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Fifty one years of inspiration

By Nadia Singh, nsingh@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 19 2013 10:36:24 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 20 2013 10:54:33 AM EDT

The Virginia Gospel Music Jubilee started yesterday but the inspirational music continued tonight. One of the most popular gospel groups took the stage

The Virginia Gospel Music Jubilee started Thursday but the inspirational music continued Friday night where one of the most popular gospel groups took the stage.

The Singing Cookes came from humble beginnings. Hubert was a coal miner, Janette, a preacher's daughter. But when they met, they knew their destiny was not only to be together, but to honor God with music.

Jeanette and Hubert Cooke are Southwest Virginia natives and have been performing Country Gospel music for over a half century. But, the devoted couple says It's not for fame or fortune.

"It was a calling by God for us to sing, because the Lord has blessed us through all these years," Cooke told Your Hometown News Leader.

Although their talent more than pays the bills their desire for the stage is larger than themselves

"I want the crowd to be pleased, but I don't really try to please them, because if you please God then you'll be alright," said Cooke.

The Cookes began singing country duets together. Janette has even been likened to country music legend, Loretta Lynn. But even after years of being in the business, this family remains grounded.

"A couple of years ago, I was voted in as a living legend, and I was proud of that. But it didn't…no star struck stuff," Cooke told WDBJ7. "We are who we are said Hubert. We don't copy. Like a lot of groups will copy somebody else's sound. We just sing like we are.

The Singing Cookes, as their known, have stayed devoted to their musical ministry and Christian roots. In their early days, offers from big time record labels came in, but they resisted.

"This man offered to take us to Nashville but we were to sing country and gospel but I didn't feel that that was the Lord's calling."

For this husband a wife, their career has been the ultimate love story and they made sure to bring their three sons into the family business as well.

"I love her and she loves me. She's beautiful. She thinks I'm alright. We never did really quit courting."

They say their musical ministry is about saving people and bringing them to spiritual greatness.