In 1958, Naomi Sego Reader made her singing debut on WMAZ-TV in Macon, Georgia. Her husband, James Sego, and his brothers, W.R. and Lamar, had a television program Saturday afternoons. Well, one day one singer was sick, so James asked Naomi to help them out. As the old adage states, the rest is history. They started touring under the name of The Sego Brothers and Naomi, and achieved national fame with the song "Sorry I Never Knew You." This song was the very first gospel song to sell a million copies. Now in the year 2001, Naomi Sego Reader is in her 42nd year of singing full-time.
Who inspired her to be the person that she is today? Naomi said that her parents had been a great influence on her life. She said that they were Godly parents, and that her dad was a minister. Ironically, her dad was saved under the Sego Brothers' ministry. Naomi said that she was born in a family of seven children. There were four girls and three boys, but one of them died at the tender age of ten when Naomi was only three years old. Naomi met James Sego in 1948 when the whole family came to Enigma for a homecoming. They were married in 1949, and had two children, Carlton and Ronnie. Ronnie played the drums for the Sego Brothers and Naomi. Along with her accomplishments and great success, Naomi has also been through her share of trials. Her husband, James Sego, passed away in 1979. Then in 1983, God sent Naomi what would be her second husband, Vernon Reader. They dated and then married in August of 1983. Having been a diabetic since age five, Naomi's son Ronnie passed away in 1996. After fifteen years of marriage with Naomi, Vernon also passed away in 1998. With Vernon's children, Naomi has eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Despite the circumstances, Naomi has continued to live the legend that began in 1958. She said that the most wonderful day of her life was when she was saved. She loves the Lord with all of her heart and she has never let anything hinder her ministry for Him.
Today the Segos consist of Scott Spangler and Darrell Monroe. Scott Spangler is a native of Bristol, Tennessee. In September of 1999, he started singing baritone for Naomi and the Segos. Along with his responsibilities on stage, Scott has taken over the day-to-day operations of the Sego's office. He also co-handles the tour booking with Century II Promotions, and he helps bus driver Carl Cordell with the bus driving. Besides his singing, Scott is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, he is a former radio personality. Since joining The Segos, Scott now makes his home in Centerville, Georgia with his 13-year-old daughter Stephanie. When asked who had been an influence on his life and ministry, Scott was quick to say that Naomi had taught him to be more humble. I also asked Scott if he had one wish, what would it be? He said, "That I could spend more time with my daughter."
Darrell Monroe is the newest member of this group. He makes his home in the Sand Mountain area of Alabama. This is an area that is well-known for producing some of the best vocalists in the Southern Gospel Music industry. Darrell has been singing and playing gospel music since he was 16 years old. Yet Naomi and The Segos is the first professional group that he has ever traveled with full-time. Beyond singing tenor, he is also an accomplished pianist, which adds a new aspect to hearing Naomi and The Segos live. He also helps out by doing his share of driving the bus. Darrell said that the greatest influence on his life and ministry was James Grindstaff, the former pastor of his home church, along with his parents. Darrell said that his one wish would be to be the best Christian that he could possibly be.
Have you ever heard a song and said to yourself, "I wish I could have written that beautiful song?" Well, Darrell Monroe feels the same way. He said, "I would have liked to have written "Amazing Grace" because of the line that says, "When we've no less days to sing God's praise, than when we've first begun."
One of the most difficult questions that I ask someone during an interview is this one. How would you define Southern Gospel Music? While this question sounds simple, there are a large variety of answers that someone could give. Nevertheless, Naomi and Darrell gave their definitions. Naomi said, "Music with a message." Darrell stated, "The greatest message there is."
Please take a moment to think of a time when your face was red and you were so embarrassed that all you could think about was hiding under the first table that you could find. Darrell relived one of his embarrassing moments especially for you. I will let him explain what happened. "I was playing an old upright piano during a church service. Well, the piano was rocking a bit and it knocked a whole vase of flowers right in my lap." Darrell and Scott said that one of their desires was to be on a Gaither video with Naomi and to sit in seats with their names on them.
On a more serious note, I asked Naomi this question. If you could send someone back in time, what messages would you send to yourself as a child? She said, "To serve the Lord sooner than what I did."
Naomi and The Segos upcoming project, "Milestones," can be ordered in advance through Son Sound Music Group in Bessemer City, North Carolina. This will be Naomi's 70th recording and it is appropriately titled, as this is definitely a milestone in Naomi's singing career. Please call your local radio station to request The Segos current radio release, "There's Gonna Be Shouting."
During the interview, I asked Naomi if she had any certain aspirations that she would like to accomplish. She answered, "I want to sing as long as I can. I've been blessed with good health so far, and my desire is to sing until the Lord calls me home."
Naomi Sego Reader is without a doubt one of the most precious living legends in Southern Gospel Music. She is a sincere Christian who answered God's calling in 1958, and is still obeying His calling in 2001. It is true. Naomi and The Segos are "Living a Legend."
Favorite Food: Everything
Favorite Restaurant: Olive Garden
Favorite Song: All of them!
Favorite Soloist: They are all good.
Favorite Group: All of them.
Favorite Hobby/Interest: Collecting key rings.
Favorite Scripture: John 3:16
Favorite Animal: Dog
Favorite Website: naomiandthesegos.com
Favorite Book: Bible
Favorite Movie: Gone With the Wind
Dream Vacation: Hawaii
Phrase You Say Most Often: "Well, I never!"