|Also known as||The Singing Hinson Family
The Original Hinsons
|Genres||Christian music, Southern Gospel, Country Gospel, Christian Country|
|Years active||1967- 1988, mid-1990s - present|
|Labels||Calvary Music Group, LifeStream Records|
|Past members||Chris Hawkins
Yvonne Hinson Johnson
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
The Original Hinsons were a prominent southern gospel group. Consisting of siblings Ronny, Kenny, Larry and Yvonne, they first sang together in 1967 after being asked to sing during revival services at a small church in Freedom, California. Though they had never sung together as a unit, they soon found themselves a popular favorite in churches and concert appearances along the west coast of the United States. Initially, they were known as The Singing Hinson Family. However, as time and their popularity progressed they became known simply as The Hinsons. Later, they were known as The Original Hinsons to distinguish themselves from Bo Hinsons' group, The New Hinsons now known as The Hinsons.
Younger brother Larry tells the story behind the Hinsons signature song: "It was written in 1970, in the downstairs bathroom of a church then called "The Pentecostal Tabernacle." We had been rehearsing songs that Saturday evening and found the necessity to have new material to stage. Ronny disappeared for several minutes, only to return to the church sanctuary brandishing a long fluttering piece of toilet paper. The title of the song was none other than "The Lighthouse." It was first recorded the next year by The Goodmans and then by The Hinsons. Songs of Calvary and Journey Music, (then owned by Rusty Goodman,) co-published the song. Elvis recorded it soon thereafter..." 'The Lighthouse' quickly became a huge hit in southern gospel and remains one of the most recorded songs in the genre. From 1973 till 1980 The Hinsons were the co-hosts of the popular television show The Gospel Singing Jubilee. Although the Hinsons were an extremely popular touring group with excellent record sales, they were considered radical for their concert style, which was far more ministry oriented than most of the more established professional groups. Always innovators, the group recorded several albums in the mid 1970s with an eclectic mix of songs that weren't considered true southern gospel. Songs like 'Shinin' In' and 'Look what He's done for me,' had a decidedly contemporary feel, while others such as 'This Joy is Mine' had an undeniably country sound.
The family disbanded the group in 1988, but Larry Hinson approached their record producer at Calvary Music Group, suggesting a reunion project involving the original four founding Hinson members. They reunited one final time for One More Hallelujah which was completed in the fall of 1992. The album featured the song "Joy Comes In The Morning," and spurred the 13 city One More Hallelujah Tour in 1993. The tour was cut short when lead singer, Kenny Hinson was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He died on July 27, 1995 at the age of 41.
Ronny, the eldest of the Hinson brothers, is a renowned songwriter, having written over 10 #1 songs on the southern gospel charts, and over 100 songs that charted in the top 10. He is also a sought after producer, and continues to perform.
Awards and honors
The Hinsons were recognized by both the Dove Award and the Singing News Fan Awards (SNFA) for the 1972 Song of the year, "The Lighthouse". In 1973, they again won the SNFA Song of the Year for "He Pilots My Ship." In 1979, they were the SNFA choice for favorite group. Chris Hawkins was chosen as the SNFA favorite female singer in both 1976 and 1977. Larry was voted SNFA Favorite Baritone in 1977. Kenny was Favorite Male Singer for 1976, 1978 and 1980. In 1994, Kenny won a Diamond Award for his song "I'll Never Be Over the Hill" at the National Quartet Convention.
Ronny won the Favorite Songwriter award for four consecutive years from 1988 to 1991.
In 2000, Kenny was voted "Artist of the Decade" and placed into the Millennium Hall of Fame by ICGMA (International Country Gospel Music Association.) Kenny was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 2004. The entire group was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 1974, Yvonne left the road and was replaced for nearly six years by two time Queen of Gospel Music recipient Chris Hawkins. In 1981 Just as sister Yvonne re-joined the group, Larry, one of the original members left the group and was replaced by their nephew, Eric Hinson. Eric remained with the group until 1984. Ronny "Bo" Hinson Jr. joined the group in 1984 and remained with the group until they disbanded in 1988.
In 1990 Bo Hinson started a group called Bo Hinson and Purpose. This evolved into the New Hinsons. The group experienced major success in 1994 with the release of the hit song, "Speak the Word, Lord". And in 1996, the group had their first #1 song with the hit "Oasis." The song was written by Ronny Hinson and Kenny Hinson, who died in 1995. "Oasis" was #1 for 4 months (April–July 1996) and came in as the #1 song for all of 1996. On Paul Heil's program, "The Gospel Greats", the song was named the #6 song in the Top 20 Songs of the 1990s. Also featured in the baritone part was Mike Bowling, who would later travel with the Perrys and Crabb Family and eventually start his own group in 2006. The group later claimed the #1 spot again in December 1996 with "Old Ship of Zion". The New Hinsons would continue to experience success with hits like "If There Had Been No Calvary", "Sin Died Here", "Still Go Free", and "Who but God?". In the past few years, with the Original Hinsons' blessing, Bo renamed the New Hinsons the Hinsons. Their first recording under that name was entitled, "Favor". This album features the hits: "The Potter's Wheel", "Death in the Family Tonight", "I'm Still Here", and "Soul Winner".
- Bo Hinson (1990–Present)
- Rhonda Hinson (1990-2000)
- Kym (Hinson) Calvery (2005–Present)
- Eric Hinson (1990-1993)
- Bo Atkins (1993-1994)
- Mike Bowling (1994-1994)
- Shawn McDougal (1998–Present)
- Here Comes The Hinsons (1970)
- A Gospel Sound Spectacular (1970)
- The Lighthouse (1971) featuring the GMA Song of the Year for 1972
- He Pilots My Ship (1972) featuring the SNFA Song of the Year for 1973
- We Promise You Gospel (1973)
with Chris Hawkins
- Touch Of Hinson, Glimpse Of Glory (1974)
- Harvest Of Hits (1975)
- High Voltage (1975)
- From Out Of The West They Came, Live and On Stage (1976)
- The Group That God Built (1977)
- On The Road (1978)
- Prime (1979)
with Larry and Yvonne
- Song Vineyard (1980)
with Eric Hinson
- Bubblin' (1981)
- Hinsongs (1982)
- To The Core (1983)
- A Hinson Christmas (1983)
- Lift The Roof Off, Live (1984)
with Bo Hinson
- It Runs In The Family (1985)
- The Legacy Goes On (1986)
- Generations (1987)
- Encore, Live from Nashville (1988)
- Highly Recommended (1990) as Bo Hinson and Purpose
- The Hinsons Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (1986)
- One More Hallelujah (1992) with Larry and Yvonne
- Tulsa Live (1993)
Ronny and Larry Hinson, although known primarily for their work on the stage, have their own ministries. Larry and his wife, Jana, recently announced they are beginning a new church in the Nashville area after more than 12 years on the evangelistic field. He holds doctorates in both theology and divinity.
Kenny was an evangelist and pastored a church in the Houston area after the group disbanded in 1988. Kenny's son, Weston Hinson, is continuing on the legacy as well, as he sings Southern and Country gospel flavors with his group Weston & Christy Hinson.