Bios, Pics & History
Hershell began singing publicly at the age of 14 as a member of a Future Farmers of America (FFA) quartet. That year, 1954, the quartet placed second in countywide competition. At age 15, Hershell began singing baritone and, along with three of his schoolmates and a pianist, the quartet performed at whatever church would allow them to sing, usually during convention singings. This quartet lasted about two years before members decided to go their individual ways.
Jim Brown, Hershell's dad, was a songwriter and arranger who taught Hershell some music fundamentals. Hershell later learned the rudiments of shape-note music from Ralph, one of his older brothers. During his teens, he even squeezed in a few piano and organ lessons.
Hershell was active in convention singing until after his marriage to Nell in 1961. Shortly after their marriage they relocated to Columbus, Georgia, where they became charter members of three different quartets. One of these, The Pilgrims, appeared throughout the southeast with some of the biggest names in Southern Gospel music during that era. Backed by a full band, The Pilgrims made a number of local television appearances and, for a time, were regulars on "At Home With Rozelle", an early morning television show. The Pilgrims released four recordings and enjoyed much popularity. Hershell, and his family, returned home to North Alabama in 1975.
After a three-year hiatus, Hershell and Nell became members of The Soul Seekers and were involved in three recordings. The Soul Seekers performed for eleven years before making the reluctant decision to disband due to age, fatigue, etc. During the months following, he and some of the former members decided to form a new quartet called The Joyful Hearts. They performed together for about a year when personnel changes resulted in an all-family quartet being formed. Thus was born The Singing Browns. They released their only recording in 1993. Again, age and fatigue drove Hershell and his wife to retire from gospel singing.
Hershell believes he was instantly and miraculously healed of a hemorrhaging kidney in 1998. He believes that this "thorn in the flesh" was a direct result of his failure to heed God's calling on his life to sing gospel music. The calling to sing drove him to try out for the baritone singer's position with The Revelators in 1999 following the untimely death of long-time baritone and emcee, Rev. Rayburn Terry. He was accepted and remains until this day a dedicated member, always striving to follow God's lead in his life. He admits to making some real blunders along the way, but is quick to point out one of his favorite scripture passages: "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord."
Throughout the years, Hershell has adhered to one principle in his singing career -- sing nothing except songs that reflect Bible-based principles or that offer hope and encouragement to a lost world. One of his favorite songs, "I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You", offers hope to everyone who hears it. Songs such as this reflect the true witness of Hershell (H.C.) Brown.
Angie comes from a long line of gospel singers, from her grandparents to her parents. She was brought up attending gospel singings and cannot imagine a life without those weekend trips. Angie began singing alto with The Soul Seekers, filling in for Nell Brown during medical leave. She performed with The Soul Seekers for approximately a year. After that, she enjoyed going with her parents, alto and baritone singers with The Soul Seekers, for several years.
In 1990, she was asked to join The Joyful Hearts as their lead singer. Entering new territory as a lead singer proved that God works where He wants. The lead position in a group is a challenging position, but she felt that was what God wanted. When The Joyful Hearts disbanded, she decided to join her family in song with The Singing Browns. The Singing Browns enjoyed spreading the gospel for several years before finally disbanding when some members wanted to retire. Although God was not through with Angie yet, she enjoyed a respite from the hectic life of a gospel singer for a few years. In 1996 Angie was contacted about her interest in singing again with The Revelators. It was a decision easily made. Angie has been singing alto with the group since, and she also functions as the group's booking agent.
There have been many amusing incidents over the years of singing gospel music. The very first singing Angie ever had with The Soul Seekers produced a heart attack in the audience. For a superstitious mind, that would have been indicative of a bad singing career. As it turns out, it wasn't actually Angie's voice which brought on the attack, and the gentleman is alive and well today. She still laughs when recalling that incident.
Angie's brother, Tony, is the bass singer for The Revelators. Her parents are Hershell and Nell Brown. She enjoys traveling and making friends each weekend as a perk of singing Southern Gospel music. She currently resides in Decatur, Alabama. Angie thanks God every day for this opportunity to spread His word and will continue as long as she feels the Lord wants.
Jerry has loved southern gospel music for as long as he can remember. He sang baritone with The Lordsmen for twelve years before joining The Revelators. He also served for six years as the music director for Bethel Baptist Church in Hartselle, Alabama. Jerry was born in 1944 and was saved at the age of 17.
Jerry has two children, a daughter (36 years old) and a son (31 years old) and one granddaughter. He is the owner of his own business, West Heating & Cooling. He currently resides in Hartselle, Alabama.
Tony began singing bass in 1990 with The Joyful Hearts. When that group disbanded, he and several members of his family formed The Singing Browns. Then, in 1997, he auditioned for, and was selected as, the bass singer for The Revelators Quartet.
One of his fondest memories comes from his first public appearance at Petersburg Baptist Church in Petersburg, Tennessee. "I noticed that some people in the audience kept craning their necks as if they were looking for someone standing behind me. After the singing was over, a little lady came up to me and wanted to know where we were hiding the drummer. It was at that point that my dad told her that we didn't have a drummer -- that was just my knees knocking together hard enough to rattle the windows!"
Over the years Tony has learned to control his nerves while continuously striving to improve upon his talents. He admits to receiving great pleasure from being able to share Southern Gospel music and its message with people in the Southeast. He also admits enjoying the fellowship with old friends and new friends alike that being with The Revelators affords.
Tony's parents (H. C. and Nell Brown) have also been members of various Southern Gospel groups over the years. Through their experiences, and those of his own, he has grown to respect the amount of dedication and commitment necessary to travel and share the gospel through song and deed. Tony and his wife, Sharon, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in August 2001. They currently reside in Athens, Alabama.
