Kevin Ivey

Gospel Tenor Vocals Dixie Echoes

Born: Sand Mountain, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Tuesday, July 03, 2001

In an open letter to Singing News, Kevin Ivey said:

"On June 29th, I officially gave Randy Shelnut notice that I will be leaving the Dixie Echoes. After 5 years and 2 months, due to personal family health issues, I have been faced with the difficult decision to resign my position as tenor singer with the Dixie Echoes. I will remain with the Dixie Echoes until Randy finds the right person to fulfill my duties, and a smooth transition is made.

To the thousands of dear friends I have made during my tenure with the Dixie Echoes, I wish to convey my heartfelt thanks for the friendships that it has been my great privilege to enjoy. Those relationships, and the support from this industry that I have received, has served as one of the greatest blessings in my life, and I look forward to continuing those relationships, as I move on to other endeavors in this industry. I simply feel that at this point in my life, I am needed closer to my home in Albertville, AL.

I wish to thank Randy Shelnut, personally, for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a group with such a rich heritage in gospel music, and the close relationship that he and I have shared for the last 5 years! It has been the greatest honor to serve with these men, whom I have come to love as brothers in Christ, and yes, family! I look forward to monitoring the continued success of the Dixie Echoes from a different vantage point.

I would ask the southern gospel music industry and its fans to keep me and my family in your prayers as I open this new chapter in my life.

May God bless you all.

Yours in Christ, Kevin Ivey - Phil. 4:13"




In 1995, Tommy Swindle began a step in his life that would be totally different than all others. Tommy has been involved in southern gospel music for 25 years. At age 12, he was playing piano for various groups, including the Singing Ambassadors. Today, he is going on 7 years of singing full time with his own group.

Based out of Arab, AL, Appointed consists of Tommy Swindle-owner and baritone, Casey Brandon-lead and piano player, and Kevin Ivey-Tenor. Kevin, who formerly sang with the Dixie Echoes, has been friends with Tommy for around 15 years, so when the call came to sing with his good friend, Kevin jumped at the chance. "I loved singing with the Dixie Echoes but the 620 mile commute every week was wearing down on me. I am privileged to be singing with one of southern gospel's finest and most underrated writers." 23 year old, Casey Brandon has been around Southern Gospel his entire life, having been involved in his family group, The Singing Brandon's, based out of Chattanooga, TN.

Appointed is and has obtained a reputation of being a group who does a vast variety of gospel music, though mostly dubbed southern gospel. Kevin Ivey states, "There is a wide age bracket of people we sing to and we want to appeal to all ages. We are seeing a wide variety of youth, 25 and under, at our concerts. We've got to play on that and gauge our music in a direction that will appeal to the younger generation but not get away from tradition. We have to prove that Southern Gospel is really cool and not lame. We are slowly expanding to an ever growing market of youth but we are also trying to remember to appeal to the 55 and over crowd. We strive to do a variety."

In 2001, Appointed had the honor of being a part of several gospel music events where 130 people came to know Christ. "That's what we are about," states Kevin. "Obviously we have to be entertaining to hold attention, but we focus on a worship experience. Many times, God has shown us things we weren't expecting," says Kevin. Appointed sings several 4-7 day revivals. One in particular was at Oak Lawn Baptist Church in which over 20 people were saved in the first night. "What we really cherish are the moments we can minister and identify off stage, to show that there is a man you can turn to and you're not alone. That is an integral part of our ministry. There is such awesomeness about spreading God's word. It tends to keep you inline with what you do and what you say. It's an ever learning experience."

Through all the good times of traveling and singing and seeing souls saved, Appointed's biggest battle is educating people of what they go through every week. While traveling and singing looks like a bunch of glitz and glamour, this group, as well as all full time groups, struggle financially and physically. Driving at 3 a.m. to get to your destination proves for a lot of lost hours of sleep. But the good part is that when these boys are wore out, they can laugh and embrace each other and carry on. "All of us get along like 3 brothers. It can be tiring, but we have a blast," states Kevin.

Appointed's goal for the future is to carry their ministry abroad to such places as Scotland, Canada, etc. Come spring, Appointed will celebrate their 3rd annual Scotland Gospel Convention. Their latest single, "Beautiful Day" has soared through the charts, and Appointed is anticipating the release of their new single "Morning's on the Way" by mid-July. Tommy has written the majority of the songs the group sings, and they have just finished a custom project featuring 10 of the 2001 Top 40 songs. Appointed's newest project from Journey Records is expected to be released by mid-July as well.

As encouragement to young aspiring artists, Appointed gives this advice: Make sure that this is your calling, if not you'll burn out in short order. If it is indeed your calling, you must figure out how far God wants you to go with it. There are jobs for local/regional groups too. Lastly, take constructive criticism, even if it sounds cruel. Learn from it.

Appointed has much planned for this year to come. Be sure to check out their website for more news and information:

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For Such A Time



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