Bluegrass gospel greats to perform at deGraffenried Saturday
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

     One of the biggest names in bluegrass music, especially bluegrass gospel, and his band will perform in a benefit concert at deGraffenried Auditorium adjacent to Russellville High School Saturday night, beginning at 7 p.m. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver will entertain fans in a concert designed to help Agape. Toys for Tots is one of the most visible outreaches of the Russellville-based community service organization. Tickets are available for $20 at Domino's on the Hopkinsville Road 
or at Agape's Carrico Center on Johnson Street.
     The group has been honored by the International Bluegrass Association repeatedly. For seven straight years through 2007, they were named vocal group of the year. They have recorded over 40 albums.
     Lawson is the father of Rob Lawson of Russellville, who owns the Domino's piazza 
franchise along with his wife Carla. They are involved in supporting countless community projects, but this one was Rob's idea. He also selected Agape as the recipient of the funding.
     Doyle Lawson, 66, grew up near Kingsport, Tenn. Music was a part of his family's life. "As far back as I can remember, I loved the sound of music. Just about everyone listened to The Grand Ole Opry, and our family was no exception. Though I listened to all the stars on the Opry, the group that impressed me most was Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys. His music was different, more intense. High lonesome is the term we used for it. I could hardly wait for Saturday nights to arrive so I could listen. I decided early on that I wanted to play that kind of music. 

     "My father, mother, and sister all sang gospel music when I was young. They were members of trios and quartets that sang a cappella music in churches and at revivals, and such. No doubt, that was where I acquired my love of quartet music"  
     When Doyle was 11 or 12 years old, he expressed an interest in learning to play the mandolin, so his dad borrowed one from a member of their quartet. He taught himself to play by listening to the radio, a few records, and watching television. 
      "Around 1959, I made up my mind that I wanted to play music for a living, and realized that only playing one instrument was somewhat limiting, so I made it a point to learn how to play the banjo and guitar, too," Lawson recalls in an autobiographical sketch on his website. In February 1963, he went to Nashville and got a job playing banjo with Jimmy Martin. In 1966, he started working with J.D. Crowe in Lexington. He alternated playing with Martin and Crow for five years.. Then he was with the Country Gentlemen from Sept. 1, 1971 until March 1979. 
     "By this time, I had played in bands for more than 10 years, that had their 'sound' before I joined them. I wanted to put together a group that would have 'my sound,'" he recalls. "To that end, in April 1979 I formed a group that I first named Doyle Lawson & Foxfire but soon changed to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. I wanted a strong quartet like the ones my dad used to sing with. In the next few months, Terry Baucom, Jimmy Haley, Lou Reid and I laid the foundation for what has become the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver sound. 
     "The makeup of my band has changed many times in the last three decades or so. I jokingly tell folks that Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is the 'farm team' for bluegrass. I try to integrate each member's special talents into my group, while not sacrificing the Quicksilver sound. While the sound changes a bit with the introduction of a new band member, it is important to me that people hear what they expect to hear when we take the stage, no matter who is in the group."

     They have been hosting the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival in Denton, N.C. for more than 25 years and are on tour much of the year, appearing in multiple states.
     Doyle and his wife Suzanne have two daughters in addition to Rob. This will be his first concert in Logan County.
     Doing a benefit for a Christ-based organization like Agape is a natural for Lawson's group. "The gospel music that we record and perform on stage has always been important to me," Doyle says. "Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have made many more gospel recordings than secular ones. It is apparent to me that the folks who buy our music and come to our concerts feel, as I do, that there is no better message than the message of Jesus Christ. On the first Sunday of May in 1985, I rededicated my life to our Lord Jesus. It is my fervent hope that my 'musical mission' will lead others to Him."

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