The Gospel Trumpets got together in 1970 as junior high school students to sing in their church choir. Their father Carlee Brown had been a founding member of the Original Gospel Trumpets of Cleveland, North Carolina. His group had gained regional prominence during the 1960s singing in the “jubilee style” popularized by the original Five Blind Boys and the Swannee Quintet. When the original group disbanded after several members joined the ministry, Carlee Brown encouraged his children to carry on the tradition. His children – Billy Ray, Bessie, Jerry, Jimmy, Wayne, Melvin, Brenda, and Steve, along with several relatives and friends, began rehearsing regularly. In the winter of 1970, when he thought they were good enough, Mr. Brown gave his blessing to the offspring’s adopting the name of his group – The Gospel Trumpets.
The young group took their music seriously from the beginning, organizing a gospel extravaganza of local groups to raise money for their own equipment. Their first group purchase was a tambourine. Since those early days, the group has gone through several personnel changes, finally settling on the current lineup eight years ago. Throughout all the years of rehearsals and thousands of performances, The Gospel Trumpets have constantly strived for excellence in their vocal performances, stage appearances and equipment. That they did so while most of them were passing through adolescence and early adulthood is a testimony of their dedication to their music.
The group’s biggest goal is to inspire people through music to accept Jesus Christ totally into their lives. In all their activities, the Browns and other group members keep these spiritual aspirations in mind. They practice traditional values of education, hard work, loyalty to family and friends, and devotion to God and their church community. Everyone in the group has post high school technical training or college coursework, and holds a full time job. Church attendance several times a week, rehearsals, and concerts every weekend further attest to their fervent efforts to sing The Lord’s praises.
The Gospel Trumpets demonstrate by their song selections for this album that they have a firm respect for both older and more contemporary groups. From the traditional Great Day to the Five Blind Boys’ What A Beautiful Day and What Is This by Walter Hawkins, the group shows the wide range of the unique approach. They acknowledge their musical roots while stepping boldly into the forefront of contemporary gospel.