The Isaacs

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The Isaacs
OriginHendersonville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresSouthern gospel, Bluegrass, Country
Years active1992-present
LabelsHorizon, Gaither, K-Tel, Spring Hill, Isaacs House
MembersLily Isaacs
Ben Isaacs
Sonya Isaacs
Becky Isaacs
Past membersJohn Bowman
Jimmy Yeary
Levi Bowman
Joe Isaacs
Thomas Wywrot
Tim Surrett
Websitewww.theisaacs.com

The Isaacs are a bluegrass Southern gospel music group consisting of mother Lily Isaacs (b. September 20, 1947), daughters Becky (b. Aug. 2, 1975) and Sonya Isaacs (b. July 22, 1974) and son Ben Isaacs (b. July 25, 1972), along with John Bowman (husband of Becky Isaacs) as an instrumentalist and songwriter. Joe Isaacs, formerly a singer and banjo player in the group, has left since his 1998 divorce from Lily Isaacs. He now does solo work on a far more localized level.

Former Kingsmen Quartet bass player, lead singer and baritone Tim Surrett was a member of group from 1997 until 2002. Surrett was married to Sonya Isaacs during this time period. Thomas Wywrot was a member from 2008 to 2011. Sonya Isaacs' husband, Jimmy Yeary, took his place.[1]

Currently, the Isaacs consists of Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Lily Isaacs , Becky Isaacs Bowman and Ben Isaacs. On August 10, 2021 they were invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry.[2]

History[edit]

The group's roots go back to 1971,[3] when Joe and Lily Isaacs began a bluegrass band. Lily's parents are Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors. A few years after they were liberated from a concentration camp in Germany in 1945, her parents moved two year old Lily to New York City, where, in 1958, she got a recording contract with Columbia Records and started performing in night clubs. While performing with his Kentucky band at the Gerde's Folk City, Joe met Lily and they were married in 1970. After Joe's brother died in an automobile accident, Joe and Lily became Christians, and the group began to perform only bluegrass gospel music.[4] The group was initially named the Calvary Mountain Boys and later became Sacred Bluegrass before settling on the family name, the Isaacs. The group performed primarily on weekends, part-time, until 1986.[5] As their son and daughters became old enough, they joined the group.[6]

In 1992, the Isaacs moved from Morrow, Ohio, and settled in LaFollette, Tennessee.[6]

Recording[edit]

As the Calvary Mountain Boys and Sacred Bluegrass, the group recorded for Pine Tree and Old Homestead labels. As the Isaacs, they had more success with Horizon and Morningside record labels.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Producer Label
Christian Country Heat Bluegrass
1992 Live In Atlanta Horizon
1994 Carry Me Tony Rice Horizon
1995 I Feel the Christmas Spirit
1996 Live: Mountain Praise Kim Ryan
1997 Bridges Ben Isaacs
The Very Best of The Isaacs K-Tel
1998 Increase My Faith Horizon
1999 Pieces of Our Past Ben Isaacs
2001 Stand Still Ben Isaacs
2002 Christmas Spirit Ben Isaacs, Tony Rice
Eye of the Storm Ben Isaacs
2003 Songs of the Faith 14 Ben Isaacs
2004 Heroes 19 45 31 Don Cook Gaither
2005 Bluegrass Preserved Horizon
Radio Hits
Lily
Isaacs Bluegrass: A Cappella
2006 Isaacs Bluegrass: Sonya
2007 Big Sky 21 48 23 Mark Bright Gaither
2009 Naturally: An Almost A Cappella Collection 25 12 1 Bill Gaither, Ben Isaacs Spring Hill
2010 Christmas 31 5 2
2011 Why Can't We 47 25 3
2013 The Living Years 10 1 Gaither
2016 Nature's Symphony in 432 3 Isaacs House
2018 Favorites: Revisited By Request Gaither
2020 Songs for the Times Isaacs House
2021 The American Face

Video[edit]

  • 2001: Live: Mountain Praise (Horizon)
  • 2001: Pieces of Our Past (Horizon)
  • 2002: Stand Still (Horizon)
  • 2004: The Best of the Isaacs: Favorites from the Homecoming Series (Gaither Music Group)
  • 2008: Live From Norway (Gaither Music Group)

Gaither Homecoming video performances[edit]

  • 1996: When All God's Singers Get Home

"Carry Me"

