About Shepard Music Company
How did it begin?
In July of 1998, Susie Kimbrough had a desire to memorize, with her younger son and daughter, the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119. The task seemed daunting, but then she felt the Lord say to her: “Write a song for each section. You know you can remember a song.” After roughly three hours of composing, the first three melodies had been written, each with a unique melodic theme and style. Upon hearing the children sing the first two songs, Susie’s husband, Bob, was totally on board with the project. In the following months, Bob made it possible for Susie to devote much of her time to writing and then teaching the songs to the family, as each was written, one by one. By the spring of 1999, nineteen more melodies were in place. The entire project was completed in May 2001 and the first and second printings of the music book were done in July of that year. Now, more than a decade after its inception, Psalm 119 in Song is also available as a high-quality CD using multiple classical styles, instruments and voices.
What is Psalm 119 in Song like?
The words are all from the King James Version of the Bible without paraphrase. The music itself, written to complement the text, is designed to magnify the words. The melodies, written in a variety of styles, have beautiful chord progressions and modulations. The songs are simple but not boring. They contain minimal repetition and the words and music fit together without the straining of either.
The CD music is classic in style, with vocal leads and harmonies from adult male and female vocalists, as well as children. The instrumental accompaniment uses different combinations of harmonica, guitar, violin, piano, harp, and accordion. The CD contains twenty-two songs, each one titled by the Hebrew alphabetical letters as found in Psalm 119. All songs are between 1:04 and 4:03 minutes long. Together they cover every word of this wonderful chapter in the King James Version (KJV).
Who has helped with the project?
Though Susie has written all the music, Bob has been the steady source of energy and drive that produced first Psalm 119 in Song in 2001 and now the companion CD in 2011. A host of others have been involved in encouragement, counsel, and design. These individuals participated directly in the production of the CD:
- Amber Burks - harp
- Peggy Duncan - vocals
- Shannon Garrett - vocals
- Buddy Greene - harmonica
- Kali Hardy - vocals
- Anna Grace Kimbrough - vocals, violin
- Allin Kimbrough - vocals
- Susie Kimbrough - piano, vocals
- John Knowles - guitar
- Jennie Mae Sprouse - vocals
- Jeff Taylor - accordion
- Terra W. Wagner - vocals
- James Wells - vocals
- Zack White - vocals
- Jeff Wood - vocals, bass, sound engineer
- Alisha Yowell - vocals
Has Psalm 119 in Song been successful?
More than 2,000 songbooks have been sold in the ten years since Psalm 119 in Song was first published. They have literally been used around the world. A missionary outreach in Kenya used it to teach schoolchildren to sing two of the songs, “Beth” and “Tau.” Though the children speak French, they learned these verses in English. It has also been used in a women’s prison ministry. Many who bought the music book for their children are now ordering copies for their grandchildren. In addition, Susie has enjoyed receiving many letters sharing testimonials from users who have benefited from the compilation.
A THANK YOU to My Parents
I could write several pages of stories and anecdotes about my parents and the roles they both have played in my musical experiences as a child and young adult. Without a doubt, they have been the most influential people in my life, not only as musicians, but as wonderful parents to a family of six children and as Christians on their journeys through life.
My father passed away at the age of 89 on December 1, 2010. Shepard Music Company, birthed in July 2001, was named in his honor and now his memory.
My mother continues to minister to her family and community in so many areas. Her servant’s heart is an example of virtue, genuine love, patience, and perseverance. Mama is still playing the organ for our church today, sixty-six years after she first became the church pianist as a newlywed.
Listening to music, singing, and piano playing were normal activities for my parents. Their nurturing of our early inclinations and interests in music helped make an easy transition for us children (at various times in our lives) to singing, drums, guitar, piano, flute, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, and hammered dulcimer. I am particularly thankful to my mother for her role many years ago in convincing the new piano teacher in town, Mrs. Corban, to give a five-year-old piano lessons. I am thankful to my father for providing the opportunity to take those lessons. Most of all, I am thankful and humbly grateful to our Lord for placing me in the loving family of my parents, both extraordinary examples of forgiveness, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
– Doris Lynn (Susie) H. Kimbrough