Randy and Sherri Miller are accomplished Gospel artists who are singing, speaking and laughing their way across America. Randy is a Kingsmen alumni, a recipient of numerous Singing News and other Southern Gospel awards and a lifetime inductee of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Sherri sang with her family group, The Kenny Parker Trio, before doing session and stage work with such artists as Dolly Parton, The Judds and Michael English. Today this couple has joined their accomplished vocals, love of life and ability to make others laugh as they share their music with audiences far and wide.
When Randy Miller left the Kingsmen after seven years, he began a solo career and started Snippa Creek Studios. Today, Snippa Creek is based in Alabama with a sister studio in Nashville where the couple resides. Sherri Parker Miller joins her husband in making music and laughter with their recently released Randy Miller Comedy album and the soon-to-be released Where It All Comes From. If something taps into your emotions, whether through humor or song, it will work its way into your heart; but it all comes from the Lord as far as the Millers are concerned.
The title track of Where It All Comes From is sung by Sherri and written by Kenna Turner West, one of Southern Gospelâ€™s most prolific songwriters. The song is currently on Sound Cloud and showcases the versatility of this talented couple. Kenna Turner West has written songs such as â€˜A Taste Of Graceâ€™, by Karen Peck and New River and â€˜Faithful To The Crossâ€™ by Legacy Five. Sherri is an amazing vocal talent and all who know her appreciate her sweet, joyful spirit.
Dusty Wells, head of sales and marketing at Word Entertainment, is one of Sherriâ€™s biggest fans. â€œI love Sherri,â€ says Dusty. â€œI remember the first time I met Sherri was at the National Quartet Convention years ago while sitting with Dottie Rambo at The Rambo’s booth. I knew of her because her Daddy, Kenny Parker, was The Rambo’s long time pianist. So when this blonde curly haired little beauty of a girl came to the booth, Dottie just went on and on about her and how special she was. Our friendship grew over the years.â€
â€œWhat I love about Sherri is that not only is she a wonderful singer and communicator, but she is a lover of people,â€ says Wells. â€œShe is always consistent, always happy and always caring for others. I love her spirit and I love that God is using her. She is so special and I cherish her friendship!”
Another close friend of the couple, Johnathan Bond of Young Harmony, says Sherri and Randy live their faith. â€œI love Sherry and Randy because they practice what they preach, plus they are awesome to be around. Also, during a very dark period of my life, they offered a shoulder. They are Christians in action!â€
Through the friendship of many in the Gospel music industry, Randy and Sherri have been able to make some of their dreams come true, such as their studios. â€œWe recorded Where It All Comes From at Snippa Creek Studios,â€ says Randy. â€œWeâ€™ve got a location in Alabama and in Nashville, but most of it has been done in Alabama which is our larger studio of the two. We bring the Nashville guys down and track down there.â€ Studio players included Jeremy Metcalfe, Reggie Duncan, Danny Crawford and Scott Maynard. Sherri says, â€œWe had a lot of great players and we use those guys a lot. Thatâ€™s a really cool thing that theyâ€™ll come down to Alabama and play for us.â€
â€œOne of the songs that we recorded on Where It All Comes From is called â€œMake My Heart Your Homeâ€™ and was written by my Dad, Kenny Parker,â€ says Sherri. â€œItâ€™s a song that Janet Paschal recorded 25 years ago, maybe longer, when she was with Jimmy Swaggart. We decided that we would re-do that for many reasons, but it was very emotional for me and then for my Mom to hear it too. So that was a neat thing for us to do.â€
â€œAs far as our background vocals, Sherri and I did pretty much everything because weâ€™re vocally schizophrenic,â€ jokes Randy. â€œWe thought, â€˜well it would be great to get so and so to sing on this projectâ€™; but itâ€™s hard to get people together with our schedules. A lot of people we want to have sing for us and then weâ€™re gone and theyâ€™re gone. To wait would delay the album a tremendous amount. So we just do it ourselves because Sherri and I both do background sessions for tons of people.â€ Sherri laughs, â€œPlus, weâ€™re cheap! No, just kidding!â€
â€œThereâ€™s another song weâ€™re doing on the project called â€˜Bedtime Prayerâ€™ and it was written by a good friend of ours by the name of Joe Stephens who writes for our publishing company,â€ says Randy. â€œIt has just a drive about it,â€ Randy continues. â€œThe message is about being strong and telling the truth.Â It seems recently that maybe the Message has been watered down a little bit. I think it just speaks directly to the Truth; that we need to stand up and declare Godâ€™s Truth and declare the Word.â€
