|Rex Nelon is one of the senior statesmen in the field of southern gospel music. His career spans over 40 years of singing gospel music, as well as being an outstanding music publisher.
In 1980 and 1982, he was voted by the Singing News Awards the “Favorite Bass Singer" and also he was named "Mr. Gospel Music." In 1998, he was inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame with the LeFevres.
Rex's publishing catalog is a timeless collection of some of gospel music's all-time favorite songs like, "O What A
Savior, "Come Morning, "The Love of God, "The Old Country
Church, "Hide Me Rock of Ages, "Sweeter As The Days Go By,
"Thanks," and If We Never Meet Again."
Rex's love of songs began as a boy in Asheville, NC. At age 14, he won his first singing contest. The prize? A pair of shoes. On Monday nights, he attended a weekly singing class where he was taught to read shaped note music and began to develop a solid ear for singing bass. In time, he was singing with regional groups, then in 1955, he was hired to sing bass with the Homeland Harmony Quartet. In 1957, he joined the LeFevres the legendary family groups of southern gospel. In1973, he assumed direction of the LeFevres, Which eventually became known as the Rex Nelon Singers and now they are called the Nelons. Rex has mentored his daughter Kelly Nelon and she continues to carry on the family traditions by heading the group. It was from the early Rex Nelon Singers that the careers of Janet Paschal and Karen Peck began to take shape.
Rex along with his group has recorded over 25 projects and received 5 Dove Awards, 3 NARAS Grammy nominations and many Sing News Fan Awards. They have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, "Music City Tonight," and the "700 Club" and numerous national television shows. They are credited with over 13 "Top Five" radio singles. In 1987, the Nelons received the Short Form Music Video of the Year Award for "Famine In The Land," as well as winning the New York Film Festival Award that same year. In 1997, the Mayor of Atlanta declared May, "Nelons Appreciation Month" Later that year, they were presented the Silver Angel Award for "Glad You're Here," by the Excellence in Media.
Rex has been a leader in managing successful groups and has become one of the most loved bass singers in the music business. He has built a platform for young and aspiring artist by serving on the Board of Directors for the National Quartet Convention which includes the Great Western States Quartet Convention in Fresno, California and Canadian Quartet Convention in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He is active in helping meet the needs of those in the music industry as a Trustee of the Board of the Directors for the Gospel Music Trust Fund.
Rex Nelon's impact on gospel music has left a legacy of inspiring gospel music recordings and songs. He enjoys traveling with Bill Gaither's "Homecoming Friends" and appears on the popular videos. A highlight as some of the recent "Homecoming Friends" concerts is when Bill Gaither's "All-Star Quartet" is featured singing the songs they all love. This "All-Star Quartet" is Vestal Goodman singing tenor, Jake Hess carrying the lead, Ben Speer singing baritone and Rex completing the group with his smooth bass voice.
Often on the mornings of the "Homecoming Friends" tour Rex, Bill and Gloria Gaither and some of the singers talk about the 'Good Ole Days' Rex say's "They all agree, these are the 'Good Ole days!''' Rex and his wife Judy Spencer Nelon, a noted music publisher, reside in Nashville, Tennessee.
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