From the Mountains of East Tennessee, Southern Gospel Music fills the air and is the home of The Kingdom Heirs, one of Southern Gospel Music's top Male Quartets. The group sang in local churches and concert halls in 1981, and as their music and message spread to a wider audience, so did their popularity and demand. Later in 1981, they began singing at the Silver Dollar City theme park, which is now Dollywood. In 1986, when the theme park took on their new name, The Kingdom Heirs were asked to become the resident gospel group and now, entering into their 23rd year, not only are they one of Dollywood's favourites, but a favourite to millions everywhere.
The Kingdom Heirs have been nominated many times for industry awards such as The SGMA Awards, Dove Awards and The Singing News Fan Awards. Winning Newcomer Group of the Year in 1989, the group has been a constant favourite. The latest award was 2006 Band of the Year, which the band also won in 2002, 2004 and 2005. They have also had many top ten songs, and currently have had 12 top five songs in a row, including their big number #1 songs, "I Know I'm Going There and Forever Changed". Over the past years they have had 18 songs nominated for Song of the Year. With a nine-month schedule performing to over 2 million people a year at Dollywood, the group also tours for eight weeks, January through March. All of their tour scheduling is done in house. Recording for Crossroads Marketing on the Sonlite Records label, they are distributed nationally in retail, Christian Book Stores and Internet. Their latest recordings include True To The Call, Off The Record, Give Me The Mountain and White Christmas CD. They also have a new DVD, Live at The Palace.
The group's manager is Steve French. Steve and his brother Kreis are the owners and are each in their 28th year with the group. Steve is the Baritone as well as the group's MC and statesmen. Kreis plays the bass guitar. He and Steve are the comic relief in the group. Growing up together in a wonderful Christian home, both were raised on Southern Gospel music. With Christian parents, they each give Dad and Mom all the credit for their talent and sense of humour toward life. They both express this on and off the stage. Dennis Murphy has been with the group for 18 years and is the drummer. Dennis has been nominated for Instrumentalist of the Year the past six years. In most recent years, he has begun singing, or trying to. Dennis is a crowd favourite and very popular member of the group. Arthur Rice is, without question, one of the most talented men to ever come through Gospel Music. Arthur is in his 13th year with the group and is nominated year after year for Favorite Lead Singer and Male Vocalist. He also does most of the recording and producing for the group in his own studio, "The Room". These four men just mentioned are the mainstay of the group. However, these four are very blessed to have three young men to join them.
Now in his fourth year is tenor, Billy Hodges. Billy is from Martin, Tennessee and is wonderful tenor. Great tones and range, Billy makes it look easy while singing a solo or just blending with the group as he does so well. He is a joy to hear and watch. Jeff Chapman sings all those great low notes. This young man is tremendous. He has rich low tones that will fill the house with power and a heart that is truly dedicated to serving God and is considered one of the best. Jeff, a preacher's kid is from Brunswick, Georgia. The newest addition and youngest member is 22 year old Andy Stringfield. Andy is from Harriman, Tennessee and is one of the most talented piano players to come along in recent years. Andy attended the University of Tennessee and was a drummer in the Pride of The Southland Marching Band. His love is Southern Gospel Music so he has found a home at home with these guys. If you love Southern Gospel Music, you will love The Kingdom Heirs. Come see what God is doing through these men.