Tokens goes weekly with broadcasts on WSM, holiday specials planned
For the first time in its six year history, the Lipscomb-based variety show Tokens is being broadcast weekly.
The show can be heard on world famous country station WSM 650 AM on Sundays from 6-7 p.m. The broadcasts are currently pre-recorded from earlier episodes.
These broadcasts will continue until the first live show of the fall on Nov. 24, followed by two holiday specials on Thanksgiving night and Christmas night, concluding the weekly broadcasts.
For those unfamiliar with Tokens, the shows feature a variety of acts across various fields to provide a night of music and comedy that even touches on social issues. The show was created by Lipscomb’s own Dr. Lee C. Camp, a Bible professor on campus.
To Camp, the mix of talented acts performing together, especially during the holiday specials at the Ryman Auditorium, provides for unique atmosphere for the audience.
“The Ryman is just a magical place,” Camp said. “That show itself is always very, very special because of the kind of show we’re doing there. When you’re able to weave together theology and really good music and roots/Americana music, all of that is what the Ryman Auditorium has always been about. So that night is always very special at the Ryman, and it has an almost magical feel about it. And I’m always delighted to have people come and enjoy and participate in it.”
Tokens has been able to bring in many big names and talented artists over the years, including Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Keb’ Mo’, Hal Holbrook and many others.
This luxury came about thanks to the musical connections made by the show’s musical director Jeff Taylor. Taylor hired what Camp calls a “who’s who” list of Nashville musicians to be the house band, which led to interest in the show from other high profile performers throughout Nashville.
“Our music director is named Jeff Taylor, and from the very start, he asked some of the very best studio musicians in town to be in our house band,” Camp said. “So they’re like a who’s who list of bass players and fiddle players and guitar players, and they’ve played with all sorts of huge name people.
“That’s been one of the greatest things for us as far as inviting the high profile vocalists. We’ve got such a high quality music ensemble that it makes it easy.”
Camp hopes to provide a pleasant experience for everyone who comes to see the show. Even though Tokens is intertwined with theological themes, Camp wants people from all backgrounds to enjoy the show.
“There’s something about what we’re doing that’s very moving to people. And it’s wonderful to see people enjoy that. Even if they can’t feel comfortable in church, they can feel very comfortable with what we’re doing that in that kind of context.”