Roger Fortner Stepping Away from the McKameys
After 28 years of traveling with the group, the McKameys, Roger Fortner will be coming off the road to return to the studio. Roger gave this statement, "I've spent 28 years with the McKameys and now I feel I need to move on to do what I have always enjoyed doing, which is studio production. I ask that you support the McKameys in all they do. There's not another group like them."
Although Roger will no longer be on stage with the McKameys, for now he will continue maintaining their website. We ask for your prayers as we make this transition.
The McKameys have just released their 51st recording What If. With the most #1 hits in Southern Gospel history, a dedicated following, and a faithful message for the masses, their great music and unwavering dedication to the Lord have stood the test of time.
The group first organized in 1954 as a trio of sisters: Dora, Peg and Carol McKamey. Because their father was a Christian minister, the girls grew up singing in church. One day Dora announced to her astonished sisters that they were going to sing with her in church the next Sunday as a trio. "She gathered us up in her kitchen, started singing and we each found our parts," Peg explained. "We just thought we were gonna sing that one time, in her home church, but different people heard us and invited us to sing at their church or at revivals. Then out of town evangelists heard us at the revivals and invited us to come to their church and we started traveling to Florida and Indiana and Ohio, and that's how it all started."
There have been several changes in the group's makeup over the years. In 1957, Ruben Bean started playing guitar for the trio, and he and Peg married two years later. While their daughters, Connie and Sheryl, were growing up they traveled with their mom, dad and aunts when the group was on the road. After Dora and Carol retired from the trio in 1972, Connie and Sheryl stepped in to take over their parts.
In the mid-1980s, Sheryl left the group to join her husband as a pastor's wife. At that time, Carol returned to the group, now made up of Peg, Connie, Ruben and Carol with Roger Fortner playing guitar. From late 1988 until mid-1989, Bonnie White replaced Carol until she ultimately returned to the group. The vocal lineup of Connie, Peg, Carol, and Ruben would perform together until April 2009 when Carol Woodard officially retired from full-time travel. Sheryl Farris returned to replace Carol. Since returning, Sheryl & Connie have traded the lead vocal for a change in the vocal lineup for standards like "The Shepherd's Point of View" and "When He Speaks" and "A Hill Worth Dying On."
In 2007, Eli Fortner joined his parents, Roger and Connie, on stage full-time as a guitarist & featured vocalist. Eli's solos appear on every project since their 2005 release, "The Old Path." In 2012, Roger Fortner stepped up to sing a solo, "Unspoken Request." Much to the delight of fans, Roger's first solo captured the #1 spot on the January 2013 Singing News Top 80 Charts and received nominations for Song of the Year in the 2013 Singing News Fan Awards and 2013 NQC Music Awards.
Currently, all members of the McKameys perform at least one song during each program. Whether it's a mixed trio, mixed quartet, or male trio, the McKameys perform a variety of their classics combined with fresh favorites.
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