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Telephone   828.497.2060
Monday - Friday
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern
or write us at:
The Inspirations
P O Box 1338
Bryson City, NC 28713

Inspirations CDs


Inspirations DVDs

SINGING IN THE SMOKIES

"A TIME TO REMEMBER"
Come Hear The Mountain Sing Again at Inspiration Park
-In The Heart
of The Great Smoky Mountains-

.

Inspiration Park is located
at 1130 Hyatt Creek Road, Bryson City, NC 28713
Between Bryson City and Cherokee, NC
~ Use Address above for GPS address

Go North on Hyatt Creek Road (Exit 69, Off Hwy 74 - Smoky Mountain Expressway)
Or Exit from Highway 19 and go east on Hyatt Creek Rd
 From Interstate 40, Take Exit 27, then west on Hwy 74 W to Exit 69

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ACRES & ACRES OF
FREE LIGHTED PARKING

* HANDICAPPED PARKING

BRING LAWN CHAIRS
OR RENT AT ENTRANCE
FOR $ 1. EACH

SHELTER FOR 2500+

RESTROOMS

TICKET PRICES
ADULTS: $20. EACH NIGHT
Children 12 & Under Free All Days
(When accompanied by adult)
NO RAIN CHECKS - Event is Rain or Shine ~ (We NEVER cancel!)

 * * * SPECIAL RATES AVAILABLE FOR GROUPS of 20 or MORE * * *
 

What to bring/wear:
Comfortable clothing and shoes; Sun protection (sunglasses, cap, etc.);
Hand-held fan (Summer); Jacket & Blanket (Fall); and An Attitude For
Praising And Worshipping God through Great Southern Gospel Singing!

Click for Bryson City, North Carolina Forecast
Time and Temperature in Bryson City, North Carolina ~ Home of The Inspirations

 

      
* * *ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED IN INSPIRATION PARK * * *
NO PETS * * * (Exception made for service animals only)
NO VIDEO CAMERA or RECORDING DEVICE USE ALLOWED

ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE


 

Thursday, OCTOBER 16  6 p. m. - ?
Kingsmen  & Inspirations


		
Friday, OCTOBER 17     10 a. m.  NO CHARGE
Prayer Meeting Service with Rev. Mark Dibler (Author of Resurrection Ground) Preaching
& Family Harmony Singing

Friday, OCTOBER 17     6 p. m. - ?
Troy & Tammy Burns, The Chuckwagon Gang & Inspirations

Saturday, OCTOBER 18   11 a.m. until 12 Noon
Open Stage: If you ever wanted to sing onstage at Inspiration Park
                         this is your opportunity! Soloists, Duets, Trios, Quartets, etc are welcome.
                         Song selections MUST BE Hymns of the Church or Southern Gospel

Saturday, OCTOBER 18   12 Noon - ?
Archie Watkins & Smoky Mountain Reunion, The McKameys & Inspirations

                       For Hotels, Motels, Campgrounds, etc. listings… Phone…
       Bryson City and Swain County Chamber of Commerce (Toll Free) 800.867.9246

                                                     TICKET PRICES
                                         ADULTS: $20. EACH NIGHT
         Children 12 & Under Free All Days (When accompanied by adult)
   NO RAIN CHECKS ~ All programs are Rain or Shine ~ (We NEVER Cancel!)

         * * * SPECIAL RATES AVAILABLE FOR GROUPS of 20 or MORE
10 % Discount ($2. per ticket) when 1 individual purchases all the tickets for your group) * * *

Area Motels & B&B ] Area Campgrounds ] Area Cabin Rentals ] A Peek At The Park ]


CHECK BACK IN JANUARY, 2015 FOR SINGING IN THE SMOKIES 2015 DATES
 


For info about great daytime outdoor trips, visit Greg Mimbs terrific site,
dedicated to our beautiful region and Smoky Mountain activities.


Use the <Back button on your browser to return.

The Inspirations - A Story Of Two Legacies
Singing News Magazine Cover Story

By Tim Gardner, Associate Features Editor, Singing News

SINGING IN THE SMOKIES  ~ The Second Legacy ~ The Event
The First Legacy - The Quartet (story below) - Original stories below from June, 2000


   Though the Inspirations continue to add a chapter to their legacy every day, another legacy that originated through them is growing just as fast. Most Gospel Music groups have distinctions that help them carve their own niche in the industry's annals. Without a doubt, the Singing In The Smokies is such a factor for the Inspirations.

