Tuesday, May 17, 2011


You know who the Knox Brothers are, right? They're a Southern Gospel group from Oregon who have been around for years and are still going strong, despite [false] rumors of retirement and the occasional person who says, "Wait. The Knox Brothers? They're still alive?"

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, they grew up in this very house and most of them live just down Powerline Road.

I see their big bus now and then and hear about people who sign up for their yearly cruise to Alaska.

But I never go to their concerts, kind of like I've spent almost 20 years of my life in Oregon and have been to Crater Lake only once.

I think Paul and I went to a Knox Brothers concert at a gym in Harrisburg before we were married, and every year we hear them sing at the gazebo in Harrisburg on the Fourth of July, while we wait for the fireworks, which is a wonderful tradition. And they sang at their mom's funeral which we attended since Elsie the mom was a sister to Paul's grandpa. I cleaned her house one summer and she would always say, in her happy-chirpy way, "Do you wanna listen to some music? You wanna listen to The Boys?" Of course I would say yes because it made her happy.

You know, a good Mennonite mom doesn't say, "My sons are amazing. I am so proud of them." But it's ok to say it sideways by saying, "You wanna listen to The Boys?"

Somewhere along the way I realized that neither the Knox Brothers nor I were getting any younger and if they died or retired I would regret having lived this close this long and not gone to hear them sing.

So I did my research for several months and no date ever worked out, until yesterday. Paul would have gone with me to make me happy but concerts are not his thing, so I let him be happy at home and I took my friend Arlene and we went to Grace Bible in Tangent and listened to the Knox Brothers and also the guest group, the LeFevre Quartet which were half the age and twice the tempo of the KBs.

But I liked the Knox Brothers better.

I am no connoisseur of music but I can tell nice from ugly and their singing was nice. A mix of familiar and new, of traditional and creative. They enjoyed themselves. Arnold was as excellent on the piano as I've heard. And Wayne, who also raised his family in this house, has snow-white hair and played a wild-looking red and white guitar with those swoopy horn things at the top, which was a bit jarring to the eyes.

I don't know if I'll go hear them again, but I'm glad I went.

The LeFevre group is from Georgia, which lends itself to memorable quotes like this:

Quote of the Day:
"Y'all are just a-grinnin. . . Now there's a couple of you, looks lahk someone licked the red off your sucker. . ."
--Mike LeFevre


  1. I've heard them before when I was quite young, but I remember liking them. Glad you got to go.

  2. i loved the evening... ! :)

  3. The oldest two or three of the brothers came to our Tangent/Harrisburg youth hymn sings sometimes (that was a few years ago!!)and you should have heard us! Good memories...
    Melva Zook