The Gospel Music heritage has been handed down from generation to generation for many years now. Debra, Roger, and Lauren Talley are striving to keep this tradition alive through their exciting and unique vocal blend. Collectively known as The Talley Trio, they are definitely “A Testament of Love.”
The Talley Trio consists of Roger and Debra Talley, along with their 18-year-old daughter, Lauren. One year after Lauren’s birth, Roger and Debra united with Roger's brother, Kirk Talley, to form their own family ministry. During the 1980's, The Talleys were household names among Christian music lovers. They received many awards and acknowledgments, while enjoying appearances at a Billy Graham Crusade, Radio City Music Hall, Praise Gathering, and Dr. Charles Stanley’s “In Touch” program. Although their ministry was very successful with a decade of hit songs, Roger and Debra made the decision to leave the road. They wanted to devote more time to their daughter, Lauren, enabling her to lead a “normal” childhood that included being involved in activities at their home church and school. “We felt it was important for Lauren to be able to participate in school activities, sports, and church youth choir,” Roger shares. While Roger and Debra were making sure that Lauren was having a well-rounded childhood, she was developing a burning desire to share the songs that God had placed in her heart. “Lauren has always loved to sing,” Debra explains, “but a few years ago she became aware that God had placed a definite call on her life to share his message through singing.” At age fifteen she received the Fan Award nomination for Horizon Individual of the Year by readers of The Singing News Magazine. “Lauren enjoys so many different styles of music. We just have fun trying to keep up with her,” Roger laughs.
It seems like everyone has someone that they look up to, someone they admire, or someone that has had a great impact on their life. Lauren comments on this subject, “Well, if I started naming all the people that have influenced me, I'd be on this question for hours! My parents are definitely at the top of the list, but I'd have to say that Steve Hurst, the best vocal coach on the planet, has been a huge encouragement and a great mentor to me in the last few years.”
Open a copy of Webster’s Dictionary and you will not find a definition for Southern Gospel Music, but here is how Lauren would define this family-oriented music. “Southern Gospel is a lot more than a style of music. It’s a family. I've said this before, but it's the honest truth. Many people in the Gospel Music world are like family and I wouldn't trade those relationships for the world.”
With thousands of songs in the Southern Gospel repertoire, God always lets a few of them stand out to help us through the hard times in our life. Lauren said, “Through the Fire” by the Crabb Family, “You're Not Alone” by the Kingsmen, and “Under His Wings” by the Ruppes are all special to me. There's also a song on our latest album, “Testament,” that I sing called “Oh What a Reason.” That is really my testimony, and that song has always meant a lot to me.”
Wouldn’t you like to have written the current number one song on the chart? Well, here are Lauren’s comments on songwriting. “Basically, I would have like to have written everything that Rodney Griffin and Geron Davis write. Are they not awesome? I'm always in awe of great songwriters because I've never written anything! Any singer will tell you that the lyrics you sing mean everything, and we depend a lot on songwriters to “speak” for us.”
Are you ready for a sticky and embarrassing moment? Lauren explains, “Well, I was pretty embarrassed the time when I was eight years old, waiting to go on stage. I was chewing gum and my hair was pretty long then. I heard Kirk introduce me, and I tried to take my gum out. I got it caught in my hair! When I faced the audience, I had to put that side of my hair back behind my shoulder, and when I turned to leave the stage, I put it back over my shoulder. My mom had to cut the gum out later! I don't chew gum before going on stage anymore!”
If Lauren could send someone back in time to send the younger Lauren a message, she said she would tell herself, “Don't chew gum on stage. I had a great childhood; I'm not sure I'd want to change anything about it.”
For most people, the most wonderful day of their life would be their wedding day or some other prominent day in their life. Lauren had one of the most unique answers for this question that I have ever heard. I’m sure we would all benefit from a day like this! She said, “I'd say it would be a pretty simple day - no schedules, no timetables, and I could do anything that popped in my head. Naturally, I'd go shopping sometime.”
On a more serious note, what would you do if you were granted one wish? Would you use it for wealth and fortune or something eternal that will last forever? Lauren desires something that is everlasting, “Honestly, I don't know if I could narrow it down to just one. It may sound cliched, but I guess I'd say my one wish would be when I'm on my deathbed, if I could look back with no regrets in my life, and my life was everything I'd hoped it would be at eighteen years old. Does it get any better than that?” I don’t believe it does, Lauren.
What does Lauren hope to accomplish in the future? She said, “I'm getting ready to start work on my first solo project, and I'm really looking forward to that. I want it to be the best project it can possibly be. I get a new idea for it almost every day! I want to be the best singer I can be, constantly striving for improvement. I'm not sure if I'll ever be completely satisfied with myself! The eternal perfectionist!”
The Talley Trio has always presented fresh new music that goes beyond musical and demographic boundaries. As a matter of fact, their latest recording, “Testament,” displays their ability to convey musical variety with ease. "We’re having a great time. Even if our songs were never on radio, we’d still be singing, because we just love to sing together. But it’s very nice to receive such a favorable reception," Roger relates.
The Talley Trio currently enjoys concert appearances in church services and large arenas. They have been featured on the popular Gaither Homecoming Video Series, which is viewed by millions through home videos and popular television networks such as TNN, TBN, and the Family Channel. Even though their touring and recording schedule tends to be somewhat hectic, the love and closeness they share are most evident, whether they’re attending their home church, First Baptist of Morristown, watching a Lady Vols basketball game, recording, singing on stage before thousands, or simply gathering around their piano in the comfortable confines of their home. Lauren said, “It’s kind of funny because our home life and our ministry are one and the same, in a sense. We try to give each other a little space since we're together so much, but we do enjoy being together on the road and at home. It definitely brings you closer to each other.”
The Talley Trio is without a doubt a Christian family with love in their hearts--not only love for each other, but also love for the Creator of love, Jesus Christ. They have a tremendous call on their life to minister and sing for him. The Talley Trio is definitely “A Testament of Love.”
Favorite Food: Pizza, Cinnamon Rolls, Biscuits and Gravy,
Favorite Restaurant: Most anywhere. My dad
says my favorite meal of the
Favorite Song: It changes weekly.
Favorite Soloist: I like my uncle, Kirk Talley,
of course, and I also enjoy Mike
Favorite Group: Gaither Vocal Band, the Martins,
the Crabb Family,
Favorite Musician: Geron Davis and all the Horizon
Favorite Hobby/Interest: Shopping, Reading, Computers,
Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:31-39
Favorite Website: www.yahoo.com
Dream Vacation: France and Italy - Shopping in Paris,
now there’s a