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Victory Trio still spreading Good News

Leigh Ann Laube • Jun 28, 2013 at 10:18 AM

When you see or hear the name Paul Williams, your next thought might be of a quality person with a great voice and a smooth mandolin lick, using his talents to lift up the name of Jesus.

Williams and his Victory Trio will perform at 7 p.m., July 5 on Broad Street in downtown Kingsport as part of the Bluegrass on Broad summer concert series. The show is free. Bring a lawn chair and non-perishable items to donate to local food banks.

Williams’ love for music and the Lord began at the age of 9 when his father bought him an “A” model Gibson mandolin to play in prayer meetings and church services. Today, Williams and the Victory Trio travel across the country, spreading the Good News at churches, festivals and benefits.

Williams’ legendary career began with The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers in the 1950s. He went on to become one of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He did an extensive amount of songwriting and recording during these years, penning “Prayer Bells In Heaven” and “I Like To Hear Them Preach It.”

In August 1963, Williams’ life was changed forever when he found the gift of salvation. He retired from the bluegrass circuits, but continued to write songs and play in churches and on radio broadcasts for the next 33 years. In 1995, he formed the Victory Trio and played in churches around Morristown, his hometown.

While the group was an immediate regional success, it took four years and the proper breaks to achieve national recognition. The Victory Trio’s big break manifested itself when the band’s second self-produced recording, “Old Ways & Old Paths,” was re-released on Rebel Records and subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2000 in the Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album category.

In 2001, 2002 and 2003, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music and the International Bluegrass Music Association nominated the band for Bluegrass Group of the Year, Bluegrass Gospel — Traditional Group of the Year and Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year respectively.

In 2008, they were nominated for a Dove Award by the Gospel Music Association. For three consecutive years, the group was awarded SPBGMA’s Traditional Bluegrass Gospel Group Of The Year Award.

The band was nominated for a Dove award in 2009 for its “What A Journey” CD and again in 2011 for “A Little Closer Home.”

The band features Williams on mandolin and vocals; Jerry Keys on banjo and vocals; Susie Keys on acoustic bass and vocals; Adam Winstead on rhythm guitar and vocals; and Dan Moneyhun on lead guitar and vocals.

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