09/09/09 — Talley Trio set to perform in Mount Olive

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Talley Trio set to perform in Mount Olive

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on September 9, 2009 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Talley Trio family is coming to town this month as part of the Mount Olive College Recital Series, and a group of local performers is getting into the southern gospel groove to back them up.

The Talley Trio, a musical group founded in 1984 by Roger and Debra Talley and Roger's brother, Kirk, today is a mom, dad and daughter ensemble known for their unique take on songs of worship. Debra, Roger and daughter Lauren will perform at the college at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Southern Bank Auditorium in W. Burkette and Rose M. Raper Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door.

MOC professor Alan Armstrong, a longtime fan of the Talley Trio's music, was one of the people who helped to book the group for the college recital series. But it was an unexpected bonus when he learned that some of his students, known as the Free Spirits, were invited to perform on stage with the Talleys during the upcoming concert.

The Free Spirits, a Christian-based musical group that performs a variety of songs of worship, will sing backup for the Talleys on three songs during the concert, which will run about two hours long with a 25-minute intermission. The students will sing with the Talleys on songs "Mountain Mover," "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord" and "Truth is Marching On."

It's a special opportunity for the members of Free Spirit, and they're already familiar with much of the material. About two-thirds of the song material the student group performs on a regular basis are arrangements by the Talleys, Dr. Armstrong said.

The Talley Trio members are currently touring locations across the United States, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Texas and their native Tennessee. The family is especially famous for performing its own arrangements of gospel songs, which are considered to be some of the best, Dr. Armstrong said.

The professor saw the performers in concert many years ago, and suggested the college bring the group to Mount Olive.

"I used to say when I died and went to heaven, I wanted to sound like Kirk (Talley)," Armstrong said.

The trio is highly popular among gospel fans, and the Talleys' Youtube videos have thousands of hits, he said.

The Talley Trio last performed in Wayne County two years ago when the group gave a concert in Pikeville, and performed last Christmas in Wilson County.

"This may be a contemporary Christian concert, but the whole idea is not just to hear music, but just to see how God can touch people through music," Dr. Armstrong said.