Our musician extraordinaire in his own words!
I was born on
September 13th, 1991, so I am currently the youngest member of the
Inspirations. I am from Glasgow, Kentucky, where I still live with my
parents and two younger sisters. I am very happy to be associated with a
great group like the Inspirations!
I have grown up
around music and have loved it for as long as I can remember. My dad is
a good guitar and bass player, and he was my first hero in music. Daddy
plays the bass with a local gospel quartet called the “Good News
Edition” and some of my earliest memories of music are of that group.
got to meet Martin, and he asked me for my phone number. I went home
that night on top of the world! The next month, Martin told me that they
were going to be singing right down the road from me in Somerset, Kentucky,
and he asked if I would come join them and play rhythm guitar. I
couldn’t believe it! To this day, I still have no idea how he knew that
I played anything besides the piano. I agreed, and on August 22, 2009, I
played with the Inspirations for the very first time! Shortly after that
night, Martin asked me to ride the bus with them one weekend to see what
it was like. He kept letting me come, and has never asked me to leave,
so I’m still with him today!
When I was 5 years
old, Daddy talked me into taking fiddle lessons. I was reluctant at
first, but soon learned to love it, and eventually starting learning on
my own. Daddy has always had many musical instruments lying around the
house, so I have had access to most any stringed instrument I wanted to
experiment on. My dad’s youngest brother Matt is a preacher and a very
good banjo and Dobro player. He gave me an old banjo and Dobro to learn
on and showed me a few licks. Those few licks led to me eventually
learning to play the steel guitar. Daddy and Uncle Matt are big fans of
old country and bluegrass music, and I learned to love the older styles
of playing simply because that was all I ever listened to. We have a
piano in our house, and I have spent many hours tinkering around on it.
When I got to where I could play the piano fairly decent, I started
playing for services as I was needed at my church, and I still play
piano or guitar there (depending on what time I get home from the road
each weekend!). At my high school, I started teaching some friends of
mine to sing harmony parts for fun. Because we started singing around
our breakfast table in the cafeteria, people started calling us the Band
Table singers. We still love to get together and sing old gospel songs
when we can.
Also while I was
in high school, my family started having a lady come one day a week and
helping out at our house keeping it clean as all of my family was in
school or teaching school at the same time and very busy. I became close
friends with this lady, and she started leaving me some cassette tape
copies of old gospel records. This is where I learned to love the old
groups such as the Statesmen, Prophets, and Oak Ridge. I started to
collect records of all of those groups, and now I have a massive record
collection that consumes most of my bedroom! I began to copy that style
of piano on the family piano. That is how I learned to play standard
quartet rhythm on the piano. Quartet rhythm is much different that
church piano or choir piano, and takes a lot of listening and practicing
to play that style just right.
In 2009 I
graduated high school, and during the following summer I was supposed to
go to a truck and tractor pull at the county fair with my uncle and a
friend. However, on that same night I heard that Naomi and the Segos and
the Inspirations where going to be singing in Cave City, Kentucky, which
is just down the road from where I live. I decided to pass on the
tractor pull and go see the two legendary gospel groups that didn’t come
around too often. This was around the time I was working on playing the
piano and listening to old quartet music a lot. Naturally, I was amazed
at the way Martin Cook played the piano.
Up until that
night, I had written off most modern gospel groups because of the use of
soundtracks and stacked vocals, but seeing the Inspirations that night
reminded me that there could still be a group that uses only their own
voices and live instruments on the road today. Making the night even
more special to me, the promoter of the concert, Jeff Sneed, noticed
that I was there and he asked me to go up and play a song on the piano
after the intermission. I agreed, but I was so nervous because I had no
idea that I would have to perform in front of that large crowd!
Remember, I was still in love with those old quartet songs, and I had
the Statesmen song “O My Lord What a Time” stuck in my head that night.
I had never even played it before, but I just got up there and gave it
my best shot because it was the only song I could think of. I remember
seeing Naomi Sego and Martin Cook backstage out of the corner of my eye,
and I couldn’t believe they where actually watching me perform! I
finished the song and returned to my seat until the concert ended.
After about a
year of playing rhythm guitar, I started to nag at Martin to let me
bring something else to play. By this time, I had collected a complete
set of every record that the Inspirations had ever made. I wanted to be
able to make music like the group did on most of their records in the
60’s and 70’s. Martin finally let me bring a pedal steel guitar to a
singing, and eventually an electric lead guitar. I surprised him when I
played the classic intro to “Touring the City” on my guitar, like on the
original recording. The last time he had a lead or steel guitarist in
the group was 1982, and he decided that it would sound good today, so
now I play these at all of our singings.
Besides being in
the Inspirations, I like to do a lot of things. I am a huge fan of old
cars and tractors. I still find time to go to car shows and tractor
shows as my schedule allows. My grandpa, Harold Vaught of Bowling Green,
Kentucky, has a large collection of old cars and tractors. I grew up
tinkering with these and going on antique car club tours year after
year. In fact, when I first got my drivers license, I didn’t have a car
so my grandpa let me drive his 1973 Ford Gran Torino for almost a year!
My dad’s oldest brother Mark Vaught has a car restoration business
called “Bluegrass Classics”. When I have time off from the Inspirations
and from school I often go to work for him. Although I don’t have an old
car collection of my own, I do collect many things. Momma sometimes
calls my bedroom the “museum” of our house because it is often cluttered
with things I collect. I love old gas station memorabilia such as old
oilcans, roadmaps, and metal signs. You might mistake some corners of my
room at home for a 1950’s Gulf gas station! Besides that, I have a large
collection of old country, bluegrass and gospel records. And don’t think
they just sit there…I listen to each one! When I am at home, you can bet
that my old turntable is spinning, whether I am studying an old
Inspirations record, or stealing a steel guitar lick off an old country
Many people ask
about my education. I attended a special music program at the Hazard
Community and Technical College for two years, followed by some classes
at Bowling Green Technical College. Now, I attend Morehead State
University where I am working on a business Bachelor’s Degree in
Business through their online program.
