James Blackwood,
Hovie Lister,
Elvis & JD Sumner

Hovie, Bill Gaither,
Rex, & Jake Hess

Gaither Homecoming Taping


welcome ::

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


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."