Daywind Records Bolsters Executive Team

NASHVILLE, TN (February 3rd, 2020) — Daywind Records is pleased to announce a renewed focus on artist relationships and services with the additions of Christian music industry veterans, Dusty Wells and Kyle Johnson, to the venerable label.

Dusty Wells will lead a newly-formed artist and label relations team focused on serving the specific needs of creators and helping them grow their ministries. Wells knows the power and impact that music has on a life first-hand. The Rambos, Lanny Wolfe Trio, and the Downings were his introduction to Christian music following his salvation at 14 when a couple led him to the Lord in Twin Falls, Idaho. While he became a fan of all styles of Christian music, Southern Gospel remained his favorite. A few years later, Wells began an illustrious career in the Christian music business, first working at Christian retail as the music buyer for a chain of stores in the Northwest, and later becoming the top sales and marketing rep for Sparrow Records while working with the Rambos and Reba Rambo and Dony McGuire to develop their publishing, label and ministry operations. Wells spent 22 years at Word Distribution where he was involved in many aspects of sales, marketing, and promotions of artists across genres. In the last 3 years, Dusty worked with Word-Curb, Daywind, Gotee, Reach, Tooth & Nail, Fuel and others as part of the New Day Christian Distributors sales team, handling all national accounts and dramatically increasing the visibility of Daywind artists through strong placement at retail. He will continue to handle national accounts along with his new responsibilities.

Dusty has been married 38 years to his treasure, LaVonne and they have four children and 5 amazing grand babies. Commenting on his new position as Director of Artist and Label Relations, he shared, “I am absolutely thrilled and excited to come alongside our Daywind and New Day artists and labels to help nurture and advance their music, ministries, and lives. Music daily touches my own life and has truly been a healing force in my journey from the time I first heard the message of hope and Jesus in a song. I cannot wait to see what God is getting ready to do through me with this opportunity.”

As Director of Marketing, Kyle Johnson will head up the Daywind and New Day team of marketing professionals, solidifying Daywind’s reputation for creative marketing and promotion in the new media environment. Johnson’s journey in the music industry began working for his parents as a music buyer at their family-owned bookstore. He moved to Nashville in 1998 to become a drummer, but God intervened. After 10 years at Word Entertainment, Johnson joined Michael Smith and Associates (“MSA”) as an artist manager, helping guide the careers of Salvador, Jaci Velasquez, Go Fish, Brad Stine, and more. Johnson also led the marketing efforts for two MSA labels, directing a team consisting of publicists, web designers, and more. As social media became pervasive as a communications and marketing tool, Johnson started his own consulting company with the goal of helping businesses navigate these new waters. He worked on successful campaigns for authors, publishers, churches, and hospitals, and later joined ClearView Baptist Church as Communications Director working with all ministry areas of the church in setting vision and implementing marketing strategies for all events and aspects of the church. In 2017, Johnson joined New Day Christian Distributors as head of manufacturing and marketing. In 2019, he began working closely with all major digital service providers to increase awareness for New Day and Daywind releases, and will weave these experiences together to guide the marketing team at Daywind and New Day.
Kyle and his wife, Caron, have been married for 15 years, and have two children, Molly Cate (9) and Bennett (5). About his new role, Johnson stated, “Looking back on my journey, I can only thank God for the many opportunities He has given me in music. I am thrilled to be working more closely with our Daywind artists to help get the message of the Gospel out to those in need.”

Ed Leonard, president of Daywind Music Group, added “I could not be more excited to have these two consummate professionals and committed Christians join the Daywind team. We are committed to nurturing and assisting our artists in every facet of their career, providing them with the resources they need to fulfill the Great Commission. I am honored to work with a fantastic team and am looking forward to seeing where God takes us.”

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Absolutely Gospel Music
Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.