The Inspirations

Martin Cook, bottom left, Myron Cook, top row from left, Luke Vaught, Harold Reed, Matt Dibler, Roland Kesterson and Joe Brown are some of the members of the Inspirations’ current group.

Popular southern gospel music group the Inspirations will perform at Skyline Baptist Branson on Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The concert is free and open to the public, a press release stated, but a free-will offering will be taken.

The Inspirations, from Bryson, North Carolina, originally began in 1964 when Martin Cook, a chemistry teacher at Swain County High in Bryson, and several of his students held nightly singing sessions in the basement of Cook’s home. Within two years, the group went on the road and began singing “in the big leagues,” according the group’s bio.

In 1969, the group began their 12-year run on the nationally televised Gospel Singing Jubilee. But Cook, the founder and the group’s pianist, said the Inspirations really took off when CBS Evening News filmed a seven-minute documentary about them.

The Inspirations went on to produce dozens of albums and sell more than a million records on the Canaan label. The Inspirations have also become a familiar name with readers of Singing News Magazine, according to a press release. The Inspirations have received more than two dozen Singing News Awards, including Favorite Gospel Group and Favorite Male Quartet eight times. The group has produced more songs than any group in Singing News Magazine.

Throughout the decades, the Inspirations have remained devout to their faith and message. According to their bio, when the group set up their group as a business corporation in 1971, “the Inspirations even went as far as drawing up a notarized list of ‘by-laws’ in 1973 to rule their conduct as singers and musicians ... It is no secret that the Inspirations live by what they sing.”

Cook said when the group performs, they’re main goal is to spread a good message and positivity.

“We always hear about the downsides of America,” Cook said, “But (the Inspirations) want people to be uplifted about themselves and the world.”

Skyline Baptist Branson Senior Pastor Norm Howell said he is looking forward to listening to the Inspirations sing “good old southern traditional gospel.”

Howell said the church has a few connections with the Inspirations through some of its church members. So when Howell found out the Inspirations would be in the region, he found a way to have them come to Skyline Baptist Branson.

Howell said Skyline Baptist Branson is wanting to host more traditional southern gospel concerts for the people of the community.

“Silver Dollar City’s Southern Gospel Picnic is SDC’s most attended event of the year,” Howell said. “I believe we have a lot of local people who will enjoy a concert like this in a setting where they don’t have to drive to SDC.”

Skyline Baptist Branson is at 949 Missouri 165. In Branson. For more information about the church, visit SkylineBaptistBranson.com or call the church office at 417-334-6729.

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