   This year, the gospel singing will be held on a mountainside in Bryson City, North Carolina, overlooking a majestic panorama of the Great Smoky Mountains. There are few places on Earth that can compare to Inspiration Park for beautiful scenery and natural beauty.

   Before the Singing In The Smokies runs its course, folks from all over the U. S. will have occupied the hillside singing grounds known as Inspiration Park to hear some of the top groups in Gospel Music make joyful noises. And the Inspirations guarantee that there'll never be a sellout on the spacious hilltop.

   The Singing In The Smokies is the cornerstone of the Inspirations' promotions. The size and scope of this festival pales in comparison only with the story of the quartet, who will sing each of the evenings.

   Two years after their formation, they started the Singing In The Smokies as a one-day promotion on the Sylva-Webster High football field in nearby Sylva, NC in an effort to bring more groups in for the public's enjoyment, and three years later they moved the event to the airport in Bryson City. That fourth year they finally broke even financially on the festival, and it has grown by leaps and bounds every year since. In 1974, the Singing In The Smokies relocated to its present location on Hyatt Creek Road off Highway 19 or the Smoky Mountain Expressway, both from Interstate 40, between Bryson City and Cherokee, North Carolina.

   Many economic analysts have contended that the Singing In The Smokies has done more than anything else to bolster a once-depressed economy in the western part of North Carolina. Not only has it pumped millions of dollars into the economy, it has also attracted numerous singing fans to move and make their residence in this region of North Carolina, becoming taxpayers and establishing businesses. (also, a side note, the Fourth of July festival here in 1976 was recorded in the North Carolina history book as one of the state's great celebrations of our nation's bicentennial.)

   "We started the Singing In The Smokies for two primary purposes," he added. "First, I was working for the US Park Service and we sang only on weekends at that time. I realized that as our friends and supporters came into the mountains to vacation, we were going elsewhere to sing, and we really needed to be here in our hometown area as much as we could during this time each year. Therefore, we hatched up the idea of hosting a homecoming sing.

   "The other reason," he continued, "was this: While I was teaching at Sylva High School in Jackson County, NC, there was a vote scheduled on legalizing liquor sales. A county commissioner spoke to our faculty telling us how much the money the county would make from liquor sales would help the schools. However, the commissioner failed to mention that when lives were lost and homes and families destroyed because of alcohol, it would be on our hands so-to-speak if liquor sales were legalized. The liquor was evil, and each member of the Inspirations knew that the Singing In The Smokies could be a strong force to fight it with. And it was and has been. That's how to overcome evil -fight it with something good. We can't fight it on its own terms because the same rules never apply."

   Martin noted that coming up with a name for the Inspirations' homecoming sing was easy. "Since we were a singing group based in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, the name Singing In The Smokies was a given. It just fit to a tee," he reflects.

   Nothing is more satisfying to the soul than hearing the tuneful sounds of wonderful Southern Gospel songs echoing from mountaintop to mountaintop in western North Carolina. The notes of those songs continue to spread two legacies literally around the world.

Meanwhile, you can't help but wonder,
"Do the mountains around the Singing In The Smokies really sing?" 
It certainly seems that way.

 

SNCover_June.gif (153800 bytes)  The First Legacy-The Quartet

      So you want to build the ideal Gospel Music male quartet from scratch? What sort of components do you need?

   A good lead singer, one who has power and finesse and can take the feature part, yet one whose voice can blend well with the rest of the group.

   How about a great tenor -a guy with tremendous range who can reach the high notes time after time, song after song without any noticeable strain?

   You've got to have a solid baritone-he's the singer who is often the best in the group and who will make everyone else sound better.

   A quality bass singer is also essential. Proficient at hitting the low notes as well as singing in harmony, this guy needs to add that extra flair when needed.

   And every male quartet needs one of those guys who is as equally talented as a singer or musician. This guy never worries about being in the spotlight and is the real blue-collar member of the group.

   Throw in an accompanist who can provide great rhythm piano playing. Then add a bass guitarist who can slap out a steady beat that rounds off the sound of the group.

   While you're at throw an absolute must for any group-a string of quality songs filled with a strong message, along with a sound business organization led by an astute business person. Then to make the group complete, follow with THE most crucial factor-a constant following of God's will.

   Hmmm. Sure sounds like you're describing The Inspirations. But after all, they are one of the top male quartets in Southern Gospel Music.

