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Goodbye Party


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Well, the day finally arrived... June 26th.. show number 1,618. I thought it most fitting to have Gary Chapman, who has probably been the most frequent and arguably the most popular guest (as well as being my FIRST live guest all those years ago) to finish with me. A wonderfully, delightful surprise was to have Bonnie Keen join us. (Click HERE for a clip.) A very bitter-sweet time.... WHAT A RIDE!!!! Thanks for tagging along.

I called Phil Keaggy to ask him about being on my last show and was very sad (OK... I was devastated!) to hear that he would be in California touring on my last Sunday. HOWEVER, he did make it to my second-to-last show, having traveled nearly all night from performing at the Ichthus Festival the night before. I was delighted that Phil brought his beautiful wife Bernadette, but I had to admit, I was a little when Gary Pigg arrived unannounced. Off the air I was handed a CD and told to get it ready but not to play it until I was told. These two guys gave me one of the best surprises and presents of my life! Watch it by clicking HERE to see it on YouTube. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE THRILL!!!! What an amazing time!!! June 19

With just three shows to go, I was very happy to have one last visit with Point of Grace... well at least two out of three. I've said over and over- these ladies have been the most consistently sweet people since the day they first appeared on the show in early 1994. I am so proud of them and continue to be a big fan. Pictured in upper left: Shelley Breen, me, Leigh Cappillino. (Denise Jones was on a traveling mission with her son.) -June 11


I have known Jim Cole for over twenty years. We once lived in the same neighborhood. Although we've been good friends for years, I've always loved his music and abilities. On June 5th (our 4th to last show), Jim brought us his latest project, "Walls and Doors". He also introduced us to his producer Stephen Gause. Find Jim at www.jimcoleonline.com Picture top left: me, Stephen Gause, and Jim Cole.

When Michael W Smith heard about the retirement of the show, he asked me to lunch to thank me for all the years. What a most pleasant time and conversation. With all that's going on in his life these days, this father of five and GRANDFATHER of five was gracious to join us for his first visit in over 10 years. I'm so glad we were able to have one last visit on the air together. -May 29

We were fortunate to have Chris Eaton and his wife Abby join us on May 8th. Although they are from and live in England, Chris and Abby spend a great deal of time in Nashville. Catch up with Chris at www.chriseaton.co.uk and with Abby (Scott) at abbyscottmusic.com. They promised that next time they are in town we will all go out for "fish and chips"... I can't wait!!!

By the way, this is the first show since announcing the retirement of The Brian Mason Show.

It's been a while, but I have always enjoyed the music of and visits from Morgan Cryar. Since first meeting him in 1984 when his first project was released ("Keep No Secrets"), he's simply been a singer and songwriter who connects with our listeners. It was an real pleasure to have him on the show on April 3rd.

This particular show (Mar 20) will always be one of my absolutely favorites! If I recall, the first two Christian music albums (yes, vinyl) I ever owned were Love Song's self-titled project and Phil Keaggy's first solo LP, "What A Day". How wonderful to have the two members of Love Song living in Nashville with us as well as Phil Keaggy (who subbed for a time with Love Song in the 70's). Phil also brought along our pal Ric Blair as well. I was just thrilled to have Phil sing "What A Day" and segue into Love Song's "Little Country Church". (Click here to watch on YouTube.)

Pictures... left side starting on the top: Phil Keaggy wanted to see what life like on my side of the board. Chuck Girard and Phil sing, Tommy Coomes, and Ric Blair on the bottom. On the right: Chuck Girard, Phil Keaggy, and all together now singing on the bottom.

By the way, this was a few days before Phil's actual birthday but we celebrated at his house that night.

A most talented young man! Jonny Diaz sings, he writes, and he's very funny. He's the kind of artist I believe will be around for quite a while. Find him and follow his tweets at http://www.jonnydiaz.com/ -Mar 13

Seems that I've been here before! Altho it's been many years since I was with these particular guys (lower right pic from Aug 1986), spending the morning with Classic Petra was very familiar all the same. Even tho Petra disbanded years ago, many of the original members have regrouped. New CDs and world tours happening as well. In additional to members pictured, we also received phone calls from non-Nashvillian members Greg X. Volz and Bob Hartman. Pictured in upper left: l-r Louie Weaver, me, Mark Kelly and John Lawry. -Mar 6

I remember the excitement of hearing ZOEgirl for the first time... the first single was "I Believe" from their self-titled project in 2000. Just 6 short years later they split up- yet remained very close friends. One of the very few groups that come to mind that never had a personnel change! I thought it would be interesting to have a "ZOEgirl reunion" and invited the ladies. I felt sure that locals Alisa Childers and Chrissy Conway-Katina would be up for the visit but so pleasantly surprised when Kristin Swinford-Schweain came in from her home in Missouri. A truly memorable trio... during their recording years and still today! Pictured upper left: Kristin Swinford-Schweain, me. Alisa Childers and Chrissy Conway-Katina. -Feb 27

There's lots of great Christian music released all the time... however, I must confess that "MOSAIC" by Ricky Skaggs has been especially captivating. On Feb 20th, Ricky Skaggs, Gordon Kennedy (CD's producer and writer or co-writer of all the songs) and Ben Cooper (co-writer of 8 cuts) joined us. The visit was full of fun, amazing stories of putting "Mosaic" together and was certainly made complete by some live music. Please check out "Mosaic" by Ricky Skaggs... I think you'll find yourself attached as I did. Pictured top left: Gordon Kennedy, me, Ricky Skaggs and Ben Cooper.


On February 13th, one of our favorite guests dropped by for a visit. Gary Chapman has been a good friend of the show. He was (sick as a dog) when he came by. Although we had planned to have him perform some songs live, due to his illness, he brought us a CD of hymns from his incredible site: www.ahymnaweek.com ... I highly recommend it!

I continue to be so very proud of these ladies. Point of Grace has been at it for nearly 20 years now... so hard to believe! They have a very special love for their fans- especially young girls.. Recognizing the bombardment of with world on Christian values, Point of Grace created "Girls of Grace" specifically for young ladies 6th thru 12th grades. We talked about their first "Girls of Grace" event in Tennessee coming up Visit: www.girlsofgrace.com to find out more. Pictured in the upper left: Leigh Cappillino, me, Denise Jones and Shelley Breen. -Feb 6

The Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held on Monday, January 24. The day before we enjoyed a visit from one of the inductees, Eddie DeGarmo. Also joining us was program co-host Chonda Pierce. I am so very pleased that DeGarmo & Key were finally being recognized for the tremendous job they did in the 17 years of recording, touring, and sharing Jesus with the world. A bit bitter-sweet time since Dana Key is longer with us. Chonda (as always) was incredible- both on our show Sunday morning and on the Hall of Fame TV taping. -Jan 23


Photos courtesy of Marc Banning

Comments: Email Brian at brian@brianmason.com