The Dixie Echoes (1960-Present)
The Dixie Echoes were launched in 1960 by J G Whitfield (popularly known as the "Ole Gospel Man"). Whitfield had resigned singing bass with the Florida Boys in 1958. He named his new group The Messengers. Members included George Forbis (tenor), Doyle Wiggins (lead), Joe Whitfield (baritone), J G Whitfield (bass), and Sue Whitfield (piano).
In 1962, they were renamed The Dixie Echoes Quartet. Wiggins was replaced by Jack Toney for a short time in 1963. That same year, Toney left and was replaced by Dale Shelnut. From that point on, the Dixie Echoes and the Shelnut name became synonymous. Dale sang lead for the next 20 years.
J G Whitfield transferred ownership of the Dixie Echoes to his brother and sister-in-law (Joe and Sue Whitfield) in 1970 when he decided to focus on concert promotion and launching the Singing News magazine. The Whitfields in turn sold the group to Dale when they decided to come off the road in 1972. Dale's son, Randy, had joined the Dixie Echoes in 1969 to play bass guitar. In 1972, Randy replaced Joe Whitfield at the baritone position.
For a while in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Randy's brother Andrew Shelnuet sang tenor for the Dixie Echoes. Dale suffered a fatal heart attack in 1983 at the age of 47. After this untimely death, Randy followed in his father's footsteps as the group's lead singer. For the next two years, the Dixie Echoes traveled as a trio, but in 1985 they returned to the quartet format.
In 1990, the Dixie Echoes/Shelnut correlation extended another generation when Randy "Scoot" Shelnut Jr. began singing baritone alongside his father. Scoot also plays bass guitar.
Over the years, the Dixie Echoes have appeared on numerous television programs, but are probably best remembered for appearing on The Gospel Singing Jubilee.
Both Dale and Randy Shelnut have been inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall Of Fame.
Singing News Fan Awards:
Favorite Band (1977)
Due to the large number of projects recorded by the Dixie Echoes, the discography page has been divided into separate pages by decade in order to allow easier loading and viewing. Please click on one of the links below to see the decade you wish to view.
1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s