Shaye Smith returns to Chuck Wagon Gang
Shaye Smith, grand-daughter of original Chuck Wagon Gang alto Anna Carter Gordon Davis, is returning. She sang with the group from 1993 through 2006 or 2007, and will be back on the road with the group as of Thursday.
Smith started as the group’s soprano singer, when her grandmother’s sister Ruth Ellen Carter Yates was still singing alto; she moved to alto about ten years ago.
After Smith’s departure, Penny Greene sang with the Chuck Wagon Gang for about two years, through last year’s National Quartet Convention. She was replaced by Kelly Jennings, who toured with the group for about four months and was asked to step down so Smith could return. The CWG is to be commended for being so forthright in their press release, cutting off rumors before they start (“Kelly Jennings, of Kingsport, TN was asked to step down so that Shaye could return.”)
Also from the release:
“Truly, I’ve missed singing, the many fans and friends I’ve met along the way, and I have missed continuing the heritage and legacy that my family started over seventy-four years ago,” stated Shaye from her home in Hertford, NC. “I knew I would be back with the group, I just did not know when and how the circumstances would unveil for my return. I am just so happy to be returning!”
“Shaye’s return is a wonderful blessing to begin the New Year,” said Dave Emery, manager, emcee, and guitarist for the group. “I’ve looked forward to this time ever since she left, but I never thought it would be this soon. Favorable circumstances just recently developed to make this possible. With the Diamond 75th Anniversary of The Chuck Wagon Gang just a year away, the timing could not be any better for the co-owner of the group to return! We’re already working on a documentary for our 75th anniversary, and her input as a family member is essential.”