NEWS 3 NEIGHBORS: Tuning up for the Grammy Awards

Local News

It’s a pretty big deal to be nominated for a Grammy award.

A Columbus resident is counting her blessings after she and her brother and sister received a 2019 Grammy nomination for their new CD “Still Standing.”

While they were taking a break for the holidays, I caught up with the Columbus connection of the martins trio.

Judy Martin Hess and her older siblings, Jonathon and Joyce, started singing in church as small children in Arkansas where they grew up. Probably their biggest break in the music business was being introduced to Bill and Gloria Gaither.

These gospel music icons fell in love with them and their harmony and helped launch their careers.

“Professionally it opened so many doors for us.  We were exposed to so many more people in a shorter amount of time than probably we ever would have been,” says Hess. 

Judy lives here in Columbus with her husband, Jake Hess Jr.. Joyce calls Nashville home. Jonathan lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

They’ve been making music together as long as they can remember. 

“We have been doing this a really long time. We’ve been singing for 40 years and we’ve been full time for like 30 years which blows my mind,” Hess said.

To unveil their newest CD, The Martins decided to try something wild and daring. “We jumped out of an airplane tandem with the Army Golden Knights to introduce the world to ‘Still Standing,’ our new record,” Hess said. 

I asked her if she still standing after she hit the ground? Her response “I know, right?  It took a minute for our knees to turn back from being jelly.  But it was amazing! It was so much fun,” Hess said. 

In many ways, the new CD “Still Standing” speaks to the wayGodd has brought The Martins through the stuff of life.

“We went through a period of time where we came off the road.  We didn’t really talk to each other, and we had to work through those things.  We had to find forgiveness and restoration and having dealt with so many things with each other, we are still here.  We’re still standing and we have more to say than we ever have. Because of the bad, God has been able to show how good He is to us,” Hess says. 

The Martins have been nominated for the best gospel roots album. The Grammy awards will be televised right here on WRBL on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Judy’s father-in-law was Jake Hess, a beloved southern gospel music singer..who won four Grammy awards by the way!

Jake was the voice Elvis Presley said he most wanted to emulate. Jake sang at Elvis’ funeral.

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