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The Lighthouse: 50 Year Celebration Now Available from Ronny Hinson

 “The Lighthouse.”

The song has become a Gospel classic. It has also been around now for 50 years, and the writer, Ronny Hinson, along with Scott Godsey of Godsey Media, are teaming up to celebrate the 50th anniversary in a big way!

Written by Ronny Hinson in 1970, “The Lighthouse” was originally recorded and released by The Hinson Family in 1971, on an album titled The Lighthouse, but it was a live album by the Happy Goodman Family, Wanted LIVE (also released in 1971), that propelled the song to the top of the charts and into the hearts of Gospel music fans around the world.

According to Singing News, it was The Hinsons’ version of the song that first appeared on the chart in October 1971. Though it was released to radio by five different groups nationally, it was The Happy Goodman Family’s LIVE version that took it all the way to the Number One position in June 1972.

Ronny Hinson states, “When I look back on those early years when my family, the Hinsons, were basically still transitioning from California to Kentucky, when no one beyond the west coast had ever heard of us, and I realize that ‘The Lighthouse’ was our first-ever national release to radio. At a time when several other, well-established groups of national stature, who, along with the promotional efforts of major record labels behind them, were scrambling for their position at the top of the charts with their own release of the same song, I am still amazed at how well our (Hinson Family) version of the song did on the radio charts.”

Hinson adds, “From this writer’s point of view, I will always be grateful for the many artists who have recorded my song through the years. It has become one of the most recorded songs in Gospel music history, but I have always said that, though I wrote the song, it has always been Gospel music’s song. All the way from the Happy Goodman Family’s Number One rendition, down to the least-known artist to ever sing it, I say, ‘Thank you so very much!”

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Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, 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 AbsolutelyGospel.com. 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.