Darrin Vincent: The majority of people that are lost are not sitting in church. They’re out in the world. And that’s what we’re here to do. We’re just trying to go out and be a living testimony, the best we can, and sing positive music and tell people about the Lord Jesus.
Taking the Hope of Christmas to a Hurting World: Dailey & Vincent and Ernie Haase – Episode #178
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Today we talk with music artists who travel the world to bring joy to others during the Christmas season and beyond: bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent, and gospel music artist Ernie Haase.
First up, Darrin Vincent started singing at age three and playing music at age six as part of his family band, The Sally Mountain Show, along with sister Rhonda Vincent. When he heard Jamie Dailey, a lead baritone and tenor singer, performing one day, he knew they had to be friends. The two did strike up a friendship, and now they make all kinds of music together including a recent Christmas album called The Sounds of Christmas.
Darrin Vincent: I’m Darrin Vincent of Dailey and Vincent.
Jamie Dailey: I’m Jamie Dailey of Dailey and Vincent. I grew up in Gainesboro, Tennessee, which is ninety-two miles northeast of Nashville. [It’s] a small town covered in hills, by waters and lakes and rivers. I grew up there with my parents, Judith and J.B., and my brother, Johnny, and my sister, Candy.
Darrin Vincent: I grew up in a little town called Green Top, Missouri, [which had] 350 people. [I grew up] with my mom and dad, Johnny and Carolyn Vincent, along with my two siblings, Rhonda Vincent and Brian Vincent.
I’m a fourth-generation— through my father’s bloodline—musician. Music has always been a part of my life. Faith has played a big role in my life, as a family, and art in our business as well. I remember being in church, playing with my little hot wheel cars, and listening to the preacher preach, and my mom and dad and my sister would sing a special before the preaching would start. I can still close my eyes and hear my mom and dad and Rhonda singing, some of those old gospel songs.
Jamie Dailey: When he came home from work, my dad played in a gospel group that traveled around on the weekends. We would pile up in a white and blue van, a sixteen passenger van. There was a blind lady that sang, named Joyce Adkins, [and she is] still one of the best singers. She’s no longer with us, but when I listen to the records, I still love to hear her voice. I learned a lot of singing from her. I would travel around with Joyce and my dad and their group, called the Four Jays, and they would play at all these different churches all over the region, sometimes out of state. It was every weekend, usually Saturday nights and Sundays. That’s really all I’ve known about and known to do since I was little.
Reaching People Outside of the Church Door
Jamie Dailey: We met in 2001 at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Bluegrass Music Awards show.
Darrin Vincent: I was with Ricky Skaggs in this time. He and I and Sharon White, his wife, were all sitting in the third or fourth row at the award show and singing lead was Lawson and Quicksilver. They were doing a gospel song called, “Be Living,” and it’s got a really high be living in the chorus.
And when he hit that, Ricky and I and Sharon, we were just absolutely smitten by his voice. What a performance that was that night. Just by seeing him up there and the way he performed, I thought, I want to be his friend. That was really an amazing performance. So after it was over, I walked backstage and walked up to him and I put my hand out and I said, “I’m Darrin Vincent and I’d like to be your friend.”
Jamie Dailey: All it took was a high note.
Darrin Vincent: That’s how we met.
I feel like Jamie and I have done some wonderful musical things together. But the most important part about all the music, just boiling it down to the bare bones, is the way you speak to other people. The songs that we pick and the way the songs speak to their hearts and give them such peace and joy.
“The most important part about all the music, just boiling it down to the bare, bare bones, is the way you speak to other people. The songs that we pick and the way the songs speak to their hearts and give them such peace and joy.” – Darrin Vincent
We get testimonies all the time, mass messages saying, “Going through chemo and your music got me through being there, taking these chemo treatments, and this being sick. You make me feel better. I feel the presence of the Lord through the music that you guys [sing],” things like that. It’s not a career or anything. That’s just one person to another saying, “I love you. And there’s a bigger calling on your life than what you’re going through today.” And I think that’s where the music speaks volumes. I think it’s global. It’s not just in the United States, but I think it’s a universal language—music speaks to everybody.
