The acoustic music of the Watkins Family has thrilled audiences for more than 30 years and the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame recently recognized that accomplishment. The group from Toccoa, Ga. currently includes matriarch Judy Watkins and her two adult children - Todd and Lorie. They continue a path sharing their love of Jesus through acoustic music touring across the United States and Canada.
“This is such an honor for our family to receive,” Lorie said. “To be recognized in such a manner for the many years of hard work and service in music is very humbling. There are so many to thank, our family, friends, church family, and most importantly the Lord Jesus Christ - our Savior,” Lorie said. “This ministry was the vision of our dad, Donald H. Watkins, and mom many years ago. We are just so thankful to be able to continue the work that our parents started and hope to continue for many, many years to come.”
The late Don Watkins and Judy began their ministry in the 1970s and added their children Todd, Lorie and Shanon as each took an interest in participating. Lorie and Todd performed at the event as part of the All-Star Band and Judy joined in to perform “Pass Me Not.” The Watkins Family and its members have received multiple nominations for the Front Porch Fellowship Bluegrass Gospel Music Awards. Members of the Watkins Family have appeared as part of the National Quartet Convention All-Star Band on numerous occasions.
The Watkins Family’s latest project is “Heaven's Worth Waiting For”yielded three songs landing on various charts in the Top 10 for southern, bluegrass or country gospel – “She's Working On Her Testimony,””Sometime's You Gotta Rock The Boat,”and “What A Wonderful Name.” The CD produced by Grammy winner Mark Fain, Grammy nominated Karen Peck Gooch, and Danny Jones followed their acclaimed project “Darkness Wept” which brought the popular radio singles “He's Still God,” a number 1 song, “Love Stood Alone” and “Round The Last Turn.”
The group has shared concert stages performing for thousands beside acts such a Randy Travis and Diamond Rio. They have appeared at major industry events including the National Quartet Convention in Kentucky and the SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Convention in Nashville, Tenn. as well as large ministerial crusades. The family has performed on television broadcasts for INSP, Inspirational Network and dozens of stations around the U.S. And Canada.
The group broke new ground in becoming the first bluegrass gospel act to perform on Capitol Hill in the Capitol Complex in Washington D.C. attended by dignitaries from around the world. The Watkins Family has received nominations as Best Contemporary and Traditional Bluegrass Gospel Group by the Society for the Preservation of BlueGrass Music in America and was also nominated as Best Bluegrass Act at the Coca-Cola Music Awards previously hosted in Atlanta.
"We just thank the Lord for all He’s done for us and our work in music," Judy said. "Awards, honors and amazing opportunities are blessings but there is no greater blessing than working each day sharing His story of salvation. Don would be so proud right now,” she said. "I know he’s somewhere in Heaven smiling." For more information, visit www.watkinsfamilymusic.com.