2023 Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival Headliners

               WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Headliners are announced for this year’s Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival! The Isaacs will perform at 7PM on Friday, June 2. The Blackwood Brothers Quartet will perform at 5PM on Saturday, June 3. Both performances will be held in the Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.

The Isaacs

The Isaacs have been performing over 50 years. After performing as guests for 30 years, The Isaacs were officially inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry on September 14, 2021. In 2020 the Isaacs were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Hall of Fame). They have been frequent guests on RFD network’s ‘Larry’s Country Diner’ and appeared on the Gaither Homecoming Videos and Tours for over 20 years. The Isaacs have won 9 Dove Awards and their latest 3 albums have received Grammy nominations! They have performed the National Anthem at many professional sporting events including NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games. The Isaacs and its members have been invited to perform on many gospel, bluegrass and country artist albums and stages including Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, The Oak Ridge Boys, Don Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Trace Adkins, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Alabama, Craig Morgan, Josh Turner, Alison Krauss, Natalie Grant, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, and many others. The Isaacs have a non-profit organization called The Isaacs Foundation that blesses the less fortunate in America. They also have a branch called the Fishman Isaacs Israel Initiative that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to bless Israel, specifically Holocaust Survivors, Israeli “Lone” Soldiers and orphans.

“Oh, how I love The Isaacs. I love their hearts, their souls, and their look. And, of course, God never gave anyone more beautiful voices than the Isaacs. They have been so generous through the years singing with me on different recordings of mine. And those are among some of the greatest of my personal treasures and pleasures. To know the Isaacs and to hear them is to love them.”- DOLLY PARTON

Blackwood Brothers Quartet

The Blackwood Brothers Quartet was formed in 1934 with brothers Roy, Doyle, James and Roy’s son, R.W. In the late 50s Roy and Doyle retired from traveling and in 1954 R.W. was killed in a tragic airplane crash. However, the quartet with James, as the quartet’s leader and spokesman, established a new group of singers who would go on to take Gospel music to new heights as they traveled and sang in all fifty of the United States, every Canadian province as well as cities in Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

In 2002, James Blackwood went to be with the Lord, but his sons, Jimmy (James Jr.) and Billy have continued the 80-year tradition. Recently Jimmy retired after singing for 49 years and his younger brother, Billy now carries on the quartet which has the distinction of being the best-known name in Gospel Music history!

Billy Blackwood

Billy, James Blackwood’s younger son, sings baritone and is a song writer. Billy played drums for J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet at the age of 14. He also played for the Blackwood Brothers, Gordon Jensen and Sunrise, and Andrus/Blackwood & Company and toured with Voice, the opening act for the Elvis Presley show. He has traveled in solo ministry and has worked in youth and pastoral ministry. Billy has four daughters, Brette, Britni, Emma and Ellie and one son, Will. He and his wife, Cherry live in Hendersonville, TN.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers is the newest member of the Blackwood Brothers. Jim and his wife of 44 years, Belinda (Bunny), reside in Nancy, Kentucky. Jim has sung all his adult life as a ‘weekend warrior’, with groups like Midnight Cry and others, but never on a professional level until now. Jim’s amazing range and crystal-clear high tenor voice will undoubtedly leave people asking, “Where did you find this guy?” All we can say is, God knows what we need and meets those needs abundantly. Jim follows in the footsteps of Wayne Little who sang with us for twenty years and passed away on New Year’s Day 2022 from complications of covid, leaving a huge void and big shoes to fill. Ironically, Jim has the same vocal sound and quality that people loved about Wayne’s voice. You will thrill to hear Jim sing, and we are thrilled to have Jim as the newest addition to the long legacy of great singers in the Blackwood Brothers. Welcome Jim Rogers!

Jonathan Mattingly

Jonathan Mattingly is the youngest member of the quartet and sings lead. He grew up with the Mattingly Family from Moody, Missouri and has a wonderful lead voice. He and his wife, Sarah and son, Asher make their home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. You will enjoy his singing and his youthful enthusiasm for ministry.

Eric Walker

Eric has been singing bass in regional groups for over 50 years. Eric is an alumnus of Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter School of Music attending for 10 years. Eric has had many notable appearances with artist’s and groups over the years. He accompanied the Speer Family at the Dottie Rambo Tribute at the Ryman Auditorium, sang for the Thrasher Brothers, and with the Homeland Quartet (Joe Thrasher, Bill Traylor & Ben Speer) at the annual Albert E. Brumley Sing. Eric lives in Arnold, Missouri. He has one daughter, two sons and four grandchildren.

The 2023 Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will be held Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. The annual two-day event in downtown West Plains celebrates Ozarks music and culture. 

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands. Admission to all festival events is free.

               2023 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, and Missouri State University-West Plains.  Partial funding for this event is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Additional support has been provided by Missouri Humanities and Missouri Department of Tourism.                For more information on the festival e-mail info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

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