Valdosta Daily Times

April 30, 2013

‘Brother Benny’ celebrates 32 years of ‘Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down’

Dean Poling
Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Red Roots is expected to do something different for an opening act this weekend during the 32nd anniversary celebration of Brother Benny Daniels’ “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” radio show.

Though the headlining act, the gospel group will open the show Saturday evening then leave for another performance already scheduled for the following morning, Daniels says. Usually, the headliner is the last act of the evening.

Red Roots is three identical, red-headed triplets, Nika, Nicole and Natalie Taylor. Growing up in a Christian home, the church introduced the triplets to music.

By the age of 4, they performed with the church’s children’s choir. They refer to this period as their debut, singing “Be Near Me Lord Jesus.” They also asked their parents for musical instruments and lessons. Nika played guitar, dueling with older brother, Mark. Natalie took piano at the age of 9. Nicole wanted drum lessons; mother Sherry Taylor tried discouraging Nicole but Nicole persisted — Nicole plays drums.

Though children, “our band was formed,” according to the sisters on theredroots.com website. “We all three would set up in our playroom and attempt to play the same song together. It was a lot harder than we thought, especially since we started out playing ‘Shout to the Lord.’ Unknowingly to us, my mom was praying, ‘Anoint them to sing for your glory, Lord.’ This prayer marked the beginning of our Red Roots.”

Since, the sisters have grown into a recording and touring bluegrass-country gospel act. The group’s first hit was the song “Red Roots.”

“Both our group name and song represent the core message and focus of our group that we are rooted in the blood of Christ,” the sisters note. “His sacrifice on the cross gave our lives meaning and hope. The song ‘Red Roots’ tells a story of a dad and his daughter going on a hunting trip looking for Sassafras trees. They need the red roots of the Sassafras trees to make red tea with. The dad uses the hunting trip to show his daughter how the red roots of the sassafras tree compare to the red roots of Jesus Christ. The song ‘Red Roots’ blends our earlier bluegrass and contemporary styles to form our new Christian country sound.”

The Red Roots followed the first album with “The Middle of Nowhere.”

During the “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” celebration Saturday night, the Mississippi-based Red Roots will be joined by Lillye Sharper & the Sharper Singers; Jamie Hunter; The Diamonds; and Sammy Sawyer of Knoxville, Tenn., portraying Deputy Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Leading the evening will be Daniels, known to most of his regular radio followers simply as Brother Benny.

Daniels has been airing his “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” radio show for more than 30 years. The show debuted in April 1981 on WJEM, where it remained through July 5, 1987.

At that time, the show moved to WAAC-93 Country for about 20 years and is now broadcast 6-10:30 a.m. Sundays on WVGA 105.9 FM.

The show is also part of Daniels’ non-denominational CrossPower ministries.

Outside of the radio program, Daniels ministers to numerous area folks and appears at many churches, where he brings the mix of music and witnessing that are part of “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”

The radio show features mostly traditional gospel and Southern gospel music. As the years have passed, Daniels has opened the program’s format to some more contemporary Christian music. He often plays requests.

And even though he celebrates with a live show Saturday night, listeners can be certain to find Brother Benny on the radio dial the next morning.



SHOWTIME

Brother Benny Daniels’ “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down’s” 32nd anniversary celebration.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, seating begins at 6 p.m.

Where: Holiday Inn Conference Center, 1805 W. Hill Ave.

Admission: Free.

More information: Call (229) 242-7478.