From their East Tennssee home today, the Talley family --- Roger, Debra, and daughter Lauren Talley --- announce that 2020 will be the official last year that their group, the beloved The Talleys, will be recording and releasing music under the official moniker. Roger, who began singing with The Hoppers in the early 1970s, states that he will continue to write and produce music, in addition to an executive role with Crossroads Label Group. Matriarch Debra will continue to be involved in speaking ministry and other endeavors, and Lauren Talley will continue to pursue and grow her already successful solo and speaking career.
We are honored to catch up with Lauren Talley to discuss this momentous decision and the future of her own musical endeavors.
Q: Lauren, thanks for doing this interview with us. 2020 is a special year especially when this is the last official year for Talleys as a trio. Why did the three of you decide to take a hiatus as the Talleys?
2020 is bringing lots of changes for us. The Lord has been leading us toward this particular change for quite some time. My parents are at retirement age and after spending 45 years on the road constantly, they are ready to spend time at home just enjoying life. My solo career is growing exponentially, and I have a lot of exciting opportunities in front of me. It was just apparent to all of us that it's time.
Q: Will the Talleys be releasing any new music this year? Perhaps as a farewell gift to your fans?
We are planning to release a 6-7 song EP in 2020 of new music, as a gift to fans and to keep our last year of performing fresh for us as artists.
Q: How long will this hiatus be? I hope it's not permanent?
My parents are fully retiring from full-time touring. It is possible that we may do a few special events together in the future if opportunities present themselves and my schedule allows, but for now, we're looking ahead to a new normal and new journey going forward.
Q: Looking back at the ministry of the Talleys, what were some of the highlights for you?
Honestly, the simplest things were the highlights. Spending time together on the bus. Laughing and telling stories at lunch. Giving hugs before we go to bed. Of course, I'm proud of the things like Dove Awards, Gaither videos and hit songs, but those things don't make up everyday life. The fact that we got to spend so many years doing this together is the most memorable for me.
Q: I know it's difficult, but if you were to pick three Talley songs that mean the world to you, which would they be? And why?
"His Life For Mine" changed me as a vocalist. Until I recorded that, I had only ever sung fast songs with lots of runs and riffs. Those were fun, but "His Life" taught me to sing a ballad and really communicate a lyric. And of course, it's a brilliant song.
"The Broken Ones" is the song I'll probably sing until I'm dead. I've been amazed to see how that message connects with audiences. I know what it is to be broken, as we all do, and my own experience helps me relate to people and vice versa. Our brokenness and need for God is the great uniter between us all.
I picked a song I recorded when I was about 17, it's called "Oh What A Reason." At the time, I didn't fully understand why that song meant something to me; I just knew I was supposed to sing it. 20 years later, I get it now.
We spend so much of our lives chasing happiness in counterfeits that don't last: the approval and admiration of others, status symbols, even relationships. When we look to anything other than Him for our fulfillment, we'll be left empty and longing for the real thing. He's the only One that can satisfy the longings of our hearts.
Q: What are your future plans of your parents after 2020?
My dad will continue to work with Abraham Productions, which promotes Singing In The Sun, Gatlinburg Gathering and other endeavors. He also is part of the A&R team at Crossroads Label Group and will work with emerging artists as a mentor.
My mom is planning to accept a few invitations to speak at women's conferences. She also is involved with The Veranda, a respite care ministry for Alzheimer's/dementia patients in Gallatin, TN. Mostly, they're planning to slow down and take it easy - and I don't blame them at all.
Q: As a solo artist, you have recently released a new single. Share with us why you are excited about this new song?
"Glorious God" is the product of two TWELVE year olds, Mac Duren and Miles LaPointe, who met each other and wrote the song at the Kids Write About Jesus conference. I was singing at the 2018 LifeWay Worship conference when "Glorious God" was debuted, and in the middle of the song I texted the publisher, Dave Clark, and Mac's father, Cliff Duren, to ask if I could record it! It's a special song. Those two young men have a great grasp of who our God is, and I think they have a very bright future.
Q: As you pursue your solo career, will you be staying within Southern Gospel? Or will you also be branching into CCM pop or/and corporate worship or/and other directions?
I don't get too caught up in labels or genres. I just try to look for a good song and sing it the LT way. Southern Gospel will still see and hear plenty from me, the way they're used to hearing it. I do hope to introduce fans in the wider world, who don't necessarily follow SG, to this music. If that means taking a worship or CCM song and putting my stamp on it, so be it. I want people to know my sound when they hear it, and not worry about what to call it. Christian music has one job: to proclaim the gospel and lift Jesus high. That's all I want to do.