“It’s a universal language—music speaks to everybody.” – Darrin Vincent
Jamie Dailey: It’s not only gospel songs. People get touched over, “Country Roads, Take Me Home.” They get touched over some of the comedy songs and the secular songs we do, because we keep it positive. I think in today’s world, we need more positive music all the way around. If you just sing gospel music in churches—we don’t ever sing in churches anymore.
Darrin Vincent: Not as a group.
Jamie Dailey: Not as a group. But, you know, if we just sang in churches, we wouldn’t reach near the people that we’re able to reach by doing what we do, because we do secular music and gospel music. We’ve had many people walk up to us over the years and say, “I’ve never thought about that.” One guy in Wisconsin said one time, “I’m going to read the Bible. I’ve never read it. But your song, ‘By the Mark’ is gonna make me go home and read. I’m going to buy one and read it.” It was at a hippie fest, with five thousand young folks there. And he laughed with that instilled in his heart. Now, we would not have reached him had we been other places. More than likely not.
I’m paraphrasing a little bit, but 1 Timothy 6:12 talks about going out and fighting the good fight. That’s why that’s one of my favorite verses, because you have to go out and fight the good fight. It’s really important that you do that.
Jamie Dailey: We have a TV show on RFD television called The Dailey & Vincent Show. We have close to an eleven-piece band on the show. We do country music on it, new country music, traditional country music, bluegrass music. We close every TV show with a gospel song and a Bible verse. With our TV show, we want it to be the same as it is during our roadshows, which is this: many times in the front of the bus, we’ll call our van to the front.
Just recently, we were at the Ryman, twenty-four hundred seats were sold out, and Renfro Valley, all these places that we’ve been so blessed to sell out. We’ll call the van to the front, many times, and say, “Gentlemen, you have over two thousand people sitting in that audience tonight. I’m not sure how other artists look at it, but here’s how we look at it. Somebody in that audience tonight could be going through a divorce. Somebody could be going through financial trouble. Somebody could be going through major health problems. We don’t know what all these people are going through. But many people in that audience are going through something. It is our job to go out there and take them on a 90-minute ride that will make them forget whatever they’re dealing with, and hopefully leave there feeling a lot better, where they can enjoy it in their heart.”
“We don’t know what all these people are going through. But many people in that audience are going through something. It is our job to go out there and take them on a 90-minute ride that will make them forget whatever they’re dealing with, and hopefully leave there feeling a lot better.” – Jamie Dailey
That’s what we hope to portray through the television show and from the messages we get on Facebook, which is quite overwhelming . We can’t respond to every one of them. It seems to be doing that and it has nothing to do with us. We’re just stewards of what we’re given to do. But that’s what we want to see happen at our shows and on the television show. That’s our main priority.
The Joy of Making Christmas Memories
Jamie Dailey: We have a brand-new Christmas CD called The Sounds of Christmas by Dailey & Vincent. This is a different record than we’ve ever done. And I do have to say, for me personally, out of all the things that we’ve done, I have two favorite CDs that we’ve ever done. This is my favorite out of the eight or nine that we have done by far, by leaps and bounds. It’s not a bluegrass CD. It’s not really a country CD. It’s not a gospel CD. It’s country classics with big band and strings and horns and special guests Dolly Parton and Ricky Skaggs. Was there anyone else?
Darrin Vincent: Just us.
Jamie Dailey: Just us.
Darrin Vincent: You and me.
Jamie Dailey: And our quartet. Our quartet, Erin Lee McCune, our bass singer, and our new tenor and lead that switches off with me, Josh Cobb, and of course, Dailey and Vincent. We did everything from “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Frosty the Snowman” for the kids, and “Let It Snow,” to…
Darrin Vincent ”The Grinch.”
Jamie Dailey: To “The Grinch,” to heavyweight songs that we dearly love, like “Mary Did You Know,” written by my dear friend Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. Then, Jimmy Fortune and Jeff Bates wrote a magnificent new song called “Road to Bethlehem” that Darrin sings, and Dolly joins him and us on the chorus. Dolly actually sings a verse on it and just does her Dolly thing, you know, that gives it that feel that it has.