   The story of this Bryson City, NC-based group is well-known throughout every musical spectrum. Nearly 50 years ago, in 1964, Martin Cook, a science teacher at Swain County High School, and several of his students held nightly singing sessions in the basement of his home, purely for fun. Very soon, however, singing became serious and Martin and four high school kids, (Archie Watkins, Ron Hutchins, Jack Laws and Troy Burns) became the Inspirations Quartet. They soon went on the road to sing professionally.

   The focal point of the story was that despite their youthfulness, the Inspirations quickly rose to the top of the gospel singing world, and they have remained at its forefront. Based on their longevity and continued success, the Inspirations have been a blueprint for consistency in the industry.

   This particular cast has no peer on the Gospel Music circuit for harmony, song arrangements, delivery and energy. Now let's take a closer look at the men who make up this remarkable group.

   Through the 50+ years, Martin has been the group's manager and pianist. Today, Martin's son, Myron, plays the upright bass, and Jon Epley sings bass; Daron Osbourne sings tenor; Mat Dibler sings lead; and Melton Campbell supplies the baritone. The newest and youngest member of the group, Luke Vaught plays several instruments, concentrating primarily on steel guitar, violin and occasionally even piano.

   Martin Cook is arguably the most respected individual in the industry. In fact, he has been referred to as the best manager in the history of professional Gospel Music. His skills as a leader, visionary and businessman are unsurpassed. As a pianist, his style is so distinctive that no one ever doubts who's playing when he takes off on the ivories. His piano-playing features a mixture of great intros and runs.

   A native of Caney Fork, USA (aka Cullowhee, NC), Martin says that no matter how much talent a Gospel group or artists has, there is one dominator most crucial to remaining on the circuit.

   "The secret to being successful in Southern Gospel Music is to foremost stay close to the Lord and never forget the primary purpose you're in this field is to serve Him and fulfill His will. This is true in every other profession too. God has a job for every one of His children, and He will make a way for you to carry it out," Martin says.

    "I've come to love singing more than I ever have in the last couple of years. I feel like Southern Gospel Music in the best shape its been in quite some time, "Archie contends. "There are more groups on the road than ever before, and there are also more people attending the concerts than there's ever been. As a result, there's more witnessing happening about the love of Jesus and what happiness He can bring to one's life. And most importantly, there's more people getting saved because of the wide exposure of Southern Gospel Music. This is what it's all about."

    "There is a Bible verse that reads, 'Many are called, but few are chosen'. I know the Inspirations have been chosen. Our purpose has always been to uplift and magnify His name, and then to bless and help people realize the dire need for God in their lives,".

    God has a reason for everything, and I'm very thankful that He allowed me to be a part of Gospel Music. It's songs can move us to tears and make us shout for joy. God truly answers prayers, because this is the only profession I've ever really wanted to be in, and He's the reason I'm in it,".

    Myron says that one of the best things that's ever happened in his life is my association with Gospel Music; "I've developed a lot of lasting friendships, seen many people saved and I've become closer to the Lord because of it. For these and many other great happenings, I'm grateful to Him."

    Content and happy. Those are two terms that definitely describe the Inspirations as they continue a legacy dedicated to spreading the wonderful news of God's great love. And may He richly bless them as they continue on this journey.

THE INSPIRATIONS • Insps Tour Schedule • Inspirations Press Info • Family & Friends Tour • Inspirations News • Singing In The Smokies • ORDER INFO • CDs~DVDs~Music, etc • ONLINE MUSEUM • THE CHAPEL • Ministry Links • Southern Gospel Links • FUNNY PAGES

     Beginning in late September and continuing throughout the season, fall color reports for Asheville and other WNC areas are updated weekly, along with suggested scenic drives and fall foliage photography tips.

    Western North Carolina is home to the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River, including Mt. Mitchell at 6,684' feet and Grandfather Mountain at 5,949'. Because of the differences in elevation in the mountains, the color "peak" changes week to week. Brilliant color begins to appear at the higher elevations as early as late September, along with a profusion of wildflowers. The autumn hues intensify and creep down the mountain slopes throughout October and some coves and gorges will continue to show off their finest fall finery through early November.
 

Copyright 2000-2014 All Rights Reserved ~ Heavensedge Communications, P O Box 1338, Bryson City, NC 28713
For more Info about The Inspirations, Our Annual Singing In The Smokies & More Call us at 828.497.2060 M-F, 10 a.m - 5 p.m