â€œI take from it, â€˜donâ€™t forget what youâ€™re supposed to be doing and get out there and do it,â€™â€ says Sherri. â€œDonâ€™t forget your bedtime prayers. There are several lines in the song that are strong to me but every time we sing it, it is just really powerful to me. ItÂ reminds us what weâ€™re supposed to be doing and says, â€˜you know what, get out there and do it.â€™ Live the right way, do what youâ€™re supposed to do, keep pushing on towards the prize.â€
â€œJoe Stephens is a great writer from here in Murfreesboro and writes for us a good bit,â€ says Randy. â€œHeâ€™s a super writer, just a young kid, real goofy. Heâ€™s a short little redhead and I call him the Lucky Charms guy. Birds of a feather flock together, and I surround myself with fun-loving jokers,â€ he laughs. â€œI think â€œBedtime Prayersâ€ is probably going to be released at the first of the year. By the time the album gets out around December, we will be in the Christmas season and people will be listening to Christmas music.Â So I would say January is when it will be released.â€
Randy and Sherriâ€™s fans will be looking forward to the new music, but their audience really enjoys anything this couple brings to the stage. â€œThereâ€™s a song that we do, itâ€™s called â€˜Faithfulâ€™; people really respond well to it,â€ says Randy. â€œItâ€™s usually an outpouring of response because people go through trials and tribulations. I heard a fellow say once that weâ€™ve either gone through a trial, weâ€™re in a trial, or weâ€™re about to go through one. But through it all we have to know that we have a Father Who is faithful through it all. It really hits home with a lot of people.â€
The Millerâ€™s music helps them connect with many different people on the road and some who are privileged to call them friends. Brother Toby Hughes, Associate Pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Covington, Louisiana, says, â€œRandy and Sherri Miller have blessed New Zion Baptist Church of Covington, L.A. over the past five years or more. Our church still marvels at the many God-given talents they have: multiple instruments and a range of styles, all presented in a humble, and at the same time, joyous and energeticÂ way. They are God’s live action team! We look forward to having them back in 2013.â€
Delmus Pinkard, Lay Minister of the House of Prayer Church of God in Oxford, Alabama says, â€œWe had this couple at our church and they were a great blessing. They are truly anointed of God. We love their style of Southern Gospel music.â€Â Other friends of the couple, Bob and Connie Scott, also enjoy the Millerâ€™s style of music. â€œSuch a super talented couple that love God, they are what I would call just down-home friendly folks that I truly love to be around. I always look forward and anticipate seeing them, being with them and hearing them minister.â€
Along with traveling, meeting people and ministering in churches, The Millers are kept busy by the Snippa Creek Studios work. â€œI built Snippa Creek Studios several years ago now,â€ says Randy. â€œWe have two locations, one around the Auburn, Alabama area in Beulah, and a studio right outside of Nashville in Christiana, Tennessee. We have Nashville guys that we use and they donâ€™t mind traveling between the two places. These are guys that Iâ€™ve worked with throughout the years and throughout my music career. Weâ€™ll go to BBQâ€™s together and eat chicken and play frisbee and that kind of thing; just close friends. We go back and forth, we keep the roads hot, between Tennessee and Alabama, working from one studio to the other.â€
â€œAt the studio in Alabama, we have an apartment that is built onto it and we use that for clients who travel,â€ Randy explains. â€œWeâ€™ve traveled all of our lives; we know that it takes money when youâ€™re out doing an album, when youâ€™re there for five days and youâ€™re paying for five nights in a hotel. Weâ€™ve taken that into consideration so clients can stay in the apartment while theyâ€™re recording.â€ Randy is accomplished in the studio as well and has worked with many of the major talents in Gospel music including the Kingsmen, Gold City, Cathedrals, Gaithers, and Squire Parsons.
Randy is also a songwriter, although lately he says heâ€™s been writing more comedy songs than series gospel tunes. Sherri says, â€œHe likes to write funny songs about me, so heâ€™s been writing songs about my cooking, my driving and anything he can find to pick on me about. People end up really liking me by the end of the concert and are mad at him, so it works out good,â€ she laughs.