Larry began playing bass guitar with The Revelators in 1995. He originally started playing gospel music with The Canaanland Quartet from Jasper in 1993.
He was born in western Tennessee and now resides in Bremen, Alabama. Larry was saved at the age of 13 and discovered a natural talent for playing guitar at the age of 14. He was raised a Southern Baptist, but changed to United Methodist after his marriage to Glenda Barton when he was 20 years old. He and Glenda have three children (Charles, Mac and Stephanie) and two grandchildren. Glenda is an ordained minister. She and Larry hold independent services in the Hebron Prayer Center located at their home.
By profession, Larry is a registered respiratory therapist and a sales coordinator for Health Renu', Inc., a medical equipment sales company. His present activities include emu farming and operating Hebron Recording Service.
If you would like to contact Larry personally, please send him email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronnie was raised in Chicago, Illinois. While Ronnie was still a young teenager, his father was forced to retire early due to health reasons and the family moved to Phil Campbell, Alabama, where in his words, “culture shock” did not describe the difference. After moving to Alabama, Ronnie discovered a liking for gospel music. His earliest memories of gospel music include that of his parents watching the singing jubilee with Wally Fowler on Sunday mornings. One of his uncles, Tulion Thomas, was very influential in his life. He was the song director at his church, chairman of the monthly singing convention and a follower of the Travelers Quartet from Birmingham, Alabama. Anytime his uncle would get in the car, whether to go hear the Travelers or go to a convention singing, Ronnie was with him.
It was during high school that Ronnie began to broaden his musical background. In the summer months he would attend singing schools. He also joined the high school band playing first trumpet and then became the first drum major in his sophomore, junior and senior years. During the concert season, Ronnie would play the tuba, baritone bass horn or trumpet - whatever was needed. He has always liked the piano but was unable to have one until his junior year. Ronnie basically taught himself until that summer when he went to Birmingham to take piano lessons from James D. Walbert. Mr. Walbert was from the Vaughn Normal Singing Convention School in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Ronnie began playing piano for his first quartet while still a senior in high school and has been playing for quartets ever since.
While attending college, Ronnie played for the Soul Seekers Quartet from Hartselle, Alabama. After ten years the group disbanded due to health reasons of some group members. Ronnie then joined an all-male quartet, The Altarmen, playing for them for almost four years before they, too, dissolved. The Soul Seekers had decided to resume singing on a part-time basis, so Ronnie rejoined the group and continued to play for them for the next three years. To leave the group after a total of 13 years was one of the hardest things he had ever done. But Ronnie felt that the Lord was leading him in a different direction to play on a full-time basis. In 1988, he joined The Revelators Quartet from Haleyville, Alabama. What was only going to be a three-month stay has now lasted for 13 years.
Some of the professional groups that Ronnie has had the privilege of playing the piano with include The Kingsmen, the Perry Family, the Singing Speers, the Inspirations, Connie and the Hopper Brothers, and the Florida Boys. Highlights of Ronnie's career include his having played twice at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and being called on to play piano for the Rangers Quartet. The Rangers Quartet, for which Hovie Lister had been the original piano player, had relocated from Texas to south Alabama and was in need of a piano player. They called on Ronnie and he went to play for them.
Ronnie now lives in Birmingham, Alabama. He is employed with Adventure Travel where he works as a staff accountant. Prior to this he had worked as a travel agency accounting supervisor for AAA in Birmingham. Each weekend Ronnie travels back to Phil Campbell to his second home to spend time with his sister and aunt.
The Revelators, of north Alabama, is a southern gospel music group committed to serving Christ through song and fellowship. Current members are: Hershell Brown, lead; Angie Brown, alto; Jerry West, baritone; Tony Brown, bass; Larry Andrews, bass guitar; and Ronnie Thomas, piano.
The Revelators was an idea born among friends in 1972 in Phil Campbell, Alabama -- an idea to form a quartet singing southern gospel music. The original members were Judy Taylor (lead), Doris Holland (alto), Leldon Taylor (baritone), Hubert Beasley (bass), Janice Vandiver (piano), and Marty Vandiver (bass guitar). Over the decades, a number of personnel changes have occurred, but the thrust of their music remains unchanged.
The Revelators have performed before crowds ranging from 15 to 15,000; appearing in almost every kind of venue imaginable from cattle arenas to shopping mall parking lots to churches to football fields to concert halls. With a combined total or more than a century of experience in southern gospel music, members of the current group have performed with some of the greatest names in recent history, including groups such as The Kingsmen, The Inspirations, the Dixie Echoes, the Chuck Wagon Gang, and Rozie Rozell and the Searchers. The idea of singing professionally has been discussed several times; however, the quartet prefers to remain in amateur status, which means a great deal more time with their families than members would otherwise be able to enjoy.
The first "real" recording ever made by The Revelators was in 1984 at Mark Five Studios in Greenville, South Carolina. As the group evolved, and personnel changes occurred, other recordings were made. As a group, The Revelators have made thirteen recordings. Unfortunately, many of the earlier recordings are no longer available due to a fire that destroyed the master copies. Without the masters, duplicates of any quality cannot be made.
Although this list is not complete, previous members of The Revelators are: Jeff Beasley, Tony Cole, Jim Berry, Diane Aldridge, Doug Hulsey, Renae Bell, O'Neil Riddle, Spencer Burns, Mike Carter, Kathy Borden, John Pettey, Billy Fell, Rayburn Terry, David Lee, Ray Bradford, Greg Terry, Jerry Bradford, Wayne Shirley, Malcom Seahorn and Corey Seahorn. For several months in late 2001, James Nicholson served as interim lead singer.