  • 1996: Sing Your Blues Away "I Have A Father Who Can"
  • 1997: This is My Story "Look What God Gave Me"
  • 1998: Singin' With The Saints "I'm Gonna Move
  • 1998: All Day Singin' At The Dome "Satisfied" (Sonya)
  • 1998: Atlanta Homecoming "Daddy Sang Bass" (Sonya),"That's All That Matters To Me"
  • 1998: Down By The Tabernacle "The Tabernacle" (Sonya), "The Least I Can Do"
  • 1999: Sweet Sweet Spirit "Reaping In The Spirit"
  • 1999: Mountain Homecoming "Did You Ever Go Sailin'", "Go Rest High On That Mountain" (Sonya)
  • 1999: I'll Meet You On The Mountain "I'll Meet You On The Mountain" (Sonya)
  • 2001: Passin' The Faith Along "I Wanna Be Ready" (Sonya & Becky), "Stand Still"
  • 2002: Let Freedom Ring "The Star-Spangled Banner", "It Is Well (Elisha's Song)"
  • 2002: New Orleans Homecoming "He Understands My Tears"
  • 2003: Going Home "The Prettiest Flowers Will Be Blooming"
  • 2003: Heaven "O Come Angel Band"
  • 2003: Red Rocks Homecoming "When The Rains Come" (Sonya)
  • 2003: Rocky Mountain Homecoming "Sweet Holy Spirit"
  • 2003: Gospel Bluegrass Homecoming Vol. 1 "Is Not This The Land Of Beulah?"
  • 2003: Gospel Bluegrass Homecoming Vol. 2 "Another Soldier Down", "He Ain't Ever Done Me Nothin' But Good"
  • 2004: We Will Stand "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" (Sonya & Becky), "Hebrew Lullaby", "If That Don't Make You Wanna Go"
  • 2005: Hymns "Wayfaring Stranger"
  • 2005: Israel Homecoming "Halleluyah", "Shalom My Home"
  • 2005: Jerusalem Homecoming "Moses, Take Your Shoes Off" (Sonya), "Walkin' In Jerusalem", "Heroes"
  • 2005: Mark Lowry Goes To Hollywood "Ha Ha Hollywood", "Friend 'Til The End", "Peace Like A River"
  • 2006: Canadian Homecoming "It Is Well With My Soul", "More Than Ever"
  • 2006: Live From Toronto "Great Is Thy Reward/Orange Blossom Special"
  • 2006: Christmas In South Africa "The Savior Of The World Has Come"
  • 2007: Amazing Grace "I Need Thee Every Hour", "I Surrender All"
  • 2007: Love Can Turn The World "Everything Is Going To Turn Out Right", "Hear My Song, Lord" (Sonya)
  • 2007: South African Homecoming "Umbrella"
  • 2008: Country Bluegrass Homecoming Vol. 1 "There Is Power In The Blood", "Walk On", "I Know Somebody Who Does", "All Prayed Up"
  • 2008: Country Bluegrass Homecoming Vol. 2 "Barbie Bandaids"
  • 2008: Homecoming Picnic "Sally Goodin/Wildwood Flower", "The Sweetest Song I Know" (Becky), "Mama's Teaching Angels How To Sing"
  • 2009: A Campfire Homecoming "I Have Found A Way", "Orange Blossom Special"
  • 2009: Nashville Homecoming "The One I'm Dying For"
  • 2010: Better Day "Mama's Teaching Angels How To Sing"
  • 2010: Count Your Blessings "No Shortage"
  • 2011: Alaskan Homecoming "I've Got Joy"
  • 2011: Majesty "Little Bit Of Heaven", "When I Lift Up My Head", "Healing Stream"
  • 2011: Tent Revival Homecoming "I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary"
  • 2011: The Old Rugged Cross "Consider The Lilies" (Becky & Sonya)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

The Grammy Awards are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry. The awards were established in 1958. The Isaacs have been nominated twice.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Nature's Symphony In 432 Best Roots Gospel Album Nominated
2018 Favorites: Revisited By Request Nominated
2022 Songs for the Times Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jimmy Yeary Joins The Isaacs | The Southern Gospel Music Magazine". SingingNews.com. 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  2. ^ "Grand Ole Opry invites the Isaacs to become newest member".
  3. ^ Etienne, Vanessa. "The Isaacs Premiere 'The American Face' Music Video: 'United We Stand'". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  4. ^ BARCLAY, BRITTANY. "The Isaacs to bring bluegrass gospel to The Pines". The Lufkin Daily News. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  5. ^ Gilmore, Justin (25 February 2017). "The Year Of Jubilee: A Conversation with Lily Isaacs of the Isaacs". Southern Gospel News SGNScoops Digital. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c McNeil, W. K. (2013). Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music. Routledge. p. 196. ISBN 9781135377007. Retrieved 5 July 2018.

External links[edit]