Darrin Vincent: It’s beautiful.
Jamie Dailey: It is, really. We did other songs like “Little Star Bethlehem,” a Christmas medley, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” Just a lot of fun songs for us. “Jingle Bells,” a different version of “Jingle Bells” that I bet many people have never heard. We spell out jingle bells. We spell it out, sing it, and spell it out. We don’t just say, “Jingle Bells.”
It’s a lot of fun, and it’s my favorite CD that we have ever done. Bar none. We’ve been wanting to do a Christmas record our whole career, and finally, it lined up eleven years later, eleven years into this, we’ve gotten to do one.
Darrin Vincent: I start listening to Christmas music in the middle of November, almost Thanksgiving time, because when it’s that time of year, we start watching the Hallmark Channel.
Jamie Dailey: I love going home on Thanksgiving and Christmas both, with mom cooking all day. If you stay all night, you wake up smelling it, and you get up the next morning and everybody shows up and you exchange gifts. You talk and you see some family members you haven’t seen in a while and you eat until you go into a coma, and you crawl from the dining room table back to the living room. And then while you’re lying on the couch, holding your stomach and trying to breathe, you say, “Bring me another piece of that chocolate pie!” You know, those are great memories. Hearing the funny stories the dysfunctional families always have.
Darrin Vincent: You’re part of the dysfunction!
Jamie Dailey: I know.
Narrator: As Jamie and Darrin prepare to travel far and wide to reach people with the good news of the Gospel and the story of Christmas, they each pause to read a passage from Jesus Calling that inspires them during this season.
I speak to you from the depths of eternity. Before the world was formed, I AM! You hear Me in the depths of your being, where I have taken up residence. I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory. I, your Lord and Savior, am alive within you. Learn to tune in to My living Presence by seeking Me in silence.
As you celebrate the wonder of My birth in Bethlehem, celebrate also your rebirth into eternal life. This everlasting gift was the sole purpose of My entering your sin-stained world. Receive My gift with awe and humility. Take time to explore the vast dimensions of My Love. Allow thankfulness to flow freely from your heart in response to My glorious gift. Let My Peace rule in your heart, and be thankful.
Experience peace and joy in the Presence of Jesus at Christmas, with the beautiful Jesus Calling for Christmas devotional! Celebrate the season with this gorgeous edition of 50 Jesus Calling devotions perfect for Christmastime along with Scripture and festive imagery. Jesus Calling for Christmas is a treasure your family and loved ones will enjoy for years to come, and is available from your favorite book retailer today.
Narrator: Ernie Haase has had music in his life for as long as he can remember, and he’s carried those classic music traditions into his career as a gospel music artist. Today Ernie tells us how a fun trip to New York turned into inspiration for his latest Christmas album, A Jazzy Little Christmas, that he produced with his group, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. And as Ernie remembers Christmases past, he honors those who aren’t here to celebrate with us any longer.
Ernie Haase: My name is Ernie Haase and I have a gospel quartet called Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. We’ve been around since 2003. Before that, I was in a gospel quartet called the Cathedral Quartet, and I was with them the last ten years of their ministry, so I’ve been quartet-ing it for a long time. It’s just my way of sharing the gospel, the good news, through four part harmony.
I’ve had a lot of mentors in my life, but it started very early, very young. Being a child of people who do heating and air conditioning and who get laid off and who have to take food stamps and and have to swallow their pride and and still model a Christian attitude and stay positive for your family— that was my upbringing. It was very easy for me to say yes to Jesus, because of their yes.
Music has always been a part of my life. My parents were always playing records, getting ready for church on Sunday morning. I always had a love and a gravitational pull towards music. Of course, like any kid, I thought I was going to play major league Baseball and basketball, but music was my dream. I remember, specifically, [when] I was seventeen years old, I went to my first gospel concert. It was a quartet, and it was the Cathedrals. I know, it was before the Internet. You just didn’t know there was an industry. I remember that night—I’d already dedicated my life to the Lord—I prayed a prayer and I said, “Lord, if it be your will to sing for you, I wanna sing with those guys.” When I was twenty-five years old, they called. My testimony is that a perceived no might be just a not now from God.
