The Diplomats and the Booth Brothers will be at Mill Town Music Hall on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Vocalist and Carroll County resident Jim Pearson began to put together a male quartet in the First Baptist Church in Woodstock in 1968.
“I was the original lead singer for the group until we decided to go another way,” said Jimmy Pearson. “My wife, Rita was the alto of the group for many years, but her health has kept her home recently.”
When the Diplomats perform at Mill Town, Rita sometimes sings a song or two. The Diplomats have traveled around the United States and overseas.
“We typically do around 200 engagements a year, but the last four months have impacted our schedule tremendously,” Pearson added. “We have been to Switzerland and Canada, but we had so many problems with passports and proper documents in some nations that we decided to stay in this country.”
Over the years, Pearson has secured other Southern Gospel groups to come to west Georgia to perform in local churches. Since the beginning of Mill Town Music Hall, Pearson has been helping the venue bring groups like the Issacs, the Booth Brothers, the Martins, the Collingsworth Family and other well-known Gospel groups to perform in the Bremen theater.
“We decided a long time ago that we would be a different type Southern Gospel group. Most Gospel groups use pre-recorded backing tracks,” Pearson said.
This allows them to save money by not traveling with a full band. The Diplomats have a band with keyboard player and singer-Corey Pearson, lead guitarist Jordan Hamby (who also plays the banjo and mandolin), drummer Drew McDowell, and bass player Timmy Stephens. The group also features tenor vocalist Harold Reed and bass singer Brandon Barry.
During Rita’s tenure with the group, the Diplomats were known as a Mixed Group in fan-based and our singer award voting categories because of the fact that they had both male and female vocalists. Over the last two decades, the group has placed several times in the top 10 of Southern Gospel Mixed Groups according to the Singing News Fans Awards.
Ronnie and Michael Booth were engrossed in Southern Gospel music.
“I remember my dad, Ronnie Booth Sr., and uncles giving us the chance to join their quartet in 1957,” said Ronnie Booth Jr. “We now have a diverse repertoire of traditional hymns and a broad spectrum of other types of music. Until 1998, we were on the road with our dad.”
Ronnie and Michael renamed the group as the Booth Brothers. Paul Lancaster is the newest member of the trio. In the late 1970s, Ron Jr. went on the road with the Americans, the Stamps, the Thrasher Brothers and other groups. In 1999, the group’s bus was robbed and much of their equipment was stolen. The Booth Brothers came out of their difficult time and found a song entitled “Still Feelin’ Fine” which became a great hit on Gospel radio.
The group finally received their first Dove Award for the Southern Gospel Album of the Year (Still). Both brothers have awards from Singing News magazine: Male Artist of the Year, Tenor of the Year, and Lead Singer of the Year. Also, Absolutely Gospel Awards-Male Group of the Year, Best Live Performer of the Year and Progressive Album of the Year (Let It Be Known). Tunes like “He Saw it All,” “Welcome to the Family,” and “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet” were on the top of the Southern Gospel Music Charts during the 2000s.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at 770-537-6455 or order online at www.milltownmusichall.com.