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Jody Brown Indian Family
"Simply Blessed"
by Jennifer Campbell

          In 1993, The Singing Browns disbanded after twenty-two consecutive years on the road because of Jody Brown’s parents poor health.  Soon after their disbandment, Jody and his family began singing together as The Jody Brown Indian Family.  This second generation family group from Robbinsville, North Carolina has taken the Southern Gospel Music Industry by storm.  Their heartfelt, family harmony is uncomparable with any other.  Jody Brown and his family are sincere Christians who are “Simply Blessed.” 
          Today, The Jody Brown Indian Family consists of Jody (a full-blooded Cherokee Indian), his wife Donna, their nineteen-year-old son Jeremy, their fourteen-year-old daughter Stephanie, and Doug Baker.  Previously filling Doug’s keyboardist position was Donna’s mother, Sue Hedrick.  In September of 2000, Sue decided to come off the road for most appearances and fulfil her duties as a pastor’s wife.  Although they will miss her, they are excited about what God has planned for their ministry. 
          Jody Brown, the group’s leader, also sings and accompanies the group as the bass guitarist.  He said his one wish would be for their singing group to get deeper in the Lord.  If he could send someone back in time, he would tell the young Jody Brown to dedicate his life early to the Lord.  He also added, “I was saved at age thirteen.  He wouldn’t have to go through the heartache that I went through.  Just be yourself and don’t imitate others.  God is satisfied with that.” 
          Jody’s earliest recollection of Southern Gospel Music was when his dad took him to the Trail of Tears Gospel Singing.  He commented, “I was only five or six years old, and I loved to hear Indians singing.  They were some of the best musicians.  They would sing until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. and it was awesome.”  When I asked him who had the greatest influence on his life and ministry, he replied, “The Inspirations.  Their longevity in Southern Gospel Music and the stand they take set high standards.  They also have some great songs.” 
          Jody’s wife, Donna, is one of the groups’ vocalists.  She said that the most wonderful days of her life are when her kids were born and the day she got saved.  She said that the song, “Praise His Name,” had been an encouragement to her through the most difficult times in her life.  She also wanted to include a word of encouragement to anyone who is in need of hope.  “When you see God do great things, it will spoil you.  But when it’s not happening, you will feel like you’re backing up.”  This is so true.  Just keep your eyes on Jesus and you will never be disappointed. 
          As the youngest member of the group, Stephanie is the featured vocalist on most songs and she accompanies the group on the mandolin.  She has also written some of their most requested songs, including “Imagine With Me” and “Hold Me, Lord” (co-written by her grandmother, Sue Hedrick).  In reply to a question that concerned her aspirations, she said, “I want there to be some child or person that I have influenced through my singing and mandolin playing.  I want to see one soul or life touched in some way.” 
          Jeremy is the second youngest member of the group and he is also one of the group’s vocalists.  He accompanies the group on the acoustic guitar during their appearances, and he also plays the bass guitar and mandolin.  As a high school graduate, he has no plans for college, except some possible business classes.  He said, “Right now, I’m doing what I’ve always wanted, and I’m tickled to be doing it.”  How does he define the music that he and his family sing?  “I define Southern Gospel as God’s message through music.”  He also sent a message to all of the groups in Southern Gospel Music.  “Quit copping out and let young pickers play, instead of getting rid of live music.” 
          Doug Baker is the keyboardist for the group, and hails from Calhoun, Georgia, which is a two-hour commute to the groups’ hometown.  Since learning to play the piano at age eleven, he has earned a minor in music and a major in economics.  He currently works as the office manager for a funeral home three days a week. 
          Everyone loves to hear about another’s embarrassing moment.  So, this article would not be complete without a humorous moment from The Jody Brown Indian Family.  Soon after Doug started with the group, Stephanie fixed eggs for everyone.  Sounds harmless, doesn’t it?  Well, the eggs had cheese in them and Doug is allergic to cheese.  However, Stephanie forgot to tell him.  So, he ate the eggs.  Needless to say, Stephanie soon remembered his allergy and now this incident is one of their most unforgettable and embarrassing memories. 
          In a conversation regarding family time on the road and at home, Donna and Jody made the following comments.  “We live a normal life, although we are forced to bond seven days a week.  On the road life is still family life.  When we’re at home, we like to go golfing, bowling, and to the movies.  Donna and Stephanie also enjoy shopping, but Doug could out shop almost anybody.”  Stephanie said, “We like to be together at home and on the bus.”  Jody finished by saying, “Everything we do is a big ordeal.  We wouldn’t get to go to historic places and other places without being gospel singers.” 
          As members of the younger generation of Southern Gospel Music, I asked Stephanie, Jeremy, and Doug what advice they would like to give to other young aspiring artists.  Jeremy answered, “If it’s not of God, don’t do it.  Ask yourself this question.”  Doug added by saying, “Practice, Perseverance, and Prayer.”  Stephanie said, “Work hard and keep God in the center of it all.” 
          The Jody Brown Indian Family is definitely gaining the attention of the Southern Gospel Music Industry and fans alike.  In September of 2000, they were nominated for the Singing News Magazine Horizon Group Fan Award.  Their latest recordings are entitled, “Just Blessed” and “On the Warpath - Live.“  Jeremy and Stephanie also have a new recording entitled, “Out Front,” which features the song “Patching It Up.” 
          Jody Brown and his family are dear friends of mine and I know that they live what they sing.  They have their hearts and minds set on Christ and they are not afraid to let their salvation be known to the world.  In fact, spreading the Gospel is their number one goal.  The Jody Brown Indian Family strives to keep God in the center of their life, and they are “Simply Blessed.” 

For bookings and product information contact:
Jody Brown Indian Family
5670 Snowbird Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771
Phone: (828) 479-8766
Fax: (828) 479-2803

Jody’s Favorites 
Favorite Song: The Third Man 
Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6 
Favorite Book: Twice Pardon 
Favorite Hobby: Golf 

Donna’s Favorites 
Favorite Soloist: Karen Peck 
Collections: Lighthouses 
Dream Vacation: Hawaii and All Oceans 
Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 66 

Stephanie’s Favorites 
Favorite Restaurant: Harbor Inn (Asheville, NC) 
Favorite Website: 
Favorite Songwriter: Rodney Griffin 
Favorite Hobby: hiking 

Jeremy’s Favorites 
Favorite Animal: Cheetah 
Favorite Website: 
Favorite Musicians: Sean Watkins and Roger Fortner 
Favorite Hobby: Watching old comedy videos 

Doug’s Favorites 
Favorite Food: Grits 
Favorite Group: Booth Brothers 
Favorite Hobby: Shopping 
Favorite Scripture: Psalm 94:19 


Click Here To Read The December/January Cover Story Featuring Karen Peck & New River
Jennifer Campbell
19 Years Old
From McAlpin, FL
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