LUKE VAUGHT INSTRUMENTAL
Many people in the past couple of years
have asked me to make my own CD of instrumental music. I finally have
had the means to do so, and I now have a recording available! I call
this record “On My Own” because I did all of the playing and recording
by myself at home. I picked out some songs that everybody knows and love
and played them on the Fiddle, Steel Guitar, Dobro, Banjo, Guitar,
Mandolin, Piano, and a few other instruments. The music is not too
fancy, but it demonstrates my playing style. I guarantee that you can
always recognize which song I am playing!
The songs I recorded are: In the Sweet By
and By What a Friend we have in Jesus Old Rugged Cross Power in the
Blood Down at the Cross When the Roll is called up yonder Where we’ll
Never Grow Old I Need Thee Every Hour Jesus Keep me Near the Cross In
the Garden Have Thine Own Way, Lord Are You Washed In the Blood of the
This picture shows me and my two sweet
sisters in front of my church building, Hiseville Christian Church, just
outside of Glasgow, Kentucky, where we live. Sarah Kate is 18, and Cari
Beth is 9. This picture shows me and my sisters sitting with my grandpa.
The car belongs to him; it is a 1910 REO, over 100 years old and runs
This picture shows me and some of my
friends singing as the “Band Table Singers” on one of my days off. (Yes,
those are worn out Inspirations suits!)
NEWS FIRST ARTICLE ABOUT LUKE
THIS MONTH I want to introduce you to a relatively new face in Southern
Gospel music. Recently in a concert with The Inspirations, I couldn’t
help but realize how much this young man added to their sound. For those
of you who don’t know Luke Vaught, I asked this very talented person to
share about his journey to where he is today.
was born in Glasgow, Kentucky, where I still live with my mom and dad
and two younger sisters,” says Luke. “I grew up around music. My dad
played bass guitar with a local quartet.
started playing music when I was 5 years old—my dad got me to take
fiddle lessons. Dad also taught me the basics on the rhythm guitar,
mandolin and piano. My dad’s brother, who I call Uncle Matt, taught me
to play banjo and dobro. He was also a great influence on my playing
was in high school, there was a lady, Patsy Leech, who would clean our
house every Wednesday while my whole family was at school—both of my
parents are teachers. Mrs. Leech knew of my love for music, so she would
leave me recordings of many different groups. This is how I grew to love
groups like the Statesmen, the Oak Ridge Quartet, the Prophets and the
“The summer after I graduated high school, I learned about a community
college in the little town of Hyden, Kentucky, that had a Bluegrass
music program. I soon made the decision to attend this school to
increase my knowledge and appreciation of music.
was also that same summer I attended a concert of the Inspirations and
Naomi & the Segos. The promoter knew I played piano, and had me to come
up on stage to play a song after the intermission.
“After the concert, I met Martin Cook, and he got my contact
information. Shortly after that, Martin asked me to play with the group
in a concert in Somerset, Kentucky, and things just progressed from
Because he can expertly play many different instruments, I asked Luke to
give us a brief run-down of what he uses on stage today.
stage, I typically use three instruments. I use an old Alvarez flat-top
guitar for fast rhythm songs. I typically play my steel guitar on slower
songs. It is a 1956 or 1957 Gibson “Electraharp” pedal steel. I also
play a mid-1980 Washburn electric, which is a copy of an HB35 Gibson. I
run both my steel and electric through a 1973 Fender Pro-Reverb tube
When I asked Luke if he had any thoughts he’d like to share with Singing
News readers, he offered, “I am honored that the Lord has led me into
these great opportunities through my music. I know that He had his hand
in that concert where I met Martin Cook. It is a huge honor to assist
the Inspirations in touching people all over this country.
thank God for giving me talent to be able to do what I do, and for a
family that has supported me so much. I also thank God for Gospel music
and letting me be able to use music not just to entertain but to touch
that you know Luke, please pray for him as he plays the best music in
From The Original
by Corey Pearson in his July, 2011 column 'And The Band Played On'
Used by permission
Grandfather of Inspirations musician, Luke Vaught, passes away
Harold Cash Vaught, 85, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, entered into eternal rest Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at his
home. Mr. Vaught was the paternal grandfather of Inspirations musician Luke Vaught. A native of Science Hill,
KY, He was the son of the late Esker and Florence Cash Vaught. Mr. Vaught was preceded in death by his wife
of 42 years, Wilma Ard Vaught, and two brothers, Wayne and Clifford Vaught. Survivors include three sons;
Mark O'Neal, Michael Cash (Lisa), and Matthew Scott. He is also survived by three grandchildren,
Lucas (Luke) Cash, Sarah Katelyn, and Cari Elizabeth.
Mr. Vaught served in the US Army in Korea and was a University of Kentucky graduate.
He retired after a long career with the UK Extension Service. He was a member and former Elder of
Bowling Green Christian Church. Mr. Vaught was an avid enthusiast and collector of antique cars and tractors,
and was a long time member of the Mid-KY Antique Car club. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Services were held Friday, August 15, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at JC Kirby and Sons Funeral Home Broadway.
Burial was in the Science Hill cemetery on Friday.
Notes and letters of sympathy may be sent to:
Luke Vaught, C/O Inspirations, PO Box 2355, Bryson City, NC 28713
Jon Epley Daron
Osborne Myron Cook
Luke Vaught • Myron Cook