex said:
"Once there was no more LeFevres in the group,
the record label (Word-Canaan) urged me to change
the name to The Rex Nelon Singers." Today the
Nelons have the third generation with Kelly, her husband
Jason and two daughters continuing the family legacy.
Rex had a passion for songs and eventually acquired
the Stamps Quartet Music, Gospel Quartet Music and
with the opportunity to develop new songs with young
writers he launched Rex Nelon Music, (BMI) and R.N.S.
(ASCAP). Later he acquired others. He retired from
singing to stay home and work his publishing but ended
up on the road with a group of friends singing with
Gaithers Homecoming Tour. They loved to reminisce
at breakfast where one mentioned the good old days
and he replied "these are the good ole' days."
He loved all that he was doing singing the old songs
with the young new artists too.
When Bill Gaither, out of his love of this gospel
music and favorite singers, captured on a one camera
shoot, all in one room singing together, no one could
have imagined that soon these songs and singers would
be known around the world through the Gaither Homecoming
Series. This created an opportunity for a new audience
to become familiar with what had already been loved
by another generation. We are grateful for all that
these historical figures have contributed to what
amounts to thousands of uses and enjoyment for this
generation of gospel music lovers.
Judy Spencer Nelon
THE POWER OF A SONG ::
Lauren Talley (Talley Trio) recently shared this amazing story.
"In the hotel room, the window was actually a sliding glass door which was
left open a crack, because one night before going to bed, I thought I could
hear a group of people singing. The accent was pretty heavily Asian, so
although it was in English, I couldn't understand exactly what they were
saying. At the end of the chorus I finally understood the words "Thaaank
yooouu Looord, for your blessings on me....". The lady at the front desk
later confirmed that a religious service held by a group of Japanese
tourists was indeed in the hotel courtyard that evening. We worked with Jeff
and Sheri Easter the weekend after I got back, and I shared the story with
them. I think it's amazing that Jeff's dad and uncles (The Easter Brothers: Rex Nelon Music Publishing) wrote that song in a shack in
North Carolina, and I got to hear a group of Japanese Christians in
Australia sing it! As a friend of ours recently said, "God's a big God, but
He sure keeps a tight circle."