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.”

Text Only
Top News
  • AP600421099 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, April 21, 2014

    Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta runners return to Boston Marathon

    Americans held their breaths a year ago while watching the news. Panic and confusion filled the streets of Boston as participants of the city’s prestigious marathon scrambled to safety after the detonation of two bombs.

    April 21, 2014

  • Ga. online tuition dropping

    Jenni Small has good reason for avoiding 8 a.m. world literature classes at Dalton State College in northern Georgia. The 23-year-old works night shifts as an operator for carpet manufacturer Shaw while finishing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
    Instead of heading straight to class from work, she uses eCore — an online system that focuses on “core” classes that every Georgia state college or university student must take — for 1 or 2 courses each semester.

    April 21, 2014

  • Space Robot_Rich copy.jpg NASA’s Robonaut finally getting legs

    Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nepal Everest Avalanc_Rich copy.jpg Another body pulled from snow in avalanche

    Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mount Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry

    After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into a submerged ferry off South Korea’s southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to 49, officials said.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP450420090 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, April 20, 2014

    Today is Easter Sunday, April 20, the 110th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeland hospital, convalescent home getting new owner

    The Hospital Authority of Valdosta & Lowndes County,  d/b/a South Georgia Medical Center (Hospital Authority), has entered into a definitive agreement with Lanier Health Services, Inc. to transfer ownership of Lanier Health Services, Inc. d/b/a Louis Smith Memorial Hospital and Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center effective May 1, 2014.

    April 20, 2014

  • Lowndes commissioner certified

    Lowndes County Commissioner Demarcus Marshall earned his certification as a county commissioner from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

    April 20, 2014

  • Brooks urges deep-dug pipeline

    Brooks County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution earlier this month encouraging Sabal Trail to bury its proposed natural gas pipeline two feet deeper than the three-feet requirements.

    April 20, 2014

Top News

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
     View Results