Marvin Morrow Biography
Marvin Morrow was born June 11, 1945 in Wayne County, TN. His family moved from Tennessee to Duckhill, Mississippi in 1947. The next year his father’s cotton crop was destroyed by boll weevils forcing another move. This brought the family to Lauderdale County, Alabama. This is where Marvin grew up working on a farm. He bought his first instrument, a mandolin, for five dollars at the age of eight with money he made working in the cotton field. He began singing and playing at age ten. Some of his first singing was in the church and with the high school FFA Band and Quartet, which won top honors in competition.
He finished high school in 1963 at Waterloo, Alabama. After finishing high school he moved to Nashville, Tennessee to seek a career in Country Music. The first year in Nashville was spent working in an auto parts warehouse during the day, attending Falls Business College at night, and singing and playing music on the weekends.
In 1964, he formed a band made up of college students. The band worked weekends playing at school auditoriums, fairs, and most any other place where people would listen. They played at radio and television stations in Nashville that showcased local talent and became well known through this media. During this time, he had the opportunity to work with stars that were known worldwide and became friends with many of them. This band disbanded as the members finished school.
Leaving Nashville at this time he returned to his home in Alabama and married Connie Rich. They made their home in Florence, Alabama for the next nine years.
A band called the Waco Valley boys was formed after he returned to Alabama. Dates began to come along for this band. They traveled to Nashville and cut the first record for Marvin Morrow, and fulfilled his life long dream. Radio and television appearances began to materialize and show dates were getting closer together. Some of the members did not want to play as much as was being demanded of the band. So the band broke up.
The last country band Marvin would be associated with was formed at this time. This band was called The Stagelighters and was made up of mostly younger musicians.
Another record was recorded and released and they began to travel all over the United States, playing shows with many country stars such as, Merle Haggard, Tex Ritter, Ernie Ashworth, Dave Dudley, George Morgan, Hank Locklin, Wilma Lee, Stoney Cooper, and Bill Carlisle to name a few. Buddy Lee Attractions in Nashville booked the group into some of the biggest night clubs in the USA. One of the highlights of these travels was singing for the inmates at Levenworth Federal Prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.
Radio stations began to chart this record, “Running From A Little Georgia Girl” and things began to happen for Marvin Morrow and the Stagelighters. Two more records were cut. The last one being a male version of Jennie Pruitt’s “Satin Sheets”. In December 1973 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Marvin Morrow came to realize that this was not the kind of life he wanted and that God and family meant more to him than being a country singer. So he canceled all his show dates and came home to be with his wife and four-year-old son. He began to attend church regularly.
In 1975 Marvin accepted and obeyed the call of God into the ministry. In August 1976 he was ordained, and began to pastor a church. Still loving to sing he formed a gospel trio. The lead guitar player from the Stagelighter Band, Donnie Joe Rich, who also had been saved, played lead guitar for the group. They sang in local churches and auditoriums with the mission of getting the word of God to sinners. These years were filled with working for a living, as a pastor of churches, and helping to establish and manage a manufacturing plant. God had blessed Marvin with a good job that allowed him to sing and preach.
In June 1996, Marvin recorded his first solo project “The Bible Is True After All”, a song written by Earl Rich. The project was produced by Earl Montgomery, also a former country music performer and award winning songwriter.
Since 1997, Marvin has recorded sixteen CD projects and six video projects, released thirty five radio singles, of which almost all have been Top Ten County Gospel Hits, with at least fifteen earning number one positions in either national or international charts.
Almost all the songs recorded by Marvin, have been written by himself, his brother-in-law Earl Rich, his son Brent Morrow, Dalton Woods, and Charles Jackson. Songs written by Marvin Morrow have been recorded by The Singing Cookes, The Primitive Quartet, the Melody Trio, Paul Williams and the Victory Trio, Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley, Connie Abner, The Christian Servants, New Glory Bound Singers, Josh Franks, Jack Stone, Mildred Key, David Smith, John Osborne, Dennis Thompson, and many others. The Canadian gospel singer, Jacques Boulianne has translated many of Marvin’s songs, and recorded them in the French language.
He has been nominated by gospel radio DJ’s and fans, for Male Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Single of the Year. He has been given awards for Singles, Songwriter, Video, TV Host, and Male Vocalist. Marvin was nominated for New Bluegrass Artist, in 2010 at NQC in Louisville, KY.
At the 2011 NQC, Marvin's song "My God has Not Failed Me Yet" was nominated for Blue Grass song of the year.
Ralph Stanley's project "A Mother's Prayer", that was nominated for the 2012 Bluegrass Grammy, has two of Marvin Morrow songs "I'll Not Be Afraid" and "It's Time To Wake Up".
Marvin, with the help of his family, operates Old Ship Ministries, Piney Records, Old Ship Music Publishing Co., and Piney Productions, which produce's CD and Video projects and helps to develop the ministry of other gospel artist.
The mission of Marvin Morrow is to obey the word of God and to perform with the anointing power of the Holy Spirit that reaches out and touches those who listen, to carry the gospel to as many people as possible, see them saved, and lives changed, whether by the preached word or song.
Vernell Allison Morrow Biography
Vernell Morrow was born Ruth Vernell Clark on October 28th, 1955. She was born in Franklin County Alabama to Albert and Virgie Clark. Vernell grew up around music. Her father was a bluegrass musician playing several instruments and teaching her to play at an early age. She first took the stage at twelve years old playing rhythm for her dad.
She finished high school in 1974 in Belgreen. She married Phillip Allison in 1976 and moved to Hamilton. She continued to play in her dad’s bluegrass band. In 1981, she received the Lord at Weston Baptist church, which later became the Family Worship Center of Hamilton. Vernell’s life and music changed. She was voted music director and served for thirteen years as she continued to play in her father’s band.
Vernell’s father passed away in 1998 and she lost her husband Phillip in 2000. Struggling to hold on to the music she loved, she played in several local groups including True Foundation, Bull Mt. Bluegrass Boys, The Jones Family Band, and the Bluegrass Gospel Connection.
In 2007, Vernell was called to work by Bro. Grady Davidson at the T.V. station in Fulton, MS. She became the sound engineer for the station. Vernell felt the call to minister and began a program each Saturday afternoon called Broken Vessel Ministries.
It was at T.V. 39 where she met Marvin Morrow who expressed an interest in producing a CD project for her. Vernell released her first CD in February 2014 entitled, “My Friend”, taken from the first song she had written. Later that year she became Marvin’s wife.
Marvin and Vernell have written several songs, which are included in their new songbook, “Old Ship Song Book #5”. Some of these songs have been recorded by artists such as Ralph and Nathan Stanley, Mike Devore, Dennis Thompson and Joyful Hearts. In addition to wiring and recording songs, she travels many states along side Marvin performing concerts and live television programs.
Vernell is fulfilling a lifetime dream to travel as a gospel singer and minister doing the work the Lord has called her to do. Her mission is to carry the gospel and to give God the praise and glory for all his blessings.