Guy Penrod welcomes bluegrass singer, Rhonda Vincent, to the Daystar Studios. With multiple Grammy Nominations and seven consecutive Female Vocalist of Year awards, it’s no surprise she has been deemed “The New Queen of Bluegrass”. Rhonda performs some down-home music from her album “Sunday Mornin’ Singin’ along with some crowd-pleasing southern gospel classics.
Her musical career started as a child in her family’s band, The Sally Mountain Show, and has spanned over four decades. Vincent first achieved success in the bluegrass genre in the 1970s and ’80s, earning the respect of her mostly male peers for her mastery of the progressive chord structures and multi-range, fast paced vocals intrinsic to bluegrass music. Vincent is an in-demand guest vocalist for other Bluegrass and Country music performers, appearing on recordings by Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Joe Diffie and other notables.
Vincent was born in Kirksville, Missouri, on July 13, 1962 and raised in nearby Greentop, Missouri. She is the oldest of three children, and the only daughter, of Johnny and Carolyn Vincent. Her brother Darrin is a member of the Grammy-nominated bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent. Youngest brother Brian played with the family group for many years but no longer works as a professional musician. A fifth-generation musician, Rhonda’s musical career started when her father bought her a snare drum for her sixth birthday. At age eight, Rhonda started playing mandolin. She soon excelled and began guitar lessons at ten years old. Vincent would later add fiddle player to her list of talents. Children of course are used to afte-school homework, but Vincent’s was a bit different. In an interview with Ingrams magazine she said “Dad used to pick me up after school, and Grandpa would come over and we played until after dinner almost every night. There wasn’t a lot going on in Greentop, but it was always hopping at the Vincent house.” Rhonda Vincent recorded her first single, a version of Mule Skinner Blues in 1970. The family, including the younger brothers when they were old enough to play instruments, traveled and performed extensively arcross the Midwest in the 1970s and early 1980s. Except for living in Texas for a short time in 1974, and two summers (1977, 1978) spent employed as musicians at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, the Vincent family used the Greentop area as home base. The Vincent children all attended Schuyler County R-1 schools, and following high school Rhonda later attended Northeast Missouri State University, majoring in accounting.
Even while Vincent was still performing regularly with The Sally Mountain Show she released her first solo album, New Dreams and Sunshine in 1988. In 1985, young Rhonda competed in the TV series “You Can Be A Star” on the original version of The Nashville Network. After winning the competition, she was signed to a recording contract; her first professional performance was with country singer and Grand Ole Opry star Jim Ed Brown. In the 1990s Vincent branched out into mainstream country music, releasing a pair of albums on the Giant Records label, but did not enjoy the success anticipated there.
With the release of her album Back Home Again in 2000, she returned to bluegrass with the goal of expanding both the musical reach and the accessibility of the genre. Since then she has seen her popularity and acceptance rise and has received acclaim from several music-industry groups. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) accorded her its Female Vocalist of the Year award for the years 2000 – 2006, plus IBMA Entertainer of the Year in 2001. The Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) designated her its Entertainer of the Year for 2002 – 2006 inclusive. She also performs with her band, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage.
On February 19, 2010, Vincent parted from Rounder Records, after ten years with the label. Vincent released “Taken”, her debut album on her own label “Upper Management Music” on September 21, 2010. Taken was released on Upper Management Music.” Featuring special guests like long-time friend Dolly Parton, Richard Marx and Little Roy Lewis, the album entered the Top Bluegrass Albums chart at No. 1.
On June 7, 2011, Vincent and country legend Gene Watson released a duet album on Upper Management entitled Your Money and My Good Looks. The album entered the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart at number 71.
Sunday Mornin’ Singin’, an album of old-time gospel standards, was released on July 10, 2012.
- Sunday Mornin’ Singin’ (2012)
- Destination Life (2010)
- Good Thing Going (2010)