published Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Easter Brothers, Easter Family at Sacred Sounds

The Easter Brothers are, from left, Russell Sr., Ed and James Easter.
The Easter Brothers are, from left, Russell Sr., Ed and James Easter.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    The Easter Family includes, from left, Jacob Easter, Jared Easter and Marti Easter and Steve Schramm.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Two family acts that represent the first and third generations of a gospel music legacy will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, for the monthly Sacred Sounds concert in Ringgold, Ga. Presented by the Share America Foundation, the concert at the Ringgold Depot will feature the Easter Brothers and the Easter Family.

The evening also will include a special appearance by youth Wally O'Donald.

The Easter Brothers began in the early 1950s when Russell, James and Ed Easter formed a bluegrass gospel group influenced by the Carolina sound of their home in Mount Airy, N.C. Their association with country music's King Records helped make them a favorite across America, as did appearances on 1970s television.

James Easter said fans of the three-time Dove Award winners can expect to hear some of their biggest songs, including "Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me," "Holding Up the Ladder" and "Heart That Will Never Break Again." James is often featured on the latter during Gaither Homecoming shows with his son and daughter-in-law, Jeff & Sherri Easter.

Altogether, according to emcee Randall Franks, the Easter Brothers have helped popularize more than 300 songs, many recorded by countless other artists. Songs such as "Help Me Stand Lord," "The Darkest Hour" and "He's the Rock I'm Leaning On" have become standards in gospel music.

Opening for the brothers and serving as their backup band is the Easter Family, which consists of Jared, Marti and Jacob Easter and Steve Schramm.

Jared, Jacob and Marti Easter are the grandchildren of Russell Lee Easter and sons of longtime gospel musician and producer Russell Easter Jr. They will share music from their CD "There's a Better Life."

The event is a fundraiser for the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship Fund for young musicians. Donations for tickets are $5, free for children 5 and younger.

Tickets are available in advance at SonShine Christian Books, 1841 Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe (706-861-7675). For more information, visit www.shareamericafoundation.org.

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