The Original Hinsons were a prominent southern gospel group. Consisting of siblings Ronny, Kenny, Larry and Yvonne, they first sang together in 1967 after being asked to sing during revival services at a small church in Freedom, California. Though they had never sung together as a unit, they soon found themselves a popular favorite in churches and concert appearances along the west coast of the United States. Initially, thy were known as The Singing Hinson Family. However, as time and their popularity progressed they became known simply as The Hinsons. Later, they were known as The Original Hinsons to distinguish themselves from Bo Hinsons' group, The New Hinsons.
Younger brother Larry tells the story behind the Hinsons signature song: "It was written in 1970, in the downstairs bathroom of a church then called "The Pentecostal Tabernacle." We had been rehearsing songs that Saturday evening and found the necessity to have new material to stage. Ronny disappeared for several minutes, only to return to the church sanctuary brandishing a long fluttering piece of toilet paper. The title of the song was none other than "The Lighthouse." It was first recorded the next year by The Goodmans and then by The Hinsons. Songs of Calvary and Journey Music, (then owned by Rusty Goodman,) co-published the song. Elvis recorded it soon thereafter…" 'The Lighthouse' quickly became a huge hit in southern gospel and remains one of the most recorded songs in the genre. From 1973 till 1980 The Hinsons were the co-hosts of the popular television show The Gospel Singing Jubilee. Although the Hinsons were an extremely popular touring group with excellent record sales, they were considered radical for their concert style, which was far more ministry oriented than most of the more established professional groups. Always innovators, the group recorded several albums in the mid 1970's with an eclectic mix of songs that weren't considered true southern gospel. Songs like 'Shinin' In' and 'Look what He's done for me,' had a decidedly contemporary feel, while others such as 'This Joy is Mine' had an undeniably country sound.
The family disbanded the group in 1988, but Larry Hinson approached their record producer at Calvary Music Group, suggesting a reunion project involving the original four founding Hinson members. They reunited one final time for One More Hallelujah which was completed in the fall of 1992. The album featured the song "Joy Comes In The Morning," and spurred the 13 city One More Hallelujah Tour in 1993. The tour was cut short when lead singer, Kenny Hinson was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He passed away on July 27, 1995 (1995-07-27) at the age of 41.
Kenny possessed what is still considered to be one of the best voices in gospel music. He can also be credited as an originator of 'country gospel,' now known as 'christian country.' Prior to Kenny, most country singers recorded an album of 'hymns' as a matter of course. With the recording of songs like 'Desperation' 'Call Me Gone,' and 'This Joy is Mine,' country gospel was off and running.
Ronny, the eldest of the Hinson brothers, is a renowned songwriter, having written over 10 #1 songs on the southern gospel charts, and over 100 songs that charted in the top 10. He is also a sought after producer, and continues to perform.
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