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Sharing Southern Gospel Music with a New Generation

When Terry Hapney was 16 years old, he debuted his radio career on WLGC in Greenup, Ky., as the host of a Sunday morning music show called Gospel Jubilation. Life recently came full circle when he and his son Blake, age 16, re-launched the program on 1260 AM WNXT in Portsmouth.

The father-son duo introduced Gospel Jubilation on the airwaves on Sunday morning, March 4. The show consists of today’s best Southern gospel and classics and can now be heard each Sunday morning at the following times:

  • 7-7:30 a.m.
  • 8-9 a.m.
  • 10-10:30 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m. to noon

Listeners may stream the production live on their Tune In radio app (WNXT Sports) or online at www.sportsmouth1260.com. A podcast of the show is available at soundcloud.com.

The show takes requests, and these can be sent to them as follows:

Terry will celebrate his 30th year in radio this month, and even though this is not his full-time career, he enjoys it the most. “Of all the jobs I’ve done in my life, I’m most passionate about doing this type of radio program,” he said.

His full-time job is teaching journalism and public relations at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where he has been a professor for more than a decade. You can also hear the Kentucky native delivering the morning news on WNXT on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and he provides the afternoon, evening and overnight news remotely for the station.

Blake, the middle child of the Hapney household, is a sophomore at Raceland Worthington High School.  He is interested in a future career related to broadcasting, so working at the radio station is giving him some great experience for his resume.

The idea for the production came together when Blake started operating the board at the radio station for Ohio State and local high school games in the fall of 2017.  He was later assigned the Sunday morning shift from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. which included some local church programming with random music filling in the unsold slots. Before long, the father and son, both fans of Southern gospel, came up with the idea to pitch Gospel Jubilation to the general manager to fill the space.

Blake says he really likes doing the program and enjoys listening to the music. He and his dad are both fans of The Kingsmen, Gold City, and other male quartets.

Terry was exposed to Southern gospel as a child when his father, Terry Sr., sang and traveled with The King’s Children, a gospel group from Flatwoods. The elder Hapney plays banjo, bass guitar, and upright bass, and he has written several Southern gospel songs over the years. But Terry Jr. said he really got hooked on the genre when he first saw the Kingsmen perform live at the Paramount Theater in Ashland, Ky., in the early 1980s.

He has passed his love for this music onto his son, and the pair hopes to use Gospel Jubilation to promote concerts and church events in the area as well. In addition, Terry hopes to interview Southern gospel stars when they travel through the area. While working at WCGW Radio in Lexington, Ky., years ago, he was privileged to interview several popular singers such as Peg McKamey Bean, Eldridge Fox, the Happy Goodman Family and the Hinsons, and he would love the chance to do it again.

Overall, he sees this project as a chance for his son to learn the ropes of the broadcasting industry. “This is Blake’s shift, and it’s going to move more toward him being the host as he grows in the radio business,” he said. “I’m not getting paid for any of it. I’m doing it because I love it.”

He says this is a ministry and something he and his son look forward to doing—they see it as a calling to service.

“If we would host this show for 20 years, and one person was saved as a result of something that we played, it’s worth all the time, energy and effort we put into it.”

Article first published on Southern Ohio Christian Voice

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