PDT Staff Writer
One of the biggest artists in gospel music is coming to Wheelersburg for two shows this Saturday, June 23. Ivan Parker will perform at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Southern Ohio’s National Gospel Stage (SONGS), in the Wheelersburg Cinema on Ohio River Road in Wheelersburg.
Parker traveled with the award-winning Gold City Quartet for more than a decade, before embarking on a solo career in 1994. During his years with Gold City, the group gained national notoriety, achieved 19 Top Ten hits, including a 1993 Dove Award for Southern Gospel Song of the Year by the Gospel Music Association.
In 2008, the Gaither Gospel Series released The Best Of Ivan Parker on DVD and CD, which peaked on Billboard Magazine’s Music Video Chart at No. 2. Most recently, Ivan was nominated for a 2009 Visionary Award by the Christian Music Hall of Fame for Southern Gospel Male Vocalist of the Year.
Today, Ivan is an award-winning solo performer who was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and has received more than 20 awards from a variety of fan and trade publications.
Also on the same program are two of the best known groups of gospel performers in the region — Joy Jones and the Jones Boys, and Soulshine Drive.
“We’re just trying to bring the best talent that we can afford to get in here to southern Ohio, especially gospel artists, because we’re kind of starved for that in a public setting,” SONGS operator Terry Gifford said. “Some churches have brought different artists in, and it’s mainly for all their church people. But these artists are coming in to a neutral site.”
Gifford said one of the things SONGS prides themselves in is the family atmosphere.
“Everybody needs to come and enjoy them,” Gifford said. “We’re always trying to bring artists such as Michael Combs. We had the Dove Brothers in here last week, and Charlotte Ritchie. We’ve also signed three or four other big-name groups for the next month or two.”
Tickets are $10 for general admission, and tickets in the artist’s circle, the first three rows in the theater, are $15 each, and may be purchased at the theater’s box office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, or by calling 740-574-6000 to reserve tickets to be picked up the day of the show.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.