â€œYou know there are a lot of married couples of there and my comedy just talks about life pretty much,â€ says Randy. â€œMostly Iâ€™m making fun of just myself or Sherri.Â I just talk about her not cooking, as I do all the cooking and I like it and she doesnâ€™t have to cook. But I talk about trying to teach her how to cook somethingâ€¦â€ Sherri interrupts, â€œOr drive the carâ€.Â Randy explains, â€œWe bought a van. It was on a Wednesday night, we signed the papers and by Thursday morning Sherri had already wrecked it. We got it back from the body shop and she ran into somebody else. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, she ran into one of those little poles beside the gas pumps and locked it in there.â€ By this time, both are laughing and Randy says, â€œSo Iâ€™ve got some places to get humor from!â€
â€œYou learn to laugh at yourself and thatâ€™s where most of the comedy comes from,â€ Randy continues. â€œYou know, songs about losing your car and how you canâ€™t find your car in the parking lot, or one song talks about the extreme price of coffee. Youâ€™ve paid $6.00 for a latte, and Iâ€™m sure most people out there have paid four or five dollars for a cup of coffee.Â You sit there and say no Iâ€™m not going to do that, Iâ€™m not going to do that, but you had to have the coffee, itâ€™s so delicious. You can find humor in life; you just have to keep your eyes open.Â Itâ€™s all a point of view, a perspective.â€
Sherri loves her husbandâ€™s songwriting and laughs along with the audience. â€œMy favorite one Randy wrote is called â€˜Gone to Church Again.â€™ Thatâ€™s a funny one!â€ says Sherri. â€œPeople seem to love that! It talks about when he was a little boy and how when he would stay with his grandma, sheâ€™d load him up for church every time the doors were open, which was the same way most people grew up. One time he protested and didnâ€™t want to go and he had a â€˜come to Jesusâ€™ meeting with his grandma in the yard. He ended up going to church. And he didnâ€™t forget about it!â€
Everywhere the Millers sing people want to hear Randyâ€™s stories, so he decided he had to make a recording. â€œI played everything on the Comedy Album and I did all of it just by myself,â€ says Randy. â€œI told Sherri on a Monday, â€˜Iâ€™m going to do a comedy album,â€™ and by Friday we had product. Everywhere we go people want the funny stuff.Â I think theyâ€™ve heard so much bad news and gloom and doom, they want to laugh.Â I like to laugh. â€˜Happy is the man whose God is the Lord.â€™ And Iâ€™m always laughing.â€
As they travel the roads between studios and between weekend engagements, Randy and Sherri are more thankful than ever for family who keep them grounded and surrounded with support. â€œItâ€™s hard to balance everything but we do it,â€ says Randy. â€œThank God for grandparents! Thatâ€™s all I can say. They help and a lot of times the kids go with us on the road.â€
One of the Miller grandparents, Ann Miller, is Randyâ€™s sweet mother and one of the coupleâ€™s biggest fans. â€œI guess the number one reason I love them so much is because they are my family,â€ says Ann. â€œRandy is my son and Sherry is my beautiful daughter-in-law. Another reason I love them so much is that they are so much fun to be around. Believe me, there is never a dull moment with these two. Randy always has a joke ready about everything and Sherri is just as funny. The third reason is that they are so talented. It is so amazing to watch them take the stage and minister in comedy, song and praise. They are a blessing to me!â€
The Millers depend a lot on the blessing of family, which enables them to ministry to others. With their children growing up, the family is entering a new season of life. Sherry explains, â€œTheyâ€™re getting a lot older now, theyâ€™re teenagers and driving and stuff like that. So theyâ€™ll go with us if they can. Theyâ€™re really involved here at home in church and everything, so they sometimes have a lot going on and theyâ€™ll stay home. But they like to be right in the middle of all our antics so a lot of times they go with us.â€
â€œThey love music and they all aspire to do something in ministry involving music, singing and preaching and everything,â€ says Sherri. â€œSo weâ€™re proud of that, that Godâ€™s got His Hand on their lives, and leading them into being crazy people like we are I guess! We have three kids. Our two boys, Parker and Preston, are 17 and 16 and Kirsten is 13. So we need all your prayers!Â Thatâ€™s all I can sayâ€”three teenagersâ€¦â€ Sherri laughs.
