For over 50 years, The Dixie Echoes have been delivering the gospel message in song across America through their spiritually uplifting music ministry. Respected among their peers and industry leaders alike, the Dixie Echoes are recognized as one of the premiere groups in gospel music.
Since the Dixie Echoes formed in 1960, they have released nearly 70 albums and have had numerous top ten singles. They have been honored with four former members being inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame: J.G. Whitfield (1997), Dale Shelnut (2001), Jack Toney (2005), and Billy Todd (2009).
We have a question & answer session with the newest addition to the Dixie Echoes, tenor Stephen Adair. Having heard the Echoes in concert not long ago, I was immediately impressed with Adair’s intonation and his nice range. Adair is one of the best new tenors to come along in recent years and the Dixie Echoes quickly offered him their tenor position.
SGM- Did you aspire to be a southern gospel singer growing up?
SA – Southern Gospel Music was my life as I was growing up. I would literally try to get as many videos and cassettes as I could just so I could hear the music. I remember our church had purchased new microphones and stands. They were kind enough to give me one of the old microphones and a stand. I can’t tell you how many times I was told to turn the music down as I stood in front of my mirror with my mic and stand in place, as I pretended to sing in front of thousands.
SGM- Given the history of the Dixie Echoes and their success, what has it been like for you as the new tenor?
SA – It has been surreal. I was a fan of the Dixie Echoes long before I even thought of the possibility of singing with the group. The group has had many great voices and tenors to grace their ranks. They have left big shoes to fill! Randy Shelnut Sr. is not only a living legend in our field, but he is also a tremendous teacher. His skill and dedication to his craft are second to none. It is just an honor to be a part of such a prestigious group.
SGM- What upcoming events do fans need to know about involving the group?
SA – The biggest event that the Dixie Echoes are heavily involved in is the Memphis Quartet Show. This year it is scheduled for June 15-18, 2016 at the Cook Convention Center in the heart of Memphis, TN. This is an “all quartet” event that includes every group you can think of over 4 days. All the information can be found at Memphis Quartet Show Website Of course, our tour schedule is always up to date on our website, Dixie Echoes Website
SGM- When can we expect a CD release of the current line up?
SA – We are actually in the process of learning new material for a new album release . There are a lot of neat things being planned for this album and we are all very excited about it. I cant give away any of the secrets, but this looks to be one of the best projects the group has ever produced!
SGM- Has life on the road been a transition for you?
SA – I love a good road trip! The biggest adjustment is learning how to sleep on the bus. Sometimes the miles between concerts can be a lot, so we travel through the night in order to make our next date. But, it is worth every mile just to touch someones life through a song.
SGM- For those interested in bringing the Dixie Echoes to their venue, who do they contact?
SA – Our booking is handled through Rivergate Talent Agency. If you would like to have us at your church or special event, you may visit their website at Rivergate Talent Website, or by calling Bonnie White at (615)649-8181. She will be able to give you all the details and answer any questions you may have.