The McKameys at the Blue Gate
If there is one word that describes The McKameys, it would be sincere. Each member of this Southern Gospel singing group is sincere in their love for the Lord, sincere in their love for the music they sing, and sincere in their need to spread the Word to others through their music.
Organized as a trio of sisters — Dora, Peg and Carol McKamey — in 1954, the group is nearing its fifth decade of spreading love and blessings through the music they sing. Even though there have been several changes in the group’s makeup, the wonderful harmonies, great songs and sheer joy of singing has never gone away. Whether they are performing “Roll The Burden On Me,” “Even The Valley,” “Right On Time,” “Arise,” or earlier hits like “Who Put The Tears” or “God On The Mountain,” there is a light that shines through onstage and an energy that carries them through the night when they perform.
Dora actually started the group, which is based in Clinton, Tennessee. Since their father was a minister, all the girls had grown up singing in church. One day Dora announced to her astonished sisters that they were going to sing with her in church the next Sunday as a trio!
As the group entered into the 21st century, they continued to be rewarded by their loyal fans. They were awarded Song of the Year honors in 2002, 2003, and 2007 for their hits, I’ll Not Turn My Back On Him Now, We Need to Thank God and I Have Not Forgotten at the Singing News Fan Awards. They were vot’ed Favorite Traditional Male Quartet in 2005 and 2006, and Mike Holcomb once again received Favorite Bass awards in 2002, 2005, and 2008. Martin Cook and Archie Watkins both were recipients of the Marvin Norcross Award, and each was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2007 respectively. Cook was also inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Piano Roll of Honor at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion in 2005.
Today’s lineup of the Inspirations holds firm to their roots, while setting the stage for another generation. The group as of January, 2011 consists of Martin Cook – Piano, Mike Holcomb – Bass, Jon Epley – Baritone, David Reagan – Lead, Jodi Hosterman – Tenor, Myron Cook – Upright Bass, along with Luke Vaught who can play almost any instrument put in his hands.
The Inspirations have continued to remain a top-selling recording artist, now recording for Horizon Records. They still pack churches and concert halls to capacity. Their presence still commands respect and admiration. The boys from Bryson City have proven consistency and integrity are still important, in times where neither have seemed to be viewed as relevant.