“My testimony is that a perceived no might be just a not now from God.“ – Ernie Haase
Almost ten years later, God opened that door to sing with the Cathedrals. It was a great ride. I loved every minute of it. God used that opportunity to take me to northeast Ohio, not only for occupation and ministry, but to meet my future wife, Lisa. So almost twenty-nine years later, I’’m still singing and still madly in love with the most beautiful girl in the whole world.
“[Sarah’s] made Jesus very personable, very relatable.”
I’ll never forget a fellow by the name of Curtis Brewer, who gave me one of Sarah Young’s books. This was years ago, I think when it first came out. And he said, “Hey, this has changed my life.” I don’t know how many times I’ve done that. I’ve taken that book and bought them [for others]. As a matter of fact, I was at the funeral of one of my colleagues with the Cathedrals, he passed away. At the door, they had bought boxes of Jesus Calling and were just handing them out and said, “Here.”
I’ve done the same thing with the app, I get on every morning. I have my Bible verse for the day and then Jesus Calling. I have the the alert on my phone. So at eight-thirty in the morning, it says Jesus Calling. And how it has impacted my life. It’s much like Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of the Bible, The Message. I just feel like Jesus is talking to me. I feel like it’s like you and I talking right now, and that’s what it should be. Sometimes words get in the way, interpretations, culture, and all that stuff gets in the way. What Sarah has done with the Jesus Calling book, for me, she’s made Jesus very personal, very relatable, as if He came and died for me. I feel that fresh and new every morning.
“What Sarah has done with the Jesus Calling book, for me, she’s made Jesus very personal, very relatable.” – Ernie Haase
Here’s the December 22nd [passage] of Jesus Calling:
Come to Me, and rest in My Presence. As you ponder the majestic mystery of the Incarnation, relax in My everlasting arms. I am the only Person who was ever sired by the Holy Spirit. This is beyond your understanding. Instead of trying to comprehend My Incarnation intellectually, learn from the example of the wise men. They followed the leading of a spectacular star, then fell down in humble worship when they found Me. Praise and worship are the best responses to the wonder of My Being. Sing praises to My holy Name. Gaze at Me in silent adoration. Look for a star of guidance in your own life, and be willing to follow wherever I lead. I am the Light from on high that dawns upon you, to guide your feet into the way of Peace.
I love that.
Celebrating Christmas, Even When Our Loved Ones Are Gone
Twenty-nine years ago, my wife and I started going to New York every year at Christmas time to see—we call it Broadway Blitz—some musicals and eat food and just check out the city and all of its splendor. On one of our trips, we met a gentleman by the name of Billy Stritch, who plays piano for Tony Bennett. He was very warm to the idea of helping us make it authentic. We recorded the whole record in New York, and my dream for the record was it to sound vintage, sound like something from the forties, fifties, which is what I gravitate towards when I listen to Christmas music. It’s still on vinyl, and actually, on this record, Jazzy Little Christmas, we did do a limited edition of vinyl because it just sounds authentic.
My favorite, though, is an original song. There’re only three original songs on the whole project. It’s a song that I co-wrote with two dear friends, Joel Lindsey and Wayne Hahn, and the song is called “Christmas in Manhattan.” I shared the story with you about Lisa and how we would always go to New York, so it’s a love story about two young lovers going to New York for the first time and seeing it in all of its splendor.
I’m not young anymore. Lisa and I, we’re in our mid-fifties now. We did a music video to the song “Christmas in Manhattan.” It’ll be coming out here pretty soon. To recreate the two young lovers, we hired some actors and actresses. The little actress that plays the female role is my little niece, it’s Avery Haase. Of all the songs—I love them all—but my heart loves that one because that’s my story.
