Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

December 25, 2013

Valdosta’s connection to ‘The Christmas Shoes’

VALDOSTA — While Valdosta has a link to the classic Christmas song “Jingle Bells,” the city also has a connection to a more contemporary holiday song.

The Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated “The Christmas Shoes” has roots in Valdosta’s Morningside Baptist Church.

The Christian musical group NewSong got its start in Valdosta.

Originally, the group was four guys — Eddie Carswell, Billy Goodwin, Eddie Middleton and Bobby Apon — from Morningside back in 1981; three were students at Valdosta State while Carswell had already earned his degree.

With support from Valdosta and Morningside, NewSong found its voice and was soon performing venues throughout South Georgia, Atlanta then the Southeast.

By 1982, the band was ready to move to the Atlanta area. Through the years, NewSong’s line-up changed.

The band knew many successes but nothing quite like the phenomenon of its song, “The Christmas Shoes,” released in 2000.

The holiday song became NewSong’s biggest hit, crossing over from traditional Christian radio and fans to mainstream radio and listeners.

The song led to a book and then a movie starring actor Rob Lowe. “The Christmas Shoes” introduced NewSong, the band and its music, to millions of new listeners. Carswell recalled the song crossing over to other formats, such as pop and country radio.

“We would talk with some of these DJs and they had no idea who we were,” Carswell said in a past interview with The Times. “They would ask how it felt to come from out of nowhere and have this hit, and we had several hits and been playing and recording for 20 years. It was interesting.”

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Georgia Gun Bill_Stew.jpg Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

    Criticized by one group as the “guns everywhere” bill, Georgia took a big step Wednesday toward expanding where licensed carriers can take their weapons, with the governor signing a law that allows them in bars without restriction and in some churches, schools and government buildings under certain circumstances.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clemson Spring Game F_Stew.jpg Clemson’s Swinney won’t change after complaint

    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday he wouldn’t change procedures after the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s letter of complaint expressing concerns about the football program’s connection to the coach’s Christian religion.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

    April 24, 2014

  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy College Gradu_Stew.jpg Job market for college grads better but still weak

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court TV On t_Stew.jpg Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    April 23, 2014

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results