Randy says that the teenagers are not really an official part of the traveling team. â€œEvery once in a while theyâ€™ll help unload some speakers or something like that but typically no, they donâ€™t do anything on stage.â€ Sherri says, â€œWeâ€™re working them towards it though. The other night we had a couple of hours before one of our concerts and I found all of them in the back. They had some praise and worship songbooks and they were putting on their own little concert. Before it ended, the youth pastor and his kids and a bunch of other people were with them, just singing it up. So you never know, we might have the Miller Family Band traveling around, like the Partridge Family, or I donâ€™t know,Â the Klaudt Indian Family!â€
The Miller family likes to be as active as they can in their home church, New Vision in Murfreesboro Tennessee. â€œWeâ€™re gone a lot though, so when we walk into the church we get visitorsâ€™ cards,â€ laughs Randy. Sherri adds, â€œOur kids go constantly. But weâ€™re in and out so much itâ€™s hard to be plugged in all the time, but we do have a great support system.â€
â€œWe go on Wednesday nights and I play with the worship team for the youth,â€ says Randy. There will probably be about 600 kids there that weâ€™re ministering to on Wednesday nights. We just enjoy it. Weâ€™ve got a great support system as Sherri said, but we love our church.â€
For Randy and Sherri, remaining involved in their home church is only a part of their active spiritual life. They know that keeping their relationship fresh with the Lord through prayer and teaching as well, keeps their own relationship strong. â€œSherri and I, we pray together and thatâ€™s imperative to a ministry; to keep in contact with the Father, the One that youâ€™re working for, and to know His voice,â€ says Randy. â€œI donâ€™t listen to a lot of music on the radio, I listen to pastors. One guy that I really love is Carl Gallops. Heâ€™s a pastor down in Milton Florida, really great friend of mine and I love to hear him speak.Â I love T.D. Jakes as well.â€
â€œWeâ€™ll be almost asleep, flipping through TV channels and weâ€™ll come across Swaggart Ministries,â€ says Sherri. â€œI love their music and worship, I just feel an anointing out of that a lot. I also really enjoy our pastor from New Vision, Pastor Brady Cooper. Heâ€™s an incredible speaker, just gifted, and throws in a lot of humor. A lot of times when a pastor is speaking itâ€™s hard to stay focused. Pastor Cooper keeps you really interested in what he has to say and with humor gets you to hear the meat of what heâ€™s bringing in his message. We also hear a lot of great speakers in the local churches where we go and sing. I get so tickled because there are certain places I love to go back to sing, just to hear the pastor speak on Sunday mornings. That means a lot. It feeds us.â€
Praying as a couple and listening to teaching is important to the Millers, but Randy explains the importance of a personal prayer life. â€œEverything that Iâ€™ve learned to play has been because of prayer and fasting,â€ Randy reveals. â€œYou have to put legs on those prayers and work, but when I started out trying to learn how to play harmonica which was my first instrument, I couldnâ€™t get it, I just couldnâ€™t get it. So I said, â€˜Iâ€™m getting really serious.â€™ I got down on my face before God and said, â€˜Iâ€™m going on a fast here God and I want You to help me learn to play this thing.â€™ I started missing those meals and praying every day and bugging everybody in the house trying to practice. Eventually it came, as well as all the other things Iâ€™ve learned to play.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t start singing until I was 19 and went from there to hearing parts and it was all because of prayer,â€ continues Randy. â€œIndividually, you have to stay in constant contact with the Father because you know His Voice when youâ€™re talking to Him all the time. Itâ€™s like I could call my buddy in Kansas once a year, and if he calls me maybe one time out of the year, when I pick up the phone if I donâ€™t see his number pop up on the screen, chances are I donâ€™t know who it is. But if I talk to him every day, when heâ€™d call all heâ€™d have to say is â€˜Hey buddyâ€™ and I would know his voice.â€
â€œThatâ€™s the same thing with God.Â If we stay in constant contact with Him, weâ€™re going to know His Voice; weâ€™re going to know what Heâ€™s saying, how Heâ€™s leading us and guiding us.â€
As Randy and Sherri continue to preach and pray and sing and laugh, the Millers are reaching many with the Word of God. Randy says, â€œThereâ€™s still evangelism in us right now. He told us in His Word to go into the highways and hedges.â€ He pauses. â€œGracious, Iâ€™ve been on the highways a long time! I told someone the other day, Iâ€™m ready to get in the hedges and be still for a little while.â€
It doesnâ€™t look like Randy and Sherri Miller are planning to slow down any time soon. As they continue to reach audiences with laughter, lyrics and love, the Millers are moving in the path God has laid out for them. â€œGod is speaking to us that time is short; thereâ€™s a harvest out there and we need to continue to press on,â€ Randy continues. â€œWe have just a narrow window to tell people about Christâ€™s love. They have a Savior that loves them and if they donâ€™t know Him, they need to hear that today is the day of salvation for them and they can know Him.â€Â Â
For more on Randy and Sherri Miller please visit:
See them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/randysherrimiller?fref=ts
Thanks to our contributors:
Dusty Wells http://www.facebook.com/dusty.wells.50/
Johnathan Bond http://www.youngharmony.com/
First published by SGN Scoops in December 2012. http://www.sgnscoops.com
Written By Lorraine Walker