I like the classics. I love “We Three Kings” and “O Holy Night.” Every arrangement has its own authentic feel. We didn’t try to copy anybody, but we still hold on to the time honored traditions, how we’ve heard those songs. The song “We Three Kings” was written in Manhattan by an Episcopal priest. It was the first. It was heralded as the first American christmas carol written in the 1800s, so that theme was hitting there.
There is a song on there called “Love You Remember.” That song reminds me of my greatest Christmas memory of all, when my father surprised us. He got laid off, so he was working at the JFK airport renovations. This was back in the early seventies. He didn’t have forty-eight hours off for Christmas, but he borrowed a car and drove all night just to see us, and then turned around and drove back.
That New York thing just kept happening. I talked to some friends, talked to our publicist, and I liked how New York has given so much to me. How can I give back to it? When we were made aware of New York Cares, the Winter Wishes program, I didn’t have to think twice about it. It wasn’t much prayer that went into that, because my heart was already turned towards that. We’re not here to say, “Hey, look what we’re doing.” We’re here to say, “Look what they’re doing.” And hopefully, by people listening to our music and enjoying our music, it’ll make the season a little bit brighter for some people.
“Hopefully, by people listening to our music and enjoying our music, it’ll make the season a little bit brighter for some people.” – Ernie Haase
When we do our Christmas concert, the elephant in the room is that there’s a lot of people who are not happy at Christmas, and it reminds them of people that have moved away or who have passed away. See, my father in law passed away in 2005, and we were writing just a few months after that. We were just talking, and they loved George. George Younce was my father in law, an amazing man. [He was a] bass vocalist for the Cathedrals and just a giant. And his last words to me before he passed away, he said, “I’m not afraid to go. I’m just afraid to leave you guys behind.” And we said, “Hey, we’re not far behind, George. We’re not far behind.”
I told this story and I said, “You know, sometimes I wonder. Does the Lord let [my father-in-law] look down from heaven and see that his family is okay? That we’re having dinner together and we’re still laughing? We miss him.” But his greatest worry was that we wouldn’t make it. We’re okay, by God’s grace. Sometimes I wonder if he gets to look down and see that the music he loves so much, gospel quartet singing, is still alive and well through Signature Sound. We all started talking about these things that we wondered about, so we wrote the song “Sometimes I Wonder,” and it’s blessed people for many, many years.
Fast forward to two years ago at Christmas, his baby girl Tara Younce, my sister-in-law, at age forty-two, went to the hospital on December the 9th. We thought it was appendicitis. She was in pain. And three weeks later, she passed away. It was cancer. There was nothing we could do. The first verse [of “Sometimes I Wonder”] is about a storm, being afraid of storms. We repurposed it and made it a winter storm, because Tara loved winter. Anybody that complained about being cold in northeast Ohio, she said, “Well, we’ll move to Alabama.” She was that blunt about it.
So we repurposed it and put it on this record, and it’s really not a Christmas song. But I really feel the song has found its home. It has found its musical bed. It has found its interpretation. And my heart hurts for my family. I know this Christmas is going to be tough, but we’re going to, by God’s grace and through tools like His word and music, we’re gonna be all right.
Narrator: You can find A Jazzy Little Christmas by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound at your favorite music retailer or on your preferred streaming service.
If you’d like to hear more stories about music artists touching people’s lives during the holiday season, check out our interview with country artist Aaron Watson.
Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling Podcast, we talk with pastors Rob Cowles and Matt Roberts. They are founders of The Genesis Project, a network of believers who have a goal to plant churches in dark places, reaching people who don’t normally do church and learning to respect the journeys of those they don’t get to walk with every day.
Matt Roberts: There are people we get the privilege to minister to and to walk with and live life with every day, who have been through things in life I never had to go through. And instead of seeing those things as a weakness, you begin to understand that they have a strength in their life that has never been asked of me.
Narrator: Do you love hearing these stories of faith weekly from people like you whose lives have been changed by a closer walk with God? Then be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, leave us a review so that we can reach others with these inspirational stories. And, you can also see these interviews on video as part of our original web series with a new interview premiering every other Sunday on Facebook Live. Find previously broadcasted interviews on our Youtube channel, on IGTV, or on jesuscalling.com/media/video.